A social and religious personality
The greatness of a man is judged by the powerful and pervasive
influence he has exercised for the good of his generation and by the
certainty of his enduring impact on generations yet unborn. Judged by
this measure, the late Dr. Kumaraswamy Nandakumar, former science
teacher at Colombo Royal College and Justice of the Peace (All Island)
was indeed one of the great sons of Sri Lanka in modern times. With the
passing away of Nandakumar a year ago Nainativu lost a noble son, the
Hindu community a great Hindu and his family a devoted patriarch.
hailed from a pre-dominantly orthodox Hindu family in Nainativu. He was
born on September 30 1952 in Nainativu which is a very popular village
on account of an ancient and historical temple 'Sri Nainativu
Nagapooshani Amman Devasthanam' worshipped by Buddhists and Hindus
Nandakumar received his primary education at Nainativu Nagapooshani
Vidyalayam and thereafter joined Jaffna Hindu College and completed his
G.C.E. (Advanced Level) Examination successfully. Subsequently he was
appointed as a teacher and served at Muslim Vidyalayam Hunupitiya. In
1981, he joined the Palaly Training College and completed his training
in science in 1983. After his training he joined the same Vidyalayam and
served till 1991. Thereafter he joined Colombo Royal College and served
as science teacher until he retired from service on account of his
sickness in 2008. He was very popular among teachers, students and
Nandakumar was a person of simple habits and hated vain pomp and
glory. His hospitality, magnanimities, generosity, his unparalleled
enthusiasm and humanitarian gesture towards everyone were highly
commendable. He was a man of liberal and progressive views and was a
successful science teacher. Above all he was a man of unimpeachable
integrity and uncompromising honesty. He was a religious and social
minded person who contributed to the propagation, promotion and
development of the Hindu religion, education and culture. Further, he
was a great devotee of Nainativu Sri Nagapooshani Amman.
He was a livewire and whatever he touched and undertook, he put new
life into and made it a living institution. Verily no field of human
endeavour was left untouched by the swaying amplitude of his
imagination, the encompassing sweep of his thoughts and the
indefatigable zeal of his actions. His energy and dedication as a keen
social and religious worker was legendary.
Nandakumar was the Boxing master-in-charge at Royal College from 2002
to 2008. In recognition and appreciation of his immense service in the
field of science, the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of
Science conferred him with the science poularization award. He was also
honoured by the International University for Martial Arts affiliated to
the New International Karate organization of Japan. He was presented
with the titles Vidyakalamani Samuga Jothy and several other titles for
his yeoman service in the spheres of education, social, religious and
Besides, he was appointed as a Member of the Council of the National
Authority on Teacher Education by the Human Resources Development,
Education and Cultural Affairs Minister.
Indeed, Nandakumar and his wife were an idyllic couple intrinsically
blended into one being, finding comfort, solace, happiness in each other
through all the hazards and hassles of life. They were supremely blessed
with three children, two sons and daughter who are excelling in their
Being benevolent and sweet by nature Nandakumar soon found his place
in the hearts of every one. 'Love and forgive', 'Live and let live' was
his motto. Undoubtedly, he was literally a comet who blazed momentarily
across the skies leaving in its trail a luminescence which the passing
of time can hardly erase. Indeed, the loss of Nandakumar is irreparable,
painful and tearful. The thought of his death is poignant, but his
memory is fragrant.
Noorania Fousal Hassan:
A thorough gentleman and a jewel of a man
I was shocked, dumbfounded, choked, and shattered to hear the sad and
untimely death of my lovable, dear Tamil commentator friend Noorania
Fousal Hassan, in a car accident recently in Rambawe, Anuradhapura,
while travelling in a SLBC vehicle.
At the time of his death, Noorania Hassan was a Director of SLBC. His
life was cut short unexpectedly.
The former minister and present parliamentarian A.H.M. Azwer was the
first Tamil cricket commentator in Sri Lanka. The two of us commented
together for many decades. He was followed by young Noorania Hassan.
Under the able guidance of Azwer, he blossomed into a fine commentator.
Noorania was a keen student of the game. He wrote the first book of
cricket in Tamil in Sri Lanka. He presented his book to his guru
commentator A.H.M. Azwer - the Tamil John Arlott of Sri Lanka, when
Azwer was a minister. At this book launching ceremony, I too made a
He was a rare gem in the SLBC. He was always with a smile, full of
life, mannerism and courtesy. He was never jealous of anyone. He helped
With sheer hard work and commitment he rose to the position of
Director of the Tamil Service.
He was well versed in all three languages - Sinhala, Tamil and
English. He had an abiding passion for cricket. He moved with all
communities and was friendly and a true friend in need.
I had the distinction of commentating from the Gaddafi Stadium in
Lahore, Pakistan at the finals of the World Cup 1996 on that historic
date of 17th March 1996 when Sri Lanka annexed the title. Noorania
Hassan was seated next to me as Tamil commentator.
He was a knowledgeable commentator, who Never Missed the Ball - a
golden rule in commentating.
Noorania was a man of honesty and integrity. He was loved by
everyone. He was humble, unassuming and a highly respected officer at
SLBC. He was a lovable, sincere, grateful, true friend of all
communities. Noorania was a dutiful husband and followed his faith as a
true Muslim. No doubt, Noorania's death is an irreparable loss to his
dear ones, the family. I consider his demise a personal loss for me, and
all of his friends. He was a thorough gentleman and a Jewel of a Man.
Noorania, you lived a righteous life. May Allah grant you Jennathul
A tribute to Dr. Samarakoon Karunaratna on his
The most delightful of companions
I pay this tribute to Dr. Samarakoon Karunaratna, a legendary figure
in Sri Lanka. He retired from government service recently after serving
for 34 years as a doctor. Before his retirement, he served as the DMO of
the Homagama Base Hospital. He hails from a distinguished family in
Gurullawala, Ahangama and studied at Mahinda College, Galle. He had a
brilliant school career and entered the Medical Faculty of Peradeniya
where he obtained his MBBS degree in December 1977. He also obtained a
Diploma in Family Medicine from the University of Colombo. Since 1977,
he served as a doctor in the government service until his retirement in
He married a doctor. His son and daughter also are doctors. Inspite
of the prestigious position of this family, this doctor is a very
unassuming gentleman, a down-to-earth person who can walk with Kings,
yet not lose the common touch.
He is a doctor par excellence, the beloved doctor of everyone. His
first love is his profession. He has been so dedicated to his profession
that he had taken only three days leave during his whole period of 34
years service as a doctor, and that was for his wedding. Whether rich or
poor, beautiful or ugly, influential or otherwise he treats all patients
alike. He is popularly known as the 'Doctor with a magical touch',
because of his dedication and endearing qualities such as kindness and
Metta towards all mankind.
He retired from government service, but serves as a doctor in his
private dispensary in the Homagama area. Though he believes that a
certain amount of money is needed to lead a decent life. He does not
charge any fee from his teachers, nor from his siblings, teachers, the
clergy of any religion, his neighbours or from the poor.
He is multi-talented. He is a good singer and loves music. We often
hear him singing at his home. The music therapy conducted for heart
patients at the Homagama Base Hospital is the brain-child of this
doctor. He is a poet and a short story writer. Also a devout Buddhist
and a great social worker. We sometimes see him in shorts on the roof
top of his village temple helping in Shramadana campaigns. He is also a
Apart from being a doctor, he has a special charm of his character
and an incomparable humour that makes him the most delightful of
Dearly beloved doctor, I wish you a happy retirement free from stress
and strain, a life of perfect peace filled with good health.