Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike

Felix Dias Bandaranaike

Felix Reginald Dias Bandaranaike (05 November , 1930 - 26 June , 1985) was a Sri Lankan politician who served as Minister of Finance, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence and External Affairs (de-facto foreign minister) (1960–1965) and Minister of Justice (1970-77) in the cabinet of Prime Minister Mrs.Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike. He was a very popular person about the anti-corruption campaign and also known as the "virtual leader of the state" during the SLFP governments after the death of Prime minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. He was very active in defeating two major coups against the government, one is 1962 attempted military coup and JVP's 1971 JVP Insurrection.

Family & education

The son of Felix Reginald Dias Bandaranaike, Judge of the Supreme Court and Annie Lucy (Florence) D' Alwis and brother of Prof. Michael Dias Bandaranaike who held the Chair of Jurisprudence at the University of Cambridge, he was also the nephew of Mrs.Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike . He was an outstanding scholar at Royal College, Colombo, at the University of Ceylon and at the Colombo Law College, carrying away most of the prestigious prizes. After graduating he became a he started his practice as a lawyer.

Political career

Following the assassination of S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, Felix entered politics to help his uncle's party. He was elected to parliament from the electorate of Dompe. In 1960 he became the youngest Minister of Finance in the Commonwealth, at the age of 29 holding the post for twelve years in two governments. During this time he was also the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence and External Affairs. He played an impotent role in stopping the 1962 military coup, rounding up the coup leaders and even personally interrogating them. He took many drastic steps to bring to leaders to bar, when the current law of the country was fund inadequate to ty the leaders he had the new Criminal Law Special Provision Act of 1962 drafted and passed by parliament.

He was made Minister of Justice in 1970 when the SLFP won a major election victory gaining an overwhelming majority in parliament. The following year he played a major role in guiding the country though the 1971 JVP Insurrection. He was later made Minister of Finance as well. A stout loyalist of Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike, he supported her in having the government extended by two more years, then the six years it was elected for. After the major defeat of the SLFP in the 1977 elections, he was deprived of his civic rights.

Felix filed a court case in 1980's against the State Film Corporation was released a film entitled "Sagarayak Meda" for public exhibition which was defamatory of him.

Later he was diagnosed with cancer and left active politics and after he died June 26, 1985.


He married Muthulakshmi "Lakshmi" Jayasundera.


  • Sri Lanka: Third World Democracy (Studies in Commonwealth Politics and History, No 6) by James Jupp


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