|Member of the Ceylon Parliament
|Preceded by||Leo Fernando|
|Succeeded by||W. G. M. Albert Silva|
|Political party||United National Party|
|Spouse(s)||Muriel née Wettasinghe|
|Alma mater||Royal College, Trinity College|
Gladwin Kotelawala was the son of Sir Henry Kotalawala, a leading colonial era legislator. He initially studied at Royal College, Colombo before his father transferred him to Trinity College, Kandy. Kotelawala ran away to India before completing his studies, after his family located him and brought him back home he ran away again this time to Singapore, where he resisted all attempts to repatriate him. Kotelawala's move to Malaya allowed him to establish a successful business and become a prominent member of the Ceylonese community there. With the on set of World War II and the subsequent Japanese occupation of Malaya, he served as a price control inspector in Malacca before joining the Indian Independence League (IIL) of Subhas Chandra Bose and forming the Ceylon Department serving as its Secretary.
His role in the IIL is controversial and after the end of the war he was briefly arrested but soon released by the British. On his return to Ceylon he entered politics and became a member of the Member of the Urban Council, Badulla. In 1952 he received a Member of the Order of the British Empire for social services in Uva Province, which led to the belief that Kotalawala acted as an agent for British Intelligence in Malaya. He was later elected to Parliament representing Buttala.
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