Dr. Silva, described as a ‘true son of mother Lanka’ and a ‘giant of our time’ was an architect and archaeologist who served as the Commissioner of Archaeology and founder Director General of the Central Cultural Fund. He was instrumental in the declaration of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kandy and Galle as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.1

His contribution to establishing world class teaching, education and institutions in Sri Lanka has led to generations of Sri Lankans leading the fields of architecture and conservation. Early in his career he worked under Dr. Justin Samarasekera in establishing an architecture course at the University of Moratuwa and during his tenure as President of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) accreditation was obtained for those who passed the equivalent parts of the exam at the University of Moratuwa. He later served as the Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa.


  • 1. During his career as an archaeologist, Dr. Roland Silva worked on every known stupa in Sri Lanka. He was conferred the title of ‘Puravidya Vidvjjana Shirmmani’ in appreciation of his services to the Sanga-sasana by Karakasanga sabhava of the Malwatte chapter headed by the Chief Prelate of the Chapter