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Sri Lankan Politician and Two Time Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Passes Away

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Veteran Sri Lankan politician Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, who served twice as Prime Minister, passed away after a brief illness on December 27, 2016.The 83-year-old leader was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of a leading private hospital on December 21.

About Ratnasiri Wickremanayake

Ratnasiri Wickremanayake was born on 5 May 1933. He was a Sri Lankan politician, who was the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka from 2000 to 2001 and again from 2005 to 2010. He was a National List member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka. His son Vidura Wickremanayake is also a member of the parliament.

  • He received his early education in Millewa Primary School, Dharmapala Vidyalaya, Pannipitiya, Hartley College, Point Pedro and Ananda College, Colombo.
  • Later, as a student, he joined Lincoln’s Inn to become a Barrister of Law, but ultimately chose to enter politics rather than appear for the exam. He was elected president of the Ceylon Students’ Association in the United Kingdom in 1955.
  • Wickremanayake returned to Sri Lanka following the demise of his elder brother Munidasa who was in active politics representing the Western Province parliamentary seat of Horana.
  • On his return to Sri Lanka, he was elected to the legislature in 1960, from Horana for the Lanka Sama Samaja Party. Wickremanayake joined the SLFP in 1962. In 1965, he was re-elected to the legislature for Horana from the SLFP.

Political Career

  • 1960: Wickremanayake entered politics in 1960, after winning the Horana seat in the March General Election as a member of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna.
  • 1970: Wickremanayake received his first ministerial appointment in 1970, as Deputy Minister for Justice in the United Front government under Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike.
  • 1975: In 1975, Wickremanayake was appointed Minister of Plantation Industries and the next year was also Minister of Justice. Wickremanayake lost his Parliamentary seat Ratnasiri Wickremanayakein the landslide defeat of the SLFP in 1977. He became General Secretary of the SLFP in 1978.
  • 1994: He rose to higher office in the government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, becoming Minister of Public Administration, Home Affairs and Plantation Industries in 1994, and also being named the leader of the SLFP parliamentary party.
  • 2000: Wickremanayake first served as Prime Minister from August 2000 to December 2001. He succeeded Sirimavo Bandaranaikeafter she resigned from the position at the age of 84.
  • 2004: In 2004, after the SLFP won the parliamentary elections, Wickremanayake was appointed Minister of BuddhistAffairs, Public Security, and Law and Order, and Deputy Minister for Defence.
  • 2005: He was sworn in for a second time as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka by President Mahinda Rajapaksaon 21 November 2005.

About Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, officially known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon), is an island country in South Asia near south-east India. Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest.

  • Sri Lanka is a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77, and the Non-Aligned Movement.
  • Along with the Maldives, Sri Lanka is one of the two countries in South Asia that are currently rated among high human development on the Human Development Index.
  • Capitals: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo
  • Prime minister: Ranil Wickremesinghe
  • President: Maithripala Sirisena
  • Currency: Sri Lankan rupee