History of Dubai Dhaham Pasala

A Look Back to the Roots of Our Cultural School

Every Friday morning the Sri Lankan consulate premises in Dubai becomes a hive of activities. Over 600 Sri Lankan children dressed in their white national dress arrive early with great enthusiasm and eagerness to commence their highlight of the week. These children spend 4 hours of their weekly off day learning about the rich culture of their motherland, the mother tongue and Buddhism. As a solution to the rapid increase of the student enrolment the school is now held in two sessions. Some of the students attend the morning session and the others attend the afternoon session of the school. The teachers of the school without any hesitation agreed to cover the lessons of the two sessions scarifying their only day available to spend with their family members at home.

The establishment of the Sri Lankan Cultural School at the Sri Lankan Consulate General premises is the culmination of the tireless efforts of the dedicated Sri Lankans living in Dubai.

h-1On 20th April 2001 a dream of the Sri Lankan community became a reality with the commencement of the Sri Lankan Cultural School in Dubai, at the Consulate General premises. It was not just a miracle. It was the result of the dedication, hard work and the altruism of the pioneers who worked single mindedly to achieve their objective – to provide a place for the Sri Lankan children living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates that they could proudly say that is their own, where they could be amongst their fellow peers, where they could learn their venerable mother tongue, their rich history, culture traditions and their religion. In short a place that would establish and nature their true identity as a Sri Lankan. It became a reality due to the bold decision taken by the then Consul General Mr. Ashoka Godawita who let us use the Consulate premises to hold classes.


The memories of the first day of the school


Address by the Consul General

On the very first day of the commencement of the school, 120 children got registered who were grouped into 4 classes. There were 8 teachers who volunteered to render their services to the benefit of the sons and daughters of mother Lanka.. Our sincere gratitude to them for their scarification, to be away from their families on Fridays, the only day they can spend with their family members together.


On the opening day of the school the teachers registering the students.

The classes were held within the existing consulate office building. The demand for the classes were so overwhelming that the children had to be accommodated in the kitchen, the staircase leading to the upper floors and on the corridors. h-5We had to arrive early on Friday mornings to clear the offices of its’ furniture before the classes could begin to allow space for the children. It was a constant struggle to find space was always at a premium. Facilities virtually non-existent. A credit to the people who put their heart and soul to run the Cultural School under such trying conditions that every week there was more and more demand to admit additional children to the school.

As the demand for more space kept increasing the ingenuity of the committee members and teachers came to the fore. They managed to get sanctions from the then හොඳ. Consul General Mr. Somasiri to construct their own building to accommodate the school at the empty space beside the consulate premises. The funds were collected and favors were called in to construct the hall that would become the present home of the Cultural School. It is worth noting here that a major portion of the building fund was collected by the school children from their family friends and community members which appeared as if they quite understood how they can discharge their portion of the parent’s responsibility. The Consul General managed the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry to authorize a substantial portion of the building fund.

On the 7th February, 2003 in true traditional style with the boiling of the milk the foundation stone was laid for a building of our own. The untiring efforts of the committee, the parents, the children themselves, well wishers and with the guidance and support of the then Consul General, the building was constructed with only the very basic need, the AC’s. Just 2 years after commencement of the school we were the proud


Opening of New Hall

owners of our very own building to house the existing classes. With an all night pirith chanting ceremony for blessings, the school moved to the new building that is in existence to date. With the help of the parents we managed to complete the outstanding facilities such as the beautiful shrine room, desks and chairs, partitioning and floor tiling. Now with all the facilities required for a school we can proudly call it “Ape Dhaham Pasala”.

Consul general Mr. P.D.Fernando on his arrival paved the way to seal the term “The School Building” to it. Under his guidance in September 2006 we could utilize the only space left to be occupied, as an environment of learning due to the student population mounting.

At present there are 600 active children studying in the school with the total number of children joined our school to date reached 1350. h-7The back bone of the school, the teachers who teach and guide our children to gain their identity as true Sri Lankans. Currently there are 30 dedicated teachers who are serving the school voluntarily.

The Sri Lankan Cultural School is one success story that can be viewed with pride and happiness. Over the past fifteen years the school has made a great contribution to the entire community of Sri Lankan children living in Dubai. We still feel that there is much more to be accomplished. Together we have shared a common goal to provide a slice of Sri Lankan culture to our children, who have absorbed our teaching and excelled in various individual ways, we have seen the fruits of our labour, which gives us the strength to thirst, to achieve greater things in the future.