Ravi Jayewar­dene passes away

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - FRONT PAGE -

Capt. Ravin­dra Vi­mal Jayewar­dene, the only son of the late Pres­i­dent J. R. Jayewar­dene, passed away last af­ter­noon after a brief ill­ness. He was 80.

After his sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion at Royal Col­lege, Colombo, Mr Jayewar­dene trained as an air­line pi­lot and flew for Air Cey­lon. He was also a re­puted ri­fle shooter and marks­man serv­ing with the Cey­lon Army hold­ing the rank of Cap­tain when he re­tired from ser­vice. He rep­re­sented Sri Lanka in the 1964 Olympics in ri­fle shoot­ing and at the Asian Games.

The body will lie in state at the Jayawar­dene Cen­tre in Colombo from to­day(04). Cortege leaves at 3.30 pm on Thurs­day for cre­ma­tion at the Gen­eral Ceme­tery Borella

In 1971, the then Gov­ern­ment of Mrs Sir­i­mavo Ban­daranaike de­tained him briefly in jail for com­plic­ity in the 1971 JVP in­sur­rec­tion. He was never charged.

Soon there­after, he left for Thai­land and served a pe­riod as a novice Bud­dhist monk. Fol­low­ing the 1983 pogrom and as LTTE ter­ror­ism es­ca­lated, Ravi Jayewar­dene, on his re­turn to Sri Lanka, took charge of his father’s per­sonal se­cu­rity and held the post of Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser. Dur­ing this pe­riod he es­tab­lished the Spe­cial Task Force (STF), the elite para mil­i­tary unit of the po­lice which par­tic­i­pated in sev­eral op­er­a­tions against the LTTE and in pro­vid­ing VIP se­cu­rity. Capt. Jayewar­dene was also in­stru­men­tal in help­ing the cre­ation of new reg­i­ments and the Civil De­fence Force and a civil­ian Sath Sarana Foun­da­tion, which pro­vided se­cu­rity and en­dured the well-be­ing of vil­lagers liv­ing in ter­ror­ism-prone ar­eas es­pe­cially of the Eastern Prov­ince. Capt. Jayewar­dene leaves be­hind his wife Penny and chil­dren Pradeep, Ruk­shan and Am­rik.

The body will lie in state at the Jayawar­dene Cen­tre in Colombo from to­day(04). Cortege leaves at 3.30 pm on Thurs­day for cre­ma­tion at the Gen­eral Ceme­tery Borella.

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