A felicitation ceremony was held recently “Pathi’s 50” celebrating his 50 years in the film industry of Sri Lanka. During the reception following the felicitation attended by President Maithripala Sirisena, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne had inquired into the health of Pathi and later made arrangements for him to receive treatment in India.
It is said that within 48 hours since inquiring about the artiste’s health condition, the Health Minister had made arrangements for him to receive treatment from one of India’s most prominent doctors. Usually, patients have to wait around six months to obtain an appointment with this doctor, but due to the Health Minister’s mediation, it was expedited.
All his medical expenses and travel expenses will be borne by the Health Ministry and he had left for India last Thursday and his treatment is currently in progress.
Dharmasiri Pathiraja shone in the local cinema field in the 70’s and he is also a senior film director and media professional. He is also a graduate of the Lanka University.
He has also followed a post graduate degree in stage drama at the Peradeniya University.
He obtained his doctorate at the Monash University in Australia and has served as a Vidyalankara University and Jaffna University as an Assistant Lecturer from 1968-1978.
He had also served at the Ruhunu University and the Colombo University.
He entered the cinema world with his direction of Ahasgawwa in 1974 and went on to direct Eya dang loku lamayek, Ponmani, Bambaru awith, Paaradeese, Soldadu Unnehe, Vaasuli, Mathu yam dawasa, Swarupa and Sankarang.
He also directed documentaries such as Anduren eliyata, Werala, Putting the last first, Shelter for million families, Dala Rala Pela, Punawarthana, Mawathak soyanu and a road to Sampur. He has also directed several stage plays such as Koka saha Andaya, Putu saha Kurullo.
He also directed several tele dramas. Pathiraja was also awarded accolades overseas and has also served on the jury for many international film festivals. He also received an award in 1991 for his film Kadulla.
His film Sathuro was chosen among the ten best films at the Bilbao short film contest and received the audiences award in 1972. His film Bambaru Awith won the Presidents award in 1978 and best director award for his film Soldadu Unnehe in 1981.
Pathiraja was recognised for his cinematic prowess at the 16th International Film Festival in Singapore and was awarded the once in a lifetime award “Golden Lion’ in 2000.
He also served as the Chairman of Salecine in 2003. He is currently the Director at the Rupawahini training school. .