Saturday, June 23, 2012

100 Years of The Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind - Ratmalana

Stamp Bulletin No. 798 Commemorative Issue
100 Years of The Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind - Ratmalana



  •  The phrase "I Love You" printed on the stamps in the Braille system.
  • Date of Issue : 17th June, 2012
  • Denomination : Rs. 5.00
  • Stamp Designer : Isuru Chathuranga
  • FDC Designer : Isuru Chathuranga
  • Stamp Size : 82mm * 30mm
  • Format : Horizontal
  • Printing Process : Offset Lithography
  • Sheet Composition : 50 stamps per sheet
  • Perforation : 12 3/4 * 13 1/2
  • Printers  : Department of Government Printing, Sri Lanka
  • Colors : 4 Process Colors
  • Paper : 102 gsm security printing paper
  • Gum :PVA
  • Quantity Printed : 300,000
The Philatelic Bureau of the Department of Posts issued a new commemorative stamp in the denomination of Rs. 5.00 on June 17th, 2012 to commemorate the Centenary of  the Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind.

The school was founded by Miss Mary Chapman, of the Church of England Zennana Missionary Society. She visited Sri Lanka (Ceylon) in 1910 and realized that there were no educational opportunities for the deaf in this country. With the assistance of other prominent members of the community she set up an Appeal Fund Committee, with the Bishop of Colombo as the Chairman to raise funds to establish a school for both the deaf and blind, and raised Rs. 49,600 to set up the school. Miss Mary Chapman began her work in 1912 with four students in a rented bungalow in Dehiwela.

The Hon. Mr. A. R. de Soysa, Member of the Legislative Council donated the land at Ratmalana, and the school was built on this land, and completed in 1914, The adjacent property, approximately 4 acres in extent, was also donated to the Church of England by Mr. Abdul Gafoor in order to expand the work of the school.

It was after the 2nd World War in 1946 that the school was separated and two schools established, the School for the Deaf and the School for the Blind, under two principals.

Today, the Board of Trustees run three residential schools, two at Ratmalana, and the third, the Nuffield School for the Deaf and Blind at Kaithady, Jaffna, (established in 1956). All three schools care for just a little over six hundred sight and hearing impaired children, providing them education, vocational training, food, lodging, health care, and recreational facilities.

Asgiri Maha Viharaya 700th Anniversary

Stamp Bulletin No. 797 Commemorative Issue
Asgiri Maha Viharaya 700th Anniversary



  • Date of Issue : 12th June, 2012
  • Denomination : Rs. 5.00
  • Stamp Designer : Ruwan Upasena
  • FDC Designer : Ruwan Upasena
  • Stamp Size : 41mm * 30mm
  • Format : Horizontal
  • Printing Process : Offset Lithography
  • Sheet Composition : 100 stamps per sheet
  • Perforation : 13 3/4 * 14
  • Printers  : Department of Government Printing, Sri Lanka
  • Colors : 4 Process Colors
  • Paper : 102 gsm security stamp paper
  • Gum :PVA
  • Quantity Printed : 300,000
Asgiri means the bear rock. The establishment of the Asgiri Viharaya dates back to 1312 A.D. when it was made the adobe of the monks who had achieved higher elevations through meditation. Six such monks were sent in great procession on the day prior to the Vesak Full Moon Poya day of 1312, made to spent the night at the Ethkanda Raja Maha Viharaya to reach the Kandy Trinity College premises in the afternoon of the
Vesak Full Moon Poya day to commence the Asgiri Raja Maha Viharaya. The founding chief incumbent of the Asgiri Viharaya, Dambadeniye Wanarathana Thero, is reported to be the 142nd leader of the the generation led by Arahath Upali, who lived during the time of the Lord Buddha.

As far as the location of the Asgiri Viharaya is concerned, the Gedige Viharaya, Vijaya Sundararamaya and the temple complex which houses the Chapter house of today can be listed in accordance of priority.

Asgiri Raja Maha Viharaya is the oldest centre of the Siyam Chapter (Nikaya) which is considered to be the oldest chapter of the Buddha Sasana for quite a long time. Asgiri Raja Maha Vihara has had two sectors known as Central temple sector and Lower temple sector. While the Indawalugoda generation of Sangha belongs to the Central temple sector Urulewatta and Pothuhera generations of Sangha belong to the Lower temple sector.

The chief incumbent of the Asgiri Maha Viharaya is the custodian of the golden key of the last casket out of a number of golden caskets which house the tooth relic of the Lord Buddha, in the temple of the tooth relic.

Asgiri Gedige Raja Maha Viharaya
The historic Gedige Raja Maha Viharaya was erected by the great king Wickramabahu the third, who reigned the Gampola Kingdom to perpetuate the memory of his mother princess Chandrawathie. The Bodhi of this temple was planted at the place of her burial. This temple is the oldest mother temple in Kandy today.

This is where the tooth relic was first placed upon being taken to Kandy. It was only later that the tooth relic was taken to the temple of the tooth. Even today, on the last day of the Kandy Perahera the casket is taken to this temple and kept there to be taken to the temple of the tooth relic on the following day in procession. The rituals performed at the temple of the tooth relic are performed in this temple as well. The Gedige Viharaya is also known as the “Dalada Gaman Maligawa” because of the above significance.

The Upali Thera who came from Thailand to establish Thai higher ordination in 1753 had performed higher ordination in this Gedige Viharaya. The limits of the chapter house of that higher ordination is seen even today. A monument in memory of Upali Thero has been erected in this temple.

Kusuma Gunawardena Birth Centenary

Stamp Bulletin No. 796 Commemorative Issue
Kusuma Gunawardena Birth Centenary



  • Date of Issue : 28th May, 2012
  • Denomination : Rs. 5.00
  • Stamp Designer : Isuru Chathuranga
  • FDC Designer : Isuru Chathuranga
  • Stamp Size : 30mm * 41mm
  • Format : Vertical
  • Printing Process : Offset Lithography
  • Sheet Composition : 100 stamps per sheet
  • Perforation : 14 * 13 3/4
  • Printers  : Department of Government Printing, Sri Lanka
  • Colors : 4 Colors
  • Paper : 102 gsm security stamp paper
  • Gum :PVA

Kusumsiri Amarasinha who was fondly called Kusuma, was born on 26th May 1912 in Medaketiya, Tangalla. She was the youngest in the family of 6 boys and 2 girls. Her father Don Davith Amarasinha was a person of standing and a devout Buddhist Worker and philanthropist and a member of the Buddhist Theosophical Society, who was engaged in social work in the area. The mother was Sopinona Amarasnha who hailed from Kachchciyawatte, Galle. Kusuma received her education at Sri Rahula Vidyalaya Tangalle, St. Mary’s Convent at Matara and later at Museus College, Colombo. Having joined the SooriyamalMovement in the mid 1930’s Kusuma engaged herself as an activist of the left movement.

She married Philip Gunawardena, the son of Boralugoda Ralahamy in 1939 who by then had founded the Socialist Movement in Sri Lanka and was by then the Member of the State Assembly for Awissawella. With her marriage, she became more closely engaged with the anti colonial struggles waged by the left movement in Sri Lanka. When in 1940 Mr. Philip Gunawardena and leftist leaders, were illegally apprehended by the British rulers and jailed, Kusuma fought relentlessly for their release. She played a key role by surreptitiously securing the imprint of the prison keys for their famous “Jail Break “ on 07th April 1942. With Philip and other leaders having escaped to India and joined the political underground there to continue struggle against the British Occupation, Kusuma joined her husband there by traveling incognito, dresses as a school girl.

The contributions made to society by her 5 children speaks for Kusuma’s loving care and devotion in bringing them up and shaping their values. They all have had a sound education. Her only daughter is a sensitive writer who has amongst others bestowed to society separate volumes of well researched biographies of her illustrious parents, her four sons have with trust and confidence bestowed upon them by the people served in political office three in Ministerial Office and the other at the Mayoralty of Colombo.

Mrs. Kusuma Gunawardena is quoted is quoted as having said on many an occasions that she is immensely overjoyed and lucky to have lived long enough to see her son Dinesh elected as the Member of Parliament for Maharagama in 1983. Kusuma with Philip Gunawardena is outstanding in that, they were selfless. She passed away peacefully on May Day 1985.

St. Philip Neri's Church, Udammita South, Ja-Ela

Stamp Bulletin No. 795 Commemorative Issue
St. Philip Neri's Church, Udammita South, Ja-Ela



  • Date of Issue : 26th May, 2012
  • Denomination : Rs. 5.00
  • Stamp Designer : Mewan Fonseka
  • FDC Designer : Mewan Fonseka
  • Stamp Size : 30mm * 41mm
  • Format : Vertical
  • Printing Process : Offset Lithography
  • Sheet Composition : 100 stamps per sheet
  • Perforation : 14 * 13 3/4
  • Printers  : Department of Government Printing, Sri Lanka
  • Colors : 4 Colors
  • Paper : 102 gsm security stamp paper
  • Gum :PVA
  • Quantity Printed : 300,000

This Church which is over 250 years old is located in the midst of a Buddhist surrounding about one kilometer towards the East of the Dandugam Oya in the Dehiyagatha Parish which a under the purview of the Colombo Diocese.

This church was first built in 1762 by a foreign priest by the name of Nicholas Rodrigo of Orithorian Seat as guided in a dream. It was a small hut of Wattle and daub and thatched with cadjans. Later in 1826 a person known as Jawasiya with the help of the other villager built the church in bricks, guided by Priest Julien Fernando.

In 1826 Ref. Priest Roland Fernando replaced the cadjan roof with tiles along with the creation of a fa├žade. On the top of the roof is a statue of St. Philipanary which weighs nearly 5 hundred weights.

It was built  by a villager known as Benadikku.

The services rendered by Rev. Priests 2. Dabarera, E. Poron Lawrance Perera, DominiqueZuza, Ernest Poruthota, Stantly Wedasinghe respectively from 1944 are highly commendable.

Rev. Edwin Perera who felt that the decaying church needed quick face-lift did the ground work to effect repairs which was commenced with Right Ref. Bishop Nicholos Marcus laying the foundation stone on 3rd June 1978. However, the repair work came to a standstill within a year. All efforts taken by Ref. Priest Godfrey to resume repair work did not see any result.

Rev. Priest John Nanayakkara who succeeded Rev. Godfrey completed the repair works and invited Right Rev. Bishop Nicholas Marcus to involve his blessings on the newly completed church.

The Priests who succeeded Rev. John Nanayakkara Namely Rev. Ruban Lesley, Rev. Merl Shantha, Rev. Basil Wickramasinghe and Rev. Merl Shantha, Rev. Basil Wickramasinghe and Rev.Darshanan Jayamanna did a Yoeman service.

Rev. Terrance Bodia Baduge who understood that the Church was not spacious enough took steps to enlarge it in 2009. Now the church is spacious and georgeous. 2012 has been declared the 225th Anniversary year.

Venerable Aggamahapanditha, Pro. Walpola Sri Rahula Thero

Stamp Bulletin No. 794 Commemorative Issue
Venerable Aggamahapanditha, Pro. Walpola Sri Rahula Thero



  • Date of Issue : 15th May, 2012
  • Denomination : Rs. 5.00
  • Stamp Designer :Pulasthi Edriweera
  • FDC Designer : Isuru Chathuranga
  • Stamp Size : 30mm * 41mm
  • Format : Vertical
  • Printing Process : Offset Lithography
  • Sheet Composition : 100 stamps per sheet
  • Perforation : 14 * 13 3/4
  • Printers  : Department of Government Printing, Sri Lanka
  • Colors : 4 Process Colors
  • Paper : 102 gsm security stamp paper
  • Gum :PVA
  • Quantity Printed : 1,000,000