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Old Anandian Maithri Panagoda to deliver ‘Olcott Oration’ today

23 November 2019 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Ananda College celebrates its 133rd anniversary this year. One of the most important events in connection with the ‘Founders Day’ celebrations is the annual Olcott Memorial Oration.   

 

The oration will be delivered from 4.00 p.m. onwards at the Kularatne Auditorium on the topic ‘Achieving Social Justice through the Rule of Law’


This year, the Olcott Oration is scheduled to be held today from 4.00 p.m. onwards at the Kularatne Auditorium. The oration will be delivered by Maithri Panagoda on the topic ‘Achieving Social Justice through the Rule of Law.’ He is a distinguished Old Anandian based in Australia and a successful lawyer fighting for the rights of the Australian aboriginal community. Mr. Panagoda has penned many articles on legal matters and edited chapters of the Lawyers’ Practice Manual and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame, Australia. 


Mr. Panagoda has been made a member of the Order of Australia (AM). He received the award from the Australian Governor General on the Queen’s birthday in 2016. In the Australian Honours System, appointments to the Order of Australia confer recognition for outstanding achievement and service. It is awarded for extraordinary and 
pre-eminent achievement. 


Col. Henry Steele Olcott clamoured and awakened a dormant nation without any vigour to rise up. He was the pioneer who agitated to give due place to Buddhism and the reformer who compelled the colonial government that existed at that time to declare Vesak Full Moon Day a public holiday. He was the architect who designed the six-coloured Buddhist flag that has gained universal recognition. He was one of the pioneers responsible for the establishment of national schools such as Ananda College. 


Col. Olcott did an extensive study of Buddhism. Consequently, with a team of people including Madame Blavatsky, came to Ceylon (then) on May 17, 1880 and at Vijayananda Pirivena at Weliwatta in Galle, Col. Olcott and Madame Blavatsky became true Buddhists by accepting the Triple Gem and observing Panchaseela from chief monk Ven. Akmeemana 
Dharmarama Thera. 

 

Col. Henry Steele Olcott clamoured and awakened a dormant nation without any vigour to rise up. He was the pioneer who agitated to give due place to Buddhism


Through his close association with intellectuals such as Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera, chief monk, Ven. Miggettuwatte Gunananda Thera and Ven. Waskaduwe Sri Subuthi Thera, Col. Olcott realised the plight of the Sinhala Buddhists at that time. Considering the gravity of this, he thought of the need to unite and create a formidable workforce to act fast. 


He realised the need to provide Buddhist children an appropriate Buddhist environment through a systematic education and to achieve this objective, he established the Colombo Buddhist Theosophical Society on June 17, 1880. 


Dushmantha Karannagoda, Executive President, Ananda College Old Boys’ Association

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