Power, posts or perks meant little to Pathi
Most journalists like good soldiers are so committed that they often die on the job and The Sunday Times chief sub-editor Dayananda Pathirana was one such.

Even on the day he suffered a paralysing stroke which left him unconscious for eight days, the senior journalist who was respected as an intellectual, thinker and avid reader worked with his characteristic dedication to edit the front page. His commitment to the values of hard work, honesty and humility had guided his life from his school days at Nalanda where the Buddha Dhamma and socialist principles of equality and justice became his great charter and manifesto for life. Dayananda Pathirana worked first as a public servant in the Auditor General's Department and then at Saumyamoorthy Thondaman's Ministries where he took a strong stand for workers' rights. His preferential option for the workers, the poor and the marginalised and his strong trade union affiliations denied him of promotions to the civil service but Dayananda Pathirana was not concerned because he did not seek after transient, impermanent perks, privileges and power.

With a solid foundation as a public servant Dayananda Pathirana after retirement moved into journalism and mass communication with the vision of being a voice of the voiceless and fighting for the rights of the deprived classes. Starting at Independent Newspapers Ltd in the 1980s, Dayananda Pathirana then moved to the Wijeya Newspapers where he worked as a senior sub-editor playing a crucial role in the last line of defence, checking and double checking stories and pages. He was later appointed as chief sub-editor but characteristically posts did not mean much to the quiet and humble man. He sat in a corner with colleagues and newcomers who were young enough to be his grandchildren and indeed he was like a much loved grandpa giving not only professional guidance but also personal counselling and a hand of friendship to many. His vision and goals were linked to the stars but Dayananda Pathirana kept his feet firmly planted to the ground with a quiet commitment to a simple and humble lifestyle.

At The Sunday Times Dayananda Pathirana for a decade enriched our lives and enriched our work and for that we say a big thank you and well done to him. As simply as Dayananda Pathirana lived, a simple funeral and cremation was held at Talahena on Wednesday. May he attain the Nibbana to which he gave the highest priority in his life.

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