The Thomian fraternity was present in strength at the Mt. Lavinia Cemetery to pay their last respects to Pramukh Weerakoon.
The S. Thomas’ College Warden, Sub-Warden, Headmaster, staff, students, as well as the 1st X1 cricket team, the prefects, and fellow schoolboy sportsmen, were all there to say farewell and observe the Thomian last rites.
Most of the schoolboys were in tears, and many struggled to control their emotions. The Weerakoon family stood composed and dignified in the face of this heartbreaking time in their lives.
As close friends of the Weerakoon family, my family and I too grieve over the loss of this wonderful young man.
Pramukh bravely fought his losing battle with cancer without shedding a tear, worrying his family, or seeking sympathy. The Thomian grit prevailed. Despite his illness, he studied hard and passed his GCE Ordinary Level with flying colours – a great achievement.
Pramukh was a good and obedient student, a loyal Thomian and a committed junior cricketer.
He was confident of returning from hospital to represent S. Thomas’ in cricket.
He never missed a school match. A Thomian cricketer of national fame told me he once saw Pramukh watching a cricket match all by himself. Pramukh introduced himself, and said he was committed to playing for S. Thomas’, despite his illness. That is the rare calibre of the boy we have lost.
Pramukh would join his father, my dear friend Sarath Weerakoon who played cricket for Royal College in the 1970s, for walks on the beach. Pramukh’s mother, Niranjalee, is a niece of (Dr.) U. R. P. Goonetilleke, who played cricket for S. Thomas’ in the 1950s.
Pramukh comes from a family that boasts several generations of Thomians, and is closely connected to the Thalgodapitiyas of Trinity College, Kandy.
The Weerakoon family will feel this tremendous loss for a lifetime and beyond.
Sarath and Niranjalee gave Pramukh the very best in life, including holidays abroad. When Pramukh fell ill, they left no stone unturned in their efforts to give him the best medical attention available in Singapore.
Pramukh’s maternal uncle, Ranil Goonetileke, Treasurer of the S. Thomas’ Old Boys’ Association, was often in Singapore, despite his busy schedule, to be with Pramukh and his parents.
We will remember Pramukh with the greatest love and affection.
Many will wish to meet Pramukh in Samsara. However, the merit Pramukh gathered in this life will help him attain the Supreme Bliss of Nirvana. My heartfelt sympathies go to Sarath and the Weerakoon family. May they be given the strength to accept a loss that words cannot describe.
You were exceptional.
R. P. M. Hettiarachchi