E. L. B. Hurulle

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Edwin Hurulle
එඩ්වින් හුරුල්ලේ
Edwin Hurulle.jpg
3rd Governor of North Central Province
In office
11 May 1994 – September 1994
President Dingiri Banda Wijetunga
Preceded by E. L. Senanayake
Succeeded by Maithripala Senanayake
Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia
1st Governor of Central Province
In office
June 1988 – 1 February 1990
President J. R. Jayewardene
Ranasinghe Premadasa
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by P. C. Imbulana
Minister of Cultural Affairs
In office
23 July 1977 – 1989
President J. R. Jayewardene
Prime Minister J. R. Jayewardene
Succeeded by W. J. M. Lokubandara
Minister of Communications
In office
March 1965 – 31 May 1970
Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake
Succeeded by Leslie Goonewardena
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for Horawupotana Electoral District
In office
In office
Personal details
Born 19 January 1919
Died 6 April 2009(2009-04-06) (aged 90)
Nationality Sri Lankan
Political party United National Party
Spouse(s) Malinee Hurulle (née Galagoda)
Children Maya, Deepthi, Themiya, Vajira, Kanishka
Alma mater St. Patrick's College, Jaffna
Trinity College, Kandy
Occupation Politics, Diplomat
Profession Politician
Religion Buddhism

Deshamanya Edwin Loku Bandara Hurulle (Sinhala: එඩ්වින් ලොකු බණඩාර හුරුල්ලේ) (19 January 1919 – 6 April 2009) (known as E. L. B. Hurulle) was a Sri Lankan Member of Parliament, diplomat and Provincial Governor who served as Cabinet Minister of Communications in Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake's Government and Cabinet Minister of Cultural Affairs under President J. R. Jayewardene's Government. He was also Sri Lanka High Commissioner to Australia, Governor, Central Province and North Central Province.[1][2]

Early days[edit]

He was the first child of Tikiri Bandara Hurulle and Alice Bulankulame. His paternal grandfather Henarath Bandara Hurulle had been Rate Mahatmaya of Hurulupalatha in Anuradhapura District. It had been Punchi Bandara Hurulle, the father of Henarath Bandara Hurulle, who had made the move from their original home close to the dam of the Hurulu Weva to Morakewa in Horowpotana. Punchi Bandara Hurulle had built his Walauwa by the Morakewa Reservoir. Subsequently, a palatial two-storeyed Walawwa built by Henarath Bandara Hurulle around 1900 A.D. between the Morakewa Weva and the Anuradhapura - Trincomalee Main Road. This was the building set ablaze by the JVP during the insurgency in 1988.[3]

Henarath Banda Hurulle had married Maningamuwe Weragama Kumarihamy. Edwin’s full name was Illangasinghe Kalukumara Rajakaruna Edwin Loku Bandara Hurulle. Edwin’s maternal grandfather was Loku Bandara Bulankulame Dissava, who was the Atamasthana Nilame (chief lay custodian of Atamasthana) in Anuradhapura.


He completed his primary and secondary education at St Patrick’s College and Jaffna & Trinity College, Kandy where he passed the London Inter - Arts Examination.

E. L. B. Hurulle as Minister of Cultural Affairs in Prime Minister J.R Jayewardene's Cabinet 1977

Government Service and political career[edit]

Hurulle for a time served as an acting Rate Mahatmaya and was subsequently absorbed into the ranks of the Divisional Revenue Officers who replaced the Rate Mahatmayas in the Kandyan areas and the Korale Mudliyars in the Low Country. In election of 1956 he for the first time contested for the Horowpotana electorate in Parliament and survived the MEP landslide when the UNP was to a (mere) eight Parliamentary Seats. His maternal uncle P.B. Bulankulame Dissava who had served in the Cabinet could not retain his seat in Parliament at this election.

He won three more elections thereafter and in 1965 entered the Cabinet as Minister of Communications. In 1977 he was appointed Cabinet Minister of Cultural Affairs and retired in 1994 after serving as Governor of the Central Province, High Commissioner in Australia and Governor of the North Central Province.

  • As Minister of Communications: Expedited the change in Sri Lanka Railways to Diesel Engines by replacing the outdated steam engines. He inducted the Trident Passenger Jet Airplane to Air Ceylon thus taking Air Ceylon from a propeller driven era to a Jet engine era. He also introduced Motor Car Taxis for the first time to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) which were permitted to be imported free of customs duty.[4]
  • As Minister of Cultural Affairs: facilitated assistance from UNESCO in Paris to set up the Central Cultural Fund and formalize Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle Project. He expedited Archeological excavation work at Archeological sites resulting in the finding of many rare Archeological artefacts. The completion of the Sinhala dictionary (expected to take a further 20 years) was also expedited during his tenure of office. The translations of the Tripiṭaka and the Quran to Sinhala were also carried out during his period of office.
  • As Governor, Central Province: In 1988, he ensured the setting up and operation of the Central Provincial Council for the first time when Provincial Council related persons were being killed and injured by the armed insurgents in the South of Sri Lanka who were opposed to the Provincial Council system.
  • As Sri Lanka High Commissioner in Australia: Encouraged Sri Lankans of all races and religions living in Australia to have a Sri Lankan identity. Countered the anti-Sri Lanka campaigns of pro - LTTE activists by meeting Australian Politicians, Officials and used the Australian Media to explain the true situation in Sri Lanka.


He married Malinee Galagoda, the youngest daughter of Madduma Bandara Galagoda of Galagoda Walauwa, Teldeniya, a Basnayake Nilame (Chief Lay custodian) of the Naatha-Devalay, Kandy and a former Officer of the Department of Forests. E.L.B. Hurulle and his wife Malinee had two daughters Maya and Deepthi and three sons Themiya (ex Project Minister of Science & Technology,ex Member,North Central Provincial Council and former Director-General, Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka), Vajira and Kanishka.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Deshamanya E. L. B. Hurulle. The Island, Retrieved on 17 May 2009.
  2. ^ In victory or defeat he was the gentleman politician. The Sunday Times, Retrieved on 3 May 2009.
  3. ^ Hurulle Walawwa: A piece of history through the ashes of destruction. The Sunday Times, Retrieved on 3 October 2010.
  4. ^ යාල්දේවිගේ උප්පත්ති කතාව. Rivira, Retrieved on 26 April 2009.