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Tuesday, 12 March 2013






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Government Gazette

Centenary Celebrations of Ambalangoda Dharmasoka:

Olcott’s mission POSSIBLE

Centenary Commemorative Years of Dharmasoka College began in 2012 and ends in 2013.In order to facilitate the Celebrations of Dharmasoka College Centenary an Action Plan had also been launched with the participation of Main Old Boys Association, Past Pupils Association, Colombo Branch and the Junior Old Boys Association. A Trust Fund of Rs. 1,000,002 was formed for the development of every facet of the college.

The objectives

The objectives of the fund are to promote the standards of Primary and Secondary Education, assist the students of low income families, providing scholarships, grants and loans, development of skills of sports, development and rehabilitation of the infrastructure of the college and the improvement of the library facilities.

Commemorative events include the publication of the History of the College, establishment of a Website, Religious Programmes, Cultural events, Social Welfare events such as Blood Donation Campaigns, Medical Camps, Open Career Advisory Exhibition, Educational and Centennial Carnival.

In addition, a Commemorative Stamp will also be issued to mark the Centenary year of the college.

Historical annals

Historical annals on the Education in Sri Lanka reveal, that during the colonial era there were more than 800 Christian Schools while there were only three Buddhist Schools in Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon. The serious undermining and discriminatory attitudes of the British colonial administrators on the Buddhist Education coincided with the arrival of Colonel Henry Steel Olcott in the island at Galle harbour accompanied by Madame Helena P Blavatsky on May 17, 1880.

Colonel Henry Steel Olcott ventured in an undaunted manner in the revival of Buddhism, Buddhist Culture and Buddhist Education in the country along with a team of renown national leaders comprised of both Buddhist clergy and laity in the calibre of Ven. Migettuwatte Gunanada Thera , Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangla Thera, Anagarika Dharmapala and several prominent figures of the country.

Colonel Henry Steel Olcott took the initiative to revive Buddhist education in the country by starting a series of Buddhist Institutions of Education in the leading cities of the country such as Ananda College in Colombo, Mahinda College in Galle, Dharmapala College in Kandy and Maliyadeva College in Kurunegala .

As a direct result of the pioneering efforts of Colonel Henry Steel Olcott , by the year 1898 there were 103 schools in the country managed by the Buddhist Theosophical Society (BTS) which was founded by Colonel Steel Olcott .

A humble beginning

Dharmasoka College in Ambalangoda came into existence with humble beginnings in an era of transition when the civil society leaders had been inspired by the work on the revival of Buddhist education in the country under the leadership of Colonel Olcott and his Sri Lankan counterparts.

During the colonial administration there were two Institutions of Education at Ambalangoda. One was located in the precincts of the Randombe Church known as " Wesley College," and in addition there was another school known as " The Buddhist English School " in the middle of Ambalangoda town.

In 1894 the Buddhist English School was handed over to the BTS.

The administrators of the Buddhist English School had already commenced the construction of yet another school building in a cemetery belonged to Liyanage Walawwa at Ambalangoda but the completion of the building was held up half way due to lack of funds.

A retired government servant and a philanthropist called Mudliar Santiago Thomas de Silva of Ambalangoda who was inspired by the rapid transition taking place in the country on the revival of Buddhist Education spent his own money to complete the school building.

Before the completion of the school building , Mudliar Thomas de Silva had started an Educational Institution at the Station Road , Ambalangoda town with 15 students.

A case filed

In the year 1913 there was a case filed against the construction of the school building in the cemetery but the case was won by the Mudliar. In 1914 both schools started by Mudliar Thomas de Silva were joined together as one School and registered as Dharmasoka College which later developed as one of the leading Institutions of Education in the country.

The founder of Dharmasoka College, Mudlier Thomas de Silva became both its first Principal and the Manager while N B Wimalsuriya became the first Head Master .

Mudlier Thomas de Silva passed away on April 10, 1929 just after serving 25 years as the principal and since then Dharmasoka College was managed by the " Sugatha Sasanodaya Sangamaya" under administrative officials of late P de S Kularatne, Dr. M H Saddasena and L C de Silva all of them happened to be parliamentarians who represented Ambalangoda electorate.

In 1961 Dharmasoka College was taken over by the government .

A premier institution

Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda is considered as one of the premier Institutions of Education of excellence in the Southern Province. Since its inception in 1913 Dharmasoka College has produced innumerable number of Intellectuals of highest calibre, erudite Scholars and Professionals who excelled in every sphere and enjoyed prestigious positions both in Sri Lanka and abroad. Former Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture University of Sabaragamuwa, Professor Upali S Jayasekara, School of Computing - University of Colombo, Professor Nihal Kodikara, Senior Lecturer -University of Colombo, Dr. Kasun de Zoysa , Dept. of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Professor Senaka Rajapaksa are some of the professionals of excellence produced by Dharmasoka College who excelled in their respective fields.

In tune with the motto of Dharmasoka College , "Vidya Dadani Vinayan" just like its pioneers of the past , the previous principals and the present Principal G O P Panditharathna, both present and past members of the tutorial staff and the student community of the college strived hard to make vast strides in every sphere , both academic and extra curricular activities while maintaining the highest standards of discipline.

Since the founder Principal Mudlier S Thomas de Silva from 1913 up to the present Principal Panditharatna , more than 20 Principals had rendered their service with selfless dedication and hardwork to bring Dharmasoka College from its humble origins in 1913 to be one of the highest Institutions of Education in the country on diverse spheres of academic , sports and aesthetics.

Past records and credits

Mudlier S Thomas de Silva (1913-1917), E Ginige (1917-1921), J R Natheniyals ( 1921 - 1923), G M de Silva (1923-1927), E A Wijesooriya( 1928-1933), F R Jayasooriya(1934-1938), D G Wijerathna ( 1938-1947 and 1953 - 1961 ) P de S Jasenthuliyana (1947-1953), K K V S de Silva ( 1961-1965), M D Wimalasooriya (1965-1975), E N Fernando ( 1975-1980), G W W de Silva ( 1980-1982), B H H Wimaladasa ( 1982- 1984), H S N K Fernando (1984-1986), A G I de Silva (1987-1998), M Premaseela de Silva ( 199-2001), D M G A Jayalath (2002-2004), K M G B Jayasooriya (2004-2006) S J P Wijesinghe (2006-2010) had served Dharmasoka College as its Principals.

It had also produced 16 Parliamentarians, more than 20 Medical and nine Legal luminaries, several Administrative Service Officials, one Inspector General of Police (IGP), one Army Commander, Artists and several National Cricketers who had brought credit to the country.

At the inception Dharmasoka Collge was meant only for boys. English, Latin, Geometry, Algebra, Geography, Pali and Sanskrit were the subjects taught. Classes for Advanced Level in the stream of Arts were introduced in 1943. In the year 1957, Advanced Level Science stream was also introduced. Jayatissa Bandara was the first student to enter the University in 1958. S M Banduseela got through in Bio Science and entered the University while Palitha Kumarasinghe was the first to enter the Medical Faculty from Dharmasoka College.

In the arena of Sports of Badminton, Cricket, Table Tennis and Swimming, Dharmasoka College rarely has been defeated and always tried to maintain its prestigious position.

Over the years several students have represented Dharmasoka College in International Sports Events. In 1998 Swimming was introduced and since then the Sports Council of Dharmasoka College has successfully conducted " Two Mile Sea Swim " competition continuously with the participation of more than 600 contestants every year, representing numerous schools, Forces and Sport Clubs of the country.

According to the present Principal of Dharmasoka College, student population is around 5000 and the Tutorial Staff is comprised of 190 teachers and 34 are on the non-academic staff.

According to the GCE(A/L) results issued recently 130 students are qualified to enter Universities and out of that 17 are qualified to enter Engineering and 10 to the Medical Faculties. In the history of Dharmasoka College 24 students in the Commerce stream have prospects of entering the Universities.


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