If Colombo was changing only slowly in the seventies from the sleepy city it had been before, social revolution was in full swing. The early seventies had seen the introduction of standardization with regard to university admission, and this had hit Colombo hard. Mine was the first year affected by the change and, whereas most of my sister’s schoolfriends, just one year senior to us, were in university in Sri Lanka (as the country now was officially), many of mine had gone abroad. Practically none of those were to come back permanently.
Others had gone into the private sector, and were doing well, earning much more than those of us with degrees could. Thus, as always, the Colombo elite rode out this storm, and in some cases benefited from what had been intended as social engineering on behalf of those less fortunate. But the children of Jaffna, the other District worst affected, fared much worse.