From rural background to public service: A destiny mapped out

The launch of Path of Destiny: Autobiography of a Farmer’s Son by Jayatissa Bandaragoda

Path of Destiny: Autobiography of a Farmer’s Son- the story of Jayatissa Bandaragoda who served the Sri Lanka public service as a DRO and retired as a secretary of the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction was launched earlier this month at the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration ( SLIDA)

Among the distinguished guests present at the launch were Shelton Wanasinghe (former director of SLIDA) , Gamini Wikramanayake ( former secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration), Erik de Silva ( former director of SLIDA and former secretary to Ministry of Education), S. Godage (Chairman of Godage International publishers (Pvt) Ltd), Abeykone Bandara (secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration) Vinita de Silva (the author’s aunt), Somapala Gunadheera (former secretary to the Ministry of Aviation who joined the author in lighting the traditional oil lamp.

Path of Destiny describes how a person born to a rural setting made rapid strides along his school and work career paths to fulfil his goal which is why the author titled his autobiography Path of Destiny.

Tissa Devendra (former chairman of the Public Service Commission), Mrs. Kusum Atukorala (chairperson of Lanka Jalani), K. C. Logeshwaran (former GA Vavuniya and former member of Police Commission), Lakshman Perera ( Chartered accountant and former managing director of a private sector company) and Shelton Wanasinghe spoke on the book.

“The autobiography is a realistic representation of village life” commented Mrs Atukorala whilst Mr. Logeshwaran felt it was a book that “will light up the path of the young who will draw inspiration from his life.”

Mr. Wanasinghe appreciated the simplicity of language and the style which he found to be absorbing and Mrs. Atukorala in her speech referred to the book and to the author himself and at times the joint interest they have in water and leading research.

Mr. Godage officially presented the first copy of the book to Mr. Bandaragoda. Proceeds of the author’s share from the sales of books will be channelled to the Jayatissa and Jayanthi Bandaragoda Foundation- a family trust established by the Bandaragoda family.

The main objectives of the foundation are to assist students in critical financial need to pursue their studies at a university level, to assist needy patients and the disabled elderly.

Tony hits a six with cricketing book

By Lenard Ranjith Mahaarachchi

Sri Lanka, the island that knows nothing but cricket and elections –there isn’t a day sans one or the other or both is currently gripped by World Cup fever. For sports fans in general and cricket crazy men and women in particular, veteran film and TV star Tony Ranasinghe still the matinee idol of millions who has shone in the firmament of films for nearly five decades, has compiled a book on cricket.

A sports lover since his school days, Tony is presenting to the Sinhala reader who has no easy access to the internet to browse through cricket’s past, all the cricket records covering the ten editions of cricket’s showpiece The World Cup. I was happy when Tony asked me to write a review of his cricket book which I am sure would be a best seller soon.

Tony Ranasinghe

Browsing through his cricket edition, one finds all the past records in detail of all the matches played from 1975- the year of the inaugural World Cup, including score cards, bowling and batting details and even the man of the match records et al. The book is like a mirror before you with all statistics. Past games come alive as you read through.

“Loka Cricket Kusalana Puranaya” is the title of the book in perfect Sinhala as Tony is one of the member of the Hela Havula who are sticklers for perfect style of writing in the mother tongue. He has taken lot of pains to trace all the past records and details of statistics which otherwise would be history.

Tony and I played cricket like any schoolboy of today. We styled our team the MCC, after the Englishmen’s club in England. Our acronym was for Modera Cricket Club and at week ends we engaged outside teams. Our skipper was the late stylish Josephian batsman Tissa de Soyza. With Tony as vice captain, we had Vincent Vaas, the father of the ace Sri Lankan pacie Chaminda Vaas. I was a weak member of the team, but our interest in week-end school games of the time was far from today’s genre.

Coming back to Tony’s book, he has received support from some local cricket greats like D. S. de Silva, Anura Tennekoon, Duleep Mendis, Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayewardene and current skipper Kumar Sangakkara. Cricket lovers will be thankful to Tony for editing a book on World Cup editions one to nine, which makes simple reading for the Sinhala reader.

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