Veteran journalist Rex de Silva passed away on November 16. His funeral took place hours later on the same day keeping to his wishes.
Rex was not only the editor of the then Sun and Weekend newspapers published by the Independent Newspapers Ltd, but also stepped in as a political analyst, foreign news analyst, cartoonist and later went on to be an artist.
He took over as the Editor of the Sun and Weekend newspapers at a very young age in 1970’s and both papers were popular among the English readership shortly. He encouraged young journalists and gave them credit when they deserved it.
Rex was known as a fearless Editor and always backed his journalists when the necessity arose. There were instances when he was hauled before the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
In addition to serving as the editor of the Sun and Weekend newspapers, he also served as a correspondent for the international news agency known as the German Press Agency (dpa) to which he contributed news, features and pictures. He served them from the early 1970’s to 1990 when he took over another foreign assignment.
His next assignment was in Brunei to pioneer the Borneo Bulletin going on to make it a success in a short period. He later went into retirement spending time with his sons in the US and regularly travelling to Sri Lanka.
Rex was popular among his staff members and many of them were there at the General cemetery, Borella to pay their last respects.
He leaves behind his wife Ranjani and two sons.
Little known to most of his newspaper colleagues, “between deadlines and headlines” Rex painted in private for many years. Now though a body of his work has gone on show in a prestigious Philadelphia Gallery, the Bellevue along with the paintings of two accomplished American artists Katherine Fraser and Shelley Shultis. Titled ‘Karmic Eye Art’, the work being exhibited is influenced by Buddhist teachings that transcend the cause and effect concept of karma,