About Sarath Amunugama

Sarath Amunugama, our father, is a Sri Lankan national icon. He is well known in the country for his contribution as a public servant, a scholar, a media specialist and a politician.

Our father has always maintained that his achievements were made possible by the excellent education that he was lucky enough to obtain. He is fascinated by ideas and intellectual debate. His father, our grandfather Walter Muthu Banda Amunugama, himself was fortunate to catch the eye of his maternal uncle H.B. Ellepola who was one of the earliest Sinhalese to become an Inspector of Police. Ellepola had married an heiress connected to the Attygalle family of Madapatha. As they had no children, they had brought up our grandfather in a state of affluence which would not have been possible in his native village in Harispattuwa. Thus the Amunugama household always had a culture of hybridity which was characteristic of most leading Kandyan homes.



The launch of the DUNF was a significant event in the political history of post-independence Sri Lanka. It created a new opening in social democratic politics of the country. With a refreshingly new manifesto prepared by a committee which included Amunugama, the new party started an aggressive political education campaign based on public meetings which drew record crowds.The DUNF leaders toured the length and breadth of the country much to the ire of the President. This successful campaign also invigorated the SLFP and the Left which had been enfeebled by bitter internal wrangling. The political momentum was definitely with the DUNF. The new President pinned his faith on a split in the new parties leadership since Dissanayake and Athulathmudali were indeed rivals. There were personal ambitions involved but Amunugama was able to successfully negotiate an equitable solution which was, perhaps grudgingly, accepted by both sides. No sooner was this compromise announced to the media, the President dissolved Provincial Councils and called for elections, obviously with the hope of stopping the new party in its tracks.