D. A. Rajapaksa who felt the heartbeat of the People
40th death anniversary of D. A. Rajapaksa falls
D. A. Rajapaksa was one of the founder members of the Sri Lanka
Freedom Party who contributed a great deal along with S. W. R. D.
Bandaranaike in the formation of the party. He was a leader of the rural
masses who is remembered as an honest politician and a friend of the
It is a Buddhist principle to honour those who are worthy of honour.
Accordingly the celebrations organised by the people to commemorate late
D. A. Rajapaksa and express gratitude to him who has rendered a great
service to the people should be appreciated. D. A. Rajapaksa entered
When his brother D. M. Rajapaksa passed away the constituency of
Hambantota in the State Council fell vacant and the people of the area
strongly requested him to represent the constituency of Hambantota and
as a result he succeeded his brother.
As a result of this request D. A. Rajapaksa entered the State Council
as a member representing Hambantota in 1945. The symbol of D. A.
Rajapaksa's rural life was the Kurahan Satakaya (shawl in the colour of
Kurakkan); he lived with rural masses intimately spending time in the
Hena, paddy field and cottage.
D. A. Rajapaksa functioned as a Member of Parliament continuously
except for two years. During this period he served as a Junior Minister,
a Deputy Speaker and an Acting Minister. He used his voice in Parliament
in order to solve the problems of Hambantota peasants and rendered a
great service on behalf of them. When we look at the history of
Hambantota it is known as a very remote area.
In the olden day the rural people had to pay even ransom to the
Mudaliyars and Muhandirams who ruled the area. The two young brothers D.
M. Rajapaksa and D. A. Rajapaksa fought against such injustices and
rendered a great service to the oppressed rural peasants.
During those days, the poor peasantry in Giruvapattuwa experienced
much difficulty in taking the farm produce including paddy and Kurakkan
as well as handicrafts to the market and weekly fairs.
There were some who suffered due to caste differences too. The two
Rajapaksa brothers D. M. and D.A. were able to liberate the rural masses
from such hindrances and rendered a service to the people in the
D. A. Rajapaksa's guidance and encouragement as well as his proposals
were of paramount importance and contributed very much to the passing of
the Paddy Land Act. which guaranteed the ownership of land to the tenant
farmer. Thus he rendered a great service as Deputy Minister in this
It was D. A. Rajapaksa while he was the junior minister of Land and
Land Development that initiated the Chandrika Wewa Irrigation Scheme
which was the first phase of Walawe River Development scheme inaugurated
on 07.10.1957 for farmers in Embilipitiya area who had suffered gravely
and led a miserable life.
This was a multipurpose agricultural project for farmers. It was
implemented by the Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike and the then
Minister of Land and Land Development C. P. de Silva on the invitation
of D. A. Rajapaksa.
He emphasised the importance of the development of small tanks and
took action to uplift the people in the area by creating and
constructing Muruthawela reservoir.
He made lands available not only for paddy cultivation but also for
high land farming too and encouraged the people to engage in export crop
Under his guidance the people were encouraged to take to citronella
farming on barren and steep lands to derive an additional income. He
established a paper mill at Embilipitiya for production of paper using
straw and strengthened the economy of the people by also introducing
cotton plantation in Hambantota to plant cotton using rainwater during
the Yala season.
He provided guidance and extended co-operation for the development of
production in the handloom textile industry and rural industries craft
based on silver, gold and brass.
He also started setting up indigenous dispensaries and hospitals in
order to give an honourable place to the indigenous doctor and medicine.
He built new schools and recruited teachers from among young males
and females in the area itself and enhanced the education by getting
specialised teachers from outside also. Further he launched a programme
of improving the health services by establishing hospitals of western
He took action to accelerate the development of the infrastructure by
providing electricity and developing highways.
D. A. Rajapaksa was a true Buddhist and his political career was just
and fair. He possessed the quality of taking bold decisions and did not
forget to take the leading part in the struggles of workers and farmers.
He produced exemplary children and they marched in the way he wished
and they perform a distinguished service to the country and the nation.
The senior sons Minister Chamal Rajapaksa, President Mahinda Rajapaksa,
Basil Rajapaksa MP and Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary render a
valuable service for the country just like Late D. A. Rajapaksa.
Great sons of people like D. A. Rajapaksa are very rare. D. A.
Rajapaksa who realised the heartbeat of the people did not confine his
service only to Giruvapattuwa and he was fortune enough to make the
services of his sons available to whole Sri Lanka. It is with great
pleasure I wish to mention that D. A. Rajapaksa was a real son of the
people who possessed a lot of noble qualities which are invaluable.
D. A. Rajapaksa who devoted his full time for the fulfilment of needs
of the people of Giruwapattuwa in Hambantota District which had been one
of the remotest areas and performed an invaluable service by uplifting
the health services and education, transport services with the
construction of roads and building of schools and hospitals.
It has to be mentioned that the gentleman political career of this
modest politician who was modest in qualities is an example to the whole
country. Honest politicians of his calibre are rare.
I believe that he is still living in the hearts of the people of
Hambantota because of his noble qualities as an honest politician and a
leader of rural masses. The policies of D. A. Rajapaksa were fit for the
past and are fit for present and future equally.