The Sunday Leader

The Story Behind ‘Madura’

Madura Kulatunga is a famous and talented Sri Lankan information technology engineer who has specialized skills of software developing and web developing. He originally established his reputation as the developer of Madura English-Sinhala Dictionary which has become the most popular electronic dictionary in Sri Lanka.

Madura Kulatunga was born in Matara on the 23rd of March 1980 to Sinhalese Buddhist parents. And currently resides in Piliyandala. He studied at Royal College, Colombo 7 and successfully completed Master of Science in Information Technology degree at Sikkim Manipal University. He is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.

During his early age he found it difficult to speak, read and write in English. This is a common problem for people who are struggling to learn a second language. To eliminate this common problem others usually refer conventional printed English-Sinhala dictionaries. But Madura Kulatunga understood this was a time consuming and difficult process which need to find better solution.

Finally he developed Madura English-Sinhala Dictionary and it was freely available to the general public from November 23, 2002. Further he launched this to the internet as the first online dictionary in Sri Lanka. Madura’s contribution to the society has become an inevitable tool for students and professionals in their academic and day to day work.

During his time not many Sri Lankans were developing software like this due to the less facilities available in Sri Lanka related to the IT field. Many IT companies who aware of the marketing value of the MaduraEnglish-Sinhala Dictionary urged Madura to sell his product to them. But Madura rejected these offers and retained his ownership with him.

Professor Gihan Dias who identified the ultimate passion and creativity of Madura Kulatunga, invitedMadura to represent “Symposium on Localised Systems and Applications” which held at the University of Moratuwa. Madura presented special features, technology and further improvements related to his dictionary at the symposium. The presentation that Madura had done was admired by the participants. Professor J. B. Disanayaka and scholars from universities graced this occasion. The symposium was held on the 2nd September 2009.

He eventually set foot on his journey to improve his dictionary which is now available as computer software, online website and android app. The solution which Madura sought for his difficulties with English language has now become a useful solution for millions of Sri Lankan people who has the same difficulty.

Madura English-Sinhala Dictionary contains over 230,000 definitions and glossaries of technical terms. This facilitates use as thesaurus. Translate from English to Sinhala and vice versa. Can use wildcards to increase the flexibility of search. These services are available free of charge on

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