S. A. Wickramasinghe
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Dr. Sugiswara Abeywardena Wickramasinghe (13 April 1900 – 25 August 1981) was the founder of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka. He was the first Leftist to be elected to Ceylon State Council in 1931. He gave up all his wealth and comforts for the sake of downtrodden. He is considered one of the leading political figures in the twentieth century of Sri Lanka.
S. A. Wickramasinghe
|Member of the Ceylon Parliament|
|Preceded by||Doreen Young Wickremasinghe|
|Succeeded by||Dayananda Wickremasinghe|
|Member of the State Council of Ceylon|
|Succeeded by||R. C. Kannangara|
|Preceded by||R. C. Kannangara|
|Born||13 May 1900|
Athuraliya, Matara District, Sri Lanka
|Died||25 August 1981 (aged 81)|
|Political party||Communist Party of Sri Lanka|
|Spouse(s)||Doreen Young Wickremasinghe|
|Alma mater||Mahinda College Galle|
Ananda College Colombo
Ceylon Medical College
|Profession||Politician and medical doctor|
Early life and educationEdit
S. A. Wickramasinghe was born in Nasnaranketiya Walawwa, Athuraliya in the Matara district of then British Ceylon in 1900. He received his primary education at Mahinda College, Galle, where he joined engaged in social services and Buddhist activities. He later entered Ananda College, Colombo.
Wickramasinghe pursued his higher studies in medicine at the Ceylon Medical College, and proceeded to the United Kingdom for his post-graduate studies.
In England, he participated on activism with the League Against Imperialism and the British Communist Party. During this time he met fellow Ceylonese progressives and the future leaders of the Left movement such as N. M. Perera, Colvin R. de Silva and Leslie Goonewardene, who were also studying in London and fellow-students of Marxism.
On his way back to Ceylon, S. A. Wickramasinghe travelled to India to meet members of the Indian National Congress as well as the Communist Party of India. He was immediately arrested by British police in Bombay but managed to make contact with figures such as Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore.
After returning to Sri Lanka, he co-founded the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and also served as the General Manager of Buddhist Theosophical Society schools in Sri Lanka. A medical practitioner by profession, he started working as a doctor after his post-graduate studies and joined the Government Service and started practising in his native Matara district.
Wickramasinghe played a leading role in the Suriya Mal Movement. He also organised relief for peasants during the Malaria epidemic and floods that plagued Sri Lanka in 1934 and 1935.
Founding of Communist Party of CeylonEdit
In 1941, when Germany attacked the Soviet Union, Wickramasinghe led the faction who argued that World War 2 was not an inter-imperialist war but a war against fascism. For their defence of Stalin and the Soviet Union, Wickramasinghe and his comrades were expelled by the Trotskyites in the LSSP.
Wickramasinghe's faction, which included Pieter Keunemen, M. G. Mendis, and A. Vaidialingam formed the United Socialist Party, which became the Communist Party of Ceylon in 1943.
Dr Wickramasinghe was married to Doreen Young, a British leftist who later became a prominent Communist politician and a Member of Parliament in Sri Lanka. She and Dr Wickremasinghe had two children, Suren (an architect) and Suriya (Amnesty International IEC Chairperson, 1982–85).
- The Gal Oya Project (1951)
- The Way Ahead
|1931 state council||Morawaka||Elected|
|1936 state council||Morawaka||Not elected|
|1946 state council by||Morawaka||Elected|
|1950 parliamentary by||Colombo Central||Communist Party of Ceylon||12,501||Not elected|
|1960 March parliamentary||Akuressa||13,191||Elected|
|1960 July parliamentary||Akuressa||12,488||Elected|
|1977 parliamentary||Akuressa||16,436||Not elected|