- Title: SRI LANKA: Arthur C. Clarke's body transfered to his home in Colombo
- Date: 20th March 2008
- Summary: (BN12) COLOMBO, SRI LANKA (MARCH 19, 2008) (REUTERS) PROCESSION OF VEHICLES CARRYING COFFIN OF ARTHUR C. CLARKE HEARSE ARRIVING WITH COFFIN INSIDE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE TAKING COFFIN OUT OF HSEARSE AND INTO HOUSE VARIOUS OF ADOPTED FAMILY MEMBERS LOOKING AT CLARKE'S BODY INSIDE COFFIN (SOUNDBITE) (English) HECTOR EKANAYAKE, FRIEND AND BUSINESS PARTNER OF ARTHUR C. CLARKE FOR 60 YEARS SAYING: "He had a diving company called Clarke International Associates. I met him on the beach when I was there diving and since I liked so much of diving and I asked him whether I can come and work for them. He said ok but said no pay." EKANAYAKE SPEAKING TO OPPOSITION LEADER RANIL WICKREMESINGHE (SOUNDBITE) (Sinhala) RANIL WICKREMSINGHE, OPPOSITION LEADER, SAYING: "He is today a world famous figure. Him living in Sri Lanka, writing about Sri Lanka and proudly proclaiming that his home was in Sri Lanka was a great strength to all of us. I can say one thing - the most famous Sri Lankan in the world is Arthur C. Clarke." WICKREMESINGHE SIGNING THE CONDOLENCE BOOK
- Embargoed: 4th April 2008 13:00
- Location: Sri Lanka
- Country: Sri Lanka
- Topics: Obituaries
- Reuters ID: LVA6HLZSUKXQ8U7AJ7UX5DX7PYSL
- Story Text: The body of British science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke, whose death in Sri Lanka was announced by his secretary early on Wednesday (March 19), was transferred to his home in Colombo.
Clarke, who was 90, died of respiratory complications and heart failure that doctors linked to the post-polio syndrome that had kept him wheelchair-bound for years.
Marking his "90th orbit of the sun" in December last year, the prolific British-born author and theorist made three birthday wishes: For E.T. to call, for man to kick his oil habit and for peace in Sri Lanka.
Clarke wrote around 100 books and hundreds of short stories and articles, and wanted to be remembered foremost as a writer.
Clarke was born in England on December 16, 1917, and served as a radar specialist in the Royal Air Force during World War Two.
He settled in the city of Galle in Sri Lanka.
His adopted family members paid their respects beside Clarke's coffin on Wednesday.
Hector Ekanayake, friend and business partner of Clarke for 60 years described how he had first met the writer.
"He had a diving company called Clarke International Associates.
I met him on the beach when I was there diving and since I liked so much of diving and I asked him whether I can come and work for them. He said OK but said no pay," said Ekanayake.
Sri Lankan opposition leader Ranil Wickremsinghe said that Sri Lankans would remember Clarke with fondness for putting his country "on the map".
"He is today a world famous figure. Him living in Sri Lanka, writing about Sri Lanka and proudly proclaiming that his home was in Sri Lanka was a great strength to all of us. I can say one thing - the most famous Sri Lankan in the world is Arthur C. Clarke," said Wickremsinghe.
Trained as a scientist, Clarke was renowned for basing his work on scientific fact and theory rather than pure fiction and for keeping humanity at the heart of his technological visions.
In 1964, Clarke started to work with the film maker Stanley Kubrick on the script of a groundbreaking film which was to win audiences and accolades far wider than those of most previous science fiction -- "2001: A Space Odyssey".
Based loosely on a short story he had written in 1948, it dealt poetically with themes of human evolution, technology and consciousness and came to be regarded by many as one of the greatest films ever made.
He was one of the first to suggest the use of satellites orbiting the earth for communications, and in the 1940s forecast that man would reach the moon by the year 2000 -- an idea experts at first dismissed as rubbish.
When Neil Armstrong landed in 1969, the United States said Clarke "provided the essential intellectual drive that led us to the moon".
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