Past Orations

Ananda College Old Boys’ Association

Past Orations

2004 – Deva Rodrigo (Col. Olcott recognized our educational needs)

The indigenous people of Sri Lanka benefited much from the life of Colonel Henry Steele Olcott, whose life and mission is commemorated today (November 12). He recognized the need to establish institutions that could impart knowledge and provide learning opportunities in English to those who were otherwise not able to gain admission to an English School and enter the mainstream of employment under the Colonial British rulers, said Chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Deva Rodrigo. He was delivering the Olcott Memorial Oration at BMICH recently.

2005 – Professor Nimal Rajapakse (New frontiers of engineering)

The Olcott Memorial Oration 2005 delivered by Old Anandian Professor Nimal Rajapakse, Professor of Mechanical Engineering University of British Columbia, Canada.

2008 – Prof. Ravindra Fernando (Poisoning: A modern epidemic in Sri Lanka )

Toxicology is the science of poisons. It can also be defined as the discipline that integrates all scientific information to help preserve and protect health and the environment from the hazards presented by chemical and physical agents. Toxicology is certainly not a new science.

2009 – Gotabaya Rajapaksa (Future Challenges Facing Sri Lanka: Security, Reconciliation and Development)

The Olcott Oration is one of the annual events organised to commemorate the founder of Ananda College, Colonel Henry Steele Olcott. As a result of Col. Olcott’s vision to promote the English medium of instructions for Buddhist students, Ananda College began its historic journey as the Buddhist English School in Maliban Street, in 1886, under the able stewardship of C.W. Leadbeater. The founding of this school can be considered a key milestone in the nationalist revival that introduced our cultural values into the formal education system despite colonial rule. This revival was influential in our struggle for independence, and, considering the role of Ananda in moulding many of the key individuals in recent events, one could even say that it was instrumental in the recent national victory over terrorism.

2010 – Rivinatha Ariyasinghe (Moderating competing narratives: the challenge of recasting Sri Lanka’s image abroad)

I am deeply honoured to have been invited by the Ananda College Old Boys’ Association to
deliver the Olcott Oration 2010.

2011 – Prof. Chandana Wirasinghe (Role of the Individual in National Development – Ananda Can Show the Way)

I am most honoured, greatly honoured, indeed distinctly honoured to be invited to present the Olcott Oration for 2011, this special year in which we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the founding of Ananda College by Colonel Henry Steele Olcott. I cannot think of a higher honour that my school could have conferred on me.

2012 – Deepal Sooriyaarachchi (A new paradigm in Buddhist Education)

Every year on the 1st of November we commemorate the establishment of the Buddhist Academy down Maliban Street in Colombo, which later became Ananda College our Alma Mater. The key figure in this historic endevour is none other than Col Henry Steel Olcott. It is to pay gratitude to him that every year we organize the Olcott Oration.

2013 – Dr. Sunil Wimalawansa (Water Pollution-Associated ill Health: Special Emphasis on Chronic Kidney Disease in Sri Lanka)

2014 – Sanjiva Senanayake (The Ideal of Ananda)

Venerable Sirs, the Principal of Ananda College, Mr. Kithsiri Liyanagamage, members of the staff, the President and members of the OBA, fellow Anandians, Ladies and Gentlemen

2015 – Yuvanjana J. W. Wijayatilake (Evolution of the justice system since arrival of colonel Henry S. Olcott to the present)

Reproduced below is the first part of Colonel Henry Steel Olcott Memorial Speech delivered by Attorney General Y J W Wijayatilake, PC at Ananda College on November 21. The second part will be published on November 25.

2016 – Prof Rohan Attele (Unreasonable Success of Mathematics and Role of IT in driving national
economies.)

I am honored by this invitation to deliver the Henry Steel Olcott Memorial Lecture of 2016.  Colonel Olcott’s  Buddhist schools paved the way for upward mobility for millions of Sri Lankan children.  I am one of them–I received my entire education from Grade 1 to Grade 12 at Ananda.

2017 – Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe – Evolution of Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy

I am deeply honoured to have been invited to deliver the Olcott Oration 2017 and to join a list of great Anandians who have delivered this Oration before. I cannot think of a greater honour that my school could confer on me. I accepted this invitation with humbleness, with gratitude and respect, and with great pride. Let me also take this opportunity to appreciate the support and guidance I received during my school career at Ananda College. The guidance our teachers gave us laid the foundation for any success later on in our lives.

2018 – Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of Sri Lanka Army

Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army on Saturday (3) delivered the prestigious ‘Colonel Henry Steel Olcott’ oration to a packed audience at Colombo Ananda College at the invitation of the Old Boys’ Association (OBA) and the Principal.

2019 – Maithri Panagoda AM

I am indeed proud and honoured to be here today on this stage exactly 50 years after I left Ananda College to enter the Law Faculty of the then University of Ceylon. It was the year 1969. Col Rajapakse was the Principal. He had been my English teacher in upper classes. I believe he was able to extract the best out of both educators and those who were being educated.