Archive for December, 2008


Dr.C.W.W.Kannangara is regarded as the Father of Free Education in Sri Lanka.

Christopher William Wijekoon kannangara wasborn on October 13,1889 at Randombe, a suburb of Ambalngoda. His father was John Daniel Wijekoon and his mother was Emaly Wijesinghe.

He had his primary education at Wesleyan High School, Ambalangoda and then he had his secondary education at Richmond College, Galle as a free scholar.

Dr. Kannangara was an eminent Sri Lankan educationist who rendered a great service for the development who rendered a great service for the development who rendered a great service for the development of education. He brought about several reforms in education. He brought about several reforms in education. He became the Minister of Education in the Legislative Council in 1923. He realized that the existing education system was not suitable to fulfill the needs of the society. He wanted to make some amendments in the system. In order to achieve this objective, he submitted an Education Reform Bill in 1938.

He saw that the society was divided into two groups under the then education system, as the English educated and vernacular educated. He wanted to give an equal education to all irrespective of wealth or other reasons. The concept of Central Colleges was Dr. Kannangara’s greatest contribution to the development of education. The first Central Colleges set up under this programme were at Minuwangoda, Veyangoda, Akuramboda, Matugama, Weeraketiya, Kattamkudy, Ibbagamuwa, Dickwella and Marathugoda. By 1944 there were 22 central Colleges. This number was increased up to 50 by 1946. He is a national hero who paved the way to both urban and rural children to receive free education.

Dr. Kannangara also realized that some people could not afford to send their children to schools because of the poverty. In order to overcome this problem, he introduced a system of scholarships. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dr. Kannangara, the Father of Free Education.

Written By Lasantha Jayanath.

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The people of Sri Lanka have inherited a great culture and a civilization. Archaeological evidence exists to prove that Sri Lanka has been populated for over 3000 years. There is also confirmed archaeological evidence to say that in about 800 B.C. the Sinhalese had settled down in the citadel area in Anuradhapura with a highly developed culture.

There are many places of historical and cultural importance. Lot of ruins can be seen at these places. Some of these places are Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Yapahuwa and Panduwasnuwara. We should protect the remains of these ruined cities because they are the monuments that symbolize the great past of our country. We can imagine the skills and talents of our ancestors through these buildings, structures, and images. We should preserve them for our future generation. One day they too will look at these monuments with pride.

Buddhism has not only molded the lives and thoughts of the people, but also has served as the chief source of inspiration to the cultural and social achievements of the nation. During the long and eventful history the island was subject to numerous foreign invasions. But our people were able to protect almost all the objects that were of cultural value.

We have many traditional arts and crafts. We should protect them. In cities like Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa we can see huge stone pillars, Buddha Statues, Moonstones, Guard stones and ruins of ancient Dagabas. These cities have become very popular places of tourists. We should never forget our traditional customs and practices. We follow these customs at our National festivals such as Sinhala and Hindu New Year and lndependence day celebrations. We should pass on these customs and practices to our younger generation. We should make them aware of the value of such customs and practices.

We should also protect aesthetic arts and clothing native to us. It is said that a race could be identified by their dress. We should were such clothes at important events, cultural festivals and religious ceremonies. We should give priority to our traditional music. But today most of our youth have compelled to respect Hindi and Western Music. This is a very sad state of affairs.

Written By Lasantha Jayanath
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