On 03 June, 1914, Charles Francis Silva and Pinto Moragoda gave birth to their son and his name was Rejinold De Silva who changed his name as “Ediriweera Sarachchandra” later. He started his primary education from Richmond Collage – Galle and thereafter he entered into St. John’s College – Panadura and St.Thomas’ College – Mount Lavinia. He showed his colours especially from science, English Literature, Greek and Latin language.
Since the childhood, Ediriweera Sarachchandra showed his skills on education and he passed the London Matriculation Examination also. In 1933, he entered into Colombo University and studied Pali and Sanskrit. And in 1936, he was offered first class degree for those subjects. Not only that, but Sarachchandra got the first place from Ceylon Civil Service examination also. After that, he worked as a teacher at St. Thomas Collage – Mount Lavinia and St. Peter’s Collage – Bambalapitiya. With improving his writing skills, he joined to the publishing company Lake House in an administrative position and he was sub editor of Sinhala Dictionary. Ediriweera Sarachchandra continued his career as a Lecturer for Pali Language at Colombo University.
More about Ediriweera Sarachchandra
As keeping a new step in the life, Sarachchandra wed Aileen Beleth and then he went to India with his wife, to study Indian Philosophy and Music. Then he completed his post graduate degree in Western Philosophy from the University of London in 1949 and he learnt Japanese language also. In 1965, he wed Lalitha Swarnalatha Perera as second time and he worked as a visiting lecturer at Denison University – America, University of Rochester and Arham University. And he was able to attend for International Conference on Japanese Studies in Japan also. During this time, Ediriweera Sarachchandra didn’t forget to add his knowledge and skills to Sinhala Cinema Industry also. He worked in Director Board of Film Corporation and later he was in Director Board of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. Not only that, but he served as the Sri Lankan ambassador to France, Vatican and Switzerland also. This great character was be the Sri Lankan UNESCO Consignor and he was hold a Professor position at East – West Center, University of Hawaii.
And also Ediriweera Sarachchandra did magnificent literary works in Sinhala Literature. In 1942, he translated “Ape Withthi” book, written by Martin Wickramasinghe and in 1943, he translated “Mudalalige Peraliya” and produced a drama also. His first novel was “Malagiya Aththo”. He produced many dramas and some of them are; Kapuwa Kapothi (1945), Hangi Hora (1949), Uththara Raama CHarithaya (1951), Bahina Kalawa/ Sanskruthika Komasaris (1951), Pabawathi (1952), Weda Satahana (1955), Raththaran (1954), Wadinna Giya Dewale (1955), Maname, Sinhabahu, Wessanthara, Premathi Jaayathi Soko, Wellawahum, Ekata Mata Hina HIna and Elowa Gihin Melowa.
For his priceless service, he was awarded by many awards and honours. Some of them are;
1956 – Award from Literature Board of Sri Lanka – “Malagiya Aththo” Novel
1979 – Award from Literature Board of Sri Lanka – “With the Begins Bowl” Book
1985 – Global Award of “Kumaran Asan” from Kerala – India
1988 – International Award from Magsaysay – Philippines
1991 – Award of D. Lit. from University of Sri Jayawardanapura
1996 – Awards of Rajatha and Swarnamaya from Japan
This giant character, Ediriweera Sarachchandra was the first Sri Lankan who was appointed to the Nomination Committee of Nobel Price. However, this great master passed away in 1996, but his service is everlasting to us. Ediriweera Sarachchandra was a great Sri Lankan playwright, novelist, poet, literary critic, essayist and social commentator.