they have enjoyed franchise since 1935,
women in Sri Lanka were, until well after independence, a downtrodden
sex. It was largely Sirimavo Bandaranaike's election as prime minister in
1960, the first woman internationally to hold such an office, that brought
Sri Lankan women into the limelight. Since then, and thanks to free
education, women have in every sense gained equality with men in the field
of education. While the complete emancipation of women in Sri Lanka remains
yet a dream, formidable strides have been made: for example, women
university entrants are close to outnumbering men in professions such as law
and medicine. Nevertheless, women continue to be scarce in the boards of
blue-chip companies and for that matter, at the top of the administrative
service- for example, at the rank of permanent secretaries to ministries.
is refreshing then, to read the history of a school that can well lay claim
to having fought bravely to put women's education on the map. More so during
a time of colonial domination, when quality education was still entirely in
the hands of the church, whether Anglican or Catholic. That this should have
happened in Kandy, the seat of the great Chapters of the Siam Nikaya, makes
the story even more poignant.
Meegama's With A Fistful Of Rice, published by Kandy Mahamaya Girls' College
OGA Colombo Branch, is an informative and well-written review of the history
of this pioneering girls' school, which, from small beginnings in 1932, came
to produce some of the finest female intellects in the country. The history
of Mahamaya Girls' College, Kandy, as recounted in this book will be of
interest to past students as well as to those interested in the history of
education in Sri Lanka.
is a story of the courage and foresight of the founders, who without state
or non-state financial and institutional support, overcame formidable
obstacles to establish the only Buddhist Girls' College in the hill capital.
These founders came from two geographical locations-the hill capital with
its traditional lifestyle and the southwest littoral, which had been in the
vanguard of changes in economic and social structures in colonial Sri Lanka.
It is fascinating to read how these women and their families came together
and were united in achieving their initial objective of establishing the
school in a country rife with divisive forces. It is also a tribute to the
commitment, ability and management skills of the women principals who
brought the school to its present eminence in the school system.
addition to placing on record the great sacrifices that a few enlightened
and dedicated women led by Sarah Soysa made to found, nurture and develop a
school second to none for Buddhist girls in Kandy and surrounding areas,
Indrani Meegama has been able to capture the socio-cultural and political
landscape of the time, which gave rise to the need for such an institution,
remarkably well. While her efforts would gladden the hearts of Mahamayans,
past and present, With A Fistful Of Rice is compulsory reading for those who
would like to know how heavily weighted the colonial education system was
against the vast majority of people in this country, and what trials and
tribulations they had to undergo to get even with the privileged minority.
gets tough in drama
Indu at the Wendt with Tommiya
are times when the kind and patient Andana wishes he had never undertaken
this Herculean task and even considers sending Tommy back to the village.
After being away for two months finally Tommy returns to the village for the
opening of the garment factory. Did Andana succeed in transforming the
simple bumpkin into a
fashionable young man?
the original cast, veteran theatre personality Jith Pieris will be back on
stage again playing Tommy's father, Galaboda Ralahamy. Indu plays Tommy
while Michael Holsinger plays Andana Silva and Priyanka Holsinger plays one
of the society ladies Tommy encounters in Colombo.
this production the colourful role of 'Dubai returned' Lucy is played by
Natalie Soysa. Angie Seneviratne will play Caroline, Tommy's mother, while
Keshanee Gunawardena plays the pretty Geetha. The versatile Krys Sosa plays
a hypocritical society lady while Catriona Nicholas plays a snobbish
Don't miss this hilarious comedy that will provide entertainment for the whole family.
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