‘Piyahasara’- a Felicitation Ceremony to appreciate the great service rendered by prominent Professor Rohana Luxman Piyadasa of the Department of Mass Communication, Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Kelaniya was successfully held on the 22nd February 2018 at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University. At this ceremony, Professor Rohana Luxman Piyadasa was honoured for his contribution to the university, field of media and the entire society during his tenure as an academic staff member of the university.
Concurrently, ‘Piyahasara’ – a Felicitation Volume as a tribute to Professor Rohana Luxman Piyadasa was also launched at the ceremony. Senior Lecturer Mr. Aruna Lokuliyana, Head of the Department of Mass Communication and Senior Lecturer Mr. Wijayananda Rupasinghe of the Department of Mass Communication were the chief editors of the felicitation volume which consisted of 41 research papers written by the academic staff members of the University.
The ceremony was held under the patronage of Professor D.M. Semasinghe, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kelaniya while Dr. Tudor Weerasinghe, Senior Lecturer in Mass Media, Sri Palee Campus of University of Colombo graced the event as the Guest of Honour. In addition, the event was graced by Senior Professor Lakshman Senevirathne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the Deans of Faculties, the Heads of academic Departments of Faculty of Social Sciences and other faculties, academic staff and non-academic staff members of the Faculty of Social Sciences and other faculties, alumni of the Department of Mass Communication and many undergraduates.
Professor R.L. Piyadasa obtained his Bachelor of Arts (Special) Degree in Mass Communication from the University of Kelaniya and joined the Department of Mass Communication of the University of Kelaniya in 1980. In 1983 he obtained his Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and, in the late 1980s, he received a scholarship from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and went to Russia for his Ph.D. Professor R.L. Piyadasa after completing his Ph.D. studies in the University of Moscow, Russia, came back to motherland and since 1994 he has been a pioneer in the field of media policy making in Sri Lanka. He was appointed as the Member of Board of Directors in several National Institutes; Member of the Board of Directors of the National Committee of UNESCO, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and the National Library and Documentation Services Board and currently he is a member of the Board of Directors of Sri Lanka Press Council. In the late 80s, Professor R.L. Piyadasa won the ‘OCIC Award for Best Cinematographer of the Year’ as he had directed a number of meaningful short films and documentary films. He is not only a journalist, columnist, television presenter and a radio programme producer, but also a very good writer who has provided numerous academic writings to academic journals and authored a large number of research publications.
During his tenure as the Head of the Department of Mass Communication, Professor Rohana Luxman Piyadasa made a great contribution to the betterment of the Department and he was instrumental in introducing a Special Degree Programme in Public Relations & Media Management, General degree programme in Public Relations & Media Management as well as its Diploma. The ‘Communication Research Unit’ and the ‘Centre for Media & Human Rights’ under the Department of Mass Communication were established and inaugurated under the guidance of Professor Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa. He was the Chairperson of the Arts Council of the University of Kelaniya. He has been serving as a Professor of the Department of Mass Communication as well as he has been serving as the Director of the Communication & Media Unit of the University of Kelaniya until his day of retirement from the University.