Ananda's sons in the Armed Forces
Cadeting came to Sri Lanka in the early part of the 20th century, at
the time that Fritz Kunz was the Principal of Ananda. He was very keen
to introduce Cadeting to Ananda, but was not able to do so as Old Boys
and Parents opposed it on the grounds that preparation for war, however
elementary, was against the principles of Buddhism. However, P. de S.
Kularatne, the next Principal succeeded in overcoming this objection. He
was able to convince them that the controlled use of violence in a
righteous cause is not blameworthy. He cited the outstanding example
that King Dutugemunu's campaigns against King Elara were blessed by the
In January 1920, the College Cadet Contingent was formed with a
Senior and a Junior Platoon. Commencing with the Junior Platoon winning
the CLI Challenge Cup in 1925 for All-round Efficiency, many trophies
were won in every training camp by both the Junior and Senior Platoons.
Ananda was the first College to win the Herman Loos Challenge Cup for
It has been won subsequently on a number of occasions. The standards
of Cadeting maintained has been very high, judging from the number of
Trophies won almost every year. Similar to general Cadet training,
training in Marksmanship firing has been maintained at a very high
level. Again, Ananda was the first College to win the Governor General's
Cup, beating all other teams including the Regular Army. This high
Marksmanship standards commenced as far back as 1927 and again trophies
were won every year at the Ceylon Rifle Association annual meets as well
as in the annual training camps.
1951 was indeed a proud year in that the Ceylon Cadet Corps was
represented at the Regular Army Small Arms Meet by the Ananda College
team. They won many individual prizes. Corporal Gamini Jayatillake was
declared the Best Shot for the year whilst the team itself was denied
the first place as the Best All-round Shooting team only by a few points
by the Regular Army team of the 1st Battalion, the CLI.
What then is this value that is derived from the continuous training
and effort to maintain high standards in general Cadeting and the
training and effort to maintain high standards in Marksmanship.
In the training for Marksmanship firing, for example, a firer can
become a Marksman only after he has reached a high standard in
concentration, Physical fitness and Mental Stamina to enable him to have
that co-ordination and concentration which alone makes one a Marksman.
To produce a team of Marksmen, the pattern and effort of training has to
be maintained at a very high standard.
This valuable training has to be given to many, in order to select a
few. Ananda did this throughout the years and produced teams of Leaders,
quite a number of whom entered the Armed Services.
During the Colonial period, however, there was a misunderstanding on
the attitudes of Ananda. Ananda College was the leading institute of
Buddhist Education. Anandians were educated in an environment of
awareness of one's religion and all national Traditions. The Anandian
learnt to be proud of his Race, Religion and Traditions, but was taught
firmly to maintain respect for the religions and traditions that others
believed in. During the colonial era this was misunderstood because what
was expected was apparently a blind admiration for anything foreign.
With the termination of the colonial Government, this misunderstanding
faded away and a continuous stream of Anandians entered the Armed
Today, there are more Anandians as officers in the Sri Lankan Army
than from any other College. Anandaya Magazine