Concerns Regarding Guru

Inward Letters 3
Inward Letters 2
Inward Letters 1

Outward Letters


Support for Guru from foreign STC Branches



Old Thomians in UK have rallied round and already sent funds (i.e £ 2200) to improve conditions at Gurutalawa. It is heartening to note that it is not only Old Boys of Guru who have been moved to lend support. Several Old Boys of the Branch Schools and Mt.Lavinia too have felt that it is a cause worthwhile supporting. In fact several Night Toilets for the boys of Keble have already been constructed and are being used. Keble houses the Primary Students of Guru. This support came immediately on the heels of funds sent by Ladies College Colombo to successfully complete the construction of the toilets and washrooms etc for the use of the Girls who are Boarders and who are housed in the new Dormitory named after Ms.Blanchard who was the Music Teacher when most of the members of the STCG 62 Group were students at S.Thomas College Bandarawela when it was known as S.Thomas’ Preparatory School Bandarawela.

It is hoped that Old Thomians in UK will continue to lend their support towards all the Developments activities at Guru.

The STCG 62 Group will continue to coordinate activities, monitor progress and keep the donors informed of development activities at Guru.

We sincerely appreciate the support given by the Old Boys in UK.



The above Branch has resolved to send Canadian Dollars 2500 to Gurutalawa to improve their Internal Telecommunication System.
The funds are expected to be delivered in person by their Representative in early July. All the Guru Old Boys who are members of this Branch have relentlessly pursued their campaign to collect funds and have been successful in their efforts. It is heartening to note and appreciate the support given by Thomians of other Branch Schools to this effort. It is hoped that they will continue to keep in touch with the Headmaster as well as the local Branch and render further assistance in the months to come.

Prasad Jinasena (1967-1971) is co-ordinating activities in Canada with us. The STCG 62 Group will continue to coordinate activities, with Prasad, monitor progress and keep the donors informed of development activities at Guru.

We sincerely appreciate the support given by the Old Boys in Canada.


S.Thomas College Gurutalawa Support Group in Australia

The above group has been formed within the STC OBA Australian Branch due to the untiring efforts of Retired Planter Peter Weerakoon (1947-1953) who whilst in Sri Lanka recently visited Guru and saw at first hand the pathetic conditions prevailing and the efforts and progress being made towards revival.

Already members most of whom are Old Boys of Guru and a few others who are well wishers having strong links with Guru have rallied round in order to support Guru in the revival effort now being piloted under the stewardship of the current dynamic Headmaster Rev.Marc Billimoria, who is himself an old boy of Mt.Lavinia.

Any Old Boy of Guru or of any other Branch School, interested in joining the Gurutalawa Support Group could get in touch with Peter Weerakoon through his email address, i.e peterweerakoon@astron.net.au or his home address.10A Evans Avenue, Hampton East Victoria 3188 Australia.

Jim Connor (1960-1962) from Western Australia had agreed to coordinate W.A. for the Group. Aruther Jayasundera (1953-1959) had volunteered to Coordinate Queensland. It is hoped that an Old Boy from New South Wales will come forward to coordinate from that end.

Initially the effort is to collect funds towards sports activities which have been neglected for a long period of time. This will include attention to Sports Infrastructure plus Equipment required for the different disciplines. Over and above that the funds are to be utilised towards securing the services of competent Coaches or Trainers and for the grant of additional allowances to masters whose services will be harnessed in this connection.

It is intended to remit the funds to the College through the local OBA so that there would be closer co-operation between the branches concerned and College on the one hand and also to ensure that the donors are kept informed of the progress being made and successful completion of whatever project that is taken in hand
It is also relevant to mention that the STC OBA Branch of Australia have themselves remitted Australian Dollars 1500 towards the cost of refurbishing the Night Toilets of the Senior Dorms.

The STCG 62 Group will continue to co-ordinate activit ies, monitor progress and keep the donors informed of development activities at Guru.

We sincerely appreciate the support given by the Old Boys and well wishers in Australia.


1. Mr.P S Duleepkumar of the pioneer batch of Old Boys of 1945 has sent us the following note:in Sept 2007.-

“ Dear Lakshman,

Glad to see you back in the saddle.The change that hs now taken place for the better is primarily due to the 62 Group and your leadership role in it though it has taken time governed by its particular dynamic.

I shall certainly help as best as I can but after my severe Dengue attack I get tired easily.

There is one reservation I must mention and that is there is an official website and it will be unseemly to be in competition with it.So it will be good if the official website gives news while your site deals in the kind of thing you refer to in reflectionsEtc.and the expression of views like the letters to the Editor column.ie Comment.
For starters I am sending you an amazing bit of infor mation For inclusion.
I have already sent a copy to the Head with whom I am in close touch.

"" Dear Uncle Duleep,

I ran across an interesting tidbit of information which I thought might interest you as well. First let me give you bit of background information. The most commonly used coin in the US is the 'quarter', which as you probably recall from your visit here is the 25 cent piece. Over the last few years the US mint has been producing new quarters in a series that represents each US State, with some State information on the coin including the year that the State joined the Union and the State motto. The coins have been released in the order in which the different States joined the Union, so that now we're just getting to some of the most recent States.

Today I chanced upon a shiny new quarter representing Idaho which was granted 'Statehood' in 1890. Well, the State motto happens to be "Esto Perpetua". Out of curiosity I did a web search to see what would come up for this motto, and I got a link to Wikipedia. (Are you familiar with the online encyclopedia project?) The link actually mentions St. Thomas' and also has a separate entry to St. Thomas'. I've appended the link
here for your perusal:


We can speak more on Wikipedia later if you're not familiar with it.

Hope you enjoy the reference and note that you can update the information there if you choose.



Esto perpetua
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Great Seal of Idaho with the state motto "esto perpetua."

Esto perpetua (Latin "Let it be perpetual") is the state motto of Idaho. It was also adopted by the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, a farm organization constituted in Washington D.C. on December 4, 1867.

The words are traced back to the Venetian theologian and mathematician Paolo Sarpi (1522-1623), also known as Fra Paolo. The day before his death he had dictated three replies to questions on affairs of state, and his last words were "Esto perpetua" reportedly in reference to his beloved Venice and translated as "Mayest thou endure forever!" When the designer of the state seal Emma Edwards Green described the motto on the seal, she translated it as "It is perpetuated" or "It is forever".

It is also the motto of St Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka, and is translated as "Be Thou Forever."

( The seal has not come out but no doubt you can acess the information direct
and reproduce it with Our own Crest. You may also inform the Web about

Guru, its ReLationship to Mount, feed in gaps in information Etc.)
I have also Suggested to the head that on the strenght of a common Motto
We could try and establish contact with a Good University in Idaho State so

That our students could go there on some favoured Scholarship basis for Higher

Studies if they are so inclined.My nephew would be able to recommend one of the better Universities.

Warm regards,
Yours Sincerely.
P.S Duleepkumar”


Mahen Ranasinghe, our Chartered Engineer working with Vidya Silpa who educated the distinguished gathering at our Fellowship Dinner on November 24,2001 how to structurally alter the anatomy (in song of couse) now, completely, rejuvenated has in missives to the highest in the land offered professional advise on :-
a) Power cuts & Electricity charges,
b) Environmental Hazards,
c) Development of Micro Hydro Systems for Remote Villages

We reproduce same below for the benefit of all. This is what he says in his letters :-

A. To Mr.Karu Jayasuriya, The Honourable Minister of Power & Energy on January 10,2002 with copy to the Hon.Prime Minister.

On Power Cuts and Electricity Charges

"I understand that the CEB is planning to increase the electricity charges, in the near future, to cover the loses made during the last Government. I consider that the consumers should not be penalized for the losses made due to malpractices and bad management of the CEB, in the last several years.

As an engineer involved in developing micro/mini hydro power schemes in Sri Lanka, I have the following suggestion to stop the present power cuts and prevent increase of electricity charges.

As you may be aware almost all large factories, (mainly tea and garment) hotels, banks and large buildings have their own generators for use during power cuts and power failures.

These organizations could be asked to use these generators at all times, so that an enormous saving of electricity could be made from the national grid in this hour of need. It will also solve the problem of finding the money in these difficult days, to buy more generators to meet the demand.
T promote this proposal you may offer compensation in the form of a deduction from future bills, based on the saved consumption for the CEB. Of course this offer should be a genuine one and it must be implemented properly.

Too give an example, take a tea factory which has an average consumption of 40Kw per hour working 16 hours a day. If we take 100 tea factories, the saving to CEB would be 40x 16x 100, which is 64,000 KW per day.

There are hundreds of factories etc, and the saving would run in to hundreds of MWs. I recommend that immediate action is taken to implement this proposal to give the Sri Lankans the badly needed comfort of non stop supply of electricity."

B. Mr. Rukman Senanayake,

Hon. Minister of Environment and Natural Resources On January 22,2002 with copy to the Prime Minister

On Environmental Hazards

"Sri Lanka is faced with several environmental disasters and I am writing this letter to bring these to your urgent attention.

The biggest disaster we are facing today is the extensive use of polythene for decorative purposes. As you are aware, all political parties used it heavily, during the last elections. It is getting worse everyday with all welcome celebrations, religious functions, funerals etc. using polythene indiscriminately.

Polythene is not biodegradable and can cause irreparable damage to our soil. Several countries have already banned the use of polythene, after realising the harmful effects of it. I strongly recommend that immediate action be taken to do the same in Sri Lanka. It must be implemented before the forthcoming provincial elections, for obvious reasons.

Furthermore the public should be made aware of this menace and facilities should be provided to discard polythene bags, bottles etc. in a proper manner. Environmental studies at all levels of education in schools should include this subject and the theory taught should be put into practice.

Another area that concerns me, is the use of hilltops ,rocks , roads, trees, electricity and telephone poles etc. for political advertisements during elections. If you drive along any road these days you will realise what an eyesore these advertisements are and the damage it has done to our environment .I suggest that action is taken to remove all these advertisements and the political persons responsible in each area should be instructed to do so through the provincial, urban and village councils and the police. Laws should be brought in to prosecute anyone advertising in this manner, if the present laws do not cover it.

My next concern is the destruction of our beautiful waterfalls in the name of generating much needed electricity. Sri Lanka boasts of having the largest number of waterfalls in the world. We have already lost three of them, to my knowledge ,viz , Puwakmal Ella and Alipita Ella in Deraniyagala area and Diyagala Ella at Watawala due to mini hydro projects developed in the recent past. I understand that approval has been given for a similar project at Peak Falls near Maskeliya. With the latest announcement that the Upper Kothmale Project will now go ahead, seven water falls including the most beautiful Devon and St.Claire are expected to be destroyed. While appreciating that we must make use of every water resource, to generate much needed electricity, I consider that our natural beauty of the country which attracts tourists from all over the world, bringing in much needed foreign exchange should be protected in every way possible.

I suggest that the waterfalls in Sri Lanka are gazetted and protected, in the same way as the rain forests like Sinharaja.

I trust that you will take urgent action to address these issues."

C. Mr.Karu Jayasuriya, Hon. Minister of Power & Energy on January 22,2002

On Development of Micro Hydro Systems for Remote Villages

"I am an engineer recently returned to Sri Lanka to manage the construction of the biggest private hydro power project in Sri Lanka near Kahawatta. I am also involved in developing new mini/micro hydro power projects in various parts of the country, in addition to refurbishing and upgrading of existing hydro power facilities in tea estates ,through the above Company.

A few weeks prior to the last general election, I happened to visit Weddagala, the last village before entering Sinharaja forest reservation, in the Kalawana electorate. The main or probably the only income for most of these villagers is from selling water bottles and soft drinks dipped in cold water to tourists visiting Sinharaja. This too had been a non-event in the last few years ,due to lack of foreign tourists , in the country.

There is no electricity to this village and I found that almost every house has a little water stream flowing by the side or nearby. Every house in this village can be given electricity through micro hydro power schemes, thereby improving their standard of living, while saving much needed foreign exchange spent on kerosene for lighting.

I discussed this possibility with the villagers and I was advised that various officials from the last Government worked against it when some individuals from the village attempted to develop their own scheme. I brought this to the attention of late Mr.Gamini Atukorala and with his blessings I advised the villagers that I would return to Weddagala and develop the hydro power resources if UNP was given power at the elections. Now I wish to keep that promise and I am confident that I can find the funds to develop the micro/mini hydro schemes there, to give the villagers the luxury of electricity, while maintaining the environment. I consider that such a development is best carried out with the participation of the villagers , thereby transferring the technology to the unskilled and semi skilled persons in the village for design, construction and maintenance. This could be taken as a model village and many other such projects are possible in the hill country ,to improve the standard of the poor villagers and saving foreign exchange spent on kerosene , at the same time.

I decided to advise you of this proposal to receive your comments and assistance as the Hon. Minister of Power & Energy and a very practical and hardworking person, from what the people say.

I am also copying this letter to the Hon. Prime Minister for information and the Hon. Minister of Environment and Natural Resources for assistance needed in overcoming the bureaucracies involved in implementing the project.

I should be grateful if I am given the opportunity to explain this project further
" Mahen has sent these on to us on February 13,2002 to be shared with you. With persons of this calibre we can certainly revive the OBA and College.

Recent Newspaper Reports indicate the present Minister and his Team of Officials appear to be giving serious thought on the lines suggested by Mahen.

About us
Reports and Recommendations
Newsletters & Circulars
Articles / Memoirs / Reflections
News of Old Boys
Gallery of Events
Notice Board / Calendar
Contact us


Mahendra Liyanage who has been in touch with us regularly has sent this interesting contribution on February 14,2002 for the benefit of Cricket Lovers, on Cricket, and its Double Standards vis-à-vis our Spinner, Murali as articulated by Sunil Gavaska:-

"His feat has not been recognized adequately MUTTIAH MURALITHARAN'S incredible feat of capturing 400 wickets in Test cricket in the fastest time, as well as his being the youngest to do so, has hardly received the recognition it should have, even in the sub-continent where he belongs.

By now we are all aware of the duplicity of standards of the so-called developed world, but to find the hangover of the complex still persisting in the sub-continent is disappointing to say the least. Surely, if Murali had been of a lighter skin color there would have been reams of newsprint and electronic news media coverage of the event.

Shane Warne crossed the 400-wicket mark by playing more Tests than Murali had done and he was also a few years older than the off-spinner at that time. Yet he is called the greatest spinner of all time. Warne, on two tours to India, has had landing trouble as the Indian batsmen have repeatedly gone down the pitch to him and hit him to all parts of the ground, even against the spin. If any batsman tries doing that to Muralitharan, he will find himself back in the pavilion. The Indians are such good players of spin bowling, but even they have not been able to master Muralitharan whose flight, loop, spin and bounce make him the hardest bowler to attack in modern cricket.

The reason why the number of Tests taken to capture 400 wickets was brought up was simply because when we talk of batting the benchmark has always been Sir Donald Bradman. It's not just his phenomenal average but the frequency of his centuries that is truly mind-boggling. I remember being asked when I scored my 30th century how it felt to overtake Bradman's record. It was an understandable enough question in a cricket-mad country like India. But I had to put things in erspective and tried to make the questioner understand that only if someone scored 30 centuries in 52 Tests (which was what Sir Don played) it would be a record.

Anything else would only be a statistical achievement. Unfortunately, the developed countries' thinking is duplicitous for they use the number of Tests parameter only when it suits them. So when Kapil Dev went past Richard Hadlee's 431 wickets the media there was highlighting that he took more Tests than the New Zealander did to go past the mark. The same people today are pretty silent when Murali has taken 400 Test wickets in lesser Tests and at a younger age than all the others from the developed countries. The kind of disparaging articles written about Kapil Dev in New Zealand and the ridicule he was subjected to by some commentators, who had not bagged even a quarter of his wickets, leave alone having his skills, was a reflection of the duplicity that is so much a part of the developed world when it comes to achievements by the developing world.

They will always find some excuse to show that their achievements are better than those from the developing world. I recall another interesting happening when after a poor tour of Australia I was asked by an Australian journalist, "Now that you have failed in the Tests would you call yourself a great batsman?" Taken aback by the query, because I had never ever bothered to grade myself, I did manage to ask him why he asked that question. His reply was, "Since you didn't score on hard, bouncy pitches you cannot be called a great batsman!" "Fair enough," I said, though I did not care to inform him that on my previous tour to Australia I had three centuries against Jeff Thomson and Co on the same pitches. But I did tell him that if the criterion for a great batsman was to score on hard, bouncy pitches then by the same token the criterion for a fast bowler to be called great should be him capturing wickets on slow pitches. He agreed with that, but when I queried whether we should then call Dennis Lillee a great fast bowler because he had taken just a couple of wickets on the slow pitches of Pakistan, he said, "No, Dennis is an all-time great fast bowler. That was just a bad series for him." Of course, there were the other usual excuses like food, conditions and umpires thrown in as well.

Unfortunately, 20 or so years down the road this duplicitous attitude is still there as can be seen by the way Muralitharan's feat has been virtually ignored. Even more unfortunate is the fact that in spite of seeing these double standards we still allow these ignoramuses to use the space in our media to write the rubbish that they do. Guess, mindsets do not change easily. They will have the same set of notions from their great grandfathers' time and we will continue to believe that whatever drivel they write is still the gospel truth.

Nevertheless, it is time to rejoice at the wonderful achievement of a truly wonderful ambassador of the game. The big wide eyes, the smile, the mind ticking as the fingers send the doom ball to the batsman make Muralitharan the greatest spinner of all time. His superlative fielding is a bonus. It's easy to turn the ball from leg to off for wrist spinners, but to get the ball to turn from off to leg for finger sinners is one of the hardest things in the world. Murali does it regularly on the flattest of pitches where once off spinners could not turn the ball an inch and then blamed the make of the ball.

Well done Murali! You are truly a special cricketer and the greatest of spinners.

Mahendra Liyanage has also on February 02,2002 sent this Humourous Mathematical Calculation, and logical deduction cum conclusion or definition (Sri Lanka Version) of being OVERWORKED ? although he does not vouch for the accuracy of the statistical information!! "For a couple of months I've been blaming it on lack of sleep and too much partying. But ....I'm tired because I'm overworked. The population of this country is 18 million. 8 million are retired. That leaves 10 million to do the work. There are 6 million in school, which leaves 4 million to do the work. Of this there are 1.5 million unemployed, leaving 2.5 million to do the work. Take from that 1,180,000 people who work for government departments and that leaves 1,320,000 people to do the work. 480,000 are in the armed forces, which leaves 840,000 to do the work. At any one time, there are 179,000 people in hospitals, leaving 661,000 people to do the work. At the moment, there are 660,998 people in prisons. That leaves just two people to do the work. You and me. And you're sitting at your computer reading jokes - No wonder I'm ____tired! " Thank-you Mahen. We hope all who visit our site enjoy your contribution of which we are going to be the first benefactors.