New Delhi: As 72-year-old Dinesh Gunawardena took oath as the 15th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on Friday, the local media highlighted the pro-India leanings of his parents, who sneaked into India after escaping the island nation during the Second World War. According to a report by news agency ANI, his father, Don Philip Rupasinghe Gunawardena, was at the centre of the anti-imperialist and anti-colonial campaign, and also played a role in India’s freedom struggle.
According to the report, the senior leader met freedom fighters Jomo Kenyatta and Jawaharlal Nehru during his stay in London and also worked with Krishna Menon and Nehru for the Indian League.
Notably, Philip Gunawardena got the opportunity of associating with personalities such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Jayaprakash Narayan and Krishna Menon, and Jomo Kenytta of Kenya, Jose Vasconcelos of Mexico and several others, who later became renowned world leaders, reported Sri lanka Guardian.
He fled to India in 1942 and took part in India’s struggle for freedom. However, he was later caught and imprisoned.
As per Sri Lanka Guardian report, Philip Gunawardena took the name Gurusamy and his wife Kusuma joined him there. Their eldest son Indika was also born in India. He was brought back to Sri Lanka in 1943 and sentenced to a term of six months.
Philip Gunawardena also provided the impetus to promote cooperative movement in India and achieved extraordinary feet by setting up and introducing the Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society system (MPCSs).
Notably, in March 2022, Sri Lanka commemorated the 50th death anniversary of senior Gunawardena.