Siri Gunasinghe

Siri Gunasinghe (Sinhala: Siri Gunasingha ; 18 February 1925 – 25 May 2017) was a Sri Lankan academic, Sanskritist, art historian, author and film maker.[1]

Siri Gunasinghe
Born(1925-02-18)18 February 1925
Died25 May 2017(2017-05-25) (aged 92)
NationalitySri Lankan
EducationMahinda College Galle
University of Ceylon
OccupationUniversity professor
Known forWriting
Literary criticism

Early life and careerEdit

Siri Gunasinghe was born Ruwanwella in Kegalle District of Sri Lanka. He was educated at Mahinda College, Galle and University of Ceylon. He subsequently travelled to Paris where he continued his studies and wrote La technique de la peinture indienne d'après les textes du Silpa.[2] Later Siri Gunasinghe became a university lecturer and taught at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada where he was a Professor in the Department of History in Art. Siri Gunasinghe had lived in Canada since 1970.

His most outstanding achievements are: 1) the introduction of free verse into Sinhalese poetry with the publication of the collection of poems Mas Lea Nati Ata (Bleached Bones) in 1956; this publication was a major revolutionary force in the literary community at the time 2) the introduction of stream of consciousness narrative style in his award-winning novel Hevanelle (The Shadow) in 1960 and 3) The writing and directing of the film Sath Samudura (The Seven Seas) which won eight Sarasavi awards including best picture and best director. Gunasinghe is one of the most important advocates of the use of spoken language instead of the literary language in Sinhalese literature (see diglossia).

He also designed costumes (e.g. for Prof. Ediriweera Sarachchandra's play Manamē). He is also considered a pioneer book cover designer in Sri Lanka and has hosted several radio programmes.



  • Abinikmana ("The Renunciation of worldly Life")
  • Cirantana sampradāya hā pragatiya ("Tradition and Innovation"; non-fiction work)
  • Hevanälla ("The Shadow")
  • Mandārama ("Rainy Sky")
  • Mas lē näti äṭa ("Bones without Flesh and Blood")
  • Ratu käkuḷa ("The red Bud")
  • Satsamudra ("The seven Seas") - Film

Other languagesEdit

  • Masks of Ceylon
  • Buddhist Paintings from Sri Lanka (Kandy Period)
  • La Technique de la Peinture Indienne

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ "Death of Prof. Emeritus Siri Gunasinghe". Daily News. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  2. ^ Siri Gunasinghe, La technique de la peinture indienne d'après les textes du Silpa (Paris : Presses universitaires de France, 1957).

External linksEdit

News Media (Sinhala)