Ananda College - traditional birthplace of freedom fighters
On this historic occasion of felicitating the patriotic heroes of the
defence Forces who have rid the country of terrorism, it is opportune to
trace the historical growth of Ananda cadet corps.
Cadetting was introduced to Sri Lanka during the beginning of the
20th century, and almost during this period, Mr. Fritz Kunz who was the
Principal of Ananda College took some positive steps to introduce
cadetting to Ananda College. But there was a confrontation from the Old
Boys and parents, that cadetting should not be introduced to Ananda
College as she is a Buddhist oriented school.
P.De.S. Kularatne successor to Mr. Fritz Kunz, was able to convince
the old boys & parents that the introduction of cadetting, which will be
the breeding place of future soldiers do not mean preparation for a war:
but to be in readiness to face any form of aggression either from a
foreign power or a disgruntled group of terrorists.
His view was it should be the bounden duty of Anandians to fight for
freedom and defend the country, her sovereignty and the people. He
further convinced the parents and old boys by tracing the past
history-the war between Dutugamunu & Elara and the ultimate defeat of
Dravida rule from the country. Kularatne was successful and in 1920 the
first cadet corps was formed in the school with a Senior and a Junior
Platoon. During a very short period of time, the enthusiasm of students
to join the cadet corps was kindled by the veteran teachers like Capt.
Gunasekara, Mr. D.L. Edissuriya, Mr. B.I. Perera and Mr. B. Wijemanna.
The principals who led the Anandian Cadets were Lt. Col. E.A. Perusinghe
(1964-1969), Col. G.W. Rajapaksa (Commanding Officer of the Ananda Cadet
Corps) and Col. V.S. Kudaligama (Deputy Director of Cadets 1982-1987).
In the year 1928, Ananda Cadet corps became the best and won the
Herman Loos Challenge Cup. Ananda Cadet Corps was the first school to
win the Governor General's Challenge Cup in 1927. They were able to beat
all schools and also the regular Army as well. In 1934 again they won
the Herman Loos Challenge Cup. In 1950 Ananda cadets displayed their
skills, competence and talents at the Diyatalawa Rifle Camp and there
after in Hunupitiya at the Special Rifle Camp. In 1958 the Junior Cadet
Corps won the C.L.I.Challenge Cup. They were able to win the Herman Loos
Challenge Cup eighteen times during the period 1928-2002.
In the year 1972 Police Corps was formed in the school. By 1975 the
Ananda Cadets have taken great strides ahead and had become unbeatable.
So much so, they won the Inspector General's Challenge Trophy, for
the best all round platoon. Mr. Kularatne took the initiative to promote
cadetting by organizing training camps and Educational Seminars. That
was the beginning of an era during which period more and more schools
followed Ananda and formed their own Cadet Corps.
Ananda Cadets proved successful in Rifle Shooting. In 1961 they won
the C.P.R.A. Shield at the Rifle shooting held at Hunupitiya. The scores
were, Ananda (C) Team 109 points, Ananda (A) team 106, Ananda (B) team
95 and Royal 93. Thereafter, they won the C.R.A. Shield beating all
other schools. The points obtained were, Ananda (A) 825 points, Sahira
789, Royal (A) team 684, St. Peters 636, Ananda (B) team 630, St.
Thomas's 592 and Royal (B) team 418. In 1934 they won the All Ceylon
Rifle Shooting Shield. The young Anandians who excelled themselves in
cadetting later became the first few to join the Sri Lanka Army and
reach the highest ranks.
They are Major General C.A.M.N. Silva, Major General Asoka
Jayawardana and Major General Hamilton Wanasinghe, Major General Rohan
Daluwatta and Major General Lionel Balagalla. During the passage of over
a century, Ananda was in the forefront of producing generations of young
Anandians for the Defence Forces of the country.
During the unfortunate period of LTTE war waged against the State,
thousands of young Anandians had to make the Supreme Sacrifice in
defending the country. The whole nation is indebted to these young
Anandians who had shed their lives at the prime of their life.
Ananda is proud that she had produced heroic soldiers of the calibre
of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (Secretary of Defence), General Sarath Fonseka
(Commander of the Sri Lanka Army), Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda
(Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy) and Director General of the Civil
Defence Department Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara and many others
holding the highest ranks in the Defence Forces.
Ananda is in the process of expanding her cadet contingent. Now she
is fully equipped with Army, Navy and Air Force Cadet Corps. These Cadet
Corps have qualified to participate in the Herman Loos Challenge Trophy
which is due to be held in September 2009.