Sunday, January 16, 2011

Engineering and Politics - PART 4 - By Vickramabahu Karunaratne

PART 1: Resist the Rag
PART 2: Science Faculty Days
PART 3: Confrontation with Electric Gunda

PART 4 - A Maxist Wins...!!!

While absorbed in studies, my general plan was to use my spare time for swimming and rowing. By then I had attained some standard in both these sports, thanks to my continuous visits to the St Joseph’s pool and the Government Services Club, near Beira Lake.

But my Marxist Guru’s, the unholy Trinity, Doru, Kumar and Dharme had other plans for me.

They suggested that I run for a place in the students’ council.

“Do not worry” they assured me. “There are two block votes for the left, one from the Tamils and the other one from down South”.

I am not sure how these “Blocks” worked, but I did get elected with the second highest vote. Probably, the biggest election victory that I have had so far.

At the end of our third year in the faculty, we got the good news that the faculty would be shifted to Peradeniya. There was an interim period of six months in which we were sent to various factories for practical training.

Chris and myself were placed in the Colombo Port Commission under Kulasinghe, Sivapahasundaram and Sriyananda, as Class I fitter and wiremen.

Marx said “The coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity can be conceived and rationally understood only as revolutionising practice”.

Six months at the Port Commission as a worker gave me the experience to understand what Marx meant.


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