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Sri Dharmaloka is the Buddhist English school established in Peliyagoda in 1938 under the patronage of Vidyalankara Piriwena. It was named for the late Sri Dharmaloka Thero, founder of the pirivena.

Sri Dharmaloka Vidyalaya was opened in 1938 in a small building on land adjoining Vidyalankara Pirivena and Mr. B.A. Kuruppu became the first head master. Sir D.B. Jayathilaka inaugurated the educational activities of the school, by taking the first lessons of the first students. In 1940, Dharmaloka ushered in an era of rapid development. D.B. Dhanapala was the principal of the school. ‘At the beginning, this school possessed neither a playground or sufficient space to set up even a volley ball court. The school building was surrounded by marsh. He used the road leading to Pirivena as the sports ground. The school gained its popularity and the following year, parents of Kelaniya rushed to get their children admitted. The school building did not permit him to admit all the children who sought admission. He organized a fund raising carnival which enabled him to put up a two storied building which could accommodate more children.

The greatness of Dhanapala lay not only in his ability to teach and guide the students in educational matters but also in his great qualities as a great disciplinarian through which he imparted high moral ideals both to his students and teaching staff. During his period we can still remember that there were teachers of outstanding abilities like C.M.Weerarathana, A.P.Jinadasa,H.L.Rathnapala U.G.P. de Mel and Brakenridge whose impressive ways of teaching still in the years of the then Students of dharmaloka who are now doctors, engineers, lawyers and more.

In 1946, Dhanapala left the school due to difference of opinion with the Board of governors and along with him almost all the staff too resigned. The school was handed over to the government and the venue shifted to the present site. Mr H.M. Gunasekara took over the reins of the school as the principal.

The Ven. Ratmalane Sri Dharmaloka Maha Thera

He was the founder of the Vidyalankara Pirivena Peliyagoda, Kelaniya .He was born on 28th May 1828.His Father was Mr. Don Coranelis Appuhamy and mother was Dona Andriyana Hamine. Under the guidance of the Ven. Talangama Sobhitha Maha Thera this child was given to the Ven. Andupe Sonuttara Maha Thera to be ordained. Thus he was ordained in 1837 and named ” Ratmalane Dharmaloka”.

In 1838 the Ven. Walane Sri Siddhartha Maha Thera observed rainy retreat at Purana Viharaya Ratmalana . The Ven. Dharmaloka Thera learnt under the Ven. Walane Sri Siddhartha Maha Thera(Founder of Parama Dhamma Chetiya Pirivena Ratmalana), until 1847.His great Disciple was the Ven. Ratmalane Sri Dharmarama Thera.

It was on 1st of November in 1875, together with his disciple the Ven. Dharmarama, the Ven. Ratmalane Dharmaloka Maha Thera established the Vidyalankara Pirivena Kelaniya which was promoted to the state of University in 1958.

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