About us

Welcome to the Department of Sinhala at the University of Kelaniya!

Our department has a rich history that dates back to the early days of the university. Sinhala, being one of the key subjects under the Faculty of Languages, has played a significant role in shaping our academic offerings.

During the early years of the university, Sinhala held the status of a subject within the Faculty of Languages, alongside other languages. Initially, the Dean of the Faculty of Languages also served as the Head of the Department of Sinhala. The first staff members of the department included notable individuals such as Pandit Ven. Morawaka Sidhartha Thero, Pandit Ven. Degammadi Sumanajothi Thero, and Mr. D.G.O. Vajirapani.

Lectures delivered in Sinhala at the Sri Lanka Vidyalankara University gained immense popularity among rural students who couldn't afford the prestigious English education offered by other universities of that era. Consequently, a majority of university applicants during that time opted for Sinhala Language and Sinhala Literature as their major subjects.

As the department's student population continued to grow each year, the staff also expanded accordingly. In 1966, the university granted women the privilege of admission. Professor D.J. Wijayaratne, the Deputy Head of the Department of Sinhala during that period, was a distinguished academic in the fields of Grammar and Historical Linguistics. His remarkable contributions led to improvements in teaching and learning methods, as well as the overall efficiency of the department. During this time, several young lecturers joined the academic staff of the Department of Sinhala, including Most Venerable Kotawila Dhammakiththi Thero, Venerable Kalakiriyagama Dhammakiththi Thero, Chandrasiri Palliyaguru, Somarathne Balasooriya, A. A. Abeysinghe, Ananda Abeysiriwardhana, Bandusena Gunasekera, G.G. Dharmasiri, Hema Gunathilake, Seetha Padmini, and Dharma Pathiraja.

Under the leadership of Professor D.J. Wijayaratne, significant changes were made to enhance the department's quality. Initiatives included establishing a program to offer foreign scholarships for probationary lecturers to pursue their Ph.D. degrees abroad. Additionally, the syllabus for teaching Modern Literature, which was already introduced by lecturers Miniwan P. Thilakarathne and Wimal Dissanayake, was expanded to incorporate Western literary criticism.

In the 1960s, the Sinhala Club was established under the guidance of the Department of Sinhala lecturers. The club launched the "Sinhala Journal," a comprehensive academic publication featuring articles from both lecturers and students. Another journal titled "Vimansa" was launched by Mr. Somarathna Balasooriya, who later became a professor in the department, along with Ven. Dagonne Udayadhamma Thero and Mr. Indrapala Abeyweera. The success of these journals contributed to establishing the department as a renowned educational center among students and in Sri Lanka.

Following the Education Reforms of 1972, the University of Kelaniya gained recognition as a hub for Languages and Cultural Studies in tertiary education. As a result, esteemed senior professors from the Universities of Colombo, Peradeniya, and Vidyodaya, such as Prof. Ananda Balasooriya, Prof. P. B. Sannasgala, Dr. B. P. F. Wijerathne, and Dr. D. V. Hapuarachchi, were appointed to the Department of Sinhala at the University of Kelaniya, further elevating its status.

We hope this glimpse into our department's history, faculty, and achievements provides you with a deeper understanding of who we are and what we stand for. We remain committed to nurturing a passion for the Sinhala language, literature, and cultural heritage while providing an exceptional educational experience to our students.

Heads of the Department up to date.

Prof. Ven. Kotahene Pangnakitti Thero

Prof. Ananda Kulasuriya

Prof. Ananda Jayasekara

Prof. Nandasena Mudiyanse

Prof. Miniwan P. Thilakarathne

Prof. Somarathne Balasuriya

Prof. Ananda Abeysiriwardhana

Prof. Chandrasiri Palliyaguru

Prof. A. A. Abeysinghe

Prof. G.Nanayakkara

Prof. T.R.G. Dela Bandara

Prof. Jinadasa Danansooriya

Prof. Ven. Okkampitiye Pannasara Thero

Prof. M. A. Nimal Karunaratne

Prof. Ven. Malwane Chandaratana Thero

Prof. (Mrs.) H. A. A. Swarna Ihalagama (Current)

©{2018} University of Kelaniya. All Rights Reserved. Designed Upul Jayantha Ranepura