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Professor Vini Vitharana

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9 January 2021 12:25 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Vini Vitharana was born on 2nd June 1928 at Pallikudawa, Tangalle. He had his early education at Christ Church College, Tangalle and entered Mahinda College, Galle in 1942 from where he continued his studies until he passed his University entrance examination and entered The University of Colombo in 1945.   

Prof. Vini Vitharana

 

The other posts held in many organisations, Presentations made on different occasions, Articles published in numerous publications, are too long to be included in an article of this nature. He had also visited India, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Greece, Italy, France, UK, USA, Soviet Russia, Mongolia, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Laos and Maldives connected with various research and study projects.


Professor Vitharana was a person who has had a vast experience not only academically and in teaching, but also in various other fields like translations, research, archaeology and geography etc. He was a scholar heavily inclined towards research and writing. He was a teacher emulated by many. His love and desire for learning and teaching cannot be compared with many others. If wealth could be measured in terms of knowledge, he was one of the wealthiest persons I have known. He was a person who was contemptuous of colonial rule, in spite of which his knowledge and skill in the usage of the English language may surprise many. Learning and teaching were his greatest passions. He touched the lives of so many students around the country and his legacy continues to inspire, guide and live through them. In addition to the academic and literary activities, he was also Founder Chairman, Munidasa Cumaratunga Trust, Founder Chairman, Sunil Shantha Society.   

He was a person who was contemptuous of colonial rule, in spite of which his knowledge and skill in the usage of the English language may surprise many 


As a teacher at Mahinda College, Galle, in addition to his classroom teaching activities, he also contributed a great deal to extracurricular activities like training students in English and Sinhala elocution, English and Sinhala Debating Teams, English and Sinhala Dramas, helping in organising Variety entertainments, Educational Tours. Compiling and editing College Magazines. He was a leader, friend and confidant to his former students.   


His personal qualities were an example for his students to learn true leadership qualities. He was a man of high integrity. He was honest to a fault. He was a symbol of simplicity and was a most unassuming and modest person. His great sense of humour was one of his trademarks.   

 

Learning and teaching were his greatest passions. He touched the lives of so many students around the country and his legacy continues to inspire, guide and live through them 


He passed away on December 2, 2019.   


He leaves behind his loving wife Thilaka, a graduate teacher now retired, his daughter Dr. Kumudini and his son Ruwan Lasith, Senior specialist at Toyota Motors, Belgium.   


In December 2018 he drafted this poem to be sent by email to a British friend. It was sent through a friend of his in Sri Lanka as the Professor did not have email facilities.   

His love and desire for learning and teaching cannot be compared with many others. If wealth could be measured in terms of knowledge, he was one of the wealthiest persons I have known


 “ With my right I cannot write,
 Of my left nothing much is left.
 With no ear can I clearly hear,
 My eyes show nothing precise and clear,
 Both legs can make me barely walk,
 And the mouth can only pretend to talk,
 But as I think of wishing you both
 Good tidings for the year that’s drawing fast,
 My heart of ninety in youthful leap
 Bound in cheers forlorn in heaps”. 


I came to know him during the early forties when he joined Mahinda College, Galle and entered the school hostel. He was many things to me later – teacher, mentor, friend, coach & big brother. I am so pleased to have had this opportunity to pay my last respects to a fine teacher and a wonderful human being.   


May his journey in Sansara be a pleasant one until he achieves Nirvana.   
 Wimalasena de Silva   


  Comments - 1

  • Ranjith Gurugamage Saturday, 09 January 2021 06:13 PM

    Nice write up.


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