Gunadasa Amarasekara

Gunadasa Amarasekera (born in 1929) is a prominent Sinhala writer, poet, and essayist from Sri Lanka. Gunadasa Amarasekera was born in Yattalamatta in Galle District. He was educated at Mahinda College, Galle and Nalanda College Colombo. Some of Dr Amarasekara’s notable classmates at Nalanda College were Karunaratne Abeysekera, Stanley Jayasinghe, Dr Harischandra Wijayatunga, Dr Hudson Silva, Hon. Rupa Karunathilake, Hon. Dr Dharmasena Attygalle, Dr Henry Jayasena.

He is a graduate of University of Ceylon and a Dental Surgeon by profession. He is one of the founding fathers of the Peradeniya school of literary tradition of modern Sri Lankan literature. He was a controversial figure from the outset, due to the subject matter and style. He later did a complete turn around and criticised his own works like “Gandabba Apadanaya”.

By the mid 1950s he was a leader of the new Peradeniya School of Poets. Increasingly rejecting foreign literary influences, he developed a distinct Sinhalese short story form. His stories deal mostly with the social and cultural aspects of the middle class. His first novel, Karumakkaarayo, triggered controversy as he examined a power hungry politician and showed “the beginning of his tribal warfare in its incipient stages, in the guise of village-politics in a remote village in the South.” The novel was made into a film by Tissa Abeysekera.

Beginning in the mid-1970s, he ventured into a field of social, cultural and political criticism and continues in his role of social activitist and commentator. His seven-volume narrative Gamanaka mula examines the evolution of middle class Sri Lanka and enunciated the concept of Jaatika chintanaya (national consciousness). He continues his practice as a dental surgeon.

Together with Nalin de Silva, he was responsible for the Jaathika Chinthanaya (national consciousness) movement which dominates Sinhala intellectual debate from mid-1980s to the current date.

Books by Gunadasa Amarasekara

Jeevana Suwanda
Rathu Rosa Mala
Depa Nollado
Asathya Kathawak
Premaye Sathya Kathawa
Gamanaka Mula
Gamdoren Eliyata
Ganaduru Madiyama Dakinemi Arunalu
Ekatamen Polawata
Amal Bisso
Gandabba Apadanaya
Asak Da Kava
Arunaluseren Arunodhyata
Anagarika Dharmapala Marxvaadida?
Bhaava Gita
Ekama Katava
Gal Pilimaya saha Bol pilimaya
Jathika Chinthanaya saha Jaathika Aarthikaya
Katha Pahak
Kavhandayaka Kathandaraya

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