7th May 2000

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Work on Kelani Valley line begins

The construction of the Kelani Valley railway has begun. The terminus of the line has been fixed on the left bank of the Kelani river opposite Yatiyantota.

Planning began in July 1897 when the cost was estimated at Rs 57,546 per mile or Rs 2,877,000 for the whole line from Colombo to Atulugama with an extension to Yatiyantota and a branch line to Ruwanwella. The branch line was abandoned later.

The annual profits from the railway line is estimated at Rs 150,000.

The Kelani Valley is a light line of 2 ft 6 in gauge (as against 5 ft 6 in on main track lines) and is for the benefit of the planters in the tea country directly east of the capital.

(Note: The Kelani Valley line was opened to Avissawella, 36 3/4 miles in 1902 and completed to Yatiyantota, a further distance of 11 miles in the following year. Later it was extended up to Opanayake).

Grant to Vidyodaya Pirivena

Director of Public Instruction, S. M. Burrows reports that a sum of Rs 1,000 is being paid annually by the Government to the Vidyodaya Pirivena in Maligakanda towards its maintenance. The Pirivena is exempted from the provisions of the grant-in-aid system of payment on results at examinations.

He states that the Vidyodaya Pirivena was established in 1873 (by Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumanagala Thera) to afford facilities for the study of higher branches of oriental literature. The course of study embraced Sanskrit, Pali and Sinhalese languages in addition to Arithmetic.

He adds that the Pirivena is under the management of the High Priest H Sumangala Thera, "an admittedly competent oriental scholar". He names the examiners in 1900: Pali - High priest Subhuti Thera; Sanskrit - R Dhammananda Therunnanse; Classical Sinhalese - Simon de Silva, Mudaliyar; Arithmetic - R de Silva, Muhandiram.

Europeans only

The headmaster of St Edwards School, Nuwara Eliya, a first grade school for the sons of Europeans only, announces that the school provides sound elementary education and prepares children for English public and other schools, and Ceylon examinations.

The staff comprises excellent English graduates and others. Drill by a military instructor. Athletics including cricket, football, tennis and croquet and shorthand & book-keeping are included in the school curriculum. An experienced lady teaches the smaller boys.


The ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica, completed in 1889, is offered at a special price to residents in Ceylon. A limited number has been reserved. The publishers' prices for the 25 volumes are given: Cash payment prices: Cloth binding - Rs. 275; Half Morocco Rs. 330; Full Morocco Rs. 450.

A revolving bookcase is available for an additional Rs. 70.

Monthly payments can also be arranged at Rs. 20 per month. Payment can be completed in 15 monthly instalments for cloth bound volumes and in 18 and 25 instalments for the half and full Morocco respectively.

Orders to be made to H.E.Hooper, 7 Victoria Arcade, Colombo.

-Media Man

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