Wijeyananda Dahanayake

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The Right Honourable
Wijeyananda Dahanayake
Wijeyananda Dahanayake portrait.jpg
Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
In office
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Solomon Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike
Succeeded by Dudley Senanayake
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for Galle
In office
14 October 1947 – 19 March 1960
Succeeded by W. D. S. Abeygoonawardena
In office
20 July 1960 – 21 July 1977
Preceded by W. D. S. Abeygoonawardena
Succeeded by Albert de Silva
In office
20 December 1979 – 15 February 1989
Preceded by Albert de Silva
Personal details
Born (1902-10-22)22 October 1902
Galle, Sri Lanka
Died 4 May 1997(1997-05-04) (aged 94)
Galle, Sri Lanka
Nationality Sri Lanka Sri Lankan
Political party Lanka Sama Samaja Party
Sri Lanka Freedom Socialist Party
United National Party
Alma mater Richmond College, Galle
Profession Politician, Teacher
Religion Theravada Buddhism

Wijeyananda Dahanayaka (Sinhala: විජෙයානන්ද දහනායක; 22 October 1902 – 4 May 1997) was a Sri Lankan political figure. He was the Prime Minister of Ceylon from 1959 to 1960.[1]

Early life[edit]

The young Wijeyananda Dahanayaka attended the well known Richmond College, in Galle, Sri Lanka.

He was born as a twin in the Galle district. Wijeyananda Dahanayaka was educated at a well known educational institution in Southern Sri Lanka, Richmond College in Galle.[2]

Political career[edit]

Dahanayaka was a member of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party before joining the administration of S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, prime minister and leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. He served as cabinet minister of education in the Bandaranaike Administration, from 1956 to 1959.

Prime Minister of Ceylon[edit]

He took office as prime minister, cabinet minister of defence external affairs and education when Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike was assassinated in September 1959. He led the caretaker government for a year. His most notable action was the repeal of the Act which suspended capital punishment.

Dahanayaka contested the March 1960 General Election in Ceylon under the nomination of his newly formed Lanka Prajathanthravadi Pakshaya (Ceylon Democratic Party). He could not be re-elected as an MP, as he had lost his Galle constituency in that election.

He had also served as a cabinet minister of home affairs in Dudley Senanayake's government from 1965 to 1970 and cabinet minister of cooperatives in Junius Richard Jayawardene's government from 1986 to 1988.

Dahanayaka died on 4 May 1997 at the age of 94 in Galle, Sri Lanka.[3]


External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike
Prime Minister of Ceylon
Succeeded by
Dudley Senanayake