Jayawardene, Junius Richard

Jayawardene, Junius Richard jī˝əwär´dēn [key], 1906–96, prime minister (1977–78) and president (1978–88) of Sri Lanka. Active in Sri Lankan politics since the early 1940s, he was a founding member of the United National Party. Supporting a new presidential constitution (1978), he stressed free-market, pro-Western policies and large-scale development and won elections in 1977 and 1982. In 1983, however, he was unable to prevent civil war between Tamils and majority Sinhalese the unrest continued through the remainder of his presidency, despite Indian intervention (1987).

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