Sunday, October 26, 2008

Then and Now

An uncle of mine, a man in his 70's was reminiscing the other day. He had spent a part of his youth in Jaffna. He said he could not possibly imagine how the shy, demure girls of Jaffna, who would blush and giggle at the slightest advance, could have been turned into suicide bombers.

An insight into how the problem grew is provided by Neville Jayaweera, of the Ceylon Civil Service who has recounted his experience as an administrator in a new book. His experience as Government Agent (GA) of Jaffna in 1963, when he was charged with enforcing the Official Languages Act, is an eye-opener.

Fortunately for the public interested in such matters the Sunday Island has carried excerpts from the book. Read them here:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine

In passing, it is worth noting both the quality of the writing and of the intellect of the man and comparing that with the Government Servants of today. Having been fortunate enough to have met quite few members of the old Ceylon Civil Service I can testify that they were all of similar calibre.

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