Remembering George Turnour: Scholar & Administrator Extraordinary-by Michael Roberts Source:Thuppahis Hugh Karunanayake Thirty seven years ago, on 13 April 1985, the British Prime Minister of the day  Mrs Margaret Thatcher during her visit to Sri Lanka to open the Victoria Dam, said  in an address to the Parliament of Sri Lanka  “The remains of an ancient civilization are visible in many parts of your island. Two thousand years ago, your irrigation system far exceeded in scale and sophistication anything existing in Europe. That great chronicle the Mahavamsa, has passed down to us the story of your island’s development.”  The Mahavansa and the history it contained would probably  have been lost in the mists of antiquity if not for the  indefatigable efforts of a Civil Servant by the name George Turnour. George Turnour was born in Ceylon in 1799. His father (the fourth son of the Earl of Winterton) also with the same ...

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SIR DON BARON JAYATILAKA: THE EPOCH MAKER-by Sudeep Perera Sir Don Baron Jayatilaka was born on February 13, 1868 in Waragoda, a village in Kelaniya. Source:Dailynews He was the eldest son of Don Daniel and Elisa Jayatilaka (nee Weerasinghe), the former being from Paththalagedara in Veyangoda. Daniel Jayatilaka was a contractor in the construction of roads and a founder member of the Vidyalankara Pirivena in Kelaniya. Mrs. Elisa Jayatilaka (nee Weerasinghe) devoted Buddhist, a descendent of the highly respected, wealthy Weerasinghe family of Waragoda. Initial education was at Vidyalankara Pirivena where he learnt Sinhalese, Pali, Sanscrit and Buddhist Literature under the patronage of scholars such as Ven. Rathmalane Sri Dharmaloka and Ven. Rathmalane Sri Dharmarama. Elementary education in the English medium was commenced at a Baptist school in Kelaniya. Secondary education was received at Wesley Collage Colombo. His siblings were Muhandiram Don Simon Jayatilaka and Mudliyar Don Abraham Jayatilaka. Marriage ...

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SIR PONNAMBALAM ARUNACHALAM (1853-1924) Source:island.lk On the 98th Death Anniversary which falls on January 9, 2022 Compiled by Sega Nagendra and Suresh Murugaser, great grandchildren of Sir P. Arunachalam FAMILY Ponnambalam Arunachalam was the youngest Son of Gate Mudaliyar A. Ponnambalam. He was born on September 14, 1853, to a highly respected and a well-educated professional family originally from Manipay, Jaffna. Gate Mudaliyar Arumuganathapillai Coomaraswamy, his maternal grandfather, was the Tamil representative of the first Legislative Council established in 1834, following the recommendations of the Colebrooke-Cameron report of 1832. Colebrooke, coming from England, which was agitating for reform of the electoral system, was surprised at the autocratic powers exercised by the Governor of Ceylon since 1802. He effected a reduction of those powers by setting up an Executive and Legislative Council. Sir Muttu Coomaraswamy, who was Arunachalam’s mother’s brother, had been a friend of Lord Houghton, Palmerston and Disraeli, in ...

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Is there a credible political alternative for Sri Lanka? by Tissa Jayatilaka Why do Sri Lankan voters elect and re-elect corrupt and discredited politicians?  This topic has been much talked about and commented on in newspapers and social media ever since Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in a rare moment of self-realisation, asked the above question from the voters of Sri Lanka. Why indeed? Two years before the president posed this question in November 2019, I asked myself the very same question when to my disbelief and dismay, 6.9 million voters elected Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) as executive president. For the purposes of this essay I consider GR to have been a politician since 2005 when, as a political appointee to the post of secretary to the ministry of defence, he wielded more power than any other politician except his older sibling, the then executive president. A few months after the presidential election, when ...

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A brief History on the Inception of University of Peradeniya Source:Perabeats Raised in between lush green banks of Mahaweli River and misty Hanthana mountain range, the scenic beauty of University of Peradeniya is one of its kind. Rightly did its forefather, Sir Ivor Jennings on his first visit to the proposed site of future university proclaimed that “no university in the world could have such a setting”. Today, Peradeniya stands heir to a 75 year old university tradition and is ranked as one of the top universities in Sri Lanka and worldwide. However its journey since its inception in 1942 as the “University of Ceylon” to the Educational giant it is today has being a result of persistent dedication and commitment of its founding fathers: a group of both foreign and local intellects at the time. Looking back at the History of University of Peradeniya it can be divided into four ...

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