BUDDHI VITHANARACHCHI A TRUE ICON IN MASS MEDIA, ELECTRONIC ,RADIO,TELVISION ,DARING BROADCASTER IN HIS OWN INIMITABLE ELEGANCE HAD REMEDIED MANY FLAWS TO EMERGE TRIUMPHANTLY
To many, details of Buddhdasa Vithanarachchi in his influence to theatre ,mini screen and cinema are well known but details of his ancestral Kegalla village ,his education, his contribution to the mass media are very much less known. In an interview he had with the presenter of Lines and Beyond channel Janaka Kumbukage , Buddhadasa had disclosed many facts which had not been recognized by many. Some of the excerpts are appended below. Though not a member of any political party having used his franchise at all elections for fifty five years since he was eighteen years old has had all times poise to select to vote by reading the election manifestos of all parties carefully before casting his vote. However out of all parties he was bent to the policies of Rohana Wijeweera and Shakthi revolutionary movements ,which was basically for equality among all, though was of the assessment that such a party would never emerge as people are selfish preferring to live lavish lives with supreme comforts ,with immense distinct discriminations within all humanities. It is his firm acceptance that even via a radical scuffle, victory could never be achieved as all governments are now crewed with adequate power to defend and defy any magnitude of hostility.
Buddhi as renowned to his associates more familiarly has excelled in many crafts and skills possessing a vast knowledge in mass media, acting arena and in the leftish movement with an unmatched flexible personality with close relationships with countless number of Presidents, Prime Ministers, cabinet ministers etc. He was born in the mid 20th century before gaining independence from the British regime on 30th June 1947, in his ancestral Kegalle dwelling as the eldest of six siblings three younger brothers all deceased , while two younger sisters are married are living. During which time there was no electricity in many parts of the island, the roads were not developed with an embryonic transport network, but people were unpretentious, humble with an undeveloped urban area, but villages were more developed than now. In his adjoining village was DS Senanayake who fought for our independence while his son Dudley Senanayake was a resident in the Dedigama seat. It was then historically and politically well renowned. Kegalle was traditionally called as located in “Sathara korale’ was significant historically, archeologically crammed with immense cultural rituals and treasured values which were all drenched immensely within. Most people think that Kandy’s demarcation originates from Kadugannawa but Buddhi had disclosed , it is not so , it is from Warakapola, Dummaladeniya borderline from which point the upcountry Kingdom is demarcated. The whole area of is said to contain a soil predominantly damp ideal for fostering agriculture. Buddhi’s village in Kegalle belonged to the Dedigama electoral division. He reminisced though King Maha Parakramabahu reigned Polonnaruwa, he had been born in Kegalle area. Buddhi evoked that when the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa Kingdoms collapsed people had journeyed extensively to Kegalle area which thus became densely inhabited .This had made the ‘Sathara Korale’ to be saturated with numerous talents like dancing and other cultural traditions. It was reminisced by Buddhi that stalwarts like celebrated upcountry dancers Pani Bharatha, Ranganatha, Budawatte , also members of “Angampura Satan Kalawa’, too had originated from ‘Sathara Korale”.Even the valiant hero Keppetipola had been born ‘Sathara Korale”, the logo of the flag of the Republic of Sri Lanka had been designed by one Seneviratne born in Kegalle.In the traditional Kandy perahera the log on the flag which precedes the procession contains ‘Ira Handa’ logo was designed by a member of ‘Sathara Korala’ . These Buddhi made emphasis on the vast historical, archeological and cultural importance of ‘Sathara korale’, where he and many were fortunate to be born having unprecedented tall elevations of so many artistic ethics. These morals, principles Buddhi attributed immensely for the child-development base for him, for that matter to any child growing up. His first school was in the village , Galapitamada Vidyalaya earlier called Walagamba Vidyalaya at which school a 2nd class a student had hit him on the head with a chair , which had prompted his mother to admit him to another village junior mixed school possessing only a solitary building ,at the far end of village two miles further away to which he had to walk , it was in the 1950 decade the school had no basic facilities. At school no student wore even slippers barring shoes as in his previous school. His father during world wars had been mobilized in foreign countries, hence not as a fashion had made him wear shoes and a hat as worn by the counterparts in European countries. This Buddhi now feels was not a familiarity that had to be followed then. All students had to partake in agricultural work to find ‘cow dung’, soil etc., which young Buddhi too had to perform sporting the additional attires , shoes and the hat. It was revealed by him now, that some students were used to harass him by trampling his shoes. After a few years He was sent to St Mary’s College in Kegalle town as the parents demanded him to be a lawyer but he was not at all interested, as for the reason that many lawyers in Kegalle had been educated at St.Mary’s College. The administrators at St.Mary’s College had been Italian Christian Fathers. Under their guidance had guided all as to how to adopt to European culture, learnt to work to time, cleanliness, behavior, conduct etc. It is from the school Buddhi had learned all virtues not realized in village schools. Initially he had been a cub before becoming a scout and then had been a junior and then a senior cadet. These Buddhi had attributed to the gradual development of his personality and character. In addition had participated in stage plays becoming the best actor in year 1964 in the schools cultural competition.Also had been adjudicated as the best presenter, best speaker, also as the best lyricist and ‘Kaviya’.These triumphs were attributed exclusively to the tutorial staff headed by scholar EMG Edirisinghe, a critic and author who was the Sinhala ‘guru’ taught the Sinhalese vernacular with several others. competent teachers. There had been a practice then, the undergraduates taught students pending their finals results. They had taught young socialist leftist views too but advising not to be too radical in approaches . In addition, Buddhi had been in the debating team , also the college musical band as prominent members.
When questioned in a television dialog how he got acquainted with leftish ideas, the answer he reminisced as, during his young school days when the less privileged students from villages had trampled his shoes and also uttered “Handuruwa Koduruwo Ape Ehe Kaba Kanno” at which era there had existed a distinct division in society. He had realized why people are vivid some are rich some poor, who live differently, eating , dress habits, dwellings ,living habits etc. When young when inquiries were made he was told that it was ‘Karma’ that had made these deviations. However it was his master EMG Edirisinghe had explained how the different classes of people evolved had taught this ,as there are different tribes , a social division in a traditional society consisting of communities linked by social, economies, religious or blood ties with a common culture or vernacular,typically having a recognized leader. Hence some learn to be intellectuals others will have to work for lower salaries, but each had to be employed to earn a salary for his living. which every citizen needed to earn for his living. After which Buddhi had got the feeling to change this viewpoint in the society for every one to live in the identical manner with same type dwellings, food, luxury items, clothes etc., in essentially in a fantasy world . In 1967 Buddhi had come to Colombo was sent to Jaffna for his first appointment having received a transfer from his work place National Lotteries Board where his had worked for three years until 1970.The Lotteries Board had been under the Minister of Finance Dr NM Perera from 1970 to 1975 earlier had worked under Finance Minister UB Wanninayake. There had been a trade union of the communist party for the members of the staff who had appointed Buddhi as the general secretary. In addition he had been unanimously appointed as the general secretary of “Sevaka Upadeshaka sabha” too which has had the provision to engage the workers collectively against the management authority. Hence for the dual roles he was dubbed as the ‘Maha Lekam” as he had leadership qualities too having the skill to articulate views on behalf of others rigidly and abruptly. As he was the eldest in his family too he has had in himself the feeling he was the chief, Buddhi had proclaimed. When, he was confronted in leftish movements he realized that it was something that could not be accomplished and realized. Buddhi along with his colleagues had fought to receive an equivalent bonus to all, which Dr NM Perera had not complied with. After been dismayed in not been able to achieve equal benefits to all he had resigned from all posts of Secretaries. Thereafter he had become interested in ‘Nawa” leftish movement headed by Rohana Wijeweera.At that time the head of the Lotteries Board Major Alex Nawaratne had got the feeling that for his radical work had suspected him having connections with the ‘Che Guevara” movement which at that time he has had no rigid linking. From year 1970 to year 1977 Buddhi was responsible as the solitary announcer at all Lotteries board events held in all parts of the island also proclaiming to the SLBC the ‘live’ results. This had given him the exceptional opportunity to alight on the same podium on which the Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, cabinet ministers and other dignitaries partook.
During this era the notion that Buddhi was a ‘Che Guevara’ was totally evicted. When the insurrection period commenced in the late 1960’s as Buddhi was stationed in Jaffna though he knew of the struggle which precipitated owing to the uncertainties of several, not finding proper job opportunities despite having qualifications, he could not participate and contribute actively though he was following closely. During the subsequent years has had only appeared for the afflicted persons only , sans any conventional significance. He had known very well that the principles of leftists were not practical to implement though the facts were true. After UNP under JR Jayewardena regime with a 5/6th majority had released Rohana Wijeweera from detention which made the JVP active again along with the general secretary Lionel Bopage. Buddhi had attended constantly meetings of Lionel Bopage where he had read the per capita book of Karl Marx translated.Buddhi had proclaimed lately that Bopage was his ‘guru’ ,now a close friend a qualified engineer. He had joined with JVP’s ‘ Samajawadi Kala Sangamaya’ which helped the JVP in ‘art’ activities ,having organized the “Vimukthi Gee’ which he himself presented which was patronized by record audiences, a highly successful musical extravaganza which ran to packed audiences.. The theme of ‘Vimukthi Gee’ recital was there is only one cast, one race which is human race, unity among all communities, Velupillai Aiye mata sama veyan, Uthuru kone, Nadaraja malliye, we are all citizens of this country irrespective of castes ,religions, should live as just one human race , living only for s short period , a voice for the voiceless etc. slogans .Consequently Nanda Maini , Sunil Ariyartane duo organized similar recitals like ‘Pavana’,’ Saththiye Geethaya’ etc. After these concerts many thought the leftist struggle of the JVP will become triumphant. This was later attributed by Buddhi that, young folks then were very interested and concerned in changing the then life patterns. Thereafter some stage plays too were organized like ‘Milano Malak Nove” in connivance with slain Manamperi beauty queen, the main roles had been portrayed by Buddhi and his wife Sitha.This play was banned by the government which was able to stage only on the world’s women’s’ day staged at the Sugathadasa Indoor stadium prior to upgrading. Buddhi at a television dialog had remarked that he needed to be an inspirational personality in all these instances. Buddhi had never been a member of any political party he had remarked.He had known very well that a communist party would never be the ruling party .In the 1981 District Development council election Colombo had contested for a seat in the Maharagama DDC. In the Presidential election in year 1982 had canvassed for Rohana Wijeweera despite he was opposed to a giant in JR Jayewardena who had won the general election with a 5/6th majority. Unlike in other political parties to become a member of JVP is not easy by just filling a form he reminisced , but will have to serve the party in many areas for a considerable length of time then has to be convinced to be passed by many panels after which only is accepted by the main committee after verifying the sacrifices made honestly and consistently .Buddhi despite been an active honest dedicated member had never been made a member even until 1987. Buddhi had cast his vote for fifty five years since he was eighteen years old but never gone to ‘Kade” for anyone .In a more friendly quote he added that he goes to ‘Kade’ only to purchase food stuffs also emphasized those who are political stooges join the related parties for financial benefits, to emerge victorious in a tender , to get lucrative professions etc, Even today he casts his vote for the party with best policies and vision after studying the related election manifestos. . But to Buddhi it is Rohana Wijeweera’s policies coming from a deprived family background had suited him most, one who had even sacrificed his medical degree from Russia aside. Buddhi had placed him right at the top drawer when it comes to policies of all leaders. It was added though Lionel Bopage a qualified engineer many others members of the JVP are living respectfully in many business spheres but still follow the same concepts of Rohana Wijeweera having become rich only by authentic ways. Rohana Wijeweera then had said that he may not live for another twenty five years but predicted future earth slips advised to grow trees on all sides of hills to prevent soil erosion, which is happening often now. It was also added that all soils would wash down to the borders of rivers all not adhered to date is the cause of so many disasters like land slides , loss of many lives and property In his political memorandum he wanted every citizen to receive an army training not to fight wars but to be agile, learning discipline as an example it was during the recent covid-19 epidemic, it was the service personnel who came to the fore as they had the leadership, infrastructure facilities, force, knowledge to handle the critical situation.
In year 1987 during the Indo-Lanka accord several were jailed along with Buddhi for one and a half years for no charges sans even a judicial order only for the offence expressing views .Buddhi was preparing himself to travel to Kataragama for Gam Udawa lottery announcing when security forces had come to his residence at 3 am to arrest him .When asked the reason for his arrest the security personnel had said ,we too do not know, sans a arrest order. He had served coffee to them and proceeded. The following day he had to portray two roles in two stage plays which was a concern to him , the request to attend too had been turned down.From Borella police station he was taken to Talangama police station , by evening was taken to Magazine prison.In it Buddhi had been tough had told others not to sir the officers but address as ‘Mahattaya’. There is a rule when one is going out to loudly mention the number allotted to him. Buddhi had said to the officer you better take down the number, he had uttered, he was not a person imprisoned for no offence .But later after an internal meeting, Buddhi was pleaded to follow the rules in the prison. Buddhi had been a member of ‘Sanwath Saba Member’ chosen by peoples vote before the LG elections came into been but that too did not become a criterion for him to get any favours. There were two hundred arrested along with him , without any offences. During the one and half year tenure in remand Buddhi had left with the detainees setting examples to the prison authorities. During this period had read many books like even the Quran, Bible to enhance his knowledge. Whatever the inmate detainees requested was given like shampoos, soaps etc., but had to consume prison food. He and the rest had to remain somehow which had violated human rights and democracy. After some time had filed action to human rights commission where the leading lawyer Prins Gunasekera had appeared. The junior lawyer Abeypala had been assassinated for appearing for them, while Prins Gunasekera fled our shores to UK in order to escape assassination.
After Buddhi reverted back to Colombo in year 1970 he has had one ambition to become a broadcaster, as he was well recognized in his school in that field though he disliked the profession the parents wanted him to be, a lawyer. Buddhi had affirmed that he did not want to be in the traditional professions like doctor, lawyer, engineer etc. Buddhi wanted to have a dialog with the people, hence had rented out a room in Bambalapitiya so that he could travel to SLBC by boarding a CTB double decker paying a bus fare just cents five only. If recruited. To enter to SLBC one must pass a voice test and with competency in languages. For an advertisement for announcers one thousand two hundred had been called like Douglas Ranasinghe, Thilaka Ranasinghe,Tissa Abeysekera, Wally Nanayakkara etc., out of which only seventeen were selected including Buddhi. At the interview he had faced to Palitha Perera and Berty Galahitiyawa At the interview one item was to make a live broadcast of the Kandy Perahera from the SLBC studios. He had been given three hours for commercial programs which he did not like as he was already undertaken the Lotteries board broadcast regularly. He had been offered educational service programs like ‘Yakupitiya’ under one Ms Gunaratne, the director then was HM Gunasekera who has inspired him, while the director general was Thevis Guruge. All stalwart heavyweights had been contented with Buddhi ‘s broadcasting endeavors. There had been media men who could translate then and there English to Sinhalese like the Ceylon Daily newspaper editorials etc. The high standards then maintained need to be highly commended. The announcers were all famous and legendry like Karunaratne Abeysekera, Chitrananda Abeysekera,KDK Dharmawardena,Amarabandu Rupasinghe, Cyril Rajapaksa to whom still the present generation media personnel have not been able to match up .As the SLRC commenced Buddhi had passed the screen test to ascertain his eligibility in one’s portrait and speech. But he had been able to present programs only from year 1995 continuously for fifteen years ,when Chandrasoma Vithanage the director of such talk shows ,had sent him an invitation to present talk shows like ‘Shanida Ayubowan ‘ during weekends after the demise of Premakeethi De Alwis and other broadcasters who after leaving had left vacuums. Also, as Buddhi was involved in teledrama field having won an award for the best actor, at the first Sumathi Awards ceremony for his portrayal in “Dandubasna Manaya ‘.At that period Vasanatha Raja was the Chairman of SLRC, who had come after overseas stints like in BBC. While serving in the state channel Buddhi had questioned very boldly and rigidly numerous politicians, heads of state, government officials , when questioned at the same discussion added he had familiarized with such bold qualities perhaps via hereditary affiliations from father. Many were of the view that for his appointment at the SLRC, the President then Chandrika Bandaranaike for whom Buddhi had supported may have been the reason Also sans any political mileage which he could have achieved through the then minister of mass communication Dharmasiri Senanayake who hailed from his native village was a close buddy too. When Chandrika was the chief minister of western province Buddhi had got a pledge after having been subjected to misery during the 1978 to 1994 regime had been deprived of human rights,jailed for no offences, promising to stop repetition of such events which would never be tolerated. Hence under this pledge Buddhi had got courage for freedom to his utterings at a SLRC discussions with senior politicians and cabinet ministers.
Once Buddhi had told Chandrika when she was the Chief Minister of western province, ’you look beautiful, will you stay simple like this when becoming the President too’ .Chandrika had made a pledge, she would not change in her stance but she cannot guarantee it from others. The same question and answer Buddhi had cheekily cited in a live Rupavahini program. Buddhi has had amazing nerves in abundance by calling even cabinet ministers on issues, having been battered and bruised during the seventeen year JR’s rule. Chandrika had lived up to her promise been flexible but had been guilty of coming late as a habit for meetings at which time Buddhi had commenced meetings until she arrived which was embarrassing for her, but had welcomed her upon arrival late.Buddhi has had been in the habit of reading letters sent by viewers boldly. He had said not to address cabinet Ministers as ‘Athi Garu’,’Ariyawa’ ,’Janadipathi Uthumanan’ Sri Mathanan, attributing to the fact that it was the people who had voted for them to come to power. The new director general Vasantha Raja had agreed to this as internationally there are no titles like that , should be only President etc. only. Unfortunately Vasantha Raja was removed for suspecting he was a supporter of the brutal tigers , also for organizing programs involving all communities .But he wife was a Sinhalese, mother was a Sinhalese educated in a western country came from the BBC .Once for praising Supreme Court judge Wigneswaran saying the Tamil language is a very old language ,a FB comment on Buddhi had been made against him saying him to be an offspring of a Tamil gene, which Buddhi had attributed to as the typical mentality of our people. Another incident was reminisced by Buddhi , once a late Communist party minister in Avissawela had objected for not telecasting his ‘avurudu program’ live to Dew Gunasekera when Bandara Eheliyagoda was the program director. Once his live program was over Buddhi had added as he has taken a pledge from the President that such blames or lapses will not be persuaded. Despite the pledge the Minister from Avissawela had blamed the crew of the SLRC. He also had said during canvassing times one who had eaten ‘thosai’ with him from small boutiques. At that time the Director General had been Dew Gunasekera also of the labor party, though Buddhi had believed that he would be asked explanation but to his delight the DG had complemented him for his retaliation. When Chandrika had asked Dew Gunasekera about the incident he had said it is now settled while Dharmasiri Senanayake had quipped, he is my country man knows him well to which Buddhi had added he has no double game player, talk straight sans ‘hanky banky’.Also in the television dialog the presenter had quipped for blaming a minister for wearing full suit, tie and coat at a ceremony. The full suit was explained as it is designed for the Europeans to sport as they always challenged with cold climates. But, to emulate them living in our country is stupid, even in Iran they do not wear full suit. For our cultural minister to wear full suit is foolish imitating Europeans .Once Vijitha Herath had gone to China sporting the full suit ,after his awareness made had accepted Buddhi’s advise. Buddhi also emphasized that no Indian VIP sport the full suit, a good example Buddhi quoted , is the attire of Rajive Gandhi. Who he and other Indian leaders never had worn full suit.The wearing of full suit has been imitated by many of our ‘deshapremi’ leaders too. Once after his disapproval on his way to the gym one guy had stopped him and said ‘you scolded by brother’ , Buddhi had said ‘yes’ boldly, then at the Anuradhapura literary day event he had met the cultural minister and wife when asked had said you had told for the whole country to hear. He too had stopped sporting the European suit thereafter. Buddhi added he had stopped a secretary to the President too and to many others too. This policy he said not against the Europeans as if not for them we would not have been developed to this level. Buddhi compared our country before year 1815 and that to date which has improved tremendously to high altitudes in countless ways.
Buddhi was questioned by Janaka during the same discussion whether the current day media personnel could fill the void left behind by stalwarts like Premakeerthi de Alwis, Ravi John and Richard de Zoyza.The answer was there still talented personnel but with the increase of channels, competition with the monetary factor taking pride of place it is a rather difficult proposition. He said certain channels had commenced with a bang saying they would focus on cultural values that too only at the beginning only regrettably had not prolonged. Those in all administrations know this but to stay in contention in the market competitiveness, they need to deviate from their principles. Buddhi emphasized even in the present SLBC there are flaws like using English words in Sinhala programs. Once when Hudson Samarasinghe was chairman had informed of a flaw ,City FM , Torrington square Colombo 7, where Torrington square was mentioned in English, Buddhi had pointed out why not read ‘Kolomba Hatha’ too in English. Buddhi attributed this to an inferiority complex among many presenters as without stating a word in English the presenter is not gratified. Even in the SLRC the presenter tells the address as SLRC Torrington square Colombo 7, to which in the Rupavahini channel itself Buddhi had said Torrington’s are now dead and gone, it is now termed as the ‘Nidahas Chathurastraya’.Once when Buddhi was walking to the SLRC had observed the name board of prestigious Bank of Ceylon in the vicinity of the Rupavahini had mentioned while on air saying that still the Torrington’s are kept in the laps of the bank. Within hours the name of the bank was changed to ‘Nidahas Chathurasra ‘ branch, the name boards were changed appropriately and the bank cheque books too changed within a month or so.These revised flaws should go down in the archives of history as etched in gold,the current broadcasters should emulate the feats of Buddhi for our country to prosper in ethics.
For his activities all had appreciated even the state had applauded him as he had made meticulous conclusions. The Chairman of Rupavahini Corporation had given Buddhi the green light to point out all lapses. While working in the Rupavahini Buddhi had criticized on the broken cups in their canteen. Once during a live program a ‘fly’ had entered the studio when he mentioned it ,a German foreigner at Hilton watching had quipped that is ‘live’ to a Rupavahini employee. Buddhi adds that in print, television, radio media there have been fixed laid down stipulated guidelines, rules , regulations which the present generations need to maintain sans breaking them lowering the prescribed standards . Buddhi reminisced that he is called upon to present the first lecture at the department of information a government as the first lecturer for media personnel, but at the end the participants had said when we perform them in their channels these rules cannot be implemented for which Buddhi adds that owing to monetary gains ,the related marketing divisions do not permit to those adherences .The advice of Buddhi to all students was for them to understand at least what is correct and what is wrong.
Buddhi had been a actor in his school days at St Mary’s College Kegalle felt he had acting skills in himself, hence after returning to Colombo in year 1970 having this’ fewer’ had entered Dhamma Jagoda’s acting school ‘first’ to be inaugurated in Sri Lanka at the ‘Kala Kendra Ranga Shilpa Shalik at the Lionel Wendt Arts Centre.Those who taught were Professor Sunanda Mahendra,( not a professor then)Professor Sucharitha Gamlath,Dr Ediriweera Sarathchandra, Henry Jayasena ,Gamini Haththotuwa ,Sugathapala Silva where all aspects of art, stage plays were taught .His colleagues were Ravindra Randeniya, Suminda Sirisena, Cyril Wickremage who are still among the living. After training the first stage play portrayed was Dhamma Jagoda’s ‘Vesmunu” along with Ravindra Randeniya, Somalatha Subasinghe, Suminda Sirisena portrayed roles. In year 1974 the stage play “Thakshala Nadagama” somewhat like ‘Maname’ was adjudicated as the best theatre production that year. Among those who portrayed roles only Buddhi is living now. Granville Rodrigo, Chitra Kumari Yapa Bandara, Daya Alwis, Sirisena Suriyarachchi,Dhamma Jagoda all are unfortunately deceased was quipped by Buddhi. He commenced his film career with Veera Puran Appu back in 1978, directed by Lester James Peries to portray a minor role. His most popular cinema acting had come through films ‘Agnidahaya’, ‘Sri Siddhartha Gautama’ and ‘Aloko Udapadi’ more recently.
Buddhi had affirmed that it was Dhamma Jagoda who singlehandedly groomed him as a stage actor. Thereafter had portrayed roles in Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s ‘Maka Rakshaya’,’Yaksha Gamanaya”.Then Bandula Vithanage’s ‘Hiru Dahasa” portraying the main role which was adjudicated as the best drama in which Yashoda Wimaladharma was named the best actress in the early 1990’s.In Dhamma Jagoda’s teledrama ‘Mihikathage Daruwa” Buddhi had portrayed only a trivial role. As he was involved in SLBC,SLRC work was branded as a political stooge though obviously not hence was not given many opportunities. In this particular teledrama ‘Mihikathage Daruwa” it was even asked to remove his portrayed parts. He had been requested to bring a letter from a reputed politician that he is not involved in pity part politics.Then he had brought a letter to that effect from the then Finance Minister Ronnie De Mel. It was revealed later that jealous personnel from within had wanted to deprive Buddhi from acting. That was a reason for him his delay in entering the Rupavahini until year 1994. Buddhi had commended Jayantha Chandrasiri for grooming him as an actor for which he is ever grateful for his portrayal journey in Teledramas. Buddhi was taken initially for the ‘Vesmunu’ teledrama for the last seen where he acted for an adulterer ( ‘sallalaya”) who was hurting girls giving false promises.In a lighter vein Buddhi had asked Jayantha Chandrasiri ‘do I look a ‘sallalaya”, to which replied ‘no no’ you looks a wealthy guy as they are those who mislead women.’ Thereafter had been invited to “Dandubasamanaya’ the role portrayed Buddhi confessed that it was a portrayal done to be felt by audiences for which he was awarded the best actor award at the FIRST Sumathi awards in year 1995. Thereafter in ‘Akale Sandya” portraying the role of Mahasohona, then ‘Sathara denek Senpathiyo’ likewise had portrayed many roles in Jayantha Chandrasiri’s creative teledramas. Other teledrama that strikes one’s mind are Akala Sandya, Arungal,Bharyawo,Bonda meedum, Chandi Kumarihami Dambulugala Sakmana, ,Dandubasna Manaya,Ganga Addara Gini Avi Saha Gini Keli Giri Shikara Meda Handapana Indikadolla Isi Dasuna,Jayathuru Sankaya Karuwala Gedara, Kunchanadha , Mahathala Hatana , Makara Dadayama Manokaya aunayagaya Nannaththara Parasathu Mal,Ran Damwel, Rejina, Sadisi Tharanaya,Sakuge Kathawa,Sakuge Lokaya,Sakviththo Sanda Gomman Re Sarisara Lihini Satharadenek Senpathiyo Sihina Wasanthayak, Sepalika, Thisara Peraliya, Verona, Vimansa, Wasuli Kanda,Yaddehi Gedara Etc,
Buddhi had portrayed roles in Radio Plays too as Theruwan Saranai, and Nirabhisheka showing his skills in them too.
The films in which Buddhi had portrayed roles are: Veera Puran Appu,Guru Gedera,Maruthaya,Anantha Rathriya,Sihina Deshayen,Channa Kinnari,Dorakada Marawa,Agnidahaya,Sudu Kaluwara,Sulang kirilli, Guerilla Marketing,Samaara,Wijaya Kuweni,Sri Siddhartha Gautama. Samanala Santhawaraya,Ahelepola Kumarihamy,Parapura, Maharaja Gemunu,Premaye Nam,Aloka Udapadi,Seema Nehe Akase, Nidahase Piya DS, Kawuruth Danne Nehe etc some are yet to be released.
Buddhi is married to his long-time partner Sitha Lalani Hemamala, postgraduate who possess a Masters Degree in Nursing from the University of British Columbia,Canada Sitha began her career as a Staff Nurse and retired as Head of the Department of Nursing at the Open University of Sri Lanka. Later she worked as the Head of Nursing at Katsu International, a private university in Sri Lanka. The duo has two daughters: Priyanwada, Sulochana and a son, Siddhartha. His youngest daughter, Sulochana acted in few stage plays, teledramas and worked as a TV presenter in Sri Lanka. His son had worked as a producer for the Rupavahini Corporation. Priyanwada is married to Rukman, Sulochana is married to Udaya and Siddhartha is married to Kanchana. All are now domiciled in Melbourne who were joined by Buddhi recently living with son’s family with his wife but hopes to return to Sri Lanka to complete acting contracts already undertaken.
While concluding the Lines and Beyond program Buddhi said he has so many invitations for teledramas and films, that he is fit to undertake. He added that in other countries even in CNN.BBC programs it is the mature media personnel even over seventies who present programs .For children’s programs it is not teenage girls who present them there again it is elderly media personnel who broadcast. He admitted that though he is in the seventies he could perform what a thirty seven years old could perform.The secret for his success is to possess a upright heart ,valuing and appreciating others, wishing others from heart, sans any jealousy ,should love all living beings, should live lightly then automatically god’s give one good health and longevity. Buddhi is a staunch Buddhist cum vegetarian not only refraining from eating fish, meat but also do not consume milk, cake, curd, butter, cheese, sweets even like jujubes etc, an individual to be imitated. In the context of the foregoing Buddhi Vithanarachchi should go down in the annals of our art as a legend having conquered many areas triumphantly. All his followers would wish him good health and longevity also for his future endeavors.
Sunil Thenabadu e mail sthenabadu@ Hotmail.com whatsapp 0061444533242
- denotes the Number of Sri Lankan film in the Sri Lankan cinema.