Vidyodaya Sahithya Sammana’, the early bird show of Sri Lankan Literature awards, held recently at University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Six Sri Lankan authors form five different literature genres were awarded in this evening.
Best poetry collection- Rathna Sri Wijesinghe – Sandya Theerthaya
Best lyrics collection- Darmasiri Gamage- Kalak ewemen Perum Pura
Best short story collection- Prabath Jayasinghe- Wayaba Diga Wesiyekuge Dina Satahan
Best novel- Jayathilaka Kamellaweera- Chumbana Kanda
Best Newspaper article collection- Indrani Rathnasekara-Vishwa Saahithyaye Spanga Lakuna
Wimalanath Weerarathne- Wimalege Kolama
As the first call to the literature month, Vidyodaya Sammana has a greater recognition and attention from the literature arena, where it appeared to be the first event of the literature month. Though so many other literature awards such as Swarna Pusthaka, Government Awards for Literature and Godage Sahithya Sammana are yet to be happened, Vidyodaya usher in the season.
Vidyodaya Sammana is a concept of Senior Professor Sunil Ariyarathna, where now it has been organized by the Department of Sinhala Studies and Journalism, of University of Sri Jayewardenepura. As the sixth attempt ceremony succeeded this year ringing the bells to the upcoming literature waves.
Presenting the criticism for the Poetry collection award, Senior Lecturer Hansamala Ritigahapola pointed out that there are considerable trends can be seen in Sri Lankan poetry over past year. Reappearance of some outstanding senior poets is emphasized by her, introducing some new books of old poets such as, Parakrma Kodithuwakku, Bertie. P. Kudahetti, Somarathna Balasooriya and many others. Yet they were successful in their past, they failed to achieve good credits in this year, she further explained. The most important and promising statement she made was, the young poets tend to move forward, as they perform with some good piece of works. It brings us hopes to a creative and poetic future. However at the end of the day crown was again put on a senior head, Rathna Sri, which is equitable as he is still young in poetic feelings.
‘There were no considerable Lyrics collection produced in last year’, senior lecturer Rev. Anuradha Bikkhuni complained. Yet there were some good works, they are again said to be some repeated versions of authors past, she further explained. Therefore only couple of books was short listed for the Best Lyrics Collection Award category. Benda Amuna by Mahinda Algama, Sihina Ganthere by Yamuna Malini Perera, Aluth Wessak by Sunil R. Gamage, and Kalak Ewemen Perum Pura by Darmasiri Gamage were some of them. Late Darmasiri Gamage awarded in this category, and his son was present to accept the award.
‘The characteristics of Sinhalese Short Story is now moving away from its traditional milestones, therefore a new wave of short story is about to begin from the banks of young generations’, senior lecturer Kusumalatha Lankamulla, who introduced the Best Short story award to the audience expressed. Dayabara mahaththaya by Rathna Abeywikrama, Simhala Neya by Melani Ashoka, Pas Wasarak by Ajith Thilakasena, Suurya Wajjasa by Susantha Mahaulpatha, and Wayaba Diga Wesiyekuge Dina Satahan by Prabath Jayasinghe, were some of the short listed books. Mrs. Lankamulla further implied that there was a good competition between short stories. ‘They were really good and dynamic’ she emphasized. Finally Prabath Jayasinghe won the prize.
As always the greater competition to the award was in the Novel genre. Reviewed by Dr. Praneeth Abeysundara, Jayathilaka Kammellaweera was the best novelist of the year. On behalf of Dr. Abeysundara, Mrs.Imesha Darmasena did the judgment. Ranpata Cithrayak Athin Gath Mahalla by Rev. Batuwangala Rahula, Atharamaga by Amarasekara, Lalitha Samaya by Eric Illeyappaarachchi, Sakkaran by Chamminda Welagedra, Kawi Kandura by Sunethra Rajakarunanayake, and finally Chumbana Kanda by Jayathilaka Kammellaweera were short listed. ‘Some of the great novelists like Amarasekara are also back in the field’, she implied.
The only award, in Sri Lankan literature Award history that given to a Newspaper Article Collection is the other important award of Vidyodaya Sammana. Every year this award has given to two authors. As said, this year Wimalanth Weerathna and Indrani Rathnasekara awarded this for their great works. Prof. Dammika Ganganath Dissanayaka, commented on this as the auditor and as a journalist, while exposing new ideologies to overview newspaper articles. Samaja wimarshana by Mithra Sri Karunanayake, Vajirage Kolama by Vajira Pelpita (edit. Karu Paranawitharana), Puthra Samagama by Wasantha Rohana, Mata Penena Heti by Victor Ivon and Mebase Debasa by Neel Vijerathne are the short listed newspaper article collections.
Every award has presented by one student to the author, which is also unique to the event. This was admired by at large as it prevented the function from the political pollution. Vice chancellor Dr. N.L.A. Karunarathne, Faculty deans, lecturers, authors and many other literates were also present at the event.
New release of the Vidudaya magazine was also launched in this occasion.