Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 28 February 2016





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Brig. Dharmasiri Samarakoon Gopallawa Kempitiya

My best friend, Dharmasiri Samarakoon Gopallawa Kempitiya (USP, ato,Rtd) passed away on Tuesday, February 28, at the Military Hospital in Colombo.

He was ailing for some time due to a terminal illness. I was shocked when my wife, Mallika conveyed the news to me.

Kempa joined Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala in 1964 and was in the hostel with me. His ambition was to join the Army as a cadet officer. Kempa was a brilliant cartoonist. We used to draw swords, guns and fights of legendary stories which were much appreciated. As a sportsman, Kempa was very strong, clever, ambitious and courageous.

Both of us were trainees at the junior cadet platoon and he told me one day, “Atu, I’ll become an Army Officer some day” and I knew he would achieve it.

He was an all-round sportsman. He played football for the college team as an extreme right player. He was an athlete and champion wrestler.

In 1965, he became the champion at the All Ceylon Wrestling Meet. He was a jovial and good-hearted person, loved by all.

During the holidays he stayed at my home for several days, enjoying bathing in the tank and drinking kurumba.

I visited him several times when he was ill. He phoned me, one day saying that his daughter should get married to someone from a Kandyan family and wanted me to find a suitable partner.

I convey my heartfelt sympathies to his wife Swarna and two children. May he attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana.

Lakshman Atugoda

Sithy Riwa Singhawangsa Latiff

Wangsa (Aunty) as she was fondly called passed on to her heavenly abode on February 11, 2016 and was laid to rest on the February 12 which date if the creator had so willed would have been her 80th birthday.

A complete life of a noble Muslim lady – a Moomin-by the highest standards, she led an exemplary life and Allah rewarded her with so much love and respect from all who knew her as that which befitted a queen, for she was really fit to be a queen as she was born to a clan with royal blood line.

A proud heritage and pedigree of the bluest blood.

She married her cousin of the same bloodline in 1956 and had six children – the eldest who passed away at infancy and five of whom are living. Her husband, Haji (uncle) as he was fondly called, predeceased her a while ago.

Their ancestors were the royal Javanese exiles banished to Ceylon in the 17th century by the Dutch. She was born and raised in the lap of luxury.

After marriage while maintaining their ancestral ‘Manor’ home she travelled around with her husband who was in public service.

My close association with her was shortly after she was widowed. She grieved silently for her beloved husband but took it in her stride and went ahead in deep faith with the pluck and courage that was characteristic of her noble lineage. My family and hers’ were closely associated for generations.

Her five children, their spouses her grand-children and her two great-grandchildren adored her.

All their friends, her employees, relatives and anyone who came to her at any time of need never went away disappointed.

This great lady was a rare human being who was ever so often described as a living saint, by so many, even her own family.

They respected and loved this great lady as the patrician-matriarch of the Singhawangsa-Latiff clan.

She and her husband together have taught and handed down the most noble of traditions and values to their offspring and their descending generations as her children have so often displayed.

Her eldest son hit the news headlines, not so long ago in Sri Lanka!

Her funeral spoke a million words as the numbers who came to pay their respects from all walks of life came to pay homage to her for the last time!

May Allah grant you Jennathul-Firdhouse with your princely husband and siblings who predeceased you.

Goodnight great ‘Queen’ may the angels sing you to rest. I am honoured to have been called friend by you!

Dr. Raihana Cassim – Dean

Darling Roshika

You have not really gone away
We feel your presence every day
We hear you speak and laugh with glee
At every turn, your face we see
Your footsteps follow us everywhere
Death does not part it reunites
You still dwell in our hearts and minds

And always will till the end of time
We try to be brave and hide our sorrow
Smile through tears and face to morrow
We know life has to go on somehow
But without you it won’t be the same so me how

Lord help us to carry on each day
And cope with whatever comes our way
We love you, we miss you and always will be
Fondly treasured in our memory
We will meet in heaven above

United in God’s divine love
Affectionately remembered and missed by

your grand parent s
Dennis Pappa and Chrissie Mamma.

Gajaba Perera Gunewardena

One of Sri Lanka’s best known management specialists and trainers, Gajaba Perera Gunewardena passed away after a brief illness on February 22 2016.

An honours graduate in Public Administration from the University of Sri Jayawardenapura, he was active in student affairs and was Secretary of the students union.

He started his career as a sub editor for the Aththa newspaper and later worked for the World University Service (WUS) Sri Lanka.

After completing his MSc in Management Learning from the University of Lancaster, he worked at NIBM from 1990 to 1996 as a management trainer, consultant and lecturer.

He later worked as project director and senior consultant for several donor projects including the Fisheries Sector Development Project, Road Sector Assistance Project and the Port City Project.

He was also a lecturer for the MBA program at the University of Colombo. Known for his sharp wit and insightful presentations, he was a very popular trainer for numerous private sector training programs. His funeral was held on Wednesday, February 24 and cremated at the Welisara Burial Grounds.

He leaves his wife Dr Indrani Gunewardena (Retd Director, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development) and daughter Harini who is a student at the Centre For Professional Studies.


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