In this issue: Reunion Event info, Remembering Prof. VK Samaranayake, Sri Lanka Flood relief effort and more ...
Next issue: Additional and updated TAMASHA 2016 event info, Book Donation Program, Mentoring Program, and more ...
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CUFSAA Newsletter - Vol. 01 - No. 03
June 17, 2016

CUFSAA reacts fast to help flood-affected Sci Fac students

Within days of  being informed of a flood affected science faculty student, CUFSAA reacted swiftly to donate Rs. 100,000/=, to the faculty of Science. This donation of Rs. 100,000/= included an initial CUFSAA donation of Rs. 25,000/= that was made to Dean/Science Prof. Mahanama on June 7th by Dr. Kirthi Premadasa to support this severely affected fourth year student till the end of the program. The affected student received the amount of Rs 25,000/= as a flat payment and a further donation of Rs 3,000/= per month for six more months to the above mentioned student.

Remaining funds will be used to support any other affected student(s) whose names will be transmitted to us by the Dean/Science shortly.

This is just an example of how CUFSAA will continue to use its collective strength to make life changing differences to Science faculty students both in Sri Lanka and in North America.

We sincerely thank everyone who contributed to this worthy effort!

Remembering Professor Samaranayake

The sixth of June marks the 9th death anniversary of Vidya Jyothi V. K. Samaranayake. To those of us who were fortunate enough to be associated with him, Professor Samaranayake was one of the most beloved teachers and deans the science faculty ever had. To his country, he was the father of the IT revolution, the man who brought the computer age to Sri Lanka.

During the late seventies and eighties, working with minimal resources, Professor Samaranayake almost single handedly built a Statistical Unit and a Computer Center at the University of Colombo. The early achievements of these centers included many consulting services, the automation of the 1982 university selections, and the automation of the 1982 Presidential elections. Perhaps the most important contribution was the education and the training of many young men and women who were to join Professor Samaranayake’s efforts in the years to come.

The Stat Unit and the Computer Center became the Department of Statistics and Computer Science in 1985. Professor Samaranayake formed the Institute of Computer Technology (ICT) in 1987. These two institutions merged in 2002 as the University of Colombo School of Computing with Professor Samaranayake as the Founding Director.

Professor Samaranayake was instrumental in creating the computer science special degree program at the University of Colombo. He also created the BIT (Bachelor of Information Technology) program which gave multitudes of Sri Lankan students who did not get university admission an opportunity to receive a degree in IT. 

Nine years after his untimely death Professor Samaranayake’s legacy continues through the success of the institutions he created, the visionary policies he set in place, and the memories of the students he educated and nurtured.

The V.K. Samaranayake Oration this year will be delivered by Prof. Saman Kumara Halgamuge, senior Prof. at Melbourne University on July 5th.

TAMASHA/Reunion Tickets are on Sale Now!

Win Valuable Door Prizes at the CUFSAA-NA Inaugural Get Together

We have started receiving valuable door prizes from our sponsors and you could be the lucky winner of many of those door prizes. The Raffle tickets to draw these door prizes will go on sale at the Tamasha event. The proceeds from the Raffle ticket sales will benefit the Faculty of Science of the University of Colombo. More details to follow and will be updated on the CUFSAA website as well.
Haven’t purchased your Tamasha Dinner Dance and the Brunch/Inaugural Meeting tickets yet? Why wait?  Please Visit today and buy your tickets online.

The First ever reunion of Colombo University - Faculty of Science Alumni Reunion (TAMASHA 2016) tickets are now on sale. Keep your Labor Day weekend (Sep. 03-04) FREE and meet us at Akbar Banquet Hall in Edison New Jersey!

1. TAMASHA 2016 – The Inaugural get-together (Tamasha 2016) will be on September 03, 2016 from 6pm – 1am at Akbar Banquet Hall, 21 Cortlandt Street, Edison NJ 08837 ( Tickets are $75 for adults and $30 for Children 5-12 years old. Under 5 FREE.
2. The Brunch/inaugural meeting of CUFSAA – will be on September 04, 2016 from 11am-2pm at Akbar Banquet Hall, 21 Cortlandt Street, Edison NJ 08837 ( Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for Children 5-12 years old. Under 5 FREE.

To buy tickets via CHECK: Please send a check payable to CUFSAA with your contact information and email address. Please indicate the number and types of tickets that you are purchasing. The postal address to send these information is:

Colombo University Faculty of Science Alumni Association
393 Valley Road
River Edge NJ 07661

To buy tickets via PAYPAL: Visit the CUFSAA website at

Visit for more information and details.

Buy a page from the TAMASHA 2016 Souvenir Issue


We earnestly solicit your support for the event with an advertisement for the inaugural souvenir magazine. Our sponsorship levels for the event and costs are described below. We look forward to your support. Please advise your sponsorship level by an email to Further info are available on our website.
We wish to draw your kind attention to the fact that all proceeds from this event will go towards meeting the objectives of CUFSAA to help your Alma mater. Please also note that conducting an event such as Tamasha 2016 is very costly and we really bank on the souvenir sponsorships to make our envisaged contributions to the UoC Science Faculty.

TAMASHA 2016 Event Sponsorship Cost and details

Sponsorship Levels     Cost
Title Sponsor     $2500
Gold Sponsor     $1500
Silver Sponsor     $1000
Outer Back Cover     $1000 SOLD
Inner Back Cover     $500
Inner Front Cover     $500
Program Middle page Banner #1     $500
Program Middle page Banner #2     $500
Inside Full page – Commercial     $200
Inside Full page – Personal     $100

Please include a camera ready copy of your advertisement and email to us at

Things to do over the Labor Day weekend before and after the Reunion Events in New Jersey

This Labor Day weekend is surely going to be memorable for all of you. Alumni from all over North America will congregate in NJ in such numbers that you are sure to enjoy a fun filled weekend almost as if you were back in your twenties. You will probably meet batchmates whom you haven’t seen since campus days and get a once in a lifetime opportunity to hang out with them again, reminiscing times gone by in the most beautiful period of our lives. Here are some things you could do.
  • Come early or stay for a while to do some sightseeing in NJ.
Atlantic City and The Boardwalk, Old Victorian Cape May, Princeton and the Battlefield State Park, Liberty State Park, The Adventure Aquarium and Thomas Edison National Historical Park are few of the many attractions in the NJ area.
  • New York City is also close by. Do visit the attractions there too
Times Square, Central Park, NYC museums, Statue of Liberty, Bronx Zoo and Downtown Manhattan are some of the places that you can visit. Needless to say that there are so much more you can explore.
  • Visit your batchmates and friends in the area.
  • Create hangout meetings with your batch mates and friends before or after the main event

A Guest Lecture by Dr. Sumedha Jayasena

Dr. Sumedha Jayasena visiting from the US gave a guest lecture on June 03, 2016. The event was organized by the Chemistry Society.

A guest lecture was organized by the Chemical Society in collaboration with E2 section of SLAAS on "Why are pharmaceutical drugs very expensive? The inside story of drug discovery, development and approval process " by Dr. Sumedha Jayasena on 3rd of June 2016 at the Maths Auditorium, University of Colombo.

Sanhinda Scholarship Fund

The Faculty of Science Sanhinda Scholarship Fund  was created by Dr. Mahanama, Dr. Rosa and Dr. Wijerathne of University of Colombo - Faculty of Science almost 10 yeas ago and has been making scholarship grants to students for the last decade. This fund accepts direct donations from you. You can be a proud donor to the worth project of providing scholarships to University of Colombo, Science Faculty students.

If you would like to make a donation to Faculty of Science Sanhinda Scholarship Fund, the details of the fund are as follows. You may certainly donate to CUFSAA for this specific purpose as well. Just send us your donation and let us know that the funds are to be used for this specific purpose.

Bank Account Name: Sanhinda Scholarship Program
Bank Account number: 076020054121
Bank Branch: HNB, Cinnamon Garden Branch
Names of the Account Operators: Prof. K R Ranjith Mahanama, Prof. SRD Rosa, Dr. WMKP Wijayaratna, and Mr. R Ruwan Kumara

Thank you!

CUFSAA-NA "Take a Book Program"


- A recent book donation to the Science Faculty of the University of Colombo. In picture are Professor Mahanama - Dean Science accepting a book donation from Dr. Kirthi Premadasa who is visting Sri Lanka.

CUFSAA-NA "Take a Book Program" -
If you plan to visit Sri Lanka in the near future and would like to take a book with you to donate to the faculty of science, please let us know. We will have a list of books required by the faculty to choose from. Alternatively, if you have books that you would like to donate, please ship them to Dr. Saliya de Silva at 393 Valley Road, River Edge, NJ 07661 or you may bring them with you when you come to the CUFSAA-NA reunion in New Jersey in September and we will arrange shipping to Sri Lanka from there.

Needed! Stories, Anecdotes, Names and Places from your Sci Fac Campus Days

CUFSAA is looking for your stories, anecdotes, special names and locations from your campus days to be published in the TAMASHA 2016 souvenir. Please let us know them so that we get a chance to archive them before they disappear forever in the sands of time. Here are some examples.
For the last so many decades, our faculty has seen many batches come and go and with every batch, a number  of stories, anecdotes and names for places would have  come in to existence (and some disappear with time while others remain). For an example, during this writer’s  final days as an undergraduate (in the mid-eighties), the little landing just above the fifth floor of the Chemistry Building was named “Paha Mara (5.5 )” and was a haven for couples who were searching for a little privacy . A rather classic name creation as it is not a sixth floor but at the same time, it is certainly not the fifth floor too.  The famous Nuga Tree which was there forever was coined by some in the mid-2000s as “the maha pala dena nuga ruka” as the legend has it (they say at least) that if a young man or woman sat under it and wished for a particular partner, that wish would surely be granted. Now this is not really new stuff as early as the mid-seventies, it was also called “Magul Gaha”. There is enough proof to show that the tree lives up to its reputation. I personally know a young girl in a mid-2000 batch, who wished that a certain young man would ask her hand (rather than the multitude of the other guys who lined up) and presto, she had her wishes come true the very next week (This happy couple currently lives in the southern part of the United States. It works!  ). There are also other names coined to explain actions and situations  “Kuppiya”, “Parabal (A partner with enough good looks to go for a walk on a road)” and “Pakshiya” (The cram that you load in to your memory  the day before an exam to be recited like a parrot, and occasionally the most horrible thing happens when the "Pakishiya Maruna") are  some examples of these. Do share those also from your campus era.
Do tell us about your stories and places. The open canteen, the “sal gaha”, the “nuga gaha”, the “paha mara” , the KG Hall (In the writer’s final days as a lecturer , actual lectures were conducted here, but in the late seventies and early eighties it had a reputation for hosting  activities which were rather more exciting ), the “peechama” (also called the “del gaha uta cantima”, non-existant now), the “suspension” (the two metal benches near the Radio isotope Center) are so full of stories so that if they could only talk, we will not be able to stop them.
Do let us know, all the stories, the anecdotes, the names and the places from your times. Email to

CUFSAA Presentation - UoC to US Grad Life

Dr. Kirthi Premadasa on his recent trip to Sri Lanka mad a presentation with Dr. Oshadha Ranasingha on "Transitioning from a Graduate of University of Colombo to a graduate student in the US". The presentation sponsored by CUFSAA (Colombo University of Science Alumni Association of North America) consisted of many valuable tips to the prospective US graduate student.

Transitioning to US Grad Life

The picture released by FOS media above shows Dr. Kirthi Premadasa with Dr. Ranjith Mahanama - Dean Science, University of Colombo. Please visit this link for more details.

The CUFSAA Mentor List is growing ! Please volunteer !

Within a couple of weeks since its inception the CUFSAA mentor program now has almost 50 mentor ! The CUFSAA mentors simply do this: Suppose a new Sci Fac graduate arrives in the United States or Canada pursuing higher studies or employment. CUFSAA will get the student in contact with a willing CUFSAA mentor in the area/state and the mentor can try and help the student settle down by helping ease some of the “blues” encountered in those early difficult months. There is no major commitment at all . A little bit of advice, a warm smile, a home made meal from a Sci Fac alumni might go a long away towards giving a young student a great start in North America.
We want more mentors so that we can provide a truly phenomenal service to our Sci Fac graduates. Please volunteer by contacting with your name, email, institution (optional), city and state (We will not release contact info without your permission). Remember those early days when you first came here ? Please give back the help that someone would have given you when you first came to this land, so far away from our land of birth.

From Newsletter Issue 01 & 02

  1. Opportunities to perform at TAMASHA 2016 -  If you or your loved ones would like to do a song, a short dance, or a brief skit at the reunion on Sep. 3rd, do let us know. We kindly ask you to submit a sample of your work and details for us to review. You may email this information to We will be in touch if your audition is appropriate for the event and is accepted.
  2. CUFSAA-NA "Take a Book Program" - If you plan to visit Sri Lanka in the near future and would like to take a book with you to donate to the faculty of science, please let us know. We will have a list of books required by the faculty to choose from. Alternatively, if you have books that you would like to donate, please ship them to Dr. Saliya de Silva at 393 Valley Road, River Edge, NJ 07661 or you may bring them with you when you come to the CUFSAA-NA reunion in New Jersey in September and we will arrange shipping to Sri Lanka from there.
  3. Be a North American Mentor to a new UofC Graduate - CUFSAA is creating a mentor list of our alumni who live in different cities in North America so that, if a new UoC graduate arriving for graduates studies or for a job is looking for a friendly face in the city or the state, we can, with your permission, get this young person in contact with you. If you are willing to help out the next generation of UoC alumni in North America, please send your name, location, and contact information to us at
  4. Do you have photos to share at the TAMASHA 2016 event? Please send us your photos (especially those which portray campus times) so they can be shared with nostalgia among your colleagues. We plan to include some in the TAMASHA 2016 program. You can email them to or click on the link below and upload it directly. We also plan to use some of these in various audio/visual segments throughout the event. Please share your memories with everyone!
    Make sure you have the rights to post the photos and that you are OK with having them viewed in public.
  5. Fill out the membership Survey & Get involved - Even if you can't make it to the reunion events on September 2016, we will keep you posted on what is going on. Click on this link to fill out the survey.
Visit the Newsletter Page to read more ...
Colombo University Faculty of Science Alumni Association – North America (CUFSAA-NA), a non-profit organization incorporated in the state of New Jersey, is formed exclusively for social, charitable, and educational purposes to foster, maintain and support a mutually beneficial relationship between the alumni of the Colombo University, Faculty of Science living in North America, The University of Colombo, and the community at large.  Join us and support these worthy causes. Send an email to
Copyright © 2016 Colombo University Science Faculty Alumni Association, All rights reserved.

CUFSAA Newsletter Committee
Colombo University Science Faculty Alumni Association
2740 Timberline Drive
Cortland, OH 44410

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