Category Archives: heritage

The Early History of Sociology at the University of Ceylon

H.L. Seneviratne,** Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia, USA, in Social Affairs: A Journal for the Social Sciences, ISSN 2478-107X (online) …. www.socialaffairsjournal.com

This paper is an account of the Department of Sociology of the University of Ceylon in approximately the first decade of its existence. The most significant development during this period was the transition of the department from one that provided courses for other departments, in particular Economics, to one that awarded its own degrees, making it a full-fledged and autonomous entity. The inability to grant its own degrees was not a plight rooted in any statutory limitation but a limitation of resources, in particular the want of adequate teaching staff. This may partly have been due to the ‘late comer’ status of Sociology in relation to other disciplines, and a related vicious circle of inadequate resources and low enrollments. Being a subordinate partner of Economics was also a part of the legacy of the department’s structural origin in the model of British universities. The oldest Department of Sociology in the UK was at the London School of Economics (LSE) and only goes back to the beginning of the 20th century; and it started as a subsidiary of the Economics Department. This paper makes an attempt to assess the relative contribution of the two major figures that strived in their own ways to secure the progress of the department towards achieving full-fledged status as a department that granted its own degrees.

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People In Between: The Splendid Contortions of DBU Diehards

Rajiva Wijesinha, reviewing the book People Inbetween in the Sunday Observer of 24 March 1991 **

“In this review of the book by three Sri Lankans – Michael Roberts, Percy Colin-Thome and Ismeth Raheem, Rajiva Wijesinha discusses some interesting aspects that go to make People In Between a ‘fascinating social history’.” — The Observer’s Introduction

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Admiral Zheng He’s Imprint in Galle: Its Implications

 Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan, in The Island, 9 June 2021, where the title runs: “Mandarin and Tamil -A Historical Perspective.”

The recent discovery of name- boards in public institutions which have omitted one of the national languages, namely Tamil, only to replace it with Mandarin Chinese has caused a furor with Tamil members of Parliament and other politicians voicing their protests. Certainly, this is most unfortunate but rather than blame the Chinese it is the government Authorities in charge of the implementation of the Official Languages policy who should be blamed. That they have been remiss in this instance is only a small part of the general malaise in respect of the implementation of the official languages policy.

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Bandula Jayasekera: A Dedication from Newsline in March 2021

A tribute to the late Bandula Jayasekara – #NewslineSL – 05th March 2021 ….

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Laki Senanayake As I Knew Him

Ismeth Raheem: An Appreciation of Laki Senanayake (1937–2021)

Given Laki Senanayake’s stature and personality, I am confident that there will be a fair share of obituaries and appreciations that will attempt to capture something of the man and his work. This is a more personal account of my encounters with Laki, which span over half a century. By no means is this an overview of his life or work. For the most part this account is anecdotal, but it does strive to convey aspects of his personality, his passions and the work he created and inspired.

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Meaningful Appreciations of Qadri Ismail from the University of Minnesota

From the Department of English, with this heading  “In Memoriam: Professor Qadri Ismail: Brilliant thinker, inspiring teacher, loyal friend”

With deep sorrow, we note the death of our esteemed colleague Professor Qadri Ismail, who died in May at home of natural causes. He was 59. A noted scholar of cultural studies, postcolonial literature, literary theory, and gender and sexuality, Ismail joined English at Minnesota as Assistant Professor in 1997 and served the department in numerous capacities, including Chair of the department’s first Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee and Director of Graduate Studies.

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Vale: Appreciating Fr. Don Andrew Leonard Perera Abayasekara of Kandy

Nilantha Perera Palihawadana: “Remembering Rev Fr. Don Andrew Leonard Perera Abayasekara of Kandy (13th March 1903 to 4th March 1987)”

Beginnings: Don Andrew Leonard Perera Abayasekara was born on 13th March 1903 at ‘Kahavita Wallawa’, Cross Street Kandy, to Kahavita Don Jeronimus Perera Abayasekara Tillekeratna Mohandiram of Kandy and Magdalen Eliza Perera Wijesingha Samarasekera Abayasekara Lamaethane. He was baptised on 7th May 1905 by Rev Dr. D.B. Beekmeyer O.S.B, Bishop of Kandy at the family church the St. Anthony’s Cathedral.

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Sir Hugh Clifford’s “Some Reflections on the Ceylon Land Question” — 1927

This is a rare booklet and is one item in a lively debate on the agrarian sector in the political economy of Sri Lanka in the period extending from the 1920s to the present… BUT NOTE that the file is over 300MB in size and that it is likely to occupy a very large part of one’s computer’s memory capacity.

Michael Roberts — See

Gerald H Peiris = https://thuppahis.com/2021/06/01/51959/… AND

Chandre Dharmawardana = https://thuppahis.com/2021/05/31/addressing-a-criticism-of-ds-senananyakes-dry-zone-colonization-schemes/ ….. AND

Michael Roberts = https://thuppahis.com/2021/05/29/under-fire-sri-lankas-colonization-programmes-and-economic-policies-1920s-to-2020/

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Fostering the Peasant Sector of the Economy: Misconceptions

Gerald H Peiris

This whole pretence at applying serious scholarship to a study of land policy in SL since the late 1920s is becoming almost intolerable.[1] The author of this article[2] might well have impressed you with whatever he had done earlier. But this piece does not deserve the attention which you have sought to give,[3] even by way of a kick-off for a scholarly discussion on the subject. That is why I decided to confine my previous comment on just one item in your list of references. This morning I have enough time to send you a longer note – now that an almost total curfew has been imposed throughout SL and all of us are pleasantly home bound.

DS Senanayake, OEG, Dudley et al receiving official inputs

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Addressing A Criticism of DS Senanayake’s Dry Zone Colonization Schemes

Chandre Dharmawardana, 28 May 2021, with this title “Criticism of D.S. Senanayake’s Dry Zone colonization schemes”

Would Sri Lanka have been better off if not for the fetishization of rural peasant life and its connexion to the Sinhalese Buddhist nation-myth?

Why do people talk of “colonization schemes” when a government  facing bulging population growth, for one reason or another, opens up land for its people to settle?

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