I feel that all politicians and citizens (Tamil and Sinhala) of Sri
Lanka should work together and find a solution to our country's problem.
(Reference DN Dec. 13). Sinhalese and Tamils have similar appearance
except for the language and religion.
Why we fight and die? Can we not have equal rights to live in Sri
Look at other countries like Singapore: We have plenty of resources
and man power to develope Sri Lanka.
All of us are sick of the war now.... Please President find a
solution for us to live together as brothers and sisters, in peace and
harmony without a war in the future. Where has the paradise in the
Indian ocean gone?
MYTHILY R. -
It is very strange to note how stray cattle roam about in Wellawatte
down Perakumba Place, Peterson Lane, Dharmarama Road and W. A. Silva
About 15 heads of cows are kept at Perakumba Place. These cows have
no place to graze, so they go down all the by-lanes eating garbage.
They pull down and break all the garbage bags kept and is strewn the
stuff everywhere. Thereafter the cats, dogs and crows scatter the smelly
Although there are doctors, Public Health Inspectors and the
Municipal Councillors at CMC who are paid by the public, there is no one
to stop this stray cattle menace.
I do not know whether the CMC has issued licences to the owners of
these animals to keep them in the most crowded city in Sri Lanka,
creating health problems for the public whether they consume milk or
Cattle and humans cannot live together in a crowded city.
A. D. C.
With reference to the letters on the above subject that appeared in
the Daily News on October 4, October 26 and November 9. Chitra Mendis is
trying to change the history of Tissa Vidyalaya by portraying a wrong
message to the minds of the reader that her father was the Founder, the
Chairman, the Manager and the Financier of the school.
She also states in her letter, he gave free accommodation to teachers
at his residence and supplied the teachers the morning tea and midday
meals from their residence at 5th Cross Street (now Tissa Vidyalaya
Mawatha) as there was no canteen at school.
Unfortunately for Mrs. Mendis, she has got her facts wrong. In the
early 1930s, Weerawardana Alison De Silva and his brother Weerawardana
Andy De Silva had a vision to build a Buddhist English School for the
Children at Waskaduwa and Kalutara North as there was no school for the
children in the area.
Weerawardana Andy de Silva and his cousin (mother's sister's son),
Proctor, A. Robert De Silva obtained an estimation and formed a
committee with their family friends, V. L. Wijemanne, W. Wijemanne, H.
S. Fernando, O. W. Perera and H. A. De Abrew. Please note, H. A. De
Abrew is Mrs. Mendis's father. This committee later became the Kalutara
North Buddhist Education Board.
In January 1936, the Kalutara North Buddhist Education Board started
an English School which was named Buddhist English School, Kalutara
North. It was a small school and the school building was a small house
right opposite the Sumithraramaya Temple in Kalutara North.
In 1936, H. A. De Abrew lived in Kalutara North near the
Sumithraramaya Temple and his Landlord was Weerawardana Alison De Silva.
Alison De Silva gave H. A. De Abrew a house to reside in Kalutara North
as he was his Notary in the 1930s.
This house named 'Kalyani' was located at No. 118, Galle Road,
Kalutara North. He occupied this house from the mid 1930s to the mid
1940s. This house where he lived was very close to the Sumithraramaya
temple, just walking distance from the Buddhist English School.
Therefore, the Kalutara North Buddhist Education Board appointed him
as the Manager of that School as he was the Member who lived nearest to
that school, thus he could easily oversee the school. It was a small
school as it had only two lady teachers and few students in 1936. He
continued to be the manager till it was handed over to the Government in
Immediately after the Buddhist English School was opened in early
1936, Weerawardana Alison De Silva, with his brother Weerawardana Andy
De Silva started the construction of a school building in the land they
owned in 5th Cross Street.
This is the present premises of Tissa Central College. This is the
land they inherited from their father, the great philanthropist
Weerawardana Norris De Silva. Weerawardana Norris De Silva was a wealthy
land owner in Waskaduwa and it is in his lands that Tangerine Hotel,
Royal Palms Hotel, Dediyawala Oil Mills, Weerawardanaramaya and several
other temples are built today.
The school building that was built by Weerawardana Alison De Silva
and his brother, Weerawardana Andy De Silva is the building now known at
Tissa Central College as Nagas Salawa. This Nagas Salawa building is the
only building Tissa Vidyalaya had from 1936 to 1945 until it was handed
over to the Government.
Weerawardana Alison De Silva was the richest man in Kalutara District
at that time. He owned the Oakfield Estate which was more than one
thousand acres of rubber and various other large rubber estates.
He owned over two thousand acres of rubber plantations and his name
is given in the list of very few people in Sri Lanka who owned very
large rubber plantations in the Journals of History and Social Science,
and also in the 'Ravaya' books published recently by Victor Ivan.
Weerawardana Alison De Silva was a great Buddhist. In the 1930s, he
was the Chief Dayaka of several temples including the Sumithraramaya
Temple in Kalutara North and donated large sums for the renovation of
Later he built the Weerawardanaramaya Temple in Kalutara North. Among
the many businesses he owned was a transport company called 'Jupitor Bus
Company'. He was the first person and the only person in the 1930s who
had passenger bus service from Colombo to Tissa.
During this period, he made great financial contributions for the
renovation of the Tissamaharamaya temple at Tissa. He named the school
he built as Tissa Vidyalaya as Tissa was the word that echoed in his
mind during those years.
The large acreage of land they owned in 5th Cross Street (now Tissa
Vidyalaya Mawatha) and the school building they built which they named
as Tissa Vidyalaya were donated in 1936 to be administered by the
Kalutara North Buddhist Education Board and that is how Tissa Vidyalaya
was created in 1936.
Chitra Mendis states that her father H. A. De Abrew was the founder.
I emphatically state that H. A. De Abrew was not the founder of Tissa
Vidyalaya. He would have been the founder if he had purchased that land
from the Weerawardana brothers and built the school.
The definition of a founder of a school is a person who donates the
land he owns for the school or a person who constructs the school in his
own land and with his own money. H. A. De Abrew was neither one of them
and therefore he was not the founder.
Mrs. Mendis also stated, that her father H. A. De Abrew also supplied
tea and meals to the teachers at Tissa Vidyalaya and gave them free
accommodation. This statement is also wrong. The first two teachers of
the school in 1936 were Kusuma Abeywickrama of Morawaka and R. P.
Jayawardana of Panadura. Kusuma Abeywickrama was a close relative of Mr.
Wijemanne's sister and she lived with her relatives at Kalutara North.
R. P. Jayawardana travelled to school daily from Panadura. In January
1937, the first principal was appointed to the school. he was W. S. De
Zoysa of Kosgoda. He lived at Mahawaskaduwa in the house owned by W.
Allan De Silva, a cousin of Weerawardana Alison De Silva.
In 1938, Mabel Gunaratna of Mahawaskaduwa was appointed, and in 1940
Lionel Kahatapitiya (who later became a Lawyer) joined the staff. He
lived at Vilegoda in the house opposite to the house of V. L. Wijemanne.
Therefore, no teacher stayed at H. A. de Abrew's house, as they all
travelled from home to the school. Chitra Mendis also states that her
father donated a block of land to Tissa Vidyalaya in 1946. This too is
not true, as Tissa Vidyalaya was founded in 1936 and handed over to the
Government in 1945.
In order to expand the school, the Government acquired lands from
many after 1945 and thus they cannot be considered as donations.
Mrs. Mendis also says that her father built their house near Tissa
Vidyalaya without building a house at Kalutara South in the block of
land he owned near the Court House as he was very interested and
involved with the school.
I wish to state that her father did build the house near Tissa
Vidyalaya but this was in mid 1940s. He built his house at 5th Cross
Street, because the land he owned near the Court House in Kalutara South
was just sufficient to build a Proctor's office.
I reiterate that the founders of Tissa Vidyalaya were Weerawardana
Alison De Silva and his brother Weerawardana Andy De Silva who built
that school building with their own money in their own land in 1936 and
donated it be administrated by the Kalutara North Buddhist Education
Board in 1936.
Many people in the area have contributed for the development of Tissa
Vidyalaya during the period 1936-1945 but it is only the members of the
Weerawardana family of Waskaduwa who donated the land for Tissa
Vidyalaya during the period of 1936-1945 and the land they donated to
Tissa Vidyalaya during that period is now worth more than rupees two
SYDNEY WEERAWARDANA -
(The writer, who is a Chartered Engineer and Graduate of the
University of Sydney, Australia, is one of the founder students of Tissa
Vidyalaya, Kalutara North)