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Priya Suriyasena

Priya Suriyasena is a Sri Lankan popular vocalist and lecturer in music who embarked his music career through the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) in 1972.


M.L.D. Priyadharsha Suriyasena Liyanage was born to the parents of an up-country middle-class origin, in Nattandiya in the Chilaw district. His father is late M. L. D Jamis Liyanage and mother is late A.M. Podi Manike. He was the only son in a family of three. He had his primary education at Nattandiya Primary School and completed his GCE O/L and A/L at Madampa Central College in Puttalam district.

His father was a poet from whom he got his music talent. As a student Suriyasena won several prizes after participating in musical programmes. One of them was UNESCO talent competition in which he won the first prize.

After his A/L from 1968 to 1971 he sat for external exams conducted by the government musical college ‘Heywood’ and obtained a diploma in music. Afterward he joined the government as a music teacher and recorded some of his original songs which were aired in SLBC in 1972. At this stage he shortened his name from Priyadharsha to "Priya".

Rise to fame

After the release of his first four songs Suriyasena became a heartthrob of youngsters in 1970s. His first four songs (‘Sarathasa niwa’, ‘Mata wasana’, ‘Heta davase’ and ‘Andura Andura mage’) were recorded for the corporation in 1972. ‘Andura Andura mage’ was written by Rohana Fernando and ‘Heta davase’, ‘Sarathasa niwa’ and ‘Mata wasana’ by the late veteran lyricist Premakeerthi de Alwis, and Suriyasena wrote the music for the songs.

The release of “Sudu Parevi Rena” (hit song) brought Suriyasena up to one of the top singers in 1970s bringing a controversy at the time where the Sri Lankan government prohibited broadcasting the song through radio channels for a period of time.

Suriyasena released one of the first music audio cassettes in Sri Lanka under the guidance of Wijewardene under the Tharanga label. His popularity was raised with the Sarasawiya Award for "Kendan Yannam," a song from Sena Samarasinghe's Aethin Aethata (Movie) in 1984.
In 1996 with the album “Sunflowers with Priya”, he brought a new musical generation to the country grossing revenue over Rs. 8 million for the album and becoming the most popular singer in the country. “Sudu Parevi Rena”, “Ratakin Eha”, “Jeewithe Mage”, “Etha Ranviman, “Kendam Yannam”, “Neranjana”, “Mulu Muhudama”, “Pathum Pireela”, “Apasu Enawa”, “Mata Wasana” and “Me Paalu Mawathe” became hits once again with the music of the famous music band “Sunflowers”.
His hit song “Etha ranviman” became the most popular song in 2006, developing controversies between Suriyasena and Sirasa Super Stars.


Suriyasena started his career in 1971 as a music teacher for Kelaniya Gurukula College whilst also as an on stage singer at the same time. After about 10 years of service Suriyasena left his teaching career giving priority to his music career.
The veteran music directors who conducted music for his songs were Lal Thenabadu, the late Sarath Dassanayake, Stanley Peiris, Sarath de Alwis, late Clarence Wijewardene and Ranjith Perera. Suriyasena directed music for songs such as ‘Adaraniya Neranjana’, ‘Heta davase’, ‘Mata wasana’, ‘Sanda ma gawai’, ‘Mage samarum pothe’, ‘Ekama vidiye’, ‘Mohathaka suwa dena’ and ‘Gelawata banda wu muthu pote’ (neckless tied to the neck). Some of the veteran vocalists who had their music directed by Suriyasena were M. S. Fernando, Anton Jones, Milton Mallawarachchi, Punsiri Soysa, Mervyn Perera, Gratien Ananda, late Mervyn Mihindukula, Chandralekha Perera, Freddie Silva and H R Jothipala.
At the beginning of 1990s Suriyasena was leaned towards cassette production business where he started “Luckshitha Trade Centre” and released cassettes that were highly grossed of MS Fernando, Punsiri Soysa H.R Jothipala and Champa Kalhari.
He was also a play back singer in many films which were Mal kekulu in earlier 1980s, song ‘Bindu bindu kandulu sala’ duet with Shayami Fonseka and music directed by Sarath Dassanayake and produced by Sena Samarasinghe. Further he sang in many other films like ‘Selinage Walawwa’, ‘Mudukkuwe Juliet’, ‘Hariyanakota ohama thamai’, and ‘Pina paduna da’. In ‘Ethin Ethata’ he sang a duet with Milton Mallawarachchi to the music direction of Sarath Dassanayake ("Kandan yannan ran mal mala dala") which won an award by “Sarasaviya” (Sarasavi Sammana) in 1980s. In the film Suhada Sohoyuro he played a minor role. However, later Suriyasena gave up singing as a play back singer focusing only on stage. In 2006 he sang a duet “Gimhanaye” with Samitha Mudunkotuwa for the film ‘Kalu Sudu Mal’ as the male playback for Kamal Addaraaarachchi.

Foreign tours

His maiden foreign tour was to Singapore in 1978. Subsequently he made it to over 44 other countries including United States, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Australia.
He performed in Qatar, which has a significant Sri Lankan community, in October 2007.

Personal life

In 1978 he wedded Thamara Kumari Weerasinghe who was also a music teacher with a diploma in music from Heywood. He is now a father of four children - three daughters Minoshi and Iroshi both studying abroad, Gayashi of Visakha, Colombo and son, Lakshitha who is studying in the US.

Aadaraneeya Neranjana - click here or here

Apasu Enawa Mage Hitha Ibi Gamane - click here or here

Asurin Mideela - click here

Atha Ran Wiman Thulin - click here or here or here

Bingu Walapila - click here

Ekama Weediye - click here

Hadawatha Illa Nolabuna Witadee - click here or here or here

Harada Biman - click here

Heta Dhawase Apa Dedena - click here

Hiruda Muwawee Lasi Gamana Balawi - click here

Jiwithe Mage Oya Kiyala - click here or here or here

Kandan Yannam Ran Mal Mala Daala - click here or here

Mage Lamada Suwa Yahanak - click here or here

Mage Samarum Pothe - click here

Mata Waasana Oba Mata Waasana - click here

Me Palu Mawathe Thaniwee Bala Imi - click here

Mee Kakula Kale - click here

Mohothaka Suwa Dena Chanchala Lokaye - click here or here

Mulu Muhudama Handai - click here

Oba Mata Hime Na - click here

Pathum Pireela - click here or here

Ratakin Eha Igili - click here or here

Sanda Tharaka Handawee - click here

Sanda Yame - click here

Sudu Parawi Rana Se - click here or here

Sudu Watha Kamale - click here