The Talk of the town | Sunday Observer
Vinu and Kasun’s wedding

The Talk of the town

Actress, model and former Beauty Queen Vinu Siriwardana’s wedding is the ‘talk of the town’ and is trending on many social media platforms. She tied the nuptial knot with Kasun Liyanage, a lecturer in economics and business? studies for GCE Advanced Level students. The wedding took place on August 28 at the Shangri La, Colombo. Owing to the present situation in the country the event was attended by family and close relatives and friends including those in the industry. The guest list was limited to 250 and all health guidelines were meticulously followed. Pink and white was the theme of the event and Vinu, naturally made a dream bride in an exquisite , cream toned saree- Kasun’s selection. Her dressing , hair and makeup was handled by Ruchira Lakmali Liyanagamage and Chamil Udayanga.

It was as a school girl that Vinu Siriwardene entered the world of beauty pageants. This was in 2011. Her father, Palitha Siriwardana entered her for the Derana Veet Miss Sri Lanka for Miss World beauty pageant and Vinu received the support of her mother , Mithila, brother Sanu and sister Ruve. Vinu reached the final 12 and then faced an unexpected obstacle. Her school, Anula Vidyalaya, Nugegoda refused to grant her permission to participate in the pageant and as she was still in school she had to adhere to this ruling.

In 2011, Vinu had won the title of ‘Anula Queen’ and she had also won several ‘Avurudhu Kumari’ contests. This had been the catalyst for father, Palitha, to enter his daughter for the Derana Veet Miss Sri Lanka for Miss World pageant. Vinu also was the leader of the Anula Vidyalaya hewisi (oriental band) band and prior to this had served as a side leader of the band. Nothing daunted after the 2011 set back Palitha Siriwardana again entered his daughter for the 2012 Derana Miss Sri Lanka for Miss World beauty pageant. And this time Vinu struck gold. She not only won the glam title of Derana Miss Sri Lanka for Miss World (a joint win) but carried off the Miss Sunday Observer title as well. This title was won by Vinu through popular vote. And at that time and at the age of 19, Vinu Siriwardene was the youngest beauty queen to be crowned. The panel of judges included fashion designer Michael Wijesuriya and Senaka Wijesinghe.

For the Miss Talent contest at the 2012 pageant, Vinu presented a traditional dance with flames of fire Sankha Abeysinghe handled her training for this while Bhanu designed the costume . Her costume for the gala finale was created by Rassealla Fernando.

After winning the title Vinu Udani Siriwardana winged her way to Beijing to represent Sri Lanka at the Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International contest. She was one of the two finalists in the Miss Talent Contest performing a traditional Sri lankan dance. Here guru for this dance was Ravi Bandu Vidyapathi.

“I was totally inexperienced when I went for the Miss Sri lanka contest,” said Vinu. I learnt everything about walking the ramp, grooming and all other relevant features about beauty and modelling at the contest.” She is very appreciative of this and says it has stood her in good stead later life and even helped her in her acting career.

Currently, Vinu hosts a live musical show, Hada Radi Peya on Swarnavahini every Friday from 11 am to 12 noon.

This talented and highly popular actress had no intention of acting but soon after winning the beauty title she was invited to appear in a teledrama the script was even sent her the script. However, mother Mithila had her misgivings about this and Vinu declined the offer.

But the doors to teledramas and movies soon opened for Vinu Siriwardene. Her first teledrama was Pipena Mal on Derana and her first movie was a historical one, Ehelepola Kumarihamy in which she played the role of Punchi Kumarihamy.

Vinu made a major impact on viewers playing the role of Tharumalee in the teledrama of the same name . She played the role of a village girl whose mother worked in a walauwe (great mansion). Dressed in chintz dresses and sporting two pigtails Vinu played the role of an innocent rural girl and captured the hearts of viewers. According to Vinu even today people think of her as Tharumalee. Her portrayal of Bhagya in the teledrama Wes telecast on Swarnavahini is another memorable performance which has really resonated with the viewers. Vinu Udani Siriwardana is also remembered for her performance as the mother of Yashodara Devi in Sri Siddhartha Gauthama telecast over Hiru.

Her portrayal of the role Manimekhala in the movie Patthini (2017) brought her a nomination for the Best Supporting Actress at the Sarasaviya Awards in 2017. Other movies include Yama RajaSiri and Goree.

Though she is involved in the glitzy, glam worlds of beauty pageants , modeling and acting Vinu has not neglected the world of higher studies. Though selected as an undergraduate to the University of Sabaragamuwa unavoidable circumstances prevented her from embarking on a university career. However, she chose an alternative academic route and obtained Higher National Diplomas in Media Management and Training and Coaching from the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI). These qualifications gives Vinu the necessary qualification to read for a Master’s Degree and she hopes to avail herself of this opportunity in the future. She also hopes to do some work as a visiting lecturer.

Being keen on academic work Vinu is very happy and proud of her husband Kasun Liyanage’s academic achievements. He topped his batch at the Sri Jayawardenepura Campus and holds a Merit MBA from the Post Graduate Institute of Management (PIM).

Positive thinking and a healthy diet is key to beauty and health says this lovely, Sri Lankan beauty.

Vinu says that she derives her strength from her family, her husband and his family.

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