Mansoor – the inspirational journalist

An appreciation


M. S. M. Mansoor receives his award from A. Dombagahawatte, Editor, Irida Lankadeepa

I was held up in the Immigration Office waiting my turn for the new ID when I heard the news that my good friend and relative, the honest, hard-working, inspirational journalist, M.S.M.Munsoor has passed away at the ripe age of 88 years after a brief illness.

Educated in St. John’s College, Dematagoda, which school itself produced some great intellectuals in different fields, Mansoor was an inspirational personality, which attribute I could not find the right adjective to describe. He started his career in journalism as a reporter in the Times and leapt up the ladder to be a most respected senior journalist in the position of Chief Sub-Editor of the Times of Ceylon and The Island.

Mansoor, the son of Marhoom and Marhooma M Shaheed, acquired his writing style and journalistic characteristics not taught in schools. The writing skills he possessed are immaculate and incomparable. We got to know each other as Trotskyite admirers and attended classes conducted by the Lanka Sama Samaja Party at the GSCU Headquarters building. However, Mansoor’s Sama Samaja leanings did not let him write without prejudice. He used to tell me that sometimes editors are difficult to please, but that was something, he said that he learned to live with. That helped him learn the profession in the best manner to advantage.

His bereaved wife, Noor Zuhaifa and his three children Fathima Zahara, Fiyaz and Hafiz certainly miss his wit and humour conveyed to them even when he was in pain.

Mansoor was a journalist par-excellence, who received several awards including the D.R.Wijewardena Life Time achievement award.

His passing on the 20th February 2019, is certainly a loss for all of us who dearly loved him, and of course to the world of journalism.

Mansoor my friend, I pray to Allah to forgive your sins and to accept all your good deeds and enter you to jannathul firdouse to dwell in it forever.


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