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Old 28-09-14, 01:57 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default Father of Devepriya Jayasinghe at STC 1961-1971


Launched land mark developments in his electorate

z_p-08-Launched.jpg http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=archives/2014-09-26

September 26, 2014 marks the 37th death anniversary of my grandfather S.de.S. Jayasinghe J.P. OBE, former Cabinet Minister and Mayor of Dehiwela-Mt.Lavinia. Although I was little girl at the time of his sudden demise, I can recollect the sweet memories, growing up as his shadow.

Being the first grandchild to the family I had the privilege of getting spoilt by all. These wonderful memories are too good not to be shared. Coming from humble beginnings, Seeya led a simple life style and his teaching to us was never to get blinded by pride. This lesson in life will be followed by the entire family for many generations to come.

Born in the village of Pepiliyana on January 6, 1911 he was educated at Ananda Sastralaya, Kotte became a leading businessman and a popular politician, and was loved and respected by people from all walks of life.

His deep love and dedication to his children was significant. His two daughters, my mother Sunethra Ranasinghe and my aunt Dr. Sujatha Samarakoon showered with his love and care were guided and moulded to be two wonderful personalities - one a politician and the other a doctor. I was more than happy to steal their spot but had to be content with sharing. The untimely death of mama, his only son was a great loss to him.

Seeya was a fabulous grandfather. I remember how he used to feed me, take me to school and put me to sleep telling me stories related to Buddhism. A devoted Buddhist, he had a deep understanding of the religion and instilled this knowledge in family and friends. Associating the Buddhist clergy and temples very closely, he taught us to respect all religions equally. Seeya was the President of the Dayaka Saba at the Bellanwila Raja Maha Vihara and Sri Dathmalu Viharaya Kohuwala until his demise. He was also Chairman of the Amadyapana Sangraha Samitiya offering a tremendous service to pilgrims to Anuradhapura, Kataragama and Mahiyangana.

As a public figure he had to attend many official functions, weddings, funerals and meetings.

I had the rare privilege of tagging along with him holding his hand. I received my share of lime-light at a very tender age, popular amongst many. During his tenure as a Parliamentarian, he launched land-mark developments in his electorate. The Colombo South Teaching Hospital, pipe born water to Dehiwala and Ratmalana areas, and the establishment of schools to name a few.

He had the privilege of closely associating the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka D.S. Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake, Sir John Kotalawala, J.R. Jayawardena, Ranasinghe Premadasa and also current President Mahinda Rajapaksa who still recall memories of my grandfather, visiting him at his residence at Kohuwela.

I was more than pleased to accompany Seeya on his visits to Kandawala to meet Sir John, where I enjoyed watching the birds and the elephant coming to greet Sir John at his daily breakfast table. This well-dressed politician and gentleman's (me being the official ‘shoe shine’, I loved picking out cuff links to match his shirt) sudden demise was a great loss not only to his family and friends but also to the people whom he loved very much and to the political party he represented, the UNP and the leaders to whom he had his highest respect and loyalty. Seeya left us 37 years ago, His golden memories will be treasured and will remain in our hearts forever. May he attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana!

- See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=archives/....70dDrjcA.dpuf

Devepriya Jayasinghe, Son of S De S Jayasinghe was at college from 1961 to 1971. He regularly published articles in the college magazine and was a active member of the Sinhala Literary Society.

From: Prof.Lakshman Madurasinghe (Cambridge University Network) <Madure@cantab.net>
Date: Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 9:45 AM
Subject: Re: http://www.tyretracks.com/showthread.php?t=1230
To: Sriyan jayasekera <stc.dsa.era.group@gmail.com>

Dear Sriyan,

I just posted a reply.

Warm regards,


Prof.Lakshman Madurasinghe
Head Faculty of Creative Studies
Vice President Strategy- BTNRC
Brain Technology and Neuroscience Research Centre- BTNRC
J.R Jayewardene Cultural Centre, 191 Dharmapala Mw: Colombo 7
Tel: +94-11-4346528 :Websites: BTNRC
Faculty of Creative Studies

Last edited by sriyanj; 29-09-14 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 29-09-14, 10:14 AM
madure madure is offline
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Default My dear friend Devapriya

The stillness of the evening was suddenly shattered by someone reciting a portion of the famous 13th century ancient language treatise- Sidath Sangara- san sanda lingu vibath...samas piyawee....which took me by surprise since this was not a book used at S Thomas’ College or any school for that matter during our era. As I turned back, my glance fell on a slender person with an innocent smile and a quiet demeanour who later became a close friend of mine.This was none other than Devepriya Jayasinghe, the son of late Mr. S.de.S.Jayasinghe J.P. OBE, former Cabinet Minister and Mayor of Dehiwela-Mt.Lavinia.

Language, literature and hela publications were a few things that brought us together and from Devepriya I used to receive a good collection of Kumaratunga Munidasa’s “ Subasa” magazine which gave us much to read, still bringing back those fond memories of the sixties. Devepriya was fond of language, poems and hela innovations which immersed us during our free time. Only a few would have known that he later took interest in basic Sanskrit and Pali when both of us visited our teacher, the late Arisen Ahubudu, a renowned scholar of our country, at his residence, with a copy of the ancient Sanskrit book: A Sanskrit grammar for students by Macdonnel, which pursuit lasted a while.

Once when I was in class, Devepriya was reading a book on Buddhism: What the Buddha taught, written by Rahula Thero. Even though I was a Christian I was fascinated by a “wheel” that explained Sansara – the cycle of existence, and Devepriya urged me to study it and lent his book to read. This was perhaps the foundation to my later pursuits in Comparative Religions and even today I reminisce with much pleasure those formative years and our scintillating escapades.

This was also an era with much intellectual freedom and Prof. Carlo Fonseka was ready to investigate Kovur’s challenges on fire- walking which is regularly performed in Sri Lanka, both as a tourist attraction and as a religious ritual at festivals such as the annual pilgrimage to Kataragama. To conduct his investigation, Carlo Fonseka visited every fire-walk he could find and, with the eye of a trained medical man, watched the devotees as they crossed the burning coals. The year the professor made his investigations, 100 walkers were on the fire for a mere 3 seconds on average. The fastest rushed across in only 1.5 seconds, and even the slowest traverse took just 6 seconds. Devepriya and I with several others visited Bellanwila when one such challenge took place and it was an unforgettable incident firmly etched in my memory!

Rohana Fernando, Asiri Weerasinghe, Sarath Fernando who are all in their eternal abode now, were part of our clique which also resorted to various pranks during school life. Devepriya’s father was fond of cars and during this time he used a green Peugeot 403 to bring Devepriya to school. One memorable day, when the driver had gone for his tea, Devapriya joined us, with me at the wheel and a few of our clique, taking a drive up to Galle Road and back which was thrilling and also extremely risky !! With divine protection we arrived unscathed- but the car touched a lamp post and got scraped on one side. Evening was no fun when Devepriya’s father visited our home to complain to my parents about this misdemeanor. Later he forgave us – all in good spirits !

For some unknown reason Devepriya later left College to join a Buddhist school in Colombo and our interactions became rather infrequent. I Continued in school and later when pursing higher studies, one day I received the sad news that Devepriya’s car had toppled near Royal College and that he was no more. I visited the morgue and later the cremation....I was so sad to lose my dear friend, and as the smoke billowed.....I whispered a wish for his eternal rest.

Last edited by madure; 29-09-14 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 16-12-17, 11:32 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default S. de S. Jayasinghe He was a strong pillar

S. de S. Jayasinghe

He was a strong pillar

Forty years ago on September 26, 1977, S. de S. Jayasinghe, then Minister of Fisheries in the J. R. Jayawardane government, passed away. His sudden death was indeed a very sad moment not only to his family, but to the people of Dehiwela as well.

He was a humble human being, a man of all seasons, he left a legacy etched in the hearts of all those touched by him.

Born on January 6, 1911, in Papeliyana, a village suburb to Colombo City, he had his education at Ananda Sasthralaya, Kotte. He was in Government Service for a short period. Thereafter, he commenced his own business and became a very successful businessman who helped the needy. Senior citizens of this area still remembers him granting them season tickets for free of travel in his bus service, The Gamini Bus Co. Ltd., which was nationalised as a policy of the Bandaranaika government.

In 1944, he entered politics from the UNP, contesting the Dehiwela-Mt. Lavinia Urban Council.

He was elected as the chairman. During the 33 years for his Local Government Politics, he was the Mayor of the Dehiwela-Mt. Lavinia Municipal Council as well. In 1952, he contested the Parliamentary election, defeated Dr. Colvin R. de Silva and was elected to Parliament. Again in 1965, he won the Parliamentary election and was appointed a Deputy Minister. In 1977, he was appointed as a Cabinet Minister. Jayasinghe was a strong pillar to the UNP. His services to the party were honest and dedicated. He closely associated the late leaders of the UNP Rt. D. S. Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake, Sir John Kotalawela and J. R. Jayawardane. I still could remember very well, J. R. Jayawardane as the Prime Minister in 1977 attending Jayasinghe's funeral. In his speech, he said Jayasinghe accompanied him as a brave man at the protest march in 1957 from Colombo to Kandy.

As a strong Buddhist, he worked very closely with the clergy and offered a memorable service to his religion. Colombo South Kalubowila Hospital and pipe-borne water to the Dehiwela Mt. Lavinia City limits are two projects launched during his term of office. His sudden departure from our midst certainly created a vaccum which is not easy to forget. But Jayasinghe has gifted us a daughter who was couragous enough to step in to her father's shoes and follow his foot steps. On November 11, 1977, people of Dehiwela elected Sunethra Ranasinghe as their representative. Since then, for the last 40 years, she has continued her father's commitments successfully to the betterment of the people. S. de S. Jayasinghe left us 40 years ago, but memories of him are in our hearts for ever.

May you attain Nirvana!

P. Amarasena Pieries (Raja)

Ex. M.M.C.,Dehiwela-Mt Lavinia Municipal Council
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