Arthur C. Clarke to have secular funeral

March 19, 2008 (AFP) – British-born science fiction guru Arthur C. Clarke who died here Wednesday is likely to be buried at the main cemetery in Colombo at the weekend at a “strictly secular” funeral, an aide told AFP. “The funeral is most likely to be on Saturday,” Clarke’s secretary Nalaka Gunawardena said. “We are awaiting the arrival of family members from Britain and Australia. They are already on the way.”

Clarke, who shot to fame after writing “2001: A Space Odyssey,” died at a hospital here at the age of 90. He had made Sri Lanka his adopted home since 1956.

“Sir Arthur’s wish was that his funeral be held in Sri Lanka as a private event,” a statement from office said.

He had wanted to be buried in the plot owned by the family of his business partner here, Hector Ekanayake, at the 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,” the statement quoted the author as saying.

Clarke, who in 1945 predicted the establishment of communication satellites, wrote more than 80 books. He had lived in Sri Lanka, his a