Last Sunday, members of Colombo Branch of the Dharmaraja College gathered at the Kingsbury Hotel to felicitate their school colleague Vijith Malalgoda who was recently elevated to the Supreme Court Bench. It was quite an elite gathering drawn from among the Old Rajans ranging from the Judiciary, unofficial Bar, to top brass of Police, the Tri-Forces, Health sector, corporate sector, Bankers, Academics, Journalists and Management Consultants, engineers and other Professionals from different fields, some of whom had met for the first time after leaving school. President Colombo Branch Indika de Soyza, the former Country Manager of Intel, in his welcome address alluded to a recent reference in a Sinhala newspaper which it focused on a curious coincidence in the SAITM controversy where Appeal Court decision was delivered in favour of the SAITM Medical School by Old Rajan Vijith Malalgoda when the student leader who was leading the University Students’ campaign against SAITM was also an Old Rajan while the Police that arrested him was headed by another Old Rajan Pujith Jayasundera and when he was finally sent to the Remand Prison, that too was head by Old Rajans like Prison Commissioner Gamini Jaysinghe and some of his Superintendents!
Justice Vijith Malalgoda in his speech mentioned how his life and career was fashioned at Dharmaraja to prepare him with a down to earth training both in class and outside, to equip him to take on the arduous challenges of his career as a lawyer, in the Attorney-General’s Department, in the Court of Appeal as its President and finally to the Supreme Court Bench. He particularly referred to his encounters with his loved and feared Principal A.P. Gunaratne who was himself present to fete his ‘difficult’ student. In fact the party was agog with anecdotes of those gathered, with their own encounters with this legendary Principal who ‘reigned’ Dharmaraja for 19 years. They all claimed that their success was due to the visionary guidance of their ‘iron’ Principal. It so happened that most of those who had gathered there had now reached the peak of their respective careers, were the students in the ‘Gunaratne Era’ which is now considered as one of the Golden Eras of Dharmaraja.
Then there was IGP Pujith Jayasundera who too was a contemporary of Vijith, who grabbed the micro-phone after dinner and was seen belting away some fast numbers with his Police Beat Group that was in attendance. Everybody was surprised. None new that he could sing, quite well at that! Many were seen on the dance floor enjoying this rare scene. No doubt the discovery of new talent in the IGP was a delightful by-product of this special occasion.