Imatges de pÓgina
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TO HIS EXCELLENCI

SIR GEORGE WILLIAM ANDERSON, K. C. B.,

GOVERNOR OF CEYLON, ETC. ETC.

SIR,

The constitution of the native society in this Island, the habits and feelings of the Singhalesc, their wants and grievances, their domestic and social relations, their traditions and customs, and their all-concentrating religion, are very imperfectly known; and these, which constitute their national character, can be understood but little, without a competent knowledge of the medium through which they are perpetuatedthe Singhalese or Elu language. This, I conceive, is the reason which has rendered an acquaintance with the native languages a sine quâ non in the requisite qualifications of those who enter the public service of this Island.

However stringent the rule referred to, I may perhaps be permitted to state, the practice has nevertheless been very

lax. Such a state of things, it is presumed, can neither be advantageous to those who govern, nor at all beneficial to the governed.

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