'Memoirs of an Octogenarian'
August 13, 2010, 6:19 pm
A collection of lifetime experiences spanning almost eighty years, titled ‘Divi Sendeve Mathuwan Yatagiya Seya’ (Memoirs of an Octogenarian) will be launched at the YMBA Auditorium, in Borella, at 3 p.m. on August 21. The Octogenarian is none other than Nandasiri Muthukumarana, a veteran in education and administration, as well as in the fields of social and religious services, where the author was able to distinguish himself with a vast deal of memorable events and landmarks, most of which have been embodied in his Memoirs.
Nandasiri Muthukumarana, during his eighty years of life documented in the Memoirs, went through the agonies and ecstasies of the social, religious, political and economic fabric of both Ceylon and Sri Lanka, from the times even much earlier than the Second World War. Not only did he witness the pre-independence tribulations of the people and the country under the foreign domination, but he did even become a victim of circumstances at the time as a child and a youth. Through sheer perseverance and courage, backed by little bits of luck and fortune here and there, Muthukumarana worked hard to fulfill his aspirations that were somewhat unique for a young man belonging to a middle class family during the revolutionary and the transitional period of the country, which is history now.
During the post-independence period, which was literally the second phase of the distinguished career of Muthukumarana, he showed his prowess by starting off life as a young teacher attached to Rahula College, Matara, from where he received higher education and entered the University of Colombo. The 1940’s 50s, 60s, and 70s, were the most remarkable decades of the country in the field of education, when the fruits of free education were gifted to both teachers and students alike. Those were the epochs when the teachers taught the students with tremendous dedication, love and affection, and the students learnt from the teachers with utmost obedience, respect and commitment. As a versatile teacher Muthukumarana enjoyed both aspects of the profession, and in a short period of time became a Deputy Principal, a Principal and a Deputy Director of Education attached to the Ministry of Education, before retiring prematurely to take up another fascinating assignment with the YMBA, which was the post of Superintendent of Religious Examinations.
Some of the most significant achievements and successes as well as challenges and failures during such a phenomenal and eventful life of Muthukumarana have been vibrantly reproduced by him into a readable format in his Memoirs. Prof. Chandrasiri Palliyaguru will be the Chief Speaker at the launching ceremony and Amara Hewamadduma will introduce the author. Ministers D. E. W. Gunasekera and Mahinda Yapa Abhayawardena, Deputy Minister Chandrasiri Gajadheera and President's Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, all of whom have been close associates of Muthukumarana in his professional days, will grace the occasion, while Most Venerable Thirikunamale Ananda Anunayaka Thero of the Amarapura Dharmarakhshitha Nikaya will preside over the ceremony.