Vasudeva Nanayakkara, the fire-brand of Sri Lankan left politics, is a national leader who felt the heart beat of the downtrodden. Born in the village of Materamba-Mihiripenna in Galle, he received his primary education at Richmond College, Galle, from where he secured admission to the Law College. Vasu, as he is fondly called by people, graduated as an Attorney-at-law and was a practicing lawyer. He also has a Degree in Law from the University of Peradeniya. Vasu soon gave up his legal career in favour of revolutionary politics.
Vasu started his political career in the 1950s as an active member of the Samasamaja Youth Movement and soon became its leader. In 1970 he entered the Parliament for the first time representing the people of Kiriella. Since then, Vasu represented the people of the Rathnapura District in the Parliament on many occasions.
Vasu is always against the privatization of public resources and believes such resources should be managed in a profitable and effective manner with state intervention. He is also a fearless champion of the rights of the minorities. He has been beaten, jailed and forced underground due to his political activism. On the other hand, his political activism has won him the hearts of the working class and the minority communities.
Vasu is the General Secretary of the Democratic Left Front. He is also the Hon. Minister of National Languages and Social Integration. As the Minister, he aims to unify Sri Lanka by winning the hearts and minds of diverse people that make up the island on the basis of equality.
Struggling for democracy and social justice has been the essence of Vasu’s political life and many are the sacrifices he made to build a just society.