T. B. Ilangaratne

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T. B. Ilangaratne
T. B. Ilangaratne.jpg
Minister of Finance
In office
29 May 1963 – 10 June 1964
Prime MinisterSirimavo Bandaranaike
Preceded byP. B. G. Kalugalla
Succeeded byN. M. Perera
Personal details
Navaratne Rajakaruna Wasala Tikiri Mudiyanselage Tikiri Bandara Ilangaratne

(1913-02-27)27 February 1913
Sri Lanka
Died21 May 1992(1992-05-21) (aged 79)
Sri Lanka
NationalitySri Lankan
Political partySri Lanka Freedom Party
Spouse(s)Tamara Kumari Aludeniya
ChildrenSandhya, Rohana, Upeksha, Udaya
Alma materGalagedera Vidyalaya, Galagedera,
St. Anthony's College, Kandy
Occupationpolitician, author, dramatist, actor

Navaratne Rajakaruna Wasala Tikiri Mudiyanselage Tikiri Bandara Ilangaratne (27 February 1913 – 21 May 1992), popularly as T. B. Ilangaratne, was a Sri Lankan politician, author, dramatist, and theater actor.[1] He was a Member of Parliament for Kandy, Galaha, Hewaheta and Kolonnawa in Colombo district. He served as the Sri Lankan Cabinet Minister of Labour, Housing, Social Services, Finance, Commerce, Food, Trade and Shipping and in other government positions in a career spanning three decades. He established the Employees' Provident Fund, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation and the People's Bank while in office.[2] As a writer, Ilangaratne is best known for writing Amba Yahaluwo (1957), a popular children's novel.

His novels Tilaka Saha Tilaka, Lasanda and Nedeyo have been adapted into movies. Amba Yahaluwo was made into a television serial.[3]

Personal life and education[edit]

Ilangaratne was born on 27 February 1913 in Tumpane, Hataraliyadda, Waligodapola, Ceylon as the fourth child in a family with seven siblings. The family name of the father was 'Navaratne Rajakaruna Wasala Tikiri Mudiyanselage'. According to the surname of the mother party 'Ilangandavunda Mudiyanselage', he used the name 'Ilangaratne' and the full family name of the father party.[1] His father was a well-known general practitioner of traditional ophthalmology. He began attending school in 1917 at Galagedera Vidyalaya [4] and received his secondary education from St. Anthony's College, Kandy.[3] Ilangaratne wrote three plays while in school (Akikaru Putha, Himin Himin and Anda Nanda).

On September 4, 1944, Ilangaratne married Tamara Kumari Aludeniya in Gampola.[4] His wife was elected as the member for Kandy (1949-1952) and Galagedara (1970-1977). They had four children Sandhya, Rohana, Upeksha and Udaya.

He died on 21 May 1992 at the age of 79.[1]

Government service[edit]

Ilangaratne left school after passing the London matriculation exam upon which he opted not to further his studies in London and joined the government service as a clerk in the General Clerical Service. In 1941, he tried his hands at acting playing King Dhatusena in the play of the same name by Gunasila Witanansa.[1]

Political career[edit]

S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike with T. B. Ilangaratne.

In 1947, Ilangaratne left his post in the General Clerical Service and contested the Kandy electorate in the 1947 general election as a socialist candidate, but lost to George E. de Silva of the United National Party. The following year he contested the by-election in the Kandy electorate as an independent socialist candidate defeating Fredrick de Silva, he entered the House of Representatives of Ceylon and was sworn in on May 18, 1948. Joining S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike in his newly formed Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Ilangaratne contested the 195 general election from Galaha and re-entered to the House of Representatives in the landslide victory the Sri Lanka Freedom Party gained defeating Theodore Braybrooke Panabokke. Prime Minister Bandaranaike appointed him to his cabinet as the Minister of Labour, Housing and Social Services. He established the Employees' Provident Fund for the benefit of employees in the private sector and had the Labor day declared. Following the Bandaranaike assassination, Ilangaratne was appointed Minister of Home Affairs by the new Prime Minister W. Dahanayake, serving from September 1959 to December 1959 when he was removed from cabinet by Dahanayake. He contested and was elected in the general elections of March 1960 and July 1960 from Hewaheta. He was appointed Minister of Commerce, Trade, Food and Shipping by Bandaranaike widow Sirima Bandaranaike who became Prime Minister having lead the Sri Lanka Freedom Part in the July election. In his tenor he established the People's Bank, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, the government nationalized private insurance companies and formed the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation and nationalized the Bank of Ceylon.

In 1963, he was appointed Minister of Finance and then Minister of Internal and External Trade in 1964. In 1964, the government nationalized private petroleum companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, transferring its assets to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. He lost his seat in the 1965 general election losing to M. A. Daniel from the United National Party. He returned to parliament from a by-election in 1967 from the Kolonnawa electorate and sat in the opposition. He was re-elected in the 1970 general election from Kolonnawa and was appointed to the cabinet with the portfolios of Foreign and Internal Trade, thereafter Trade and Public Administration and Home Affairs. In 1974 he served as acting prime minister. Ilangaratne retired from politics on April 12, 1986.[4]

Drama career[edit]

Ilangaratne first published a play called Haramitiya. Since then, he made the plays Manthari Hamuduruwo, Nataka Ata, Mokada Mudalali and Nikan Awa. He also produced the play based on W. A. Silva's novel Radala Piliruwa. Later, when the novel was made into a film, he had to write the screenplay as well. After the failure in politics in 1948, he was later introduced to film producer K. Gunaratnam by his friend lawyer S. Nadesan. Then he went India in 1953 for filming and later got the opportunity to act in the film Warada Kageda. Critics pointed out that Ilangaratne's innovative acting is due to the politics and satirical dialogue that accompanies the success of the film.[1]

After the success of the film, he then involved in the filmRadala Piliruwa. He wrote the screenplay in the film and also played a minor role. In 1973, he wrote the screenplay of Titus Thotawatte's film Mangala.[1]


  • Amba Yahaluwo
  • Shishyathwaya
  • Wilambeetha
  • Thilaka
  • Nodaruwo saha daruwo
  • Nayana
  • Lokanthaya
  • Mangala
  • Mangala Poruwa
  • Delowa sihina
  • Ambalama
  • Malsarava
  • Vilasithavo
  • Nadayo
  • Yugayaka Gamana
  • Asitha saha winitha
  • Nedeyo
  • Thilaka Ha Thilaka
  • Hapana

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Ilangaratne who acted and wrote stories". sarasaviya. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Stranger than fiction". Daily News. 2006. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2007.
  3. ^ a b "T. B. Ilangaratne: Celebrating Kandyan middle-class life". Daily News. 2006. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2007.
  4. ^ a b c "T. B. Ilangaratne". Rupavahini. 2006. Retrieved 20 May 2007.

External links[edit]