Alfreda de Silva, Aluwihare, Anne Ranasinghe, Anuradhapura, Ena de Silva, Esmond Wickremesinghe, Gal Vihare, Jean Arasanayagam, Lyn Illangakoon, Polonnaruwa, Raymond Allchin, Richard de Zoysa, S. Thomas’, The New Lankan Review
Nick arrived in early July, and we had a fantastic couple of weeks, beginning with the launch on the evening he landed of The New Lankan Review. This was a journal I had decided to start that year, when Richard de Zoysa and I found ourselves out of jobs after being sacked from S. Thomas’. We taught in a little house in 8th Lane that my father was looking after for some friends, and in between we wrote avidly. I think the journal, which went on for eight years, the last issue being in memory of Richard who was murdered in 1990, proved a vital influence in making Sri Lankan writing in English acceptable, whereas previously the social and academic elite had looked down on it.
The first Review was also noted however for an account of my adventures at S. Thomas’, which did not get me any credit at home, since most of my relations thought I had been far too critical of the many characters who I felt had behaved badly in the episode. One exception was my uncle Esmond, who was a great gossip and told me that I had been extremely skilful to steer just on the right side of libel, in drawing attention to the various unsavoury motives of the elite of Colombo. Ena, needless to say, also found the account instructive, not least because she had been overwhelmed by the criticisms of her sister and others who had heard only the Illangakoon side of the story.