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Arisen Ahubudu recommends Cumaratunga's works to posterity

A large distinguished gathering of scholars, authors, poets, lyricists, musicians and journalists felicitated Lanka's eminent poet and scholar, Arisen Ahubudu at the Mahaveli Centre Auditorium last Friday. A felicitation volume titled 'Ahubudu Siritha' by Nuwansiri Jayakuru was launched. Advocate, Dr. Harischandra Wijetunga was the chief speaker and Ven. Agalakada Sirisumana Thera, Senior Lecturer Colombo University presided.

In his address Dr. Wijetunga said that he has associated Arisen Ahubdu for well over four decades. For two long periods they were staying under the same roof. First at scholar Jayantha Weerasekera's house at Driebers Avenue, now Jayantha Weerasekera Mawatha and next at a large mansion on Fairline Road, Dehiwala.

He could speak volumes about Ahubudu which would take a very long, long time. Hence he would confine himself to only six points. Ahubdu entertained a wide circle of friends, among whom were leading scholars and authors of the day. As a peerless teacher he had instructed a galaxy of men who hold high positions in various fields of activity.

Wijetunga and others at Ahubudu's place were accustomed to engage in discussions on numerous issues and subjects. There were debates and heated arguments. Works and views of some scholars of the time were torn to bits mercilessly. But Ahubudu listened to all this without a hum. He would only make a same comment, without any ill-will towards any. Ahubudu then was only a trained teacher. But he would teach M.A. students to pass an examination.

Once an M.A. student, after sitting his examination came to Ahubudu and complained that there was a word, 'Abaduva' in the examination paper he failed to comprehend. Ahubudu just replied, 'Aba Etaya'. This only registered his deep learning.

Ahubudu's lasting contribution to scholarship was his discovery of Sinhala derivations for existing Sinhala words. He never relied on Sanskrit, Pali, Tamil or any such language for this exercise. He maintained that 'Colomba' is a pure Sinhala term. His monumental work, 'Gam Num', the Sinhala names to children and the numerous modern terms he has coined are enduring contributions to scholarship, said the speaker.

Nuwansiri Jayakuru introducing his biography of Arisen Ahubudu said that he has only highlighted some aspects of his character as a teacher. He has made his mark as one of the most successful teachers of the modern era. He has taught several generations of students at Mahinda College, Galle and St. Thomas' College, Mt. Lavinia. It is to his credit that most of his pupils have attained eminence here and abroad.

Arisen Ahubdu responded the felicitation with a brief speech, where he requested the members of the audience to encourage their children and grandchildren to read and study Munidasa Cumaratunga's works Shiksha Margaya, Kiyavana Nuvana series, Hath Pana, Magul Kema, Heen Seraya, Prabandha Sangrahaya, Pahan Katuveki and Kavi Shikshava at least to acquire effective expression and to gain efficiency in modern creative thinking.

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