5th December 1999
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  • Keep the traditional dance alive
  • She served Visakha well


    Keep the traditional dance alive

    "Preserve the traditional dance forms of Sri Lanka - don't let them die" is the plea from Kalasuri Vajira in a noble effort to save traditional dance. 

    This is a call to young men who are interested in dance, to join her and be part of the effort to save our dance forms from extinction. The traditional dance of Sri Lanka is dying mainly due to the dearth of male dancers who are imperative for its preservation.

    Vajira,Sri Lanka's original 'prima ballerina' and a choreographer of international repute, is trying desperately to stall the degradation of our dance forms and preserve them for posterity. In a heartfelt plea to the public she states. . . 

    "I want to offer myself in the effort to keep the traditional dance forms alive for our future generations to appreciate and partake of. It is very sad to see what our ancestors have created and developed over many generations, deteriorating so badly. It is even sadder to see some of the good dancers of today being influenced by external styles that lead to an adulteration of our traditional forms. In an effort to stall this ever-increasing fad, I have decided to train any male dancers genuinely interested in dance as a career, free of charge. Many opportunities are available to good dancers for travel abroad, both in the private, as well as in the public sector. Male youth without permanent employment and others who are talented and interested may apply. 

    "The requirement is that they must be over 5'4" in height and be able to attend classes daily. Please apply with all personal details to 'Kalasuri Vajira, 11, School Lane, Nawala'.

    Vajira hopes to create a fund with the help of her former students and other supporters to provide students in need with at least an allowance for travel to and from classes. She also seeks the support of any individual and also organisations, that may be willing to help in this endeavour and requests that they contact her.

    She served Visakha well

    Mrs. Merci Nalini Edussuriya, the retiring Principal of Visakha Vidyalaya, a lady with professional commitment and outstanding educational and managerial capacities not only adorned the headship of this premier girls' school, but also gave the students and teachers a dynamic and exemplary leadership. 

    Visakha Vidyalaya of Colombo, being a premier Buddhist school has a history of 83 years, of which Mrs. Edussuriya rendered an unprecedented service as the eighth principal for 11 years. She is a member of the Sri Lanka Educational Administrative Service, Class I and at the time of her selection as the Principal of Visakha, she was the Principal of Sangamitta Balika Maha Vidyalaya, Matale to which she rendered an invaluable service after her post-graduate education in the United Kingdom. 

    She assumed duties in the new post with confidence, courage and determination to continue the great traditions and status of this prestigious institution, to satisfy the expectations of parents and pupils. She displayed her capabilities and leadership qualities as an academic and also a professional in the field of education. Her daily routine began with religious observances and was an inspiration for the students. This was followed by a monthly poya-day programme with a Buddhist sermon and meditation at which all in school willingly participated. The annual Vesak Poya "Seela programme'' conducted on her initiative was an event that received the co-operation of student and parent alike.

    She also kept up the tradition of holding the annual Founder's Day celebrations with dedication. She and the teachers saw to it that the girls of Visakha appreciated and followed the ethics and values inculcated by the late Mrs. Jeramias Dias, the founder of Visakha. 

    Mrs. Edussuriya is frank and out spoken in all her dealings. She no doubt is a great leader and educational manager. It was her untiring efforts that brought about a high degree of achievement in public examinations. She also took a keen interest in extra curricular activities of the school. The gymnasium was set up due to her efforts.

    Her dedication was such that, during her many years Visakha, she had not taken a single day's leave. 

    She has rendered an invaluable service to Visakha and should be honored by the State.

    We wish her a long, healthy, happy and peaceful life after retirement, with the blessings of the Triple Gem.

    R. Wickremasinghe
    School Development Society,

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