Saturday, March 30, 2013

Renowned scholar, writer and literary critic Professor Sucharitha Gamlath (80) has passed away

Professor Sucharita Gamlath is a highly experienced academic. He read classical Indian languages and Sinhala language at the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya. He graduated with First Class Honours becoming the first in the Island and carried away:

1. The Rowland's Gold Medal
2. The Jayanayake Prize and
3. The Oriental Research Scholarship

In the same year, he was appointed Assistant Lecturer in Sinhala of the same University. In 1966 he entered the University of London and studied Western and Indian Philosophy, Philosophical Psychology and Aesthetics.

On the strength of his research, the Higher Degree Committee of the University of London then headed by Professor Karl Popper treated him as a special case and relaxed the University rules to register him for the Ph. D. degree in Philosophy, even though he did not posses a bachelor's degree in that subject. In 1969 he submitted a thesis comparing Indian and Western aesthetic theories and was awarded the Ph. D degree in Philosophy by the University of London.

In 1970 he was appointed Lecturer of the University of Colombo and in 1971, on the strength of his publications, the same University awarded him a merit promotion to Senior Lecturership.

In 1975 he was appointed Professor of the Sinhala language and literature of the University of Sri Lanka and posted to the Jaffna Campus. In 1975/76 he served this campus simultaneously in the following capacities: Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Head of the Departments of Philosophy, English and Sinhala, the Chief Student Counselor.

In 1977 the Colombo Unit of the Jaffna Campus consisting of Faculties of Arts and Science was established and he was appointed Head of this Unit with powers of a Vice Chancellor. In 1979 the University Grants Commission transferred him to the newly established University of Ruhuna in order to organize its Arts Faculty. He was unanimously elected Dean of the same Faculty.

During the past three and a half decades, he has been a regular contributor to the local press and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation on matters of literary and artistic nature and has served on numerous Boards and Committees relating to these matters appointed by the University and Government.

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