Sarvodaya National Awards 2006
COLOMBO: Sarvodaya Trust Fund established for the advancement
of Humanity, Development and Peace has released names of the recipients
of the national awards for the year 2006.
Nominations were invited by press advertisements and the prospective
nominees have been selected by an independent panel of judges.
The Sarvodaya National Award includes a plaque and a citation with a
cash award of Rs. 50,000.
Funds for these are generated through the bank interests earned from
the Sarvodaya Trust Fund which was inaugurated from the award money
received by Dr. A.T. Ariyaratna on various occasions.
The following eminent personalities were selected from five
categories in respective fields:
Ven. Prof. Bellanvila Wimalaratana, Chancellor of the Sri
Jayawardenepura University, a Buddhist scholar and writer and writer
specialized in the evolution of Buddha statues.
As the incumbent of the famous Bellanvila Raja Maha Vihara the Ven.
Thera’s services has contributed to improve the quality of life at the
community level. On the National Front the Ven. Thera’s consultations
and deliberations on national issues for the state and the media has
helped immensely to enlighten society.
Dr. Leel Gunasekara was an outstanding member of the Sri Lanka
Administrative Service, came into the limelight when he became the
Government Agent of Kegalle District.
He is the author of the evergreen Sinhala Novel “Pethsama” which was
in the line of Leonard Woolf’s “Village in the Jungle” portraying the
helpless rural poor. A tireless social worker Leel is inspired by the
Sarvodaya vision. He is also a board member of the National Library and
Documentation Services board.
Subsequently he held many prestigious positions in the state service
such as the Director Social Services.
Gamini Jayasinghe veteran photographer. He began his career in the
Government Film Unit and continued in the State Film Corporation.
Throughout his entire career, photography was his media of
He took up photographing the grandeur of Sinhala Buddhist Art from
early times to date. Beginning from Polonnaruwa period he has
photographed upto the temple paintings of the Bellanwila Raja Maha
Vihara by the late eminent artist Somabandu Vidapathi which is a rare
documentation for future generations.
He has brought out several volumes of his photographs including two
volumes of the “Grandeur of Sinhala Buddhist Art” printed and published
by Sarvodaya Visva Lekha.
As a film editor he has to his credit eminent photographer D.C.L.
Amerasingha’s “Vesatura Siritha” based on “Vessantara” Jataka story.
Bhadraji Mahinda Jayatilake is a prolific writer of novels, short
stories, dramas, radio plays, teledramas and stage plays, mostly in
Sinhala and occasionally in English, his novel on ethnic harmony and
rebirth was published on the initiative of Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne. He has
published seventy books, the majority being Sinhala Novels (35 novels).
He has written books for children and juveniles too.
Bhadraji won the D.R. Wijewardene award for the best novel in
manuscript in 1994. Subsequently he won the State Literary Award for the
Best Sinhala Translation. He had translated Sir Edwin Arnold’s “Light of
Asia” and Nobel Prize winning novel Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak.
He holds a B.Sc. in communications and Public Relations and M.A. in
Cinematography and TV productions.
Namel Weeramuni and Malini Weeramuni were also selected. Namel is a
product of Peradeniya University.
He later contributed to the growth of Sinhala stage plays as writer
and producer cum actor. His wife Malini is following the same steps like
Namel and is a veteran character actor in today’s teledramas as well.
The duo exiled in UK for a long period and having returned to Sri
Lanka have built a “Mini Theatre” at Borella for the upliftment of
Sinhala Stage plays and recreation programmes on music.
Namel acted in several Sinhala feature films including veteran
filmmaker Vasantha Obeysekara’s maiden film “Ves Gattho” in a leading