“Monty” Montague Jayewickrama was a member of the Working Committee of the Ceylon National Congress, which fought for the island's independence. More prominent figures of this body were the Congress President George E. de Silva and some other young men later on playing an important role in the independent Ceylon and Sri Lanka, such as later Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake and later President J. R. Jayewardene.
Montague Jayewickrama had become Chairman of the Urban Council of Weligama already at the age of 23. In the elections for Ceylon’s first Parliament, Monty won the Weligama seat. One year later Ceylon’s first Prime Minister, Don Stephen Senanayake, made him Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Labour. When Monty's friend Dudley Senanayake became Prime Minister, he became Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and External Affairs. He became well-known for his “Operation Monti” blocking migrants from India to cross the Palk Street illegally.
When Sir John Kotelawala became Prime Minister, he appointed Monty Minister of Transport and Works. As minister, he started the express train service of the Railway and initiated a cooperation of the national carrier, then called “Air Ceylon”, with the Dutch KLM. Later on Monty became Minister of Public Works, post and Telecommunications. In this period he introduced direct dialling. His most important achievement for today’s visitors of Sri Lanka is the Ella-Wellawaya road crossing the scenic Ella Gap, which is now is the shortest road from the highleands to the Deep South.
After the 1977 elections, President J. R. Jayewardene appointed Monty Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs. Later on he became Minister of Public Administration and Minister of Plantation Industries.
He streamlined "Public Administration", and gave a new look to the rest houses that came under his purview. His last office was the governorship of the North Western Province.
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