Remembering Eng. Gemunu Silva

By Civil Engineering Sectional Committee

An excellent engineer, Vidyajothi Gemunu Silva has passed away on 02nd July 2021 at the age of 78 after being hospitalized following a heart ailment.

He was born in Kalutara. He has learned up to fifth grade at Kalutara Gnanodaya Maha Vidyalaya. Thereafter he entered the Ananda College, Colombo, and pursued his studies from Grade 6. Then in 1963, he entered the Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya. In 1968 he was graduated as a Mechanical Engineer.

Eng. Silva’s first appointment was at State Engineering Corporation as a Mechanical Engineer in 1967. He worked there until 1971 and then joined with Sri Lanka Air Force. In 1973, he won a scholarship to pursue his higher studies (Masters Degree) in France. He re-joined with State Engineering Corporation after return from France in 1975 as the Chief Engineer of the Peliyagoda workshop.

Eng. Gemunu Silva never said no when facing a technical challenge. He always had a suitable path to solve a problem effectively. He started to manufacture spare parts for SEC’s machinery, when many spares were not imported for machinery in 1975-1977. He converted TATA truck chassis into personnel carrier trucks during the first and second Elam Wars. Those are good examples showing Eng. Silva’s creativity and adaptability.

Eng. Gemunu Silva has successfully implemented many landmark projects those considered as incredible. The benefits of those projects are still enjoyed by the nation. Raising the Maligawila Buddha Statue, Golden roof (Ran Viyana) for the sacred Dalada Maligawa, restoration of many ancient stupas like Jetawana Dagaba, Abhayagiriya, Mirisawetiya and Thissamaharamaya, protecting Awkana and Gal Vihara statues were few of them. He deserved the honoured title ‘Vidyajothi’ by President Ranasinghe Premadasa was a due recognition of his contributions to the field of engineering.

He was provided consultancy services to the Central Cultural Fund to restore ancient stupas until his last moment. Further, he was a member of the Archaeological Advisory Committee appointed by the Prime Minister to assist with safeguarding the country’s archaeological sites.

We, the Civil Engineering Sectional Committee of IESL (CESC), wish him to attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana….! Lasting Peace….!