Born on 16th April 1937, in Rambukkana, Kegalle District he had his secondary education at the DharmarajaCollege, Kandy and later at the Ananda College Colombo.
In 1957, he gained admission to the University of Ceylon, Peradeniaya, where he was tutored by some of the best scholar’s of the country in the field of Sinhalalanguage and literature, such as Prof. D.E. Hettiarachichi, Prof. EdiriweeraSarachachandra, Dr. M.W. Sugathapala De Silva and Dr. SiriGunasinghe. The academic and cultural atmosphere prevailed in the university and his ardent love for the Sinhala language and culture paved the way for his subsequent academic and professional achievements.
Academic / Professional Life
Professor Disanayaka was instrumental in establishing the Department of Linguistics in the University of Colombo, the first fully-fledged department of Linguistics in a Sri Lankan university. It was then that his major contribution to the development of Sinhala linguistics commenced with full vigor. He became the Head of the newly-established Department of Linguistics, until 1973, when it was relocated in another university. He continued to teach Sinhala language at the University of Colombo and played a leading role in popularizing the new subject — the modern linguistics. After years of dedicated service he rose to the grade of Senior Professor of Sinhala in the University of Colombo bringing honour and fame to the institution.
National and international recognition / Awards
Apart from his university activities, Prof. Disanayaka has played a major role, in the advancement of scholarship, Buddhism and culture by taking an active part in many international conferences, seminars and institutions concerned with such pursuits. He has delivered many guest lectures and endowed orations. As a scholar Prof. Disanayaka has gained both national and international recognition and prestige too, for his excellent scholarship and academic contributions.
Prof. Disanayaka now lives in Kohuwela, Nugegoda a suburb in Colombo district, where he continues to work as writer and consultant on language, grammar and culture. He is married to Kusum Disanayaka, writer and translator. He is a father of two children – son and daughter.