Russian Graduates (Русские Выпускники)




Eid Mubarak to All Our Muslim Friends and their Families!

Today, on the 10th of September 2010, Muslims throughout the world celebrate Eid Al-Fitr or Festival of Fast-Breaking. We take this opportunity to wish all our Muslim colleagues and their families a Happy Eid by saying "Eid Mubarak!"

How is Eid al-Fitr (Festival of Fast-Breaking) Celebrated?

(adapted from

Question: How is Eid al-Fitr Celebrated?

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims observe a strict fast and participate in pious activities such as charitable giving and peace-making. It is a time of intense spiritual renewal for those who observe it. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world observe a joyous three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Fast-Breaking).


Eid al-Fitr falls on the first day of Shawwal, the month which follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. It is a time to give in charity to those in need, and celebrate with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and joy.

Before the day of Eid, during the last few days of Ramadan, each Muslim family gives a determined amount as a donation to the poor. This donation is of actual food -- rice, barley, dates, rice, etc. -- to ensure that the needy can have a holiday meal and participate in the celebration. This donation is known as sadaqah al-fitr (charity of fast-breaking).

On the day of Eid, Muslims gather early in the morning in outdoor locations or mosques to perform the Eid prayer. This consists of a sermon followed by a short congregational prayer.

After the Eid prayer, Muslims usually scatter to visit various family and friends, give gifts (especially to children), and make phone calls to distant relatives to give well-wishes for the holiday. These activities traditionally continue for three days. In most Muslim countries, the entire 3-day period is an official government/school holiday.


Wimalaratna's recent visit to Sri Lanka

Wimalaratna, PFU Graduate- Mechanical Engineer (1971-1977), who is now settled in Brisbane visited SL recently with his wife and daughter. Some of his old colleagues organized a day-out at Mt. Lavinia beach and a dinner at ASLGSC HQ. during his short stay in Colombo. Here is a link to some photos taken during his visit by Jaliya Dharmasena.


Opening of the second floor of ASLGSC building at Battaramulla

Message sent by Dr. Jaya Perera

Pubished below are a few photos taken during the opening of the second floor of the ASLGSC building on the 30 Jan 2010. Dr Saman Weerasinghe was the chief guest. We ended up having dinner hosted by him.

More photos and a detailed repot of the event can be found by following the links below:


Eid Mubarak to all our Muslim Friends and their Families

Eid ul-Fitr, often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", while Fitr means "to break fast"; and so the holiday symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period. It is celebrated after the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan, on the first day of Shawwal.

Eid ul-Fitr is a day long celebration and is sometimes also known as the "Smaller Eid" as compared to the Eid ul-Adha {Hadj} that lasts four days and is called the "Greater Eid".

Muslims are commanded by the Qur'an to complete their fast on the last day of Ramadan. (Wikipedia)


Obituary - Dr. Tissa Senaratna

Tissa Senaratna, a native of Mathugama, Sri Lanka was selected by the Government of Sri Lanka in 1970 to follow a 5-year course in Agriculture at the Russian Friendship University in Moscow, on a full scholarship. He was just eighteen (18) years old then. He excelled in his studies and passed out with an M.Sc in Agriculture with (first class) Honors in 1975. He specialized in Plant Physiology. On returning to Sri Lanka he was employed by the Department of Agriculture as a Research Officer and served at the Regional Agricultural Research Center, Mahailluppallama. For a short period, Tissa worked as lecturer in University of Peradeniya as well. He also got married around this period to Rajini, a Sri Lankan graduate from the same university who was his junior by a few years.

After around 2 years of service at the Department of Agriculture, Tissa was offered a scholarship to read for his M.SC and PhD at the University of Guelph, Ontario Canada. Having obtained his Ph D he continued to stay in Canada availing a faculty position in the Plant Science Department, with the family. During this time, Tissa became a co-inventor of a process to develop "artificial" seeds by introducing a certain combination of nutrients and growth regulators to tissue cultured embryos. This groundbreaking research was patented in 1993. His work was well recognized by the international scientific community and he was once rated as one of the 10 most outstanding people in Canada. He also won the prestigious McLean award for his ground breaking research in Embryo Culture. During this time, Tissa had to face some unfortunate moments in his personal life and moved to Perth, Australia to take up residence there. In Australia, he worked at the Kings Park Botanical Garden as a Principal Research Scientist. Later he joined the University of Western Australia as a member of the faculty. He has published many research papers and also supervised many PhD students in the field of Plant Physiology who have themselves become highly successful scientists.

Tissa had many talents and was a very lovable character. He was an excellent student, a musician, an orator and most importantly a man with a kind heart. He always wore a smile on his face and had a great sense of humor. Whenever he talked to someone who has been with him in Russia, he gave the feeling that he cherished every moment he spent in Russia more than anything else. In him we saw a great scientist and but as any other human being he had to live in this society facing many day to day challenges. No one of us ever expected his untimely death. Tissa could have contributed much more to the world at large through his great research work in the field of Agriculture.

Always bigger than life, Tissa stood out among others on account of his intelligence, sharp wit and sociable nature. One can only wonder how such a vivacious person could have been so sad inside, for it would seem that Tissa had all those things one could possibly hope for in life. Let us cherish the lovely memories Tissa left behind in all the hearts he had touched during his lifetime.

Tissa's son Nilan has already graduated and is employed. Daughter Nilmi is a third-year Environmental Science student at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

His relatives, spouse; children and all his friends can be proud of his achievements. We will not receive any more long phone calls from Tissa. He has decided to bid farewell to all of us in his own way,

We would agree that when someone is born to this world he or she cries in pain but it is so much joy to others to welcome the newborn. Reverse may be true when one departs.

Although Tissa is no more with us, our memories about the good times we spent together will be there for ever. We shall miss him.

May he attain Nibbana

Note: Tissa'a funeral was held on September 01, 2009 in Perth, Australia among a large gathering of Sri Lankans and academic staff and students of various Australian Universities. ASLGSC was represented by Nihal Liyanage who gave an eulogy on behalf of the Association.


GAASL Workshop on Screen Printing at Vocational Training Authority at Anuradhapura

Sent by Dr. Jaya Perera (former GDR)

The German Alumni Association of Sri Lanka (GAASL) has successfully completed two days workshop of Screen Printing from 6-7 April 2009, at the Vocational Training Authority in Anuradhapura.

Dipl Ing. Sarath Mendis (GAASL) conducted the workshop supported by Mr Ajmal M. Ashraf (GAASL) and initial contacts from Wilbert Soysa (GAASL). The workshop covered methodologies of screen printing and home screen printing: Do-It-Yourself techniques, design options, and introduction to graphic prints etc. Practical hands on training were also conducted. The participants were 22 from rural areas far away from Anuradhapura.


“Subha Aluth Avuruddak Weva” - “Putthandu Nal Walthukkal

We wish all our colleagues and their families a Very Happy Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

Dear Friends,

Now is the time for New Year Celebrations in Sri Lanka. We wish you all a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year, С новым годом!

Following extract of a news article written by correspondent Ameen Izzaddeen sheds some light on our New Year.

Time for New Year arrives in Sri Lanka

It’s holiday season in Sri Lanka. Shops in Colombo and other major cities are kept open till late into the night to allow people to buy clothes, shoes, food items and other necessities in preparation for the upcoming New Year.

On April 13 and 14, when the sun moves from the Meena Rashiya (House of Pisces) to the Mesha Rashiya (House of Aries) in astrological terms, more than 80 per cent of Sri Lankans — the Sinhala Buddhists and the Hindu Tamils — will be celebrating the dawn of New Year, which is one of the most important and looked-forward-to cultural events.

Like the Vaisakhi or Baisakhi New Year festival in India’s Punjab, our New Year, too, had its origins in the harvesting festival and dates back to more than 2,500 years.

For the Sinhalese, it is Aluth Avurudu and the Tamils, it is Puththandu.

The greetings on these days are “Subha Aluth Avuruddak Weva” in Sinhala and “Putthandu Nal Walthukkal” in Tamil-meaning a happy and prosperous New Year.



What a Breathtaking View ... Your Contributions Have Been Put to Good Use!

Dear Friends,

Above is a set of photographs showing the progress of the construction of ASLGSC HQ Building. Is n't it breathtaking? Don't you derive a great pride and satisfaction from this?

According to Jaliya, the roof work is now complete. This was witnessed by a record attendance of members (around 170) at the end of the month dinner held at the location on 28th February 2009. Pilmini was the main dish.. mouthwatering too..

Jaliya also mentioned that the funds donated so far have been fully utilised. Some more pledged funds are to arrive soon. A lot more funds are needed to complete the project successfully. Your generous contributions are most welcome.

Please send your contributions to the ASLGSC bank account detailed below. For any clarifications, please contact Jaliya Dharmasena, President of ASLGSC at +94777729123 (M) or

Beneficiary Account Details:
Bank and Branch: Peoples Bank, Town Hall Branch
SWIFT Code: PSBKLKLXA023 (Transfer using this SWIFT code is recommended)
Account No: 167 1001 431 70383
Account name: Association of Sri Lankan Graduates from Socialist Countries or ASLGSC.


Sheikh Gamini Padmaperuma's Visit to Qatar to meet Sheikh Sarath Wijesoma

Sheikh Gamini Padmaperuma of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made a friendy visit to the neighboring State of Qatar from 18-20 February 2009 to meet Sheikh Sarath Wijesoma ....

During this visit both sheikhs exchanged greetings and discussed the friendly relationships between the two countries. Sheikh Sarath Wijesoma promised that he will make a reciprocal visit to the kingdom to meet his counterpart in the near future....

Some of the photographs taken during the visit are shown below.


Be a Proud Partner of this Worthy Cause! ... Hurry Up!

3-D View of the ASLGSC premises after completion of the expansion project (design by T Alahakoon)

Dear Friends,

There is a great opportunity for all of us to contribute to the ASLGSC Building Expansion Project, which is currently underway, and be a proud partner of this historical event Donations are already flowing in and the target completion date, March 31, 2009, is also fast approaching. Opportunities still exist for us to contribute as the donations pledged so far are not sufficient to complete the project on time.

Just imagine the cozy environment the ASLGSC premises provide us to freely meet and socialize on a regular basis with colleagues with whom we spent the best years of our youth studying in the former socialist countries. Why not we all get together and expand these premises to incorporate more facilities to enjoy our times with our friends and families better? We can be very proud that we are one of the very few associations of its kind to have such a facility of its own to meet and socialize. We need to protect it and improve it. Don't we?

The total estimated cost of this ambitious project is Rs. 1,200,000 and the floor area to be added through the project is approximately 800 sq. ft. Accordingly, the cost per square foot is Rs. 1,500. ASLGSC welcomes member contributions of any magnitude. A couple of square feet, a few square feet or more…. The Association also plans to list the names of all contributors who make donations sufficient to build ten (10) or more square feet (equivalent of Rs. 15,000 or more), in a special plaque to be displayed permanently in the expanded building.

It is our turn now, ladies and gentlemen, to contribute in whatever way we could and be proud partners of this worthy cause.

Please see the attached image for a 3-D view of the proposed expansion, which is very pleasing to watch.

Please hurry to send your contributions to the ASLGSC bank account detailed below. For any clarifications, please contact Jaliya Dharmasena, President of ASLGSC at +94777729123 (M) or

Beneficiary Account Details:
Bank and Branch: Peoples Bank, Town Hall Branch
SWIFT Code: PSBKLKLXA023 (Transfer using this SWIFT code is recommended)
Account No: 167 1001 431 70383
Account name: Association of Sri Lankan Graduates from Socialist Countries or ASLGSC.

Best regards,

Jaliya Dharmasena
Dr. Gamini Padmaperuma
Jayantha Alwishewa
Thilak Alahakoon
Shantha Fernando
Dr. Hector Weerasinghe
K. G. J. Bandara
Dr. G. karunaratne
Winston Rupasinghe


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and also good health and prosperity.

С Рождеством Христовым и С новым годом!

Мы желаем Вам и вашим семьям С Рождеством Христовым и С новым годом и также хорошее здоровье и процветание.