I describe here the visit of one of my best friends at Oxford, Bruce Balden, while Scott’s partner was also here, along with a most distinguished dancer they knew called Lloyd Newsom. And in addition the Liberal Party and its think tank the Council for Liberal Democracy hosted a grand event, to launch the seminal book on Constitutional Reform which Chanaka Amaratunga had produced., following the seminar series we had commenced at the height of the JVP problem.

The pictures are varied, the original Navrang book, a picture taken during one of the early CLD seminars with two later very conservative stalwarts who ran CPA, Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu and Bradman Weerakoon in the foreground, then Bruce on the left and Lloyd Newsom, and finally a lovely old picture of Selwood, which still goes strong.

The visits of friends, mine and Scott’s

We entertained the children in the cast that evening after another play of Somalatha’s, and the next day I was recorded talking about Richard along with Ranmali and some other friends, I presume for the BBC. That evening Lesley Randles had another party, which she was good at, and in the night my old Oxford flatmate Bruce arrived, on a break from Bangladesh where he was teaching on sabbatical from the school he taught at in England.

Scott’s partner Chris was also back and the following night Scott had us both for dinner, along with his other Council friends, to meet a dancer called Lloyd Newsom whom he much admired. He was very gay, and with David and Mevan there too as well as Scott and Chris, Bruce was a bit bemused.

He set off to see something of Sri Lanka including, being Bruce, to climb Adam’s peak, we checked out a space for Lloyd to conduct a workshop, ending up at the Council. That evening I spoke there on Virginia Woolf, and also took delivery of the Crisis in Sri Lanka, an extension of the book Navrang had brought out in 1986. And the next day we got the 19th number of the Liberal Review. Both these featured a the reception the CLD held that evening at the Oberoi, though the main purpose was to launch Ideas for Constitutional Reform, the proceedings of our first seminar series. President Premadasa attended and the event went very well, and afterwards Anila had me for dinner with Bruce who had made it back for the event.

The inauguration of another CLD seminar took place at the BMICH next morning, and then we moved to the Oberoi for lunch and the continuation of the seminar that afternoon and the next day, with a dinner that night at the Hilton. The seminar only concluded on the Monday morning and then that afternoon I took Bruce and Scott and Chris to Aluwihare via Pinnawala and Lankatilleke. Unfortunately I had to visit schools in Matale the next day, and then schools in Dambulla and Galewela after lunch at Aluwihare, getting back to Colombo in the evening.

The next day we opened Geoffrey’s Exhibition and then had dinner at Anila’s, and then Bruce left the next morning. The following morning I went to Nuwara Eliya by train with Shanthi to spend the weekend with Sharya and her parents at Selwood. It was a melancholy occasion, but we played Cluedo as we had done in the distant days after I had come back from Oxford.