Sri Palee College - College Founder

College Founder

The founder of Sripalee College was a proprietor planter - Mr. Wilmot A. Perera. His father was Abraham Perera who was known as the King of Rubber in Raigam and Pasdun Counties and was the richest person in the area as he got a massive income through rubber due to an agreement between a British company and him. Wilmot A. Perera was born on 12 June 1905. Firstly he was educated at Cyril Jansze College at Panadura and later at Royal College Colombo. He initially thought of studying archaeology, but after his father's demise he had to be a planter. Within a short period he became a successful planter and was married to a lady from a wealthy family in Galle.

As a planter he had to mingle with ordinary people and labourers in estates and the various people in the surrounding area. There he could clearly see the grievances of poor people and their struggle to live. He truly felt sorry for these people and made extensive surveys to discover the reasons for their hardships. As a result of this effort he wrote the book Problems of Rural Ceylon. To find solutions for those problems he established for the first time a rural development society in Raigam Korale. He also believed in free education for the sons and daughters of the poor. To make all his ideas a reality he established Sripalee College at Horana in Sri Lanka based on the model of Shanthi Niketan in West Bengal, India. He was the first to start giving a midday meal to the pupils.

As a Leftist, Wilmot Perera was involved in the “Suriyamal” movement during the World War II period and later became a Member of Parliament for the Matugama electorate in the 1947 general election and he won the same electorate in 1952 as well. In 1957 he became the first Sri Lankan ambassador to China. He was the chairman of the Wilmot A. Perera Salaries commission. He died in 1973.

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