Authors of the shortlisted novels for the Swarna Pusthaka Awards with the winners, chief guests and organisers
Furthering its support of creating a generation of readers in Sri Lanka, Sampath Bank recently participated in the 2021 Swarna Pusthaka Awards as the main sponsor for the 11th year. State Minister of National Heritage, Performing Arts and Rural Arts Promotion Vidura Wickramanayake and Senior Deputy General Manager (Corporate Banking) Ayodhya Iddawela Perera, representing Sampath Bank graced the occasion as Chief Guests.
The Swarna Pusthaka Awards, offer the highest prize money for a Literary Award in Sri Lanka, where the winning novel receives a cash prize of Rs. 750,000 and the five finalists receive a cash prize of Rs. 100,000 each. Full contribution for these cash prices is provided by Sampath Bank. Organised by the Sri Lanka Book Publishers Association since 2007, the Swarna Pusthaka Award coincide with the Colombo International Book Fair every year. Due to the current ongoing pandemic, the International Book Fair was not held this year.
Out of 109 novels published in 2020 by the Book Publishers Association for the Swarna Pusthaka Award, a panel of 10 scholars shortlisted 12 novels. Thereafter a panel of five scholars made the final selection of novels, announcing the winner and the five finalists. As a result, the novels Mukthi by Somaratne Balasuriya, Aramadasa by Ariyawansa Abeysekera, Bana Kusum by Katyana Amarasinghe, Berunda Kedella by Rupa Sriyani Ekanayaka and Jiwithaye Oil Pellama by Tharindu Sri Lokugamage were selected for the final round. The novel ‘Berunda Kedella’ written by Rupa Sriyani Ekanayaka won the Swarna Pusthaka Award, the Publisher’s Honour for Sinhala Novel Art.
Rupa Sriyani Ekanayake, winning author of this year’s Swarna Pusthaka Award receiving the winning cheque from Sampath Bank Senior Deputy General Manager (Corporate Banking) Ayodhya Iddawela Perera. State Minister of National Heritage, Performing Arts and Rural Arts Promotion Vidura Wickremanayake is also present