M. J. Perera

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M.J Perera.jpg
Born 3 February 1915
Padukka, Sri Lanka
Died 14 March 2002(2002-03-14) (aged 87)
Nationality Sri Lanka Sri Lankan
Education Nalanda College Colombo
Occupation Education / Broadcasting / Television executive
Employer The Government of Sri Lanka
Known for The first Ceylonese Director-General of Radio Ceylon
first Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation
Predecessor John Lampson, Director-General, Radio Ceylon
Spouse(s) Mrs.Gnathie Ratna Perera

Mapatunage James "M. J." Perera was a Sri Lankan civil servant, born on 3 February 1915 with nine members in his family in Udumulla, Padukka. He created broadcasting history by being the first Ceylonese Director General of Radio Ceylon, the oldest radio station in South Asia, taking over the helm from John Lampson of the BBC.[1]

Perera witnessed the transformation of Radio Ceylon as King of the Airwaves in South Asia [2] the radio station was the market leader and the number one radio station in the region during the 1950s and 1960s, with a loyal base of millions of listeners.[3] Radio Ceylon enjoyed huge success under his leadership.

Clifford Dodd, an Australian administrator, was appointed (via the Colombo Plan) as the first Director of the Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon and he contributed to the station's popularity across the Indian sub-continent.

M.J.Perera was also appointed the first Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation,the island's television station and the country's first competent authority.

Born on 3 February 1915 in Padukka, he was educated at Rajabisheka Vidyalaya (Primary education) - Padukka Nalanda College Colombo and at the University of Ceylon. He became an assistant Government Agent and went on to become the Permanent Secretary of the Education and Cultural Affairs Ministry and later as first Chairman of the Rupavahini (Television) Corporation, retiring from the Sri Lanka Administrative Service after 48 years public service.

Civil Service Career[edit]

  • Director-General of Radio Ceylon,
  • First Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation
  • Founder Chairman of Paddy Marketing Board
  • Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education
  • Chairman National Library Services Board
  • Chairman State Fertilizer Manufacturing Corporation
  • Chairman River Vally Development Board
  • Vice Chancellor University of Peradeniya
  • Director Cultural Affairs

See also[edit]

Further Reading on M.J.Perera[edit]

"When life was simple" As told to D.C. Ranatunga by M. J. Perera former Civil Servant and Permanent Secretary to the Education and Cultural Affairs Ministry

"Livy's golden years on radio" by Noel Crusz

"Cultural orthodoxy and popular Sinhala music" an article by Dr. Tissa Abeysekara

"At the Berliner Ensemble" Henry Jayasena Column


External links[edit]