Prime Minister D.M.
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
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
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
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.