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Dharmasiri Gamage dies at 65

Dharmasiri Gamage, former Lake House mediaman, a veteran journalist, poet, lyric writer, author and film director died yesterday after a brief illness at the Dambulla Hospital. He was 65.

Born on October 4, 1939 as the only son to Maththaka Gamage Peter Appuhamy and Kalegana Arachchige Chandrawathie and the eldest brother to three sisters, he spent his early childhood at Katamburawa, Urala, Wanduramba and came under the influence of U.S. Perera (Siri Aiya).

After his school days, he was a constant visitor to the Maligakanda Maha Bodhi Mandiraya where the Sinhala Bauddhaya was printed. He was very keen to learn how a newspaper was printed and meeting Siri Aiya was a turning point in his life.

As a result of this meeting, he joined the Children's Program of the then Radio Ceylon.

Gamage who showed his talent in many fields from his tender years, wrote his first song Ho Mage Prema Matha at the age of 13 for G.S.B. Rani Perera, who died several weeks ago.

This was his very first radio song. In 1963, he composed songs for the film Senasuma Kothenada directed by K.A.W. Perera and music by Premasiri Kemadasa. He himself directed the film Pooja to which he composed Hadawila Kalambana Pem Jala Reka sung by Nanda Malini.

He joined the Lankadeepa Newspaper in 1959 as a Sub Editor and came under the influence of D.B. Danapala. In 1977, he joined Lake House and worked in all the Sinhala Newspapers beginning from Dinamina, Janatha and Silumina and was also responsible in initiating Pahan Weta in Yovun Janatha and Rasanduna in the Silumina Weekly.

Although he retired officially after serving 25 years in various capacities he was well known for his writing on travel and environment. He was honoured for his writings in 1999 as the Best Travel Writer and in 2002 received an award by the Sri Lanka Environmental Journalist Forum for the best Environment Writer.

He is the father of Daily News staffer Anjana Gamage and brother-in-law of Sunil Daya Alwis of Silumina.

Widely travelled, he wrote a number of books and contributed a vast number of articles to newspapers on his travels.

Kapruka

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