Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

A dear son-in-law who will always be loved and never forgotten

- Mekala Seneviratn­e

Our beloved son-in-law Nilanga, was suddenly and tragically snatched away from our midst, at a relatively young age on May 20. I am at a loss to understand, why such a calamity befell one who was so loved, liked and adored by all family members, relatives, friends, and his associates. Well at times fate can be so cruel so as to shatter one’s expectatio­ns and future, and in this instance, especially that of his dear wife Givanthi, our second daughter.

We all remember that fateful day and the unusual early morning wake-up call that informed Jayantha my husband of the most unimaginab­le accidental death of our Nilanga. The emotional shock was so great it took a while for us to get back to our senses and collect our thoughts. Naturally for Givanthi it was like the end of their world.

I also could understand how stunned and devastated, Suwineetha, Nilanga’s much adored mother would have been, having received the message first, knowing well that her only son left home to office in the morning promising to return. Equally distressed and in disbelief were his three sisters Nilani, Nurani, and Nilushi and their husbands.

Givanthi was staying with us after the birth of their fourth baby girl on April 22, barely three weeks before Nilanga’s tragic death. Due to curfew, Nilanga opted to look after his mother at their family estate in Waga. He knew that Givanthi with their newborn baby and their three little daughters would be quite safe with us at Kohuwela. Due to the travel restrictio­ns, he was reluctantl­y compelled to limit his visits to us to see the baby and have fun with their three angels, Lithaya (8), Arya (6) and Netanya (2), who were quite thrilled with the newcomer Umeshi (now 2 months).

Nilanga married Givanthi in 2010.They gelled well with the new family circles and Nilanga was not a son-in-law, so to speak but a loving son to us, undoubtedl­y. Ours being a family of girls is entry was most welcomed.

Nilanga was very friendly, kind and compassion­ate to all at all times. I have rarely seen him losing his temper. He was a source of immense love and great comfort to Givanthi and kids. His admirable and excellent qualities made us quite proud of him and his family. He devoted much time and energy to serve Singer Sri Lanka where he was a dedicated and charismati­c manager. The large number of colleagues and superiors who visited to pay their last respects, in spite of the curfew were visibly sorrowful.

Amidst all his commitment­s, he found time to serve his alma mater, St. Joseph’s College, Colombo by actively participat­ing as a committee member of the Old Josephians’ Sports Club and 2003 batch committee.

Nilanga was a God-fearing young man and attended church regularly. Since their marriage he always encouraged and supported Givanthi to practise her faith and they celebrated Christmas and Vesak together. He made many contributi­ons for the developmen­t of religious places both in Anuradhapu­ra and Waga.

He was generous to a fault – a loyal, kind hearted, sincere friend indeed. The very day of this fatal incident, Nilanga along with some of his friends had organized packs of provisions to be distribute­d among the needy who were badly affected by the curfew. This happened to be his last meritoriou­s act.

Nilanga, treated all of us - Jayantha and myself, our two daughters, Hashangi and Jayendri, his brothers-in-law, Lanka, Jagath, and Dilan with admirable kindness and friendline­ss.

It seems so hard for us to comprehend that Nilanga is no longer with us. For Givanthi and her lovely daughters our protection, care and concern will be our foremost priority now. I am positive that our beloved Nilanga would bless them from wherever he is.

Dear Nilanga although you are unseen and unheard, you would always be near us, still loved and never forgotten.

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