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Parliament

Jayaratne provided land for poor masses – Johnston

Chief Government Whip Johnston Fernando, moving the vote of condolence in parliament yesterday, said former Prime Minister and MP D.M. Jayaratne having pursued his education at Sri Bimbaramaya Viharaya, Kandy Mahathma Gandhi College and Gampola Sahira Vidyalaya later took up the teaching profession and also served as a postmaster.

He had gained registration as the 13th member of the SLFP at its inception under S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. He had contested the general election in 1970 from the Gampola electorate and was elected to parliament. “He had won the Beliatta electorate and had engaged in active politics together with current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. He was also an eloquent speaker. His contribution in realising the land reform policy implemented by the government in 1970 was plausible. He deployed over 5,000 youths who were with him and through the legal provisions by the 1972 Land Reform Act, he took measures to provide lands to the poor masses who did not own a plot of land.”

After the 1977 general elections when the SLFP members had to face immense difficulties, Jayaratne had fought valiantly to protect the party and its supporters and was imprisoned on several occasions.

“Jayaratne had also played a pivotal role in establishing the UPFA in 1993 and served as its first General Secretary. In fact he served as the General Secretary of the UPFA right until his demise,” noted Johnston Fernando.

He said that D.M. Jayaratne had held many ministerial posts during his career and also held the post of Prime Minister. “In appreciation of his services, Jayaratne was awarded an honorary degree from the Sunmoon University in Korea.”

He had also worked tirelessly to promote agriculture in this country and towards making the country self-sufficient in rice. “Having rendered a great service to this country and the people, D.M. Jayaratne bid farewell to this earth on November 19, 2019 at the age of 88. He served this country from 1970 to 1977 and again from 1989 to 2015 over a span of 32 years. Therefore, together with all the citizens of this country we pray that he attain nibbana. We extend our condolences to his wife, children and family,” Minister Johnston Fernando said.

 


Voice of pride in Parliament – Vasudeva

Former Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne was a patriot who was proud of his nation and heritage. He was the voice of pride in Parliament.” State Minister of Water Supply, UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara, joining the votes of condolences to late PM D.M. Jayaratne, said in Parliament yesterday.

Nanayakkara said that during his presence in Parliament as an MP over 50 years, he has never met a stronger or better orator in the House than Jayaratne. “Never in my career as an MP in Parliament over 50 years have I seen a better orator than Jayaratne,” Nanayakkara said.

The State Minister also said that D.M. Jayaratne descended from a generation that fought against the colonial rule during the pre-independence era and the genes remained in Jayaratne which made him a committed and true patriot. Jayaratne was not only a patriot but also someone who did not give into any ethnic or religious discrimination.

“In 1970, D.M. Jayaratne and I got elected to Parliament. The composition of Parliament was poles apart now and then. Those days, the MPs who got selected were true representatives of the grassroots. This tendency changed after 1977. In 1970s, we got the Samagi Peramuna led government and Jayaratne was a major figure in making that government people-oriented as possible,” the State Minister added.“Jayaratne was always a man of his roots. He put rural people first. He wanted to show the true sense of a village-man. Once, I remember, Jayaratne and I went to North-Germany to participate in an international youth conference. While being there, Jayaratne decided to carry his baggage on his head, saying that it is how village people carry their belongings. Of course we had a good laugh, but what he was trying to portray was that he was a true villager,” Nanayakkara added.

A great leftist politician, former PM Jayaratne was a true leader and it is our responsibility of carrying forward his vision and mission forward, Nanayakkara said.

 


Restored Gampola to its former glory – Ranil Wikremesinghe

“Despite our political differences, we were friends. D.M. Jayaratne was the second Member of Parliament from the Kandy District to have been the Prime Minister. He was also the first to represent the ancient capital of Gangasiriwardena, Gampola,” former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

Wickremesinghe, joining the votes of condolences in Parliament yesterday, said that Jayaratne together with his predecessor Dassanayake, took steps to ensure that Gampola was restored to its former glory. “D.M. Jayaratne was certainly committed to his party the SLFP. In 1964, when he was asked to cross over and join C.P. de Silva, he refused and stayed. He was rewarded for his loyalty in 1970 when he became a member of parliament. As Prime Minister Rajapaksa pointed out, D.M. Jayaratne, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Edison Edirisooriya and Sarath Muttetuwegama formed the core of it,” Wickremesinghe said.

“I didn’t know him at that time but I had to appear in the famous Gampola case; we helped out on that and as a result the law of the country got changed. I got to know Jayaratne in 1989 when he came into parliament where we used to meet each other. He was a good parliamentarian and a good person. He has been faithful to his party, he represented his constituency to the best of his ability and did the job he liked to do best,” he said.

 


Anuradha promises to carry on his father’s legacy

MP Anuradha Jayaratne extended his gratitude to Parliament for paying condolences to his father late Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne and promised to continue his father’s legacy.

Vote on Condolences was moved in Parliament yesterday (9) by the government in honour of late Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne.

“My father was a good villager and a farmer. His journey to Prime Minister from a Gam-Sabha leader is a magnificent one. I am the last of his children and I was not able to witness his great political career. Now when all these senior politicians speak about him, I wish they spoke about these things before he passed away,” MP Jayaratne said.

MP Jayaratne observed that his father’s Ambuluwawa project was like a child to him. “He saw me and my two sisters, and the Ambuluwawa project as his children. He provided a commercial value to Gampola with this project,” MP Jayaratne said.

MP Jayaratne extended his gratitude to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for his support to his late father during his trying times. He also thanked former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Jayaratne observed that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s victory in the Presidential Election was his father’s dream coming true.

“The only time I saw my father in tears was when the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) split into fractions. He was affected very much by that. He requested then President Maithripala Sirisena and present Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to get all the fractions together as one political party competing under one symbol. The climax of my father’s recent politics was the rally he organised for President Rajapaksa’s election campaign. He was in the Intensive Care Unit when the results of the election came in. He would have been extremely happy about the outcome,” MP Jayaratne added.

 


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