D. B. Jayatilaka 150th birth anniversary commemorated | Daily News

D. B. Jayatilaka 150th birth anniversary commemorated

The commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Sir D. B. Jayatilaka was held yesterday at the Presidential Secretariat premises under the patronage of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.

Addressing the occasion after paying floral tributes to the statue of Sir D. B. Jayatilake located at the Presidential Secretariat, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said the commemoration of national heroes is essential to arouse positive emotions among the young generation.

He said the commemoration and paying tribute to the national leaders of the country seems to have been lost, especially among our young generation.

“By organizing national events to commemorate great leaders and involving themselves, the young generation would increase their sense of attachment to the nation,” said the Speaker.

The Mahanayake Thera of Kotte Sri Kalayani Samagri Dharma Maha Sangha Sabha, Most Ven. Dr. Ittapana Dhammalankara Thera delivered an anusasana on the occasion.

Family members of Sir D. B. Jayatilake, Secretary to the President Austin Fernando, Western Province Governor K. C. Logeshwaran, Treasury Secretary R. S. H. Samaratunga, IGP Pujith Jayasundara and other guests participated.

Sir Don Baron Jayatilaka was born on February 13, 1868, in Waragoda, a village in Kelaniya. He was the eldest son of Don Daniel and Elisa Jayatilaka, the former hailing from Pattalagedara in Veyangoda.

Sir D.B. had his initial education at Vidyalankara Pirivena where he learnt Sinhalese, Pali, Sanscrit and Buddhist literature under the patronage of scholars such as Ven. Rathmalane Sri Dharmaloka. His elementary education in the English medium commenced at a Baptist school in Kelaniya and he received his secondary education at Wesley College, Colombo.

His marriage to Mallika Batuwanthudawa, daughter of Pandith Batuwantudawa of Warahena, Bentota took place in 1898 and they had five children, three daughters and two sons.

He graduated from the University of Calcutta with a BA in 1896 and went on to gain a BA in jurisprudence from Jesus College, Oxford in 1913 which was later upgraded to a MA some years later.

He was called to the bar as a Barrister from the Lincoln's Inn and became an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Ceylon.

He first met Colonel Henry Steel Olcott in 1890 and joined his campaign to establish English medium Buddhist schools in the country. In 1898, he was appointed as the first Principal of Dharmaraja College, Kandy. Thereafter, he became the Vice Principal of Ananda College, Colombo.

He was the founder of the Young Men's Buddhist Association (YMBA) at Borella.

Sir D. B. Jayatilaka was elected President of the Ceylon National Congress in 1923 and then he was elected from the Colombo District to the Legislative Council of Ceylon and was elected as its Vice-President after the demise of Sir James Peiris in 1930. Following the constitutional reforms of the Donoughmore Commission, Jayatilaka was elected to the newly formed State Council of Ceylon and became Leader of the House and Minister for Home Affairs.

He died on May 29, 1944 due to a heart attack in Bangalore.


 

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