It is with great pleasure that the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) publishes Dr Harshan Kumarasingham’s edited work, The Road to Temple Trees – Sir Ivor Jennings and the Constitutional Development of Ceylon: Selected Writings. Harshan discovered the unpublished manuscript of Jennings’ account of Ceylon’s progress to independence while researching at the University of London for his doctorate on the Westminster model abroad. Through Dr Asanga Welikala, he approached CPA as a possible partner to edit, introduce, and publish this work in Sri Lanka, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Jennings’ death, which falls on 19th December 2015. CPA as an organisation committed to liberal democratic values in public life and policy, greatly appreciates Harshan’s choice of the organisation as his publisher, and congratulates him on his excellent scholarship, his finely honed editorial skills, the analytical structure of the work, and his narrative flair in telling the story of the first independence constitution through primary material made public for the first time.
Thank you Harshan, and thank you Asanga, for introducing Harshan to CPA and helping the project through to conclusion. It is all that was anticipated and more, coming out as Sri Lanka embarks on making its third autochthonous republican constitution. Whilst the need for liberal democratic constitutional reform was ever present at the creation of the second republican constitution, as indeed it was at the creation of the first, there was little indication at the outset that the publication of this work would so coincide with a new process of constitutional reform in the country, and the heightened awareness of peace, order and good government that dominates its political and public policy agenda today.
One can only express the hope that whilst the past may have had a different pattern, the eternal verities of principled pragmatism, tolerance, pluralism, and sound judgement that are profiled in this work, will underpin the current enterprise. Historical scholarship deserves no greater reward, and especially so in the case of this fine edited work.
Last but not least, CPA thanks the Government of Canada for its generous support in making this publication possible.
Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu