I was born on 27 April 1951 to a traditional Buddhist family in Kalutara, Sri Lanka.
I was educated at Royal College and left for East Germany on the 3rd of September 1971 on a scholarship to study Geology. Initially, I had to learn German for about 10 months and then started to study Geology with German students. I completed my BSc in Geology in 1975 and crossed over to West Berlin in September 1975.
I first went to Sri Lanka after about 5 years in 1976 and got married at the age of 24. This is the time I started to study Astrology. This interesting subject has been following me now for over 45 years.
After coming to West Berlin, I was lucky to receive a scholarship from the Otto Benecke Foundation of West Germany to study Applied Geology at the Free University of Berlin. This scholarship was extended once in 6 months purely based on high academic results. It was very hard but I managed to do it without any problem. Likewise, I completed my MSc in 1980 and my thesis was on Radioactive rare earth mineral - Monazite deposits around Bentara – Elpitiya surrounded by the Bentota River in Sri Lanka.
Since I was able to get a 1st class for the MSc, I was offered another scholarship to read for the PhD under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Alexander Willgallis – a well-known mineralogist in Berlin. My research was more into mineralogy and the dissertation was “Mineralogical – Chemical Analysis of Heavy Minerals from Washed Residuals (Kalu Katta etc.) in Sri Lanka” Though I studied in Germany in the German language, I always wanted to do research related to Sri Lanka as I wanted to go back and serve my motherland.
While reading for my PhD, it was very important to study Gemmology as it helped me to understand more about gems and other waste materials. The year 1980-82 was very challenging as I had to work full-time at the University doing research, studying Gemmology simultaneously at the Gemmological Association of Germany and Gemmological Association of Gt.Britain. This was a very big challenge to do with a family – especially with my 2-year-old son. In 1982 after my completion of the Diploma in Gemmology in London and Germany, I was given the Fellowship in Gemmology from the Gemmological Association of Gt. Britain (FGA) and the Gemmological Association of Germany (FGG).
In 1982, I was the first to introduce lectures in Gemmology and offer lectures at the Faculty of Mineralogy at the Free University of Berlin and also at the University Extension under the Adult Education Programme. In 1982, I was given the Fellowship (FGS) of the well-known prestigious organisation the Geological Society of London. At the beginning of 1983, I completed my PhD and was able to discover, through my research a new mineral to the world of Mineralogy. This was named “SRILANKITE” - (ZrTi2O6) to honour my motherland Sri Lanka for giving me the most important initial education to become a research scientist.
Since I was very good at my academic work and research, in 1983 The Technical University of Berlin offered me a scholarship to do a Diploma in Technology Management in Developing countries. During this time, I even went to a school in Idar Oberstein in Germany to learn the basics of jewellery manufacturing as it was interesting for a Gemmologist to know about the jewellery trade. After the completion of the diploma, I decided to leave Germany for good in a way to serve my country, Sri Lanka. I uprooted from Germany in 1984 after a long stay of 14 years at a time when the ethnic problems in Sri Lanka were very critical.
In the beginning, it was hard to find a suitable position and I decided to join a Gem Company in Kandy and to set up my own Gem Testing Laboratory to work as a Consultant Gemmologist. This was in 1985.
Then at the end of 1985, an American Company by the name Dianus Lanka Ltd, operating under the G.C.E.C took me as the General Manager of the company. I was very happy to get the opportunity to practise my expertise gained from Germany. In 1986 the German government offered me a scholarship for 3 months to visit Germany in order to give me an opportunity to gain more knowledge in areas relevant to my activities in Sri Lanka. This was the 5th scholarship offered to me by Germany. Around 1989 this American company was doing very well and became the leading exporter of gems in Sri Lanka.
Then in 1989, I was given a position by the Metropolitan Group of Companies to set up a diamond cutting factory with foreign collaboration. This was a very promising project and when it was about to start the whole country started to suffer from terrorism which led the foreign investors to pull out.
At the end of 1989, due to the excellent vision of Mr Lester Fonseka, the Chairman of The State Gem Corporation at that time created a new position to absorb my knowledge to develop the gem industry of Sri Lanka. He appointed me as the Technical Adviser to the State Gem Corporation. Then I was serving at the Action Committee for the development of the Gem Industry of Sri Lanka which was chaired by the Governor of the Central Bank (at that time Mr Neville Karunatilaka). The other members were Controller of Exchange ( Mr. Amarasingha), Secretary to the Ministry of Finance (Mr Liyanage), Principal Collector of Customs (H.B Dissanayaka), Mr N.U. Jayawardana, G.C.E.C (Mr Felix Perera), Export Development Board (Mrs Indira Malwatta) and some other government bodies. I was very happy to join the public sector as it gave me an opportunity to study the financial and administrative regulations & procedures in the government.
My major task was to set up the Sri Lankan Gem and Jewellery Exchange as the 21 st Gem Exchange of the world and also to disseminate the knowledge of heat treatment of Geuda Gems. At that time this was almost a secret as these methods of treatment were dominated by Thailand who had a monopoly in the Geuda trade. Due to my persevering and hardworking nature I took up the challenge.
The idea of setting up an Exchange was in file and discussion for 7 years prior to my joining the State Gem Corp. I was the project manager as well as the designer. Since the allocated funds were very limited, I had to work with State Engineering Corporation, Colombo Commercial Company and other private sector companies rather than entrusting the project to a private consulting company. This was a very interesting task and was very challenging as I had to work with Civil and Electrical Engineers, Carpenters, Masons, Electricians and many others. Thanks to Germany I was very keen on punctuality, perfection, workers relationship, budgeting and the systematic approach of events. Therefore, I made a record to complete the project which was in dormant for seven years within 3 – 4 months and also to save 20% of the allocated funds. This Gem Exchange was officially opened in Dec 1990. Then the Ministry of Finance and the State Gem Corporation decided to appoint me as the Chief Executive of the Sri Lanka Gem & Jewellery Exchange. Therefore, I had to work as the Technical Adviser at the corporation and also at the same time as the CEO of the exchange. This was also great as I always wanted to have work for the mind.
The setting up of the Gem exchange was going forward while organising lectures around the country to disseminate the knowledge of Heat treatment of Geuda. I was able to get help from many good Sri Lankans to demonstrate their work and to offer lectures with me in various parts of Sri Lanka - Ratnapura, Monaragala, Colombo and Eheliyagoda. This programme was able to give a lot of courage and knowledge to Sri Lanka in the Gem trade to treat the stones on their own rather than selling them to Thailand.
After working for about 6 years in Sri Lanka, I took the decision to migrate to Australia. I am very happy about that decision as it gave me the opportunity to concentrate more on Vedic Astrology after working very hard in Sri Lanka for 5-6 years to help my motherland. Therefore, since 1991 I have been living in Australia.
Personally, 1992 was a great year because I was offered a challenging position by the Commonwealth Secretariat of the UK as the Technical Adviser to the Government of Ghana to develop the value-added gold industry of Ghana. This was a great position with a lot of authority and power that I used wholeheartedly to uplift the Gold jewellery industry of Ghana. It was very challenging as I had to teach jewellery manufacturing, jewellery designing, marketing of jewellery etc. I even organised the first-ever jewellery exhibition of Ghana (The Gold Coast). Then the Ghanaian jewellers were taken to international exhibitions and at the end 1996, I was given a contract by the UNDP to promote Ghanaian Gold jewellery and handicraft in Canada and America. This was my highest professional achievement in life – to develop the gold jewellery industry of Ghana.
Unfortunately, it was not easy for me to find a challenging position in Australia. I have worked as a consultant to set up a jewellery school in Perth, as an Assistant Manager of a Jewellery shop and also as the Business Development Manager for a Financial Adviser in Perth. But all these jobs were not for me as they were not research-oriented and challenging.
After 1996, I almost gave up the idea of working as a scientist or the idea of practising what I had studied at the Uni. I am now practising (full time) astrology and can see tremendous growth in Perth as well as internationally. I have studied over 10000 horoscopes in Australia while working as a visiting astrologer in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the USA, Bali and Sri Lanka. I also offer online readings to clients around the world. I enjoy this much more than any other work I did in the past. I have a great passion for educating and delivering the knowledge of Vedic Astrology.
I think my highest achievement in life was to become a recognised astrologer (without a teacher) to practise this ancient spiritual & divine subject internationally after achieving high academic and professional levels in different other subjects. Spirituality is something very highly connected with the mind. Therefore, I believe if our mind is well organised and if we lead a spiritual lifestyle, we can achieve a lot.
My vision is to further develop the Australian Academy of Vedic Astrology to disseminate the knowledge of Vedic culture to the younger generation so that western societies will gain much happiness and learn how to find a balance between spiritual development and scientific & technical development.