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Sunday, 31 March 2013





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Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda celebrates centenary year

Historical annals on the Education in Sri Lanka reveal, that during the colonial era there were more than 800 Christian Schools while there were only 3 Buddhist Schools in Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon. The serious undermining and discriminatory attitudes of the British colonial administrators on the Buddhist Education coincided with the arrival of Colonel Henry Steel Olcott in the island at Galle harbour accompanied by Madame Helena P. Blavatsky on May 17, 1880.

Colonel Henry Steel Olcott ventured in an undaunted manner in the revival of Buddhism, Buddhist Culture and Buddhist Education in the country along with a team of renown national leaders comprised both Buddhist clergy and laity.

Dharmasoka College in Ambalangoda came into existence with humble beginnings in an era of transition when the civil society leaders had been inspired by the work on the revival of Buddhist education in the country under the leadership of Colonel Olcott and his Sri Lankan counterparts.

During the colonial administration there were two Institutions of Education at Ambalangoda. One was in the precincts of the Randombe Church known as “Wesley College,” and in addition there was another school known as “The Buddhist English School” in the middle of Ambalangoda town.


In 1894, the Buddhist English School was handed over to the Buddhist Theosophical Society (B.T.S.) The administrators of the Buddhist English School had already commenced the construction of yet another school building in a cemetery belonged to Liyanage Walawwa at Ambalangoda but the completion of the building was held up half way due to lack of funds.

A retired government servant and a philanthropists called Mudliar Santiago Thomas de Silva of Ambalangoda who was inspired by the rapid transition taking place in the country on the revival of Buddhist Education spent his own money to complete the school building.

Before the completion of the school building, Mudliyar Thomas de Silva had started an Educational Institution at the Station Road, Ambalangoda town with 15 students.

In 1913 there was a case filed against the construction of the school building in the cemetery but the case was won by the Mudliyar. In 1914 both schools started by Mudliyar Thomas de Silva were joined together as one School and registered as Dharmasoka College which later developed as one of the leading Institutions of Education in the country. The founder of Dharmasoka College, Mudliyar Thomas de Silva became both its first Principal and the Manager while N.B. Wimalsuriya became the first Head Master.

Mudliyar Thomas de Silva passed away on April 10, 1929 after serving 25 years as the principal and since then Dharmasoka College was managed by the Sugatha Sasanodaya Sangamaya under administrative officials the late S. Kularatne, Dr. M.H. Saddasena and L.C de Silva all of whom were parliamentarians who represented Ambalangoda electorate.

In 1961 Dharmasoka College was taken over by the government .

Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda is considered one of the premier Institutions of Education of excellence in the Southern Province. Since its inception in 1913 Dharmasoka College has produced an innumerable number of Intellectuals of the highest calibre, erudite Scholars and Professionals who excelled in every sphere and enjoyed prestigious positions both in Sri Lanka and abroad. In tune with the motto of Dharmasoka College , Vidya Dadathi Vinayan just like its pioneers of the past , the previous principals and the present principal M.G.O.P.Panditharathna , both present and past members of the tutorial staff and the student community of the college strived hard to make vast strides in every sphere , both academic and extra curricular activities while maintaining the highest standards of discipline.

Founder principal

Since the founder Principal Mudliyar S.Thomas de Silva from 1913 up to the present principal Panditharatna, more than 12 principals had rendered their services to bring Dharmasoka College as one of highest educational institutions of the country.

It has produced 16 parliamentarians, more than 20 Medical and nine Legal luminaries, several Administrative Service Officials, one Inspector General of Police (IGP) Artists and several national cricketers who had brought credit to the country.

In the arena of Sports of Badminton, Cricket, Table Tennis and Swimming, Dharmasoka College rarely has been defeated and always tried to maintain its prestigious position . Over the years several students have represented Dharmasoka College in International Sports Events. The Centenary Commemorative Years of Dharmasoka College began in 2012 and ends this year.

To facilitate the celebrations of Dharmasoka College centenary, an Action Plan has been launched with the participation of the Main Old Boys’ Association, Past Pupils’ Association, Colombo Branch and the Junior Old Boys’ Association. A Trust Fund of Rs. 1,000,002 was formed for the development of every facet of the college.


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