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Government Gazette

Gemunu Wijesuriya's voice is no more

COLOMBO: Well known radio artiste Gemunu Wijesuriya died on Monday while receiving treatment at a private hospital. He was 73.

The remains lie at his residence 540/19, Thalawathugoda, Madiwela. His body will be removed to the Art Gallery at 1.00 p.m. today for the public to pay their last respects. Funeral takes place today at the General Cemetery, Borella.

Wijesuriya became a household name with his roles Weda Mama, Gurunnanse and Pina in the radio drama Muwanpelassa written by Mudalinayake Somarathne which was broadcast from 1963.

He entered the entertainment field joining the Lama Pitiya radio programme conducted by Sarath Wimalaweera while a student at Udugampola Maha Vidyalaya. After leaving school, he joined the Health Department. While working at the Health Department, he also joined the Radio Ceylon as a relief announcer, which turned a new leaf in his life.

He produced the famous Vinoda Samaya of yesteryear introducing Annesly, Samuel and Berty. Wijesuriya born in 1934 was felicitated for his five decade service to the entertainment field and recognising his rare ability to entertain the audience speaking in different voices, both male and female.

His fame as a dubbing artiste rose when he gave his voice to television plays such as Malgudi Days, Dosthara Honda Hitha, Ha Ha Hari Hava, Pissu Poosa, Suvi Seriya and Sipyuru Sora. He had also acted in Senasuma Kothenada, Lokuma Hinawa, Binaramalee, Thunman Handiya, Hara Lakshaya, Dulika, Handaya and Hatara Kendare. He was also the Pothe gura (narrator) of Maname, in its second production. Wijesuriya also acted in the tele comedy Night Learners.

Wijesuriya leaves his wife Malee and two daughters Rishani and Anupama.

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