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Pioneer who formed the Sri Lanka Freedom Party King’s Counsel H. Sri Nissanka

26 February 2020 01:07 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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During the period under the British Administration, it had been a daily habit of the elite and rich families to visit Galle Face Green in the evenings for horse rides which provide exercise and entertainment for them and their friends. To mention a few of them; Mr. D.S. Senanayake, Sir John Kotelawala, Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike (Father of the late Prime Minister). Among them was Mr. H. Sri Nissanka who was riding his brownish energetic horse at a high speed across the Galle Face.

Seeing this, British Jail Superintendent Major Wilton became alarmed and furious and blocked Mr. Nissanka’s way and questioned him in a threatening voice “who gave you the permission to ride your horse fast on this ground”?  On hearing this, Mr. Nissanka became more furious and nervous, he pointed his forefinger towards Mr. Wilton and said in a vehement, impulsive manner “I do not need anybody’s permission to ride my horse in my motherland at any speed I want and if you are not satisfied with this, it is best for you to jump into the ocean, which is nearby and go away” (people of this category are very rare today).   

I do not need anybody’s permission to ride my horse in my motherland at any speed

He was a partner in the rebellion against imperialism from his early childhood and a true patriot whose motto was “My Country before myself”.   

Born Nissanka Herbert Mendis, on January 17, 1898 at “Garumuni Walawwa” in Balapitiya on the Southern Coast which is a land blessed for its eminent personalities gifted to our motherland, Mr. H. Sri Nissanka had his primary education at Ananda College and entered Royal College for his higher education.   

King’s Counsel H. Sri Nissanka is the real pioneer who formed the giant tree called the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. With a mind nourished in Buddhism and “making Social Democracy” the theme, he prepared the constitution for a party that can approach the village talk. He proposed the name for the party as “Sri Lanka Nidahas” by using his initials “Sri, N” and. suggested the party symbol as ‘hand’ and colour ‘Blue’ to his best friend and colleague at the Oxford University, Mr. Bandaranaike.

He also asked Mr. Bandaranaike to go forward with the combined five great forces namely: Priests, Physicians, Teachers, Farmers and Workers. His dedication towards the motherland and the party and his services rendered without thinking about his personal benefits and privileges is not known nowadays and some of the SLFP members too are unaware of his dedication. It is a sorry state of affairs. His diaries show worthy evidence of significant memories regarding the commencement of the party. To this day, the table and chairs used at the conference to discuss matters of the party and the pen which was used to sign the party constitution can be seen preserved at his residence “Yamuna”. It is the duty of the relevant officials to preserve all these articles for the future generations.   

Mr. Nissanka Diweris Mendis, who was a silent scholar and Madam Anoma Wickramaratne Soysa were the parents of Mr. H. Sri Nissanka. Dorothy, Harriet and Charlotte were his sisters. His loving wife was Muriel Nissanka. They had two daughters namely Yamuna and Geetha and a son named Ranjith. Professor Randiv Nissanka Karunaratne and Doctor Avanthi Nissanka Karunaratne were his grand children.   

66th death anniversary of Late H. Sri Nissanka which falls on 26th February, 2020

From his childhood he showed energetic leadership qualities and joined the Oxford University to study law there he met Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike who followed a law course. Both of them became very trusted confidants Mr. Nissanka very often discussed with his loyal friend Mr. Bandaranaike. The topics they discussed were mostly connected with Realism in Buddhism and the Values of Sinhala Culture. After completing his studies in law he came back to Sri Lanka in 1924 and started his law career.   

As the fragrant flowers soon wither, the lives of good & great people are short. He was not able to see the people’s great victory of 1956 as he breathed his last with his eyes on the Buddha Statues at his ‘Yamuna Sadaham Ashramaya’.   

The ceremony at the H. Sri Nissanka Foundation will be include a distribution of books to children of the Dematagoda Nagadeepa Temple at 4.00 p.m. at the temple premises.   


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