bore no malice to anyone
My association with retired Senior Superintendent of Police R. Arunthavanathan
began in October 1948, when we joined the Sri Lanka Police Force
Aru, as he was affectionately known was a few years our senior in
age, as he had been employed earlier for a couple of years as a
trainee technical officer in the Irrigation Department, having attended
St. Joseph's College, Colombo.
His first posting
as a young SI was to Galle and Aru proved to be a terror to kasippu
dealers, gamblers and bookies. He broke all records in getting the
most number of good entries in the first year of service. It was
at this time that Aru met his future wife, Sita Windsor, in Galle.
She was a teacher and Buddhist worker and it was her influence that
made their six children Buddhists. Aru was also given a funeral
according to Buddhist rites and customs.
son, Ravi joined the Sri Lanka Air Force and is now an Air Vice
Marshal. The other three boys also did excellently, Niranjan becoming
a chartered automobile engineer. Suvindran, an aeronautical engineer
with Sri Lankan Airlines and Indran, franchise manager in an Australian
firm. Not to be outdone, daughters Gowri and Mayuri also hold senior
being transferred to various parts of the island and later going
to Oman, he and Sita guided their children correctly. Aru was a
gentleman par excellence and good friend who bore no malice towards
anyone. The large gathering at his funeral, held with Police honours,
was testimony to the esteem in which he was held. To Aru's family
we extend our heartfelt sympathies. May you obtain the supreme bliss
He was a man
The passing away of Haleem Ishak, a politician of distinction, on
September 24 brought sorrow to thousands. Mr. Ishak began his political
career on being elected to the Colombo Municipal Council as a member
of the Kuppiyawatta East Ward in 1962. He was the only SLFP member
elected to the CMC.
46 were from other political parties. Although the Kuppiyawatta
East Ward has a cosmopolitan population, Mr. Ishak was able to win
the election comfortably. Thereafter, he was re-elected twice in
1966 and 1969 until the council was dissolved in 1977.
In the parliamentary
election of 1977, when the UNP won a landslide victory, Mr. Ishak,
contesting on the SLFP ticket, was elected from the multi-member
constituency of Colombo Central as the third MP, coming ahead of
veteran politician Pieter Keuneman.
when the SLFP was restricted to eight members, Mr. Ishak never failed
to express his views without fear or favour. An outstanding quality
of Mr. Ishak was that he never failed to acknowledge and commend
the development being undertaken by the CMC in the Kuppiyawatta
East Ward when I represented it from 1979 to 2002, first as a Councillor,
Deputy Mayor and then Mayor.
Mr. Ishak served
the people irrespective of their political affiliations during his
four decades of public service as a Municipal Councillor and later
parliamentarian. His son, Haniffa continues the good work of his
father. He too served as a Municipal Councillor (1991-2002) and
is now the party organizer.
The large gathering
of mourners at the funeral of Mr. Ishak was ample testimony to the
affection and admiration they had for him. Mr. Ishak was man among
men. Inna Lillahi, Wa Inna-Illaihi-Raji-Hoon (From Almighty Allah
we come, and to Him we go)
Sri Lanka in Iran
T. Razik Sappideen
It is with sadness that I write about the sudden loss of a dear
friend and relative, Razik Sappideen. Friends and relatives have
wonderful memories of a person who always helped them in their need.
I got to know
him after my marriage to his niece, Fathima. When he was Drug Stores
Manager at Cargills in Fort, I visited him. He worked like a human
dynamo. He was a simple and humble person despite his vast knowledge
and experience. He undertook every task with a serious commitment.
After he lost
his wife in June 1987, he brought up his two children Richy and
Ricky. Ricky, the second son predeceased him under tragic circumstances
ten years ago, but despite this tragedy, he carried on enduring
his agony with courage. He played a prominent role in organising
social programmes to mould Malay youth in his area, Hunupitiya.
It was a privilege
for me to have met a truly great person from whom I got valuable
advice, such as "Learn to be independent" and "Stand
on your own two feet".
May Allah grant him Jannathul Firdouse!
T. Nisham Nassar
service will be remembered
Although eight years have lapsed since the death of M.S. Seenithamby
of Vathiry, Karaveddy, memories of him are still fresh in the minds
of those who knew him well.
Mr. Seenithamby was Principal of Thevaraiyali Hindu College, Karaveddy
from 1954 to 1979. This college which catered to the backward sections
of society witnessed unprecedented development in its infrastructure
and education standards under his stewardship. His selfless service
paved the way for such development.
paid special attention to the teaching of English, as he felt it
would help the children to overcome the shackles of social discrimination.
At that time, the study of English was the privilege of affluent
children who attended popular schools.
Mr. Seenithamby himself took part in the teaching, introducing innovative
She guided all
Thalatha Gunasekera was born on July 17, 1937, in Illanganthilaka
Walauwa, Hanguranketha, Kandy. Her father was the late P.B. Abeykoon,
Health Inspector and former cricket captain of Kingswood College,
Kandy. Her mother was the late Mrs. Leela Illanganthilaka. Thalatha
studied at Hillwood College, Kandy. She played tennis for her school
and was a good piano player. She started her career as an English
teacher at Zahira College, Gampola when she was 18 years old.
She had four
daughters and one son and as a single parent gave all the guidance
they needed. When she moved to Colombo her doors were always kept
open to her relatives who came from Boyagama, Hanguranketha, Matale
She had many
proud moments in her life when it came to her children. Her eldest
daughter Nadeeka was a popular actress, Yamuna was selected as Miss
Sri Lanka in 1989 and represented her country for the Miss Asia
Pacific pageant in Manila and the youngest Vidhya had many achievements
in sports and later joined SriLanka Airlines as a cabin crew member.
never a burden to her children but assisted them in many ways. She
moved in with her youngest daughter later in life. She had many
adoring grandchildren who called her "Atthama". She was
never lonely. All her neighbours, fellow film and teledrama artistes,
singers (specially Latha Walpola) and fans adored her. She was a
good mother and friend, respected by all.
May she attain Nibbana!
A family member
voice will be heard no more
Chitra Kumari Yapabandara
Chitra Kumari Yapabandara, a Sinhala announcer of the Sri Lanka
Broadcasting Corporation for almost two decades, passed away on
September 24 after a brief illness. As a broadcaster, the commitment
Chitra displayed towards her job, at times surpassed her concern
for her own health. She was loved by many not only because of her
pleasant voice and charming personality but also due to her concern
for the welfare and development of fellow broadcasters.
the quality of radio programmes and tried her best to improve them
in terms of content as well as the style of delivery. Her preparations
before the programme "Sonduru Sevana" bear testimony to
At times, Chitra
acted as the voice of the Sinhala announcers when matters had to
be represented to the management. She was honest and forthright
and did not hesitate to express her views. This earned her the respect
of the management.
she carried throughout her life as a devout Buddhist was amply demonstrated
in numerous deeds that I am aware of, as her life's companion for
nearly 27 years.
I met Chitra
when she was an undergraduate at the then Vidyodaya University of
Ceylon in the early 1970s. She caught my attention as a member of
the chorus of Professor Sarachchandra's "Maname" when
the play was brought on stage after a lapse of a few years by veteran
dramatist Dhamma Jagoda.
trained herself as a drama artiste by joining Jagoda's Ranga Shilpa
Shalikawa. Chitra's short career as a stage artiste reached a climax
with the play "Taksala Nadagama" in which she had the
lead role as the Princess. The play won the award for the best production
retired from her loved profession in 1998 due to ill-health, she
continued her involvement with radio until her death. Her understanding
of Buddhism gave her courage to face death.
A note she wrote
a few months before her death, which was distributed among those
who attended her funeral carried her last message: "Do not
waste your great sensual virtues as a human being. Be mindful and
righteous if you wish to make your journey in samsara a short one.”