Opinion

Appreciation
Justin Wijayawardhena

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 retirement.

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 readers.

Mr Wijayawardhena passed away on January 14, 1982. This noble son of Rahula was greatly loved by the people.

W.S.P.Senarath Yapa

 

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