Senake Bandaranayake
Born1938 (1938)
Sri Lanka
DiedMarch 2, 2015(2015-03-02) (aged 76–77)
Sri Lanka
Years active1974–2015
TitleVice chancellor, Emeritus professor
SpouseManel Fonseka
ParentWilliam Dias Bandaranayake
AwardsSahitya Akademi Fellowship
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Oxford
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Kelaniya

Senake Dias Bandaranayake (1938 – March 2, 2015) was a Sri Lankan archeologist, who served as emeritus professor and vice chancellor at University of Kelaniya. His research was focused on architecture, art history, and ancient paintings of South Asia, including Sri Lanka.

Early life and education

He was born in 1938[1] to Dora and William Dias Bandaranayake. He was married to Manel Fonseka.[2]

He received his early education at S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia. He graduated from Bristol University and later went to England where he obtained his Bachelor of Letters in 1965 and Ph.D. in 1972 from the University of Oxford. After obtaining his Ph.D., he attended UCL Institute of Archaeology where he received a post graduate degree.


After returning from Europe in 1974, he joined University of Kelaniya in 1975 as a senior lecturer at its archeology department until he retired as a senior professor in 2003. He later became emeritus professor, head of archeology department, and vice chancellor. He established Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology in 1987 and served as its director until 1997.[1]

Prior to his retirement, he formed archaeological team at University of Kelaniya for graduate students to conduct research. He worked at Sigiriya for eighteen years, during which he built monumental work of Harry Charles Purvis Bell and Senarath Paranavithana.[3]

Diplomatic career

He served in various capacities during his diplomatic career, including Ambassadors of Sri Lanka to France and to UNESCO in 1999, and Ambassadors of Sri Lanka to Bhutan.[1] He was also appointed as Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India from 2000 to 2002.[4] During his diplomatic career, he established National Centre for Advocacy Studies (NCAS), an advocacy resource institute in South Asia.[1]

He was one of the three final candidates nominated by the government of Sri Lanka for the post of Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).[3]


He died in his sleep on March 2, 2015.[2]


He was awarded Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 1996 by the Sahitya Akademi in recognition of his contribution to archeology, and establishing Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology.[5]


The government of Sri Lanka established Prof. Senaka Bandaranaike Archaeological Field Training School at Sigiriya named after Senaka Bandaranaike. It was inaugurated by the Mahinda Rajapaksa, prime minister of the country. The training institute establishment contract is signed by Central Cultural Fund at LKR50 million. The institute is claimed to be the premier training center of Sri Lanka for local and foreign archeological researchers.[6]

Research and publications


  1. ^ a b c d "Digital Newspaper & Magazine Subscriptions". 2015-07-26. Retrieved 2021-08-06 – via PressReader.
  2. ^ a b "Prof. Senake Bandaranayake Passes Away". Colombo Telegraph. 2015-03-02. Retrieved 2021-08-06.
  3. ^ a b c d "Death of Prof. Senake Bandaranayake". 2015-03-08. Retrieved 2021-08-06.
  4. ^ "H.E. Mr Prasad Kariyawasam". 2011-07-28. Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2021-08-07.
  5. ^ "..:: SAHITYA : Fellows and Honorary Fellows ::." .. Retrieved 2021-08-07.
  6. ^ Ferdinando, Shamindra (2020-12-23). "PM opens Prof. Senaka Bandaranaike Archaeological Field Training School". The Island. Retrieved 2021-08-06.