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This notes how English medium was started again in government schools, my most important I think initiative. It also notes another initiative, the second project I did with Jeevan for the Council for Liberal Democracy, but unfortunately the able Civil Servant he suggested conduct it turned out unreliable, and missed events which was not at all a good example for the future senior administrators we were training.

The pictures are of the other two initiators of English medium, Tara and Jeevan.

Other initiatives

Kithsiri came next morning to put up more pictures and then we went to Colombo, and the next day I went to the American Centre with Jolly Somasunderam, an able Civil Servant, who had agreed with Jeevan’s request that he facilitate our project, which was training for highflying civil servants, more specifically the leading recruits in Sunil Galagama’s batch who had opted to continue their training in English. Next morning I finalized the book for my father and then on Saturday we had the Liberal Party Congress at Mrs Amaratunga’s house in Rosmead Place, and that evening I had dinner with Peter.

The next day, at a workshop at the Council, I met Tara de Mel, now Secretary to the Ministry of Education, and urged her that she should start English medium in government schools, a discussion that had a momentous result. But that was to come later, and in the afternoon I went to the university, for classes there on the next two days, and a Faculty meeting, and then I went to the SLMA next morning, my birthday, to enter marks of all the papers I had corrected and for a Study Board, but then I went back to Colombo.

On the next three days I worked on the book of the British Council Conference, and saw Prasanna about the new house and attended the wedding of Ashley Halpe’s second daughter. Then on Sunday, having failed twice to see Jolly, who was not the most reliable of collaborators, I went in the evening to the university for two days of classes there and classes at the SLMA on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, and then I spent that night at the Moneragala Resthouse after seeing Palitha at his school. On the Thursday I went to the Amparai RESC and the Zonal Education office and then observed and taught at the university and saw Hapugoda before getting back to the university via Buttala. Next day I signed along with Chandra at the wedding of Manoj and our other able Sinhala lecturer, and then I went back to Colombo, for a Literary Panel meeting.

Next morning, Tara having been activated, I went with Jeevan who had first put her in touch with me to the Ministry where we fleshed out plans for reintroducing English medium. Tara told me that she would start it if I ran the programme for her, and given the urgency of this reform I had to agree, though she in turn agreed that I could do it part time, for I could not give up my other obligations, in particular to the Military Academcy and our programme at Sabaragamuwa. And that evening Jeevan insisted I start on the concept paper Tara had wanted.

Rajiva Wijesinha


August 2022
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