Roshan Peiris: Challenge-loving scribe who quizzed world leaders


August 10, 2008



She was in the twilight of her professional life as a journalist when she joined The Sunday Times, in the early ’90s, but even at that stage of her career she was a formidable force, and soon earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues.

She had in earlier times reached the highest echelons of the Ceylon Observer during her long and distinguished career as a journalist. She was admired for the breadth of her knowledge of current affairs, Sri Lankan and international, her efficiency and crisp writing skills.

Never one to waste even a second, the minute she returned from an assignment, she would head for the typewriter and get on with the job. With Roshan, there was no time to be frittered away at lunches and coffee breaks when a copy was due. It was always work first. She would not rest till she had finished her story and handed it in.

She was game for any assignment, and even the hurly-burly of election campaigning did not daunt her. Tired she may have been after long evenings on the campaign trail, covering election rallies as political campaigns reached fever pitch, but she always filed her stories on time. She delighted in the challenge of a tough story and being the first to break the news.In the course of a long career she interviewed many famous figures – from world leaders to film stars, writers and other celebrities.

Her list of “contacts” was legendary. She had a particularly soft spot for the world’s first woman Prime Minister, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, and never missed her birthday gatherings at Tintagel.

She was an ardent disciple of Sathya Sai Baba, and looked forward to her visits to Puttarpathi, in India.
Her colleagues knew her as a kind and generous person, always willing to help those in need. She was always forthright and sound with her advice.

Every so often she would bring us special treats. She would make Indian sweets and Parsee dishes and bring these to office, and then look on happily as her colleagues did justice to her culinary preparations, which invariably vanished in a trice.

Her love and devotion to her family, her daughter Savitri and son Suren, was an example to all.
She is remembered with affection, three months after her passing away.

Original article here.