D. A. Rajapaksa

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D. A. Rajapaksa
ඩී.ඒ. රාජපක්ෂ
Minister of Agriculture and Land
In office
1959–1960
Deputy Speaker of the Parliament
In office
11 February 1964 – 12 November 1964
Preceded by Hugh Fernando
Succeeded by Shirley Corea
Member of Parliament
for Beliatta
In office
1947–1960
Preceded by constituency created
Succeeded by D. P. Atapattu
In office
1960–1965
Preceded by D. P. Atapattu
Succeeded by D. P. Atapattu
Personal details
Born (1906-11-05)5 November 1906
Madamulana, British Ceylon.
Died 7 November 1967(1967-11-07) (aged 61)
Nationality Sri Lankan
Political party Sri Lanka Freedom Party
Other political
affiliations
United National Party
Spouse(s) Dandina Samarasinghe Dissanayake
Children
Alma mater Richmond College, Galle
Occupation politician

Don Alwin Rajapaksa (Sinhalese: දොන් අල්වින් රාජපක්ෂ; Tamil: டி.ஏ. ராஜபக்ஷ) (5 November 1906 – 7 November 1967) (known as D. A. Rajapaksa) was a Sri Lankan politician and Member of Parliament, who represented the Beliatta electorate in Hambantota district from 1947 to 1965. A founding member of Sri Lanka Freedom Party and Cabinet Minister of Agriculture and Land in Wijeyananda Dahanayake's government, he was the father of the former Sri Lankan President Dr Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Biography[edit]

Don Alwin Rajapaksa was a democratic politician from the Ruhuna region.

He was born on 5 November 1906 in a hamlet called Madamulana and had his early education at Mandaduva School in Weerakatiya. His father, Don David Rajapaksa, who held the post of Vidane Arachchi in Ihala Valikada Korale, sent him for secondary education to Richmond College, Galle. Having completed his education successfully, he helped his father to manage the family property which consisted of paddy fields and coconut plantations.

He also helped his elder brother D. M. Rajapaksa, who was the State Councillor for Hambantota in attending to affairs of the electorate. Thus he got sufficient experience in the field of politics, but was reluctant to contest the Hambantota seat at the by-election of 1945 on the death of his brother.

Nevertheless, the politically influential people in the area insisted that he should contest the by-election and were finally successful in dragging him into active politics. He won the seat at the by-election and was included in the Committee on Agriculture and Land in the State Council. This gave him a good opportunity to tackle the problem of landlessness of the peasantry of Giruvapattuva. DA adopted a 99-year lease scheme to transfer crown land to landless peasants in 5-acre (2.0 ha) plots. For the middle income earners, the land extending from 10 to 50 acres (20 ha) was alienated in the same manner. These measures in fact gave a boost to the paddy and coconut cultivations in Giruva Pattuva.

When the first parliamentary general elections were held in 1947 under the new constitution, the former Hambantota electorate was divided into two, namely, Beliatta and Tissamaharama electorate. Most of Western Giruva Pattuva was included in the Beliatta electorate. D. A. Rajapaksa contested in Beliatta on the United National Party ticket and won the sesat.

When S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, disgruntled over the policies of the United National Party, left the party to form the Sri Lanka Freedom Party in 1951,[1] Several parliamentarians, including D.A. Rajapaksa, Herbert Sri Nissanka and D. S. Goonesekera, followed S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike when he crossed the floor of the House to the Opposition benches on 12 July 1951.[2][3] The Rajapaksas supported Bandaranaike at the general elections of 1952, winning the Beliatta electorate for the SLFP. Later on, in the historic general elections of 1956, D. A. Rajapaksa was elected MP for Beliatta and appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Lands & Land Development. In 1959 he was appointed as Cabinet Minister of Agriculture and Lands by Prime Minister Wijeyananda Dahanayake.

D. A. Rajapaksa's ups and downs in the political arena are follow those of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party at the time. At the general election of 1960, when the SLFP was defeated and the UNP formed a government, DA too lost his seat. But when the UNP government was dissolved and the parliamentary elections were held for the second time in July of the same year, DA once again emerged victorious at Beliatta and was an inspiration to the government led by Sirimavo Bandaranaike.

He was appointed Deputy Chairman of Committees in Parliament and subsequently Deputy Speaker.[4] When the SLFP lost to the Dudley Senanayake – led UNP in the 1965 elections, DA again lost his parliamentary seat.

At the defeat in the 1965 general elections, DA not only lost his political power but was also devoid of material wealth. During this period all his children, Chamal, Mahinda, Basil, Gothabhaya and Dudley were studying in Colombo and he found it difficult to meet their expenses. He sold his vehicle, leased his coconut lands and went through enormous hardships to sustain the family. When he fell seriously ill in November 1967, there was no vehicle nearby to take him to hospital. When transport was arranged belatedly his heart condition had worsened. After admission to hospital, he died 7 November 1967.

Family[edit]

Don David Rajapaksa Vidanarachchi

He held the colonial post of Vidane Arachchi in Ihala Valikada Korale, Giruvapattuva in the Hambantota District.

Don Mathew (D.M.) Rajapaksa (1896-1945)

State councillor for Hambantota District

Don Alwin (D.A.) Rajapaksa (1906–1967)

He was one of the founder members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and was also a Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Cabinet Minister.

Family Tree[edit]

1. Don David Rajapaksa Vidanarachchi (feudal post) + Dona Gimara Weerakoon Ratnayake

1.1. D.M. Rajapaksa (State Councilor)
1.1.1. Lakshman Rajapaksa (Member of Parliament)
1.1.2. George Rajapaksa (Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister of Fisheries)
1.1.2.1.Nirupama Rajapaksa (currently Deputy Minister and Member of Parliament)
1.2. D.A. Rajapaksa (Member of Parliament, Deputy Minister, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Cabinet Minister) + Dandina Samarasinghe Dissanayake
1.2.1. Chamal Rajapaksa (Member of Parliament, Deputy Minister,Cabinet Minister,current Speaker) (Children, Shashindra Rajapaksa, Shameendra Rajapaksa)
1.2.2. Jayanthi Rajapaksa (Children, Himal Laleendra Hettiarachchi & Rangani Hettiarachhi)
1.2.3. Dr Mahinda Rajapaksa (Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister, Leader of Opposition, Prime Minister, former President of Sri Lanka) ( Children, Namal Rajapaksa, Yoshitha Rajapaksa & Rohitha Rajapaksa)
1.2.4. Chandra Rajapaksa (Children: Chaminda Rajapaksa)
1.2.5. Lieutenant Colonel Dr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (20 years in military, former Permanent Secretary to Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law & Order)
(Children :Manoj Rajapaksa)
1.2.6. Basil Rajapaksa (former Cabinet Minister and Member of Parliament) (Children: Thejani Rajapaksa, Bimalka Rajapaksa, Asanka Rajapaksa)
1.2.7. Dudley Rajapaksa (Children: Mihiri Rajapaksa)
1.2.8. Preethi Rajapaksa (Children, Malaka Chandradasa,Madhawa Chandradasa, Madini Chandradasa & Malika Chandradasa)
1.2.9. Gandani Rajapaksa (Children, Eshana Ranawaka, Nipuna Ranawaka & Randula Ranawaka)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

News Media (Sinhala)