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Old 04-07-16, 07:22 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default D S Jayasekera

In 1959, those of us in the Class of 55 entered Middle School, after a formative period in Lower School. It was relatively a period of peace and tranquility in the country, with a greater awareness of our national heritage and cultural values, after the social transformation of 1956.

This peaceful environment was somewhat shattered by the communal riots of 1958 and the first political assassination, that of Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, in 1959.

Our teachers and parents then provided us with the necessary environment of security, comfort and confidence that a young mind needs, amidst the social transformation in the world outside.

Teachers of the day were dedicated men devoted to their life's vocation, viewing the teaching profession as a sacred commitment and not a mere employment opportunity, until moving onto other terrains.

D.S Jayasekera was one among this breed of teachers, the classical schoolmaster, devoted to the ideal of providing a wholesome education to the children in his charge, going beyond the mere passing of examinations, but inculcating a sense of values in them to be useful members of society.

I clearly remember DSJ, immaculately dressed in a cotton suit, as our class master and Sinhala teacher. Hailing from Dompe, he had imbibed in the simple but rich values of rural Sri Lanka, then Ceylon. A strict task master as we all knew, but his outward sternness, was mixed with a sense of fatherly affection towards us.

Amongst that galaxy of outstanding Sinhala teachers, such as Arisen Ahubudu, Coperahewa and Jinadasa,DSJ was a key figure who inculcated a sense of appreciation of the richness of the Sinhala language and literature. His reading of texts such as Kumaratunga Munidasa's Hath Pana and Heen Seraya remains still fresh in my mind, even to this day.

My close association with DSJ began when, with his active encouragement, I became the Secretary of the Sinhala Literary Society, around 1963.His advice and guidance led us to undertake a range of activities, including inviting well known writers of the day to address our society. He took a keen personal interest in these activities and was certainly more than a mere 'master in charge.'

DSJs devotion to his sacred vocation of teaching prepared us to be better citizens and meet life's challenges as we went out into the wider world. For this, memory of D.S. Jayasekera will forever be fresh in our hearts, despite the unrelenting march of time and always be remembered with much love and affection.

May you accumulate merit, Sir, for your devotion and dedication to that noble teaching profession and for the impact you made on our lives.

Dr. A.Rohan Perera.P.C.
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