When the going gets tough… | Daily News

When the going gets tough…

Sussex College, Ratnapura
With her family
With her family

Head Girl of Sussex College, Ratnapura, Upuli Sirinilame, believes that the trials and tribulations we face in life have not been in vain. ‘Perfect Prefect’ features Sirinilame who carries out her duties to the best of her ability.

She is greatly inspired by the story of the ‘Lion King’. The sayings ‘Remember who you are’ and ‘Hakuna Matata’ (meaning no worries) have inspired her a lot. ‘The Lion King’ is the story of Simba who was raised by his father Mufasa to be a king and a king who would one day rule the Pride Lands. Mufasa always reminded Simba that he should always remember who he is. After the death of his father Simba went into self- exile, mistakenly blaming himself for his father’s death. There he imbibed the philosophy – Hakuna Matata, until one day he is confronted by his destiny and realizes he cannot shirk his duty. At the end he becomes the king he was meant to be.

2019 and 2020 have been terrible years for Sri Lanka. The Easter attacks in 2019 and Covid19 were the times that shook the nation. However, Sirinilame believes that we have not completely lost our way. She points out that a diamond is a piece of charcoal that did exceptionally well under pressure.

“We can turn this pandemic situation into an opportunity to upgrade the daily life style of our citizens. Society has got digitalized. Online education has been introduced and this has contributed in bridging a digital divide. Now we are on the path of development. Hopefully for Sri Lanka better days are ahead. It does not seem too far,” explained Sirinilame.

Our humanity is not guaranteed. It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it, to guard it and never take it for granted. And protecting our humanity takes struggle. It takes sacrifice.

“Being the change that I want to see in the world is the best thing I can do to make this world a better place to live in. We as humans must safeguard our humanity by constantly feeding our society with acts of kindness. We must always come forward to help other people in whatever way we can, not with an intention of profiting, but in order to make this world a better place to live in. Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. With one kind gesture at a time you can change a life. One person at a time you can change the world,” pointed out Sirinilame.

“What’s the point of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” she questions.

She is a young lady who believes we need to protect our environment and our planet. She points out that environmental pollution is the root of all other environmental issues such as Global Warming, Depletion of Ozone Layer and Loss of Biodiversity.

“Humanity is dependent on Nature to survive. By destroying nature, we ultimately destroy ourselves. Our fate is in our hands. If we take immediate action we can still save our planet,” says Sirinilame.

“I am very interested in reading business related books. I have already read a huge set of books. Some of them are ‘As China goes, so goes the world’ by Karl Gerth , ‘How we got to now’ by Steven Johnson and ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho. “Rich dad, Poor dad’ by Robert T Kiyosaki is my favourite. These books have inspired me so much influencing many aspects of my life, impressing on me the importance of having financial acumen,” said Sirinilame.

She is a young leader who believes in the power of gratitude and thankfulness. She is of the opinion that you should be thankful for what you have and then you will end up having more. But she adds that if you focus on what you don’t have, you’ll never end up having enough. That’s a universal truth. She understands that success is a result of hard work and persistence.

“My aim is to upgrade myself- become a better person tomorrow than I am today. I am grateful to my parents and mentors who have guided me throughout my life to be the person I am today. My ambition is to become a Web Developer as I’m quite interested in the technological sector. Other than that I have the dream to become an Event Planner and an Interior Designer one day if time permits,” stated Sirinilame.

She possesses an adventurous spirit and loves travelling. The feeling of exploring different places cannot be described in words. Travelling gives her peace of mind, and boosts her confidence. She has so many colourful memories that are ‘worth a life time’! Her favourite destination is Nuwara Eliya. The cool climate, lush greenery and the houses inspired with the Victorian architecture puts her mind at ease.

Her duties require effective communication skills, the courage to manage tough situations, emotional intelligence and the willingness to work with a team.

“My Parents are the biggest inspiration in my life. They have taught me that life isn’t a bed of roses. Everybody goes through difficult times and one needs to handle such situations with wisdom. This will lead to success. I am very proud of my Alma-mater which is Sussex college, Ratnapura. It is a Member of the Sussex College Network which has about 20 branches all over the country. Sussex has been awarded ISO certification and has won the National Productivity Award three times over in recognition as a leader in Quality education in Sri Lanka. I believe that the education provided by my school has highly influenced my personal development and the formation of my character. It also aims to preserve our cultural and traditional values,” added Sirinilame.

She also wanted to thank K A S Jayathissa the Chairman of Sussex College Network for providing students with a quality education, enabling them to fearlessly face the world. She also wished to thank Hector Yapa, Principal of Sussex College, Ratnapura, and the teachers for guiding her. It is because of them that she has understood that education is the most powerful weapon one can possess. Last but not least she wanted to pay gratitude to all the religious places that heaped blessings upon her so that she can continue her journey safely.