Philip Gunawardena Commemorative Society Chairman Geethanjana Gunawardena presented two volumes of parliamentary speeches made by Philip Gunawardena from 1960-1964 to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Tees on 13 January.
Those present at the occasion included Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and publisher S. Godage.
Former Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, in his foreword to the book, said that Gunawardena belonged to an age of giants that included the likes of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, N.M. Perera, Dudley Senanayake, G.G. Ponnambalam, Colvin R. de Silva, Peter Keuneman and J.R .Jayewardene and declared that “Philip was among the brightest of the lot”.
Dr. Amunugama added that some passages in Gunawardena’s speeches were in fact what might be described as pedagogic. He was interested in teaching and his pet subject was socialism. On socialism itself, Gunawardena had a different perspective from his red-shirted comrades shouting themselves hoarse on May Day, said Dr. Amunugama, quoting Gunawardena, “You talk of socialism. You cannot socialise poverty. You can only socialise plenty. And if people cannot work, if they cannot produce, you cannot have socialism.”
Dr. Amunugama, described Gunawardena’s speeches as “economic and social analysis, supported by a wealth of facts, coming from a highly intelligent, well-read and acutely observant master of the trade.”