Kadawunu Poronduwa" (Sinhala, "The Broken Promise") was the first "talkie" to be made in the Sinhala language; it is generally considered to be the beginning of Sinhala Cinema. The film was produced in India.
The film is a sentimental melodrama that follows the romance between the two lead characters Samson (BAW Jayamanne) and Ranjani ( Rukmani Devi). The repressive mother of the protagonist forbids her daughter to break constraints placed by their society and culture in a major plot device.
caption = Rukmani Devi in a scene
director = Jyotish Singh
producer = Chitrakala Movietone Ltd
Story, dialogue = B AW Jayamanne
Screenplay = Jyotish Singh, B AW Jayamanne
starring = Rukmani Devi, B A W Jayamanne, Peter Peiris, Miriam Jayamanne, Hugo Fernando, Stanley Mallawarachchi, Eddie Jayamanne, Gemini Kantha, Timothius Perera, J B Perera, Rupa Devi
music = Narayana Aiyar
Lyrics = K Hugo Fernando
Playback = Rukmani Devi, Eddie Jayamanne, Gemini Kantha, Hugo Fernando
cinematography = K Prabhakar
editing = Pakeer Saleh
distributor = Minerva Group
country = Sri Lanka
released = flagicon|Sri Lanka January 21, 1947
An equally talented singer, some of the immortal songs she sang for films are Sandyave Sriya for 'Kadawunu Poronduwa', Pinsara Mage Soyura for 'Kapati Arakshakaya', Gala Kandeni, and Moranawa Preme Hade for 'Weradun Kurumanama', Nindede Rathri Yahane for 'Peralena Iranama', Mavila Pena vi RupePem Sihina Loke Maya for 'Mathabhedaya', Melavi Yanna Hada Mage for 'Daiva Yogaya', Suva dena Sita Sanasum for 'Ladalu' and Doi Doi Puta for 'Ahasin Polavata'. for 'Kela Handa',
In the mid sixties she joined the sinhala calypso musical group 'Los Cabelleros' led by late Neville Fernando. They recorderd ever popular sinhala songs such as 'Malbara Himidiriye','Menike Obe sinawe' & 'Sandak nage'.
Rukmani Devi was also featured prominently on the airwaves of Radio Ceylon, the oldest radio station in South Asia.
NATION MOURNS OVER THE TRAGIC DEATH OF THE NIGHTINGALE OF SRI LANKA
Rukmani Devi, the singing star, stage and screen idol died in a tragic motor accident near St. Mary's Church, Thudella on 28th of October, 1978. She was returning after a musical show in Uyanwatte, Matara,Her van collided with an oil bowser of the Petroleum Corporation.
On October 27, 1978, Rukmani and Eddie took part in a Musical show at Matara. They left Matara in the wee hours of the morning and were in Ja-ela, Tudella by 6.30 a.m. of October 28, when their vehicle crashed into a bowser, killing Rukmani Devi on the spot.
The news was broadcast that morning, and the whole country was in shock and grief. Thousands came from far and near to pay their last respects to their beloved idol before she was laid to rest at St. Mary's Church. Negombo had never seen such a crowd before.
A large number of people stood on the walls of Negombo cemetery on her funeral day in 1978. Due to this a part of the wall was collapsed.A speech was delivered by late President and then Prime Minister late Ranasinghe Premadasa on that day acclaiming Rukmani's life for art and culture.
Her funeral ceremony was attended by a very large gathering; film makers and dramatists, friends, politicians, relatives and her beloved fans.It was known as the largest gathering ever attended for a funeral in Sri Lanka after the funeral of Sri Lankan Prime Minister late Dudly Senanayake.
She was the most celebrated Sri Lankan artiste and a statue in memory of her was erected at the Kanuwana Junction, Ja-Ela , as she still lives in the hearts and minds of the Sri Lankan people. The road on which the Rukmani Devi Museum in Negombo is located was also re-named 'Rukmani Devi Mawatha' by President Ranasinghe Premadasa, on October 28, 1990.
A STATUE AND A STAMP ON HER MEMORY
A close friend of late Rumani Devi , Leela Kottegoda commissioned at her own expense a statue of Rukmani Devi and this statue was unveiled on January 15 (her birthday), 1980 by then Minister Anandatissa de Alwis. The road on which the Rukmani Devi Museum in Negombo is located was re-named Rukmani Devi Mawatha by President R. Premadasa, on October 28, 1990. A stamp was also issued in her honor.