“Motivation” – Ariya

Motivation enriches the ability

Once was a young boy who came for school soccer practice regularly
Everyday his pa used to accompany him and ‘watched’ the game avidly
Though the boy never made to the team his father sat through patiently
The day of the first competitive match neither the boy nor the father came

Four days later knockout stage boy arrived and pleaded with the coach
Insisted how important to have a place in the team to impress his dad
As his ability did not match the rest of the team the wish was denied
With a determined face the boy pledged today he would win the match

He insisted intensely to be included and desire to win the game for his pa
Teacher exclaimed, ‘your father came everyday and knew you did not play’
But boy’s pleading was so much finally teacher relented him into the team
The boy played very well and won the match, was judged as hero of the day

Pleasantly surprised by the unexpected turn around of the little fellow
Teacher asked as to what was different that day for his improved display
The boy with tearful eyes said his blind father died three days ago
From above now he is watching with divine eyes how his son would play



Advice from Ariya

“Healing power of a smile and a kind word”

Benevolence, altruism and compassion
Are words imbibed with qualities divine
For an individual or a society to thrive
The start often, is a well meaning smile

When one speaks or writes something of value
Should avoid using profanity like ‘the plague’
Profanities do not reflect strength or manliness
But inadequacy of vocabulary and lack self control

Of three actions, speech, deeds and thought
We express our feelings, mostly by speech
Do not let a word come out of your mouth
Before it is well chewed and tested in mind

Once put out, a word good, inert or obscene
It gathers momentum to become a heavy load
How well meaning one’s thoughts may be
His stature is built, on deeds and words

Our mind and the body are interdependent
Healthy mind is the precursor of a healthy body
Learn to like to do things necessary, then what is possible
Soon you will be doing, ‘what could have been impossible’

Use the word ‘thanks’ more often and mean it
The recipient will not only hear, but feel it
If you see a face known or not well known
Greet wholeheartedly with a radiant smile

Smile with a friend is strengthening the bond
Smile given to a stranger, you earn a new friend
To smile with your adversary may be the hardest
But would be the corner stone of ending the conflict

A well meaning ‘Thank you’ is all one needs to give
To fill the heart of the receiver with joy and love
Being appreciated is a desire not only of a human
Lovable pat on the back is valued, even by a brute

Ariya thoughts



Have you wondered why some never reach their goals?
While others do surpass them, with consummate ease
Why some are frustrated with reversals and failures
While others continue to succeed with hardly a crisis

Anyone who has accomplished, anything worthwhile
In sports, academia, business, music or even in politics
Had always done proper planning, due care and discipline
One who sets forth without discipline ends up trailing

I want a disciplined driver in my train when I am travelling
I want a trained navigator at the helm in my ship cruising
Lack of self-discipline, primary cause for poor performance
Discipline separates well-mannered from social delinquents

Discipline aids self-control which avoids distractions
None can concentrate, on a job without good discipline
Staying focussed is vital to accomplish even a simple thing
Accidents are uncommon among people who are caring

Of course discipline is hard work but mistakes are pretty painful
Discipline makes one mindful, astute could prevent errors awful
Good planning and discipline do always go well, hand in hand
‘If one fails to plan, it is certain that he is planning to fail’.


To Live within Dhamma and the correct side of Law – Ariya

Values Good or bad has no bearing on one’s creed

‘Na jatta vasalo hoti na jatta hoti btahmano
kammana vasalo hoti kammana hoti brahmano’
(vasala sutta)

1. Good values are the doings right, done for the right reason
Not a task to avoid a future blame nor to construe a gain
But to fix the course of the future, a worthy contribution
A selfless act made purely for benefit of a being or a nation

2. No person should ever be honoured for what he had amassed,

But for what he has given or left behind to improve the world

Good people just silently pass away, they do not perish or die

For good deeds done, their names, for a long time will survive

3. A child usually is born crying, the kinship invariably would cheer,

At his demise, not he, but kith & kin, would cry missing him for ever

If the life lived was generous and of value, no reason to be crying

For the positive difference he made the world should be rejoicing

4. People often awaits till the passing away of an individual to weep

Recollect acts of kindness received from him, now lying in the box

Loud praises nor lamentation unheard, he is now permanently deaf

What good is it for him, will soon be resting six feet deep, for ever

5. Value is in the deed and not in the owner nor in his creed or clan

One’s gains should be results of honest work, thorough and clean

Like wood apple fruits tusker eaten, inherited gains are hollow

Knowledge without character is ugly, tend to end up in sorrow

6. Pleasure without conscience, commerce without morality

Are not great but sins, akin to the science against humanity

It is a deception and not democracy, Politics without principle

A religion should have clarity not a mystery leading to turmoil

7. Our values we learn when young, from what we see and hear

Mainly from parents we watch and follow, the closest teachers dear

What is taught and learnt mostly during the formative year

Becomes basis of thoughts, speech and deeds, if evil, can be dear!

8. When faced with a situation unsure of the impending action

Which could lead to either wholesome or a grave repercussion

There is a simple test I use, learnt and practiced in childhood

Never failed easy to execute & is called (MAT) ‘My Amma, Test’

9. When a thought came to my mind before I speak or take action

Instantly, I used to check it in my mind, if mum would approve it,

If it belongs to a group, which would make mum unhappy or sad

I would abort that thought, so no unruly words nor unholy deeds

10. Now that I am matured enough to develop a rational state of mind

Can gauge my thoughts and would forerun the speech or deeds

I have a ‘stencil’ cut, with holes shaped Lobha, Dosa and Moha

Thoughts get examined, wrongs aborted and live in dhamma frame



I shall be lone Rhinoceros ………..Ariya

Dear Sam,

As we have become senior citizens

Gruesome and bitter facts, not able to cope

Are the shrinking of the circle of good friends

And the loss, one by one, of close relatives
Nature though can be wonderful and joyous

Keeping with the sayings of the great sages

Takes away one by one our closest and the most precious

Composed few verses to rid my frustrations

Of course uninvited we came to this world, alone

Are aware, have to do the journey back the same

As it gives so much pain at the time of parting

Why do we make life so hard to everyone by bonding?

‘Letting Go’ is the teaching, but one of the hardest to follow

As we make connections, aspirations and accumulations

Even for a split second when not mindful, do build up links

But a time would come for everyone to break links and vanish



Click below,


“Worst Did Happen” – Ariya



The worst did happen, what we feared the most
Willingly Brits have chosen a path of distraught
Fooled by myopic vision and words uncertain,
Downgraded stature and wealth of Great Britain

Xenophobic views having taken root
The darkest day we feared the most
Has dawned in Britain, once called Great
They have voted themselves from the EU out
Union of Europe, certainly is not a bed of roses
Yet to appreciate fragrance of beautiful flowers
Must be diligent to overcome weeds and thrones
For Anger with face, only fools will cut their noses
Instantly the value of Sterling has plummeted
‘Triple A rating’ rumoured, already threatened
Rash monstrous decisions taken by the masses
Produced fears that GB may break into its parts
The IRA is making wild noises to re – unite Ireland
Scots are clamouring again to get them separated
Great cities in England , expressed divergent views
One foolish move triggered violent seismic damages
To accentuate the sadness and to make matters worse
Prime minister, who was bold enough to go to the masses
Trusting their judgement to put the country before emotion
Had to resign due to the decision of an unsympathetic nation






Strange but True

(Reference a letter to Lancet i , 35, 1875) Unusual method of Conception


“A real son of a gun”

[ File # csp5807529, License # 2512912 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / MelleFrenchy

On the 12th May 1863, a bullet fired in the American civil war by the confiderates is said to have hit and carried away the left testis of of one of Grant’s soldiers.

The same bullet went on to penetrate the left side of a young woman who was ministering to the wounds of the injured soldiers.

Two hundred and seventy eight days later, while she, firmly insisting on her virginity, gave birth to an 8 lb (3.6 kg) boy. (a son of a gun!)

On close inspection before the delivery the hymen was intact.

Three weeks later , Dr L G Capers of Vicksberg, was called to see the boy because of a swelling of his scrotum.

He operated and removed a smased and battered ‘minieball’. He concluded that this was the same bullet that had hit the testis of the ‘father’ , thus carrying sperm to the mother and fertilizing her ovum. He approached the soldier and related the story, later introducing him to his son’s mother.

The beauty of the story is the two formed an attachment to each other and married, later producing three more siblings to ‘the son of a gun’ by conventional means.

This is not a yarn from me though I am a retired Obstetrician But quoting Records and Curiosities in Obstetrics and Gynaecology by Fergusson, Taylor and Watson, Publised by Bailliere Tindall, 35 Red Lion Square, London WC 1 R 4 SG


Good or Bad one does, may Come Back

Good or bad

What we do to others,

Sooner or later

We get the same back


There once was a farmer

Who sold butter to a baker

The baker felt his butter

Was gradually getting smaller
So one day he decided to weigh the butter

Suspecting there was foul play

When he realised he was short chained

To village head, the farmer was reported


The farmer was asked to explain the short fall

He said, sire, I am not educated but a simple man

I have a scale to weigh, but do not know to use weights

But I am sure, I have not done any wrong, to be a culprit


Long before I started to make butter

I have been buying bread from the farmer

Since daily he sells me a pound of bread

I used that loaf to weigh a pound butter


So the village head to test this tale

Asked the baker to produce the loaf of bread

Though bread weighed less than a pound

The weights of butter and bread were the same


Golden Reunion Musings

DSC_9801 copy A Beautiful Friendship

A candid picture would say thousand words

Will try to interpret those, in spoken English

These two buddies met, after five long decades

See the glow and happiness in both their faces

One is pretty sober and the other none has been ever sure

Comparing notes how they spent, their glorious yesteryear,

‘Machang I graduated from toddy and pol,

To Whisky Black label and Chivas Regal

 My life since has been a walk in the park, marvel’

Second MB, Third MB and the exam Final with ‘toddy and pol’

Never were easy, now imbibe in Whisky, brain cells work very well

So my advice to you, beloved pal is to follow my lead it would be swell


Yes ‘machang’ you were the ‘Guru’ we admire since ‘Block days’

Taught us how to go through a glass door severe the Ulnar nerve, no sham

Change the writing hand from right to left, brilliantly pass the 2nd MB exam

and who else could do that even with a barrel of ‘babycham’

You were the joy of the batch and were a thrilled to be with you at Bloem,

Our mentor for truancy, our source of joy, creator of mayhem

during those awful days of signatures revises and exams

You were the leading light , hence will gladly take today your advice

Ariya – RU 64 October 2014


CWW Kannanagara – Father of Free Education


CWW Kannanagara – Father of Free Education

( Recently published article by Ariya in “NewsLanka” weekly news paper in London)

“Skill is a marvellous thing. It can adorn a humble man as much as it graces a king. The poorest can acquire skill through hard work and constant Practice, which a prince may not acquire despite much coaching” (Maha Baratha)

Full many a gem of purest ray serene – The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear Full many a flower is born to blush unseen – And waste its sweetness on the desert air. (Thomas Gray – elegy)

Early Life

Christopher William Wijekoon Kannangara (CWW kannangara), ‘The Father of Free Education in Sri Lanka’ was born on October 13th, in 1884 and passed away on 23rd September 1969.

His father, John Daniel Wijekoon was a Fiscal officer attached to the Magistrate court Balapitiya but lost his job causing enormous financial difficulties to the ‘Kannangara family’.

In fact, in later life Mr CWW Kananagara, addressing a gathering of distinguished men had remarked ‘I do not think, anyone else here knows about poverty as much as I do. Sometimes we only had one meal a day and slept on mats’.

Though his father recognised the intellectual brilliance of the prodigious young son, he could not afford to send him to an Elite school and sent him to a Wesleyan Missionary School in his village, Randombe, Ambalangoda, (Southern province)

Undaunted by the difficulties and the ‘abysmal hand’ he had been served, young Kannangara impressed his teachers and peers with academic brilliance and impeccable discipline. When he was in Grade 5, at annual prize giving, Kannangara collected about fourteen prizes. This accomplishment and his mannerism, immensely impressed the chief guest, Rev. Darell, who was the principle of the Elite institution of education in the Southern province, Richmond College, Galle.

Rev. Darrel pleasingly remarked in view of young boy’s brilliance, ‘son you will need a cart to take all your prizes home’. As the saying goes, ‘a gem cannot be hidden for long,’ CWW Kannangara was given a chance to sit for a Richmond College Foundation scholarship exam. to study as a resident student at Richmond College Galle. Excelling in Mathematics he won the scholarship, an award for free board and lodging at Richmond College.

This benevolent encounter became a fortunate turning point, not only for young Kannangara also of the future of education of Sri Lanka.

Richmond College at that stage was meant exclusively for the rich and Kannangara had to face many difficulties and embarrassments from his peers at the school.

However, Kannangara’s brilliance was not limited to studies; he played cricket and soccer and in 1903 captained Richmond College First XI and played for Galle Cricket Club as well. He was also a member of the school soccer team and won Richmond College Colours for both sports in 1903.

In addition young Kannangara was a very fine orator and an actor and became the captain of college the debating team as well.

Though poor in wealth, he was a gifted child not only in the academic and sporting prowess, he had the determination and tenacity to reach high, overcoming obstacles.

He carried away the largest number of prizes at every prize giving during his tenure at Richmond and also held the prestigious position as the ‘Head Prefect’ of the college.

In 1903 he passed Cambridge Senior examination and was placed in the first division obtaining the highest marks for Mathematics. Having superseded all other candidates of the British Commonwealth, brought honour not only to Richmond College but to the entire country and tears of joy to the eyes of his great mentor, Rev. Darrel.

Young Kannangara would have never known that experiences gained as a poverty stricken child in Richmond College would induce in him such determination and valour to battle so valiantly for free education for us all, later in his political life.

Professional life

Rev. Darrel invited Kannangara to join the tutorial staff and teach Mathematics at Richmond College, which he duly obliged.

When his ‘God Father’ Rev. Darrel passed away suddenly in 1904, Kannangara could not bear the grief and moved out of Richmond to join Prince of Wales, Moratuwa. Later joined the tutorial staff of Wesley College, Colombo, where Sir Oliver Goonatilleke was one of his pupils. Having moved to Colombo he had opportunity to study further and attended the law college and qualified in 1910 as a lawyer.

He returned to Galle to establish his law practice and stoutly defended innocent people, without receiving any remuneration. who were accused and arrested by the colonial regime as involved in the unfortunate 1915 riots.

Entering into politics

CWW Kannangara joined as an active member of the Temperance movement which was initiated by patriots, F R Senanayake, Sir Baron Jayatilleke, Arthur V Dias. He was a founder member of the Ceylon National Congress which was working to obtain independence for Ceylon. In 1924 he was elected to Legislative Council and represented Galle District. He held the office as the Minister of Education in the State Council from 1931 to 1947.

The Bill for ‘Free education scheme

Opposition to the concept and elements of the proposed ‘Free education Scheme for all’ came from two contrasting strata of the then society in Ceylon. The privileged class with influence and power fought tooth and nail to abort the ideal as they felt education as the right of the ‘haves’’ Much greater opposition at least in numbers came from the poor majority, objecting that door to free education should not be available for the well to do people. CWW Kannangara , who had faced many difficulties and discriminations did not want to have class segregation in education and create an ongoing conflict not only among the students and staff insisted on free education concept for all.

University education previously was available almost exclusively to the most privileged layer of the society. The proposal to make it open for to all children irrespective of their wealth or social class was made by the committee headed by CWW Kannanagara. To be undaunted against powerful antagonists, to fight for the right cause, to amplify the voice of the unheard and press on tenaciously to reach the just destination, to create a window of opportunity to the needy, at the right place and at the right time for sake of the down trodden masses, there was the right man with determination, wisdom, compassion at heart an eloquence to win the debate. CWW Kannangara spearheading the campaign with above qualities in abundance, was indeed our good fortune.

The great educationalist, sportsman and a politician of honesty and integrity, presented the free education Bill on June 6, 1945 and it became effective on October 1, 1945.

Dr Kannangara’s vision

Poverty stricken yet clever children had no opening for education and the concept of Central School was also a ‘brainchild’ of this ‘great grand master’ educationalist. He wanted these institutions of learning to imitate that of Royal College, Colombo. The first three being at Akuramboda, Weeraketiya and Matugama. He insisted the importance of teaching science and English across the communities.

There had been more than fifty Government Central Colleges in Sri Lanka.

Introduced free mid-day meal for school children

Responsible for rapid development in Pirivena education

Inauguration of University of Peradeniya (University Bill passed in 1942 and the majestic University complex was completed in Peradeniya in 1952 with Sir Ivor Jennings as its first Vice Chancellor). At first convocation of The University of Ceylon, the Father of Free education, CWW Kannangara was conferred an Honorary Doctorate (PhD) in recognition to his services to education.

Fruits of his vision

Due to the efforts and vision of this great son of Sri lanka, doors opened evenly in every corner of the nine provinces and opportunities, a great boon enriched our mother Lanka.

There are today, very senior administrative officers, Doctors, Engineers, accountants, architects, lawyers and judges including a former chief justice, and many brilliant politicians have benefitted by his great vision and the concept of free education from kindergarten to University.

Though he was a tough man, had he lived to see one of the most auspicious days in the political history of our beloved motherland (9th January 2015) to see a prestigious product of a ‘central college’ (Polonnaruwa Royal Central College) reaching the peak of achievement and becoming not only the first citizen of Sri lanka, but being honoured and admired by the world leaders, I am certain, we would have witnessed tears of joy in the eyes of the ‘Father of Free education; Dr CWW Kannangara.

As a product of a Central College via 5th standard scholarship (Hikkaduwa Sri Sumangala and a recipient of 8th standard science scholarship) and received free education up to medical entrance examination at Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda) this writer salute Dr CWW Kannangara for his great vision and the strength to make the concept of ‘Free education’ a reality. 

The name, Dr CWW Kannangara should be etched in the hearts of all Sri Lankans as the father of free education in Sri lanka. It is pleasing that at least past pupils of Central colleges have formed an association in Sri Lanka and a UK branch over the last few years do commemorate and celebrate the contribution to education by this great hero. Writer takes this opportunity to appeal to all both in motherland and abroad who benefitted by ‘Free education in Sri Lanka’ to join hands to celebrate together the wisdom and contribution of this great son of Sri Lanka.

His vision to have wide spread educational institutions in all nine provinces was the right one if that concept was carried out with same vigour and vitality by the latter day politicians the disparity in education standards and contents (including science and maths) between the so called elite schools in the capital cities of the provinces and the rural land mass would have so distinct. Perhaps that would have even removed some factors which nourished division among communities leading into a full-fledged ugly war.

Finally, a gentle appeal to the good and the great ruling our blessed motherland to consider some steps within Schools and colleges to commemorate annually Dr CWW Kannangara’s contribution towards free education uniformly across the four corners of our country.

When I look back Dr Kannangara’s illustrious life as a student and a public servant, not only gave us the boon of free education but his life taught us the value of hard work, discipline and determination to win over powerful obstructions and handicaps. His example should reverberate in the heart and mind of every child every citizen and of course every ruler of our pleasant land.

‘The heights of great men reached and kept – were not attained by sudden flight But they while their companions slept – were toiling upwards in the night’ American poet, Henry Wordsworth Longfellow;


Dr Ariya De Silva OBE, MBBS (Colombo), FRCOG, FC OG (SL), FRCS Glas. FRCS Edin. FRCP (Lond.). Former Visiting Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Sri Lanka

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