While I was away in 1981, I had the first inklings of the way in which society had changed in Colombo. Or perhaps it was simply that I had grown up, and come to understand the intensity of politics, which previously I had thought a separate compartment in life. My mother wrote to tell me that the Director of the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies had called to find when I was coming back, and she thought that he sounded worried.
Before I had left, I had applied for the post of Director of Studies that the BCIS had advertised, and I was duly interviewed and selected. The Governing Board of the BCIS, as I remember it, included the Director, Premadasa Udagama, who had been Secretary to the Ministry of Education in the 1970 government. Other members included Mrs Bandaranaike herself, K H Jayasinghe, Professor of Politics at Peradeniya and one of the Gang of Four who were associated with the previous regime, Mr Dorakumbura, the Librarian at Sri Jayewardenepura University, who subsequently became Vice-Chancellor when I worked there, and Mervyn de Silva, who had tried to run Lake House as a moderate government establishment after the Bandaranaike government had taken it over, only to be turned out soon enough by those who wanted extreme adulation rather than critical support.