Abdul Bakeer Markar

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M. A. Bakeer Markar
Abdul Bakeer Markar.jpg
Governor of Southern Province
In office
13 June 1988 – December 1993
12th Speaker of the Parliament
In office
21 September 1978 – 30 August 1983
PresidentJ. R. Jayewardene
Prime MinisterRanasinghe Premadasa
Preceded byAnandatissa de Alwis
Succeeded byE. L. Senanayake
Personal details
Mohammed Abdul Bakeer Markar

12 May 1917
Beruwala, Ceylon
Died23 September 1997(1997-09-23) (aged 80)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
NationalitySri Lankan
Political partyUnited National Party
Spouse(s)Sithy Kadija Muhammad Raffai
ChildrenImthiaz Bakeer Markar
Alma materSt.Sebastian's College Moratuwa,
Zahira College, Colombo,
Sri Lanka Law College

Deshamanya Marhoom Al Haj Mohammed Abdul Bakeer Markar (12 May 1917 – 10 September 1997) was a Sri Lankan politician. He was the Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka[1] and Governor of the Southern Province.

Early life[edit]

Bakeer Markar's ancestry is traced to Sheik Jamaluddeen-Al-Maghdoomi, an Arab settler who settled down in the sea board town of Beruwala. His father Hakeem Alia Marikkar Mohomed Marikkar belonged to a family of physicians, whose ancestors too were physicians. He was born in Beruwala on 12 May 1917.

Education and legal career[edit]

Educated at St.Sebastian's College Moratuwa and Zahira College, Colombo, entered Colombo Law College in 1940 and graduated in 1950. With the on set of World War II, he took up duties in Civil Defence Services in 1942 and was sent for civil defense training in India. After the war he had a lucrative legal practice and was elected President of the Kalutara District Branch of the Bar Association of Ceylon.

Political career[edit]

He started his political career when he was elected member of the Beruwala Urban Council. He was subsequently elected as the Chairman of the Council. He was the first Member of Parliament to represent Beruwala from March 1960 to April 1960, the Member of Parliament for Beruwala from April 1965 to March 1970, the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament from 4 August 1977 to 7 September 1978, the Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka from 21 September 1978 to 30 August 1983, the Cabinet Minister Without Portfolio from 1983 to 1988 and the Governor of the Southern Province of Sri Lanka from 13 June 1988 to December 1993. He served as acting as the Head of State while the President and Prime Minister both was out of the country.

Other work[edit]

He was founder President of the All Ceylon Union of Muslim League Youth Fronts. He was also the Vice President of the All Ceylon Muslim League. Further he was the Chairman of the Beruwala, Maradana Mosque Jamaath until his demise.

He hails from Maradana, Beruwala where, as historically revealed the early Arabs who arrived in Ceylon (Sailan) built the first ever Mosque in the country, Masjid Al Abrar. He took great pains in renovating Masjid Al Abrar with the help of his village Jamaath. In doing so he was careful in retaining the shape of the original architectural beauty of the Mosque.

Bakeer Markar served as a goodwill Ambassador of Sri Lanka. His close connections with the Iraqi government enabled him to build a village in Eravur, an area in the Eastern part of the island. He was the founder President of the Iraq-Sri Lanka Friendship Association and remained in this position until his demise.

In the early 1970s, when the plane carrying the Indonesian Haj Pilgrims on return journey crashed in Sri Lanka it was Bakeer Markar, then as Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, rushed to the scene of the incident and took personal interest to have the bodies of the pilgrims dispatched to Indonesia. As a token of appreciation the President of Indonesia personally invited him to visit his country. The Indonesian Haj Memorial Building at Katunayake was initiated by him.


He married Sithy Kadija Muhammad Raffai, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Omer Lebbe Marikar Muhammed Raffai of China fort, Beruwala. Son Imthiaz Bakeer Markar went on to serve as Member of Parliament for Beruwala and served as a Government Minister and daughters Dinah, Shamim and Nylah was born to them.[2]

See also[edit]

References & external links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Office created
Governor of Southern Province
Succeeded by
Leslie Mervyn Jayaratne