Parliamentary speeches of Philip Gunawardena released

Chairman of the Philip Gunawardena Commemorative Society, Geethanjana Gunawardena presents the books to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, at Temple Trees on Monday. Also present are Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and publisher S. Godage.

Chairman of the Philip Gunawardena Commemorative Society, Geethanjana Gunawardena presented two volumes of the Parliamentary speeches made by Philip Gunawarden from 1960 to 1964 to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, at Temple Tees on Monday.

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and publisher S. Godage were present on the occasion.

Former Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama in his Foreward to the book said that Philip Gunawardena belonged to an age of giants that included the likes of S.W.R. D. Bandaranaike, N.M. Perera, Dudley Senanayake, G.G. Ponnambalam, Colvin R. de Silva, Pieter Keuneman, and J.R. Jayewardene and “Philip was among the brightest of the lot.”

Dr Amunugama added that some passages in Philip’s speeches are in fact what might be described as pedagogic. “He was interested in teaching and his pet subject of course was socialism. On socialism itself Philip had a different perspective from the red-shirted comrade shouting himself hoarse on May Day,” says, Dr Amunugama and quotes Philip, “You talk of socialism. You cannot socialize poverty. You can only socialize plenty. And if people cannot work, if they cannot produce, you cannot have socialism.”

Dr Amunugama describes Philip’s speeches as “economic and social analysis, supported by a wealth of facts, coming from a highly intelligent, well read and acutely observant, master of the trade.”

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