He bore no malice to anyone
R. Arunthavanathan
My association with retired Senior Superintendent of Police R. Arunthavanathan began in October 1948, when we joined the Sri Lanka Police Force as Sub-Inspectors.
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.

His eldest 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 executive posts.

Despite Aru 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 of Nirvana

J.A. Bandaranayake
Retired DIG

He was a man among men
Haleem Ishak
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.

The balance 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.

During 1977-1988, 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)

Omar Kamil
Ambassador for
Sri Lanka in Iran

Memories will live on
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

His selfless service will be remembered
M.S. Seenithamby
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.

Mr. Seenithamby 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 methods.

M. Thambipillai

She guided all
Thalatha Gunasekera
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 and Polgasdeniya.

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.

Thalatha was 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

Her pleasant 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.

Chitra safeguarded 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 this fact.

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.

The humanism 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.

Chitra subsequently 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 in 1975.

Although Chitra 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.”

Dr. Sudatta Ranasinghe

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