Meryl is no more

Meryl Fernando the veteran Trotskyite leader and former Member of Parliament for Moratuwa died on Sunday (27). He was 84.

He received his education at the Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa and entered the Teachers Training College Maharagama, where he qualified as a trained teacher.

He joined the LSSP during the Second World War while still a university student. In the immediate post-war period he was also a trade union leader organizing match factory workers in his hometown Moratuwa. He was a member of the Moratuwa Urban Council for a period of 15 years and for a term was chairman of the Council.

This was the first local government body the LSSP was able to wrest power from the UNP in 1951.

During the 1953 Hartal, the protest against cutbacks on food and welfare spending by the UNP, Meryl was arrested and jailed.

He broke with the LSSP in 1964, along with Edmund Samarakkody, Bala Tampoe, Prins Rajasooriya and others when the LSSP joined the coalition government of Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike.

He represented the LSSP as Member of Parliament for Moratuwa from 1956 to 1964. A modest and unassuming political activist he travelled to Colombo, to attend Parliament or take part in party activities, by bus. He did not own a motor car.

His remains lie at 75, Koralawella, Moratuwa and will be taken to the Moratuwa Town Hall at 1.00 p.m. today for public to pay their respects. Burial will take place at 5.00 p.m. at the General Cemetery, Rawatawatte.


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