Founder of Sri Lanka Freedom Party and former Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, was a politician who made a revolutionary change in Sri Lankas political culture, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday. “Prime Minister Bandaranaike was also a visionary who rendered a silent service for the non-violent independence movement in Sri Lanka,” Speaker Jayasuriya said.
The Speaker made these observations at the ceremony held to commemorate late Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike and former Speaker Anura Bandaranaike, at the BMICH yesterday evening. The ceremony was organised under the directions of Western Province Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara. The 59th death anniversary of Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was commemorated yesterday. Prime Minister S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike was assassinated at his Rosemead Place residence on September 26, 1959.
The Speaker observed that the commemorative ceremony is a fulfillment of national duty in paying tribute to three great politicians who deserve genuine admiration.Speaker Jayasuriya further observed that he holds the Bandaranaike triad in high esteem for unique character traits that each one of them encompassed.
“Late S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike revolutionised our political culture. A well-educated and intelligent human being, Bandaranaike also rendered a great silent service for our independence movement, making sure that no blood was shed during the struggle. He held our traditions and values in the highest regard. He was the one who established democracy in this country. Late Bandaranaike also toiled to establish communal peace. If he was successful, we wouldn’t have had a war,” Speaker Jayasuriya observed.
Speaking of late Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Speaker Jayasuriya observed that she become an iconic female politician, both locally and internationally.“When she came into politics, she was a house wife. But she excelled in politics in no time. She put Sri Lanka on the world map, in the company of the greatest of world leaders of that era. The leadership she showed in the Non-Aligned Movement was exceptional. Her insight, the astounding wisdom and instinct was significant,” the Speaker also said.
Speaking further, Speaker Jayasuriya observed that former Speaker Anura Bandaranaike was a true gentleman politician.“I did politics together with Anura Bandaranaike. We contested from the same area. He was a great human being. As a Speaker, he took valiant decisions. He was an exemplary person when one talks about good politicians,” he added.
Mahajana Eksath Peramuna Leader MP Dinesh Gunawardena addressing the gathering observed that late S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike revived the Sri Lankan nation, removing the pro-western political and cultural affiliations.
“In 1956, he revolutionised every aspect of this country. The changes he envisioned flourished across the country. He re-established the identity we had lost as a nation. When we had no proper foreign policy, he introduced the non-aligned policy. He freed our sky and ocean from the grip of the British presence. He rescued our farmers from slavery and empowered them,” MP Gunawardena observed.
SLFP General Secretary Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa praised late Sirimavo Bandaranaike who demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities in carrying forward the political vision and mission of her beloved husband.Professor Piyadasa pointed out that Mrs. Bandaranaike who understood the real needs of Sri Lankans, took difficult and challenging decisions for the betterment of the country.
He expressed great administration for her foreign policy and her dedication to uplift the education and rural economic sectors in the country.Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara speaking of his long term colleague Anura Bandaranaike, said that the country lost a great visionary leader because of his early death. Nanayakkara said that Anura Bandaranaike was an aristocrat who felt the pulses of the people.
Nanayakkara also said that he was a great human being who was an intelligent and clean politician.Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, former Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne, Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray, MP Vidura Wickremanayake, MP Mayantha Dissanayake and other distinguished guests were also present.
Statements from President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe were also read out as well.