Sri Lanka Sinhalese/Burgher Family Genealogy
PIERIS DERANIYAGALA - FAMILY # 1005
1 Manuel Pieris, b:1640 Approx. hailed from Attidiya near Colombo + Dona Maria (m21/11/1689)
2 Paulo Samarasinghe Siriwardena Mohandiram (Salpita Korale) bp1707+ Hettimullage Guneratne Dona Angela Dias, m:11/8/1737-d1752
3 Juan Pieris+ Maria
4 Abraham Pieris
5 Lewis Pieris
6 Harmanis Pieris
7 Thomas Deraniyagala +Leela Wikramanayake (3121)
8 Edward Deraniyagala (b1936-d2004) (Presidents Counsel)(d 2004-Tsunami)(STC) + Gemini Jayasekera (died in Tsunami on 26/12/2004) (he was a collector of antique items, observer of wild life and a talented photographer)(see photo below)
9 Rajiv Deraniyagala (Nestle)+ Renuka Perera
9 Sonali Deraniyagala
(Sonali b.1964,studied economics at Cambridge University,and has a doctorate from the University of Oxford. Economics lecturer-UK)(she survived the tsunami in Sri Lanka after being carried several miles inland by the Waves in 2004)(see photo and article below.)
Sonali was married to Dr Steeve Lissenburgh, Researcher,1964-2004,died in tsunami on 26/12/2004,near Yala Safari Game Lodge, he was a resident of UK,and was on holiday in SL,when he met his tragic death. (Around 30,000 people died in Sri Lanka in the tsunami of 2004.)
10 Vickram Lissenburg(1997-d2004 Tsunami)
10 Nikhil Lissenburg.(1999-d2004 Tsunami)
2 Deraniyagalage Juan Pieris + Dona Dominga
3 Siman Pieris
3 Maria Pieris
3 Joanna Pieris
3 Apolonia Pieris
3 Adrian Pieris +Jebel
4 Abraham Pieris
5 Siman Pieris
4 Joan Pieris
5 Paulo Pieris
4 Christina Pieris
2 Gimara Pieris
2 Louisa Pieris
2 Jebel Pieris
2 Manika Pieris
2 Deraniyagala Louis Pieris Samarasinghe Siriwardena (Mudaliyar), b:1680 + Maria Siriwardena de Saram (d/o Anthonan Siriwardena de Saram & Johana Dias), Maria died before 1746 (3126)
3 Geertrujda Pieris b1731-d1737
3 Jacoba Pieris b1728-d1737
3 Deraniyagalage Cornelis Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena Basnayake Arachchi b1732 (M1)+ Dona Magdalena of Wolfendhal
4 Deraniyagalage Isaak Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena Mohandiram Ralahamy b:17 Apr 1763 + Louisa de Saram Lama Etini m:3 Jun 1804. (3126)(d of Leander de Saram)
5 Jacoba Carlena Pieris
5 Johannes Pieris
5 Deraniyagalage Jacovis Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena + Fredricka de Saram, m:28 July 1841 (3126)
6 Jacoba Pieris Samarasinghe Siriwardena+George Welikala(m1865)
7 Don Edward Welikala + Mary Perera Samarasinghe
(She may be Deraniyagala Maria Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena Hamine mentioned in the Ambagahawatte deed.She may be the daughter of Deraniyagalage Daniel Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena, Daniel was married to Ilana de Saram..There is evidence of Mary Perera Samaranayake,Edward Welikala and Ilena de Saram leasing a land in 1904. Subsequently these Ambagahawatte lands were purchased by Peter de Saram Weerasinghe Siriwardena of Udaha Walauwwa in Galkissa.Later Peter de Saram gave the Ambagahawatte property to Thomas de Saram and Eugine de Saram,his children.)
6 Deraniyagalage Sophiya Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena + Don Baron Martinus Rupasinghe (m1871)
7 Henry Foster Rupasinghe (b1893)+ Sumana Munasinghe
8 Hugh Fred Rupasinghe + Etinne Dias Bandaranaike
9 Harsha Rupasinghe
6 Deraniyagalage Richard Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena + Apolonia Ranasinghe.
7 Deraniyagalage Louis Edwin Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena +Engeltina Perera Rupasinghe
8 Deraniyagalage Basil Ivor Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena (DBIPS)(Civil Servant)(SLAS)(1984-Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration.)(Awarded Deshamanya in 1994)(STC) + Eileen Wickremasinghe (Principal Visakha Vidyalaya 1983-87)
9 Udaya Siriwardena
9 Aruna Siriwardena b:1960 STC Mt. Lavinia
9 Cyrene Siriwardena + Paul Steele
10 Sumaya Steele
7 Deraniyagalage Henry Walter Pieris
3 Deraniyagalage Cornelis Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena Basnayake Arachchi b1732(M2) +Dona Ana de Saram (M1768)
4 Lewis Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena +Johanna de Saram (d of Velun de Saram)
5 Deraniyagalage Daniel Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena +Elena de Saram
6 Deraniyagalage Maria Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena
4 Christina Pieris b1770
4 Plantina Pieris b1773
4 Johanna Pieris b1785
3 Deraniyagalage Wilhelmus Pieris Samarasinghe Siriwardena (Mohandiram) born 1730 died 24/8/1816 + m:1756 Maria de Livera Wirekon d1812(daughter of Jacabous de Livera)
4 Jacobus Antonius Pieris bp:11/9/1766 (died 1/6/1816) + Ana Jacaba de Silva, d/o Simon de Silva Maha Mudaliyar
5 Wilhelmus Nicholas Siriwardena Mohandiram of the Governor's Gate bp 25/11/1792, d:10/3/1862 + Johana Agnetha de Silva (d/o Bernedt de Silva and Catherina de Saram, and Grand daughter of Louis de Saram) (3126)
6 Johanna Fredricka Pieris + Nicholas de Siva Goonathileke Samaranayake(m1866)
6 Julias Pieris+Louisa de Saram
6 Henry Richard Pieris + Catherine de Silva
7 Rosalind Pieris + Charles Edwin Samarakkody.b1881(Proctor-later Judge)
8 Dottie Samarakkody
8 Malcolm Samarakkody.
8 Hinton Samarakkody.
7 Stewart Pieris
7 Valentine Pieris
7 Baron Pieris
6 Edwin Abert Pieris+Susana de Alwis
7 Johanna Fredricka Pieris + Charles Henry Samarakkody.(Mudaliyar Pasdun Korale)
(they had 11 children.)(see Samarakkody family tree)(m1909approx)
7 Rowland Pieris
7 Henry Pieris
7 George Pieris
7 Julian Pieris + Eliza de Silva
6 James Pieris b1833
6 Cornelia Pieris b1845-1863
4 Isaac Renaldus bp:29/1/1770.
4 Elizebeth Pieris Siriwardene bp:19/8/1763 + Don Hendrick Dias Bandaranaike Mohandiram of Siyane Korale(became Mohandiram 5/6/1794) (1001)
4 Johan Louis Samarasinghe Siriwardena Pieris Mudaliyar Siyane Korale
(Mace bearer of the Supreme Court)b1773 d17/6/1857 + m:6/6/1805 Johanna Corneliya Perera, b:7 Apr 1784,d29/3/1862 (d/o Abraham Perera Koeroewe Mudaliyar and Maria Samarakoon)
5 Johanna Gertruda Pieris(b1806) +David de Alwis Goonesekara Seneviratne(Mudaliyar)
6 Charles Abraham Seneviratne b1832
6 Jane Gertruda Seneviratne b1833
6 Johanna Seneviratne b1835
5 Johan Godfred Cornelis Pieris Samarawira Siriwardena(1808-1887)(Mohandiram of Attepattoo) +Caroline Perera.
5 Johannes Adrian Peter Pieris Samarasinghe Siriwardena Mohandiram of the Gate (19/4/1811-21/10/1877)+Eliza Perera(m1847)(d of Johan Louis Perera)
5 Thaachi Nona
5 John Martinus Pieris Siriwardena, b:circa 1815 d1894 + (m1)Johanna Louisa Dias Bandaranaike, b:12/12/1820, m:1851,d1860, d/o of Don Johannes Dias Bandaranaike and Fredricka de Saram, grand daughter of Don Conrad Peter Dias Bandaranaike (1001)
6 Vincent Pieris b1856
6 Catharine Pieris
6 Rosmand Pieris
6 John Louis Pieris Siriwardena (see pic below) b 1852 (educated at Royal College, Colombo) + Florence Elisa Bandaranaike born approx 1865, m:1895 (daughter of Conrad Peter Dias Bandaranaike b:1827) (1001) (ref: 20th Century impressions of Ceylon by Arnold Wright)
7 Louis Alexander Pieris +Dulci Dias Bandaranaike.
8 (children-John,Louis,Conrad,Edward,Margret & Gladys)
7 Conrad Peter Pieris
7 Arthur William Pieris
7 Soloman Franciscus Pieris + Brenda Gunasinghe
8 (children-Florence Rachel,Christine,Evon.)
7 Ethel Aexander Pieris (1895-1930)+ Lionel Welliington de Saram (See de Saram family tree)
7 Diana Margret de Saram + Edmund de Livera
8 Hazel de Livera +Jeramyn Fernando
7 Ruth Pieris
7 Rachel Eliza Pieris b1903 + Charles Edward Hartnoll de Saram
5 John Martinus Pieris Siriwardena b1815 approx +(m2)Susan Elizabeth Dias Bandaranaike. (d of Udugaha Salmon Dias Bandaranaike Mudaliyar )m approx 1860
6 Henry Ashmore Pieris Siriwardena(Mudaliyar Hewagam Korale) (eldest son) b:14/10/1861 + Eliza Harriot Dassenaike (d of Henricus Lucius Dassenaike-Mudaliyar b approx 1830)
7 Henry Ashmore Pieris (b1903)(Stc cricket-1923)+ Corneliya Obeyesekere (eldest daughter of Donald Obeyesekere and Ethel Perera.)
8 Sita Pieris +Cecil Perera (son of Mudaliyar Eric Perera)
8 Wimala Pieris + DrChitranjan Amarasinghe
9 Felix Amarasinghe
9 Nilanthi Amarasinghe
8 Hemal Pieris + Kanthi Weerasinghe
9 Asoka Pieris
9 Duminda Pieris
8 H.S. Mevan Pieris b:1946 (Bsc,Msc,MBA,FPRI(uk)(cricketer STC-1964/65 & Sri Lanka)(see article below) + Dr Nirmala Gunathilake
9 Dilani Pieris + Hiran Yatawaka
10 Amithra Yatawaka
10 Kiyana Yatawaka
9 Nilanka Pieris (Stc cricket captain-1995)+ Dilushi Wickremasinghe
7 Louis Augustus Paules Pieris b1905 + Amelia Obeyesekere (1915-2004)(daughter of Donald Obeyesekere and Ethel Perera.)
8 Rajini Pieris + Neil Dias Bandaranaike
9 Ayendra Dias Bandaranaike
9 Priyanthi Dias Bandaranaike
8 Chrisanthi Pieris + Chittranjan Elangasekera
9 Shehara Elangasekera
9 Shanuka Elangasekera
9 Shalini Elangasekera
8 Ravindra Pieris + Amari Jayawardena
8 Surani Pieris
8 Savithri Pieris
7 Eliza Pieris b1901 + Eric Perera.
6 Dr William Christoffel Pieris Siriwardena, b:1867, lived at 40,Silversmith Street Colombo. Educated at STC and later at Marischal College Aberdeen. He became a Senior medalist in Pathalogy and Bacteriology. He graduated in MBCM. He was a visiting Physician of General Hospital. Lecturer in clinical medicine at Medical College. District Medical Officer Haputale.Later Judical Medical Officer (see pic below) + Ethel Obeyesekere, (b:1885, d:1930), m:1915 (3051)(daughter of S.C Obeyesekere of Talpe Walauwa Galle.)
7 William Ian Pieris b1905 + Anula Dias Abeysinghe
8 Susil Pieris
8 Malkanthi Pieris + J.R Maurice Perera (former high court judge)
9 Asoka Perera
9 Asanga Perera
8 Priyanga Pieris + Eranga (famous singing duo)
9 Dinuka Pieris (son)
7 Iranganie Pieris b1908
7 James Pieris b1910
6 Rosalyn Pieris Siriwardena +John Gunerwardena M1890
6 Elizebeth Pieris Siriwardena +Harry Willisford Dias Bandaranaike b1861
6 Lydia Pieris Siriwardena b1863 (unmarried)
6 Felicia Pieris Siriwardena +Edwin Gooneratne m1898
6 Sir Paul Edward Pieris, b:16/2/1874-d:1955, educated at STC Mount Lavinia.Writer of Sinhala books and Historian, Received University scholarship in 1891. Wrote the book Sinhalese families which was published in 1911. BA Trinity College Cambridge. LLM and Litt D(Cantab).Barrister of Inner Temple 1895.Ceylon Civil Service 1896-1935.Trade Commissioner for Ceylon in England. Organiser of National day movement in 1913, 1903 District Judge Matara,1905 District Judge Kegalle,later District Judge Kalutara. + Lady Hilda Obeyesekere m:1905 (3051)
(d of JP Obeyesekere)
Sir Paul Pieris was president of the Royal Asiatic Society of Ceylon 1932-1934
He was awarded Knight Bachelor in the queen's birthday Honours 1955.
7 Paules Edward Pieris Deraniyagala b;8 May 1900 - d:1976,(STC), Director National Museum of Ceylon 1939-1963, Dean Faculty of Arts Vidyodaya University 1961-64, Specialist on fossil and recent animals of Indian Sub continent. Scientist, Zoologist + Prini Molamure (3117)
8 Isanth Deraniyagala
8 Arjun Paulus Mayadun Deraniyagala
9 Yvani Deraniyagala
9 Chandrup Deraniyagala
8 Dr. Siran Upendra Pieris Deraniyagala, b:1942,(STC) Ekneligoda Walauwa, Kuruvita, Director General Dept of Archaeology, MA Cambridge University, Post Graduate Diploma in Archaeology, Phd Harvard University.
8 Ranil Yudisthira Pieris Deraniyagala
7 Justin Pieris Deraniyagala (Artist)(b20/7/1903-d24/5/1967)
In 1922 entered Trinity College Cambridge-BA Laws.1926/27-State School of Arts UK.
(Greatest Sri Lankan painter of the 20th century.)
7 Ralph St. L P Deraniyagala (Lawyer)(Civil Servant &Clerk of the house of Repesentatives of SL)+ Ezlynne Obeyesekere (3051)(1st Woman Barrister)
8 Ralph Deraniyagala (Bando) + Indrani Nugara
9 Arubind Deraniyagala
7 Miriam Pieris Deraniyagala 1908-1999 (see article below) + F Robert de Saram (s/o F R de Saram) (3126)
8 Rohan de Saram (Cello)(see article below) + Rosemary de Saram
9 Sophia de Saram
9 Suren de Saram
8 Druvi de Saram (Piano) + Sharmini de Fonseka
9 Mandhira de Saram
9 Radhika de Saram
8 Niloo de Saram + Desmond Fernando
9 Jeevani Fernando
8 2nd spouse of Niloo de Saram + Jehan Edwards
6 David George Pieris Deraniyagala b1868 + Enid Muriel De Saa Bandaranaike (1001)(daughter of Thomas Fredrick de Saa Bandaranaike)
7 Sumana Pieris b1915 +Merril Amarasekara
7 Mallika Pieris b1931 +Earl Dassenaike
7 Indrani Pieris b1909+ Ronald Doyne Seneviratne (m:1936), (1906-2001), (STC) (Director Medical Reserch Institute,Dy Director of Health)
8 Ranjith Seneviratne
8 Manil Seneviratne + Tennakoon
9 Anushia Tennakoon + Devaka Cooray
10 Devin Cooray
10 Janek Cooray
7 Merrick Pieris- unmarried
7 Chandra Pieris Deraniyagala,b1921, d 2008 + James Godwin Vaughn de Livera 1917-2003 (3109)(Stc)(Communication officer Civil Aviation,Served in the 2hd world war.)
8 Anil Gayan de Livera.(b1954-d1982 (unmarried)
8 Yasmin de Livera (Aus) + Ramesh Abayasekara
9 Jehan Abayasekara + Ishini Jayamaha
9 Yohan Abayasekara
2 2nd spouse of Louis Pieris, b:1680 + Dona Natalia, m:27/3/1746
1 Deringellege Joan (John?) Fernando
3 Abraham Pieris, a proponent in the Dutch Reformed Church
Other relatives of Pieris Deraniyagala family tree
*Ethel Pieris b1885 d1930 married Lionel Wellinton de Saram.*Johan Godfred Cornelis Pieris Samaraweera Siriwardena Mohandiram of Atapattu b16/3/1808 d:15/5/1887 married Caroline Perera on 18/6/1834. *Johannes Adrian Peter Pieris Samarasinghe Siriwardena Mohandiram b19/4/1811 d 21/10/1877 married Eliza Perera on 21/10/1847.
Sinhalese families book by Paul Edward Pieris(1911)
Chieftains of Ceylon (1936)
20th Century Impressions of Ceylon by Arnold Wright.
Data obtained from the Deraniyagala family tree charts prepared by Harsha Rupasinghe & Udaya Siriwardene.
Prepared by :
Manjula de Livera
Last Updated: 11 Dec 2015.
PEP Deraniyagala (Children of Miriam Pieris & Robert de Saram)
Justin Edward Deraniyagala Justin Deraniyagala Sir Paul E Pieris
Dr Siran Deraniyagala Dr Sonali Deraniyagala Chandra de Livera nee Pieris
Mevan Pieris Rohan de Saram Ralph L.P.Deraniyagala Johanna Pieris & Henry Samarakkody
Ashmore Pieris,Mevan Pieris Ashmore Pieris b1903
Nilanka Pieris (3 Thomian
cricketers of 3 generations.)
Thombu Index-Dept of Archives
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Evening Standard (London), Jan 11, 2005 by LECH MINTOWT-CZYZ
A LONDON academic lost her entire family to the Asian tsunami, it emerged today.
Dr Sonali Deraniyagala, 40, on holiday in Sri Lanka, saw the giant wave wash away the car her husband-and two sons were sitting in.
In an instant of appalling tragedy for the economics lecturer, both her parents were taken by the water at the same moment.
The bodies of Dr Deraniyagala's parents, Gemini and Edward Deraniyagala, and her elder son Vikram, seven, have been found but she does not know whether the remains of five-year-old Nikhil will ever be recovered.
The body of her 40-year-old husband, fellow academic Dr Steve Lissenburgh, has also still to be found. In desperation Dr Deraniyagala, a lecturer at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies placed an advertisement in a Sri Lankan newspaper appealing for information about her family but she has yet to receive any news.
The heartrending advertisement included a photograph of Nikhil and said: "Last seen at Yala Safari Hotel on 26 December 2004. Nikhil is five years old and three and a half feet tall with black hair and black eyes. He may be dazed and confused and unable to express himself. He cannot speak in Sinahala or Tamil. He can respond only in English." The family had been making their usual Christmas trip to visit Dr Deraniyagala's mother and father in Colombo when tragedy struck.
The family were staying at the Yala Safari Game Lodge, a coastal wildlife reserve, and had stopped off in their four-by-four. It is understood Dr Lissenburgh and the two children were still in the vehicle and were carried away.
Dr Deraniyagala, who is thought to have got out, was also swept up by the force of the water and survived-despite being carried several miles inland by the torrent. It is not known where her parents were at the time of the disaster.
Dr Deraniyagala's uncle Ken Balendra, who lives in Sri Lanka, said: "With the time that has now passed we do not think there is much more that can be done. We have given up hope of seeing them again.
"The tragedy is so heavy we can barely bring ourselves to speak about it. My niece cannot speak about it at all.
"She has not even been able to tell us exactly what happened. Really all we know is that they were all in the reserve and the water just took them all away with it. We do not know how, but she managed to escape without serious injury. But she is severely traumatised."
More than 30,000 people were killed in Sri Lanka by the Boxing Day tsunami.
Today friends and colleagues of Dr Lissenburgh, 40, a senior researcher at the Policy Studies Institute who focused on the social aspects of economics, paid tribute to a man who "inspired affection and admiration in all who knew him".
His colleague of 10 years, Dr Michael White, said he was driven by a desire to make a difference to the world's disadvantaged communities. "He did make that difference. With more time, he would have made a great difference," he said.
"He loved Sri Lanka and when he came back he loved to talk about the good times he had there. He had a big capacity for enjoyment.
Surely he was happy there in his last days and hours."
A colleague of Dr Deraniyagala at London University said: " Everyone who has learned of the dreadful tragedy is united in their grief and support for Sonali. She is a highly esteemed popular member of the department of economics."
. Donor countries are urged today to guarantee that money promised to tsunami victims would not be diverted from other world disaster funds.
Oxfam echoed pleas from United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan that the billions of dollars pledged to help the stricken region's recovery was "new money".
LATEST DEATH TOLL
Death tolls by country:
Sri Lanka: 30,721
MORE than 450 Britons are now believed to have died in the Asian tsunami.
Tony Blair told the Commons that 51 Britons had been confirmed dead, and the total confirmed or presumed to have died had risen to 453, up 10 from last week.
Mr Blair said the number of Britons unaccounted for but not presumed to have died was 871.
Some of those unaccounted for may have been trekking in remote regions in Asia and have simply not contacted relatives. But the Prime Minister said the figure "may never fall to zero".
At least 152,221 people have been reported dead around southern Asia and as far away as Somalia on Africa's eastern coast following the earthquake and tsunami on Boxing Day.
Miriam de Saram: Not a mere wanderer
By Peter Burleigh - Sunday Times June 13, 1999
In the fall of 1968 there was a late south-western monsoon. It might have been late August. Whenever it was, reflecting an enthusiasm for ocean swimming and a naivete about its dangers at that time of year, I had gone to the beach just north of the Mount Lavinia Hotel as I often did during that initial time of my assignment in Ceylon. Despite the grey and cloudy sky, the thunderous waves, and a major undertow, I nevertheless plunged in foolishly alone in the stretch of beach, which is now seldom unpopulated.
I swam for half an hour or so, testing my skills and unconsciously, in retrospect, challenging the monsoonal sea. Resting on the beach in exhaustion and exhilaration, staring out to sea, I noticed to my surprise and curiosity another swimmer. He was doing what I had done, but with more skill and familiarity, and, I learned later, awareness of the danger.
The other swimmer was Skanda de Saram. After he emerged from the sea, we chatted and relaxed and, after a time, Skanda invited me home to meet his family. (Skanda's extended family, like so many in Sri Lanka, is a story in itself). But that first day of our acquaintance, only his mother was home. What a mother! Miriam (Pieris/Deraniyagala) de Saram who died March 13, 1999 at the age of 91, became an intellectual and social focal point for me, a young diplomat on a first assignment in an alien and exotic place. Unconventional, controversial, independent minded, erratic, talented, and tough-minded, Miriam de Saram had since childhood been a rebel. Daughter of Sir Paul E. Pieris (Deraniyagala), the historian and author as well as Ceylon's first Trade Commissioner in London, Miriam demonstrated her grit and determination when she insisted on becoming the first Ceylonese woman to study, master, and perform publicly, both Kandyan and South Indian dancing. (She appeared as an "exotic, oriental" dancer in Alexander Korda's famous film, "The Drum", starring Raymond Massey, Valerie Hobson and Sabu in 1937. When marriage outside the tightly delineated universe of family consent and approval was unthinkable, headstrong Miriam secretly married a handsome, tennis-playing lawyer, Robert De Saram. Essentially, though not permanently, outcast by her family for such a marriage (which occurred in London, when her father was Trade Commissioner), Miriam was unbendable; determined to make her own choices regardless of the consequences. The marriage produced Rohan, Skanda, Druvi and Niloo.
From day one of our acquaintance, something special transpired between Miriam and me. Miriam had studied deeply in both Hindu and Buddhist thought. Born and dying a Church of England Protestant, Miriam de Saram nevertheless pursued psychological and religious enlightenment - whatever its source and wherever it led. Thus, for me, she was a fascinating source of insights, adventures, and wisdom. She had studied with a Hindu saint in Jaffna, with Buddhist scholars around the island; she had travelled to India in search of knowledge into the multiple religious and spiritual disciplines there. (Readers will excuse me if I note that such searches were not for magico-religious gurus so popular now in Sri Lanka and India; they were for religious adepts who themselves were searching, reflective of the long history of Indian, including Buddhist, religious thought). When Miriam discovered I was interested in such issues, she shared with, and challenged me to open up to possibilities of self-knowledge and enlightenment, which flow from these Indian traditions.
She took delight in introducing me, through the culinary virtuosity of her longtime cook, William, to traditional Sinhalese cuisine.
Whether string hoppers, hoppers, or rice, every conceivable sambol, mouthscalding crab, cuttlefish, or lobster curries, fish balls and cutlets and curries, incredible vegetable dishes from vegetables I had never heard of, let alone tasted (snakegourd and ma-karal come to mind), ambul thiyal, coconut-laced lentils and other parippu dishes - what an introduction! And jaggery/hakkuru sweets; with curd for dessert.
Miriam also liked in drink, as I do. She introduced me to milk-wine, to shandies, even to scotch!
We would sit on the veranda of her then home at 61, Ward Place, sipping whatever, and talking for hours about Ceylon, its history, its politics (my job as third secretary at the U.S. Embassy at the time), its sociology, but, most all, its religious thought, as refracted through colonial religions, and indigenous traditions. I learned of Kataragama, of Adam's Peak, of caste distinctions among the Buddhist nikayas, of Carnatic music to be heard during the Vel festival at the devales on Galle Road; of Dutch Reformed cemeteries in Hulftsdorf where some family ancestors lay buried. It went on and on, reflecting both the rich religious diversity of Sri Lanka and the extraordinary depths to which Miriam had studied and learned.
Miriam also combined her interest and knowledge of things Indian with a profound understanding of Western culture, including classical music and literature. She forced all her children to pursue Western music. As a result, both sons, Rohan and Druvi are professional musicians in the UK. Rohan, in particular, was considered a prodigy as a cellist, and Miriam accompanied him throughout Europe to study and play with the masters, including Pablo Casals. A single mother, as we Americans would say now, Miriam was both a demanding tyrant and a challenging intellect with her children. She insisted on excellence and would accept nothing less.
She also, unusually for a woman of her social background, personally managed inherited coconut estates, part of the huge legacy of the Bandaranaike-Obeyesekere family in and around Horagolla. A determined, sometimes dangerous, driver of an antiquated Volkswagen beetle in the late 60s, for which no spare parts were legally available during those years of draconian import restrictions, Miriam drove at top speeds between Ward Place and the estates. She reviewed accounts with a hawk eye and terrified estate workers what she thought, often rightly apparently, of theft beyond the norm.
I departed Ceylon in August l970, just prior to the first JVP insurgency, but kept up a lifelong correspondence with Miriam de Saram. Whether I was in Washington, or Calcutta, or Kathmandu, or Bahrain, the arrival of occasional aerograms with her spidery, densely knit handwriting brought a wave of excitement and anticipation - and never disappointment.
I made a few drop-by visits to Sri Lanka during the next 25 years and always had at least a brief call on Miriam. She was one of those amazing people — with whom one could conflate years and catchup immediately. And she almost always had a new intellectual enthusiasm she was pursuing with characteristic relentlessness and childlike wonder.
When I returned to Colombo as U.S. Ambassador in January 1996, Miriam was one of my first calls. Sadly, by then, she was resident in the Joseph Fraser Nursing Home, frail, brittle-seeming, and painfully thin. But, on nights out - whether at Skanda and his wife Sharadha's, or with niece Sunethra Bandaranaike, or at my residence on Horton Place, she never failed to demonstrate her dazzling intellectual skills and her humour. She could tell stories on herself - and mercilessly on the rest of us - and laugh at a high and joyous pitch. She was at that stage in life when she liked to reminisce over her life and adventures - and moments shared with special people. Sharadha and I organized a viewing of her famous film one night and, on another, her grandchildren, Tesalia and Ishviyan, gave a beautiful classical recital. Miriam was delighted and overwhelmed.
Living now in Manhattan where I am the US. Ambassador to the United Nations, I was awakened in the early morning hours of March 13 with a call from Sharadha saying that Miriam had passed away. A fax arrived hours later with details of the simple funeral ceremony. A week later a long e-mail from Skanda arrived, describing Miriam's last days.
Among many other accomplishments, Miriam de Saram was a prolific writer of poetry. Her early poems, organized and published privately by Skanda in the early '9Os, provided, focused and distilled images of Miriam's religious and philosophical searches. My favourite:
I am a wanderer
In strange entanglements of opposites
In a circus of confusion
They appear to adjust themselves
To this environment for their existence
Where do we seek an answer?
I think it is - to look within
A constant Remembrance
In silence - calm
To look within
The writer is a former US ambassador to Colombo.
Rohan de Saram (Cello)
27 October - 28 November 2007
ROHAN DE SARAM
In November 2005 Rohan bid farewell to the Arditti Quartet in order to pursue his own artistic vision. He now works with other artists, friends and composers around the world, bringing together music from different musical periods and different parts of the world, both eastern & western, classical and contemporary, composed music and improvisations, with players from many musical backgrounds.
Although he has been more recently known as an outstanding performer of contemporary music, it was as a classical artist that he made his name as a teenager and in his twenties and thirties. Having studied cello from the age of 11 with Gaspar Cassado in Siena and Florence, he was awarded, at the age of 17, the coveted Suggia award to study in the UK with John Barbirolli and in Puerto Rico with Pablo Casals. At the invitation of Dmitri Mitropoulos, who described him in 1957 as "a rare genius... .a born musician... an amazing...cellist", Rohan was invited to give his Carnegie Hall debut in 1960 with the New York Philharmonic, playing Khatchaturian’s Cello Concerto under the baton of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.
Rohan has performed with the major orchestras of Europe, USA and the former Soviet Union with conductors such as John Barbirolli, Adrian Boult, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa and William Steinberg, as well as with composers conducting their own works such as Luciano Berio. After the UK premiere of Il Ritorno degli Snovidenia for cello and orchestra Berio said of him: "Your performance of Ritorno is splendid, but besides Ritorno, your sound, your perfect intonation, your phrasing and bowing technique, make you a great performer of any music." As a result Berio wrote for him his final Sequenza, no XIV, for solo cello which, as a tribute to Rohan, includes large sections based on the rhythms of the Kandyan drum of Sri Lanka, an instrument which Rohan himself has played since his childhood in Sri Lanka.
Rohan has worked with Kodaly, Shostakovich, Poulenc and Walton, as well as more recently with many leading contemporary composers such as Pousseur, Xenakis and Berio who have, amongst others, written works for him. Some of his recordings include Vivaldi's Sonatas, Rubbra's Soliloquy for cello and orchestra, Britten's Cello Suites No 1-3, John Mayer's Ragamalas & Prabhanda, Xenakis' Kottos and Carter's Figment I and II. Rohan's recordings of Berio's Sequenza XIV awaits its release on Edition Zeitklang (also including works by Xenakis, Carter, B. A. Zimmermann, Ruzicka, Gelhaar, Pröve and Steinke) and on Mode (release April 2006). Upcoming recording projects include Beethoven's Cello Sonatas and Feldman's Trio.
In December 2004 Rohan was awarded an honorary D. Litt. from the University of Peradeniya , Sri Lanka. A year later, in December 2005 he received the Deshamaniya, a national honour of Sri Lanka, given by the President of Sri Lanka.
Rohan's future engagements include solo recitals and concertos as well as duos with piano and duos with guitar, trios with piano and violin as well as improvisation concerts. His concerts in the immediate future will take him to cities such as Stuttgart, Berlin, Edinburgh, London, Turin, Rotterdam and Heidelberg. He will also be teaching and performing at Darmstadt in the summer of 2006. The successful collaboration with trumpet player Rajesh Mehta in the Innovative Music Meeting will also be continued.
Recent reviews include the following from The Strad - of a recital at the Wigmore Hall, London on 17.10.99: "This recital marked the 40th anniversary of the great cellist's debut... with a colossal performance of the Kodály solo sonata which will stay with me as long as I live. The interpretation went far beyond virtuosity into that exalted sphere where only the most timeless music resonates…"
Of his performance of Dvorak's Cello Concerto at St. John's Smith Square in May 2004: "This was not only a moving and involving performance. It was the kind of thing one hears very seldom in our pre-packaged, cling-film modern concert life. Here was a man, renowned for his involvement with contemporary music, showing how well he comprehended every aspect of a late Romantic masterpiece... in the finale... technique was used as it should be, to aid understanding rather than to show off skill. The poignant statement of the song towards the end... was one of those moments where the clocks seem to stop. ... our rapt concentration was suspended by the merest thread. Few soloists have the courage or the means to achieve this effect, or the rhythmic control to make it work in context".
Thomian Mevan Pieris probably the most learned cricketer
Island August 3, 2011, 12:00 pm
He was known as the ‘King of Swing’. Undoubtedly, he is one of the most feared fast bowlers that Sri Lanka has produced. Added to his cricketing prowess, he was also a brilliant academic.
I presume, in the field of Polymer Science, he is one of the most qualified individuals. This talented Sri Lankan all-rounder, holds a BSC, University of Ceylon Colombo, MSc and M.B.A. from the University of Sri Jayawardenepura and FPRI (UK). Further, he holds a Masters Degrees in Polymer Chemistry and Business Administration.
He is Henry Siri Mevan Pieris, popularly known as Mevan Pieris.
Pieris learned his basics as a schoolboy at S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia.
S. Thomas’ College produced highly distinguished and productive citizens, including three Prime Ministers D. S., Dudley Senanayake and S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike and well known historian, Sir Paul Pieris academics, medical specialists, legal luminaries, accountants, diplomats, financial wizards, educationalists, top cricketers, etc.
Pieris represented the S. Thomas’ College, First XI under Premlal Gunasekera and Sarath Seneviratne in 1964 and 1965, respectively. This right arm fast-bowler was a left-hand batsman. His best performance with the bat was the dashing unbeaten 120 he made against Ananda, in only 85 minutes at Mount Lavinia.
Pinnacle of schools Big Matches
For any Royal or Thomian cricketer, the greatest achievement is to play in a Royal-Thomian encounter ‘The Battle of the Blues’, and obtain colours.
Mevan Pieris had the distinction of playing in the 85th ‘Battle of the Blues’ as a fresher on 13th and 14th March 1964, at the Colombo Oval. The Thomians were led by Premalal Gunasekera and the Royal captain was J. D. Wilson.
The Thomians recorded an eight wicket victory. In this match, Anura Tennekoon scored 78 and Sarath Seneviratne 96. Playing in his first Royal-Thomian, Mevan Pieris bowled only five overs, with two maidens and took 1 for 9 runs when he clean bowled H. N. De Silva for eight runs.
Victorious Thomian side
The victorious Thomian team consisted of L. S. Perera, K. Boralessa, A. P. B. Tennakoon, P. N. W. Gunasekera (Capt), S. B. Seneviratne (Vice Captain), S. Rajapakse, R. P. Samarasinghe, G. Balasingham, B. D. Ried, L. Chelliah and H. S. M. Pieris.
On 12th and 13th March 1965, the Royal-Thomian match was played at the Oval and H. S. M. Pieris (11-5-13-1) and (12-4-29-0), opened the bowling with B. D. Ried (29-19-28-3) and (35-19-49-4). This was the 86th ‘Battle of the Blues’.
Played for Sri Lanka as an undergrad
Mevan Pieris, after a brilliant sports and academic career at S. Thomas’, entered the Science Faculty of the University of Ceylon, Colombo. He captained the University cricket team in 1970.
As an undergraduate, Pieris played for Sri Lanka and accounted for MCC number three batsman Keith Fletcher, off the first ball he faced.
In the first official Test between Sri Lanka and England, Keith Fletcher captained England.
In the same year, University emerged Division I league champions. He played against Madras (Chennai), captained by Sirinivasan Venkataraghavan. The dashing left-hand batsman Mevan Pieris scored twin half centuries and took 5 wickets for 55.
Mevan brings victory for SL
Going down memory lane, I can recollect this thrilling match. Madras needed eight runs to win. Satwender Singh was 87. Pieris dismissed Satwender Singh and thanks to this Sri Lanka won the match. All hell broke loose. The spectators invaded the field, carried Mevan shoulder high to the pavilion and showed their appreciation to this fine all rounder.
Leading wicket taker from 1970 to 1975
He represented Sri Lanka from 1970-1975 and became the leading wicket taker, accounting for the dismissal of some of the world’s finest batsmen, such as Sunil Gavaskar, Zaheer Abbas, Doug Walters, Greg Chappell and Keith Fletcher. He took 6 for 33 against the Pakistan U-25 team, captained by Wasim Raja, at the CCC.
University colours in three sports
While at university, Mevan was awarded colours in tennis and hockey in addition to cricket. He was was awarded the prestigious Leslie Handunge Trophy.
In inaugural World Cup team
Mevan Pieris had the proud distinction of representing Sri Lanka in the first ever World Cup played in England in 1975. In Sri Lanka’s first match, played at Old Trafford, Manchester, on 7 June 1975, against the West Indies, Sri Lanka were dismissed for a paltry 86 and WI won by nine wickets.
Dismissed Greg Chappell and Doug Walters
In the 1975 World Cup match against Australia, Sri Lanka lost by 52 runs. This match was played at the Kensington Oval, London. As one of the opening bowlers, Pieris bowled 11 overs, capturing two wickets, that of Greg Chappell for 55, caught off his bowling. The catch was taken by Tony Opatha. Then he dismissed Doug Walters. He was caught by Anura Tennakoon. Walters scored 59 in 66 balls with five tours.
In the third World Cup match on 14 June 1975, at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, against Pakistan, in reply Pakistan’s 330 for 6 in 60 overs, Mevan Pieris bowled nine overs, gave away 54 runs, without success. Sri Lanka scored 138 runs in 50.1 overs and Pakistan won by 192 runs. In this match, Pieris scored 16 runs with two boundaries.
King of swing
Cricket and academic pursuits were a passion for this unassuming persona. He captained SSC and was a leading all-rounder. As an in-swing bowler, he was almost always among the wickets, capturing six or more wickets on many occasions. Because of his brilliant performance, he carried the tag ‘Kings of Swing’. In 1977, he scored a marvelous 137 against Colts, at his home grounds, at Maitland Place.
Radio commentator par excellences
Pieris is one of the leading English cricket commentators in Sri Lanka. He commentates on the Royal-Thomian match regularly.
Unknown facts about Mevan
Mevan Pieris hails from the Pieris Deraniyagala family of artists; foremost among them was Mevan’s uncle, Justin Pieris Deraniyagala. Following in the footsteps of his uncle, he became a highly talented artist. His canvas paintings and portraits are hung on the walls of the Institute of Chemistry, at Rajagiriya.
He is also a trained singer and was a pupil of the famous Spencer Sheppard.
Mevan Pieris is a prolific writer. He has written many articles to journals and magazines on a wide range of subjects and at present, he is writing a family history and the evolution of the family combine to which he belongs. He hopes to launch this historical book next year (2012). Further, he plans to write ‘His Cricketing Memoirs’. He is also writing another technical book on rubber and plastic chemistry and technology.
Amazing academic and professional career
Mevan Pieris’s academic and professional careers are amazing, like his distinguished cricket career. While he served at Arpico, he sat for the Licentiateship Examination of the Institution of Rubber Industry in the United Kingdom and was awarded the gold medal for Sri Lanka for the best performance. Thereafter, he secured a Masters degree in Polymer Chemistry, at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura and obtained a Merit degree in the Master of Business Administration of the Post Graduate Institute of Management.
In view of his academic excellence, wide knowledge and experience, he is today probably the most highly acclaimed visiting lecturer at several universities.
Leader in professional community
Pieris has been a leader in the professional community. He is a former President of the Plastic and Rubber Institute and also of the Institute of Chemistry, Sri Lanka. He has been honoured with several top awards, distinguished service and achievement awards by professional institutes.
Mevan is married to Dr. Nirmala Pieris, UNID, Consultant. They are blessed with a son and daughter. Nilanka, following in the footsteps of his illustrious father, played for the S. Thomas’ College First XI and captained the team in 1995 while the daughter, Mrs. Dilani Yatawara is a Chartered Accountant and the Group Finance Director of Associated Motorways.