Tributes | Sunday Observer


Hema Nalin Karunaratne: A leading light in TV program presentation

Veteran television presenter and popular commentator, Hema Nalin Karunaratne passed away last week leaving a void in the field of responsible journalism in the country. Karunaratne, aged 56, died of a sudden illness at his residence. He had been living in Millagahawatte, Malabe. The cause of death is believed to have been a brain hemorrhage.

Born in Wadduwa on August 27 in 1962, Karunaratne received his education at Royal College, Colombo. From his childhood he was keen to pursue a career in television journalism and in 1983 he joined the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation as a Trainee Producer and steadily became a leading light by hosting the ‘Navayai Pahai’ magazine programme.

A television presenter, a script writer and a researcher, Hema Nalin Karunaratne whose eloquent use of language instantly grabbed the attention of the audience, inspired a generation of media personalities.

Karunaratne has over 25 years of experience in the television industry with stints in several channels and also headed the satellite channel in Heritage TV. He was also a lecturer in television program production.

Mohamed Arif Hanifa: Eminent social worker

The late Mohamed Arif Hanifa was a well-known social worker hailing from a respectable family in Matara. He was the beloved father of Munzir Hanifa, JP, Ex-Member of the Matara Urban Council.

Arif Hanifa’s grandfather was Aliyar Marikkar, another prominent social worker and a Member of the Food Distribution Committee Headed by the Matara Govt. Agent in 1889.

Arif Hanifa had been involved full-time in social - religious activities in Matara and was the Asst. Secretary of the Matara Kadeweediya Co-Op Society in 1947.

He was a close associate of the late Dr. M.C.M. Kaleel (Labour Minister in 1952) , late M. H. Mohamed (A Former Speaker of Parliament) , late Dr. Badi-uddin Mahumud (Minister of Education ) , late Mahanama Samaraweera (Local Govt. Minister in 1960 ) and late Justin Wijewardana ( a Former M.P. for Matara ).

Arif Hanifa has done yeoman service to the public of Matara by actively involving in numerous social work and other welfare activities.

Also, he took a keen interest in the education of the children of Matara. His motto in life was “ Service to Mankind is Service to God”

May Allah Grant him Jannathul Firdouse.

Al Haj Dahlan Salahudeen.