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The Past is Another Country is a series of interviews with individuals distinguished for their contributions to culture and to society. In addition to discussing their individual contributions, the programmes explore the context in which each of them functioned. The interviews, by Rajiva Wijesinha, cover a range of developments in post-independence Sri Lanka, and present a panoramic view of social change in the latter half of the 20th century.

Laki Senanayake is the son of Florence Senanayake, one of Sri Lanka’s first women legislators, and the brother of the distinguished lawyer Nimal Senanayake. Laki however was an artist, who collaborated for many years with Geoffrey Bawa, and designed some of the most remarkable features of Bawa Hotels. He was also a partner of Ena de Silva, and describes working with her to develop distinctive Sri Lankan designs in the sixties and seventies. The interview is conducted at Diyabubula, his idyllic rural retreat near Dambulla.