During his school days at Dharmaraja College in Kandy, he had been interested in all forms of art and literature. Entering the Peradeniya University in 1963, Pathiraja showed an active interest in the film society.
Honours graduate of University of Ceylon, Sri Lanka in Sinhala and Western Classical Culture. 1963-1967 M.A in Drama, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. 1992 PhD in Cinema Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. 1999
Experience (Teaching) Assistant Lecturer in Drama in the universities of Vidyalankara, Kelaniya and Jaffna in Sri lanka from 1968-1978
Lecturer in Drama at University of Ruhuna from 1978 Senior Lecturer in Drama at University of Ruhuna from 1992-1999 Visiting Lecturer in Screen Studies in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, From 1982-1984
Head/Senior Lecturer, Department of Performing Arts, Sri Palee Campus, University of Colombo, 1999-2001 Presently Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, University of Colombo
Experience (Administrative) Managing Director, Cine-Video Productions (pvt) Ltd. 1882-1990 Director, Selacine Ltd, Department of Information.2000