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Srikumaradas Charles Shirley Corea ( 7 March 1906 – 5 March 1974 ) was a Sri Lankan politician and Member of Parliament, representing Chilaw. He was a member of the United National Party of Sri Lanka.

Shirley Corea

9th Speaker of the Parliament
In office
27 September 1967 – 25 March 1970
Prime MinisterDudley Senanayake
Preceded byAlbert F Peries
Succeeded byStanley Tillekeratne
Deputy Speaker of the Parliament
Minister of Trade Commerce and Fisheries, Government of Ceylon
Member of the Ceylon Parliament
for Chilaw
In office
Preceded byJ. J. Fernando
Succeeded byW. J. C. Munasinghe
In office
Preceded byS. D. R. Jayaratne
Succeeded byS. D. R. Jayaratne
Personal details
Srikumaradas Charles Shirley Corea

7 March 1906
Chilaw, Sri Lanka
DiedMarch 5, 1974(1974-03-05) (aged 67)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
NationalitySri Lankan


Early lifeEdit

Shirley Corea was born in Chilaw. His father was the illustrious Sri Lankan freedom fighter Charles Edgar Corea who was elected President of the Ceylon National Congress in 1924. He was the nephew of another famed Sri Lankan freedom fighter, Victor Corea who was a founder member of the Ceylon National Congress.[1] Shirley Corea grew up in this political world. His father and uncle founded the Chilaw Association and campaigned for independence from the British Raj. When Mahatma Gandhi, the 'Father of India' visited Ceylon in 1927, he travelled to Chilaw and was the Chief Guest at a banquet in a Corea home called 'Sigiriya.' [2] Shirley Corea met Mahatma Gandhi in 1927. He first won the parliamentary seat of Chilaw in 1952 and served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Trade, Commerce & Fisheries by Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake. In 1954 he was appointed as Minister of Trade, Commerce & Fisheries by Prime Minister John Kotelawala. In 1956 he lost it. in the House of Representatives in the Parliament of Ceylon. In both 1960 elections he didn't contest the seat. In 1965 he contested the Chilaw electorate was elected, and subsequently appointed as Deputy Speaker. Corea was elected Speaker on the death of Sir Albert Peries in 1967. Corea went on to enjoy a distinguished record as Speaker from 1967 - 1970. In 1970 election he lost.[3] He was highly respected for being fair when it came to parliamentary debates in the chamber. During his tenure as Speaker, Shirley's Corea's official residence was the spacious 'Mumtaz Mahal' in Colombo.[4]


The young Shirley Corea was educated at Royal College, Colombo.

Shirley Corea was educated at Royal College Colombo where he excelled in school debates and he served as Secretary of the Royal College Social Service League - he was a founder member.[5] He joined the Ceylon Law College and passed out as a Proctor of the Supreme Court of Ceylon in 1932. He practised in Chilaw and extended his much sought legal carrier in Kuliyapitiya, Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Mannar, Vavuniya and Maho; once he was retained in a case to defend the late Mr. Eddie Jayamanne husband of the famous Sri Lankan actress, Rukmani Devi and personalities from the world of Sri Lankan cinema in a Madras Court, in India. Corea was a well known trial lawyer on the island of Sri Lanka.

The Coat of Arms of the Parliament of Sri Lanka. Shirley Corea was Speaker from 27 September 1967 - 25 March 1970

Political careerEdit

Milton Weerasinghe, writing in the 'Island' newspaper in Sri Lanka, noted that 'his distinguished law career was disturbed in 1952 when the constituents of Chilaw made a request to him to contest the Chilaw Parliamentary Seat on the U.N.P. Ticket; Mr. Corea did win it and he was appointed the Parliamentary Secretary (Junior Minister) to late R.G. Senanayake, Minister of Trade Commerce and Fisheries, on Mr. Senanayake’s resignation, Mr. Corea was appointed the Minister of Trade Commerce and Fisheries by late Sir John Kotelawala, Prime Minister of Ceylon. Mr. Corea was re-elected to Chilaw seat in the House of Representatives in 1965 and appointed the Deputy Speaker and the Chairman of Committees in the Dudley Senanayake government and was elected Speaker in 1967 after the death of Sir.Albert F Peries. '[6]


'The Island' newspaper observed: 'Mr. Corea has done many development work in his electorate; he always gave priority to Society and not for the particular individual, in Chilaw electorate Yoda-Ela Scheme in Karawita, Sengal-Oya Scheme; development of Karukupone and Udappuwa fishing villages; Transport Services; Education; Health are the few priorities he had. Chilaw Bauddha Mandiraya would not have been, if not for Mr. Corea’s afforts [sic], there were a lot of obstructions from Judges, lawyers and many others as this building is just adjacent to the District Court of Chilaw, but Mr. Corea was successful and laid the foundation by the late William Gopallawa, Governor General of Ceylon; for this act Dr. A. D. V. Premaratne; Messrs. Sirisena Weerasuriya, Sirisoma and N. M. Gnanalankara gave their utmost support to him to make this venture a success; it is also unforgetable [sic] the services he rendered to the Ananda College of Chilaw. Mr. Corea was also the Patron of Chilaw District Boy Scout Local Association and in many other social service organisations. ' [7]

He was the Chairman of Chilaw Puttalam Planters’ Association, Chilaw Negombo Rotary Club and many times, the President of Chilaw Sports Club, Commonwealth Association, a delegate to the World Peace Through the Rule of Law and President of Law Society of Ceylon. Mr. Corea was a very close associate of Asia Foundation representative in Sri Lanka Mr. James H. Nayes and obtained much assistance to his electorate. As a devoted Christian, Mr. Corea served as a Diocesan Council member, of the Church of Ceylon, for a long period.

See alsoEdit


  • Handbook of the Parliament of Sri Lanka
  • Great Sinhalese Men and Women of History - Edirille Bandara (Domingos Corea) By John M. Senaveratna, (1937)
  • 20th century Impressions of Ceylon: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries and Resources By A.W. Wright, Asian Educational Services,India; New Ed edition (15 December 2007)


  1. ^ "Chilaw to honour C. E. Victor S. Corea, Sunday Observer, Sri Lanka". Archived from the original on 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
  2. ^ "Gandhi at Sigiriya - article in the Daily News, Sri Lanka". Retrieved 2011-07-25.
  3. ^ "Shirley Corea - Speaker of the House of Representatives, Parliament of Sri Lanka". Archived from the original on 2009-07-25. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
  4. ^ "Shirley Corea - Speaker of the House of Representatives, lived in Mumtaz Mahal, Colombo - his official residence". Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  5. ^ "Reference to Shirley Corea being a founder member and Secretary of the Social Service League at Royal College,Colombo". Retrieved 2011-07-27.
  6. ^ "S. C. Shirley Corea - article in the Island Newspaper, Sri Lanka". Retrieved 2011-07-27.
  7. ^ "References to the work done for the people of Chilaw by Shirley Corea MP in an article in the Island Newspaper, Sri Lanka". Retrieved 2011-07-27.

External linksEdit