October 23, 1930|
Colombo, Sri Lanka
|Occupation||Chairman and Director-General of Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation|
|Employer||The Government of Sri Lanka|
|Known for||Spearheading the switch from Radio Ceylon to a public corporation 1966-1970. Providing a framework of values for broadcasting, enforcing professional broadcasting standards, and maintaining discipline in the work place.|
Neville Jayaweera was a distinguished member of the prestigious Ceylon Civil Service (1955-1972). He was handpicked by the Prime Minister of Ceylon, Dudley Senanayake to be both Chairman and Director-General of the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1967. Jayaweera drafted the legislation for setting up the CBC and navigated the new Corporation for 5 years.Under his leadership the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation followed very strictly the values and ethics of public service broadcasting. The CBC is now known as the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.
Neville Jayaweera was born to Robert and Constance Jayaweera in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 23 October 1930; the third of four siblings – Stanley, Sheila and Beryl.
He had his secondary education at St Thomas's College, Mount Lavinia, and at St Peter's College, Colombo. He took an Honours Degree in Philosophy from the University of Ceylon in 1953 and passed into the prestigious Ceylon Civil Service in 1955.
In 1949, his brother Stanley had also taken an Honours Degree in Philosophy from the same university and in 1953 had passed into the elite Ceylon Foreign Service, within which he held several senior diplomatic positions and retired in 1988 as Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Germany.
At University, Jayaweera met Trixie Jayasekera, who was educated at Bishop's College, Colombo, and took a General Arts Degree from the University of Ceylon and worked for several years as a Library Assistant under the Bromley Council in Kent.
Neville Jayaweera and Trixie Jayasekera married in 1958 and have a daughter, Manohari (Mano), who married Edmund Glynn.
Summary of career
For a short period after graduating from the University of Ceylon Peradeniya in 1953, Jayaweera was an Assistant Lecturer in Philosophy in the University, until he passed into the Civil Service in 1955.
Neville Jayaweera served In the Ceylon Civil Service (later renamed Ceylon Administrative Service) between the ages of 25 and 42, i.e. from1955 to 1972 when he took early retirement. During those 17 years, Jayaweera held several senior positions under government.
Among the posts he held while serving the Sri Lankan Government, between 1955 and 1972 were:
- Government Agent (GA - Head of Administration of the District) of the Administrative Districts of Badulla Jaffna, Trincomalee and Vavuniya
- Chairman and Director General of the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
In 1974, accepting an invitation from the World Association of Christian Communication (WACC) in London, to work as their Director of Research and Planning , Jayaweera relocated to London with his wife Trixie and daughter Mano, and served in that capacity till 1989.
He resigned from the WACC in 1989, and resumed his career with the Government of Sri Lanka in 1990, serving as:
- Media Adviser to The President of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Ranasinghe Premadasa (1990-1991)
- Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Scandinavian countries, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland (1991-1994)
In addition to his formal employment, Jayaweera held a number of other positions between 1975 and 1991, including:
Member of the BBC’s Central Religious Advisory Committee (CRAC) London (1976-1983)
Trustee of the International Broadcasting Institute, later renamed International Institute of Communication London (1975-1983)
Member of the Board of Governors, Worldview International foundation (WIF) Colombo (1980-1991)
Between 1980 and 1989 Jayaweera was the WACC’s permanent representation to the UNESCO as well as to the ITU in Geneva.
During 1975 and 1989 Jayaweera travelled the globe lecturing on the New Communication Technologies and the Communication Revolution, subjects on which he has written extensively.
Jayaweera has also written extensively on Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict, and on spiritual matters.
Since his final retirement in 1994, Jayaweera settled down with his wife Trixie in a village in Kent, UK, where he has been leading a contemplative life, meditating, praying and writing on spiritual subjects.
For a fuller account of Jayaweera’s career and for a summary of his spiritual experiences, please read his autobiography titled “The Fork in the Road” available in his online blog: "From the Unreal to the Real".
- Folk media and development communication - myths and realities : a report on experiences in people's communication in Mexico, India, and the Philippines by Neville Jayaweera.Published in 1991, Asian Social Institute (Manila)
- Some reflections on the theme of continuity and change in Indian culture by Neville Jayaweera
- The role of the churches in the ethnic conflict by Neville Jayaweera, Marga Institute, 2001
- The New Economics of Information by Stonier, Tom., Neville Jayaweera, James Robertson, Intermediate Technology, November 1989 Paperback
- Jaffna: Exorcising the Past and Holding the Vision. An autobiographical reflection on the ethnic conflict by Neville Jayaweera, Government Agent of Jaffna 1963-1966. Published in 2014, Ravaya Publishers, Sri Lanka. (Awarded the prize for best memoirs in 2014 - the Sri Lanka Cultural Ministry)