The Statue of the Founder

It is not only the documentary evidence which associate the legendary noble man who helped me to execute this creation. It is the admiration I nurtured through his acts of benevolence…

Being a victim of the colonial era, he walked with kings but never lost the common touch. In an era where the poor common was getting trampled by polished boots, whipped even for a trivial error and treated like the scum of the earth, this great man lavishly scattered his wealth on the well being of the suppressed class. His endeavour to see his own country men and the people of other countries as well, east and west, happy, healthy and enlighten, is unparalled manifestation of large heartedness in recent times.


Rudimentary knowledge in iconography is insufficient in the execution of a fitting memorial for a monumental human being. It must be an embodiment of all sublime qualities in him.I had to deviate from the common trend of my contemporary sculptors who concentrated mainly on the outward appearence, ignoring the inner-self and turning out dull, gloomy dumb masses of some material.

The monument of Charles Henry De Soysa should convey a message. The love of humanity to the present generation and the generations to come. I had to make the body the victim of the soul. I had to envisage appropriate pose stature and symbols to make it an impressive creation. His head slant to a side and down to give him a humble attitude. A bouquet of roses (Seuwandi) a flower which has the power to inspire sentiment in every mortal east and west alike, pressing tenderly towards his heart. Buds and full-bloomed indicates children and grown-ups symbolizes the love for humanity. He holds a traditional lamp in his right hand, strectched away from his over-coat to indicate that the lamp is lighted. This indication will help the keen scrutineer to create an image of the invisible flame in his mind’s eye. The lighted lamp symbolizes his effort to make the people enlighten. The pose i selected is an arrested action of a slow walking movement. He walks slowly to prevent the flame from extinguishing.

The controversy about the golden bronze finish might fade away if I remind that this land is known as “Thambapanni” (the land of bronze coloured sand). Charles Henry De Soysa is a son of this soil. I adorn the face with a faint smile. The gaze pointed at nothing particular to give a depth and the sublime effect and made the inner soul to speak, “I have done my duty”.

~ Written by: Mr. Tissa Gunawardena (the sculptor of the statue) ~