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Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne:

60 years in politics



Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne

Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne first entered the parliament representing Doluwa electorate in the 1970 General Election. He became the 13th member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party when S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike laid the foundation to his new party at the residence of T.B.S. Gunadasa of Kandy, the owner of ‘Sithumina”, Kandy. He launched his political career from the grassroot level after being elected the Secretary of the Welfare Society in Deyyannewela in 1952, followed by Secretary of Sinhala Bhasha Peramuna, Kandy 1954, Sub Post Master of Doluwa, Member of the Village Council, Kandukara Pahala Koralaya- 1959, Chairman of the Pragathisheeli Viruwange Peremuna- 1960, Chairman of the Village Council-1961, President of Kandy District Village Council 1964, Member of the All Island Village Council 1968 and Member of the Parliament- 1970. It was certainly not the royal road to success. He spoke for over five hours during the debate on the Land Ceiling Act presented by the then Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Hector Kobbekaduwa in 1974. Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike called him the ‘Gampola Express”. He remained a solid figure during the turbulent times of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

During the United National Party regime of 1977 he had to appear in Court 49 times because of his alleged involvement in anti-government activities such as, holding opposite political views and protesting against the cruelty of the government.

No SLFP member who loves the Party can forget how “Dimu” fought for victory in the Southern Provincial Council election in 1994.

Despite Party leaders wanting him to be nominated to Parliament through the National List at the 2001 Parliamentary election “Dimu” rejected it emphasizing that only votes of the people should decide the destiny of a politician. He firmly believed that the voters would never reject a politician who had worked with a sense of dedication for their betterment.


Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne during his youthful days

The services rendered by “Dimu” as the Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Forest Resources, Agriculture Food and Co-operatives, Posts and Telecommunication and Rural Economic Development, Plantation Industry from 1994 to April 2010 are quite commendable.

He introduced Waga Lanka Waga Sangramaya to cultivate every inch of fallow land and Govisetha Lottery to improve the lot of the farmers. Agriculture Research and Production Assistants were recruited during his tenure of office.

The Pension Scheme for farmers and Govisevana centers for farmers organizations are his worthyconcepts. Cultivation wells which were much popular among the farmers, insurance for agricultural instruments and cultivations and a fixed price for paddy are some of his progressive proposals.

As Minister of Cultivation he pioneered the proposal to give a 10 -perch block of land to each estate family.

It is no exaggeration to call “Dimu” as “father” to young politicians and a creative man who loves nature very much. Ambuluwawa evergreen mountain summit, his brainchild was designated a world heritage site by the United Nations.

A devout Buddhist, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne respects equally all religions.

Prime Minister Jayaratne’s sole interest lies in the creation of a better society in which the religion is enshrined as the core value in the lives of the people.

Today Prime Minister Jayaratne performs, his duties as the servant of the people in the truest sense of the word.

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