W. J. M. Lokubandara
W. J. M. Lokubandara
|Governor of Sabaragamuwa Province|
21 April 2010 – 21 February 2015
|Preceded by||Janaka Priyantha Bandara|
|18th Speaker of the Parliament|
22 April 2004 – 8 April 2010
|Prime Minister||Ratnasiri Wickremanayake
|Preceded by||Joseph Michael Perera|
|Succeeded by||Chamal Rajapaksa|
|Born||Wijesinghe Jayaweera Mudiyanselage Lokubandara
5 August 1941
|Political party||United National Party
Sri Lanka Freedom Party
|Alma mater||Yahala-Bedda School
Bandarawela Central College
University of Peradeniya
Wijesinghe Jayaweera Mudiyanselage Lokubandara (Sinhala:විජෙසිංහ ජයවීර මුදියන්සේලාගේ ලොකුබණඩාර|Tamil:விஜேசிங்க ஜயவீர முதியன்சேலாகே லொக்குபண்டார), commonly known as W. J. M. Lokubandara, is a Sri Lankan politician who was Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka from 2004 to 2010 and Governor of Sabaragamuwa Province from 2010 to 2015. He is a lawyer by profession, and is also an author of several books and a song writer. Lokubandara held several ministries in the government of Sri Lanka before his appointment as the Speaker of the House.
Early life and family
Lokubandara was born on 5 August 1941 in Haputale. He was educated at Yahala-Bedda School, and later at Bandarawela Central College. He is an Arts Graduate of the University of Peradeniya, and has also obtained an external Bachelor's Degree in Arts from the University of London. Lokubandara was a lawyer by profession and worked as an assistant legal draftsman.
Lokubandara was born to a family with seven children. His parents were Loku Manike and Gunesekara Bandara. He married Malathi, a music teacher, on 1 February 1979. They have three sons; Rashmin, Udith and Damith. Udith Lokubandara was offered the post of District Organizer for Badulla District by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, while the post of Organizer for Haputale electorate was offered by the United National Party.
Lokubandara first entered parliament in 1977 representing the United National Party (UNP), defeating former Cabinet Minister of Health W. P. G. Ariyadasa. He was initially appointed to the non-cabinet post of Minister of Indigenous Medicine. In 1989, Lokubandara was appointed a Cabinet Minister when he was given the Ministries of Cultural Affairs, Education and Media by President Ranasinghe Premadasa.
With the defeat of the UNP in the general elections of 1994, Lokubandara became the Chief Opposition Whip of the parliament. He held this position until 2001. A UNP government was formed in 2001, and Lokubandara was appointed the Cabinet Minister of Justice, Law Reforms, National Integration and Buddha Sasana.
Lokubandara was elected as the Speaker of Parliament on 22 April 2004, after a controversial secret ballot lasting nine hours. Lokubandara was the candidate of the main opposition group and received 110 votes, while the candidate from the governing party received 109 votes. His election as 16th Speaker of Parliament was announced at 7.15 pm. After assuming office, he urged the members of the parliament to safeguard democracy and "move away from confrontational politics marching beyond petty party politics".
He was a member of the Hela Havula Sinhalese literary organisation founded by Munidasa Cumaratunga. Several books have been authored by Lokubandara, including some on Sigiriya. He is also a poet and a song writer. His works include:
- The Mystique of Sigiriya
- Sigiri Gee Siri
- Sastriya Vadalipi
- Garu Kathanayakanumani: Mati Sabaye Kala Kata
- "Wijesinghe Jayaweera Mudiyanselage Lokubandara". The Parliament of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- "There [sic] lives are lost in 'simplicity'". The Sunday Observer. 25 May 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- Rajaratnam, T.C. (14 December 2008). "The role of the Speaker of Parliament". The Sunday Observer. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- The Role of the Speaker of Parliament: W.J.M.Lokubandara – Lawyer, Poet, Song Writer, Author, Humanist & Philosopher
- Jeyaraj, D. B. S. (25 April 2004). "The 16th Speaker of independent Sri Lanka". The Sunday Leader. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- "Speaker's son weighing SLFP, UNP offers". The Sunday Times. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- "Speakers". The Parliament of Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 25 July 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- "Books by author Vi Ja Mu Lokubandara". AllBookStores.com. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- "The Mystique of Sigiriya: Whispers of the Mirror Wall". Sunday Observer. 10 February 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- Meegaskumbura, P. B. "The Sigiriya Poetry and the Aesthetics of the Popular Poetic Tradition". The Island. Retrieved 21 June 2009.