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D.B. Jayatilaka, a great leader to emulate by the young – PM

Today we are enjoying the freedom won by sacrifices of our national heroes…

The Prime Minister mentioned that we are enjoying the freedom won by sacrifices of our national heroes and further he said that Sir D. B. Jayatilaka is a character to be studied and emulated.He expressed these views at the event of unveiling the statue of National Hero Sir D. B. Jayathilaka at Waragoda, Kelaniya today, 13th February 2024.

The statue of the national hero Sir Don Baron Jayathilaka which was built in his birthplace Kelaniya Waragoda was unveiled by the Prime Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena, to mark the 156th birth anniversary.

Speaking on this occasion the Prime Minister stated that;

As the Prime Minister, I am happy to participate on behalf of the government at the unveiling of the statue of Sir .D. B. Jayathilaka who was an outstanding national hero of our country in his native village.

Language as well as culture, religious interests as well as the immortal creations by our ancestors in different periods contribute to the existence of a nation.

The survival of the nation is carried out through progressing forward while securing the inherited values. Sir D.B. Jayathilaka is an unique national hero who gave such guidance to his native land.

He did an invaluable service to the Sinhala language, Sanskrit Language and Buddhism. He dedicated himself to bequeath this inheritance from generation to generation.

He was the most deliberate and reliable contributor to the Mahasangha that led our Vidyalankara Pirivena from its inception. Sir. D.B Jayathilaka was a pioneer in the great merit of imparting his knowledge to another generation while developing his own knowledge.

In particular, he led the Buddhist educational renaissance in Sri Lanka and laid the foundation for the continuation of Buddhist colleges. Ananda College in Colombo, Dharmaraja Vidyalaya in Kandy and many other colleges were ensured their continued existence by him by establishing required procedures.

He was the first president of the National Congress that supported the freedom struggle and the first active leader of the Buddhist Theosophical Society.

Many Buddhist schools were started as a result of this procedure.

There were no buildings at that time. Our village leaders started schools on their land donated by them, in sheds made with poles and under a roof thatched with coconut branches.

With the consequences of the Buddhist education which was built in that way, educated people were born who could transform our country towards great progress. The guidance and dedication he gave to local education during the British rule is unique.

Even today, there are people without land deeds. How many parliaments in Sri Lanka have not given a solution to this problem? Many people could not understand this great sacrifice.

The village leaders of Sri Lanka made those sacrifices for building the future leaders of the country for the survival of the country and the Buddha shasana.

We have heard and read that Sir D.B Jayathilaka had an amazing proficiency in many languages including Sinhala language and Sanskrit language.

We respect that.

We have heard that Dr Sarvapalli. Radhakrishnan, who was President of India, spoke to Yakkaduwe Pagngnarama Nayaka Thera in Sanskrit language when he came to Vidyalankara.

Strength required for this is received through the Sanskrit language teaching at Vidyalayankara.

This incident will never be erased in the history of Vidyalayankara as well as in the history of India, in relation to administration.

We gratefully remember the creativity and sacrifice of Sir D.B Jayathilaka to build the country to such a state.

When Ruwanweli Maha Saya Chaitya was placed, D.B. Jayathilaka was qualified to unveil it.

The people and Mahasangha considered him as the king of the country at that time.

He possessed the glorious leadership that could protect and secure the Buddhist culture which was the backbone required for the survival of our country’s culture and the continued existence of the country.

Joining this occasion as the Prime Minister of the country, I once again bow my head to the statue of Sir D.B Jayathilaka because of the relationship he had with my beloved father.

The guidance he gave in the State Council to confirm the freedom of our country should be explored even today.

We must not stop exploring.

The research done on Sir. D.B Jayathilaka may turn out to be an exploration of the identity of Sri Lanka as well as the identity of the language, security, development and survival of our country at difficult times.

On behalf of the government, we promise to support the Cabinet in carrying out the necessary research activities.

We are not a lost nation.

Although we were hungry, we did not abandon our language.

We did not abandon our culture.

Our language and culture is the identity of our nation.

We will protect the foundation that Sir D. B. Jayathilaka created as a hero of the country’s freedom struggle.

Today we live together with different nations of the world. It is because of D.B Jayathilaka’s guidance in strengthening international relations.

We are working continuously to follow and understand that noble character.

Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, State Minister Sisira Jayakodi, Prasanna Ranaweera, Member of Parliament Harshana Rajakaruna, Yadamini Gunawardena paid floral tributes to the statue.

At this point Dean of the Sabaragamuwa University , Abhidhaja Maha Rattha Guru Professor Kamburugamuwe Vajira Thera, Head of the Peliyagoda Vidyalankara Pirivena, Colombo, Halawata District Sanghanayake, Velamitiyawe Keerthi Sri Gnanarathana Thera,General Trustee Ganesh Dharmawardena, Dr. Haritha Jaya thilaka and relatives of Sir D.B Jayathilaka attended for this event.

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