DULEEKA MARAPONA-SUJEEWA PRIYALAL DIGNIFIED COUPLE IN AN UMBLEMISHED SPARKLING VOYAGE IN CELEB ON STAGE,MINI AND CINEMA

DULEEKA MARAPONA -SUJEEWA PRIYALAL  DIGNIFIED COUPLE IN AN UNBLEMISHED SPARKLING VOYAGE IN CELEB ON STAGE,MINI AND CINEMA

Loku Yaddhehige Sujeewa Priyalal popularly known as Sujeewa Priyalal is a Sri Lankan actor,producer,writer .tele and film director is much senior to  his wife Duleeka Marapona in the acting career who had moved to production not focussing much on acting. The duo had first met while acting in two different stage plays for the annual state drama festival at the Lumbini theatre premises when Duleeka without knowing Sujeewa had quipped “ kohomada malli” in her usual inimitable style she delivers to many, to which Sujeewa had added  ‘hondai warakad nehe’ .At that moment Duleeka had already become an instant  star having unlike Sujeewa having come to fame having acted in the teledrama “Sanda Mawatha’ and ‘Swarna Mali” stage drama who had been acclaimed by  Sujeewa and his colleagues. Sujeewa had known her pedigree then , that Duleeka was a student in the Kelani campus at which she had to forcibly select ‘Natya and Ranga Kalawa’ as the lecturer for other subjects chosen was not available.In around year 2011 Duleeka had been moving with a close friend a neighbour of hers Vasantha Ranwela with whom Duleeka had gone to watch films to theatres viewing on certain  days about five films a day.Her friend Vasantha had quipped one day that she had been invited to a play ‘ ‘Senehebara Danuddara”  directed by Sujeewa, at which time his name had emerged.Shortly her friend had shown a poster on which Sujeewa had appeared.Later in year 2013 May 02 she had attended a ‘Muhurat’ ceremony of a new stage drama where she as usual was elected to portray the usual role of a mother where she had two sons.When shooting commenced the selected son had not turned as he had refused to shave his head.As a replacement another son had been found to portray his role ,who happened to be Sujeewa.But on the first day itself around 12 noon Sujeewa had sought permission to leave to a stage play as this arrangement was a sudden one. At which point Duleeka in a way was happy Sujeewa was portraying more roles and is active in this field.Duleeka had at that point liked his discipline as he had not been in a hurry but completed his frames to perfection. It had been during this play that a friendship had begun which grew in stature at which point the duo had discussed among other issues about mostly acting and films .During this tenure Sujeewa had commended her acting in the previous years state drama festival for which she won the award for the best supporting actress,which he had honestly adding she deserved that award. Duleeka had affirmed that she had found something special in Sujeewa.At this juncture Sujeewa had been receiving serious messages from Duleeka like sayings of versatile international personalities like David Copperfield which were referred by Sujeewa as ‘padi wadan”. Sujeewa recollected that his replies were based on his own familiarity. Sujeewa had quoted proverbs from Martin Wickremasinghe novel ‘Upasikaamma’,to which  Duleeka had replied adding she too has a copy of the book, but she had herself translated to Sinhalese Anton Chekhov short story script from a newspaper page which had been lying in her grandfather’s book shelf from 1946, on subject titled ‘Hiraya” word for marriage in the Sinhalese vernacular. She had replied to Sujeewa’s from the insides of the translation she had made. Duleeka has confessed that prior to her marriage she had been hoping to find a groom who will allow her to lead a personal life the way she wanted without the slenderest hindrances, interferences, commands, and barriers. While associating Sujeewa Duleeka had thought he is one person who suits her as her marriage partner.One characteristic that Sujeewa possessed observed by Duleeka was that he devoted one hundred percent to his profession existed under tension always when at rehearsals or portrayals. Sujeewa had wished all to follow him giving maximum effort when portraying roles to boost the industry .His dire belief was for the industry to propel for which all involved  needed to imitate him. . Duleeka had quipped that most qualities of the duo were similar for all life activities though Duleeka was a much better in vocals. Duleeka’s ambition was to live freely according to her own inimitable ways.The marriage of the duo was most required by Duleeka’s mother to whom Duleeka had a huge respect very attached to one another. But she lamented that unfortunately she had gone opposite to mother’s wishes several times.The main wish of her mother was her to be a teacher, disliking her taking up acting as a career. For both these wishes Duleeka had not acceded to her wishes. One day when both had visited the Kegalle dwelling  after an assignment her mother had suggested her to tie the nuptial knot. However It was confirmed that the wedding had taken place exactly after one year of proclaiming love to each other.Sujeewa did affirmed that Duleeka had been always booked to portray roles as mother or grandmother but as he tied the nuptial knot he had made her ‘Lawrencege Manamali” in his acclaimed stage drama which was staged several times locally and internationally to packed audiences. Duleeka reminisced that the duo endeavors to spend together most of the time as a rule. The two do not match each other in the maintaining of the dwelling as Duleeka is always messy does not care on the neatness  which was her hallmark from her small days, whereas Sujeewa the whole time wants to keep the house in trim condition cleaning the whole time. It is leant that Sujeewa is very systematic even when needed to attend to a wedding he makes ready his attires the previous day also about his books and other belongings kept methodically. Owing to this inconsistency in habits the duo had after a discussion had agreed to the specific areas under each in the dwelling to keep in trim condition. During a television dialog it was revealed that Duleeka could sing well while both are talented in sketching pictures who hope to have a painting exhibition later.Duleeka had been born and bred in village  dwelling which has had fauna and flora in abundance. Hence she had been used to call Sujeewa by names of the fauna (animals) not essentially when she is in anger but with a huge affection. Duleeka had confessed before marriage that she did not like a person who commands her,as she likes to do what she wants .Sujeewa hates doing shopping with her but accompanies her but stays out until she finishes her shopping spree.

Wasala Kulauthum Wijekoon Mudiyanselage Duleeka Kumari Wijekoon Marapana commonly as Duleeka Marapana born on 15 November 1975, is an actress in Sri Lanka stage, television and cinema as well as a public speaker, director, producer and philanthropist .She was born in Kandy when she was eight months the parents, father a military officer ,mother a teacher, had divorced when she was only eight months old, owing to incompatibility .Mother had won a long court case to have  the legal possession of Duleeka. She had first attended Joseph Balika Vidyalaya in Kegalle then after a few years had entered her to  Hillwood College Kandy which had been essentially a school where discipline had been taught to all children of dignitaries who  mostly attended. Mother after a few years to pursue education had admitted her  back to Joeph Balika Vidyalaya  Kegalle. She had lived in her ancestral house when after the demise of her Loku Amma ,Duleeka had lived with several cousins hence had not felt loneliness. She reminisced in a television discussion that at her ancestral place daily for lunch invariably about twenty had dined as such the duration of the lunching period had extended to around four in the afternoon.Also she quipped that she was asked to plan herself to get married at sixteen years as father may legally take possession of her.In contrary to her orders she herself had got married when she was thirty years old. Duleeka also added that their large ancestral property among the flora had been many ‘arecanut ‘(puwak)  trees.As the fruits were going astray Duleeka had got her mother to write the ‘arecanut’ trees in her name, had collected the arecanuts that fall and sold to accumulate an income had even told her mother she could give her a loan anytime a bit cheekily.’

After her ordinary levels she had taught in the Montessori at the same school in art in which she was very competent in. Of course she has had to pass a certain exam to pass to be elected as a ‘ delic’ teacher as had a distinction in ordinary levels was selected by Principal Sheela Ratnayake as there was a vacancy .After her advanced level she had got admission to the university of Kelaniya.Owing to the crisis which prevailed in the country the university of Kelaniya and other universities were all closed for over  year after three months of opening. During which time she had found a position at Maharaja Organization as an assistant program producer. Soon she had become a program producer where she had worked for four and half years in Maharaja  ‘suba’ trust a non profitable concern where work was related to environment ,fauna and flora.A program titled “Parisarayata Vinadiyak” became very famous then.Her work was strenuous used to work on somedays from 6 am to pass midnight to complete given tasks. For her craze for acting she had left but lately had worked on contract basis as a ‘motivator’ .This was continued as many used to get her for motivational work mainly on the subject of equality among people and how to be success in life..

 

Duleeka is best known for the role “Dingiri Amma” in Malee teledrama. Apart from acting, she is the Founder of 3rdbell Productions and Academy, the Chairperson CO CO productions and founder of Northwest films.

 

Duleeka commenced her acting career in 1997 while in university selecting as the main subject Ranga Kala , starring in various stage dramas. She and Sujeewa both had won awards at youth drama festivals priorly. Her most-notable dramas were undoubtedly Sapathnee (best actress), Swarnamal (best actress), Katu Yahana (nominated), Sevanali Ha MinissuHouse of Bernarda Alba (best supporting actress) Katu Yahana and Upanda Maranaya.

In 2014 she appeared in her own production of Lawrencege Manamali, director of the drama  her husband Sujeewa Priyal Yaddehige. Their wedding was celebrated during the stage drama performed on 13 and 14 August 2015. The play received huge popularity and has been staged more than 380 shows island-wide and many internationally. As all are aware Sujeewa is small made to Duleeka ,who quipped in a lighter vein during a tour of Australia at the immigration an officer had asked whether Sujeewa was her son.The play was based on a short story novel of Hemantha Prasad which had been staged exclusively for the annual drama festival by him.In consultation with Hemantha Prasad Sujeewa had made the short story longer as there he had thought if more humane values were added  with some comedy parts it would be definitely a resounding success. The plan according to Sujeewa’s skill had worked to precision. To celebrate the one hundred and eightieth occasion, the play was staged at the Lionel Wendt theatre to which two hundred and fifty destitute children was invited via the department of child probation bureau to watch the play which they would never have viewed, had also arranged to donate school books ,pencils and other classroom needs which had been a meritorious deed for many reasons. For these children it would have been a blessing in disguise. The aim of this play had been to attract audiences, to build the traits of the cast, to remind the society the responsibilities they should develop.

 

It was affirmed at a television dialog that though Sujeewa portrayed a role with four others while directing it too he had decided to pay all the five equally which was a high quality of Sujeewa was expressed by Duleeka.

In Sumathi Awards Duleeka won the Best Actress Award for her role in Depath NaiHimakatayamRathriya, SudheeraIsuru BawanaRidee Ittankaraya, and Me Wasantha Kalayai. After that, her most-popular role “Dingiri Amma” came through the teledramas Malee and Aththamma. For both serials, she won People’s Award two times. In 2019, she appeared in the popular Sudu Anguru and stage play Lawrencege Manamali. Recently, she appeared in the serials, International 1 and 2 and Pork Street. The former two  were also directed by Sujeewa

The actress, who is also actively engaged in environmental conservation and activism, played a lead role in an environmental film Suparna directed by her husband Sujeewa Apart from that, she acted with critics acclaimed roles in the films such as Sooriya AranaKosthapal PunyasomaSamanala ThatuWalapatalaSinhaya and Daruwane

Some notable teledramas Duleeka in which she had portrayed roles  were: Acid  Aththamma ,Dangakara Tharu ,Depath Nai,Divithura,E Brain ,Ehala Maha Nikinna Eka Iththaka Mal ,Hima Katayam  Internasanal 1 & 2 , Isuru Bhawana, Kaluwara Anduna Kiyadenna Adare Tharam, Malee, Neela Palingu Diya, Pipi Piyum, Pork Veediya , Punchi Walauwwa .Rathi Virathi, Rathriya, Ridee Ittankaraya,Roda Hatara Manamalaya Sabba Sakala Mana. Sanda Amavakai . Sandawathaka Waruna,Sara . Satharadenek Senpathiyo,, ,Sihina Tawuma, Sihinayak Wage, Sihini ,Sudeera, Sudu Anguru, Thalaya Soyana Geethaya, Wes Benduma

Duleeka  has won many awards in theater, cinema and television award ceremonies.

Nominated as best actress for her first tele drama ” Sanda Amawakai”

Best Actress in Inter-University Drama Festival 1997 (Nizerla)

Best Actress inter-University Drama Festival 1998 (Jeewithe Mithyawa)

Best Actress National State Short drama festival 1999 – Sapathmee

Best Actress National State Drama Festival 2000 – Swarnamali ( directed by professor Bandula Jayawardana )

Best Actress at Sumathi awards 2004 – Depath Nai

Best Actress Sumathi Awards 2005 – Hima Katayam(Snow Designs)

Best Supporting Actress National Teledrama Festival “Rathriya”(Night)

SIGNIS Best performance of the Year 2007 – Samanala Thatu film( Butterfly wings )

Best Actress Sumathi Awards 2010 – Ridee Itankaraya

Best Actress in RaigamTele’es 2010 – Isuru Bawana

Best Supporting Actress 2011 – Me Wasantha Kalayai

Best Supporting Actress National Drama Festival 2012 – The House of Bernada Alba

Best Actress in 8th Mass Lanka Film Awards 2013

SLIIM Nielson Peoples awards 2015 Best Actress

SLIIM Nielson Peoples awards 2016 Best Actress

Duleeka had portrayed vivid roles in films too beginning from the year 2003 namely Pura Sakamana,Irasma,Sooriya Arana,Samanala Thatu,Udugam Yamaya,Hathara Denama Soorayo ( remake),Walapatala,Tikiri Suwanda,Mahindagamanaya,Ethumai Methumai,Super Six,Daruwane,Double Trouble,Kosthapal Punyasoma,Lantin Singho,Puthandiya,Hero Nero,Ali Kathawa,Suparna, Miss Jeni ,Kawuruth Danne na, CineMa,Rashmi in year 2022.

Loku Yaddelige Sujeewa Priyalal known better as Sujeewa Priyalal was born on 9th May 1973 to parents Mendis Priyalal employee of Salusala and D Edirisooriya having four siblings two brothers and two sisters was educated at Isipathana College,Colombo 5,

Sujeewa recollects declaring him a winner right away and no doubt the role played in one of the most eye-catching roles in Uberto Pasolini’s Italian, German and Sri Lankan co-production Machan which won him laurels locally and internationally.

However ,Sujeewa  had entered the acting arena with Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s stage drama Yakshagamanaya in  year1994 followed by Buddhika Damayantha’s Adipathiyage Marana Manchakaya for which Sujeewa had won the award of the best supporting actor at the National Youth Awards in 1994. Also had portrayed a role in another stage play, Rajiv Ananda’s Baraniya, before taking a break from the scene, before portraying the amiable but shady character of Piyal in Machan. Sujeewa made a comeback in year 2001 with yet another Dharmasiri Bandaranayake creation, Trojan Kanthawo in which he played the character of a soldier.

Sujeewa’s  film vocation started in year 1996 with a portrayal in Asoka Handagama’s Sanda Dadayama (Moon Hunt), a movie very unfortunately had not been screened up-to-date. Turning to the mini screen, Sujeewa portrayed roles in Dayaratne Ratagedara’s Poya drama series, Sitha Nivana Katha. Dr. Ariyaratne Athugala’s Samanala Kandavura, Christy Shelton’s Gal Pilimaya Saha Bol Pilimaya and Ananda Wickramage’s Menik Maliga are some teledramas in which he had portrayed memorable roles. Sujeewa had acted in a song visual for Udayakantha Warnasuriya’s Ran Kevita in which characters in a pack of cards come to life. Sujeewa took up the role of the joker, he said adding that he is still taking part in stage dramas like Trojan Kanthawo, Bandula Vithanage’s Romaya Gini Ganee and Simon Navagatthegama’s Suba Saha Yasa which are making their rounds around the island.

Sujeewa affirmed that most of the characters in this movie Pasolini in year 2008 were chosen after auditions in which many stars portrayed roles.He was unaware of this at its primary stage but during the stage that the final casting was done they were searching for suitable youths to take on the roles of Piyal and Nesa. It had been  close friend of Sujeewa , a stage manager named Ashoka, informed him on this role and introduced to Prasanna Vithanage who is an acclaimed director.Sujeewa emphasized how Prasanna Vithanage knew to spot talent had patience until he got the best out of actors.Sujeewa had reminisced in a media dialog he was pleased for doing well been dedicated to this project. Dharmapriya Dias and Sujeewa even has had to transform our appearance had to undergo a diet change because the director had wanted the duo  to slim down to suite our roles.Dias even had to sell oranges in the street for rehearsals. Both of them were forced to go in search of beach boys so that we could observe them and portray our roles effectively. Ultimately Sujeewa was contented and  proud that the movie, a Sri Lankan co-production comprising a Sri Lankan cast, won  high applause from the local as well as foreign audiences. To Sujeewa acting is his profession which he enjoys willing to accept any given role even hero or villain in any creation.Sujeewa looks forward in portraying interesting vivid roles of quality productions under competent directors.

The latest endeavour directed by Sujeewa.is the stage play titled “SUKIRI BATILLA” an adaptation, a hilarious comedy based on the current political situation to be staged on 27th and 28th January at the Lionel Wendt Theatre at 7 PM where men too become pregnant.

Sujeewa has been a part of the cast in Lalith Ratnayake’s popular tele creation Arungal which was telecast on ITN. He also portrays a role of a journalist in Devinda Kongahage’s teledrama Sadisi Tharanaya which was telecast on Rupavahini.Sujeewa had directed two separate ‘International 1 and 2 teledramas which were highly patronized and  hailed.Sujeewa portrays roles in the teledrama ‘Snap’  in Swarnavahini and Divi Thura in the Hiru channel a long teledrama. He portrays the role of Themia a head of a crew competition directed by Charmara Jayaweera an experienced director who had even advised Sujeewa to watch some live reality shows.In fact Charmara had accompanied him ti view the Hiru “Maga “ star competition. Sujeewa works with Sameera ( Sarath Karunaratne) and Tina ( Sanjana Gamarachchi, Chandrika Siriwardena and Hector Dias who are the adjudicators of the reality show.Sujeewa has been very strict with his subordinates Sarath and Sanjana, Sujeewa has already received accolades for his portrayal which is a major role in the teledrama. During a recent television dialog Sujeewa had confessed he still learns from Mahendra Perera with whom he acted in Machan film.

In the context of the above both Sujeewa Priyalal and Duleeka Marapona duo are predominantly artistic individuals, curious and imaginative simply meant they are creative and original who work well in a setting at allows for self-expression also tending to be enterprising are natural exponents of art who  thrive in influencing and persuading colleagues. These characteristics are needed to be possessed by good actors and actresses not been conventional. All followers of the Duleeka Sujeewa duo would no doubt wish them good health and longevity for many more creations to captivate all fans.

Sunil Thenabadu in Brisbane e mail sthenabadu@hotmail.com whatsapp 0061444533242