Lest we forget our past….
The story of Sri Lankan School Muscat started in June 1988 with a very dedicated and devoted group of individuals whose vision was to see a community school for the Sri Lankans in the Sultanate of Oman. The then ambassador Mr Gamini Gunawardana, the Charge D’ Affairs of the Sri Lankan Embassy, the Late Mr W D Perera, the Late Mr J L Karunadasa, Mr Upul Siriwardena, Mr S Ramanan and Mr Anslem Perera were the stalwarts behind this magnanimous thought which has borne fruit today and is flourishing and thriving in all its glory. Its seeds spread all over the world,
On February 15th 1989 the doors of the Sri Lankan School Muscat was opened with 37 students, three staff members Mrs Vidarshani Jayawardhana, Mrs Sakuntala Arunesan and Mrs Zarina Hillur headed by the Principal Mr Lionel Jayasinghe. As the student numbers grew slowly but steadily the school moved to a camp structure in Wadi Kabir. But this was declared substandard for a school by the authorities.
Then plans were underway to move the school or build a school from scratch. Once again the Sri Lankan community with the help of other generous nationals started the daunting task working towards housing SLSM in a proper building fit to be a school. The willingness and co-operation of the then Board headed by Mr Anslem Perera, a founder member, the Principal Mr Somabandhu Kodikara, the Parental Community, the Staff and students motivated and energized everyone.
Thus plans for a brand new building was underway. Special mention should be made of several Omani Nationals and other non Sri Lankan expatriates who were also a part of realizing this dream. The Sri Lankan Ambassador H E Mr Amanul Farouque played a key role in this venture.
Funds were collected in various ways. The Sri Lankan community had a special Musical Evening to collect funds. The honoured guests were Mr Arjuna Ranathunga and Mr Sanath Jayasuriya was flown in from Sri Lanka. The whole community, staff and management rallied around together to make this dream a reality – our own school building.
Once again another benevolent Omani gentleman, His Excellency Sheikh Salem bin Mustahil Ahmed Al Mashani came to the rescue by kindly providing the land and arranging the construction of the building according to the specifications given. The construction of the school started and seeing it completed was a dream come true for the whole Sri Lankan community. The soft opening of the school was held in February 1997.
There is one Royal name which is etched on the wall of this school and that is of His Highness the Late Sayyid Thuwainy bin Shihab bin Faisal Al Said. This is the name of the school auditorium. He honoured us all by accepting the invitation to be the Chief Guest at the official opening of the new building on the 28th of October 1997. From then onwards the school has marched forward under the leadership of many able Principals, Chairmen and Members of the Board. Parental Committees and Staff members.
Sri Lankan School Muscat has just completed its Silver Jubilee and the whole community celebrated in its glory of coming of age. Special mention should also be made of Mrs Tamara Waduge who completed 25 years of dedicated service to the school.
SLSM stands tall and proud today because a team of dedicated individuals took the initiative to realize their dream of a community school for the Sri Lankan expatriates in the Sultanate of Oman. We salute one and all. Long live SLSM!!!