Sir Arthur's funeral fixed for Saturday, March 22

Dear friends,

Sir Arthur's funeral will be held on Saturday, March 22 at 3.30 pm Sri Lanka time at General Cemetery in Colombo. Sir Arthur had left instructions on how he would like his funeral to be held.

Sir Arthur's body now lies at Leslie's House (colombo 07), with friends and fans lining up to pay their last respects.


Thilina Heenatigala
General Secretary
Sri Lanka Astronomical Association

* * * * * Text of Sir Arthur's letter with funeral instructions* * * * *

In almost 90 years of living, I have twice enjoyed reading my obituary in print – and their subsequent reaction and apology! But I am aware that one of these days, the news of my death will no longer be premature.

This letter captures my wish for funeral arrangements.

· My funeral should be held in Sri Lanka, as soon as possible following my demise and the medical/legal formalities are completed.

· I have pledged to donate the cornea of my eyes to the Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society, who should be informed within two hours of death to perform their task.

· My body may be kept only for a minimum necessary period at Leslie’s House, 25, Barnes Place, Colombo. This has been my home since 1972 – and where I have buried several of my beloved canine friends.

· The entire funeral should be a private event, allowing the opportunity for my friends, family and fans to pay last respects. It should be on a very low key, and as inexpensive as possible. Please do not put up structures or decorations of any kind.

· Absolutely no religious rites of any kind, relating to any religious faith, should be associated with my funeral, which should be entirely secular.

· I am to be buried at the family burial plot owned by my adopted family, the Ekanayakes, at the Kanatte General Cemetery in Colombo.

· Under no circumstances should there be any official involvement on the part of British or Sri Lankan governments. I am placing my long-standing business partner Hector Ekanayake and my office manager Rohan de Silva exclusively in charge of all arrangements. They have looked after me very well for decades, and I know they will respect my last wishes.

Arthur C Clarke
Colombo, 8 August 2007

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sir Arthur C Clarke dies at 90...

British-born science fiction guru Arthur C. Clarke died at a hospital in Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

(1917-2008) "At his 90th birthday"

Dear friends,

With great sadness I would like to announce that, Arthur C. Clarke, a visionary science fiction writer who won
worldwide acclaim with more than 100 books on space, science and the future, died Wednesday in his adopted home of Sri Lanka. He was 90.
Clarke, who had battled debilitating post-polio syndrome since the 1960s and sometimes used a wheelchair, died at 1:30 a.m. after suffering breathing problems.

I had the privilege of visiting him a week ago at the hospital with Michael Snowden.

My thoughts go out to everyone here that has been inspired by his
works as much as I have.

Please check the official media statement below and the blog I put up for his 90th birthday click here.


Thilina Heenatigala
General Secretary
Sri Lanka Astronomical Association

T.P: +94- 71-6245545


Sir Arthur C Clarke dies aged 90 (official media statement)

Colombo, Sri Lanka: 19 March 2008

Science fiction author and inventor of the communications satellite Sir Arthur C Clarke passed away today after a brief illness. He was 90 years old.

He died at Colombo's Apollo Hospital in the early hours of March 19 (Sri Lanka time) from respiratory complications.

He was also suffering from the Post Polio Syndrome since the early 1990s, which confined him to a wheelchair for the past decade.

Sir Arthur is survived by his brother Fred and sister Mary, both living Minehead, Somerset, UK. Their youngest brother, Michael, predeceased him.

Sir Arthur's business partner Hector Ekanayake, who heads his adopted Sri Lankan family, was with him to the end, along with his office and household staff.

According to them, Sir Arthur remained alert and active throughout his recent illness. He was also in regular contact with his literary agents, publishers and officials of the non-profit Arthur C Clarke Foundation based in the United States.

Only a few days ago, Sir Arthur reviewed the final manuscript of his latest science fiction novel, The Last Theorem. Co-written with the American author Frederik Pohl, the book is to be published later this year.

Sir Arthur's wish was that his funeral be held in Sri Lanka as a private event. He has asked to be buried at the family burial plot owned by the Ekanayake family at the Kanatte General Cemetery in Colombo.

Sir Arthur has also left written instructions that his funeral be strictly secular: "Absolutely no religious rites of any kind, relating to any religious faith, should be associated with my funeral."


EGOGRAM 2008 - Sir Arthur C Clarke

Friends, Earthlings, ETs -- lend me your sensory organs!

I send you greetings and good wishes at the beginning of another year – and we’re getting closer to 2010, 'the year we make contact' (according to the movie 2010: Odyssey Two).
Making contact, or at least receiving some evidence of extra-terrestrial life, was one of three wishes I included in a short video released online in December reflecting on my 90th birthday. I said: “I have always believed that we are not alone in the universe. But we are still waiting for ETs to call us – or give us some kind of a sign. We have no way of guessing when this might happen – I hope sooner rather than later!”
I added two more developments that I would like to see accomplished – kicking our addiction to oil by going for clean energy sources, and achieving peace in Sri Lanka. That makes up Clarke’s Three Wishes, neatly complementing the well-established Clarke’s Three Laws.[1]

My 90th birthday celebrations went extremely well. My business partner Hector, his wife Valerie and their children Cherene and Melinda returned from Melbourne in time for 16 December. They joined my staff and a few close friends for cake and champagne that morning. The same evening, the government of Sri Lanka held a felicitation ceremony in my honour, which was chaired by the President and attended by over 150 people including several cabinet ministers, diplomats as well as scientists, artistes and the media. The space agencies of India, Pakistan, Russia and the US sent senior representatives. It took all my well known modesty to survive over 90 minutes of raving remarks about my life and times from half a dozen speakers! The highlight was when my old friend cosmonaut Alexei Leonov turned up representing both the Russian space agency and the Association of Space Explorers – and presented me with the latter's highest honour.

One morning two weeks later, I suddenly found myself unable to rise from bed after a good night’s sleep. The unexpected back injury forced me to enter Colombo’s Apollo Hospital where doctors found I had a cracked vertebra. This puzzled everyone as there was no accident or incident - perhaps it was all that walking with dinosaurs that I now do in my vivid dreams… I returned home 10 days later, but full healing would take many weeks during which I have to be extremely careful.

I’m now surviving on 16 hours of sleep everyday, and getting used to doing some reading and light work from my semi-reclined position. I’m very well looked after by my doctors, physiotherapists, staff and valets, and am in no pain or discomfort. But I can’t wait to get back to my hover-chair…

One of my current priorities is to get through the heavy manuscript of The Last Theorem, written by Frederik Pohl expanding on my story line developed four years ago. Our publishers and agents were remarkably patient and supportive as Fred and I swapped ideas and comments from opposite sides of the planet for much of 2007.
Meanwhile, Firstborn – the third in the 'Time Odyssey' series written with Stephen Baxter – came out from Del Rey in December. During the year, Stephen also wrote a delightful tall story using the same London pub setting that formed the backdrop to my collection Tales from the White Hart, first published 50 years ago. This new story is included in an anniversary edition just brought out by the UK's PS Publishing.
I was involved in marking other golden jubilees during the past year. In April 2007, my old friend Patrick Moore completed hosting The Sky at Night programme on BBC TV for 50 years without a break – a broadcast world record. I filmed a tribute with the BBC and wrote an essay recalling some of our celestial adventures.[2] In October, Patrick and I joined worldwide celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Space Age. In an essay written for the official commemorative volume published by the Russian Academy of Sciences, I noted that in spite of many impressive accomplishments in the past half century, the best is yet to come. The same month, New Scientist listed me as one of the top 10 influential space thinkers of all time 'who really made the Space Age happen' - the list included Tsiolkovsky, Korolev, Tsien and Spitzer.[3] In November, I joined (by video) the 50th anniversary meeting of the Pugwash movement held in Bari, Italy – after thanking its members for preventing our self-destruction from nuclear warfare, I suggested they also address the spread of 'techno-porn' that glamourises violence.
Despite limitations of time and energy imposed by Post Polio, I joined via video selected global events on topics close to my heart. Among them were the 20th anniversary of International Space University, the birth centenary of the late Robert Heinlein, and NASA-JPL Cassini spacecraft’s flyby of Saturn's moon Iapetus, where astronaut Dave Bowman discovered the larger monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The Arthur Clarke Foundation continued its good work to promote my vision, and pursued plans for the Arthur C. Clarke Center "to investigate the reach and impact of human imagination". The Board members of the Foundation, led by Tedson Meyers, have taken on the challenge of raising US$ 70 million for this project. I thank them for their hard work and persistence.
My brother Fred, Chris Howse, Angie Edwards and Navam Tambayah look after my affairs in England. My agents David Higham Associates ( and Scovil, Chichak & Galen Literary Agency ( insulate me from rapacious editors and media executives.
Here in Colombo, I am well supported by my staff and I want to thank them all:
Office Manager: Rohan De Silva
Executive Officer: Nalaka Gunawardene
Secretary: Dottie Weerasooriya
Valets: Saman, Chandrasiri, Dharmawardena
Drivers: Lalith & Anthony
Domestic Staff: Jayasiri, Mallika & Sumana
Handyman: Jagath
I have always had mixed feelings about posterity (as a cynic remarked, what good does it do to me?). Yet completing 90 orbits around the sun was a suitable occasion to reflect on how I would like to be remembered. As I said in my birthday reflections video: “I’ve had a diverse career as a writer, underwater explorer, space promoter and science populariser. Of all these, I want to be remembered most as a writer – one who entertained readers, and, hopefully, stretched their imagination as well.
“I find that another English writer -- who, coincidentally, also spent most of his life in the East -- has expressed it very well. So let me end with these words of Rudyard Kipling:

If I have given you delight
by aught that I have done.
Let me lie quiet in that night
which shall be yours anon;

And for the little, little span
the dead are borne in mind,
seek not to question other than,
the books I leave behind."

Arthur C Clarke
Colombo, Sri Lanka: 30 January 2007

"Sir Arthur and I at his place last december 16th..."