Col. G.W. Rajapaksa - A unique personality
G.W. Rajapaksa started his schooling at Ananda and later joined the
tutorial staff of the College and finally ended his carrier as the
Principal of his alma mater.
During the period he served at Ananda, he held the positions of O.C.
Contingent of Cadets, Prefect of Games, Warden of the College Hostel,
Deputy Principal and Principal.
The personality, character and the leadership quality of Col.
Rajapaksa would have been the factors that influenced so many Anandians
to join the Armed Forces and the Police to serve our nation.
Prior to Independence, Anandians were left out of positions of
responsibility in the Police and the Armed Services due to obvious
reasons by the rules at the time.
This unjust state was reversed after Independence due to the untiring
work of the Principal L.H. Meththananda who convinced the political
leadership at the time to give preference to merit rather than other
criteria for selection. Meththananda's task was made easier by the then
Cadet Officer Lt. G.W. Rajapaksa who led the Ananda Cadets to reach new
heights in the field of cadetting and rifle shooting.
The Contingent Commander of Ananda Cadets, Lt. Rajapaksa led his
platoon to win the Herman Loos Trophy for the most efficient platoon in
1949 in the all island competition with his sergeant as Dulip
Wickramanayake who later became a very senior officer in the Army in the
rank of Brigadier.
In this platoon was a future Army Commander in Cdt. Hamilton
Wanasinghe who reached the rank of General. Lt. Rajapaksa himself was a
very efficient shooter who won many trophies, with his Rifle Team
becoming the champions in the Army Rifle Competition defeating the much
fancied CLI Team (Regular Army).
Through his dedication and commitment to achieve greatness, Rajapaksa
served as a role model who influenced many an Anandian to serve the
Nation by joining the Armed Forces and the Police.
After independence in 1948, and upto date, Ananda has produced the
most number of officers in the Armed Forces and Police as no other
school has achieved and shown such true leadership and patriotism.
Col. Rajapaksa was fortunate enough before his death to see and meet
three of his charges in Hamilton Wanasinghe, Mike Silva (CAMN) and Asoka
Jayawardena achieving the Rank of Major General in the Sri Lanka Army at
the same time.
Anandians who were fortunate to have been under the guidance of
Rajapaksa, would remember him as a immaculately dressed person on any
occasion and carried himself as very smart officer in Army Uniform which
would have been another reason for young Anandians to join the Forces.
During his period at Ananda as a teacher, officer and Principal,
Ananda has produced four Army Commanders in Gen. Hamilton Wanasinghe,
Gen. Rohan Daluwatta, Gen. Lionel Balagalla and Gen. Sarath Fonseka and
Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda.
As Principal of Ananda, he was responsible for the acquisition of
Mackwoods Land adjoining the College Hostel which is the present
playground and sports complex serving Anandians to achieve greatness in
sports activities and will help future generations too.
His hard work and will to achieve his goal by pushing the political
leadership at the time helped Ananda to get this land which is a great
achievement. If not for this achievement by Col. Rajapaksa, present
Anandians may still be using the Campbell Place Grounds sharing it with
Nalandians. His other achievement which stands as a monument for his
dedication to Ananda is the Vihara Mandiraya. Although this great place
of worship was completed during Principal Col. E.A. Perusinhe's time,
the person behind the entire project was none other than the "behind the
scene" person Col. Rajapaksa.
Today every student at Ananda starts his studies in the morning after
worshipping at the Viharaya and thus they demonstrate an act of honour
to this great Anandian too.
Col. Rajapaksa, the human being was a very charming person who could
also be firm in dealing with others. Whenever a person came to him in
distress or with a personal problem, he would make the person
comfortable first by offering him a Cup of Tea to start with before
discussing the problem.
I feel that he was the best and most effective Human Resources
Manager I have come across in my whole career as a Teacher and a Manager
in the Private Sector. Col. Rajapaksa is a true Son of Ananda who was
the driving force for so many officers in the Armed Forces and the