Jun 06, 2022

Sandadas Coperahewa no more!

Sandadas Koparahewa, one of the most senior literary figures in the country, who was the last member of the "Hela Havula Movement", has passed away.

Koparahewa, a leading scholar of Sinhala, English and Pali languages, was the last link in the second generation of the Hela Havula.

He was 99-years at the time of his demise.

He is the author of many books on Sinhala literature, art and Buddhism and is a renowned poet, art critic and translator.

Sandadas Koparahewa is the father of the Head of the Department of Sinhala at the University of Colombo, Prof. Sadagomi Koparahewa and Dr. Sanath Koparahewa, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the De Zoysa Women's Hospital, Colombo.

Coperhewa was born in Pamburana and educated at Pamburana Sariyuth College. He attended St. Thomas' College, Matara from the age of 9.

He had joined the Hela Havula in 1940 following a lecture by Kumaratunga Munidasa he had attended in Matara.

Koparahewa started his career as a Pali and English teacher at Sudarshana Vidyalaya, Welegoda, Matara and later worked as an Art and Sinhala Language Teacher at St. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia.

Sandadas Koparahewa also served as the Consultant Editor of Vijaya Newspapers from 1984-1987.

He translated Prof R.H.Wilenskis Miniature History of European Art to Sinhala ( Uropa Kala Itihasaya ha Uropa kala Hela Kala Sasandua Colombo: M.D. Gunasena, 1958). He also wrote a commentary to Sinhala poem Daham Gaeta Mala Vivaranaya.

The Hela Havula movement awarded him the title "Hela Bas Mini" 1993 in recognition of his services to Sinhala Language and the Department of Cultural Affairs awarded him the title the "Kala-Bhushana" in 2003 and "Divaman Pranama" by Godage Literary Festival in 2015 in recognition of his services to Art, Literature and Sinhala language.

His remains will lie at the Jayaratne Respect Funeral Parlour tomorrow (07) and his final rights will be conducted at the Borella General Cemetery tomorrow afternoon.

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