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This notes some of the opposition the English medium project faced, and also records the vast amount of other work I was involved in, including still the South Eastern University. But I note too the very positive response of Indian publishers, not only Cambridge University Press with whom I had developed a useful collaboration, but also Longman’s and Oxford University Press.

The picture is of Somapala, still active over 20 years later.

Further dimensions of English medium, and my other work

After lunch I met the NIE Director General, Bandula Gunawardena, who was bitterly opposed to the reintroduction of English medium, and then with Paru looked in at the old Maharagama Training College, and then I went to the cottage. We saw the workmen then, and I thought they could be relied on, and indeed their work on Kithsiri’s house led to constant work for me from 2008 until now, at Palankadewatte and Getamanna and Colombo. Their head, Somapala, became a great friend over the years.

We spent the night there and I went to the university next morning, to meet senior staff after breakfast, and then I went to the Academy to see Ruwan Kulatunge the Chief Instructor and lecture and then went after lunch to Amparai, to stay at the Gal Oya Lodge. Next morning I dropped in at the RESC and then went to Oluvil to see the Vice Chancellor and talk to staff, and then went to Batticaloa to see the Vice-Chancellor whom I knew from his stint as Director of the Vavuniya AUC.

I got back to Colombo that night, and saw the Longman’s representative next morning for Tara and I were hoping to involve Indian publishers in the production of good books for students, given the paucity of Sri Lankan efforts in the field. I spent the rest of the day at the Ministry but went to an exhibition at the Alliance and then left Somapala’s estimate with Prasanna before going to the cottage for dinner, cooking it over drinks.

I went to the university next morning but the Council meeting I went for had been cancelled, so I went on to Getamanna and taught at the Radiant School before going to Madola to see Upali and the resident students. I went on then to my uncle’s, where Shantha came for me to check the accounts, and I stayed over there after drinks and dinner. Next morning I went back to the university where I attended a meeting of the Graduate Association that had been set up, and met the South Eastern Vice Chancellor who came there after lunch. I was there the rest of the day, Sunday July 15th, seeing amongst others our excellent Geography lecturer Dr Jayasundara about a project he had set up for students to help in livelihoods in the North Central Province.

I went next morning to the Academy and left books after lunch at Palitha’s, before getting back for tea with Ruwan and then grouping the new Cadet Intake, 54. I taught over the next two days, with a Study Board on the Thursday afternoon, and then took Chandra to the university but went on to the cottage. We spent the night there and I went next morning direct to the Ministry and saw the Minister in the afternoon before getting home for dinner along with Ranjith Atapattu who must have been staying there for he was with us for meals over the next few days.  I spent most of the next day too at the Ministry, with a literature panel meeting in the afternoon, and then had dinner again at home.

Rajiva Wijesinha

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