Lanka Polity) Today is the 82nd birthday of Sri Lanka's prominent Sinhala musician Wannakuwattawaduge Don Amaradeva. He was born on December 5, 1927 in Moratuwa, Sri Lanka in a traditional craftsmen family as Wannakulawattawaduge Don Albert Perera and later adopted a Sinhala name instead of Western name.
As a vocalist and a music composer, he has created a number of masterpieces in Sinhala music. The most striking feature in his character is maintaining his personality as an artist that has not bent before the politicians for personal gains unlike his contemporary artists in Sri Lanka.
Amaradeva has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Philippine Ramon Magsaysay Award (2001), Indian Padma Sri Award and Sri Lankan "President's Award of Kala Keerthi" (1986) and Deshamanya Award (1998). He has also represented Sri Lanka in many forums including the UNESCO 1967 Manila Symposium, and composed the melody for the Maldives national anthem, Gaumii salaam, at the request of British Queen Elizabeth II in 1972.