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Back Book Title Caste in Sri Lanka and intervention by the Left : The Story of Kamala Ratnaveli

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Caste in Sri Lanka and intervention by the Left : The Story of Kamala Ratnaveli
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- Kumari Jayawardena
- Sri Lanka
- Sanjiva Books, Sri Lanka
- 9789553807007
- 2017
- vii, 68p.; Includes Bibliography
- 120 gms.
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The yellow flower of the Suriya tree, depicted on the cover, was adopted by early leftists in Sri Lanka to raise money for pressing local needs, which they left should have priority over poppy day collections introduced by the colonial power. Opposition to the caste system was spearheaded by the left movement, and the funds were used to educate a girl from the Rodi caste. This group was not merely the lowest in the Sinhala hierarchy, but was also regarded as something totally apart, to be shunned by the society. The leftists' intervention was frontal attack on the mindset that the Rodi were affected by some inborn characteristic that was immutable, making them forever 'outcasts'. The child, Kamala Ratnaveli, who lived in the home of Dr. S. A. and Doreen Wickramasinghe, was sent to English-Medium schools, and later qualified as a nurse and went to Britain. She worked in British hospitals, and stayed on, marrying a West Indian. In Later life she revisited Sri Lanka with Her daughter Melanie who developed a close attachment tp her mother's homeland. This Monograph by Kumari Jayawadena who knew Kamala, places her life in the context of the struggle against caste prejudice.

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