Tikiri Bandara Panabokke II

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Sir Tikiri Bandara Panabokke II (known as Sir Tikiri Bandara Panabokke Adigar ) (28 March 1883 – 2 September 1963) was a Ceylonese, prominent colonial era legislator, lawyer and diplomat. He was the first Minister of Health in the State Council and second representative of the Government of Ceylon to India. He was the last person appointed by the British Government of Ceylon to the post of Adigar.

Early life and education[edit]

Born Walala, Patha Dumbara on 28 March 1883 to Tikiri Bandara Panabokke Snr and his second wife Halangoda. His father was a member of the Legislative Council of Ceylon, a Police Magistrate for Kandy and acting Diyawadana Nilame.Panabokke Snr, together with L.T.R. Le Mesurier, of the Ceylon Civil Service translated into English the code of Kandyan Law. According to Le Mesurier a Committee of Kandyan Chiefs under the direction of Sawers, the Judicial Commissioner, prepared a code of Kandyan Law. This was arranged in a systematic manner by the Secretary, who was a priest attached to the Malwatte Buddhist Monastery in Kandy. This was later not traced, and Le Mesurier had made a search for it. A copy was found with Panabokke and, based on this the first English translation was made by Le Mesurier. The topics cover persons and property, marriage and inheritance, and land tenures.[1]

Panabokke Jnr received his primary education at the Walala Village School, and went to Trinity College, Kandy and Royal College Colombo, where he played cricket for his college team. His class mates at Royal College where A Padmanadan (son of Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam), B.F. de Silva and Stanley Obeysekara. For higher studies he entered Colombo Law College and passed out as a Proctor in 1905. He practised law at the Magistrate Courts of Gampola and the District Courts of Kandy.

Political career[edit]

In 1907 he was elected a member of the Local Board, Gampola and was re-elected every two years until he resigned his seat in 1924. In 1921 he was nominated as the Kandiyan member to a Legislative Council of Ceylon along with Meedeniya Adigar. He was appointed as Magistrate of Gampola for six months in 1928 and was appointed Crown Proctor.

With the introduction of universal adult franchise he was elected Member for Gampola to the Legislature. In 1931, he was elected to the State Council of Ceylon which had been created after reforms of the Legislature. There he was elected as the first Minister of Health to head the State Council Committee on Health and was a member of the first Board of Ministers. During his tenor as Minister, he built a new hospital in Gampola and played a key role in controlling the Malaria epidemic of 1933.

In 1935 he was appointed as chairman of the Kandyan Law Commission and he became the first Ceylonese to be elected chairman of the board of the Tea Research Institute Talawakele, where he served from 1943 to 1945.

In 1940 he was appointed to the honorary post of First Adigar in 1940 and Knighted in June 1944. He retained the post of Adigar till his death in 1963 apron which it was dispensed and his full regalia was donated to the National Museum Kandy by his son. In 1945 he succeeded Sir Baron Jayatilake as Ceylon Representative in India.

Criticizum[edit]

Did not hold any prominent positions under the last king of Kandy. The name does not appear in the Kandyan Convention to indicate any prominence at the time. rose to prominence under the colonial administration. The title "adigar" was conferred by the British and is in no way connected to the administration or aristocrats of the Kandyan monarchy.[2] The above is a measure of success of British strategy in Sri Lanka, of placing loyalists within the Kandyan aristocracy to aide and enhance colonial governance.[3] However there are different information pointing to that the Panabokke family members where in the service of Singhalese royal families long before the English period, even back to the 12th century. For example the book "Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon",[4] claims on page 815, that "Mr. Panabokke...came of a very old family, one of his anchestors having received royal recognition during the reign of King Parakrama Bahu for services rendered to the court of Goa." This piece of information and similar, can also be found in earlier literary sources from where it is probably taken. Within the Panabokke family there is also claims that they have their lineage all back from King Parakrama Bahu[5] himself.

Philanthropy[edit]

A devout Buddhist, he was responsible for the construction of the Sangaraja Pirivena Kandy and closely associated Anunanayake Thero of Malwatte, Amunugama Vipassi Thero who later was the Maha Nayaka of Malwatte Vihare. He was the founder of the Vidyartha Society, established in 1937, its main objective being to provide educational facilities for children in the Kandyan rural areas. The Vidyartha College was one the primary achievements of this society. He funded the construction of the Panabokke Clinic in Gampola.

He established the Gamini Panabokke Trust Fund under section 47 of the Ceylon University ordinance, providing funds to Medical Students of the University of Peradeniya in need of financial assistance. One of the trustees of the fund is the Mahanayaka Thero of Malwatte Vihare.

He died on 2 September 1963 at his ancestral Walauwa, in Elpitiya Village, Weligalle Gampola.

Family[edit]

He married Manthri Keppetipola, grand daughter of Monarawila Keppetipola Disawe. His eldest son Theodore Braybrooke Panabokke became a Deputy Minister of Justice & Agriculture, Member of Parliament and Ceylon's High Commissioner to India.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links & References[edit]