The winners of the fourth Fairway National Literary Awards were announced on 3 December at the Galle Face Hotel, which brought to the limelight the best of the best local in novels under the three language categories; Sinhala, Tamil and English. The occasion was graced by Emeritus Professor J. B. Dissanayake.
Aruna Premarathne’s Tharu Visula Raya was adjudged the winner of the Sinhala category whilst Thottu Ponavarkal written by Fernando Seeman Pathinathan won the award for best novel in the Tamil category. The award for the English language category was not awarded.
14 novels in total were shortlisted by the panel of judges – 5 each in the Sinhala and Tamil category, and 4 in the English category. Each shortlisted novelist in each language category received a cash prize of Rs.100,000, while the eventual winner of each language category received a cash prize of Rs.500,000.
The shortlisted novels in the Sinhala category were Aththani Kanu by Sepali Mayadunna, Warana by Padmini Senevirathne, Tharu Visula Raya by Aruna Premarathne, Deshadrohiyage Nirmala Hardaya by Tharangani Resika Fernando and Balawa Kandulu Gini Gani! by P. B. Jayasekara. The novels were judged by Prof. Somaratne Balasooriya, Dr. Jayalath Manorathna and Jayalatha Medawatte.
Kattupol by Pramila Pradeepan, Thottu Ponavarkal by Fernando Seeman Pathinathan, Irattak Kuliyal by Musdeen, Idipadum Koddaikal by Nawayanee Yohendranathan and Panichaiadi Munmaariyum Sattakkinarum by A. M. S. Velalaganz were shortlisted under the Tamil category, which was judged by Dr. Pavitra Kailasapathy, Lareena Abdul Haq and Muralitharan Mauran.
The panel of judges for English novels consisted of Prof. Dushyanthi Mendis, Dr. Ramya Chamalie Jirasinghe and Tassie Seneviratne. They shortlisted Rao’s Guide to Lime Pickling by Sandali Handagama, The Chameleon by Seheni Hisara Kariyawasan, Stories by Charulatha Abeysekara Thewarathanthri and Zeelam by Navin Weeraratne for the final award.