Death of Mallika De Mel
Mallika de Mel, former Member of Parliament passed away after a brief
illness yesterday in a private Nursing Home in Colombo.
Mallika de Mel
She was a leading Social Worker in the South and in Kalutara
District, where she spent a whole life time of service to the poor and
dispossessed for over 40 years.
Without utilizing any government funds, she spent from her own vast
fortune to build hundreds of houses for the homeless, to give
scholarships to large numbers of fatherless children at school and
university level, to find employment for thousands and to do everything
possible to uplift and ameliorate the conditions of living of the
poorest of the poor in the South. As a reward for her long service to
the people when her husband former Finance Minister Ronnie de Mel ceased
to contest a seat and went on the National List to Parliament, there was
a unanimous demand from the people of Matara district that she contests
the seat vacated by her husband.
Very reluctantly she consented to the demand of the people and was
returned as a Member of Parliament for Matara district with a handsome
She however, remained in Parliament only for one term and refused
nomination which was offered to her next time because of her illness.
She was the daughter of Sir Leo Fernando, M.P., one of Sri Lanka's
richest men in the last century.
She used this vast wealth in the service of the poor and the
She leaves behind a lasting memory among the people of the South. She
was also a religious worker, helping all temples and places of religious
worship in her area.
Numerous buildings and additions to buildings in places of religious
worship in Matara and Kalutara district stand as last testimony to her
generosity and munificence.
The Ruhuna University Trust of which she is a principal trustee has
also helped many university students to become Doctors, Engineers and
Public Servants from the South by giving them scholarships.
Remains will lie at No. 5, Charles Drive, Colombo 3 on October 13 and
14 till 1.00 p.m. and will leave for Devinuwara.
The remains will lie at the Devinuwara residence from 5.00 p.m. on
October 15 upto 16.10.2009. Cortege leaves residence after funeral rites
at 4.00 p.m. on October 16 for cremation at the Public Playground,