Dharmapala Vidyalaya

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Coordinates: 6°50′37″N 79°57′11″E / 6.84361°N 79.95306°E / 6.84361; 79.95306

Dharmapala Vidyalaya Pannipitiya
Crest of Dharmapala Vidyalaya
Location
Pannipitiya, Sri Lanka
Coordinates 6°50′38″N 79°57′14″E / 6.843899°N 79.95389°E / 6.843899; 79.95389
Information
Type Public
Motto Thumehi Kichchan Athappan (Buddhist quote from the Dhammapada).
Established December 8, 1940
Principal Mr. K. G. Wimalasena
Grades 1–13
Color(s) Maroon and Purple         
Affiliation Ministry of Education
Website

Dharmapala Vidyalaya, Pannipitiya, established in 1942 on land owned by Anagarika Dharmapala, is a Buddhist school in Sri Lanka. It is a national school and provides primary and secondary education.

Donation of the land[edit]

The land of the current school was originally owned by Anagarika Dharmapala. Later it was donated by the Hewavitharana Family to Mahabodhi Society and was allocated to Dharmapala Vidyalaya in 1940.

Dharmapala Vidyalaya today[edit]

Dharmapala Vidyalaya has 6000+ students and 300+ teaching staff on a campus of 18 acres (73,000 m2).[1] acres.

It provides education for students from grade 1 to grade 13.

History[edit]

In 1940 an English secondary school was established at Pannipitiya as a branch of Ananda College Colombo. This new school was named Dharmapala Vidyalaya. On opening day two major events took place: opening of late Sri Devamitta Dharmapala Thero Memorial Building by W.A.De.Silva Hon. Minister Of Health and ceremonial Opening of Dharmapala Vidyalaya By Dr. Walter Wijeynaike, the General Manager of Buddhist Schools

Dharmapala Vidyalaya was managed by the Buddhist Theosophical Society under the direct supervision of the Principal Ananda College Colombo. It was a school for boys and girls and conducted classes from Kindergarten to the Matriculation Form, in English. Dharmapala Vidyalaya began its work on 8 January 1941. The founder was Mr. P.De.S.Kularathne and the Principal was Dr. J.E.Jayasooriya.

Flag of Dharmapala Vidyalaya

During World War II section from Ananda College along with the teachers shifted to Dharmapala Vidyalaya premises due to fear of war. To accommodate these students more Cadjan sheds were built. Later six permanent classrooms were built for the Primary Section. The then Principal of Ananda College, Mr. P.De.S Kularathna, led this project.

With the exit of Jayasooriya, Mr. D.C. Lawris took over as Principal in 1943.

The school registered as an independent institute and a Class 1 school for higher education. Up to H.S.C many more students started entering Dharmapala. With the help of many donors and with the money collected by the students, another five classrooms were built for the Primary Section.

By February 1947 there were 920 students and H.S.C. classes were started. Mr. Lawris left Dharmapala Vidyalaya to take over as the Principal of Ananda College. Colombo.[2]

Houses[edit]

  •      - Maurya (මෞර්යය)
  •      - Nanda (නන්ද)
  •      - Shakya (ශාක්‍ය)
  •      - Soorya (සූර්ය)

An athletic tournament among these houses is held once a year at the beginning of the first term.

Notable alumni[edit]

This is a list of alumni;

  • Ratnasiri Wickremanayake - former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
  • K.H.J. Wijedasa SLAS - Former Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka
  • Rear Admiral S R Samaraunga, Sri Lanka Navy, Former General Manager MEPA
  • Tissa Abeysekara, filmmaker
  • Rohana Weerasinghe, musician
  • Kusal Perera - Sri Lankan cricketer
  • Air Marshal Oliver Ranasinghe Former Commander of SL Air Force
  • Rear Admiral Ananda Peiris SL Navy
  • Lt. General Rohan Daluwatte Former Commander of SL Army
  • Major General Neil Dias SL Army
  • Somadasa Elvitigala, Musician
  • Eva Wansundera - sitting judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka
  • Dr. Wimal Wickramasinghe - Parliamentarian
  • Soma Edirisinghe - Chairperson, Edirisinghe Group
  • Ramani Mangalika - National Athlete, Gold Medalist & Former Record Holder in 200 M. at South Asian Games

Notable events[edit]

The Henry Steele Olcott Memorial Cricket Tournament is an annual cricket tournament conducted among the past cricketers of eight premier Buddhist schools in honor of Col. Olcott, the founder of Buddhist education in Sri Lanka.

References[edit]