Dr. S. B. D. de Silva (1926-2018), the foremost political economist of Sri Lanka passed away in the evening of June 15, 2018 at his home in Kalubowila, after a brief illness. Dr. de Silva, had his education at St. Thomas’ College, Colombo and University of Ceylon. He went on to read for his PhD at the London School of Economics. He is known world wide for his path breaking singular publication The Political Economy of Underdevelopment. First published in 1982, the book deals with the theory of underdevelopment, as “Dr. de Silva attempts a synthesis between the internal and external aspects of underdevelopment and, in the Marxist tradition, focuses on the impact of the external on the internal as the dominant reality. Viewing underdevelopment as a problem in the non-transformation to capitalism, this analysis is in terms of the character of the dominant capital and of the dominant classes. Underdevelopment thus encompasses the ‘traditional’ peasant economy and also the export sector where the ‘modernizing’ influence of colonialism was felt. The book finally considers how the contemporary internationalization of capital affected the economies of the Third World” (Routledge)
Dr. de Silva was a Deputy Director of Economic Research in the Central Bank of Ceylon, and a Consultant for the Research and Planning Division of ECAFE (Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East) and a Deputy Director of the Agrarian Research and Training Institute, Colombo. He taught for three years in the School of Comparative Social Sciences, University Sains Malaysia.
Later, he went on to teach at the Department of Economics, University of Peradeniya. He also taught courses at the Department of Economics, and the Department of Sociology ( Post-Graduate Diploma in Sociology), both at the University of Colombo. Continue reading SB is no more