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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

J.R. Jayewardene’s 116th birth anniversary today

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The 116th birth anniversary of the first Executive President J. R. Jayewardene who was also Sri Lanka’s first Finance Minister as well as Minister of State falls today.

J. R. Jayewardene who was born on September 17, 1906 at the Sedawatta Walawwa in Colombo was the eldest among eleven children born to former Judge and State Counsel E. W. Jayewardene and Helena Agnes Wijewardene. J. R. Jayewardene was a lawyer by profession.

He entered the State Council by contesting the Kelaniya by-election held in 1943. He won the Kelaniya electorate at the 1947 General Election and was sworn in as first Minister of Finance for seven years beginning from 1947.

J.R. Jayewardene, won the 1970 General Election and became Member of Parliament for Colombo South electorate.Later, he was the Opposition Leader of the National State Assembly till 1977.

With the death of UNP leader Dudley Senanayake, he became the leader of the party.

J.R. Jayewardene won the 1977 General Election with an overwhelming majority and became the 7th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

He was later appointed as the first Executive President of Sri Lanka with the adoption of the new Constitution in


Former President Jayewardene rendered an enormous service to the country by establishing the National Youth Services Council, Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo Plan, Free Trade Zones.

Thousands of people were benefited by his initiatives such as Accelerated Mahaweli Development Scheme Cultural Triangle, Job Bank System, Appointment of Cultivation Officers and Poverty Alleviation Programme. This indefatigable politician, passed away 26 years ago on the November 1,1996.

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