Often hailed as the rebirth of the other famous Sinhala poetess, Gajaman Nona , who was born in Colombo, received some education during a time when education was taboo to women, migrated to Matara and exchanged letters written in poetry with Doyly (the Englishman wrote Sinhala poetry) who virtually ruled Kandyan provinces during the early imperial times of the British, Monica Ruwanpathirana hailed from Matara, migrated to Colombo and received her university education there and became the leading poetess of the nation winning many awards from the state. Contemporary poet Parakrama Kodituwakku in tribute to her said she in deed is the reborn Gajaman Nona of our nation.
Monica died at the age of 58 and four of those years she was ailing. But up to her death she was busily engaged in writing poetry.
She started her poetic life by writing , “Both of Us and some others.”
Some of her other celebrated works included, “From a forbidden land”, “The Dreams of Angulimala”, “Your friend-She is the Woman”, “Goddess Pattini, Listen to me” (won the State award for best poetic work for 2002), “The woman Patient and Hypo crates”( won the state award for the best poetic work for the year 2003) , “The verses of Siri Pada”, “The Balance Sheet of Twenty Years”, “Little Daughter” and “Athuru Mithuru” (poetry for children)
She was also a short story writer and the author of 23 books.
A village lass who was born at Malimbada, Matara she received her education at the St. Thomas Girls High School and Sangha Mitta College of Galle and graduated from the Colombo University. Breaking from tradition she wrote free verse in Sinhala..
She was also engaged in research work for a N.G.O for women’s development.
Above all Monica was extremely unassuming and a very friendly person.
Finally she wrote “ Liu Kav dahasakin- Kiyagatha Nohakivu – Yamak Hada ruwagath- Gehaniyak Nidai Mehi” ( A woman is sleeping here- hiding something in her heart- that could not be said- even by thousand poems she wrote )