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T.B. Subasinghe commemoration

A commemorative program to mark the 95th birth anniversary of T.B. Subasinghe, a former Speaker, a Minister and an Ambassador, organized by the T.B. Subasinghe Memorial Foundation will be held at Sandalankawa and Pannala tomorrow August 29.

Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka will preside at a public meeting to be held on Saturday afternoon at the Community Hall, Pannala at the conclusion of commemorative ceremonies.

A founder member of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), Subasinghe entered national politics when he successfully contested the Bingiriya seat at the 1947 Parliamentary general elections. He polled a record high percentage of votes at this election, that all four rival candidates lost their deposits. This record remains unparalleled in the history of national elections in this country. Subasinghe was returned to Parliament from Bingiriya at the 1956 general election and was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in the MEP Government led by the late SWRD Bandaranaike.

He was unanimously elected Speaker of Parliament following the 1960 general election which saw the short-lived UNP-led coalition government take office.

Subasinghe served as the Industries and Scientific Affairs Minister of the United People's Front Government that took office in 1970.

Later, Subasinghe served as Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the Soviet Union and the role he played in promoting and strengthening relations between Sri Lanka and the Soviet Union as the Ambassador came in for praise even by his political rivals. The younger brother of Vincent Subasinghe of Sandalankawa hailed as the father of the co-operative movement in the country, T.B Subasinghe was a prominent figure in the Suriyamal Movement which became the springboard for the Marxist and anti-imperialist movements in the country.

A son of a wealthy planter, T.B. Subasinghe moved closely with the peasantry of the Sath Korale and looked into their needs. He led a simple life and was accessible to people at all times of the day.

The T.B. Subasinghe Memorial Foundation with the participation of the members of the Subasinghe family offered a Sanghika dana to the Maha Sangha at the Shastrodaya Piriven Viharaya at Hendiyagala on August 22 to transfer merit to the late social worker and politician.

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