Sumith Wickramasinghe was born on the island of Ceylon as it was known in 1935. His illustrious parents were Wickremarachige Subatheris and Somawathie Wickramasinghe - both his parents were Headteachers in two different village schools - Sumith\'s mother was Principal of Ambaraluwa Maha Vidyalaya in the village in Weliweriya in the Gampaha district. To this day Sri Lanka enjoys one of the highest literacy rates in Asia - the key message is education, education, education and Sumith\'s parents played a pivotal role in Ambaraluwa - their students went on to greater heights.
This ethos on learning and the value of education came from the hearts of Subatheris and Somawathie Wickramasinghe, they would certainly have agreed that \'knowledge is power.\' As a result of their status as Headteachers they were accorded the highest respect in Buddhist circles in the village.
Teachers were held in such high regard because of the value of education. The schools in Ambaraluwa were absolutely vital, the lifeblood of the village and Headteachers were very powerful people in the life of the village they would be today\'s community leaders - Ambaraluwa hasn\'t changed much over the years and the family house still stands off the main road. Sumith\'s surviving brother Daya lives there. Dayananda Wickramasinghe is also known as Podi Mahaththaya in the village of Ambaraluwa, Sumith was known as Punchi Mahaththaya.
Sumith grew up in Ambaraluwa, he was one of five children and his only surviving brother Daya lives in the sprawling family home in the village of Ambaraluwa - his nephews and nieces still live in houses built on adjoining family land. Ambaraluwa is off the beaten track in the island of Sri Lanka, the village is a very quiet area, the pace of life is slow certainly much slower than the commercial capital of Colombo - you find the usual shops and boutiques on the main road in Ambaraluwa - selling everything from Coca Cola to...