It was very saddening to learn of the sudden demise of Major Surendra Lal Wijewardene, gentleman and officer of the Sri Lanka Army National Service regiment and the Sri Lanka Army Rifle Corps. He was son of the late Mr. and Mrs. D. E. Wijewardane (former Public Trustee).
Surendra was educated at Royal College, Colombo, and at St. Joseph’s College, Colombo. He excelled in studies and sports. He was also a cadet. After completing his secondary education, he left for the UK to join the London School of Printing (UK). After graduating with a diploma, he returned to Sri Lanka and joined the printing department of the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. Later he was appointed as compiler of the Ferguson Directory, a Lake House publication.
He was also a land owner and an agriculturist, and worked as a coconut planter in the Kurunegala district.
Following the nationalisation of the Lake House Group by the Sirimavo Bandaranaike government, he became a founder member of the Sinhala National Heritage with the late Upali Senanayake, son of the late F. R. Senanayake.
In April 1971, during the JVP insurgency, he was commissioned as an officer in the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force, of the Sri Lanka Army Artillery Regiment, Panagoda. It was that year that I met him.
In 1978, Surendra was transferred to the Sri Lanka Army Rifle Corps, commanded by the late General Ranjan Wijeratne. He was appointed as adjutant to the unit.
After retirement, he took a keen interest in welfare services for the people of the Rajarata, through the Rural Youth Leadership Training Institute Foundation. He obtained funding for the charity work from the Japanese and Australian governments.
He married the lovely Wimala Perera Wijewardana, of Panadura.Our deepest sympathies go to his wife Wimala, son Demintha and daughter Olu.
Capt. L. B. Lanka (Wilbawe) Jayaratne, Mrs. Iranganie Devi Seneviratne B. Jayaratne