B. Y. Tudawe

Balaupasakage Yasodis Tudawe (25 September 1915 – 22 January 2000) was a Sri Lankan communist politician.[1] He was a member of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka, serving two terms as a member of parliament and one term as Deputy Minister of Education.

B. Y. Tudawe
බී. වයි. තුඩාවේ
B.Y. Thudawe.jpg
Deputy Minister of Education
Prime MinisterSirimavo Bandaranaike
In office
Member of the Ceylon Parliament
for Matara
In office
March 1965 – July 1977
Preceded byMahanama Samaraweera
Succeeded byS. K. Piyadasa
Personal details
Born(1915-09-25)25 September 1915
Matara, Sri Lanka
Died22 January 2000(2000-01-22) (aged 84)
Matara, Sri Lanka
NationalitySri Lankan
Political partyCommunist Party of Sri Lanka
Spouse(s)Ramyalyn Tudawe
ChildrenRanjini Tudawe

Early Life and careerEdit

Born in 1915 to a poor family in the village of Tudawa in Matara. Having completed his schooling, Tudawe became a teacher at the C.C. School at Gabadaweeadiya, Matara. He soon joined the Teacher's Association, Co-operative Society and the Youth Buddhist Society. He later became the District Secretary, Matara of the National Teachers Union of Ceylon.

Political careerEdit

He joined the Communist Party of Sri Lanka and rose to the post of District Secretary of the party and was a member of the Central Committee of the party. He was arrested by the police on charges of violating the curfew law during the 1953 Hartal, which had taken place in the country in the wake of the 1953 rice price hike. He was a founding member of the Matara Co-operative Hospitals Society. He participated in the International Co-operative Conference in Poland representing Ceylon. When the Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin arrived in Matara in 1962, Thudawe translated his speech into Sinhala.

As a long standing member of the Ceylon Communist Party, he was elected to parliament at the 1965 general election in the Matara electorate and was re-elected at the subsequent 1970 general election by majority of the votes. Tudawe was appointed Deputy Minister of Education in the United Front government lead by Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike.[2] He was defeated in the 1977 general election, in which for the first time the Communist Party was left without parliamentary representation, however he thereafter elected as the opposition leader of the Matara Municipal Council.

In the first Provincial Council election held in 1988, Tudawe was elected to the Southern Provincial Council and held the position of opposition leader and helped the Communist party to work on a correct path. He was elected Minister of the Southern Provincial Council in 1993, but the Council was confined only to a few days because it was defeated by a no-confidence motion. Despite losing the re-election, he managed to continue his political career and public service.

Assassination attemptEdit

On 1 October 1987, the JVP which was engaged in their second insurrection, launched a wave of attacks on other left wing parties. On 1 October the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and Ceylon Communist Party offices were attacked and burnt, and B. Y. Tudawe was shot by JVP gunmen whilst he watched television at his home in Matara, the following day the Communist Party offices in Matara were also attacked. Although hospitalized for a long period, he made a complete recovery and returned to politics carrying the JVP assassin's bullets till the day he died.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

B. Y. Thudawe was married Ramyalyn Tudawe in 1944 and has one child, Ranjini Tudawe.


He died on January 22, 2000 at the age of 84 due to sudden illness.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Hon. Tudawe, Balaupasakage Yasodis, M.P." Directory of Former Members. Parliament of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  2. ^ "A Lost Revolution: The JVP Insurrection 1971". InfoLanka Forum. 12 May 2005. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  3. ^ Rubin, Barnett R. (1987). Cycles of Violence: Human Rights in Sri Lanka Since the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement. p. 74. ISBN 9780938579434. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Communist Party Politician dies". TamilNet. 22 January 2000. Retrieved 7 June 2020.