Don Stephen Senanayake, considered the 'Father of Sri Lanka', has been nominated for the prestigious 'Gandhi Mandela Award', to be held later this year, alongside other distinguished persons/organizations. He was the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
The Gandhi Mandela awards will be given to personalities who have made significant contribution in the fields of Peace, Social Welfare, Culture, Environment, Education, Healthcare, Sports and Innovation. Shakib has been nominated for his tremendous contribution to the Bangladesh Cricket Team.
Senanayake was born in the village of Botale in the Hapitigam Korale (currently known as Mirigama) on 21 October 1883 to Don Spater Senanayake and Dona Catherina Elizabeth Perera Gunasekera Senanayake. After completing schooling, he worked as a clerk in the Surveyor General's Department, but left after a period of apprenticing. He, along with his brothers, was involved in the temperance movement formed in 1912. When World War I broke out in 1914 they joined the Colombo Town Guard. They were arrested and imprisoned without charges during the 1915 riots. In 1924, Senanayake was elected unopposed to the Legislative Council of Ceylon from Negombo.
Senanayake emerged as the leader of the Sri Lankan independence movement that led to the establishment of self-rule in Sri Lanka and hence became the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. He was elected to the first Parliament of Ceylon forming a government and serving as Ceylon's first Prime Minister from 1947 until his death in 1952.