Pandit Amaradeva laid to rest at emotional funeral
November 5, 2016 05:23 pm
Sri Lankan music legend Pandith W.D. Amaradeva was laid to rest following a poignant funeral held with full state honours at Independence Square in Colombo today (5).
The country’s artist community, religious leaders and the political leadership including the President and Prime Minister were presents while a large number of the public also attended the cremation ceremony.
President Maithripala Sirisena said that the government expects to establish an Amaradeva Centre in honour of the legendary Sri Lankan musician.
Addressing the gathering during the funeral of the late veteran musician, he requested Sri Lanka’s artist community to provide necessary guidance for this purpose.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who also delivered a short speech, said that the great maestro was a “national treasure” and that he and other musicians helped the country move forward during hard times.
Amaradeva, a recipient of many international honours including Padma Shri from India, for his contribution to music, passed away on Thursday (3) after an heart attack. He was 88.
The music composer drew inspiration from classical Indian ragas as well as Sri Lanka’s own rich traditions of folk music and went on to create a music that is quintessentially Sri Lankan. His contribution to the development of Sinhala music is considered unmatched.
The musician has been the recipient of several awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award (2001), Padma Shri (2002) and Sri Lankan President’s Award of Kala Keerthi (1986) and Deshamanya Award (1998).