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Dr. Mirando Obeysekere : Forty two years in arts and culture

by Dr. Radhika P. Yogeswaram

Many eminent writers, scholars and critics who have written interesting letters and evaluations in English, French, Urdu, Tamil and Sinhala dealing with different aspects of Dr. Mirando Obeysekere's literary genious. Some of them deal with Dr. Obeysekere's Poems and novels. Some Critics discusses regarding his researches, Wholesome are writing about his ideology on Politics. Now, I have made an attempt to draw within a short compass to the literary career of Mirando Obeysekere.

In between 1960-2001 we have read many feature articles and books through Sinhala and English media written by him Most of those essays were on controversial topics. I remember that in "Lankadipa" (1978. 10.25 and 1978.12.06) he had written and published about the dead body of Rev. Totagamuwe Sri Rahula Sangharaja Thera. His letter began a controversy and eminent lawyer W.T.A. Leslie Fernando Crossed Swords against his view.

Dr. Obeysekere says that the founder of Sigiri fortress was not King Kassapa. According to his view it was constructed by world renowned architect Maya Danawa on the request of King Visravasmuni, the father of Kuvera and King Ravana.

One day he had published a classic letter stating that world famous genghis Khan-Emperor was a Buddhist. (Siudesa 1997 September).

Dr. Obeysekere points out that Kataragama Deviyo is none other than King Ravana (Heritage of King Ravana).

According to his view the Sinhala race is a combination of four communities such as Yakkaha, Deva, Naga and Gandabba-those who had lived during Megalithic period and the religion of those aboriginal inhabitants had been Solar Worship.

Dr. Obeysekere has completed many researches about the aristocrats of Sri Lanka, the caste system of Sri Lanka, and the influence of caste system on Sri Lankan politics. Most of his books reviewed by eminent critics such as Prof-Miniwan P. Tillakaratne, Prof. Bandusena Gunasekere, Prof. Chandima Wije Bandara, Amara Hewa Madduma, Dr. Rohana Laxaman, Leel Gunasekere and international critics such as James Gibson, Melvil Johns, Anil Dutt, and Mrs. Jane Juriansz.

Dr. Mirando Obeysekere's achievements were many sided. He begins to write after a meditation of 30 minutes everyday. In 1982 he was offered the much coveted SILVER PEN award by the Croiden Cultural institute of U.K. and in 1994, he was honoured with "National Honours" by the president of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and later the universal Brotherhood award and many other awards conferred by many societies and institutions.

So, some religious Organisations wished to confer on him further laurels but he had refused to accept any of them here or abroad.

Dr. Obeysekere's first concern is with god. He is a strong devotee of God Sri Vishnu and Saint Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. So there is a conviction in his approach a spontaneity in his devotion.

His only dream is that Tamil, Sinhalese, black and white, brown and yellow would live and grow together as flowers in a garden. Many qualities of Dr. Obeysekere's have been mentioned here-but what impressed me most and I think what will be missed is his deep commitment to the cause of Anthropology and Sociology both.