Renowned dramatist cum scholar S. Maunaguru praised the initiative of the Peradeniya University Engineering Batch 82, for coming forward to present Hanthana Pirumpuma -a walk through arts and drama, in keeping with the University’s age old tradition. Professor Maunaguru who is also a theatre analyst, director, writer, and a renowned traditional Tamil theatre artist believes that initiative of such nature is of paramount importance to strengthen the ethnic harmony in a nation that was once war-torn. He hinted that values of people are gradually deteriorating.
However, University of Peradeniya is one of the pioneer universities in the country that created graduates with full fledged with ethical values, especially thanks to messages given and promoted through dramas and artistic creations. “Our period in the Peradeniya University was 1961-1965, which was the golden period of our life and this period holds great importance in the history of Peradeniya University and the Sri Lankan history.” At that time,Prof. Vidyanandhan, being the Tamil professor, inspired us by many things. And he started producing dramas under Tamil Koothu tradition. “He was inspired by Professor Sarathchandra Ediriweera -who produced Nadagam style tradition, learning cultures and traditions China, Japan, India and Batticaloa. He says this prompted Prof. Viidyanadhan to produce three plays; one of it is Ravanesan, a masterpiece in Sri Lankan Tamil theatre and a modern classic among tamils. This is the story of Raavana, by knowing the story of ‘Kamba Ramayanam’ …we can understand the importance of Raavana. In short, Raavana is a proud Tamil King who ruled Sri Lanka. “I portrayed him as a tragic hero focusing on the last period of his life. Again after four decades, In 2008 we re-wrote the play. For six generations I participated in this play.
In 2011, when they introduced the Galle Literary Festival, they asked me to stage this play at that occasion and I played the ‘Raavana’ role at the age of 70 and in the upcoming month of this year, I will be playing this very role at the age of 76. Maunaguru now has a new theatre laboratory where he has more than 500 video and audio collections of dance and theatre related works. “Schools and universities only teach skill and not creativity. Students need space to let loose their creative faculty. I give plenty of opportunities to my students to think,” he says. Maunaguru is a four-time winner of the Sri Lankan Sahitya Akademi award . He has written 23 books and staged 20 theatre performances He has written four children’s play. ‘Thappi Vantha Aadu’ and ‘Pazhayathum and Puthiyathum’ are the best known.
Much awaited Hanthana Pirumpuma……
The University of Peradeniya, surrounded by the beautiful Hanthana mountain range, is one of the most beautiful universities in the world. The university inherits a unique sub-culture and a tradition. Students from all over the country, from various ethnic groups and religions get together in the university and live as a one family while experiencing the joy and happiness of university life while engaging in academic, arts and sports.
The Art and culture always had a unique and a special place in the Uniformed History of University of Peradeniya and a fertile background for many renowned artists who have natured the Sinhala Arts and Culture. In a rapidly changing world, the values of people are gradually deteriorating. But University of Peradeniya was now and then has been able to create graduates fullfledged with ethical values, because of the messages given from the dramas and artistic creations. Engineering faculty, of University of Peradeniya, also inherited the essence of art and culture from the university. The gratitude for the Art and culture remains unchanged over the generations. The Faculty of Engineering, well known as “Kammala” in the University of Peradeniya, plays a pivotal role to take the artistic creations which is born in the university, beyond the university level and into the society. Pera 82 Engineers’ Association, the group of the past graduates of Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya, engage for a noble mission, a nonprofit oriented event, named “Hanthana Pirumpuma” to highlight 35 years of being together along with the 75th Anniversary of University of Peradeniya.
The Engineering batch of 82’ proudly presented “Hanthana Pirumpuma” a walk through arts and drama to leave behind the hustle and bustle of life to ultimate entertainment and extravaganza that took place last Sunday at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. Exclusive works such as “Maname” & “ Sinhabahu” by the erudite scholar of arts and drama Prof. Edririweera Sarathchandra together with “Nari Bena”, “Gajaman Puwatha”, “Mudhu Puththu”, “Vikurthi”, “Bera Handa”, “ Dona Katharina” and dramas related to Tamil literature such as “ Ravaneshan” are brought forth to you under the direction of the well renowned Sri Lankan dramatist K. B. Herath and musical director Ranjith Balasuriya and performed by famous, professional and our very own artists such as Prof. Maunaguru, Jayalath Manorathne, Nissanka Diddeniya, Prasannajith Abeysuriya, Rodney Warnakula, Rathna Lalani, Madhani Malwattage, Mithra Kapuge, Saman Lenin, Kaushlya Fernando and Janka Wickramasinghe.