Gamini Weerakoon, veteran journalist and one-time editor of The Island and Sunday Island, passed away yesterday (Nov 11 2023) after a brief illness.
An alumnus of St. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia of which he was later a loyal old boy, he entered the Science Faculty of the University of Ceylon (Colombo campus) and later transferred to the Law Faculty but cut short his undergrad studies to join Lake House (Associated Newspapers of Ceylon) in the mid 1960s.
Having been recruited by the Observer’s legendary editor, Denzil Peiris, he went on to become the newspaper’s news editor.
In 1981 when business tycoon Upali Wijewardene launched The Island newspapers, Mr. Weerakoon was invited to be its news editor. In 1985, he was made deputy editor and then editor.
He later joined the Sunday Leader as a consultant editor. His specialty was commenting on world affairs and he wrote a weekly column on the subject.
In more recent years, he wrote a widely acclaimed weekly column under the title ‘Doublespeak’ which was published in the Sunday Times.
Mr. Weerakoon was a founder member of The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka. His remains will lie at A.F. Raymonds Funeral Parlour from 8 a.m. till 1.30 p.m. today. Cremation will be at the new Crematorium in Borella at 2 p.m today.(Nov 12 2023)