Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 29 May 2016





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A poor man’s rich deed

Ekanayake Mudiyanselage Kapurubanda, a simple man representing the lowest strata of society, showed the entire country recently, how rich even a poor man could be. His wealth was not in hard cash, neither was it any wealth that a burglar could lay his hands on – his wealth was a heart made of gold.

Ekanayake Kapurubanda, an exemplary man

Watching on TV the gut wrenching images of those who wailed and mourned over the shocking and dizzying deaths of their loved ones – the bodies of the young and the old buried alive in the Aranayake and Bulathkohupitiya landslides within a matter of seconds, the 55 year old found himself speechless. Tears rolled down his cheeks, blurring the images on the TV.

His wife, Sandya Kumari, did not object, when he bared his mind to her. She and their two daughters gave their blessings to his wishes to donate the land he had acquired with hard earned money, working many years as a bricklayer, travelling from place to place on his bicycle.

A man who had had a formal education only up to Grade 7, Kapurubanda was an example to the whole society. While the media constantly highlighted reports of politicians merry making in disaster struck areas, exploiting the situation to milk more votes, handing away other people’s relief parcels, Kapurubanda quietly walked over to the village temple, Padeniya Raja Maha Viharaya, and disclosed his wishes to the chief incumbent of the temple.

He wished to donate three acres of his nine acre land to build houses for the landslide affected.

By a stroke of luck, the District Secretary of Wariyapola, K.M.H.K.Jayalath was at a meeting with the chief incumbent Ven.Katumuluwe Sumanarathana thera when Kapurubanda arrived at the temple. The District Secretary was amazed at his offer but promised to help Kapurubanda.

Kapurubanda was a devout Buddhist and a member of the Dayaka Sabha of the temple.

Home front

Kapurubanda, his wife Sandya Kumari, daughters Ireshika and Tharushika with the chief incumbent of Padaviya Raja Maha Viharaya, Ven. Katumuluwe Sumanarathana Thera and District Secretary, Wariyapola, K.M.H.K. Jayalath (Pix: Nandawathie Pathiraja)

Even though a commoner, struggling to make ends meet in his home front, he was convinced that there were others who could make better use of his land. Parts of the land had coconut and teak plantations and had all amenities, including electricity. His property today may have shrunk by three acres but an entire country appreciates his generosity. The first report of his selfless deed appeared in facebook posts.

“I have two daughters. And I will split the balance six acres of my land between them. It is more than enough for us.” he told the Sunday Observer.

His elder daughter, Ireshika Kumudukumari has completed her GCE A/L examination and is following an IT course at the Wariyapola Tehcnical College, while the second daughter, Tharushika is a Grade seven student at Padeniya Sunanda Vidyalaya.

“ I felt so sad when I saw the affected people on TV. Tears rolled down my eyes. There was no other way for me to help these people. I decided to donate my land to the government so that the affected need not go back to the perilous areas again.”

Kapurubanda, with his family, handed over the deed of his land to the District Secretary on Thursday at the Padeniya Raja Maha Viharaya in the presence of Ven.Sumanarathana thera.

The District Secretary said Kapurubanda showed noble qualities through his act.

It is not clear if the disaster struck people from Aranayake and Bulathkohupitiya will want to come all the way to Wariyapola to begin a new life, but the District Secretary has given his word that Kapurubanda’s effort and his good intentions will not go waste.


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