The Philatelic Bureau of the Department of Posts has issued a new postage stamp in the denomination of Rs.10.00 on March 20th, 2017 to commemorate Hon. Major Montague Jayewickreme.
|Date of Issue:||
20th March, 2017
|Catalogue No.||CSL 2215
|First day cover Designer.||
|Sheet Composition:||20 stamps per sheet|
Mr Montague Jayewickreme was born on 15th January, 1911 to the family of Attorney Walter Jayewickreme and Mrs Lidia Margret and he had a sister and a brother named Dorothina and Errol. Montague had his primary education at Richmond College, Galle and entered the Agriculture School of Peradeniya for further studies.
After completing his higher education he was able to begin his career as an Army Officer and at that time, apart from him, the only other person in the Matara district who had been appointed as an Army Officer was Col. C.A. Dharmapala.
Young Montague Jayewickreme married Miss Amara Amarasuriya and they had two daughters named Devika and Kisani.
With the end of the Second World War he retired from military service and entered the political stage from the Weligama Town Council and on 04.01.1936 he was unanimously elected as President of Weligam Town Council. As a result of being instrumental in the development of theWeligama town as its founder, he was able to receive the mandate to represent the Weligama electorate in the General Election held in 1947. He held the portfolio of Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Services in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Hon. D.S. Senanayake in 1948 and the Minister of Transport and Works in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Hon. Sir John Kotelawala in 1952.During this period, the outstanding service rendered by him was the inauguration of the RuhunuKumari, UdarataMenike and Yal Devi train services.
In 1977 he was appointed the Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs in the Cabinet Prime Minister Hon. J.R. Jayewardene and again in 1977 he was appointed the Minister of Public Administration, Home Affairs and Plantation Industries. He also functioned as a Minister of the Government of Prime Minister Hon. RanasinhaPremadasa, rendering a yeoman service in all portfolios.
As the Treasurer of the United National Party he rendered a valuable service and acted as Acting Prime Minister and the Leader of the House of Parliament of Sri Lanka. Following the bomb attack in Parliament in 1987, he turned to a retired life due to health reasons. After nine months since the completion of 90 years of age, he passed away leaving a gap in the field of politics that cannot be filled easily.
Being a veteran politician with a lot of experience he functioned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Social Services in 1950, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Defence and Foreign Affairs in 1952 and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport and Public Works in 1953, while being a Member of Parliament.
It was during the period he functioned as the Minister of Government Public Work that the Ella-Wellawayaroad , the road running from Didula to World's End and the new Weligama Highway which are the most important road networks constructed in independent Sri Lanka were built. He was also instrumental in the construction of the Mirissa Fishery Harbour and in his capacity as Minister of Plantation Industries, he made great efforts to develop the Tea Research Institutes of the country and thereby to improve the lot of tea small holders.
Hon. MonatgueJayewickreme also took steps to dismantle hundreds of coconut leave thatched houses along the coastal line from Pelena in WeligamauptoKapparatota Bridge and to build a housing scheme to replace them. In 1987 he extended his patronage to have the sacred relics of the Buddha brought down from Kapilawastu for the worship of Buddhist devotees.
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