Published : 9:00 am  January 29, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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Untitled-12Though we all like to be happy, do we really know what brings happiness to our lives or what makes us happy? Is it wealth, power, beauty or popularity?  This story is about popular, veteran actress Sonia Dissa, who has also excelled as a box office film producer, owning cinema halls and having all the power and influence in the past. Sonia has acted in almost 150 Sinhala movies and produced almost a dozen. But Sonia says it is now that she is tasting real happiness.

“People very often use the word happy not to mean real happiness. Money doesn’t make you happy or bring contentment in life. Our happiness depends on how we feel and now I am experiencing my happiest phase in my life,” says Sonia who is an actress so near to our hearts.

Humility had been her hallmark then. That’s unchanged even today and she attributes that quality in her for her happiness today.

“I have never hurt anyone. I have never let down or done any harm to anyone. All artistes and crew members who worked in my films will vouch for the fact that I paid them in full. But I was destined to face numerous obstacles later on and I lost almost everything. My two children were with me. I lived with them in Australia. I came down to Sri Lanka on and off with regard to a case regarding a house of mine. 

I love my country and I want to live my last phase of life here. I had no place to stay. I lived with some friends, especially Priyangika but I decided to move out since I did not want to make them uncomfortable. It is only then I met Vineetha Karunarathne who did the Alakamandawa segment on me. 

I told her my plight and was planning to go and live in Negombo. She told me to hold on for a day or two until she spoke to one of her friends called Nilhan Seneviratne who is a renowned costume designer.  When Nilhan came to see me on the sets of Alakamandawa with all his colourful costumes, I could not believe my eyes. I thought I was seeing my son. Nilhan just resembled him. Nilhan introduced me to a sweet girl called Shyamali Wijesena living in Pepiliyana. Shyamali told me to come and stay at her place if I liked the house. A separate room with an attached bathroom and all facilities.  Honestly I am experiencing true happiness here. I feel happiness is all about having satisfaction and meaning in your life and most importantly having nice people around like Shyamali – a God given daughter to me. Nilhan is such a nice darling who comes to see me often and they all including Shyamali’s family do everything to make me happy and comfortable.  I am also grateful to Suranga, Umara and Chandimal for their kindness. I made only one request from Shyamali. 

I wanted her to let me do the cooking which has been my passion and I make them happy by dishing out tasty food,” said Sonia adding that she now had one big dream in life. 

“I don’t mind closing my eyes for good, after celebrating my 75th birthday in June this year with all my friends especially in the cinema world whom I love and adore so much,” said the Kotahena-born actress whose birth name was Mary Felicia Perera.






























Text: ramesh Uvais
Pix: waruna wanniarachchi