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Inset: Sir Samuel White Baker

'They don't make them like that anymore'

The phrase might have been coined with Sir Samuel White Baker in mind

To have done so much in one lifetime suggests Samuel Baker had enormous energy and more than his fair share of luck. He seems positively to have enjoyed courting danger and lived constantly on the edge. But against all the odds, he died in retirement in England at the ripe old age of 72.

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Tears of innocence

Life in Madawatchchiya

The most frequent sight in this village are home guards and most of the time they are on the move, peddling bicycles with their weapons. Rice cultivation is not carried out without the protection of the home guards or the army.

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Stembo and the tomb-raider

While all other Supervisors were Sinhalese or Tamils who had studied in village schools, Stembo was the sole Burgher who had been in a Colombo school. He was also quite older than the rest, whom he treated with avuncular advice and amusement in equal measure.

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