Archive | December, 2018

Dulip Jayamaha among twenty-five new President's Counsel


Dulip Jayamaha among twenty-five new President’s Counsel

Posted on 23 December 2018 by admin


Upali Obeyesekere with Dulip Jayamaha at Galle Face Hotel, Colombo

Twenty-five Attorneys-at- Law will swear in as President’s Counsel (PC) on January 18 at a ceremonial sitting of the Supreme Court. The swearing-in as President’s Counsel is also known as taking Silk. Attorneys-at-Law who have practised as counsels in courts either in the official or unofficial bar are eligible to be appointed as PCs. Once appointed one doesn’t lose the title even if they are appointed to the Judiciary.

Ponnambalam Ramanathan, Thomas de Sampayo and Frederick Dornhorst were the first to be appointed as King’s Counsel in 1903. It has been the practice since then to appoint lawyers who have served the country for long periods with professionalism and eminence.
The names of Attorneys to be appointed as President’s Counsel
are: 1. Chinthamanie Moonemalle Ballale 2. Satendra Maithri Guneratne 3. Mohamed Sheriffdeen Mohamed Hussain 4. Pilimathalawa Wijesundara Mudiyanselage Suriyashantha Bandara Iddawela 5. Dulip Flavien Raphael Jayamaha 6. Madurapperumage Chandrasiri Jayaratne 7. Liyana Mudiyanselage Vijitha Nandana Jayawickrema 8. Singhanathage Tharapathi Jayanaga 9. Upali Sarrath Kongahage 10. Sunil Kithsirimevan Lankathilleka 11. Arunachalam Muttu Krishnan 12. Bamunuge Joseph Bernard Shanthi Perera 13. Subramaniam Paramarajah 14. Edmund Sirimevan Rajapakse 15. Mohan Rudolph Abeyratna Ratwatte 16. Shantha Chulabaya Rajapakse 17. Akmeemana Palliya Guruge Sarathchandra 18. Abdul Wahid Abdul Sathar 19. Palli Mulla Kapugamage Nelson de Silva 20. Velayuthapilli Thavarajah 21. Sarath Devasena Wijesinghe 22. Luckshan Mahinda Wijesundara 23. Priyal Thusitha Wijayweera 24. Saumya Amarasekera 25. Geethaka Goonawardene.

Comments Off on Dulip Jayamaha among twenty-five new President’s Counsel

FLASHBACK: IGP Chandra Fernando felicitated at his alma mater


FLASHBACK: IGP Chandra Fernando felicitated at his alma mater

Posted on 23 December 2018 by admin

IGP felicitated at his alma mater

by Sarath Malalasekera – Courtesy of Daily News – Wednesdat, October 27, 2004.


Sri Lanka’s police Inspector-General, Chandra Fernando

St. Peters College, Colombo is considered an outstanding education institute, that has during her long history produced many brilliant scholars, outstanding sportsmen and several disciplined professionals in several fields, said Inspector General of Police Chandra Fernando, a distinguished old boy of St. Peters College, at a felicitation ceremony accorded to him by the Old Boys' Union of St. Peters College yesterday morning at the College auditorium.

'As the present IGP, I could today tell you that some of the best, disciplined Policemen produced by St. Peters College, such as former Senior DIG Merril Gunaratne, former DIGs L. M. Jayawardena and Camillus Abeygunawardena, I have worked with, were educated at this college. They have in their own inimitable way shown brilliance whenever they had to shoulder responsibility for the good of the society.

They were also an incentive and an example to others in the Police Force,' said IGP Chandra Fernando.

IGP Fernando emphasised that the Police Force has a flood of Peterites far too many to mention, such as Camillus Abeygunawardena, and expert on Motor Traffic and Sivendran. Those Peterites have always shown that they are disciplined men and have been a great asset to the Police Department.

Today, my mind goes back to fifty-two years, when I was admitted to the second standard of this hallowed institution. Rev. Father Basil Weeratunga was the Rector and Mr. Jayawardena was the headmaster of the Primary School.

The lofty pillars of the College at the entrance stood before me, each perhaps standing for good learning, sportsmanship, discipline, honesty in life and service to others, but perhaps as a small boy they all meant nothing to me. By this time my brother was studying in the third standard. This was one of the reasons I too entered the school.

On that great day, it was my dear mother, holding my hands and I wearing a newly tailored a pair of shorts with shirt had me admitted to school, least realising that fifty two years later, her younger son , would be honoured by the same school, the IGP added.

My dear mother is today no more, to witness what you are doing. During my college days, I was certainly not a bright student. I held no College Prefectship, nor did I walk-away with a single prize, but all knew that I was a great plodder who never, gave up. I was ready for youthful fun that most schoolboys indulge in, but that was part of our life as youth, harming no one in society and not behaving in an uncouth manner. In college I was interested in playing hockey and basketball and was the troop leader to the College Scout Troop, IGP Fernando said.

"One common denominator is that we were all moulded when in youth by this great institution. We can be proud of that. The college has been associated with many great men, professionals such as Dr. Darrel Weinman, Dr. Tony Don Michael, Dr. P. R. Anthonis, Dr. Luxman Weerasena, Dr. P. N. Thenabandu, Prof. Sirisena (now in New Zealand), Prof. Willie Mendis, Justice H. W. Senanayake, Lt. General Denis Perera, President's Counsel H. L. de Silva. Mano Chanmugam, late Gamini Athukorale, Dulip Jayamaha, Ajith Cabral, Rear Admiral Alfred Perera are few of them. Dr. H. I. K. Fernando who earned for himself a great name as a medical man and as a Sri Lankan cricketer and Clive Inman cannot be forgotten today, for his double century at the Joe-Pete encounter in 1954.

They were also the brilliant administrators and many Civil Servants and late Gaya Cumaranatunga is one of them," the IGP said.

IGP Fernando also mentioned the names of Ranjith, Andrew and Godfrey Gunathillake who stone at Athletics, Vinodan John, Roy Dias and in more recent times Russell Arnold.

The first Peterite IGP Chandra Fernando remembered his class teachers and said that some of them are not among us, but it is very important and it is his duty to remember them at a day like this.

College Rector Rev. Father Felician Perera, Harin Gunawardena, president of the OBA Union also spoke at the ceremony. Moanu Chanmugam delivered the vote of thanks.

Comments Off on FLASHBACK: IGP Chandra Fernando felicitated at his alma mater

His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Marcus Fernando : Illustrious Son of 'Little Rome'

Tags: ,

His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Marcus Fernando : Illustrious Son of ‘Little Rome’

Posted on 05 December 2018 by admin

His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Marcus Fernando :

Illustrious Son of ‘Little Rome’

Courtesy: Daily News.

‘He inspired me and I started to grow…’:

Rev. Fr. Nicholas Marcus Fernando

Four score and six is a glorious inning in these cricketing days. One wonders how it feels to be 86 years of age in this twenty-first century for a colossus of the Catholic Church. Though ranked among the ‘80 Club’ and bestowed with ‘Emeritus’ status, His Grace Archbishop Most Rev. Dr. Nicholas Marcus Fernando was at the helm of Sri Lanka’s flock as the Chief Shepherd for well nigh 25 years.

Little has changed in that familiar exterior at ‘Emmaus’ in Tewatte where he spends his retirement in the environs of the Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka. Archbishop Fernando, as he is still affectionately referred to, does not look a day older than when he opted to call it a day at 69 – 17 years ago. He is very relaxed and fit, but prefers to respect ‘old age’ and to be identified as a ‘senior citizen’. In the annals of Christianity in Sri Lanka, he truly played a decisive role as the Chief Shepherd of the Archdiocese of Colombo, despite his comparatively young age of 44.

He was respected as a scholar, a man of integrity and a linguist of no mean repute. He was fluent in English, Sinhala and Tamil and had a command of many other languages as well. With constancy and care, Archbishop Fernando laboured along with the priests, religious lay catechists and the faithful during his tenure as the Chief Shepherd, not only for the effective promotion of evangelisation of the people but also for the provision of earthly needs of the flock and social progress of all classes.

Glimpses of a shepherd

I am truly blessed to have sailed the early years of my life on the course steered by Archbishop Fernando. We were born as parishioners of St. Mary’s Church, Grand Street, Negombo; christened at St. Mary’s Church, Grand Street, Negombo; educated at St. Mary’s College, Grand Street, Negombo and grew up in the confines of St. Mary’s Church, Grand Street, Negombo.

The life-long reminiscences for a Maryite of that era could be the beautiful bronze statue of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary that occupied the niche of the Main Block of the College, the life-like statue of the founder, Rev. Fr. J. B. Vistarini that stands before the façade of the church, and the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in the precincts of the church.

Rev. Vistarini was the Parish Priest of the majestic church and was considered a ‘living saint’. His last resting place is at the side altar where his grave is identified with his statue in repose. After his death, hundreds of sons of Negombo were named after him and he shall always remain in the hearts and minds as their first saint.

Reverting to the life of Archbishop Fernando, I was the Head Prefect at St. Mary’s College, Negombo, when the good news from the Holy See in Rome of his elevation reached the city of Negombo, well known as ‘Little Rome’. I vividly remember how the bells of the grand old church peeled and how the people of all walks of life in Negombo united to share the joy of producing the first son of the parish as the Archbishop of Colombo.

Ever since, I was privileged to associate with the then serving Archbishop of Colombo, all along my career as a Naval Officer. During my school days, he was my ‘hero’. In my youth, I preferred him to be my role model. As the years rolled by, he became my mentor and later spiritual director – a unique bond of friendship that has now flourished for 40 long years.

Year after year, I have never failed to wish His Grace on his Patronal Feast and Birthday and His Grace reciprocates as our birthdays fall on December 6 and 16. His Grace never fails to contact me whenever he reads anything I have penned, to congratulate, to inspire, and to motivate me. He has always been pleasant, unassuming and easy to talk to.

As I linger down memory lane, many nostalgic events of my association with him flash before my mind and I would like to share a few. His Grace installed me as the youngest President of the OBA of St. Mary’s College, Negombo. I was privileged to confer on His Grace the prestigious ‘Award of Excellence for the Old Maryite of the Century’.

Then, I was privileged to deliver the keynote speech at the book launch to mark the Silver Jubilee of his Episcopal Ordination and to lend a helping hand for him to settle down at ‘Emmaus’ in retirement. His Grace always reminds me of our unforgettable pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health in Vailankanni amidst a severe threat of floods.

His Grace kindly consented to preside at the first-ever Joint Christian Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving of the Sri Lanka Navy in 1991 and immensely helped me to conduct the service for 25 uninterrupted years amidst ups and downs. He was present at All Saints’ Church, Borella, to renew our wedding vows when Carmel and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.

Birth and divine call

In the Register of Baptism at St. Mary’s Church, Grand Street, Negombo, that boasts a legacy of 455 years, the name ‘Nicholas Marcus’ appears as the 115th entry in the year 1932. He was christened on December 13, in the presence of his beloved parents, Wilfred Severinus Fernando and Mary Lily Margaret Fernando, with Theophilus Fernando and Maria Harriet Fernando as God Parents.

He was born a week earlier on December 6 in the renowned fishing hamlet of Munnakkara. Incidentally, it was on their feast day and the church and the city are dedicated to St. Nicholas. Thus, his humble and pious parents who cherished the proper endowment of spiritual values to their children would have been encouraged to name him after St. Nicholas.

Archbishop Fernando is the second child in the family and he has seven siblings. According to the order of birth, they are Frank, Archbishop Nicholas Marcus, Benzy, Camillus, Victor, Beryl, Nicholas Alexis and Maureen. Archbishop Fernando had his primary education at the Roman Catholic Mixed School in Munnakkara.

Then, he entered the leading Catholic educational institution, St. Mary’s College, Grand Street, Negombo, where he was beckoned by God to His vineyard to enable him to fulfil his allotted vocation. The effusive showering of talents and the providential timing of his birth made young Nicholas Marcus more and more conscious of his obligations before God. These ideas and ideals which matured in him from childhood made him what he became.

Responding with devotion to the Divine call, he entered St. Aloysius Seminary, Borella, in 1945 and passed the SSC Examination with exemption from the London Matriculation in 1949, the London University Inter-Arts Examination in 1951, and the London University BA Examination in 1953, and entered St. Bernard’s Major Seminary in 1953 for his Philosophical studies.

In the seminary, he set his goals straight and charted the correct path. His perfection was to seek God’s will and fulfil it and as a result, glory and honour followed him – as the day follows the night. And the day dawned for young Nicholas Marcus to approach the altar.

Ordination and priesthood

He was sent to Collegio de Propaganda Fide in Rome in 1954 to pursue his studies and obtained Baccalaureate and Licentiate degrees in Philosophy from Urban University in Rome in 1955 and 1956 respectively, and a Baccalaureate in Theology in 1958. He was ordained a priest by His Eminence Cardinal Agagianian on December 20, 1959, in Rome. Later, he obtained his Licentiate in Theology as well from Urban University in 1960.

Fr. Nicholas Marcus returned to Sri Lanka and was appointed to the staff of St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya, in 1960. Later, he was appointed to the staff of St. Aloysius Seminary, Borella, in 1963 and was elevated as the Rector in 1965. In 1973, he was sent back to Rome to read for his Doctorate in Moral Theology which he achieved with a Summa cum Laude in 1976.

He was appointed to the staff of the National Seminary of Our Lady of Lanka in Kandy in 1976. With his elevation as the Archbishop of Colombo on March 30, 1977, by His Holiness Pope Paul VI, he became the youngest to be appointed to the office at the age of 44. He also became the first Diocesan Priest to be appointed an Archbishop.

Spiritual colossus

A scholar, preacher and spiritual colossus, Archbishop Fernando, during his 25 years as the Archbishop of Colombo from 1977 to 2002, expanded the Archdiocese in several directions. He was a spontaneous and compelling priest, whose interests gave him new strength and greater depth.

Archbishop Fernando welcomed Pope John Paul II to Sri Lanka on January 20, 1995, for a historic visit during which the Beatification of St. Joseph Vaz took place in Colombo. He celebrated the Silver Jubilee of his Episcopal Ordination at St. Lucia’s Cathedral, Colombo, on May 14, 2002.

It is indeed a rare blessing and a privilege for one to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Priestly Ordination and His Grace thought it fit to bestow the honour to the parish that nourished him and it was befittingly celebrated with pomp and pageantry and with the participation of all the bishops and hundreds of priests at the beautiful St. Mary’s Church, Grand Street, Negombo, on December 20, 2009.

Archbishop Fernando is a man of utter simplicity, disarming humility and of patient holiness and piety. All along his long and distinguished religious duty spanning 59 eventful years, he endeared himself to the poor and the rich alike.

He continues to keep fit and fine and maintains a good rapport with his bishops, priests and friends, to their admiration. His entire life has been nothing short of miraculous. Archbishop Fernando was like the good and faithful servant in the parable – he was faithful in small matters, therefore, he was put in charge of great matters.

I will never forget or cease to appreciate the pivotal role he played in my life as my mentor. His grounding and counsel has stood me in good stead and given me strength to overcome many tribulations. My thoughts and prayers for him on this 86th birthday are God’s abundant blessings and good health to notch up a century.

Ad multos et faustissimos annos!

Comments Off on His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Marcus Fernando : Illustrious Son of ‘Little Rome’

Advertise Here
Advertise Here
%d bloggers like this: