A many faceted gem | Sunday Observer
Michelle Dilhara

A many faceted gem

11 October, 2020

Lovely and talented actress Michelle Dilhara bagged the Best Up and Coming actress award for her role Ayoma in Sudu andagena kalu awith at the recently concluded Raigam Tele Awards 2020.

A very popular, rising star in the Sri Lankan acting sphere Michelle Dilhara epitomises the term ‘beauty with brains’. Versatile as they make them, she is also a social activist, environmentalist, author and philanthropist.

Born on May 1 ,1996 this vivacious girl had her primary education at the Negombo South International School and moved to the reputed Negombo school Newstead Balika Vidyalaya for her secondary education. In 2014, she sat for her A/Ls and obtained the required Z score to enter University. But now Michelle found herself at a decisive cross roads in her life. From her young days Michelle cherished two dreams – to be an actress and a teacher. She has now achieved both at the tender age of 24 years.


In 2014, soon after her Advanced Level examination Michelle studied acting under veteran and award winning actress Anoja Weerasinghe at Abhinaya, her Academy of Acting. Michelle also followed classes with another star of the Silver Screen, Damayanthi Fonseka. She was also lucky to get an opportunity to learn from Indian director Ujjawal Singha.

In 2016, leading director Nalan Mendis cast Michelle Dilhara as the Podipaththarakari in his tele drama Salsapuna. Her role was that of a young journalist from a well to do family striving to create her own space and live independently. Ultimately, she also gets involved in a love triangle. Michelle portrays this role so realistically and with such aplomb and verve that to audiences Michelle and Podipattharakari had become synonymous with each other. For Michelle this was a great experience. Apart from having the guidance of director Nalan Mendis she learnt much from the senior actors and actresses who were starring in the tele – drama.

Next came the role that was the catalyst and game changer in Michelle Dilhara’s acting life. Director Sunil Costa picked her to act the role of Ayoma in his tele drama Sud Andagena Kalu Awidin. The story revolves around a single mother Suba (Umayangana Wickremasinghe) living with her daughter Ayoma and facing many difficulties. Michelle Dilhara’s superb acting won for her the Best Upcoming Actress Award at the Raigam Tele Awards whle the tele drama received 14 nominations. In 2019 it won the Best Tele Drama Award at the Sumathi Awards.

Again, this proved to be a major learning curve for Michelle Dilhara and she is grateful to Director Sunil Costa for giving her this opportunity. Not only did she thrive in her acting under Costa’s direction, she also learnt much from the senior and other actors and actresses who were in the tele drama.

Inspite of her early and continuing success as an actress Michelle Dilhara remains humble. ‘I am still new to the game and has much to learn. I do not consider myself mature or knowledgeable to comment on the industry or advise younger ones ‘ she said when asked about these subjects. Can you hear me,Sihina Samagama and Kiss season 2 are tele dramas currently being broadcast featuring Michelle Dilhara.

Among her forthcoming productions Sakuna Piyapath, Duvili and Race.


Michelle Dilhara turned philanthropist at the age of 15. She is passionate about social invisibility and strives to help people in this category. She herself felt marginalised by this – “other than my family I felt there was no one to listen to me”. She said. She felt those who were affected most were the elderly and children especially those in homes. She visited them and tried to alleviate their problems. Focusing further on this she works and researches with University academics . Her findings in this field led to her writing the book Social Invisibility is not a Fiction it exists. It was published by Amazon.This book and her theorythe ‘Theory of Alternative Social Cogwheel ‘ won for her the National Youth Icon Award 2019 at the World Youth Summit held in New Delhi, India .

Her philanthropy includes a scholarship scheme for children to learn English. The course is of six months duration. a certificate awarding ceremony was held recently.

This generous actress with much compassion has opened a Centre for the Retired Elderly in Divulapitiya. Her main aim is to help them overcome negative elements like loneliness and depression. Programs at the Centre include bana preaching and lectures tailored to suit the senior audience.

Michelle spends 60 per cent of her earnings on her philanthropic work.

International recognition World Youth Summit

In November 2019 at the World Youth Summit held in New Delhi, India Michelle Dilhara was awarded the National Youth Icon Award for her book , Social Invisibility is not a Fiction it exists and her theory the ‘Theory of Alternative Social Cogwheel ‘.

South Asian Youth Summit

In November 2018, at the Second South Asian Youth Summit held at the BMICH with the participation of over 70 countries Michelle’s contribution towards South Asian philanthropy was recognized with the awarding of the Asia Inspiration Award 2018. Michelle was also the official host for this event.

Earth Day Network

The Earth Day Network based in Washington DC, USA has appointed Michelle Dilhara as their Sri Lankan Ambassador. This is an international environmental organization with over 190 member states. Its Global Advisory Committee include Leonardo DiCaprio, former US Secretary of State John Kerry and former USA Vice president Al Gore and Anil Kapoor. Michelle Dilhara;s Indian counterpart is Juhi Chawla.

Michelle’s environmental activities include tree planting and public awareness campaigns. She began her climate change campaign in 2016. Along with some friends she organized a three day camp on climate change.

With such a packed routine it is difficult for Michelle to find time to relax and spend quality time with father , H. Premawardene , mother Jean Stella Fernando and siblings Rochelle Fiona and Mishen Prasadika. But she does so at every possible opportunity.

Currently, Michelle is in the throes of writing her next book.

Michelle does not dream big for herself but dreams of helping others. It can be certainly said that this talented actress can be considered as a role model for the youth of this country.