The President said that Professor Gunapala Malalasekera was an exemplary character for the members of the diplomatic missions including the present Ambassadors. He also recalled the commitment made by Mr. Gunapala Malalasekera to carry forward the middle path foreign policy of S W R D Bandaranaike.
President Sirisena also said that Mr. Malalasekera was an outstanding personality, who brought fame to the country.
Mr. Malalasekera was appointed as the first Ambassador for Ceylon to the USSR in 1957 by then Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike when he established diplomatic relations with socialist countries such as Russia, China, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia. In 1959, he was appointed concurrently first Ambassador for Ceylon to Czechoslovakia, Poland and Romania.
Subsequently, he functioned as the Ceylon High Commissioner in Canada and was Ceylon UN Permanent Representative in New York. There he served as chairman, Security Council Member, Fact Finding Mission to Saigon and also in the Committee on Information from North Non-self-Governing Territories. Finally, he was the Ceylon’s High Commissioner in the UK from 1963 to 1967.
The President offered floral tribute to the statue of Gunapala Malalasekera felicitating his great service for the country.
During the event, Gunapala Malalasekera Foundation (GMF) Chairman Vijaya Malalasekera, presented a book titled ‘Maha aduru Gunapala Malalasekera- Punarudaye Peragamankaru’ to the President.
The Maha Sangha including Most Ven. Prof. Kotapitiye Rahula Thero, Professor Venerable Bellanwila Wimalarathana Nayaka Thero, Professor Agalakada Sirisumana Thero, Prof. Sarath Amunugama, Ministers Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, intellectuals and many others participated on this occasion.