Tag Archives: schools takeover

Trump, As Ever, Got The Facts Mangled, BUT South Africa Is Indeed Planning To Seize White-Owned Farms.

by Anura Guruge

On Google News search for ‘south africa white farmers
more stories like these.

Click to ENLARGE.

NO KILLINGS of white farmers, as yet, from what I can tell.

But, the PLANS for seizing White-owned farms is indeed being talked about. Not sure if any have been seized as yet. I had heard that this was on the cards. This, for us in the know, is nothing new. It happened, as one the stories above points out, in neighboring Zimbabwe. Wasn’t pretty and their were dire consequences.

But, this type of ‘grab’ is something that ex-colonial countries think is their right. My own adoptive father spearheaded the ‘Schools Takeover‘ in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) during 1950 – 1960. It wasn’t farms, but mainly church owned schools. The Christians were NOT happy. They tried to assassinate my adoptive father, multiple times, and supposedly to kidnap me.

I need to look into this more. This was just to give you a head’s up and point out that Trump’s tweet was not all kosher.

Related Posts:
Search ‘South Africa‘ & ‘Trump’.

by Anura Guruge

Sri Lanka’s Ban Of Facebook, Temporary Be It, Was Unbecoming & OMINOUS!

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE and glance at here. From “Reuters”. Google “Sri Lanka Facebook” for more.

Sri Lanka needs to be BETTER than this.

Sri Lanka, for all of its convulsions for the last 70-years, is meant to be PROUD democracy.

It is NOT China, Egypt or some tinpot African dictatorship. I was disappointed to read about this. I though ‘we’ (though I gave up my Sri Lanka citizenship 35-years ago) had put media censorship behind. [More on that in a second.]

The ban on Facebook was during the latest spate of violence against the Muslims. The Government, rightly or wrongly, believed that Facebook posts were inciting the troubles. They had declared a 10-day State of Emergency, so everything, including closing down Social Media was game.

Ceylon/Sri Lanka and ‘State of Emergency’. I remember them well though my life there, 1953 – 1967 was during a relatively peaceful time!

Following the wildly and widely successful ‘Schools Takeover‘ [i.e., forced nationalization] program, Prime Minister (Aunty) Sirimavo Bandaranaike and her then favored henchman, my adoptive father, mounted a ‘Newspaper Nationalization’ program. My Adoptive Father, a conflicted fish as I came to learn, had a strong socialistic streak. He was all in favor. I remember though that unlike with the ‘Schools Takeover’ (where they was no dissent within the circles we moved), he got got a bit of pushback from friends and family. He used to argue vehemently that we needed it for the good of the country. Thankfully that program never came to be. I think Aunty B. ceased to be P.M.

So, let’s not try and revisit past ghosts.

I worry that this is the INCREASING Chinese influence on Sri Lanka.

If I was still Sri Lankan I would do whatever I could to make sure this didn’t happen again.

Last Google Doodles:
Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’.

by Anura Guruge

On Hillary Clinton’s Historic Night Let’s Remember Mrs. B, The World’s FIRST Female Prime Minister.

by Anura Guruge



Sirima Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike

(1916 to 2000)

Prime Minister of Ceylon
July 1960 — March 1965

My Aunty Bandaranaike


From Wikipedia. Click to ENLARGE and view here. “Female Heads of Government” (elected/modern times). She was the 1st by nearly 6 years.

On this historic night it is only right to remember my Aunty Bandaranaike, the Modern World’s First Female Head of Government.

She pre-dated Indira Gandhi and Golda Meir by quite a few years.

No she was not related to me. But I knew her well and did call her Aunty Bandaranaike. There was a couple of years, c. 1963, when I was about 8 years old, when I spoke with her every morning, first thing I did every day! My adoptive father who had been her husband’s private secretary, when he was Prime Minister, was one of her closest (and if the truth be told, ablest) of confidantes. They, together, came up with the ‘schools takeover‘, ‘Poya-based week‘, ‘newspaper nationalization‘ etc. Hence the daily, first thing in the morning phone calls.

She would have approved of Hillary. Very similar personalities. Strong and capable.

Congratulations Mrs. Clinton, my Aunty Bandaranaike would have been proud of you (though she was a real socialist that would make Bernie look like a Republican).

Related posts:
++++ Search on ‘election’ or ‘Clinton’ for many other related posts from past years >>>>

by Anura Guruge

Removing Our 5th Grader From Alton Central School (ACS) and Homeschooling Her!

This morning we handed in the necessary letter to the Superintendent of ACS so that we can start homeschooling our 5th-grade daughter as of Monday next week.

This was a huge and unforeseen step for all of us — but one we had no choice but make.

If you had asked me even a week ago whether I would ever consider homeschooling I would have been emphatic in my answer: ‘are you kidding?

But, we couldn’t take it any longer. She was learning next to nothing, especially when it came to science and math — and I stress learning which I appreciate is different from that ‘of being taught‘. That said, from all I could see, the quantity and quality of what she was being taught left a lot to be desired. [q.v. this post] I have been doing this off-and-on for awhile. When our daughter gets home I grill her on what she got taught that day, what paperwork she did in school and what she got for homework.

When she was in 3rd-grade we found a major anomaly in the homework policies of ACS and we ended up going and speaking to the Superintendent. That got fixed within the day.

In 4th-grade, i.e., last year, she got more homework than she is getting this year. Math and science homework, since the start of 2012, has been trivial. Yes, I have taught and I know that marking homework is a chore. No homework — nothing to mark. Yes, they have a variation on that too. Homework that isn’t marked. Suffice to say that all of this was not helping our daughter.

Yes, we are lucky that we can afford the ‘luxury’ of homeschooling. I am retired and at home most of the time. And yes I have a Masters in computer science (from the University of London, U.K.), have taught post-graduate and graduate computer and marketing courses at SNHU, and from 1983 to 1998 spent much of my time doing professional, stand-up, 1 to 5 day, IT training in the U.S. and Europe. So, I think I can handle the challenge of homeschooling particularly since my wife can also help — full-time.

Yes, we have been ordering books like crazy. 12 are on order. Plus, we have a ‘few’ books in the house!

Until this week I really didn’t have much truck with homeschooling. It was not something I could identify with. Funnily enough a month ago I attended a Saturday training program for Destination Imagination (DI) assessors (i.e., judges). Met a number of local mothers who were homeschooling. When they learnt that I was also a rather passionate DI Team Manager, they asked whether I would consider being a Team Manager for a team of homeschooled kids next year. Well it looks like I will …

I am and will continue to be a big believer in Public Education.

My father, put his life on the line, quite literally, to make public schooling a reality in Ceylon. I only found out about it much later, but it appeared that there were two kidnap threats against me to try and stop my father from going ahead with what was called ‘the schools TAKEOVER’. Here is a good headline on it from 1960. Here is an article.

My father, as a civil servant, was put in charge of implementing the takeover. I was 7 in 1960, and attending a private school that my father tookover! It was ‘fun’! Teachers would get me to stand-up in class and harangue me for what my father was doing. This takeover lasted quite a few years. I later learned that there were three attempts to assassinate my father. I remember the police guards and some days going to school with a police escort. I remember my father’s office surrounded by barb wire and armed police guards. This was the defining experience of my early youth. Though it was and still is controversial, we as a family are very proud about the success of the schools takeover act. Kids in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, get free education. Even the university system is free. The motives were good.

So, public schooling is something that I feel passionate about — though I attended 3 years of private schooling (in Paris and London) and my son, now 19, went to a private Catholic school in Leominister, MA — ostensibly so that he could play football. To be honest I was not impressed with that school though to be fair he did get a good education and he is doing well at Wheaton. My eldest daughter, nearing 23, attended public school, albeit in southern NH, and is now finishing her Masters in Forensic Psychology. She is very proud that she graduated from public school. Looking back, I have to say, the difference in the level of education she got and what I am seeing at ACS is like chalk and cheese. The irony is that the school system that she attended, serving three towns, is in an area that, in terms of demographics, is nowhere near as ‘well off’ as Alton. I will be surprised if there are even 10 million dollar homes in that entire area!

Yes, I plan to document this new unexpected chapter of our life: homeschooling a 11-year old.