Exalting Sir D. B.’s altruism | Daily News

Exalting Sir D. B.’s altruism

The 75th death anniversary of late Sir D. B. Jayatilaka was commemorated at the Public Trustee’s Department last week
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya unveils the plaque while Public Trustee Sanath Weeratne, PC, officials of the Public Trustee’s Department and the family of Sir D.B. Jayatilaka look on.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya unveils the plaque while Public Trustee Sanath Weeratne, PC, officials of the Public Trustee’s Department and the family of Sir D.B. Jayatilaka look on.

He fought for the rights of the Sinhala Buddhists and was imprisoned in 1915 along with several other leaders. He promoted Buddhist education in the

country and worked against colonial rulers

Under the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (Special Provisions) Law, No. 28 of 1973, the shares of the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited shall be vested with the Public Trustee for the benefit  of the government.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was the chief guest at the 75th death anniversary commemoration of late Sir D. B. Jayatilaka held at the Public Trustee’s Department (former Thurburn House donated by him) in Colombo last week. The event was organised as a tribute to Sir D.B. while raising awareness among the public on the service rendered by this great son of mother Lanka.

“We have walked backward as a country in the 71 years since Independence. As a person who born before the Independence, I know the real value of independence very well. We should cry when we look back at our past,” Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said while addressing the ceremony.

The Speaker said that various reasons were behind the country’s ‘backward walk’ after Independence. There were ethnic, religious, political and various other differences. Some political differences were extended to weddings and funerals. Due to such reasons, economic and social progress had deteriorated. According to Buddhism, there is no difference among human beings.

“Tolerance and patience saved several lives during the recent terrorist attacks. A handful of misguided individuals put the entire Muslim community in a tough situation where they faced various problems. The former leaders of Sri Lanka such as late Sir D.B. Jayatilaka and D.S. Senanayake united the country during similar conflicts. The services of current Public Trustee Sanath Weeratne PC is also highly commendable, especially the steps taken by him to give due honour to late Sir D.B. Jayatilaka,” the Speaker said.

“Sri Lanka faced two failed Army coups, two youth insurgencies and a 30-year-long terror war. But the country protected democracy. Unfortunately, the country went backward from that economic status. In 1948, the difference between the Japanese and Sri Lankan currencies was just one dollar, but the current situation is scary. There should be one law in Sri Lanka for all. There should not be foreign laws implemented here. No one likes extremism and extremists. Now the government is taking all the possible steps to solve every related issue and bring equality and peace. Sri Lankan people faced all challenges posed to democracy. The country should be protected at any cost because there should be a country to have politics or whatever,” he said.

“The public has little knowledge of the connection that exists between late Sir D.B. Jayatilaka and the Public Trustee’s Department. That is why this event has been organised to make a tribute to Sir D.B., who had made a huge sacrifice for the country and its people. This event will raise awareness among the public on the vast service done by late Sir D.B. Jayatilaka and the strong relationship exists between him and the Public Trustee’s Department,” Public Trustee Sanath Weeratne PC said.

Delivering the Sir D.B. Jayatilaka oration, Emeritus Professor of Colombo University Rohini Paranavithana said he was a great son of mother Lanka who brought her honour and fame.

“He fought for the rights of the Sinhala Buddhists and was imprisoned in 1915 along with several other leaders. He promoted Buddhist education in the country and worked against colonial rulers. Current Sri Lanka needs politicians similar to late Sir D.B. Jayatilaka,” she said.

Prof. Paranavithana said that he did a great service to the progress of Dharmaraja College, Kandy and Ananda College, Colombo. He also contributed for the development of Visaka Vidyalaya, Colombo. He did everything during the colonial era in the middle of missionary education promoted by colonialists before independence. He commenced Dhamma Schools countrywide. He opposed the promotion of alcohol. He formed the ‘Sinhala Jathika Sangamaya’. He worked hard to establish a proper administration system in Sri Lanka. He coordinated with the colonialists to achieve this target.

“Late Sir D.B. Jayatilaka actively promoted Buddhism in foreign countries. He was the chief editor of Sinhala dictionary,” she added.

Delivering an Anusasana, Most Ven. Kotugoda Dhammawasa Thera said that in the past, the Public Trustee’s Department was limited to its name and no one knew about it.

“The properties were not maintained properly in the past. I was granted Rs. 40 per month to study English (tuition) during the time of late P. S. Gunaratne. Sir D.B. Jayatilaka donated properties worth billions of rupees to the Public Trustee’s Department. Late President J. R. Jayewardene was among the donors who donated their valuable properties to this department,” the Thera said.

Kelaniya University Chancellor Ven. Welamitiyawe Kusaladhamma Thera said that all members of the Jayatilaka family associate with his temple as they are devoted and strong Buddhists. Jayatilaka family was one of the three families who took the initiative to establish Vidyalankara Pirivena (currently Kelaniya University). Late Sir D.B. Jayatilaka is a rare politician who donated his valuable properties to the motherland for the benefit of innocent poor people. Deputy Public trustee G. Karavita delivered the vote of thanks.

Senior Attorney-at-law Kusala Jayatilaka, ANCL Chairman Krishantha Cooray, ANCL General Manager Abhaya Amaradasa, retired Supreme Court Judge P. A. Ratnayake, Deputy Public Trustee Kapila Karunaratne and several other guests were present on the occasion.

 


 

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