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