Cultural and Literary activities have been part and parcel of the programmes of the Colombo YMBA from its inception. In 1925, under the leadership of His Excellency Herbert Stanley, the Governor of Ceylon, the Late Mr. DNW de Silva, inaugurated “the Light of Asia” contest in order to develop oratory skills in English and inculcate Buddhist ethics and values among the younger generation of the country. This contest which requires the recital of verses from Sir Edwin Arnold’s Classic “Light of Asia” and explanation in English in their own words, had been continuously held with a brief interruption during the war. The contest has attracted many talented students, and after it was thrown open again to the non-Buddhists a decade ago, it was a matter of great satisfaction that students of the other religions too have participated. It was even more encouraging to note that many students from outstations also compete including pupils from Sinhala and English Dhamma Schools.The Overall winner out of the 11 Finalists is awarded the DNW de Silva Challenge Trophy donated by Mr. Sidath Sri Nandalochana in memory of his late father Mr. DNW de Silva who was the inaugurator of this contest in 1925, along with a cash prize of Rs. 25,000/=. Those who win the First place in each group receives a trophy, a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 1,750/= each. The other winners below them too receive certificates and cash prizes. These prizes are donated by well-wishers and Members of the Board of Management of the Colombo YMBA.
- Overall Winners from 1990
Year Names of Winners
1990 - Mr.Rajindra Rainer of Nalini de Silva School of Speech and Drama, Colombo
1991 - Mr.Janaka Arjuna Ratnayake of Dharma Deepthi Dhamma School of Udahamulla Nugegoda
1992 - Ms.Anusuya Subasinghe of Sirimavo Bandaranayake Vidyalaya
1993 - Mr.Viranga Lakshan Wijeratne of Nalini de Alwis School of Speech and Drama, Colombo
1994 - Ms.Krishani Dilhara Wijewrdane of Wendy Watmore Academy For Speech and Drama Colombo 03.
1995 - Mr.Asela Nadeera Senanayake of Nalini de Alwis School of Speech and Drama, Colombo
1996 - Mr. H. P. K Pathirana
1997 - Mr.Lasantha Rodrigo of Wendy Whatmore Academy For Speech and Drama
1998 - Ms. A.L. Samarakoon
1999 - Mr. Eraj Shri Chandrasekera
2000 - Mr. D T T Wijeratne of Ananda College Colombo
2001 - Ms.Sanlakshi Liyanagama of Vishaka Vidyalaya Colombo
2002 - Ms.Gamithri Karunasena of Bauddayathana Dhamma School, Mount Lavinia
2003 - Ms. Dilini Dias
2004 - Ms.Piumali Seneviratne
2005 - Mr.Thiran Weerasekere
2006 - Ms.Isurai Adasooriya of Bauddayathana Dhamma School, Mount Lavinia
2007 - Ms.Ruwini Wageesha Kodippili of Nalini de Alwis School of Speech and Drama, Colombo
2008 - Ms.Thihani Welgama
2009 - Ms.Sandamini Athakada
2010 - Ms.Nikeshi Caldera of Vidura International School, Rajagiriya
2011 - Joint Winners Mr.Neranga Jayaweera of Lyceum International School Panadura
" - " " Ms.Pemalka Ranmini Pemaratne of Nalini de Alwis School of Speech and Drama Colombo
2012 - Mr.Rakbo Perera of Marjorie De Alwis School Nugegoda
2013 - Ms. Panchali Ilankoon of Musaeus College Colombo
2014 - Mr. W.P.G.H. Malinga de Silva of Siri Sudassanarama Dhamma School
Trophies awarded in Light Of Asia Contest
Late Mr.DNW de Silva Memorial Trophy - Overall Winner
Mr.& Mrs.LM Kuruppu Challenge Trophy - Winner Girls, Basic Division, Colombo
Mr.& Mrs.LM Kuruppu Challenge Trophy - Winner Boys, Basic Division, Colombo
Mr.AWA Abeyagoonasekera - Winner Basic Div., Outstation (Mixed) Challenge Trophy
Mr.& Mrs.J M Piyatissa Challenge Trophy - Winner Girls, Primary Div. Colombo
Mr.& Mrs.J M Piyatissa Challenge Trophy - Winner Boys, Primary Div. Colombo
Mr.& Mrs.L M Kuruppu Challenge Trophy - Winner Primary Division Outstation (Mixed)
Mr.& Mrs.H S Gunasekara Challenge Trophy- Winner Girls, Junior Division Colombo
Mr.D L F Pedris Challenge Trophy - Winner Boys, Junior Division Colombo
Mr.& Mrs.J W Piyatissa Challenge Trophy - Winner Junior Division, Outstation (Mixed)
Mr.N J V Cooray Challenge Trophy - Winner Senior Division, Colombo (Mixed)
Mr.& Mrs.J W Piyatissa Challenge Trophy - Winner Senior Division, Outstation (Mixed)
COLOMBO YOUNG MEN’S BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION
THE LIGHT OF ASIA CONTEST – (Year)
The annual “Light of Asia” contest conducted by the Colombo Y.M.B.A. is intended to encourage the youth to learn the art of public-speaking, acquire proficiency in the English language and appreciate the teachings of the Buddha as presented in Sir Edwin Arnold’s classic “LIGHT OF ASIA”. The participants will be judged on (a) the Accuracy of text (b) Pronunciation (c) Audibility and Clarity of Voice (d) Vocal and Facial Expressions (e) Understanding of the Text. Candidates will be questioned by the judges and they will have to be prepared to explain the meaning of the passage recited in two to three minutes as to what he/she understood from the lines recited.
The contest is organized in the following eleven groups. The candidates who should be within the prescribed age limits as of (01st January of a given year) should recite the number of lines from the “LIGHT OF ASIA” by Sir Edwin Arnold as shown below.
COLOMBO DISTRICT DHAMMA SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLS:
Senior Division I Girls & Boys Over 17 years and under 21 years of age
(1992.01.02 – 1996.01.01) - 30 lines
Junior Division II Girls Over 13 years and under 17 years of age
III Boys (1996.01.02 – 2000 .01.01) - 25 Lines
Primary Division IV Girls Over 11 years and under 13 years of age
V Boys (2000.01.02 – 2002.01.01) - 20 Lines
Basic Division VI Girls Over 9 years and under 11 years of age
VII Boys (2002.01.02 – 2004 .01.01) - 12 Lines
OUTSTATION DHAMMA SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLS:
Senior Division - VIII Girls & Boys Over 17 years and under 21 years of age - 30 Lines
Junior Division - IX Girls & Boys Over 13 years and under 17 years of age - 25 Lines
Primary Division - X Girls & Boys Over 11 years and under 13 years of age - 20 Lines
Basic Division - XI Girls & Boys Over 9 years and under 11 years of age - 12 Lines
A candidate who has previously won a first prize at the “Light of Asia” Contest organized by the Colombo YMBA will NOT BE ELIGIBLE to enter again in the Same Division.
Applications for admission to the contest in the prescribed form should be sent to reach the undersigned not later than (date). Applications may be obtained from this office on or before (date).
This contest will commence on (date) the Colombo Y.M.B.A., No.70, D.S.Senanayake Mawatha, Borella, Colombo 08. Admission cards will be posted to every eligible candidate before (date). Any eligible candidate who does not receive an admission card should contact this office on Telephone 011-2698083/2695786. The date of Finals will be intimated to the selected contestants.
All candidates attending Dhamma Schools must also enter the names of the Schools that they regularly attend/attended.
All candidates are advised that they should be dressed only in white and should refrain from wearing identifiable marks or colours when they present themselves at the contest.
BEST OVERALL CONTESTANT
The CHALLENGE CUP in memory of Late Mr. D.N.W.de Silva, the organizer of the First “Light of Asia” Contest held in 1925 and Rs.25,000/= in cash will be awarded to the winner at the contest, which will be held on the day of the Prize-Giving.
PRIZES FOR OTHER WINNERS
Vouchers from leading bookshops and books along with certificates will be awarded to all winners of the individual categories.
Hony. Secretary for Literary Activities (English)
70, D.S.Senanayake Mawatha