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Old 25-06-12, 12:35 AM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default Mr. Arisen Ahubudu

Arisen Ahubudu
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Arisen Ahubudu
Born March 18, 1920
Sri Lanka
Died 26 May 2011 (aged 91)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Nationality Sri Lanka Sri Lankan
Other names Ariyasena Asuboda
Occupation writer, orator, scholar, playwright, teacher (Guru), Sinhala lyricist, author and poet in Sri Lanka
Religion Theravada Buddhism

Kalasuri Arisen Ahubudu (Sinhala:කලාසූරි අරිසෙන් අහුබුදු) (1920–2011) was a writer, orator, scholar, playwright, teacher (Guru), Sinhala lyricist, author and poet in Sri Lanka, born in Mudiyallagahawatta in Malalaga, Koggala. He is a member of the Hela Havula. He has received three government awards for literary works, the title of Kalasuri[1] from the Government of Sri Lanka, and the Sarasavi Award film award for best composer.

He had his early education at the Kataluwa government school and joined the Nittambuwa Teacher Training College. It was after his close association with Hela stalwarts Vellala Jayamaha and Cumaratunga Munidasa in the thirties and forties that he sharpened his language skills. The name change to Arisen Ahubudu was also the result of this association.

Ahubudu served 42 years as a teacher. Having first taught at Holy Trinity College in Nuwara Eliya, he moved to Mahinda College, Galle and later to Maha Bodhi College, Maradana. His longest stint came even later at St Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia from 1952 until 1979 where together with Sandadas Coperehewa and GL Jinadasa supported by D.S. Jayasekera he was a leader in the post independence renaissance in teaching of the Sinhala language and literary activities. To promote the use of Sinhala at a time when prominence was given to English, he began a free correspondence course for students whom he had never met or seen.

Prior to his death Arisen Ahubudu was the last surviving prominent member of Hela Havula as well as the last surviving prominent Sri Lankan lyricist

Ahubudu died on 26 May 2011.[1]

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Old 17-07-13, 11:22 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default Arisen Ahubudu :The most innovative teacher and social worker

Arisen Ahubudu :The most innovative teacher and social worker

July 16, 2013, 5:48 pm

Description: article_image

by S.V.D Kesarralal Gunasekera

The teacher

I will always begin by recalling my memories of him at the S. Thomas’ College Mt.Lavinia. Mr. Ahubudu taught there from grade seven to Ordinary Level classes. To me he was like no other. His style of teaching was what we now call ‘out of the box.’ As soon as he enters the classroom he draws pictures across the black board. The pictures included figures of kings, stupas and different ancient scenarios. He drew these under two minutes, and drew our attention to him. He was an excellent artist and his illustrations were lively and intriguing. Then he would relate the story pertaining to the drawing. Most often the stories were about a king or something from our history. He told us about Kings such as Dutugemunu and Dhatusena and their dedication to the country, religion and the people. His stories also included ancient cultivation practices, irrigation and the commitment of the leaders of our country. The stories which lasted for about six to seven minutes touched our minds and hearts creating a deep sense of affection and pride towards our language, culture and country. He did not ever have to shout at us to get our attention. His mild mannerisms and gentle way of addressing us together with his exemplary appearance made us want to listen to him. Imagine a classroom full of teenage boys taking an interest and listening to historical stories and encounters. Looking back, I feel that he was the one who sowed the very first seeds of patriotism in our minds. His vision on patriotism was all about being community minded. The heroes of his stories epitomized that vision. Our forefathers who were the main characters of the stories he narrated always placed country before self whether they went to war, made stupas, traded with other countries or developed irrigation systems. He was able to strike that fine balance in his stories by highlighting the exemplary traits of those heroes and heroines and not just giving a false sense of pride of being Sinhalese. Even when he told us stories about the fight against the British Empire, he instilled no anger or animosity in our minds. He knew his audience was hundred percent teenagers. Boys of a very impressionable age. So he was careful not to allow us to misconceive the idea of nationalism. He ensured that we never became ‘labeled patriots’; citizens who would call them patriots yet act contrary to the supreme notion of patriotism. He showed us our duty and responsibility towards the country’s future.

I must add that he was a teacher worth his weight in gold. If were alive today, he would have died a thousand deaths for what is happening to teachers in schools. I will bow to his name as I did to him when he was alive, for the quality and calibre of teaching I experienced under him.

Exemplary Patriot

He has often been referred to as the last link of the "Hela Havula" movement. His affiliations with the Late Cumaratunga Munidasa, and the thinking which followed developed into a larger force of language revolutionaries. Arisen Ahubudu practiced it to the core. His Aariya Sinhala attire, the way he used the Sinhala language, and even his name spelling personified this school of thought. He was a courageous man who led by example in being a patriot. What I admire in this day and age of violent patriotism is the fact that Mr. Ahubudu was never a racist. His confidence in his language and ethnicity was never shaken by anything or anyone else. Thus he offended no other community.

He was a well-read man. The knowledge which he had gathered was by associating people like Cumaratunga Munidasa, and through reading. It made him a complete man. A man whom the others listened to. He was a university all rolled into one. A guru to many. His learning also gave him the freedom to think, have a conscience and innovate. He was a person whom we would call a mighty atom because despite his small stature, an non imposing personality, he was a giant in Sri Lankan society for the wealth of knowledge he possessed.


Mr. Ahubudu will always be remembered as an innovator by the Sri Lankan people. Apart from Aelian de Silva he was one of the last people who brought innovation into the Sinhala language. He was not your regular university professor type who just carried on the language. He made the language grow, created a Sinhalese identity and made people think about language with meaning. This is what led to many people approaching him when naming their children. The names he gave children were unique and were full of meaning. He etched his name and style in naming children. Even today we can identify the names which have been innovated by him because of this unique ‘Ahubudu’ style. He was also instrumental in giving meaningful names for the projects in the country such as Maga Neguma, Gama Neguma, Subharathi and Sisu Seriya. He was the master in this trade.

One of the lessor known facts about him was his ability to write and recite poetry spontaneously. There were many instances when I went to see him, he recited a hitiwanakavi about me! Then wrote it down on a piece of paper and handed it to me before my departure.

Poet turned Lyricist

It is rare for a poet to turn lyricist. But he was among those few who achieved that. Just like Mahagama Sekera, Sri Chandraratne Manawasinghe, Ahubudu also penned very meaningful songs which are great hits even today. Most of those songs were about our culture, history and patriotism.

Work till the end

The greatest lesson he left for us is that you work till you die. Until the day he died aged 91, I have seen him at work. Every time I visited him, he was writing. There never was an idle moment in his life. Even at 91 he was very alert in his faculties. He had this unique ability to remember his pupils and often their names. If he was unable to recall the name, he could still say in whose class the particular individual studied. Such a perfect memory with a sound body and mind at 91 was a reward for his untiring work for the country He never retired from work until his final day. His vigour, passion and strength with which worked earned him the honour of the nation and its people.

I am so privileged to have been his student and am mighty proud to call him my teacher. He was a true son of the soil who served this country till his last breath. It is high time that a Sri Lankan university recognize his contribution and posthumously award him an honourary doctorate.
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Last edited by sriyanj; 03-05-15 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 18-07-13, 05:08 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default Memories of Arisen Ahubudu: at STC....

From: Dr.Narme Wickremesinghe <nwosh1@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 8:47 AM
Subject: Memories of Arisen Ahubudu: at STC....

Dear Sriyan and Lalith,
That was a lovely piece on Mr. Ahubudu which all Thomians would fully endorse.Thank you very much. He re-named me in pure Hela as Namsen Vikusihu! When I became the Chair of Ranaviru Seva Authority I addressed him as 'Suruveni'(-Sir) he responded'1950 ss gananwela vakavanuve netha?'
Best wishes,
Narme Wickremesinghe

Sent from my iPad

From: Mahes <mahes@oceanlanka.net>

Date: Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 9:21 AM
Subject: RE: Memories of Arisen Ahubudu: at STC....

Dear Sriyan,

When I opened my terminal this morning to glance through the many mails received today I noticed the name of our dear teacher and guru

I did not hesitate but opened same and read it.

Oh! Yes it brought back so many memories and took me back a good fifty years in my life your work in this article is great its brilliant this note

Is just to thank you and also I am fully in agreement on your suggestion in the penultimate paragraph.

Esto Per Petua

Mahes Katugaha.
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