Niahl Silva at a glance
* Born on January 10, 1954 in
* Rose to fame playing Sergeant
Nallathamby in the play of the same name.
* Sergeant Nallathamby was one of
the first Sri Lankan plays to be a financial success.
* Ralla, Commando Diyasena, and
Vadamaarachi appeared in Sri Lankan theaters inspired by Sergeant
* Died on December 3, 1989 in
Even if they beguile a whole world with their uncanny sense of humour,
the comedians rarely get the praise that they richly deserve. The Sri
Lankan comedian, Nihal Silva or else Sajant Nallathambi, as he was
known, may not have won many grand awards, but he sure did win millions
of hearts through his riveting stage play.
A felicitation ceremony was held recently at Institute of Sinhala
Culture to pay tribute to the great comedian that he once was. Many
distinguished figures including Jayalath Manorathne, Palitha Silva,
Jayalal Rohana and Daya Vayaman attended the event to pay their tribute
to the idol. Deepal Silva brought back the nostalgic memories of
glorious days, as he performed a short segment from the Sergeant
Daya Wayaman was probably the first to identify the talent and the
potential Silva had towards the stage drama. It is through Daya
Wayaman's drama Nainage Suuduwa that he really began to make name for
himself in the industry. He played the role of a police inspector.
Perhaps it was his role in Neinage Suuduwa that later inspired him to
make the Sajant Nallathambi drama. But he was not merely a comedian. He
showed his versatility as a stage actor with a mind-blowing performance
in the drama 'Punthila'. Through 'Punthila' Silva proved that he had the
potential, the ability and the capacity to portray much complex
characters as well.
His performance showed that he had the making of a classic stage
He also gave his contribution to many films. He played the lead role
in 1993's hit Sargant Nallathambi. Some of his other movies include Jodu
Wallalu (1980), Thuththiri Mal (1983), Kiri Madu Wel(1985), Kavuluva
(1987), Satana (1988), Okkoma Rajavaru (1989), Pem Rajadahana ( 1990),
Juriya Mamai (1993).
Speaking at the event, Jayalal Rohana expressed his extreme respect
towards the great comedian as he remarked: "It is a real honor to be
speaking at this event. As I speak I feel his spirits hovering around
under this roof. We speak of Ediriweera Sarachchandra era, John de Silva
era, but we never mention Nihal Silva's name amid these greats. I feel
he deserves a place among the very best. It is a whole golden era in Sri