Jayatilleke de Silva: ‘Scion of the Left movement’ | Daily News

Jayatilleke de Silva: ‘Scion of the Left movement’

Communist Party General Secretary D.E.W. Gunasekera, in a tribute, said he was deeply grieved to learn of the demise of Comrade Jayatilleke de Silva, a member of the third generation of the Left movement in Sri Lanka.

Despite failing health, Jayatilleke de Silva was involved in journalism and politics till the end. Since he had been De Silva’s close associate for nearly 60 years, he felt his loss deeply, Gunasekera said.

During his secondary school days, Jayatilleke de Silva was inclined to the Left movement due to the force that the movement had in that era. His birthplace Ambalangoda-Batapola was a Leftist fortress at the time.

Jayatilleke de Silva’s student life at Dharmasoka Vidyalaya, Colombo, Ananda Vidyalaya and the Colombo University guided his path to full-time politics. As Principal of Deniyaya Madya Maha Vidyalaya, he was involved in trade union activities on behalf of teachers.

Jayatilleke de Silva became a party full-timer due to his resolve, dedication and political vision of a future socialist society.

As editor of Mawbima and Forward newspapers, he dedicated most of his time to the party’s ideological and youth activities.

Jayatilleke de Silva introduced ‘Fundamental Marxism’ in a simple manner through his political classes and was a true patriot and an internationalist. Although he left the party due to ideological conflicts, he continuously maintained friendship and political brotherhood with party comrades.

He made a dedicated effort to revive the Left movement which suffered a setback due to the fall of the Socialist regimes in Europe, including the Soviet Union. He represented the Communist Youth Federation at international forums, as its General Secretary.

A learned orator and an expert translator, he later became Editor-in-Chief of the Daily News and the Sunday Observer.

He translated the books of Karl Marx including Das Kapital into Sinhala to ensure the ideological unity of the Left movement. His name will be remembered forever in Sri Lanka’s Marxist movement. During his final days, he made a great effort to explain the crisis faced by New Liberalism.

“We salute him with honour, respect and gratitude.”


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