Sugathapala de Silva

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Sugathapala De Silva
Born Avalikkara Gallappattige Sugathapala De Silva
(1928-08-04)4 August 1928
Midigama (Weligama, Matara), Sri Lanka
Died 28 October 2002(2002-10-28) (aged 74)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Nationality Sri Lankan
Other names

Lovable Dictator

( Sonduru Aknyadayakaya)
Spouse(s) Sheela De Silva
Children Dimuthu Prasada Gallappatti , Vanamali Kaushalya Gallappatti , Sudesh Prabudda Gallappatti , Harindra Pragathi Gallappatti

Sugathapala De Silva (4 August 1928 – 28 October 2002) was an acclaimed Sri Lankan dramatist and novelist, translator, radio play producer, and Sinhala Radio Play writer.[1]


Early life[edit]

Sugathapala De Silva was born on 4 August 1928 Midigama (weligama, Matara), downsouth town 130 kilometres from Colombo to the son of a small trader.[2] He grew up there, among Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim traders. His childhood experiences would later influence him to write the novels Ikbithi Siyalloma Sathutin Jeevathvuha and Esewenam Minisune Me Asaw. According to other writing he was born in Weligama and After studied in a few schools in Galle and from tenth grade studied Jinaraja College, Gampola, and came to Colombo.[3] Sugathapala de Silva worked as a salesman at K.V.G. de Silva's bookstall at Wellawatte. . He made this environment read book using free time. That habit amassed in him to gain knowledge which becomes a free thinker, a creator, an innovator, a radical and non-conformist.[4]


De Silva came to Colombo, Sri Lanka in the 1960s, and became engaged in the political and cultural movement, taking place there at that time. Nicknamed the "lovable dictator", he formed the drama group "Apey Kattiya" there, and started to translate and adapt plays by Tennessee Williams and Pirandello, like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Six Characters in Search of an Author, to wide acclaim. He followed these plays with original ones, like Thattu Geval and Boarding Karayo which captured the mood of the new city-bred middle classes of the time. Among his other creations are Eka Walle Pol, Boodin Karayo, Hithahonda Ammandi, Harima Badu Hayak, Mutu Kumari, Esala Sanda, Marasad and Snthuvara sebalano.


De Silva's best play is considered by many to be Dunna Dunu Gamuwe, which was written just after the 1971 insurrection in Sri Lanka. Although centred on a trade union struggle, it had an admixture of politics and art expertly mixed with technique and aided by some superb acting by the late U. Ariyawimal and Wilson Jayasiri was the precursor of the serious political theatre which followed at the end of the decade.

De Silva worked for long time at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation as a producer, and in the late 1960s was in charge of the weekly radio play, and the weekly short story programs on the station, which were the first "stamping grounds" of writers and dramatists who are today well known in their own right.[5]

De Silva was bed-ridden since 1997, and after being admitted to a hospital, died on 28 October 2002.[6]

Produced Plays[edit]

Published works[edit]

  • Saibu nana ( Humor )
  • Nil katrol mal ( Drama )
  • 1948 Anoo Navaya ( Detective )
  • 1963 Biththi Hatara (Novel)
  • 1968 Asura Nikakaya (Novel)
  • 1970 Ikbithi Siyaloloma Sathutin Jeewath uha (Novel)
  • 1972 Ane Devdath Noditi mokpura ( Poem )
  • 1974 Dunna dunu gamuve ( Drama )
  • 1975 Thuranga Sanniya ( Horse by Julius Hay Translation play)
  • 1976 Ballo Bath kathi (Novel)
  • 1986 Ese veenam Minisune Asav (Novel)
  • 1988 Sonduru Akna dayaka Hevath Natya nishpadaka ( Academic)
  • 1988 Ata messa ( The Gadfly By Ethel Lilian Voynich Translation novel)
  • 1991 Hitler Ellla marai (Novel)
  • 1992 Marat Sade ( Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss Translation play)
  • 1992 Hathara veni Thattuva ( Death is part of the process By Hilda Bernstein Translation novel
  • 1993 Handa Naluva Hevath Guvan viduli Nattya ( Academic)
  • 1994 Godo Unnhehe Enakal ( Waiting for Godot By Samuel Beckett Translation play)
  • 1994 Deiyampa Sahathika Eththa ( Nothing but the truth By Ramapada Chaudhury Translation novel)
  • 1997 Pavara nirindeku viya bambadath (Novel)
  • 1999 Harima badu hayak ( Six Characters in Search of an Author By Luigi Pirandello Translation play)
  • 1999 Re bo wu ikbithi ( When night falls By K.A.Abbas Translation novel)
  • 2002 Amuthu Ilandariya ( Funny Boy By Shyam Selvadurai Translation novel)
  • 2002 Ginidalu mal ( Flowers of flame By Humayun Ahmed Translation novel )
  • 2002 Natya kruthi ekathuwa – palamu weluma (Drama)
  • 2012 Wellata giya geheniya (Radio Drama)


  • 1962 'Bodin karayo' best script and play National drama festival in Sri Lanka
  • 1971 best literary prize 'Ikbithi Siyalloma Sathutin Jeevathvuha' .[10]
  • 1987 'Marat sad' best Translation and play National drama festival in Sri Lanka


British government scholarship for study drama.[11]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ [1] ,Shabdarasaya, The Architect of the Modern Sinhala Theatre(/2008/08/10),
  2. ^ [2] The Sunday Observer, Ajith Samaranayake (3 November 2002), " The Curtain falls on an era",
  3. ^ [3] The Sunday Times, By Madhubhashini Disanayaka(16 March 1997), " Ape kattiya dared to differ",
  4. ^ [4] daily news, by Namel Weeramuni (2 November 2002), " The rebel who shed new light on the stage",
  5. ^ [5] The Sunday Observer, By Indeewara Thilakarathne (23 August 2009), " Sri Lankan Theatre ",
  6. ^ [6] The Sunday Observer, Ajith Samaranayake (3 November 2002), " The Curtain falls on an era",
  7. ^ [7] daily news, Author unknown (29 October 2002), " 'Lovable dictator' dies at 74 ",
  8. ^ [8] The Sunday Times, by Henry Jayasena(8 November 206), " Offer of a job by a State Minister ",
  9. ^ [9] The Sunday Observer, by Prof. Ariya Rajakaruna(12 December 2006), " 'Actor is one who is made and not one who is born' ",
  10. ^ [10] daily news, by Somachandre Wijesuriya (13 November 2002), " Sugathapala de Silva : Dramatist of the people ",
  11. ^ [11] daily news, by Somachandre Wijesuriya (13 November 2002), " Sugathapala de Silva : Dramatist of the people ",