Ananda Sastralaya, Kotte

Ananda Sastralaya (sinhala: ආනන්ද ශාස්ත්‍රාලය) is a public boys school located in Kotte, Sri Lanka. It was founded in 1890 as Kotte Buddhist English Mixed School.[1] In 1952 a part of the school land was designated by the Government as an archaeological site[2] since an ancient tunnel junction erected in the 16th century was found within the school premises.[3]

Ananda Sastralaya
ආනන්ද ශාස්ත්‍රාලය
Ananda Sastralaya
Location in Colombo District

Coordinates6°52′58″N 79°54′08″E
MottoPali: "අපපමතතා නමීයන්තී"
Appamaththā Namiyanthi
(Buddhist quote from the Apramadha Vagga in the Dhammapada.
("Early man never die.")
Established1 January 1890 (1890-01-01)
PrincipalUpul Jayarathne
GradesClass 1 - 13
Age range6 to 19
Color(s)Maroon and Gold        
WebsiteAnanda Sastralaya


As the awakening of Buddhist education system in Ceylon during the 19th century, some of the leaders in Kotte area set up a new school, Kotte Bauddha Mishra Vidyalaya - කෝට්ටේ බෞද්ධ මිශ්‍ර විද්‍යාලය (Kotte Buddhis boy School), on 4 November 1880. Initially the school was operated in small scale with very few facilities. On 1 January 1890 the Ven. Emulgama Wimalatissa Thera with Dayaka Sabha of Kotte Raja Maha Vihara proceeded to enhance the facilities of the school and changed the school's name to Kotte Bauddha (Buddhist) English Mixed School.[4]

The first principal of the school was C. Ranasingha (1890-1903), who was followed by D. B. Jayatilaka (1903-1905). In 1910 the name of the school was changed to Jayawardena Shasthra Shalava, whilst D. J. Jayatunga (1905-1922) was appointed as the school's third principal.[5]

After the establishment of Buddhist Theosophical Society, Jayawardena Shasthra Shalava took over the administration of the school. The administration renamed the school, Ananda Sastralaya, and appointed the former principal of Ananda College, S. P. Perera, as the school's principal.[4]

In 1934, Dr. E. W. Adikaram, renowned educator, writer and social activist took on the duties of the principal of Ananda Sastralaya and his period was known as the golden age of the school. He made a vital contribution to the renaissance of Buddhist education. With the help of many donours and a large number of social workers, hee bought another 13 acre land from the Pagoda area and built the hostel and sports ground of Ananda Sastralaya. Later, he used the resources used to mark the beginning of another Buddhist school in Kotte at that time. Later, this school was named as "Ananda Sastralaya Junior School (No. 02)".

During the second World War the school premises was taken over by the Ceylon Army for the use as an army camp.[5] After the war, the school was re-established. Under the 1961 Parliamentary Act passed by the Government, all the educational institutes were taken under to one national system of education, whereby all the schools that were managed by the Buddhist Theosophical Society were transferred across to the Government.

In the 1960s, Stanley Thilakaratne, a former MP from Kotte (who was selected as the speaker of the parliament later) pointed out the need for a girls' college in Kotte and reserved an unused land plot in the 13 acre land in the Pagoda Ananda Sastralaya Junior School No. 2. New Girls' School was established on January 11, 1971 as "Ananda Balika Vidyalaya, Kotte." [1][6]



The students of the Ananda Sastralaya are divided into four houses. These are:

  • Paravi - Colour -      Red
  • Kokila - Colour -      Green
  • Thisara - Colour -      Red
  • Mayura - Colour -      Blue

An athletic tournament among these houses is held once a year at the beginning of the first term.

Past principals

Name of the principalPeriodNotes
C. Ranasinghe1890 – 1903inaugural headmaster
D. B. Jayathilaka1903 – 1905
D. J Jayathunga1905 – 1922
S. P. Perera1922 – 1934
E. W. Adikaram1934 – 1946
Bernard Wickramasinghe1945 – 1954
N. W. de Costa1953 – 1956
Mahinda Palihawadana1956 – 1960
Gunapala Wickramarathna1961 – 1964
M. C. Ariyarathna1965 – 1966
Ananda Pasqual1966 – 1970
W. T. P. Thilakarathne1971 – 1988
H. Thilakananda1988 – 1989
P. A. Lokugamage1989 – 1990
Palitha Weerasooriya1990 – 1991
E. M. Ranasinghe1992 – 1995
W. A. S. Ranasinghe1995 – 1998
W. S. Dharmasiri1998 – 2001
D. Jayaweera2001 – 2002
Abeysekara Gunarathana Thero2002 – 2006
E. J. A. P. Karunadasa2007 – 2009
M. H. N. G. Thisera2009 – 2010
Malani Samarakoon2010 – 2013first female principal
G. P. B. Liyangaskumbura2013 – 2019
Upul Jayarathne2019 - present

Notable alumni

Name Notability Reference
Gangodawila Soma Thero Buddhist Monk [7]
Gamini Lokuge Member of parliament - Colombo (1989present)
Milton Mallawarachchi Singer, Musician
Dayasena Pasqual Member of parliament - Matugama (19561977) [8][9]
Reggie Ranatunga Member of parliament - Gampaha (19892008)
S. de Silva Jayasinghe Member of parliament - Wellawatte-Galkissa (19521977) [10]
K. M. P. Rajaratne Member of parliament - Welimada (19561957, 19601965)
Kusuma Rajaratne Member of parliament - Welimada (19571960), Uva Paranagama (19601965)
Jayalal Rohana Actor, Director, Scriptwriter
Isura Devapriya Chief Minister of Western Province (2015present) [11]

See also


  1. "Ananda Sastralaya - moving on". The Sunday Leader. 6 August 2006. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  2. "Gazette". The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. 10418. 27 June 1952.
  3. "Digging into the tunnelled history of Kotte". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 22 June 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  4. "The History of Ananda Sastralaya". Ananda Sastralaya. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  5. "Ananda Sastralaya, Kotte - 115 years". Daily News (Sri Lanka). 1 January 2005. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  7. "Gangodawila Soma Thera who made a great contribution to the Buddhist society". (in Sinhala). 26 September 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  8. "manoj01". Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  9. Abeynaike, H. B. W.; Ameratunga, H. P. (1970). Parliament of Ceylon. Colombo: Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited. p. 66.
  10. "ජන හදවත්වල තුන් කල්හිම රැඳුණු ඇස්. ද ඇස්. ජයසිංහ -". (in Sinhala). 26 September 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  11. Web, Rivira (5 August 2016). "Isura Devapriya - Chief Minister of the Western Province - Isura Devapriya's Political Life 25 Years Anniversary". Rivira Online (in Sinhala). Retrieved 17 March 2018.
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