The prize-giving of ‘The Light of Asia’ contest conducted by the Colombo YMBA will be held on October 18. Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva will grace the occasion as the Chief Guest.
Cultural and literary activities have been part and parcel of the programmes of the Colombo YMBA from its inception. In 1925, under the leadership of Herbert Stanley, the Governor of Ceylon, the late D.N.W. De Silva, inaugurated ‘The Light of Asia’.
This contest which requires the recital of verses from Sir Edwin Arnold's classic "Light of Asia" and an explanation in English has been held continuously with a brief interruption during the war. This contest which was thrown open to non-Buddhists a decade ago has attracted many talented students.
This year over 1,300 students from all over the island, including Kandy, Kurunegala, Kegalle and Gampaha have taken part in the contest, which was open to girls and boys in the age group of 8 to 21 years, irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds and religions.
Five finalists each from 12 groups will be awarded trophies and cash prizes.
The overall winner of the 12 finalists will be awarded the D.N.W. De Silva Challenge Trophy donated by Sidath Sri Nandalochana in memory of his late father D.N.W. De Silva, along with a cash prize of Rs. 25,000.
Those who win first place in each group will receive a trophy and cash prizes of Rs. 1,000. The other winners below them too will receive cash prizes. These prizes were donated by well-wishers and members of the Board of Management of the Colombo YMBA.