The twenty fifth death anniversary of the late
Mr. Justin Wijayawardhena – a politician, scholar, Sinhala
writer and educationist falls on January 14.
Mr. Justin Wijayawardhena rendered remarkable
service to the country for over five decades.
He was born on November 18, 1904 in Matara and
received his early education at St. Thomas College, Matara. He
entered Mahinda College, Galle for higher education. After
completing his studies he became a teacher at Rahula College,
Matara where he served with dedication until the time of
Mr. Wijayawardhena believed that it was his
prime duty to serve his motherland in whatever way possible.
With Dr. S.A Wickramasinghe he founded the famous social service
organization, the Matara Sinhalese Youth Association.
While the leading national figures such as F.R
Senanayake, Sir D.B Jayathilaka, Piyadasa Sirisena, E.W. Perera
etc were actively engaged in the struggle to gain independence
from the colonial rule, Mr. Wijayawardhena was one of the
patriots from Ruhuna who encouraged them by awakening the
masses. He became the Joint Secretary of the Matara Branch of
the Ceylon National Congress. He was also Secretary of the
Sinhala Maha Sabha, the organization that aimed at preserving
the rights of the Sinhalese nation.
Mr Wijayawardhena was a founder member of the
United National Party and closely associated with its leaders.
He was elected as Member of Parliament for the Matara seat in
1960. Mr. Wijayawardhena was a versatile Sinhala writer and
wrote several books. He also translated the literary works of
Tolstoy, the great Russian writer for the benefit of Sinhala
Mr Wijayawardhena passed away on January 14,
1982. This noble son of Rahula was greatly loved by the people.