A Lecture by Professor Dananjaya Gamalath on Archeological perspectives of Plonnaruwa

A lectures about the Archeological perspectives of Plonnaruwa, organized by the Educational Program Division of the Sri Lanka Institute of National Tourist Guide Lecturers was successfully held on the 26th of April 2024 with the participation of a large number of members.

This lecture was delivered by Prof. Dananjaya Gamalath BA (Hons) Archaeology (USJP), MPhil (PGIAR/Kelaniya) Archaeology, Ph.D. PGIAR (Kelaniya), Professor, Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology, University of Kelaniya

We believe that this lecture was extremely helpful in enhancing the knowledge of our general membership. We feel that the way Prof Danjaya Gamalath generously shared his expertise with our members, who are settling their sights on the other side of the ocean called knowledge, was admirable and we would like to thank him for that.

On behalf of all the members, we would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Mrs Sanjika Hengst, Director (Training), who worked hard to make these sessions successful, and to our dedicated President, Mr. Manoj Maddage.

The first Sri Lankan to receive the prestigious Pushkin State Award – NTGL Dr. Ranjana Senasinghe

Dr. Ranjana Devamitra Senasinghe, an accomplished graduate of Patrice Lumumba Peoples’ Friendship University in Russia, was awarded the prestigious ‘Pushkin’ state award by the Russian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, H.E. Mr. Levan Dzhagaryan at the Russian embassy on January 17th, 2024 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of cultural relations between Sri Lanka and Russia spanning over three decades.

The Pushkin Award is the highest honor in Russia presented to the great people considered to have achieved the highest standard of literary excellence. It’s named after the renowned poet Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin.

Dr. Ranjana Senasinghe who was the first Sri Lankan to receive the Pushkin State Award was born in Colombo in 1969. His father, Gunapala Devamitra Senasinghe, was a famous politician and social worker from Payagala, Kalutara. His mother, Ajantha Alvitigala, was the Chief Nurse Warden at the General Hospital in Kalutara.

Senasinghe completed his secondary education up to G.C.E O/L at Ho/Kottawa Dharmapala Junior School and later attended Nalanda College in Colombo in the year 1986. In 1989, he was awarded a state scholarship from the Soviet Union, and proceeded to study at the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow. There, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in 1994 and his Master’s degree in 1997.

He was a brilliant student and elected as the president of the Sri Lanka Student Association of Patrice Lumumba University. He actively participated in external as well as international student affairs there. From 1992 to 1994, he worked as a class one translator and an announcer for the Sinhala service of Moscow Radio station.

After completing his education in Russia, he returned to Sri Lanka and joined the government service by securing a position at the Sri Lanka Samrudhi Authority. Later on, he became an Assistant Editor at the Sinhala Encyclopedia, and he is currently holding the position of acting Editor-in-Chief. In addition, he is the Chief Coordinator of the Russian Literary Circle, which is associated with the Russian Center in Colombo.

As an External Lecturer, he teaches Russian language and literature in the Modern Language Department of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Kelaniya. He has also been an External Lecturer at the Sri Palee Campus of the University of Colombo.

Furthermore, Ranjana Senasinghe is a national tourist guide lecturer who has been appointed as a Lecturer of Sinhala language in the training course for Russian nationals organized by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Moscow in collaboration with Ruhunu University.

Russian Professor Nina Krasnodembskaya collaborated with Senasinghe on research based on the travel notes of Ivan Minaev, a prominent Russian orientalist. Their work resulted in an exhibition in St.Petersburg.

In 2016, he returned to People’s Friendship University (Lumumba) to pursue his Ph.D. During his time there, he focused on strengthening the relationship between his home country and Russia by establishing connections with various mass organizations, universities, and students in Russia. As part of his work, he taught the Sinhala language to Russian students at the Sinhala Language Department of Moscow State University. Additionally, he played an active role in promoting the expansion of Sinhala language studies in Russia.

In 2017, the Nikolai Ostrovsky Memorial Museum Foundation awarded Ranjana the Nikolai Ostrovsky Award for translating the novel ‘Born from the Storm’ and promoting the writer in Sri Lanka.

In 2020, Ranjana Senasinghe, one of the top students from People’s Friendship University of Russia, completed his Ph.D. with distinction. During his dissertation presentation, titled “The Image of Ceylon in the Perception of Russian Travelers, Scientists, and Diplomats in the Second Half of the 19th and Early 20th Centuries,” Senasinghe fluently spoke in Russian in front of the university professor’s panel. The audience was highly impressed and gave him a standing ovation, praising his thesis as the best they had ever seen at Lumumba.

The Moscow division of the Russian Writers’ Union awarded the ‘Ivan Bunin’ Award to Ranjana Senasinghe in 2021, on the occasion of Ivan Bunin’s 150th birth anniversary. In 2022, Ranjana Senasinghe was awarded the Dostoevsky Literature Award by the Ministry of Culture of Russia.

Dr .Ranajana Senasinghe is a skilled translator who has translated numerous significant books from Russian to Sinhala. Some of the noteworthy works he has translated include ‘Russian Revolution of 1917, Victory and Defeat of the Bolsheviks’ by Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev, ‘Untimely Thoughts’ by Maxim Gorky, ‘Hadji Murad’, a novel by Leo Tolstoy, ‘Legends and Life of the Island of Lanka’ by Vladimir Yakolev (the first Soviet Ambassador to Sri Lanka), ‘Born of the Storm’ by Nikolai Ostrovsky, ‘Gusev’ by Anton Chekhov, and ‘Brothers’, which is a compilation of works related to Sri Lanka by Nobel laureate Ivan Bunin. In addition to that he has translated over 40 children’s stories from Russian to Sinhala.

He has remarkable translation skills in both Russian to Sinhala and Sinhala to Russian languages. He has successfully translated the book named “Sri Lanka-Soviet-Russia Relations” written by Sirimanna Karunathilaka into Russian with the title “Sri Lanka – Russia 60 Years of Friendship”.

We wish this humble doctor, who has received numerous awards from Russia, every success in his future literary endeavors

– By Daya Sirimanne

The History of Sri Lankan Music.

The Lecture by Mr. Nadeeka Guruge on the Evolution of Music in Sri Lanka was held on Wedenesday 15 th Nov.’ 23 at the SLINTGL Auditorium. The deep insights by Mr Guruge on the sounds and rythms of Sri Lanka since antiquity was appreciated by a large audience of over 150 participants that included Mr Dheera Hettiarachchi , Director and Mr.Mangala Suraweera, Senior Lecturer, both guests of honor from SLITHM. We thank all our members, directors, patrons and the batch of SLITHM students of tourism who were present that day.

A note of appreciation also goes out to our event sponsors from Kandy, Royal Holdings and Gamini Gems.
We hope to keep you posted on the next lecture on Sri Lankas Maritime Life scheduled to be held in the near future.

World Tourism Day 2023

SRI LANKA is the finest example of a country where the pristine power of nature is overhelmingly evident. We call all travellers to embrace the diversity of our green world, our friendship and the islands truly amazing discoveries! Happy World Tourism Day!