Royal People

A dedication to those wonderful people who served Royal Primary School & Royal College, in Sri Lanka, since 1835, and, who will be remembered for their committment, sincerety and unselfishness.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Palitha Siriwardana

Right Royal Double International By Maxie Kariyawasam

From his very early days at Royal Junior school, Palitha Siriwardana showed tremendous talent as a versatile sportsman winning the Junior Public School titles in the High Jump and the hurdles.

Shifting over to Royal College, Colombo in 1975, Palitha went on to captain the U-17 Basketball team that emerged Champions in the schools circuit. His leadership qualities were never in question when he again led his college U-19 team to become champions in the All Island Schools Circuit.

Joining the Police in 1979 Palitha was an indispensable member of the Police Basketball team that went on to be the National Inter-club champions from 1979 to 1992. The icing on the cake was when Palitha was entrusted with the captaincy of the insurmountable Police Basketball team from 1977 to 1988 and received the National Best Player award and the All Star Certificate form 1979 to 1989. This was what one would call “Chicken feed” for a player who had distinguished himself playing for the public school’s team from 1976 to 1977 and going one step further to represent the National Youth Basketball team in the Asian Youth Basketball championship held in Kuwait in September 1977.

Palitha’s obvious talent and outstanding ability could not be ignored and the National Selectiors inducted him into the National Team in the same year for the Asian Basketball championship held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

This was followed a year later by his inclusion in the Sri Lanka team that toured India in 1978 and also in 1981 when Palitha was an automatic choice for the Asian Basketball championship held in Calcutta, India in 1981.Rugby however was a different ball game, but Palitha who showed sheer brilliance as a sportsman took to the game with gusto since joining the Police and went on to initially represent the Police in Inter Club Rugby wherein police dominated the local Rugby scene with their superlative performances winning the John Player Cup championship 6 years consecutively.

Form they say is temporary but class is permanent and Palitha showed that he had plenty of class when he got the selectors nod to represent the country at International level in 1985 at Taiwan. 1987 also saw Palitha don the Sri Lanka Jersey in the sevens tournament held in Hong Kong where the country were the runners-up in the Bowl competition.

1987 also saw Palitha proudly making his mark as a front-runner in the Sri Lankan team that took part in the Australian 7’s held in Sydney and the Dubai 7’s held in Dubai. This was followed by Palitha again being recognized for his outstanding talent by being an integral part of the Sri Lankan team to tour Wales.

The year 1988 saw Palitha tour with the Sri Lankan team in Hong Kong followed by his final tour for the 7’s in Italy also in 1988.

Today Palitha though fully occupied with the duties of an A.S.P. covering areas of Kollupitiya, Bambalapitiya and Wellawatta still retains his interest in sports both local and international with great interest. He is undoubtedly an officer and gentleman in army parlance and is one of the nicest personalities one could ever hope to meet.


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