JOHN HOLT, 24 November 2021
Very sorry to hear of Sam’s demise. haven’t seen him much in the past several years, but Sam and Vidya were very key to my education about Sri Lanka and, in addition to inputs from C.R. and Kingsley, to the early success of the ISLE Program. We managed to bring Sam and Vidya to Swarthmore College for a year circa 1990 or so, and from then and there they creatively parlayed their experience to move permanently to the US, though Sam stayed with ICES periodically for many years and encouraged our cooperative presence with that venerable institution.
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A translation of an essay written by Professor Sirimal Abeyratne (Colombo) appeared in the Lankadeepa of 18 August, 2021. As I have difficulties obtaining typescripts in Sinhala, I will write in English. Abeyratne dwelt on two questions. First, who benefits from ‘free education’? Second, how do you engineer a knowledge centre?
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Thuppahi’s recent presentation of a striking photograph unearthed by Gerald Peiris which depicts world-famous dignitaries on their way to formally declare the University of Peradeniya open for the business of study and play has attracted pleasure as well as information on the hands that may have been at work on this design. The debate on the choice of site for a new University branch is a separate and complicated issue. The focus here is on the architectural and landscaping designs. As I indicated, Shirley De Alwis [also spelt D’Alwis?] was the principal architect (and we require bio-data on this man). But, what else can we gather? Here are some preliminary responses. The Editor, Thuppahi
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Suri Ratnapala, in The Australian, 2 February 2021, where the title reads thus “Proof of life on social media to screen out evils” …. with highlighting emphahsis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi
The suspension of Donald Trump’s accounts by Twitter and Facebook and the shutdown of Parler by Amazon following the events of January 6 heighten concerns about the power of the Big Tech firms to censor political information and debate.
First, a full disclosure. I am a critic of Trump of a classical liberal disposition. I am a social network recluse with only an email account. I believe the silencing of Trump by Facebook and Twitter may have served the immediate public interest but has troubling consequences for liberal democratic government.
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