Marga Institute - Centre for Development Studies

The Translation Programme

The translation programme which led to Marga publications was complementary to the main focus of the Institute’s work. It met a felt need in the field of higher learning in Sri Lanka.

The programme was preceded by a survey of the Sinhala reading public which helped to identify the gaps particularly in the field of social sciences. The objective was to translate approximately 100 books into the Sinhala language and by so doing provide the Sinhala educated intelligentsia with a substantial body of writing in the social sciences. These writings were selected from the works of eminent experts and thinkers in the relevant disciplines and represented different schools of thought. The authors included  Myrdal, Baur, Sweezey, Baran, Wriggins, Rostow, Prebisch, Heilbroner, Kindleberger, Worsely, Almond and Coleman among many others. The programme also included a few well-known modern creative works such as Camus’s "Plague", Silone’s "Fontemara", Solzenitsyn's "One day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch", Orwell’s "Animal Farm", Lederer’s  "The Ugly American". A few of the Marga publications have been translated into Tamil.

The Institute’s objective has been to provide reading material in both Sinhala and Tamil, in keeping with its vision of a multi-ethnic society.

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A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image.

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