Lankan boy wins computer schol

Daniel Situnayake, a British schoolboy of Sri Lankan origin, was one of a hundred students from the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom to win a prestigious scholarship at the exclusive Microsoft Computercamp based in the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, in June this year.

The "technofest" included an intensive five-day course of classes ranging from basic computer programming to ASP, HMTL, visual basic, visual C++ web-programming and database programming. The students also visited the Microsoft Home of the Future and received lectures from Microsoft experts.

There was fierce competition for the 25 scholarships awarded in the UK. The final choice was made by selecting candidates who demonstrated highly developed computer skills. The same procedure was adopted in the USA and Canada, to ensure that all 100 participants were evenly matched in academic ability.

Sri Lankan readers might be interested to know that Daniel is the son of Dr. Deva Situnayake, a consultant rheumatologist of growing repute, based in Birmingham, UK and the grandson of S. P. Situnayake from Kandy, a leading schoolboy athlete in the 1950’s and one of Sri Lanka’s most promising cricketers before he left to work and live in the UK.

S. P. Situnayake played against the visiting Commonwealth Eleven in the late 1940’s when he made his mark as a fast bowler against such stalwarts as Frank Worrell, who captained the Commonwealth team.

Daniel is also the grand-nephew of Squadron Leader Mahendra Situnayake, formerly of the Sri Lanka Air Force and afterwards of the Royal Air Force, UK.

Squadron Leader Situnayake, in the late 1970’s commanded the RAF helicopter squadron of the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus: and there led one of the biggest air-sea rescue (peacetime) operations in RAF history.