Sri Lanka Sinhala Family Genealogy
Gunasekera - Family #3124
2 Evadne Gunasekera + Sir Ernest de Silva, 1887-1957 (3125)
3 daughter + U N Gunasekera,
grandson of Gate Mudaliyar Abraham Mendis
Gunasekera Wijaya Sri Wardana (Founder of the Sinhala-English
Dictionary) and Great-Grandson of: Mudaliyar Bastian Mendis Gunasekera
and his wife Asesa de Zoysa
4 Sirimani Gunasekera, Dr
4 Dhammika Gunasekera, Engineer
4 Sushila Gunasekera
5 Arosha Gunasekera
2 Florence Kamini Gunasekera, b:May 11 1896, d:Sep 29, 1972, m:Dec 17 1923. Florence was one of the first pupils at Ladies College, Colombo 7 was tasked to take care of her seven siblings since her mother passed away at the tender age of 37 during childbirth. Her ancestral home was at Borella adjoining the present day Catholic Bishop's House. Her father owned extensive plots of land in the area and later moved to his residence "Clare" on Flower Road which has now been occupied by the Russian Embassy in Sri Lanka. The premises adjoins "Sirijmathipaya" which was formerly owned by Sir Ernest de Silva, who was married to Florence's older sister, Evadne, and is now the Prime Minister's Office in Colombo. The extent of the premises was four (4) acres. + George Wilfred Karunaratne, Dr. b:Nov 21 1894, attended Royal College, Colombo 7, d:Aug 19, 1984 (3122)
3 Gemunu Wijayananda Karunaratne, b:Oct 13 1924 at "Florence Villa", Peradeniya Road, Kandy, Ceylon. + Manel
3 Nihal Wilfred Karunaratne, Dr. b:Jun 9 1928 at No 65, Trincomalee Street, Kandy, Ceylon. + Elaine Soyza, m:Sep 10, 1952 at "Maysland", Ampitiya
3 2nd spouse of Nihal Wilfred Karunaratne, Dr. b:Jun 9 1928 at No 65, Trincomalee Street, Kandy, Ceylon. + Suvimalee Guneratne of Dawson Road, Colombo 5
3 Chulanie Jaliya Karunaratne, b:Oct 14 1932 at "Lake Bungalow", Victoria Drive, Kandy, Ceylon.
Please see Wikipedia Reference on Gunasekera Family
U N Gunasekera (B.Sc. Eng. London, MI.Struct. UK, F.I.E.) is considered to be Sri Lanka's Greatest Construction Engineer of the 20th Century. Mr.Gunasekera revolutionized engineering in Sri Lanka through his construction of High-rise buildings including Sri Lanka's First five star hotel (the Ceylon Inter-Continental) and Sri Lanka's Largest five star hotel (Lanka Oberoi) among other various projects.
He was the President of the Institute of Engineers in Sri Lanka for an unprecedented five years.
He developed many influential friendships including that of the First Woman Prime Minister of the world, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Former President Hon. R. Premadasa, (Both of whom considered him their closest ally) Ministers, Heads of Armed Forces, Police Force and many of the Leading Businessmen. He was considered to be one of the most well-connected and Powerful Businessmen in Sri Lanka prior to his retirement.
U.N.Gunasekera is a strong Buddhist and one of the largest contributors to charities in Sri Lanka, though in a silent manner, and is famed to contributing to a vast number of temples, hospitals, schools and charities.
U.N.Gunasekera was educated at the prominent Royal College where he was the Captain of the Rugby team, winning the coveted Bradby shield, a member of the Cricket team and Athletics team. He obtained his degree in Engineering from the University of London after completing the University of Cambridge Higher Diploma.
He also has many other businesses, such as the [[Glass House]] Health Center and Diagnostic Laboratory and was known to be a prominent [[real estate mogul]], having invested in famed Billion-Rupee Multi-Acre property in Sri Lanka's capital, and accumulated vast wealth placing him among Sri Lanka's richest people for many years prior to his retirement.He married the daughter of Sir Ernest de Silva, the Cambridge-educated Former Chairman of the Senate of Sri Lanka and the Founder-Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon, making the lineage one of the most prominent and traditionally wealthy families in South-East Asia. His mother was the philantrophist Mrs. H. M. Gunasekera (OBE, CBE) who together with Lady Evadne de Silva started the Gamini Matha Home For Elders in 1938 and founder of the famous Mrs. H.M.Gunasekera Trust which mass prints Buddhist books for free distribution. His Grandmother, constructed a temple, the 'Abeysingharamaya' which he expanded and maintained. His younger daughter Sushila was a national tennis champion in the early 70s before attending University to study Architecture. His elder daughter Srimani became a doctor and his son Dhammika an engineer
Sir Ernest de Silva:
Sir Ernest de Silva (1887-1957), considered to be the Greatest Philatelist in Sri Lanka's History, was a Cambridge-educated Sri Lankan philanthropist, business magnate and public figure. A wealthy and powerful polymath, Sir Ernest was the Chairman of the Senate of Sri Lanka and Founding Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon, and made many contributions to Sri Lankan society, including vast amounts of philanthropy. He was to be named the first Sri Lankan Governor General (Head of Government, Armed Forces and Representative of the King in Ceylon, i.e. Head of State). Sir Ernest was among the pinnacle of Sri Lankan society and one of its richest and most respected men. He was renowned for his integrity and honesty.
Sir Ernest was one of Sri Lanka's Greatest Philanthropists of the Twentieth Century funding a vast number of projects. Among his various projects were the building of two major schools (Devapathiraja Vidyalaya and Lakshmi College) and providing free education as well as scholarships to its students. Sir Ernest and his wife Lady Evadne funded the inaugural orphanage in Ceylon; in the form of a donation of 9 acres in Katunayake. He also built a temple; The 'Veluvanaramaya'. He gave away lands, buildings and funds to numerous orphanages, hospitals, schools, social service bodies, temples and hermitages without fanfare or publicity.
Sir Ernest was a strong Buddhist who contributed much to the advancement of Buddhism. One such instance was when he purchased an island in 1905 and offered it to Ven. Nanatiloke, the Famous German Monk, to start a hermitage (Polgasduwa) for Buddhist monks. Sir Ernest was thus instrumental in putting Sri Lanka on the map of the world of philosophy and religion. He was the President of the YMBA (Young Men's Buddhist Association) and the President of the Kalutara Bodhi Trust. The Former President of Sri Lanka, The Late Hon.R.Premadasa, stated that 'if there was a Buddhist Temple or school that he [Sir Ernest] did not help, it was not in Sri Lanka'.
Sir Ernest was one of the richest South-East Asians of the Twentieth Century. He inherited and purchased vast areas of tea, rubber and coconut estates as well as vast amounts of land in the prominent areas of Colombo. He owned 46 Acres (7360 Perches) of land in prominent areas of Colombo, worth an approximate Rs.40 Billion today, mainly in the Colpetty area which is now regarded as the most expensive area in Sri Lanka. One such estate was the famed 1000 acre (4 kmē) Salawa estate which was used as a rubber plantation. He resided in one of the most exclusive properties in Sri Lanka: the 'Sirimathipaya' Mansion; equipped with horse stables and tennis courts.
Sir Ernest was knighted in 1946 by King George VI for his services to Ceylon. In recognition of his services, Flower Road (where he resided) was renamed Sir Ernest de Silva Mawatha and a stamp was published in his honour. As he was perhaps the most respected and wealthiest Sri Lankan of his generation, Sir Ernest was asked to be the first Sri Lankan Governor General, equivalent to the Head of State (President), which he declined due to personal reasons. He was one of the first Asians to own a Rolls Royce. His former residence, the mansion 'Sirimathipaya', is now being used as the Office of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
He was a very close friend of the late Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who was a batch mate of his at the University of Cambridge. Jawaharlal Nehru came in 1930 to visit his friend in Sri Lanka.
Senator Lady Evadne de Silva, nee Gunasekera, was the first female politician in Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
She was a prominent Philantrophist in Sri Lanka and became the first Female Member of the Senate of Sri Lanka. She was married to the Famous Cambridge-Educated Philantrophist Sir Ernest de Silva. She, along with Mrs. H.M. Gunasekera, started the inaugral orphanage in Sri Lanka: 'The Gamini Matha'. She helped many Buddhist temples and schools.
Her daughter, Sita, married Construction Magnate Mr. U.N.Gunasekera.
Mrs. H. M. Gunasekera together with Lady Evadne de Silva in 1938 founded the Gamini Matha Home for males, situated by the Beira Lake, Colombo. This home now run by the YMBA, Colombo has 52 inmates above 70 years.
Lady Evadne de Silva, together with her husband Sir Ernest de Silva, who was known as the quiet philanthrophist and onetime President of the YMBA, also donated nine acres land at Walana, Katunayake to set up a large orphanage and school with a playgound. The Walana Orphanage is also maintained by the Colombo YMBA.
Parakrama Home was built on a large extent
of land donated by Sir Ernest and Lady Evadne de Silva in 1954.
50 boys between the ages
of 5-16 live in this Home and attend nearby state run schools. These children
come to us either because they are orphans or because their parents are
destitute and are unable to look after them.
The local community assists us by providing money, meals and dry rations. A caring benefactor Mr. Bob Kundanmal, helps us look after our children's educational needs. International Children's Aid, Australia sponsors two of our children.
Currently it is maintained under the flagship of Mallika Nivasa Samithiya Ltd. And is a Government approved Charity.