The first copy of the biography, N.U. Jayawardena – The First Five Decades, was presented to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he visited Colombo for the SAARC Conference. Prime Minister Singh first met N.U. Jayawardena in the early 1950s, when the Prime Minister was a student of Economics at Cambridge University with NU’s eldest son Lal. The authors of the book, Kumari Jayawardena (NU’s daughter-in-law) and Jennifer Moragoda (his granddaughter-in-law); the wife of the Prime Minister, Gurshran Kaur; and other members of the Jayawardena family were also present.
The biography examines the formative experiences in N.U. Jayawardena’s early life and career, and the role he played, behind the scenes, in shaping some of Sri Lanka’s key financial and economic infrastructure. His life is set against the backdrop of the political, economic and social upheavals of the first half of the 20th century, such as the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Second World War, and the period of Sri Lanka’s transition into an independent nation.
The biography was published to mark Deshamanya N.U. Jayawardena’s birth centenary (1908-2008). Jayawardena who lived until the age of 94, and who started his career as a government clerk, rose to become the first Sri Lankan Governor of the Central Bank, and later served as a Senator. He spent the second half of his career in the private sector as a leading banker, financier and businessman.
The book will be available in early September in leading bookstores. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the N.U. Jayawardena Charitable Trust.