Adigar Sir Tikiri Banda Panabokke (1883-1963)
The eldest son of Tikiri Banda Panabokke inherited Elpitiya Walauwa after his father’s death in 1902. He married Miss Mantri Keppetipola, a granddaughter of Monaruwila Keppetipola, the leader of the first rebellion against the British rulers in 1817 / 1818. Sir Tikiri had five sons and five daughters.
He entered the legal profession as a Proctor in 1906 and practised at the Gampola Magistrate’s Courts where he was appointed a Crown Proctor and acted frequently for the Magistrate. In 1921 he was nominated to the Legislative Council to represent the Kandyans. In 1931 he was elected to the State Council as the Member for Gampola in the first election conducted under the British administration. He was appointed The First Minister of Health in the State Council of Ceylon from 1931-1935, and was also appointed to the Kandyan Law commision in 1935.
In 1933 he inaugurated an educational society registered as the Vidyartha Society Limited and was the Chairman of its Board of Directors. Vidyartha College which is now a renowned Buddhist boys’ school in Kandy was founded by this society.
Sir Tikiri was appointed First Adigar (an honorary title) in 1940. He was also the first ceylonese Chairman of the Tea Research Institute. In 1944 he was knighted by H.M King George The VI of England . In 1945 he was appointed High Commissioner for Ceylon in India. In 1954 in his capacity as First Adigar he was privileged to receive H.M. Queen Elizabeth II on her first visit to Ceylon at the historic Audience Hall in Kandy. He retired from public service in 1956 and devoted his time to agriculture until his death in 1963.