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cool ~~ A tribute to Ananda College, which turns 121 today ~~ - 11-01-2007, 12:11 PM

A tribute to Ananda College, which turns 121 today

Ananda College, Colombo is established in November 1, 1886, by the Buddhist Theosophical Society led by Colonel Henry Steel Olcott. It is one of Sri Lanka's oldest schools and considered to be the leading Buddhist school in Sri Lanka. Ananda College is a National School. It provides primary and secondary education.


Ananda College is established by the Buddhist Theosophical Society. Originally it was known as English Buddhist School, describing its stated intention of providing English instruction to Buddhist students who would otherwise have had to go to a missionary school in order to get an English education. The school opened on a modest scale on the 1st of November 1886 with 37 students in a private house at No. 61, Maliban Street, Pettah. Mr. C. W. Leadbeater was the first principal. In August 1889 it was moved to a more spacious place at No. 19 Prince Street. Finally it was relocated to Maradana in 1895, the period of Mr. A. E. Buultjens and was named after Arahant Ananda, the most devoted disciple of the Buddha.

Memorable Events

One of the most memorable events in the annals of the college was the visit of Asia's first Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore on November 10, 1922, as chief guest at the annual prize giving. He declared on that occasion: "I acknowledge that the life of Ananda is its humility and unassuming nature." Mahatma Gandhi visited Ananda in 1927.

Ananda College Today

Today Ananda College stands to be one of the greatest Buddhist schools in Asia, with a student population exceeding 7000 in all 13 grades of secondary education on a campus of over 20 acres. The academic staff of 200 + is led by the Principal, B.A. Abeyaratne. Over the years, Ananda has produced notable alumni and thus contributed immensely to Sri Lanka. These include statesman such as the current Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and former United National Party deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya, and famous cricketers Arjuna Ranatunga and Marvan Atapattu.


All the students of the Ananda College are divided into four houses. These are...

* Vijaya
* Parakrama
* Asoka
* Gamunu

These houses are named after well-admired ancient Sinhala kings of Sri Lanka. An annual athletic tournament among these houses is held once a year in the beginning of the first term.

Battle of the Maroons

Battle of the Maroons is the annual cricket contest between Ananda College and Nalanda_College. "Ananda has a great Cricketing history"

A Few Sport clubs in Ananda College

* Athletics
* Rowing
* Swimming
* Cricket
* Badminton
* Tennis
* Hockey
* Wushu
* Karate
* Gymnastics
* Rugby
* Football
* Volleyball
* Squash


School Anthem

Dina dina kitu gosa boovii - Vaejambenu ananda pa maataa//
Sudilii - Jayavii - Lovehii
Saadaa diilaa Sipsata haa - Kala da vinee da pahadaa//
Editara Sinhala daru kaela sadaala
Dina dina kitu gosa boovii - Vaejambenu ananda pa maataa//
Lakehii boo anandee paturaa
Anada terun see loo vaeda salasaa//
Peevii seevee nisaa veseevaa
Pamaada novemuu tiloona desusee
Dina dina kitu gosa boovii - Vaejambenu ananda pa maataa//

Past Principal's of Ananda College

C. W. Leadbeater (1886 - 1890)
A. E. Buultjens (1890 - 1898)
Sir D.B. Jayathilaka (1898 - 1908)
J.T. Davis (1908 - 1909)
M. C. Moore (1910 - 1913)
Fritz Kunz (1914 - 1917)
Mr. C. V. Ranawake (1917 - 1918)
P. de S. Kularatne (1923 - 1932)
Dr. G. P. Malalasekera (1932 - 1943)
Mr. A. B. Perera (1943 - 1945)
L. H. Mettananda (1945 - 1953)
Mr. S. A. Wijetillake (1953 - 1960)
Mr. M. W. Karunananda (1961 - 1964)
Lt. Col. E. A. Perusinghe (1964 - 1969)
Colonel. G.W. Rajapaksha (1971 - 1981)
Mr. S. K. Nettananda (1981 - 1982)
Col. V. S. Kudaligama (1982 - 1988)
Mr. A. P. Guneratne
T.B. Damunupola (1995-2001)

Distinguished Old Boys

* Professor W.S.Karunaratne Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the United States of America and Mexico, Professor of Buddhist Philosophy and comparative religion, Dean Faculty of Arts and Member of the Board of Regents of the University of Sri Lanka, a mesmerizing public speaker known affectionately as "W. S., the conscience of the nation". Adored by the masses and teacher to the Maha Sangha.

* Dr. N.M. Perera Freedom Fighter, Founder Leader of LSSP & Minister Of Finance
* Muhandiram Thomas Amarasuriya Former President of the Senate
* Stanley Thilakaratne Esq., Former Speaker of The National Assembly
* Regi Siriwardena Sri Lankan academic, journalist, poet, writer, playwright and writer of screenplays.

* Lieutenant General Hamilton Wanasingha Commander of the Army (16th Aug. 1988 - 15th Nov. 1991)
* Lieutenant General Rohan De S Daluwatta Commander of the Army (1st May 1996 - 15th Dec. 1998 )
* General Lional Balagalle Commander of the Army (25th Aug. 2000 - 30th Jun 2004)
* Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka Commander of the Army
* Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda Commander of the Navy
* Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Defence Secretary

* Phillip Gunawardana Freedom Fighter
* Ana Punchihewa CEO Pure Beverages Ceylon & Ex President of BCCSL
* Upali Dharmadasa CEO Nawaloka Group & Ex President of BCCSL

* Rohitha Bogollagama Hon.Minister Of Industries & Investment Promotion
* Imthiaz Bakir Markar Former Minister of Media
* Anura Pradeep Hapangama Former Member of Parliament
* Anande Tissa De Alwis Former Minister of Media
* Sam Wijesinghe Secretary General Of Parliament 1977
* Dharmasiri Senanayaka Former Minister of Tourism & Media

* D.J. Wimalasurendra pioneer of hydro-electricity in Sri Lanka

* Thilan Wijesingha Former Chief Of BOI
* A.S.Jayawardena Governor Of Central Bank
* Prof. D.A. Ranasinghe

* Arjuna Ranatunga Former Sri Lanka cricket captain
* Marvan Atapattu Former Sri Lanka cricket captain
* Sidath Vetthamuni Former Sri Lanka cricket captain
* Asoka Jayasena Former Sri Lanka Rugby captain

* Moksevi Prelis Director of Dialog Telekom & well respected banker
* JJ Amabani Chairman,Metropolitan Group
* Ashok Pathirage Chairman/CEO,Softlogic Holdings
* Dr. Gamini Wickremasinghe Chairman,Informatics Group

* Bandula Padmakumara. Chairman Lake House & veteran journalist
* Ranjith Pandithage. Chairman Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC

Also Most Number of parliamentarians from a single school in Sri Lanka are From Ananda College including Current Prime Minister , Several Ministers and parliamentarians From all Parties. And

The Current Army Commander , Navy Commander and the Sec of Defence are also Old Anandian's.

Ananda’s role in Buddhist education

A tribute to Ananda College, which turns 121 today:
Prof. J. B. Disanayake


In the aftermath of the Great Debate of Panadura (1873), Buddhist leaders, both lay and monastic, focused their attention on the necessity for a system of education that suited the needs and aspirations of the Buddhists of this country.

Thus began the search for ‘Buddhist education’ and the establishment of institutions to impart it. Two important leaders of this movement were the Theosophists, Colonel Henry Steel Olcott and Madame Blavetsky, who arrived in this island in 1890.

As Prof. Heinz Bechert, the famous German Indologist rightly points out, “The fact that two prominent Westerners came to Sri Lanka out of sympathy and admiration for Buddhism restored the self-confidence of the Buddhists in a period when Christian powers seemed to dominate the whole world.” (‘The World of Buddhism’, edited by Heinz Bechert and Richard Gombrich, p. 274).

The Theosophists were instrumental in founding the Buddhist Theosophical Society in Sri Lanka, which had as its main aims, the preservation of the heritage of Buddhism, and the promotion of Buddhist education. The first educational institution to be established was Ananda College in 1886.

Today, as it celebrates its 121st birthday, Ananda has become the premier Buddhist educational institution in the land. What was the vision of the founders of Ananda, and what was precisely meant by ‘Buddhist education’?

Buddhist education, in the view of the founding fathers, was two-fold: the teaching of Buddhism in a scientific and rational way, and the imparting of the system of Buddhist values. The Theosophists held Buddhism in great esteem, and for them, it was not merely a religion but a philosophy with a rational appeal.

Western scholars were beginning to study Buddhism in its original form, as preserved in the Pali scriptures. As H. G. Wells, the English historian says, in his ‘Outline of History’: “The fundamental teaching of Gautama, as it is now being made plain to us by the study of original sources, is clear and simple and in the closest harmony with modern ideas. It is beyond all dispute the achievement of one of the most penetrating intelligences the world has ever known.” (p. 315)

The Buddhist leaders who were inspired by the Theosophists to re-examine the philosophical value of Buddhism in the light of contemporary modes of thought, wanted this body of philosophy to be taught in the schools so that the new generation of Buddhist youth would be able to defend themselves against inroads from external powers.

The second goal of Buddhist education was to impart the system of values fostered by Buddhism. The founding fathers of Buddhist education thought that it was necessary for Buddhist children not only to be aware of this system of Buddhist values, in an academic sense, but also to grow up in an environment in which these values were put into practice.

Tolerance, for instance, acquires real meaning only when it is practised in everyday living, in school and outside.

Thus new educational institutions such as Ananda had a special role to play in promoting Buddhist education in this country - a role different from that of those public schools moulded by the colonial masters to suit their needs and aspirations.

A typical public school product of the time owed his loyalty mainly to the British. The Anandian, on the other hand, had the interests of the people at heart. While principals such as Sir, D. B. Jayatilaka, P. de S. Kularatna, Prof. Gunapala Malalasekera and L. H. Mettananda inspired the students to champion the cause of nationalism, young men such as N. M. Perera, S.A. Wickramasingha, Philip Gunawardhana and Bernard Soysa, who were later to lead the masses to political freedom, had their education at Ananda.

A typical public school product had his education in English, while his counterpart in the so-called ‘vernacular school’ had his education in the language of his people. For the former, the glory of English knew no bounds.

He could quote Shakespeare or Wordsworth as any Englishman could, but he was an alien in his own language and culture.

The Anandian, on the other hand, appreciated the value of English, but certainly not at the expense of his own language - be it Sinhala or Tamil.

Of course, the public school product ridiculed the Anandian for his inability to keep the ‘o’s and ‘aw’s apart in his English pronunciation, but that did not deter him from the study of English.

What the Anandian objected to was not the English language or literature but the sheer social snobbery that accompanied it. Principals such as S. A. Wijetilake made us enjoy the passages of the English Bible as well as versus from the Dhammapada and the Bhagavat Gita.

The mood of the day was that the languages of the populace - the swabhashas - were inefficient media of science and technical education. The brown sahibs maintained that subjects such as science and mathematics were beyond the reach of the native languages.

This challenge was taken up by Ananda, while principals such as Kularatna, and veteran teachers such as Karunananda, published a series of text books on mathematics and science in Sinhala. Principal Mettananda championed their cause in public.

All this paved the way for the resurgence of the swabashas in the wake of the nationalist revival of the early fifties.

The Anandian grew up in an environment in which other ethnic groups, languages and creeds were held in high esteem. Tolerance was a value that he learnt by example. Among some of my best friends and teachers at Ananda were Tamils and Hindus. In fact, I had my first lessons in Tamil under the guidance of a Tamil teacher who had earned much respect among us.

C. Suntharalingam, who later become the Professor of Mathematics at the University College, V. T. S. Sivagurunathan, the author of the popular series of textbooks “Raja’s Picture Lesson in English”, and T.

Thanabalasingham were among some of the best Tamil teachers of Ananda.

Many were the principals, teachers and students who built the new tradition of Buddhist education at Ananda during its span of 121 years. Its role, however, has not come to an end, for the need for Buddhist education seems to be greater today than ever before. May Ananda succeed in fulfilling this role with vigour so that the people of this country can live together in peace, harmony and dignity.

Websites > www.anandacollege.lk
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11-04-2007, 09:57 PM

i am also an anandian
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11-04-2007, 10:04 PM

Originally Posted by ishta
i am also an anandian
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11-04-2007, 10:04 PM

ela tamai
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11-04-2007, 10:16 PM

Warm wishes from Royal

Since 1835

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check whoaH - 11-04-2007, 10:44 PM


ur wer born on haloweeeeeeeeeen o sumtin 4 u 2 put dis as ur name!'HALLOWEEN'

i'm jus kiddin

got 2 no dat most of u guyz r :
Royalians-mind da spelings and


and v.cold wishes

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11-04-2007, 10:50 PM

Originally Posted by lakna x

ur wer born on haloweeeeeeeeeen o sumtin 4 u 2 put dis as ur name!'HALLOWEEN'

i'm jus kiddin

got 2 no dat most of u guyz r :
Royalians-mind da spelings and


and v.cold wishes


dude it should be " Royalists "
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11-04-2007, 11:02 PM


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11-04-2007, 11:55 PM

Hats off..........

AC z d best........................
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