Deshamanya A S Jayawardena: The banker’s banker


Deshamanya A S Jayawardena was the tenth Central Bank Governor, functioning in the position from November 1995 to June 2004. He joined the Central Bank in 1958 and served in the Secretariat, Establishments and Economic Research Departments before being appointed as Director of Economic Research (1977 – 1980).

He served as Assistant to the Governor and Executive Director during 1980-1981 and also functioned as the Alternate Executive Director of the IMF from 1981 -1986. He served as Deputy Governor from 1986 – 1989 and was the Senior Deputy Governor from 1993 – 1994.

Rendering his service and expertise to many sectors, Deshamanya Jayawardena was on release from Central Bank and served in several public institutions. To mention a few, during 1976 – 1977 he was General Manager (Chief Executive Officer) Bank of Ceylon and again in 1989 he was Chairman, Bank of Ceylon and Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka. During the period 1989-1993 he was Secretary, Ministry of Industries, Science and Technology and from 1994 – 1995 he was Secretary, to the Treasury and Secretary Ministry of Finance & Planning, Ethnic Affairs & National Integration. He also served as a visiting lecturer in Economics at Sri Lanka Universities during 1965 – 1976.

A brilliant scholar, Deshamanya A S Jayawardena studied at St. Thomas’ College Matale and Royal College, Colombo. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya with a BA (Hons.) Degree in Economics in 1957. Obtaining his MSc in Economics specialising in Public Sector Economics from the London School of Economics in 1965, he proceeded to obtain his Master’s Degree in Public Administration specialising in Public Finance from the Harvard University in 1975. While at Harvard, Mr. Jayawardena was an Edward Mason Fellow. He was awarded the title of “Deshamanya” in 2005 by the Sri Lankan Government in appreciation of his services to the country.

Deshamanya A S Jayawardena passed away at the age of 82, on the 29th of May, 2018.

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