Abdul Majeed Mohamed Sahabdeen

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Abdul Majeed Mohamed Sahabdeen
Portrait of Deshamanya Al-Haj Dr. Abdul Majeed Mohamed Sahabdeen circa 1970

Deshamanya Al-Haj Dr Abdul Majeed Mohamed Sahabdeen (19 May 1926 [1] - 21 February 2017 [2]) was a civil servant, public administrator, Presidential Commisionner, philanthropist, author, academic and humanist. He was a visiting Head of Department, of Western Philosophy at the Vidyodaya University, Council Member at the University of Kelaniya and the Chairman of Sifani Group of Companies. He founded the A. M. M. Shahabdeen Trust Foundation, through which he carried out much of his philanthropic work.


Sahabdeen received his primary education at St. Andrews School where he sat his senior school certificate examination. He subsequently attended Kingswood College in Kandy.[3] He gained entry into the University of Ceylon in 1946,[4] where he read for a Bachelor of Arts with a specialisation in Philosophy and graduated in 1950 with honours.[5] He received a PhD from the University of Peradeniya in 1985.[6]


Ceylon Civil Service[edit]

Soon after graduating from university he joined the Ceylon Civil Service,[7][8] in 1950.[1] In 1973 he took an early retirement offer made by the Government of Sri Lanka,[1] upon institution of the new Ceylon Administrative Service which replaced the Ceylon Civil Service.[9]

Public Administrator[edit]

After retiring from the Ceylon Civil Service, Sahabdeen was appointed to several Presidential Commissions, and Commisions of Inquiry between 1977 and 1998, by the Government of Sri Lanka.[10]


Sahabdeen was appointed visiting lecturer,[7] and Head of the Department of Western Philosophy,[8] at Vidyodaya University between 1957 and 1959 as it transitioned from the earlier Vidyodaya Pirivena into a University under the direction of Prime Minister Wijeyananda Dahanayake.[11]

He was appointed a Council Member at the University of Kelaniya under the University Grants Commission in 1993.[12]


Sahabdeen was appointed Chairman of Majeedsons Group,[1] and the Sifani Group of Companies in 1973.[13]


In 2001 Sahabdeen published a book, The Circle of Lives, which dealt with aspects of philosophy.[7][8]

Personal Life[edit]

Sahabdeen was born Mohandiram-la-gedera Isakku Lebde Abdul Majeed Mohamed Sahabdeen,[14] on 19 May 1926 in Gampola,[1] to Mohandiram-la-gedera Isakku Lebbe Abdul Majeed and Shaharuwan Beebi. He was the oldest child in a family comprising eight brothers and two sisters. His father was a business man managing tea plantations in the area, and his mother was a home-maker.[15]

In 1959 he married Sitti Ruchia Halida Jabir,[1] with whom he had two children, Rizwan and Samiya.[16]


In recognition of his outstanding service as a public servant, educationist, scholar and businessman, President Ranasinghe Premadasa conferred upon him the title of Deshamanya on 22 May 1992,[1][17] at an investiture ceremony held at the Janadipathi Mandiraya.[18]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}
  2. "Obituaries". The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. 22 February 2017. http://www.dailynews.lk/2017/02/22/obituaries/108327/obituaries.
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  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "An overview of man in the universe". Upali Newspapers (Pvt) Ltd. http://www.island.lk/2002/02/20/midwee09.html.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "The circle of lives.". The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. 5 May 2004. http://archives.dailynews.lk/2004/05/05/artscop02.html.
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  13. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}
  14. Professor Hilali Noordeen (3 April 2017). "Dr. Mohamed Sahabadeen". The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. http://dailynews.lk/2017/04/03/features/112256/appreciations-03-04-2017.
  15. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}
  16. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}
  17. "National Honours". Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka. http://www.presidentsoffice.gov.lk/?page_id=340.
  18. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}

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