Sunday Lakbima editor writes book on Mahinda College


Mr. Sundera Nihathamani de Mel, Editor of the Lakbima Irida Sangrahaya, has written a book on Mahinda College, Galle, titled "Mahinde Thamai Iskole" to be launched at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute at 4 pm on Thursday, May 10.

The launch has been organized by the Old Mahindians Media Guild and several well known personalities educated in well known schools such as Prof. Sunanda Mahendra (Ananda), Prof. Dhammika Ganganath Dissanayaka (Dharmaraja), Sumana Sapramadu (Visakha), Dr. Ariyasena U. Gamage (Richmond), Saman Wickramarachchi (Central School) and Saman Athaudahetti (Royal) will be speakers.

De Mel’s book which runs into 42 chapters is replete with fascinating anecdotes regarding Mahinda College including the composition of the National Anthem by Mr. Ananda Samarakoon, then music teacher of the school.

A group of young Mahindians were the first to sing the song chalked on a blackboard by their teacher. De Mel was not one of them but he remembers this snippet of history of his old school with pride.

Mahinda College was founded with great hope by Col. Henry Steel Olcott who rendered yeomen service to Buddhist education in the country.

When Mr. I.M.R.A. Iriyagolla, Minister of Education in the 1965 Dudley Senanayake government proposed the closure of mixed schools in the country despite strong objections, De Mel wrote an editorial criticizing this measure in Pabalu, the school newspaper, which was banned as a result and students had to recover issues that had already been distributed. The author wryly remarks that fortunately there were no white vans in those days.

The writer of this controversial editorial later became the editor of a national newspaper being the second Mahindian to achieve this distinction – D.B. Dhanapala being the first.



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