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Born to Abeyratne Banda Ratwatte Basnayake and Thalgahagoda Lewke Punchi Kumarihamy, he was educated at Trinity College, Kandy. His brothers were Barnes Ratwatte Dissawa and Harris Leuke Ratwatte both members of the State Council of Ceylon. He was the uncle of Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike. He married Chitravo Katugaha Kumarihamy and had ten children including Stanley Ratwatte, J C Ratwatte II, A.C.L. Ratwatte, MBE who was the former Ceylon's High Commissioner in Ghana.