Writers Famous Writers from Sri Lanka

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List of famous writers from Sri Lanka, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Sri Lanka is home to many prolific writers, including those who write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biographies and more. These are some of the best Sri Lanka writers that have ever lived, so if you're a native of Sri Lanka and an aspiring writer then use this list as inspiration to achieve your own writing goals.

The list you're viewing is made up of different writers like Simon Navagattegama and Kumaraswamy Pulavar.

This list answers the questions, "Who are popular Sri Lanka writers?" and "Which writers are from Sri Lanka?"

You can click on the names of these renowned writers of Sri Lanka in order to get more information about each one. Some of these historic writers may no longer be living in Sri Lanka, but they're all of Sri Lanka descent.

1
Arthur C. Clarke is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Arthur C. Clarke Died at 91 (1917-2008) Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS was a British science fiction writer, science writer and futurist, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host. He is perhaps most famous for ...more

2
Lester James Peries is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Lester James Peries age 99 Sri Lankabhimanya Lester James Peries is an internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan film director, screenwriter, and film producer. An active filmmaker since 1949, Peries has been involved in over ...more

3
Bernard White is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Bernard White age 59 Bernard White is a Sri Lankan-born, Detroit-raised American actor, screenwriter and film director. A 1977 graduate of Detroit Catholic Central High School, he graduated from Michigan State ...more

4
Ananda Coomaraswamy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Ananda Coomaraswamy Died at 70 (1877-1947) Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy was a Ceylonese Tamil philosopher and metaphysician, as well as a pioneering historian and philosopher of Indian art, particularly art history and symbolism, and an ...more

5
Chandran Rutnam is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Chandran Rutnam age 70 Chandran Rutnam is a Sri Lankan film maker. Rutnam has hosted numerous Hollywood films for their location shoots in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. He was the Line Producer/Production Supervisor on ...more

6
Shyam Selvadurai is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Shyam Selvadurai age 53 Shyam Selvadurai is a Sri Lankan Canadian novelist who wrote Funny Boy, which won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and Cinnamon Gardens. He currently lives in Toronto with his partner ...more

7
Jennifer Reeves is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Jennifer Reeves age 47 Jennifer Reeves is a film director, film editor, cinematographer, film producer, screenwriter and actress.

8
Asitha Ameresekere is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Asitha Ameresekere age 47 Asitha Ameresekere is a British-Sri Lankan Filmmaker and Writer. Ameresekere was born in London, and was educated at the Overseas Children's School in Sri Lanka, Harrow School in London and read ...more

9
Abraham Kovoor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Abraham Kovoor Died at 80 (1898-1978) Abraham Thomas Kovoor was an Indian professor and rationalist who gained prominence after retirement for his campaign to expose as frauds various Indian and Sri Lankan "god-men" and ...more

10
Rajiva Wijesinha is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Rajiva Wijesinha age 64 Rajiva Wijesinha, MA, DPhil is a Sri Lankan writer in English, distinguished for his political analysis as well as creative and critical work. An academic by profession for much of his working ...more

11
Siri Gunasinghe is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Siri Gunasinghe age 93 Siri Gunasinghe is a sanskritist, art historian, premier Sinhalese poet, novelist, literary critic and film maker.

12
J. R. Jayewardene is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
J. R. Jayewardene Died at 90 (1906-1996) Junius Richard Jayewardene, famously abbreviated in Sri Lanka as JR, was the leader of Sri Lanka from 1977 to 1989, serving as Prime Minister from 1977 to 1978 and as President of Sri Lanka from ...more

13
G. D. L. Perera is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
G. D. L. Perera age 83 G. D. L Perera is a Sri Lankan film director and dramatist. Perera's interest in drama began as a student at Prince College, Kotahena where he met arts patron Edwin Hewakapuge. He joined the ...more

14
Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah Died at 85 (1929-2014) Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah was a social anthropologist and Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. He specialised in studies of Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Tamils, as ...more

15
Ernest MacIntyre is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Ernest MacIntyre age 84 Ernest Thalayasingam MacIntyre, is a Sri Lankan playwright of the English language, who has been active in the Sri Lankan English theatre for the last 50 years.

16
Carl Muller is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Carl Muller age 83 Carl Muller is a Sri Lankan writer, poet and journalist best known for his trilogy about Burghers in Sri Lanka: The Jam Fruit Tree, Yakada Yaka and Once Upon A Tender Time. He has won Gratien ...more

17
Karunaratne Abeysekera is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Karunaratne Abeysekera Died at 53 (1930-1983) Kurunaratne Abeysekera was a screenwriter, songwriter, poet and radio personality.

18
Ediriweera Sarachchandra is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Ediriweera Sarachchandra Died at 82 (1914-1996) Ediriweera Sarachchandra was an Sri Lankan playwright, novelist, poet, literary critic, essayist and social commentator. Considered Sri Lanka's premier playwright, he was a senior lecturer at ...more

19
John Kotelawala is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
John Kotelawala Died at 85 (1895-1980) General Sir John Lionel Kotelawala, CH KBE PC KStJ was a Sri Lankan soldier and politician, most notable for serving as the 3rd Prime Minister of Ceylon from 1953 to 1956.

20
Dharmasena Pathiraja is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Dharmasena Pathiraja age 75 Dharmasena Pathiraja is a Sri Lankan film director and screenwriter.

21
Chinthana Dharmadasa is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Chinthana Dharmadasa age 42 Chinthana Dharmadasa is a Sri Lankan writer, film director, film critic and a screenwriter who is currently working in the advertising industry. He worked for several periodicals as a writer and ...more

22
Martin Wickramasinghe is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Martin Wickramasinghe Died at 86 (1890-1976) Martin Wickramasinghe, MBE was a Sri Lankan novelist. His books have been translated into several languages. The search for roots is a central theme in Wickramasinghe's writings on the culture ...more

23
Gamani Corea is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Gamani Corea Died at 88 (1925-2013) Deshamanya Gamani Corea was a Sri Lankan economist, civil servant and diplomat. He was also the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and ...more

24
Cyril Ponnamperuma is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Cyril Ponnamperuma Died at 71 (1923-1994) Dr. Cyril Andrew Ponnamperuma was a Sri Lankan scientist in the fields of chemical evolution and the origin of life.

25
Asoka Handagama is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Asoka Handagama age 56 Asoka Handagama is a Sri Lankan filmmaker. He obtained his primary and secondary schooling in a provincial school and went on to study Mathematics at the University of Kelaniya where he was ...more

26
Anagarika Dharmapala is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Anagarika Dharmapala Died at 69 (1864-1933) Anagarika Dharmapala was a Sri Lankan Buddhist revivalist and writer. He was one of the founding contributors of non-violent Sinhalese Buddhist Nationalism and Buddhism. He was also a pioneer in ...more

27
Mahagama Sekera is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Mahagama Sekera Died at 47 (1929-1976) Mahagama Sekara is one of Sri Lanka's well known poets and was a significant figure in Sinhalese poetry. He was also a teacher, lyricist, playwright, novelist, artist, translator and a ...more

28
Dharma Sri Munasinghe is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Dharma Sri Munasinghe Died at 74 (1930-2004) Dharma Sri Munasinghe was a Sinhala radio playwright and film screenwriter and director, best known for his work as the writer of the famous Sinhala radio plays Muvan palessa and Monara thenna. ...more

29
B. A. W. Jayamanne is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
B. A. W. Jayamanne Died at 57 (1908-1965) Bernard Aloysius Wanniarachchi Jayamanne who was better known as B.A.W. Jayamanne was a Sri Lankan playwright, director, producer and actor. He played a major role in the making of the first ...more

30
Gamini Haththotuwegama is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Gamini Haththotuwegama Died at 70 (1939-2009) Gamini Kalyanadarsha Haththotuwegama was a Sri Lankan playwright, director, actor, critic and educator. He was widely known as the father of Sri Lanka's modern street theatre. He was among the ...more

31
Sugathapala de Silva is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Sugathapala de Silva Died at 74 (1928-2002) Sugathapala De Silva was an acclaimed Sri Lankan dramatist and novelist, translator, radio play producer, and Sinhala Radio Play writer.

32
Malaka Dewapriya is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Malaka Dewapriya age 39 Malaka Dewapriya Sinhala: මාලක දේවප්‍රිය, IPA: is a Sri Lankan film maker, visual artist, Sri Lankan writer, Sinhala Radio Play writer, short film and video director .

33
Shelton Payagala is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Shelton Payagala Died at 65 (1944-2009) Payagalage Don Shirley Shelton was a film director and writer who began as an acting instructor since the mid-1970s. He was born in Hatton, Sri Lanka in 1944 and died on 23 June 2009.

34
Simon Navagattegama is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Simon Navagattegama Died at 65 (1940-2005) Simon Navagattegama [also spelled Nawagattegama] was a Sinhala novelist, Sinhala Radio Play writer, playwright and actor.

35
Jayalal Rohana is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Jayalal Rohana age 54 Jayalal Rohana is a Theater Director,Writer,Actor,Makeup Artist And Sinhala Radio Play writer in Sri Lanka. He has won greater reputation from his bright career as an actor in Television after ...more

36
Saman Kelegama is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Saman Kelegama age 59 Saman Kelegama is a Sri Lankan economist, author and the Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, the apex economic policy research institute in Sri Lanka.

37
Sirilal Kodikara is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Sirilal Kodikara age 94 Sirilal Kodikara is a novelist, poet, journalist, and radio play writer who writes in Sinhala. He was a Buddhist priest in the early part of his life.

38
Arisen Ahubudu is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Arisen Ahubudu Died at 91 (1920-2011) Kalasuri Arisen Ahubudu was a writer, orator, scholar, playwright, teacher, Sinhala lyricist, author and poet in Sri Lanka, born in Mudiyallagahawatta in Malalaga, Koggala. He is a member of the ...more

39
Kumaraswamy Pulavar is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Kumaraswamy Pulavar Died at 68 (1854-1922) Chunnakam Kumaraswamy Pulavar was a well-known Sri Lankan Tamil scholar and poet from Maylani village in Chunnakam township in Jaffna peninsula in the British held Ceylon now known as Sri Lanka. ...more

40
Chitra Fernando is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Chitra Fernando Died at 63 (1935-1998) Chitra Fernando was a female writer and critic from Sri Lanka. Born in Kalutara, a town in southern Sri Lanka, Chitra Fernando was educated at Visakha Vidyalaya, a Buddhist school for girls in ...more

41
Dominic Jeeva is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Dominic Jeeva Died at 79 (1927-2006) Dominic Jeeva is a prominent minority Sri Lankan Tamil author and literary figure from Sri Lanka. He is also a member of the marginalized Dalit caste. Dominic Jeeva was for a period of time ...more

42
Harischandra Wijayatunga is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Harischandra Wijayatunga age 87 Wijayatunga Mudalige Harischandra Wijayatunga is a Sri Lankan author, translator, lexicographer, teacher, lawyer and politician. He held various offices in different institutions of the ...more

43
Sunanda Mahendra is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
Sunanda Mahendra age 80 Sunanda Mahendra’s Ogha Tharanaya won the State Literary Award for the best Sinhala poetry collection, 2006. Many poems from the collection are now translated into English. He has won the State ...more

44
G. B. Senanayake is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
G. B. Senanayake Died at 72 (1913-1985) Gunathilake Bandara Senanayake was a prominent Sinhala writer who portrayed Sinhala middle-class life in his novels. He is credited with introducing free verse poetry to Sinhala. He became blind ...more

45
E. W. Adikaram is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Writers from Sri Lanka
E. W. Adikaram Died at 80 (1905-1985) Kalutara Koralalage Edward Winifred Brito Adikaram was an educationalist, writer and a social activist in Sri Lanka. In 1931 he obtained an M.A degree from London School of Oriental Studies and ...more