Thomians drowned in Royal roar, as Underdogs became Topdogs cruising to victory

Royal College produced a stunning fight-back to turn the tide and reverse fortunes against S. Thomas’ College who might take some time to comprehend what caused them to lose their 137th big match Battle of the Blues cricket encounter on the third day at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground in Colombo. The Reid Avenue boys scored a seemingly impossible four wicket win.

This is Royal’s second victory in four years after Devin Padmanathan’s side beat them in 2013.

The Thomians and their supporters from all counts may go through some sleepless nights over the next couple of days, as they try to figure out how and why they lost their stranglehold of the match after declaring their first innings at 350 for 5 and then crashing for a paltry 127 in the second innings with a little airy-fairy batting, as Royal like the dark horse came from behind to shatter the party hopes of their arch rival.

Royal needed just 150 for victory which they had no difficulty in reaching as Malith Kariyawasam (38 n.o) held the stage after his team lost four wickets in pursuit of the target.

With both teams scoring over 300 plus in the first innings, the match may have been destined for a draw. However, the poor batting display by the Thomians in their second inning opened the floodgates for an interesting tussle and Royal made certain not to miss the opportunity.

When Royal continued their overnight total of 280 for 7, the main focus was on Pasindu Sooriyabandara (97 not out) and whether he could get that elusive century. He did so unnerved before he was bowled by Kodituwakku for 123 with seventeen fours. Sooriyabandara was engaged in two useful stands first with Kariyawasam adding 139 for the sixth wicket and later another 59 runs with Helitha Vithanage. Royal declared with a deficit of 22 runs.

Royal College batsman Malith Kariyawasam celebrates taking his team to victory over S. Thomas’ College at the SSC ground yesterday (Picture by Saman Mendis)

The Thomians got off to a disastrous start in their second inning losing the first inning centurion Rashmika Opatha for 8 as paceman Himesh Ramanayake was able to extract some life off the pitch and kept the Thomian batsmen guessing. None of the Thomian batsmen could really settle down and they lost wickets at regular intervals.

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Royalists retain the Bradby Shield for another year!

In the second leg of the 72nd Bradby Shield Rugby encounter played on the 14th May at the Trinity Sports Complex in Pallekelle, Kandy, Royal College staged a spectacular fight back in a wonderfully exiting game, where their 16-year-old full back Ovin Askey put over a spectacular 30-metre corner flag penalty, to help them retain the Bradby Shield for another year.

First leg:- The Royalists, despite the sky above the Royal College Sports Complex growing darker and losing in terms of territory and possession, made maximum use of their strengths – the forwards and the rolling maul and more importantly the spectacular try in the 36th minute of the second half by hooker Azmir Fajudeen, to edge out the Trinitians in securing a 22-17 victory, at the Royal College sports complex on 30th April, in a neck to neck battle for supremacy, under rainy climatic conditions. It was the Royal pack and rolling maul that emerged the decisive factor in handling the wet ball following a heavy shower. The match was graced by the Hon. Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickramasinge and Mr. Rohantha Peiris as the Chief Guest. The highest capped Australian ruggerite and influential skipper, George Gregan too honoured the match with his presence.

In just over 20 seconds a surprise interception by Janidu Dilshan, led Royal College to their first try of the game. This went down in history, as the fastest try of the series. Royal’s star kicker Ovin Askey added the extras to set the score at 7-0. After close to 15 minutes Trinity made the much needed breakthrough as they secured their first try to level the scores at 7 – 7. However, Trinity’s hopes were short-lived as Ovin Askey converted a penalty from just over 22 metres out, regaining the lead and setting the score at 10 – 7. With about 10 minutes left to the end of the 1st half, the Reid Avenue boys gave the boys from Kandy, a taste of the infamous ‘Royal Maul’, which resulted in hooker Azmir Fajudeen going over the line to score Royal’s second try. Ovin Askey made no mistake in the conversion, bringing the score up to 17 – 7 before the halftime whistle.

Trinity was more dominant in the second half. Substitution of the acting skipper Thusila Perera proved to be a wise decision, as Lashan Wijesuriya who took his position, scored a penalty no sooner he came in to lift their score to 17 – 10. Despite the attempt by the Royal defence, Trinity College was awarded their second try by the Television Match Official (TMO), used for the first time in a Sri Lankan Rugby encounter. In the 64th minute, they bounced back to score ten more points. Despite their efforts, the Reid Avenue boys pounced at the opportunity to score a try in the 76th minute of the game.

In addition to winning the Leg, Royal College also managed to finish in 2nd place in Division 1A of the Singer Schools Rugby League.

Second leg:- Askey, put the Royalists on top by scoring a simple conversion, in the ninth minute. Royal’s prop forward Ayesh Maduranga barged over for a brilliant try. Askey made the conversion to take the lead 7-0. Soon after, Royal increased their lead to 10-0 with a 30-metre penalty, put over by Askey.

Having led 10-05 at the break, the rolling maul of the Royalists was blocked by the strong Trinity forwards, as such Royal changed their strategy to get their backs a bit more involved.

A penalty taken by the Trinity full back Sanushka Abeywickrama cut the deficit to 10 – 08. This was followed by another penalty in the 18th minute which was nicely angled in by fly half Lashan Wijesuriya to put the lions in the lead for the first time, 11-10. Fly half Wijesuriya put over another penalty and Trinity went further ahead and the score read 18-10 in favour of Trinity.

Royal’s persistence in the vital last few minutes paid off when Trinity was penalized.

Before the final whistle was blown, Royal was awarded a difficult 30-metre corner flag penalty and Askey, not showing any nerves, took on the pressure and sent the ball sailing over the cross bar much to the relief of the Royalists to lift the score to 18 – 13, with an aggregate score levelled at 35 all.

What happened post the match did not bring any credit to either school. When Royal captain Nikila Gunadheera was presented with the Bradby Shield at the end of the second leg at Pallekele, members of the Trinity College team it is alleged had tried to grab the shield from him.

However, members of the Royal team came to the aid of their captain and prevented the Trinitians from doing so. In the ensuing melee a fight broke out amongst the two schools and it later spread to some spectators as well.

It was later learnt from a reliable source present at the scene that in the event, the aggregate score was tied, the “Bradby Shield” remained with the present holders, as in 1992 when the aggregate scores were 3 all and Trinity retained the trophy as they won in 1991. In this case, it was Royal who had won it last year. It seemed that the Trinity boys were not educated on the rules of the Bradby and thought the shield was to be shared by both schools.

The annual Rugby encounter between Royal College and Trinity College commenced on the 31st of July 1920. In 1945, the principal of Royal College, E.L. Bradby, put forward the idea of playing an annual two-match series and since then the encounter has been played for the Bradby Shield.

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Repaying the debt owed & keeping thy fame inviolate by Amalean brothers!

The state of the art sports complex “Royal-MAS Arena” was ceremonially declared opened by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, amidst a gathering of distinguished guests comprising of the minister of education Hon. Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Colombo Mayor, His Lordship A.J.M. Mussammil, Chairman of MAS Holdings Deshamanya Mahesh Amalean, Deputy Chairman Sharad Amalean & the Managing Director Ajay Amalean, Principal of Royal College, B.A. Abeyratne, Secretary & the trustees of the RCU, on the 28th March 2016. Time taken in constructing this state of the art sports complex has been less than 1,000 days (999 days & 7 hours & 58 minutes to be precise.)

Fully funded by the MAS group at a cost of over LKR 150 million (equivalent to USD 1 million), the Arena a first of its kind, provides facilities for a number sports such as boxing, wushu, fensing, wrestling, chess etc… for the present and future Royalists.

Nanadana Karunasena, an alumnus was the architect of this magnificent building as well, which conforms to both local and international standards,

Welcome address was delivered by the Secretary of the Royal College Union, Athula Munasinghe stated that this is the largest donation given by a single individual or a family in the history of Royal College, spanning over 181 years. He thanked MAS group for sponsoring and Nandana for providing his services for an artistic design free of charge, Maj. Gen. Channa Goonatilake & his team for volunteering the construction in a cost effective manner, the past principal & the past secretaries of the RCU, Manju Ariyaratne in particular, under whose tenure the project initiated.

Principal, B.A. Abeyratne, briefly explained what ‘Arena’ means & how this word was derived from a latin word. He thanked all those who contributed in making this complex a success including the past Principal Upali Gunasekara, for initiating the ground work on 3rd July 2014 and the past and present Army commanders. He also commended of having old Royalists of this nature & urged the present Royalists to preserve the facilities to the future Royalists as well, while making the maximum use of it.

Prime Minister began his speech saying that ‘March – 2016’ has been a great month for Royal College with the big match victory, followed by this milestone of opening the Royal-MAS arena. While thanking the Amalean brothers for their generous contribution in making this sports complex a reality which all of us can be proud of, requested them not to close the books thinking they have repaid the debt they owed, as it’ll come back to them again, with a smile in his face……

He recalled named of some eminent old Royalists who have repaid their debts owed to this great institution (established as “The Colombo Academy” by Governor Robert Wilmen) in their own spheres, be it civil, political or military.

He quoted a saying of former US President George W Bush “No child be left behind” He further stated that the greatest gift you can give to a nation is to “Educate the young”, as the development depends on the education system of a country and pledged that the government will develop National & Zonal schools to a level of post-secondary education, mandating 13 years of school (Primary & secondary) education with subjects such as English & Science made compulsory, with the introduction of novel education techniques to schools in suburbs as well.

Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam stated that his ministry will present the proposed education reforms to the parliament in May and develop other schools by providing the required facilities, under the able leadership of the Prime Minister.

Tokens of appreciation to the three Amalean brothers were handed over by the Hon. Prime Minister, while the architect Nandana Karunasena was felicitated by three of them for his free architectural services provided.

Deshamanya Mahesh Amalean recalling his past memories as a school boy at Royal primary, stated that the idea of a gym was proposed in 2010 at the commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the College, which the MAS group committed to support, even after the scope got expanded to  an ‘Arena’. This, in his view will create new memories in young Royalists while being competitive, disciplined and most importantly developing good sportsmanship to be valued citizens.

The boxing ring was declared open by having an exhibit bout between the current boxing captain of Royal College & the immediate past captain, which was the inaugural bout of the Arena.



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Annual Teachers Health Screening Programme – 2016

The Royal College Doctors’ Association successfully conducted its annual health screening programme for the present and past teachers of theCollege and their spouses. for the 14th successive year, on the 21st of February.

, Principal of Royal College Mr.B.A.Abeyratne graced the occasion as the chief guest, while, former principals of Royal College Mr.B. Sooriarachchi & Mr. S.H. Kumarasinghe were present as  guests of honour.

, President of Royal College past teachers’ association Captain M.N.Dharmarathne, , Deputy Principal of the senior school Mr. Wickramasinghe, Assistant principals Mrs.Lalani Jayathilake & Miss. Murugesu, Mr.Sudath Liyanagunawardena, Hostel warden Mr.Aruna De Silva, , the assistant secretary of the RCU Mr.Mithila Mendis,  president of the RCDA Dr.Ajith Thennakoon and the secretary of the RCDA Dr.Yasas Abeywickreme were among the distinguished guests present.


Over 200 teachers, both past and present, attended the screening programme.  Nearly 200 doctors, all old Royalist, from diverse speciality areas   including those of medicine, surgery, neurology, ophthalmology, pulmonology, cardiology, orthopeadics, radiology, oromaxillary surgery, ophthalmology, gyneacology, plastic surgery, oncology, gastroenterology, diabetology, rheumatology, dermatology, otolaryngology, endocrinology, psychiatry, vascular surgery, and nutrition gathered to offer their services in gratitude to the teachers of their alma-mater, as a means of repaying their debt.

Following a basic medical examination, the teachers were directed to the relevant clinical specialty.

All the teachers were subjected to baseline investigation such as: fasting blood sugar, serum cholesterol, and the HbA1C for those  with diabetes.

A Memory screening was carried out for those who are over 50 years of age.


A detailed examination of vision was also conducted; and those in need were provided with spectacles at a concessionary price.


A mobile lab equipped with sophisticated ophthalmic instruments designed  to detect diseases of eye retina  was provided by “Vision Care”.


Arrangements were made to provide facilities such as ultrasonography of the abdomen and pelvis, electrocardiography and assessment of lung functions and physiotherapy sessions. Those in need of echocardiography assessment were directed to the cardiology unit of the National hospital of Sri Lanka, where the relevant investigations were conducted on the very same day .

A team of Oro-maxillary surgeons, equipped with the dental chairs owned by the RCDA, conducted an oral & dental hygiene programme; focusing on  dental issues, whilst providing services such as scaling and dental fillings.


A specialist well woman clinic & cancer screening programme managed  by gynaecologists  and oncologists  took place alongside the teachers clinic. These specialists conducted on site examinations and investigations in order to screen for gynaecological malignancies & breast cancer.


A specialist clinical nutritionist provided individualized sessions on dietary assessments and dietary modifications for those with metabolic disorders  and abnormal body mass indices.

The RCDA applauds, the chief organizer of the teachers clinic 2016 Dr. Kapila Palpola, on a job well done; while acknowledging the effort of the sedulous and efficient  team of doctors who worked tirelessly with him for the past three months up to the run up of the event, in order to make this event a roaring success.

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Annual Hostel health Screening Programme – 2016

Annual Hostel health Screening Programme – 2016

Hostellers are a very important set of individuals at Royal College, who have gained entry, after having secured highest marks at the Grade 5 scholarship examination.

With the objective of  promoting  health and wellbeing of the teenage hostellers, staying far away from their parents, The Royal College Doctors Association (RCDA) conducted the annual  Health screening programme  on the 8th of May,

.Over 200 Students were screened in total and, among them there were two children who were diagnosed with  heart murmurs and one  with undiagnosed absent seizures. In addition, there were many with visual problems including a child with very poor vision of both eyes which needed urgent attention.

Specialists Doctors in the areas of General Medicine, Surgery, ENT, Paediatrics, Dermatology, Rheumatology, Orthopaedics Surgery, Cardiology, and Chest Medicine were present for specialized consultations and management. Eye and Dental clinics were also stationed for detailed and extensive screening and treatment. For those students who were diagnosed with chronic illnesses, referral letters were issued to specialized clinics for further investigations and follow ups.

Principal of Royal College Mr. B.A.Abeyrathne, , Warden, Royal College Hostel Mr. Chulathissa, and  the secretary of the RCU Mr. Athula Munasinghe, , President of the RCDA Dr.Ajith Thennakoon, were present at the event.

This event was organised by Dr. Sathika Wijesekera, Dr. M.J.M. Mikram and Dr. Hareendra Kahawitharana.

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RC 95G Comittee members

Royal College Main Canteen to be converted into a model school canteen by RC Group of 2006

Serving over 3,000 students and staff members  daily  and extending its services to outsiders who visit the College for  numerous events held during school holidays, Royal College Main Canteen is undoubtedly one of the busiest school canteens in Colombo.

With the intention of celebrating their 10th  anniversary, the Royal College Group of 2006 (RCG 2006) laid out several key objectives, to convert the College Main Canteen, into a model school canteen.

The objectives of this project are as follows:-

  • To improve infrastructural aspects of the premises,
  • To ensure hygiene in the dining area and in the kitchen area,
  • To introduce aesthetic aspects
  • To improve the attitudes of the students
  • To make the entire operation in the canteen, eco-friendly.

The first phase of the Royal College Main Canteen Renovation and Maintenance Project was successfully completed and handed over to the School Development Society by the Royal College Group of 2006 at a total cost of Rupees One million and one hundred thousand (Rs. 1, 100,000.00) on 04th January 2016. Principal – Mr. Upali Gunasekara, President of RCG 2006 – Mr. Suvinda Cooray, Secretary RCU- Mr. Athula Munasinghe, Secretary SDS – Mr. Manoj De Silva, Deputy Chairman ORGACO – Mr. Abhaya Amaradasa, Secretary LPMC – Mr. Kamal Abeysinghe and representatives of the Royal College Group of 2006 graced the occasion.

The Royal College Group of 2006 is looking forward to continue this project with not only to convert the College Main Canteen into a model school canteen but also to assist the School authorities in  maintaining, in the long run.

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Annual School Medical Inspection Programme (SMI) – 2016

Recognizing the importance of frequent medical examinations amongst school children, the volunteer hands at the Royal College Doctors’ Association (RCDA) carried out the annual screening programme from the 24th to the 26th May, at the College premises.

In taking measures to detect and prevent diseases and to ensure students’ well-being, studies and sports are not affected by preventable ailments , the RCDA with the patronage of the School Health Unit of the Ministry of Health, screened students of grade one, four and seven. Each year, these medical examinations determine factors affecting the health of students such as the nutritional status, vision, hearing, psychological and other systemic illnesses.

A team of old Royalist medical officers specialized in critical and emergency care, carried out an immunization project, making certain there were no adverse reactions to vaccines administered against diphtheria and tetanus.

On the first day, over 50 Doctors from RCDA and the Ministry of Health, examined nearly 850 students of grade one and four and on the second day, about 700 students of grade seven were examined. On the third day, students of grade seven were given the adult tetanus and diphtheria (DT) vaccine. About 380 students received the vaccine, which was the highest number of vaccinations given in an SMI programme. Of the students who took part in the medical checkup, those who were diagnosed with defects and diseases were referred to relevant authorities for investigation, treatment and follow up.

The dedication of the medical ‘task force’ at RCDA, the Old Royalists who volunteered their expertise and sacrificed the time, must be commended and appreciated not only for the treatments but also for the love and care given, in giving back to their beloved Alma mater.

Special thanks to the organizers of the SMI, Dr. Sandacan Waduge, Dr. Chrishantha Wijenayake, and Dr. Chamikara Dissanayake, for their meticulous coordination of the event between the Schools Health office and the College, and their untiring efforts in making this event a success.

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95 Group becomes teachers, for the past teachers.


Having celebrated the 20th anniversary, the Group of ’95 being one of the dynamic groups in the RCU fraternity, is a group that identifies real needs of those who are both directly and indirectly connected with the college and undertake projects in order to bridge the identified concerns in the best possible manner they could, which was evident by the past projects successfully completed by them in view of repaying the debt they owed to the Alma Mater.. Replacing the ‘College Hall’ fans for the betterment of the students in the upper school and of those who attend meetings there, refurbishing of the hostel reading room for hostellers, who stay away from their homes, fabricating an iron enclosure for electrical distribution units around ‘Navarangahala’ post the refurbishment with safety of the primary students in mind, to name a few…..

This year the target audience was the past teachers, who taught and molded the old Royalists, to become what they are today. Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” was made true by them on the 28th of May, when they taught the past teachers on IT social media, which is no longer a luxury and has become a part of our life. This session was organized in collaboration with the past teachers’ association on their request. Members of the group were given the opportunity to sponsor the teachers for this training, for which the response and the support received from both those residing locally as well as overseas was excellent.

Participation was overwhelming, with over 140 teachers attending! For a moment, the teachers became students, taking all of them down memory lane, where there were students talking with each other, when they were taught by the teachers …..

Mr. S.H. Kumarasinghe who was the Principal in 1995 the year the group left school addressing the gathering, thanked the group for organizing such an event to improve the skills of the past teachers, particularly when the country was experiencing a calamity, with floods and landslides, affecting thousands of families.

The areas covered were, an introduction to the Internet, creating email IDs, Facebook accounts and an introduction to ‘WhatsApp’, with a handbook given to each of them for future reference and assistance. A mug was also given to each one of them, as a souvenir.

Many teachers were so enthusiastic in educating themselves by asking questions, for which the solutions were provided rapidly by the group members, which made the group resolve to make this an annual event.

The event was followed by a grand lunch at Maharaja Palace, situated just opposite the College.

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A worthy cause by the RCU, going beyond the boundaries

Royal College Union (RCU) the old-boys’ arm of the Royal College was started on 17 January 1891 It has no doubt weathered many storms from the Victorian times up to now and evolved into a modern alumni association fully aware and sensitive to the ground situation of the country and the needs of the present student population of Royal College. The student population of the College has now evolved as a microcosm of the Sri Lankan population, with children from all races, religions, all walks of life rubbing shoulders with each other.


This composition, while being a good fermenting process to mould children to face the future Sri Lankan and world society, has its own problems that our forefathers who brought forth the union in 1891 did not have or even could imagined. However, we have not only successfully faced them but also conquered them to assist our Alma Mater, to continue to be the top most primary and secondary education institution in the country.

It is also important to note that the RCU, its affiliates and member groups spend approximately 30 million rupees (SLR) annually towards co-curricular, extra-curricular, sports, skills development, scholarship awarding, student welfare, teachers welfare and other activities of our alma-mater. In addition the RCU has over the years built and donated many infrastructure facilities valued over approximately 400 million rupees (SLR), such as the RC Sports Complex, Swimming pool, new Hostel building, Skills Development, Career guidance and counselling centre and JRJ Pavilion amongst many others.

As a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative the RCU organizes the annual EDEX exhibition (Sri Lanka’s largest Higher Education and Careers exhibition) which also makes the single most significant financial contribution to the RCU trust.

The Unionlooks after the requirements of needy and academically, aesthetically or athletically capable students via the Loyalty Pledge scheme. Funds are obtained from generous old boys and well-wishers who voluntarily donate money to the scheme periodically – monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc. and scholarships are awarded to the needy students.


Going beyond on the CSR root to celebrate it’s Quasquicentennial year on the 6th of October, members ofthe RCU (by partnering with “Trail 2016”)will be walking from Northern Point Pedro to Southern Dondra Head for 28 days, with the aim of raising USD 5 million, in order to build a cancer treatment facility, as part of an extension of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle.

Established in 1982, the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital is the 3rd largest national hospital in the country and the most accessed healthcare centre in the Southern part of Sri Lanka. In 2015, the hospital recorded its highest number of cancer related deaths and national incidence is on the rise. In addition, it has seen a dramatic influx of patients traveling from surrounding provinces seeking treatment. The hospital is understaffed and over capacity – it is in dire need of an expansion.

The facility will be named as “Royal College Union – Childrens’ ward”.

The– Trail 2016 is the ‘Walk Back’ post the success of Trail 2011 brought to light the powerful impact created when individuals across the country were united in building Tellippalai Trail Cancer Hospital in Jaffna.

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A CSR project as part of its quasquicentennial celebrations by the Royal College Union

As a key activity in line with the Quasquicentennial celebrations, Royal College Union has launched a major CSR project by partnering with “Trail 2016” (see trailsl.com) to raise funds to establish the Chilrdren’s Ward at the proposed new Cancer hospital at Karapitiya, Galle. The above photo shows the historic moment where RCU agreed to join hands with “Trail – The walk against cancer” CSR project, to fulfill this dire need of the society


Standing From the left of the photo:

from “Trail”: Mr.VipulanRavindranathan, Mr.Nathan Sivagananathan and Mr.SarindaUnamboowe.


from RCU: Mr. Athula Munasinghe-Secretary RCU, Mr.Mahen Perera-Chairman of 125th Anniversary celebrations organizing committee, Mr.Mithila Mendis- Assistant Secretary RCU & Mr.Manju Ariyaratne – Past Secretary


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