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Ananda College

The traditional birthplace of patriots:

Special Correspondent

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 our Cadet corps.


Ananda College

Cadetting was introduced to Sri Lanka during the beginning of the 20th Century, and almost during this period, 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.

Cadetting

P. De S. Kularathna successor to Fritz Kunz, was able to convince the old boys and 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 and Elara and the ultimate defeat of Dravida rule from the country.

Enthusiasm

Mr. Kularathna 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, D. L. Edissuriya, B. I. Perera and B. Wijemanna.


From left: Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army General Sarath Fonseka, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda and Director General of the Civil Defence Department, Sarath Weerasekara (Retired Rear Admiral)

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 Generalís Challenge Cup in 1927. They were able to beat all schools and also the regular Army as well.

In 1924, again they won the Herman Loos Challenge Cup. In 1950 our cadets displayed their skills, competence and talents at the Diyatalawa Rifle Camp and thereafter 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 thirteen 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 Generalís Challenge Trophy, for the best all round platoon. Mr. Kularathna took the initiative to promote cadetting by organizing training camps and educational seminars.

That was 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 CPRA 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 CRA Shield beating all other schools. The points obtained were, Ananda (A) 825 points, Zahira 789, Royal (A) team 684, St. Peterís 636, Ananda (B) team 630, S. Thomasí 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 Daluwaththa 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.

Sacrifice

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 sacrificed their lives at the prime of their life. Over a century Ananda had produced thousands of young Anandians for the Defence Forces of the country.

Ananda is proud that she had produced heroic soldiers of the calibre of Commander of the Sri Lanka Army General Sarath Fonseka, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda and Director General of the Civil Defence Department, Sarath Weerasekara (Retired Rear Admiral), Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and many others holding the highest ranks in the Defence Forces. Presently Ananda is in the process of expanding her cadet contingent. Now she is fully equipped with Army, Navy and Air Force Cadet Corps.

We proudly announce that these Cadet corps have been qualified to participate in the Herman Loos Challenge Trophy which is due to be held in September 2009.

 

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