Pandit Amaradeva funeral marks ends of an era | Daily News

Pandit Amaradeva funeral marks ends of an era


Final rites for Pandit W.D. Amaradeva were held with state honours at the Independence Square this evening, ending an era in which the maestro held sway over classical music in the country.

The wake was attended by the President, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet of Ministers, religious leaders, a great many foreign and local dignitaries, representatives of the film and music industries and large crowds of the general public.

In his message of condolence, President Sirisena referred to Pandit Amaradeva as ‘maha yuga purushayek’ (timeless) and ‘poojaneeya vasthuwak’ (sacred; worthy of veneration).

He said the government was committed to setting up an ‘Amaradeva Kala Kendraya’ (Arts Centre) to ensure the legacy of the master was carried onto into future generations.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe referred to Pandit Amaradeva as  ‘jathika vasthuvak' (a national treasure) and spoke on his contribution to Sri Lankan music spanning seven decades.

Pandit Amaradeva, was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit of the Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital on Thursday morning, passed away a short while after. The 88-year-old maestro's contribution to the development of Sinhala music is considered unmatched.

He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Philippine Ramon Magsaysay Award (2001), Indian Padma Sri Award (2002) and Sri Lanka's President's Award of Kala Keerthi (1986) and also the Deshamanya Award (1998).



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