Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 11 October 2015





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

 Book REVIEW  

132 pages of excellence

Book: St. John’s College,
Nugegoda – Hundred years of
Author – Jagath C. Savanadasa
Format – Coffee Table Book

You need to give it to the man, my friend Jagath C. Savanadasa. Reading this book leaves one deeply impressed. The effort he had put into it, the easy flowing language and cohesive manner in which it is presented and the beauty of the printing simply leaves one dazzled.

The story begins with the Kingdom of Kotte in the 15th century, moves on to the colonial period covering the eras of the Portuguese, Dutch and the British. The British occupation of the island, which lasted 150 years followed by the long spell of missionary education, takes space in the book. Earlier, the impressions of the Dutch rule in terms of the network of the Canals specially in Colombo, their Architecture and culture beside Roman Dutch law are touched upon adequately. The book also shows a research orientation. All throughout the publication, the socio-economic growth and advancement of Nugegoda and to a degrees this country are dealt with.

Incidentally, such developments according to the book first appeared some 500 years ago during the reign of King Parakramabahu the IV when a primitive form of exports began, the two main products being Cinnamon and Arecanut. The literary achievements of the great era, which led to the writing of ‘Salalihini Sandeshaya’ much admired over the centuries have been highlighted.

There is a beautiful picture of the Kotte Rajamaha Viharaya at the beginning of the publication as well as reference to the abiding faith of Buddhists to their religion and of their attachment to the Temples – a classic characteristic of Buddhist life since ancient times.

There is a large picture of the Rev. John Henry Wickramanayake, the founder of the original institution of mixed gender. It was located in the church of St. Mary & John, Nugegoda.

The author does not fail to refer to the counter active development of Buddhist education following the arrival in the island of Colonel Henry Steel Olcott and his pioneering endeavour in the establishment of leading Buddhist educational institutions in Colombo, Kandy and Galle.


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