Junius Richard Jayawardene
Jayawardene, Junius Richard
Born Sept. 17, 1906, in Colombo. State and political figure of the Republic of Sri Lanka.
Jayawardene is the son of a former member of the Supreme Court of Ceylon. He graduated from Royal College and the Law College, both in Colombo. From 1932 to 1940 he practiced law. A member of the Ceylon National Congress party, he became involved in politics in 1940. He helped found the United National Party (UNP) in 1946 and became one of its leaders. In the governments formed by the UNP he has held many important posts. From 1948 to 1956 he was minister of finance and minister of agriculture and food. From March to July 1960 he was minister of finance, information, broadcasting, local government, and housing. From 1965 to 1970 he was minister of state and parliamentary secretary to the minister of defense, foreign affairs, and planning.
From 1947 to 1952, Jayawardene was one of the directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Monetary Fund. He was also a coauthor of the Colombo Plan. In 1973 he was elected chairman of the UNP, and after the party’s victory in the parliamentary elections of July 21, 1977, he accepted the post of prime minister. In 1978 he became the head of state, as well as commander in chief of the armed forces.
Jayawardene has written works on Buddhism.