Cyril Mathew

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Caluadewage Cyril Mathew
Minister of Industry and Scientific Affairs
In office
July 1977 – 1984
Preceded byTikiri Banda Subasinghe
Succeeded byRanil Wickremesinghe
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for Kelaniya
In office
Preceded byR. S. Perera
Succeeded byseat abolished
Personal details
Born(1912-09-30)30 September 1912
Died17 October 1989(1989-10-17) (aged 77)
NationalitySri Lankan
Political partyUnited National Party

Caluadewage Cyril Mathew (30 September 1912 – 17 October 1989) was a United National Party member of parliament,[1] representing the Kelaniya electorate,[2] and served as the Minister of Industry and Scientific Affairs in the Jayewardene cabinet (1977 – 1986).

Mathew was the author of the book Sinhalese! Rise to Protect Buddhism, which urged Sinhalese to stand up for their rights and protect their values. He also issued a pamphlet Who is the Tiger, a collection of his inflammatory speeches made in 1979.

Mathew was elected at the 8th parliamentary elections, held on 21 July 1977, representing the Kelaniya electorate for the United National Party.[3] He was known for his hard-line position against the Tamil's political aspirations.[4] He was appointed as the Minister of Industry and Scientific Affairs in July 1977.[5] He is widely regarded as one of the key ministers responsible for instigating the anti-Tamil riots of July 1983, which subsequently resulted in the outbreak of a 26 year civil war.[6] Mathew was expelled from the cabinet and the governing United National Party by President J. R. Jayewardene in 1984 after publicly criticising a conference called by Jayewardene to redress grievances of the Tamil minority.[7] Jayewardene's successor, Ranasinghe Premadasa, subsequently reinstated Mathew's party membership.

His son Nanda was also a member of the parliament[8] and later held several ministerial posts, including Minister of Sports and Youth affairs, under successive UNP governments.[1] He was later appointed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga and President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Governor of the Uva Province.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hon. Mathew, Caluwadewage Cyril, M.P." Parliament of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  2. ^ Peebles, Patrick (22 October 2015). Historical Dictionary of Sri Lanka. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 229. ISBN 9781442255852.
  3. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1977" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  4. ^ The Peoples Alliance Government in Sri Lanka
  5. ^ Sri Lanka Year Book 1977 (PDF). Department of Census and Statistics, Sri Lanka. pp. 17–18.
  6. ^ Hoole, Rajan (3 September 2013). "July 1983: Ranil Wickremasinghe Followed Cyril Mathew". Colombo Telegraph. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Deaths". Washington Post  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 19 October 1989. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Hon. Mathew, Caluadewagey Nanda, M.P." Parliament of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 16 October 2017.

External links[edit]