Category Archives: teaching profession

A Celebration of Qadri Ismail’s Career by Academia

From the Department of English, University of Minnesota, 5 November 2021

  It’s been amazing reading the tributes to Qadri, reading about his impact and his generosity. Our family was able to keep up with his exploits during his early career in Sri Lanka, when he was a reporter, but his scholarly career was a bit harder to keep up with. I read some of his early writings, but most of them were above my head. But reading the articles about his impact and reach has been very helpful and valuable to us.

A Searing Wide-Ranging Critique from Qadri Ismail after 21/4 in 2019 ……. Now a Requiem

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Romila Thapar & Sri Lanka’s Heritage in Today’s Dismal Context

Uditha Devapriya

On Thursday, the 27th of January, Professor Romila Thapar will deliver the Dr Roland Silva Memorial Lecture to the National Trust of Sri Lanka. Professor Thapar will be speaking about the museum in India, charting its evolution from private collections to public displays and placing it in the context of similar institutions from other colonial societies.

 

 

 

 

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Richard Gabriel’s Life and Work

Nilantha Perera Palihawadana

Beginnings and Family: Payagala Baduge Richard Mausuetus Don Gabriel was born on February 19, 1924, to Payagala Baduge Don Gabriel and Cyriline de Costa. He was the youngest of a family of three boys. His eldest brother was Edmund Don Gabriel, who became an accountant and was the bursar of Aquinas College. He also served as the secretary and treasurer of the Sapumal Foundation. The brother just senior to him was Edward Don Gabriel, who later became a businessman. Richard also had four half-sisters from his father’s first marriage.

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Romila Thapar’s ZOOM Lecture on The Museum in India

Professor ROMILA THAPAR to deliver the Dr. ROLAND SILVA MEMORIAL LECTURE for the National Trust on 27th January 2022 at 6.00 pm on Zoom….

yes  ZOOM

Prof. Romila Thapar  who is a Professor of Ancient History, Emerita, at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. The notice of the Lecture is appended (or attached) and we welcome you all to participate.

Roland Silva

 

 

 

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Reviewing Educational Reform and the Study of History in British Ceylon

Uditha Devapriya with Uthpala Wijesuriya, in The Island, 15 January 2022, where the title reads Cultural revival, education reform, and the study of history”

Most accounts of education reform in British Ceylon focus on officials and administrators, rather than the people on the ground and the historical forces they had to contend with. Very little effort, indeed next to no effort, is made to situate reforms in a broader historical context. Works like Ranjit Ruberu’s Education in Colonial Ceylon (1962) and the Education and Cultural Affairs Ministry’s Education in Ceylon: A Centenary Volume (1969) do explore these areas, but these remain more the exception than the norm..

  G. C. Mendis, 

Red A. G Fraser

 

 

 

 

Hartley

 

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Warden Stone’s School-leaving Endorsement of Young DS Senanayake

Michael Roberts

Chandra Schaffter discovered a short note of commendation provided as a school leaving certificate in 1902 by Warden Stone[i] of S. Thomas College at Mutwal to young DS Senanayake. Apparently, DS had been “irreproachable” in his schooldays and had even been a dormitory prefect. Such a school-leaving certificate[ii] would not have been unique; but it is one of those historical artefacts that is so common that they merge into the wastelands of mundane taken-for-granted facts ………….. and then disappear from sight.

 

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Learie Constantine’s Cricket Coaching Stint in Ceylon 1953

Chandra Schaffter

Sir Learie Constantine was truly a legend. He was invited by Sri Lanka Cricket Board to coach in Sri Lanka in early 1953. Before that, the New Zealander C.T. Badcock was coaching and Sri Lanka was inviting foreign coaches with a view to improving the standard of cricket in the country.

 

 

The arrival of Learie Constantine was like a breath of fresh air. He brought to us the West Indian style of cricket and he to a large extent encouraged the natural talents of his wards and allowed them to improve their game in the way they knew best. That was his greatness.

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Kingship in the Midst of European Imperialism in South Asia

Ananda Abeysekera’s essay entitled “The Loss of Kingship and Colonial and Other Uses of the “People” in South Asia,” will appear soon in Academia Letters

Synopsis: In this essay, I briefly take up the question of loss by way of the question of the loss of kingship in the aftermath of colonialism in two instances of South Asia. Given the word limit, I do so with a brief reading of Gananath Obeyesekere’s The Doomed King (2017) followed by some comments on Anastasia Piliavsky’s Nobody’s People (2020). Even though these two texts are by anthropologists, given the subject matter, they are very much interested in the question of history and power. In reading these two texts, I attempt to note briefly how the modern category of the “people” begins to raise its head in colonialism, if you will, in the wake of the destruction and loss of kingship. My remarks are hardly exhaustive on the concept of the people, but its specter—in terms of the continuing reproductions of the colonial and postcolonial relation between people’s “agency” and “responsibility”—is pervasive in both the humanities and a multitude of political discourses about law, foreign policy conduct, etc.

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Mahathma Gandhi at Mahinda College in 1927

Ruhunu Puthra

In November 1927, Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturbai Gandhi arrived in Galle. They were the chief guests at the prize-giving of Mahinda College, on the 24th. The Olcott Memorial Assembly Hall of the College was filled to capacity. Never was there such a large gathering of Buddhists, Hindus and Christians. The speech given by Gandhi is excerpted from the Mahinda College Magazine of 2002:

“It has given me the greatest pleasure to be able to be present at this very pleasant function. You have paid me, indeed, a very great compliment and conferred on me a great honour by allowing me to witness your proceedings and making the acquaintance of so many boys.

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An Indian Scholar’s Griefstricken VALE for Malathi De Alwis

Nivedita Menon, in Colombo Telegraph, 22 January 2021, where the title is  “Malathi De Alwis (1963-2021) – Beloved Friend, Feminist Comrade”

This is my Mala.

Every person touched by her friendship felt this sense of unique connection to Mala. To receive the gift of her attention was to forever feel the tug of a thread that attached you to a part of her heart. She would remember you at some point or the other even if you were not constantly in touch, with that fine-tuned sensitivity that brought to you the exact poem or thought or photograph or  experience that linked the two of you.

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