Extreme no to Extremism | Daily News

Extreme no to Extremism

Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa had a target in mind at a very young age. He entered politics amid opposition from his family for turning his back on the medical practice. “Young Voices from Diyawanna” features this parliamentarian who achieved much at a very young age.

Early Life


Dr. Jayatissa’s hometown is Agalawatte in the Kalutara district. He studied at C.W.W. Kannangara Central College, Mathugama up to his A/Ls.

He was the head prefect. He was also the chairman of every student organization at the time. Dr. Jayatissa was also involved in sports and was a member of the school’s cricket team. He obtained best results at school in O/L as well as A/L.

In 1998, he entered the University of Sri Jayawardenepura Medical Faculty and passed out in 2004. Jayatissa has held many titles during university days such as Student Union President and the Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee Convener.

After completing his degree, he joined the Fisheries Ministry as the private secretary to the deputy fisheries minister where he served from 2004 to 2005. He completed his internship at the Batticaloa teaching hospital and subsequently resigned from the service to contest at the Provincial Council election in 2009.

In 1998, he joined the JVP’s Socialist Student Union and was the Socialist Students Union National Organizer. He had been in the Central Committee of the party since 2008.

School days

Dr. Jayatissa is nostalgic about his school days as it has given him the opportunity to enjoy some of the best of his days.

“During 1994 – 1995, I was selected as the house captain. My ‘house’ had suffered defeat for 14 years, coming fourth and third place at the Inter House Sports Meet. But under my leadership, it came first,” he said.

“Once our environmental club went on a field trip into the forest in Ranwalagala but we lost our way with all the girls and a female teacher! Throughout the night we were walking back and forth. Finally, the Forest Department Officers and the police came and saved us!”

Secret to success

To Dr. Jayatissa, he is only as good as his party. He is thankful to his party for providing him with the encouragement, support and the necessary motivation.

“I attribute my success wholly to my party. People know me as a JVP member and I represent JVP thoughts and ideologies. I am raising the voice of the people. I started from the student level as a student activist and gradually began to represent the people. All this was taught to me by the party. People have based their trust in the JVP. People recognize me as honest and brave because we raised our voice against the Rajapaksa regime at that time, and we always speak the truth and we represent the people.”

Message to the youth


Courage is a quality he prizes above all other qualities. This is exactly what he asks of the youth. “The youth are the future. The youth must have a backbone and stand against injustice, inequality and suffering. Then they can open their minds and stand firm. We have a lot of educated youths who have passed out of our state universities, but they are not interested in politics. So if we want to develop this country, all these educated and dedicated youth should get together.

“The youth should defeat racism and extremism. Certain individuals are using modern technology to spread racism. We are Sri Lankan people, and though our traditions, religions and ethnicities are different, we must remember first and foremost that we are Sri Lankans. So this generation should defeat racism and extremism.”

Challenges in life

Dr. Jayatissa did not have his family’s blessings when he embarked on his political journey. “When I entered politics from the JVP, most of my relatives and parents didn’t give me their consent.

My relatives scolded my parents asking them why they allowed me to get into politics and give up my medical career! But with my firm belief and my strong commitment, I overcame that challenge. Even now they don’t understand the importance of me getting into politics! Even Prince Siddhartha couldn’t get the consent of his relatives when he tried to tread the path of enlightenment.”

An educated Parliament

It is no surprise that Dr. Jayatissa is serious about education coming from an educated background. “There should be qualifications to enter parliament – educational qualifications as well as professional qualifications. I dream of a day when there is at least 70 percent of parliamentarians who are graduates.”

Historic figures

Among historical figures, Dr. Jayatissa has chosen to admire two because of their courage and conviction.

“I admire V.I. Lenin. He overthrew the dictatorship of the Czar. He turned Soviet Russia into a very developed country. It was a backward agricultural society but he made a revolution. He was a simple man who was educated and he dedicated so much. He made the first socialist country in the world almost 100 years ago.

Another leader I admire is Fidel Castro for the same reasons. He defeated the dictatorship of Batista. Before 1959, it was a very poor country but with the leadership of Castro, within three years Cuba defeated illiteracy.

In 1962 they announced that they have totally eliminated illiteracy, and they spending 50 percent of their national income on sports, education and health. Two weeks ago I was in Cuba and I saw that the younger generation is healthy, educated, skilled and patriotic. They are happy to be in Cuba. That is what we want in our country.”

Future of children

Dr. Jayatissa has identified the need for children’s abilities to be discovered.

“They have no proper direction. They have to understand their skills and potential, and someone has to direct them by having discussions. We have to develop them according to their skills and potential. That is why we need professional guidance. This should start at the age of 12. We have to direct them from this age.

Historic event that should not have happened

Forming the SLFP and S.W.R.D Bandaranaike becoming Prime Minister.

Books, movies and music

I usually read Sinhala novels and most recently I have read some of the prize winning books at the international book fair. These days I am reading some biographies.

Love life

“I am happily married. I met my wife at the medical faculty. I previously had two girlfriends - one during my studies at the Aquinas College.”

Sports and leisure activities

If I have time I play cricket and volleyball.

Hope for the world

A just and fair world

Changing the world

There is a need for a common platform when it comes to language which will make things more expedient. The language barrier is a problem. We need a common language for the whole world.

LGBT rights

“I am totally against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) rights. This is not the need of the human being. We need a future generation.

Scientific experiments reveal this kind of emotions come out due to stress. When people go through stressful periods or are in such environments, unnatural feelings come out.

For example, we do not see this behaviour when they are living in the wild. However, if they are caged, we would see this behaviour. I believe in marriage between man and woman.

Same sex marriage is unnatural. It is against the evolution of the human being.”

Life on other planets

Dr. Jayatissa is for space exploration as he understands the need to know where we come from. “We have to understand the origin of the species.”

Pictures by Thushara Fernando 

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