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Right Royal rally of old Royalists in the Sri Lanka Parliament

Feb 11 2002

Royal College, Colombo felicitated a number of Old Royalist parliamentarians including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. Picture shows the Prime Minister and the parliamentarians being conducted to the J.R. Jayewardene pavilion by Principal H.L.B. Gomes. Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando is also in the picture. (Picture - Saman Sri Wedage)

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing a special assembly at Royal College, Colombo held to felicitate all old Royalist parliamentarians yesterday (Feb 11) morning.

Royal College Principal H.L.B. Gomes said if a survey is conducted to verify on the oldest educational institution in our country Royal College, Colombo will undoubtedly take first place. The school has a history of about 167 years.

In fact Royal College is known to be the second oldest school in the world, after St. Peter's College, Australia which is the oldest in the world. The school was first named as the Hill Street Private Academy. The headmaster of the Hill Street Academy was Rev. Marsh. Thereafter, the Hill Street Academy was renamed as the Colombo Academy in 1936 and was then changed to Royal College.

He said: "Today is another memorable and unforgettable day for the past and present Royalists who are anxiously awaiting to convey their heartfelt congratulations to 18 old Royalists who are members in the present Parliament." Principal H.L.B. Gomes will be at the main gate along with the members of Royal College Union to greet them. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will be the chief guest on the occasion while all other MPs will be the guests of honour.

In addition to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the other 17 distinguished old Royalists who will be visiting Royal College today are Tyronne Fernando, Ravi Karunanayake, Anura Bandaranaike, Milinda Moragoda, Dinesh Gunawardana, Mangala Samaraweera, Arumugam Tondaman, Dilan Perera, Rauff Hakeem, Naween Dissanayake, Sajith Premadasa, Sagala Ratnayaka, Gayantha Karunathilaka, Kabir Hashim, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Gajendra Kumar Ponnambalam.

 

During its 167 years history, Royal College has created number of records by producing not only eminent personalities such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, Buddhist dignitaries, philanthropists, playwrights,dramatists, journalists, servicemen, sculptors and sportsmen but also an unpresident number of personalities who later represented the country's highest legislature like the House of Representatives, the State Council and the Parliament. There were MPs, deputy Ministers, Ministers, Prime Ministers and also a President.

 

A distinguished old boy of Royal College, the late Junius Richard Jayawardene became the very first Executive President in Sri Lanka. President Jayewardene can be regarded as the only old Royalist Parliamentarian who excelled in both sports and studies as well. During his days he represented both the College Cricket and Rugger teams.

 

Sir John Kotelawala was also a product of Royal College. The name of the present Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will also be written in the history of Royal College as the third Royalist to become Prime Minister.

Apart from Sir Richard Morgan, the first Ceylonese to be a member of the Governor's Executive Council in 1863, Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam, Sir. Ponnambalam Ramanathan and Sir James Peiris were some of the other distinguished old Royalists who became parliamentarians in this country. Some of the prominent Parliamentarians produced by Royal College during 1950s were Sir Razik Fareed, Dr. Colvin R. de Silva, A. Ratnayaka, E.A. Nugawela, P.B. Bulankulame, R.G Senanayaka, A.P. Jayasuriya, T.B. Panabokke, H. Sri Nissanka, Wilmot A. Perera, G. Arthur de Zoysa, J.A. Martenze , Dr. V.R. Schockman, Cyril de Zoysa, Justin Kotalawela, P.B.G Keuneman, Sydney de Zoysa, Anil Moonasinghe, Felix R. Dias Bandaranaike, Gamini Jayasuriya, G.T .Kapukotuwa, George Rajapaksa, S. Nadesan, Lalith Atulathmudali, Dinesh Gunawardena, Indika Gunawardena, Cyril Mathew, Tyronne Fernando, Anura Bandaranaike and Dr. Ranjith Atapattu.

Principal Gomez said that this is the very first occasion that the staff members, old boys and the present students of Royal College will get to-gether and honour a section of old Royalists who are representing the country's highest legislature, the Parliament.

 

Royal felicitation to old Royalists

by Ananda Kannangara - Daily News - Feb 12 2002

 

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe speaking to a large number of students, old boys and well-wishers at Royal College, Colombo last morning said that he was impressed to arrive at his alma mater and said that education at Royal College immensely benefitted him to reach the present position as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

He made these observations at a ceremony held at Royal College, Colombo to felicitate 21 distinguished old Royalists in the Parliament of Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe an old Royalist was the chief guest on the occasion. The ceremony was held in the J.R. Jayawardene pavilion.

Mr. Wickremesinghe said "the Government's main objective is to resolve the Northern conflict and bring a lasting peace to all ethnic groups which will immensely help the country to prosper socially and economically.

"We are now discussing the possibilities to bring a concrete solution to the ethnic conflict by initiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to govern the Cessation of Hostilities.

"Provisions to install the most important independent commissions too will be tabled before the Parliament shortly and bring confrontational politics to an end," he said.

Mr. Wickremesinghe also said that Government would provide infrastructure facilities and day to day requirements of all people in the country and steps have already been taken to supply food items to the people in the North and East.

Mr. Wickremesinghe also assured that the country's collapsed economy will be revived very soon and the education system too will be developed.

Human Resources Development, Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku said that Royal College provides a better education to children in the country and the objective of the Government is to give a similar education to children of all other schools.

 

Principal H.L.B Gomes said that he was very happy to receive the old Royalist Parliamentarians including the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and said that their arrival has brought courage and strength to the students of Royal College.

Secretary of the Royal College Union Capt. Ajith Peiris requested the Principal Royal College Mr. Gomes to introduce the English medium at Royal College from Grade one for the benefit of a large number of students who are taking the leadership of the country tomorrow.

 

He said the "Royal College Union continuously supports Royal, its principals and staff in providing facilities and maintaining them. Therefore, we believe that Royal College and Royalists could get a better deal from our contributions and the old Royalists will get better satisfaction for their investments, if there is an autonomous management body in place at Royal, while maintaining the status quo of Royal being a Government school.

 

Royal College brought me to this position  ó Ranil - Island Feb 13 2002

by Kalinga Weerakkody


"I have received a mandate from the people at the most difficult time in history since independence. They had handed over Sri Lanka to me hoping a greater, better future and a better country than the time I took over which needed a clear leadership to overcome the heavy burdens vested on the people by various parties. I can succeed in my mission only with the support of all communities in Sri Lanka including the people living in Northern and Eastern parts of the country, said Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday at a ceremony organised by the Old Boys Association of Royal College Colombo in collaboration with the staff to felicitate the Premier and other distinguished old Royalists who had been elected to the 12th Parliament which was held at the J. R. Jayewardene pavilion.

 

Royal College laid the red carpet to receive Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He was received by the Principal of Royal College H. L. B Gomez.

The Premier was then conducted by a dance troupe to the J. R. Jayewardene pavilion by the old boys and staff of Royal.

Wickremasinghe who addressed the old boys and present students of Royal College said "today we are engaged in a process of governing the nation with our rivals. Currently we are discussing the possibility of a memorandum of understanding with the help of the international community to ensure support and to continue to back the territorial integrity of the nation".

 

He further said "Also we have to look into the other substantial issues like the ways and means of developing the collapsed economy, re-establishing democracy, de-politicization of government institutions and to establish media freedom. To build a better and stronger society this process could be started from the education institutions such as Royal as well as from the other 10,000 schools in the country.

 

The task ahead of us is to give similar priorities to all spheres which would enable us to achieve the society of our dreams and to resolve the on going war".

 

In conclusion the premier said "We have returned to the school of our fathers. We have learnt of books and men and have learned the way to play the game".

 

"Royal College had showed the way for our fathers such as Anagarika Dharmapala, James Peiris, Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, Ponnambalm Arunachalam, Sir John Kotelawala and late J. R. Jayewardene.

We have all learnt history, politics, literature and fiction and its here that we all learnt discipline to become a Royalist and give leadership in the country.

 

If I had not been educated in this institution, I would have not been in this position. On behalf of all Royalist parliamentarians I express my thanks to the (OBARC) and to the school.

 

Itís a great honour to be invited for a Royal College assembly and I would like to thank the principal and the staff who made this possible".

 

Royal College Principal and Minister of Education Karunasena Kodithuwakku addressed the gathering. The Vote of Thanks was made by the Secretary of the OBARC Captain Ajith Pieris.

 

Royalist turned MPís Tyronne Fernando, Ravi Karunanayake, Dinesh Gunawardena, Lakshman Kiriella, Dilantha Perera, Rauff Hakeem, Sagala Rathnayake, Kabir Hashim and Gayantha Karunathilake were also present at the ceremony.

 

Royal College Hostel

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