Jaffna College Dinner: I am ashamed

by A S Selvadurai, Dehiwela

(August 19, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Dear Ms Sharma: A few days ago I read your feature on the dinner anniversary of the Jaffna College Alumni Association of Colombo. I was grief-stricken by what I read.

I am a Hindu and when I studied at Jaffna College Mr K A Selliah was the principal. We had teachers who studied under the great principal, Rev John Bicknell. We learnt a lot about the greatness of Mr Bicknell and his educational ideals not just for Jaffna College alone. I was a student of Mr Handy Perinpanayagam.

I became a teacher and taught in three Hindu schools during my career, twice in the Jaffna District. There were many others who became teachers. One of them was Mr Subramaniam who was principal of Skandavarodhaya College. What we learnt as young citizens at Jaffna College helped us a lot in our lives. Jaffna College made a good influence on Hindu schools and was a dear friend.

We love Jaffna College. We respect her and she is a Christian school.

What I read in your feature saddened me. The people who decided to have the dinner in Colombo have no idea of the greatness of Jaffna College. I think they want to destroy it because it is a Christian school. Our people living overseas should not meddle into our affairs. If they can’t help us then must have the courtesy to shut up.

Jaffna College has its own Board of Directors and they are the legitimate body. What will the Colombo old students achieve by not inviting a key member of the Board of Directors? He is also an ex-officio member of the Board by virtue of being the bishop of the diocese; not inviting him is cheap, sordid and petty. This is not the spirit of Jaffna College. I am sure many old students especially the Hindus will be saddened by the action of the Colombo alumni committee.
- Sri Lanka Guardian