G. S. B. Rani

Kala Suri[1] Gnai Seenar Bangsajayah, (born 18 October 1934 – died 7 September 2004 as ජී. ඇස්. බී. රාණි), popularly known as G. S. B. Rani, was a Sri Lankan actress in Sri Lankan cinema, theater as well as a songstress, politician and a media personality.[2] She was one of the most popular playback singers in early Sri Lankan cinema industry with a career spanned over five decades.[3]

G. S. B. Rani
ජී. ඇස්. බී. රාණි
Gnai Seenar Bangsajayah

(1930-08-20)20 August 1930
Guruwatta, Badulla, Sri Lanka
Died7 September 2004(2004-09-07) (aged 74)
Other namesRani Perera
EducationClifton Balika Vidyalaya
OccupationSongstress, actress, politician
Spouse(s)Anton Perera (m. 1953)
  • Nusammeen Bangsajayah (father)
  • Chintha Nona (mother)
AwardsRana Thisara
Musical career
Years active1944–2004
LabelsColumbia, HMV
Associated actsMohideen Baig, Dharmadasa Walpola, H.R. Jothipala

Personal lifeEdit

Gnai Seenar was born on 20 August 1930 in Guruwatta village, Badulla as the only daughter to a Malay family.[3] Her father Nusammeen Bangsajayah was a police sergeant and later became sub inspector. Her mother was Chintha Nona.[4] She completed education from Clifton Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo.[5]

She was married to Ranawaka Arachchige Anton Perera and wedding was celebrated on 17 February 1953. Anton was an employee of the Sri Lanka Steel Corporation.[4] The couple had three children - Ranjith, Chandana and Udeni. Even though she was Malay and husband was Sinhala Catholic, the family converted to Buddhism.[5]

She died on 7 September 2004 around 3.30 pm after a brief illness.[6][4]


Her brother-in-law, R. S. Perera was a politician. She became a Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) supporter and an all Island organizer of the women's wing of the Party.[4] She contested for the 1967 Municipality elections from Milagiriya and lost by 448 votes.[5] However, she continued to work in politics for 45 years, where she lost the career at Radio Ceylon as well. During the General Election she was included to the National List of MPs from SLFP and narrowly missed the opportunity.[3]

On 4 September 2004, she participated to the 53rd anniversary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party held at Samanala Palama in Galle. This was her last appearance in media before her death.[5]


In 1944, Rani went to the Columbia Records studios with her cousin Ahmed at the age of 14 for an audition at Porolis Fernando Company.[4] She met with U.D. Perera and Mohammad Ghouse and got the opportunity to record songs under the Columbia label including two Columbia records: Samagi Bale Paame, and Siri Sara Bhavane, a duet with Mohideen Baig.[5] However, her father refused to using her own name in music industry, she abbreviated her name to G. S. B. Rani since then. She continued to sing for almost every Sinhala film in following years and sang duets with Mohideen Baig, Dharmadasa Walpola, H. R. Jothipala, Sisira Senaratne, N. Karunaratne and W. Prematilleka.[3] Some of her most popular hits include Parama Ramani Ape Ale and Sengi Sengi Atha Suraya Dilenna.[6] Apart from Sinhala songs, she was also clever at Hindi and Urdu songs.

In 1946, she was invited to record playback singing for the film Ashokamala. However, during that period, she lost her father and mother. Therefore, she was unable to move India for the recording and Indian playback singer Bhagyarathi sang the songs. After the death of mother, Rani was brought into the Radio Ceylon for an audition under P.L.A. Somapala.[4]

Meantime, she became an 'A Grade' artiste at the Radio Ceylon under Indian composer Shrikrishna Narayan Ratanjankar. She worked as a Musical Program Producer at the Radio Ceylon from 1970 to 1977 and conducted popular music programs such as "Jana Prasangani", "Geetha Tharangani" and "Prabuddha Gee".[5] During her seven years period, she introduced many popular singers to Sinhala music industry, including Nanda Malini, H. R. Jothipala, Edward Jayakody, Victor Rathnayake, T.M. Jayarathne, Priya Suriyasena, Malani Bulathsinhala and Abeywardhana Balasooriya and successfully recorded over 7000 new Sinhala original songs. She also managed to attend a young Buddhist priest at the Radio Ceylon for a Dhamma Chinthawak program. The program was highly popularized became the first Buddhist sermon on the radio. This young priest later ordained to Upasampadā and later known as Panadure Ariya Dhamma Thero.[3]

In 1955, she got the opportunity to enter Sinhala cinema with playback singing to the film Asoka directed by Sirisena Wimalaweera. In the film, Rani sang the song Pem Pahan Nivi Pam Mala Paravi along with Mohideen Baig, which became highly popular. Then she sang the songs with Dharmadasa Walpola for the film Surangani.[4]

In 1977, she was ostracized as a singer by the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation for 15 years due to political conflicts with United National Party (UNP). In 1994, Rani was appointed as the Director of the Independent Television Network by the president Chandrika Kumaratunga. She worked in that position until 2001. In February 2004, Rani celebrated 60 years of singing career with the concert Parama Ramani held at BMICH. In March of the same year, she went London to participate in "Swarna Gee concert" organised by Hela Sarana Charity.[3]

During her visit to London, she sang a duet with Ishaq Baig, son of late Mohideen Baig. With that song, Rani became the only Sri Lankan female singer to sing with singers of two generations, father and son.[3]

Acting careerEdit

She started acting with some popular stage dramas including, J.D.A. Perera's Wessanthara, Upali Wanasinghe's Daskon and then from Rodi Kella. She was the "Mandri Devi" in Wessanthara and "Queen Premila" in Daskon.[3][6]

She has acted in few films in early Sinhala cinema. Her maiden appearance in cinema came through 1955 film Surangani as an "aunt". Then she acted in the film Duppathage Duka as a supervisor at a garment.[4]

She won the Rana Thisara Award at 1995 Sarasaviya Film Festival, on behalf of her service to Sri Lankan cinema and music industry. She was also honored with Wishva Prasadini, Kalasoori awards.[5]


Year Film Role Ref.
1955 Surangani Aunt, Playback singer
1955 Asoka Playback singer
1955 Podi Putha Playback singer
1956 Duppathage Duka Garment supervisor, Playback singer
1956 Surathali Playback singer
1957 Sirakaruwa Playback singer
1958 Ekamath Eka Rataka Playback singer
1958 Deyyange Rate Playback singer
1958 Daskama Playback singer
1958 Suneetha Playback singer
1959 Purusha Rathnaya Playback singer
1959 Sri 296 Playback singer
1959 Gehenu Geta Playback singer
1960 Subhadra Playback singer
1960 Sundara Birinda Playback singer
1960 Nalangana Playback singer [7]
1960 Wana Mala Playback singer
1961 Kurulu Bedda Playback singer
1961 Gan Thera Playback singer
1961 Daruwa Kageda? Playback singer
1962 Deva Sundari Playback singer
1963 Wena Swargayak Kumatada? Playback singer
1963 Mangalika Playback singer
1964 Chandali Playback singer
1964 Sujage Rahasa Playback singer
1965 Sepatha Soya Playback singer
1965 Sathutai Kandului Playback singer
1965 Sonduru Yuwala Playback singer
1966 Maha Re Hamuwu Sthriya Playback singer [8]
1966 Mahadena Muththa Playback singer
1966 Seyawak Pasupasa Playback singer
1966 Seegiri Kashyapa Playback singer
1966 Layata Laya Playback singer
1967 Hathara Kendare Playback singer
1967 Saru Bima Playback singer
1968 Mathru Bhumi Playback singer
1972 Miringuwa Playback singer
1977 Wanagatha Kella Playback singer


  1. ^ "Deshamanya for 14 Lankans". Sundaytimes. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  2. ^ "G S B Rani Perera". National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Appreciation GSB Rani". infolanka. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "After Jamuna Rani and K. Rani, It is G. S. B. Rani". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "G. S. B. Rani Perera is no more". Daily News. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "G. S. B. Rani Perera remembrance". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  7. ^ "All about the film "Nalangana"". sarasaviya. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  8. ^ "All about "Maha Ra Hamuwu Sthriya"". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 10 January 2021.

External linksEdit