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Though it was good to see the coherence some police officers tried to ensure, but sad that others did not care, and a pity that systems were not clearly put in place and monitored. I had a simple test, to check if the GN knew the names of the policemen allocated to his Division, and it was astonishing how this varied from one place to the next even in contiguous areas, underlining the need for better supervision and indeed a weekly brief report to the OIC.

The pictures are of Pujith Jayasundara who seemed a good DIG in the East before he blotted his copybook there, and then of police at a couple of reconciliation meetings.

More interactions with the police

I had to follow up on the last letter immediately when I found further problems at my meetings on the 13thFollowing my last letter after the Reconciliation meeting in Valaichenai, I found further disappointments in both Kalawanchikudy and Aryampathy Divisions, where the Community Policing system seems to have broken down completely. I had the impression when I visited the East last year, when DIG Pujith Jayasundera was in charge, that the system was working well, so I will copy this to him so he can let me know whether I was mistaken.

It is possible that the breakdown was because of resentment at the efficiency he introduced. I say this because the worst situation was in Aryampathy where I believe he had some problems when he tried to prevent abuse. The situation now makes me understand how tough it must be to reintroduce discipline and systematic work towards fulfillment of the Police Vision and Mission, but I hope you will renew your efforts, given the tremendous achievements, as in Nittambuwa, where officers follow orders.

Because I could not believe how bad the situation was in Aryampathy I asked the Grama Niladharis present at the meeting to record when they had last met with the policeman allocated to their Division. Of the 23 present (there are 24 GN Divisions altogether)

6 had never met the officer allocated to their Division (these were probably new appointees but they started in June so the lapse of over two months is not acceptable)

8 had last met the officer on July 1st or previously (two who seemed to share an officer had last met him in May, while another had met his officer in March)

7 had met the officer within the last month (3 others have written in Tamil and that information was not translated)

The situation was not much better in Kalawanchikudy, though there a senior police officer attended the meeting and I was able to make some suggestions that I hope were well received.

However I think that perhaps it is time you renewed your initial instructions, which seemed so imaginative and effective at the time. You might find it useful to also suggest the following –

  1. Police personnel are allocated to each GN Division and visit regularly, at least once a week
  2. The GN and the allocated police officer organize regular CDC meetings and ensure that at least a synopsis of the minutes is available in Tamil where this is necessary, and shared with members as well as the Divisional Secretary
  3. That the DS looks into the issues raised, if necessary appointing a liaison officer for the purpose, and draws the attention of relevant officials (including the DDC Chairman) and government departments to problems
  4. That feedback on possible solutions is given to the GN to share with the CDC members.

A meeting with the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration, leading to a joint Circular may be the most effective way of achieving results, so I will also copy this letter to the Secretary to your Ministry. Certainly setting up a system that everyone understands and respects will increase accountabililty. While all decisions will be made at the appropriate level, with the approval as required of the DDC Chairman, the people will be kept informed of action and be confident that their problems are being looked into, even if solutions may take time.

I deal here with an initiative I had embarked on with active if intermittent support from the different concerned authorities, to strengthen community policing.

In theory every Grama Niladhari Division had one or two police officers allocated to work closely with the GN, but this was a haphazard business and depended on the leadership of the OIC. I did manage to get the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration to issue a circular setting up a more effective structure for what were termed Civil Defence Committees, to promote better coordination between the GN and the police in his Division, and then send regular reports to the OIC who would liaise with the Divisional Secretary about issues.

The pictures are of Secretary Abeykoon and IGP Illangakoon, both of whom were positive though the former slowed down before the election season, with unfortunate results.

Community Policing

Two matters stand out in the letters I sent after the August 2014 meetings. The first was trying to consolidate work with regard to the Grama Niladhari level meetings on protection that we had initiated. On the 12th I wrote to the IGP as follows – While I have generally found that the Community Policing system you have put in place is working well, I was sorry today in Valaichenai to find that it was barely functioning in the 8 Grama Niladhari Divisions that come under Valaichenai Police Station. The 4 that come under Kalkudah were working well, which suggests that there is some problem here.

The Divisional Secretary said that she did not find the police cooperative. This may not be correct, and the OIC whom I spoke to seemed well intentioned, but there is clearly some structural difficulty, which you would do well to address. It was also claimed by some villagers that the problem of alcohol was made worse by members of the force drinking in public places at night.

The Sub-Inspector who attended our Reconciliation Meeting said this was impossible, but that is the wrong approach. He could say it was unlikely, but we must accept that in any profession there will be a few people who behave badly, however good everyone else is.

The real problem is that the people did not have faith in the police allocated to them. This is essential so that they could get in touch and complain. In any case there should be regular feedback on action taken with regard to social problems like this.

More generally, this confirms the importance of developing links between the police and the Divisional Secretariat, which can best be done if liaison has to be with only one individual. For OICs to work together with several Divisional Secretaries, and for Divisional Secretaries to have to work with several OICs causes complications that can be avoided by streamlining the catchment areas.

I would also suggest that you ensure that the new system of Civil Defence Committees, with the Grama Niladhari chairing the meetings, be enforced everywhere. It was working well in Kattankudy where we had another meeting today.

I should also take this opportunity to congratulate the Police on the way the system is being implemented in Nittambuwa where you have an excellent OIC, who has understood the potential of the system and is using it systematically, with a good record keeping system. You might consider using his services for training for this purpose. I was fortunate to have had to drop in there on Sunday, and I learnt a lot about how much can be accomplished by dedicated and intelligent officers.

I note here that language education at vocational training centres took a step backward because the then Secretary was against this, though fortunately a little continued despite him so I could build on it when I became TVEC Chairman. But after I was dismissed that too was stymied though the excellent English staff at the DTET tried to continue some courses despite the hostility of management.

I then go on to the meetings I held in the East in August, noting in between a visit to the new Chief Minister of Wayamba Province, Dayasiri Jayasekera.

Further educational efforts

Under the last Rajapaksa government there was a retreat with regard to English teaching at vocational training centres for Secretary Wijeratne did not think language should be amongst the subjects taught at centres under his Ministry. He tried to stop the English courses that had been started, which were amongst the most popular in the centres. Fortunately not all centres took his ruling seriously, so there were some still in place when, as Chairman of the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commssion, with an innovative and intelligent Minister at the help, I reintroduced and expanded English courses.

These proved the most popular by far, attracting hundreds to centres all over the country, in particular in the period just after the Ordinary Level Examination which is otherwise wasted by so many. But after I was sacked there was a rearguard action to cut these and they are no longer available in many areas. 

In August 2014 I had an ambitious programme of visits planned, since I wanted to complete the second round of discussions at all Eastern Province Divisional Secretariats. I went up on the 10th to Kandy with friends I was taking to the Perehera, but had a serendipitous meeting en route when the car broke down at Nittambuwa. This was near the police station so I went in there with my security, and had a long discussion about community policing with the OIC, a bright young man called Prasad Weerasekera. He was doing a great job, with files on all Grama Niladhari Divisions, but he had not yet been told about the circular that set up a new system which would promote greater consultation and also more clearcut responsibilities.

After the Perahera that night I went to Kurunagala to meet the recently elected Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera who had crossed over for the UNP and to contest the position for the government. He had expressed some interest in education and we spoke at length, but of course he did nothing. In all fairness though he may have been stymied by the habit Mahinda Rajapaksa had developed of having endless elections, which did not allow for coherent work.

I dropped my friends at the bus stand and then went on to Batticaloa to the Bridge Hotel. Having seen Mrs Charles next morning I had a meeting at Kattankudy and then went on to Valaichenai after lunch. There I found arrangements had not been made, so after a discussion with the Divisional Secretary I got back to the Bridge, and then had meetings next day at Kalawanchikudy and Aryampathy before getting back home.

When I was Minister of Higher Education I tried through that Ministry to work in areas that I had earlier suggested, following the Review, to the Ministry of Education, but I was not there long enough to set things going and the Cabinet Ministers had no interest in the Cabinet Papers I produced for the purpose.

The pictures are of three Ministers, amiable but hopelessly incompetent, who did little for Education or Vocational Training or National Languages and Social Integration.

Student needs ignored

I also suggested to Anura that he should build on the suggestion in the report that ‘At least three IC and/or IAB schools in a Zone should conduct classes for students who could not continue studies for whatever reason so that they can come back to school to learn employable skills when the school is not in regular session’. This is such a self-evident necessity that I am astonished that those in charge have not thought about it. At the very least it seemed to me that better use could be made from the project the Ministry had undertaken to provide several schools with multiple computers, to provide training outside hours for practical purposes.

But in fact the computer project was not for students at all. It had involved vast expenditure, to put up buildings and buy computers, on which doubtless commissions were obtained. And then most of these remained shut until political capital could be gained by opening them before elections. By dint of making a big fuss at the Education Consultative Commttee in Parliament I managed to shame Minister Bandula Goonewardena to open a few earlier than had been intended, but in general the callousness and waste continued.

I suggested not only to Anura but also to several MPs in the area that they should think of replicating my scheme, of starting vocational training centres in schools. And I also suggested to one MP I thought keen to work for the people but with no idea how to do it that he might like to finalize decisions on how to spend the funds currently allocated to you for development purposes on the basis of consultations, using the mechanisms now set in place by the Ministry of Public Administration. You could therefore ask for written proposals based on the discussions at the Civil Defence Committee meetings at Grama Niladhari level, which have now been formalized through the recent circular sent out by the Ministry. If suggestions were prioritized then, and submitted systematically through the Divisional Secretary, it would be easier for the Development Committee to make decisions.’

In writing to Skills Development Secretary Wijeratne to urge follow up on our meeting the previous month which Minister Dullas Alahapperuma had finally arranged after failing to get any action from his previous incompetent Secretary, I also suggested expanding the scope of training, since ‘given the increasing problems created by monolingualism, developing language / translation courses would be immensely helpful. Perhaps you should work together with the Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration in this regard.’ I wrote too to Vasudeva Nanayakkara, who held that Ministry, and who had suddenly woken up to my existence and asked me to join his advisory board, to suggest he push this idea.

But Vasu, though he had been very cooperative about the efforts Vasantha Senanayake and I were making to stir the President into moving on the reforms the country needed, was not good at ensuring action and this idea was forgotten.

Today’s reconciliation account looks again at the Northern Education Sector Review, which had many good ideas which would have helped youngsters so much. But nothing was done. Though Anura Dissanayake, the Secretary to the Ministry of Education, was positive he had no idea how to move on things. With regard to psycho-social well-being for instance, so urgent and particularly in the North where there had been so much trauma, nothing was done. And with constant changes my efforts on the National Education Commission did not get far before I was removed from the post of TVEC Chairman whereby I was on the Commission.  

The pictures are of Anura Dissanayake, Prof Ehirveerasingham, Fr Gnanaponraj, So Pathmanathan, and my old student Jokeswaran, standing second left in the picture taken when I met him and several other Sabaragamuwa students at the end of 2014.

Better education denied

The Northern Education Sector Review had been spearheaded by Nagalingam Ethirveerasingham, whom I had known in my boyhood as the high jumper who had won a gold medal for Sri Lanka at the Asian Games. His son Arjuna had been a dogged foe in Geneva during the war, but it seems that he like his father was willing to accept the result and work to improve the lot of Tamils in the country afterwards.

I was very pleased to find at the launch of the review, in addition to old friends like So Pathmanathan and the Principal of St. John’s College Fr Gnanaponraj and my student Jokeswaran, representatives of the Ministry of Education from Colombo. It seemed they had been very supportive of the exercise, though Ethirveerasingham said the Foreign Ministry had been negative and tried to block visas, typical of its negative approach when Kshenuka Seneviratne and Sajin Vas Goonewardena called all the shots.

I found the Review excellent and over the years tried to get those in charge in Colombo to make better use of it. Anura Dissanayake who was Secretary to the Ministry of Education was positive about it but had no idea how to proceed, and after government changed his successors were useless. Later I tried to get the National Education Commission, when I was on it again, to take the lead but by then Lakshman Jayatilleka was less focused than he used to be. He did agree to my suggestion to put Prof Ethirveerasingham on the Education Sub-Committee which I chaired, but then he only had a workshop, or rather a talkshop, about the Review without moving towards reaching consensus with all provinces on urgent action as I had suggested. And then he was changed and I had to start again, again with a very nice Chairman, Prof Siriweera, but he too was slow and cautious and had no understanding of the need for urgent reform. 

The strategy of finding a few initiatives everyone agrees on and pushing them is not something our decision makers or administrators understand, which is why I feel so strongly that without me in charge little will move. But in those days I still thought there were people capable of forceful action, and that there was commitment to improve things.

I wrote to Anura asking him to arrange a workshop for all Provinces and to UNICEF asking them to fund this as also promote its ideas about Psychosocial Wellbeing and Counselling, areas that continue to be ignored but even that was not done.

I still cannot understand why Mahinda Rajapaksa did not replace the Northern Province Chief Secretary, given that the new administration and the TNA had agreed to compromise on the major position in the North, that of Governor. And that intransigence over a minor point was a great pity for it destroyed relations with the able General Chandrasiri whom the TNA had been willing to work with till his term expired. I should note that the unreliability of government was a  phenomenon that was noted also by the Japanese ambassador who was a good friend to Sri Lanka.

But I go on then to one of the most heartening aspects of this period, the Northern Sector Education Review which our own Ministry of Education supported, because of the open approach of its Secretary Anura Dissanayake. But he was not able to take advantage of its findings to develop the reforms that were, and still are, so sorely needed. I am so sorry then that Sirisena did not have the guts to fulfil his obligation to me when I agreed to resign to persuade Dayasiri Jayasekera to support him, as was requested through Karu Paranavitana. I made no conditions but said I would like to work in Education. But he succumbed to Ranil’s insistence that the preposterous Akila Viraj Kariyawasam be made Minister of Education. All he did was ensure that the children of Sri Lanka were overwhelmed with his pictures.

The pictures are of Sathiyalingam and of Gurukularajah, with Vigneswaran who put paid to their work.

Increasing tensions

The TNA which had won the election handsomely had wanted Chandrasiri changed but they had then accepted that he should serve out his term which would end the following year, 2014. But they wanted the other change, that of the Chief Secretary of the Province, to happen straight away and Mahinda Rajapaksa had promised this. But then he failed to make the change. This caused much disappointment, including to our allies such as the Japanese. The ambassador sadly told us, at one of the dinners hosted by the Norwegian ambassador, that he had been present when the commitment was made.

Ane then, a few days before I met Vigneswaran, Chandrasiri had been re-appointed Governor, which was an obvious slap in the face and may have contributed to the increasing animosity Wigneswaran was to display. The tragedy is that, had the Provincial administration got another chief administrator from the start, Wigneswaran and Chandrasiri, neither of them professional politicians, might have been able to work together on a development agenda. But that was not to happen, and the alienation of the north continued though in 2009 most people were ready and willing to work with the rest of the nation.

A sign of what professionals could achieve was the Northern Sector Education Review, which had been initiated by the professional Minister of Education, Mr Gurukularajah a former Minister of Education. In the same league was Dr Sathiyalingam who had been appointed Minister of Health when Wigneswaran became Chief Minister. Sadly, when he started playing politics, he got rid of them.

After 20 posts about Oxford I come back to Sri Lanka, to my last efforts at Reconciliation. But this account indicates increasing worries about what was going on. The mess about vocational training continued, though I was happy to open my 5th centre in the North, this one in Tunukai, a poor division in Mullaitivu which was, and continues to be, grossly neglected.

I also met Chief Minister Wigneswaran and found him quite moderate though as time passed he started moving to extremism. But his bitterness may have had to do with his belief that government could not be trusted, given its failure to fulfil what must have seemed a very minor commitment.

A meeting with the Chief Minister

Nothing came of my meeting with officials of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development, so the following month I had to return to the charge. That was after another visit to the North when the importance of educational reform had become even more obvious.

I got to the Thampa on the 14th of July and then went to Mannar to meet the GA and then had the Town Division meeting, followed by the Manthai West meeting in the afternoon. I then went on to Tunukai Division in Mullaitivu District for the opening of my fifth training centre in the North at the Yogapuraram school.

I stayed that night in Kilinochchi, at a tiny hotel, so I could get to Pooneryn next morning for a Reconciliation meeting, after which I crossed to the Jaffna peninsula on the Sangilipuddy bridge, the roads being now much better than when I had first used it a year or two after the war. The afternoon meeting was at the Palai Divisional Secretariat, which belongs to Kilinochchi though on the Jaffna side of elephant pass.

That night I stayed at the Jaffna Green Grass Hotel, I suspect because the forces were no longer as welcoming as before after I had blotted my copybook in writing to the Secretary of Defence about the Weliveriya massacre. But it may also have been because I had arranged to go and see Justice Wigneswaran that evening. He had become Chief Minister of the North after the Provincial election the previous September, and I thought I should try to work with him as possible, for in those days he was thought of as a moderate without political ambitions but only a commitment to serve.

He invited me to attend the launch next day of the Northern Sector Educational Review which I duly did, at the Vembadi School where General Chandrasiri had organized the Future Minds Exhibition way back in 2008. That was a visionary exercise, designed to build up the Jaffna economy now that the war was ending.

General Chandrasiri was now Governor of the North, but unfortunately he had not had a free hand in promoting development but was subordinate to the politicians led by Basil Rajapaksa and his appalling deputy for the Wanni, Rishard Bathiudeen. And equally sadly the new Provincial administration got off to a bad start with government because Mahinda Rajapaksa reneged on his commitment to change the Chief Secretary of the Province.

I wrote this letter in Cornwall where I stayed for three weeks, having taken Lamledra where I had gone on College Reading parties as an undergraduate and then organized my own when I was a graduate. I had a wonderful time, a few nights on my own, but with various friends dropping in for a few days.

The pictures are from a later visit, arranged when I was back in England by Lucy Wood, pictured here, who joined me during this stay. She loved the place so much that she arranged parties herself there over the years, and managed to have them coincide on several occasions with my visits to England. Then there is a classics contemporary of hers, Marie Louise Rossi, who was at this time in my old room in Norham Gardens. She shared the flat with her good friend John Harrison who is in the next picture along with Dave Rampersad, the founder of the Piers Gaveston Society, who inveigled me into being its Senior Member. He and John came along to one of my degree ceremonies, I think the BPhil, which must have been in 1978. +

Lamledra, Gorran Haven

Mevagissey, Cornwell

3rd February 1979

Arrived here yesterday, and will be here for the next three weeks, armed with various books, several friends coming and going at intervals, so I shall be absolutely alone for just 2 days. Do write, there’s been nothing from you so far – though since Sanjiva seems to be as bad as you at phoning abroad, news does tend to percolate through.

After Windsor and the Ministry of Defence, then 2 nights with a friend in the Foreign Office, during the last few days of which I saw heaps of old friends and absorbed quantities of culture – and played lots of bridge – I got back to Oxford on the Tuesday, finished all Trollope’s fiction, went into the Union and found it fascinating again so it’s a good thing I’m here now. Seeing Chanaka as an officer gave me a great thrill of joy, even though I do in theory think patriotism irrational.

I had dinner on Monday with Aruna, after a play, and she seems quite settled about returning – though uncertain about quite when or for whom she’s going to work –   Tilak, I think, stays.

In Oxford I also found various satisfactory notifications. One was of my examiners, one of whom taught me 3 years ago and, I think, liked my style though the other is meant to be a toughie; and another from the Home Office, removing my restrictions. This also means I can travel if my viva occurs very early, or late enough to make a week off a possibility. The likelihood, however, still remains the beginning of March.

Just had to abandon the letter for an emergency, the car not starting to pick up 2 arrivals at the station – latest news, it did start, but after we’d phoned the station to tell them to take a taxi, our pushing not being adequate to get it up a steep hill; in fact, it wasn’t that the battery was dead, but that wires were loose – another sad sense of waste! 

I have taken to reading Joyce Cary and Kipling in preparation for my lectures, in between reading relevant 19th Century stuff. Do you by any chance know when exactly term begins? – but don’t find out by ringing Halpe! I assume there’ll be time enough to write lectures if and when I get the degree. I suspect I shan’t get to America because it costs in fact twice as much as I first thought it did, which makes it not worthwhile for a brief period – tell Seelia I shall write apologetically to Shan. Instead, I may spend a week in Paris. Christine’s left Lloyd’s and moved to London, but Andrew’s taken over her flat.

The continuation of the letter from Windsor Castle records my attempt to persuade my mother to allow my cousin to come over to help my brother and his wife look after their newborn son. This was successful, though my mother proved wiser than us for she had I think understood that they would not be pleasant to the girl.

And Windsor Castle was of course great fun, as London was afterwards.

The pictures are of the Ministry of Defence in London and its roof where the Resident Clerks would have parties, and then of a dog monument in Windsor Park. This does not seem at all indecent but doubtless others were.

February 1979 (cont)

Talking of which, since Sanjiva and Chitra are determined to keep the baby on, you might reconsider the despatch of Theja – that is, if she’s willing. My own fear was simply that it might seem a making use of her. Correspondingly, unless on a salaried basis, which of course is out of the question, anyone except an extremely close relation would be disastrous, since tensions of responsibility and interference are bound to spring up – one can note them, if only incipiently due to the extremely generous natures of all involved, with regard to Kate & the nanny here. Theja is of the right age to minimize all that, as well as subject enough, to put it crudely, to be withdrawn if difficulty arises. You must remember that Sanjiva and Chitra are much more sensitive and self–conscious about identity then you might have been. I think you’re wrong about her not being responsible enough, and in any case the restrictions she would be under physically would take her over the initial period – at least 6 months!

David is extremely busy with a course for middle-aged clergy, designed to refresh and enlighten them by spiritual discussions and practical projects such as inspection of the BBC, Parliament, the Daily Mirror, etc. It’s all very Trollope and Barchester in the Close here, with vague Minor Canons and choir boys who lock each other up so that the Dean gets flummoxed in front of Margaret, and Lay Clerks who want to start families but don’t have enough – to say nothing of the further world of the castle, with guardsmen arrested for pilfering, and the Privy Purse engaged in mortal combat with the Department of the Environment. We walked through the Home Park the other day, and saw Queen Victoria’s monuments to her dogs, which are indecent, and the park in confusion where Anne has to practice riding – all very eccentric, with planes from Heathrow thundering over endlessly.

I depart tomorrow for London – to stay at the Ministry of Defence. I suspect, if I get my Doctorate, that Ceylon could have no more effective High Commissioner here in ten years time. Then, after opera, theatre, bridge and the Temple, this last to keep Thatha happy in that, though I don’t like the law, I do like the dinners, especially as a guest, I get back to Oxford at the end of the month, to prepare for Cornwall. I should have an idea by then when my viva would be. I have just finished an American book on Trollope which is much inferior to my own – so keep hoping.

A section of the introduction to this set of letters, omitted in the last post, explains what happened to extend my stay.

I asked for an early viva when I handed in my thesis, but that did not materialize, because one of my examiners fell ill. But I had a lovely time, beginning with a stay at Windsor Castle where my chaplain, David Burgess, had become a Canon (as noted previously, when I helped him move in and went for the installation) and then at Lamledra, which I took for three wonderful weeks. One friend dropped me there, and others came down for brief periods, but I even enjoyed the few days I had entirely to myself there.

The pictures are of the Oxford and Cambridge Club in London where I was to spend much time, this year and in the years that followed, and of the long forgotten Roddy Llewellyn, whose affair with Princess Margaret seems to have been a high point for both of them.

January 10th 1979 (cont)

On Saturday I went down to London to dine with various people at the Oxford and Cambridge Club, and spent the afternoon, in the absence of Opera, – which I shall miss, but I did manage to get tickets for later in the month – at the cinema and the theatre. On Sunday, after taking Raki round all day, I had dinner with Leslie after evensong and a lengthy gossip as we hadn’t met yet – he’s surviving quite happily in his solitude, despairing of the new chaplain as he’s ‘a trifle enthusiastic’ but not daring to say so as Gwynne is very pro and wants them to run reading parties together!

As you can see, it’s very easy to slip back into it all – but I still remain enthusiastic about my return, and hope it will be by April. Do thank everyone else who helped me to have such a super time, especially Lakshmi and Dennis and Sharya – with the best intentions in the world I shan’t write to everyone. I have handed in the films but they’ve not been returned yet – I shall try to get the Guide ones back as soon as possible.

Anila has been running round seeing everyone, just like Mum, but is looking very well – so is the baby, who’s exactly like Thatha! 

Windsor Castle

– but, as from, for replies, Corpus Christ

Am nearly at the end up a splendid week here, very peaceful and quiet, except for the arrival of Princess Margaret at Church on Sunday accompanied by Roddy whom I hardly noticed as I was determined not to stare. And, alas, we sat at either end of the same row so I couldn’t contemplate. I’ve been for lots of other services in addition, at civilized times like 11.45 and 5pm, which I trust makes up for all those I missed at home. I get up around noon, having read late, since I don’t really get very much done during the day due to walking, talking, drinking, and playing with the baby. I think, with Rollo & Shivantha only to go on though, that I’m quite good with babies though essentially at intervals. I’d make an appalling father, since a permanent infant would make me most impatient, and what ought to be the compensation, the pride of creation and, I suppose, ownership, I don’t think a particularly worthy emotion. I can, however, see the force of the temptation, and may even succumb in time.

Rajiva Wijesinha


April 2021
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