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
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
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
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
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 P.de 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.
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.