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Sajith Premadasa, MP (Sinhala : සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස, Tamil : சஜித் பிரேமதாச) (born 12 January 1967) is a Sri Lankan politician.


Sajith Premadasa

Sajith Premadasa.jpg
Minister of Housing Construction and Cultural Affairs
Assumed office
20 December 2018
PresidentMaithripala Sirisena
Prime MinisterRanil Wickremesinghe
Preceded byWimal Weerawansa
Minister for Housing and Construction.
In office
4 September 2015 – 26 October 2018
PresidentMaithripala Sirisena
Prime MinisterRanil Wickremesinghe
Preceded byHimself
Succeeded byWimal Weerawansa
Minister of Housing and Samurdhi
In office
12 January 2015 – 17 August 2015
PresidentMaithripala Sirisena
Prime MinisterRanil Wickremesinghe
Deputy Leader of the United National Party
Assumed office
2014
In office
2011–2013
Preceded byKaru Jayasuriya
Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament
for Hambantota District
Assumed office
2000
Deputy Minister of Health
In office
2001–2004
PresidentChandrika Kumaratunga
Prime MinisterRanil Wickremesinghe
Personal details
Born (1967-01-12) 12 January 1967 (age 52)
Colombo, Ceylon
Spouse(s)Jalani Premadasa
ParentsRanasinghe Premadasa
Hema Premadasa
Alma materLondon School of Economics
University of Maryland
WebsiteOfficial website

The Cabinet Minister for Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs and Member of Parliament for the Hambantota District. He is the Presidential Candidate from United National Front for 2019 Presidential Election.

The Deputy Leader of the United National Party (UNP), he is a working committee member of the UNP and the former Cabinet Minister of Housing and Samurdhi Affairs; and Deputy Minister of Health. He is the only son of the former President of Sri Lanka, Ranasinghe Premadasa.[1]

Early life and educationEdit

Sajith Premadasa was born on 12 January 1967 in Colombo, to Ranasinghe Premadasa, who was at the time Minister of Broadcasting and a Member of Parliament from the Colombo District and his wife Hema Premadasa. He had one sister, Dulanjali Premadasa. His father elected as the President of Sri Lanka in 1989, having served as Prime Minister from 1977.

Premadasa attended S. Thomas' Preparatory School, Royal College Colombo and Mill Hill School, thereafter entered London School of Economics of the University of London graduating with a BSc in Economics, Politics and International Relations.[2][3][4] Thereafter, he attended University of Maryland to pursue a master's degree in Public Management, near Washington DC. During this time he interned in the Foreign Relations Committee under Senator Larry Pressler, a Republican from South Dakota. Sajith met many other influential senators, including John McCain and former presidential candidate John Kerry.[5]

Early political careerEdit

Premadasa entered Sri Lankan politics after the assassination of his father in 1993. Having joined his father's party the United National Party, he was appointed district organizer of the UNP for Hambantota District in 1994, where He launched several projects for poverty alleviation and housing development. He initiated the youth movement Tharuna Saviya; the People Development Foundation Jana Suwaya for poverty alleviation in Hambantota; and the Sasunata Aruna to aid Buddhist temples and Sunday schools in line with the 2600 Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi celebrations.[citation needed]

ParliamentEdit

It was from the Hambantota district he contested the 2000 general election and entered parliament gaining 83 percent of the UNP preferential votes. He won 82 percent of the preferential votes in the 2001 general election and 84 percent in the 2004 general election and 89 percent in 2010 general election 86% in 2015 general election.[citation needed]

Deputy Minister of HealthEdit

He was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Health under the premiership of Ranil Wickramasinghe in 2001 and remained till 2004 when the Wickramasinghe government was dissolved by President Chandrika Kumaratunga.[citation needed]

General Election 2010Edit

For the fourth general election in a row, Sajith Premadasa won the highest percentage of preferential votes out of all United National Party candidates, which was just under 90 percent of United National Party votes in the Hambantota Electoral District.[citation needed]

Deputy Leader of the UNPEdit

Premadasa was elected as the deputy leader of the United National Party in 2011 and then removed from the position in 2013. However he was reappointed on 24 September 2014.[6]

Minister of Housing and SamurdhiEdit

Following the 2015 Presidential Election, Premadasa was appointed Minister of Housing and Samurdhi in the new cabinet formed in January 2015 by President Maithripala Sirisena. As housing minister, he initiated several national housing projects for lower and middle income families. These include Gamudawa, Jalthara Green Valley residencies, Homagama Mount Clifford. As samurdhi minister, he increase the samurdhi payment by twofold. With the addition of construction to his port folio, he initiated the Shelter For All 2025 objective and provided over 65,000 houses to low income families and initiated 2500 villages.[citation needed]

2019 Sri Lankan Presidential ElectionEdit

United National Party didn't field a presidential candidate in both 2010 and 2015 elections and supported a common candidate.[citation needed] Even though they won the 2015 election and elected Maithripala Sirisena from their support, relations between the president and the UNP was shaky from the beginning. Power struggle between the president and UNP prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe led to the 2018 Sri Lankan constitutional crisis.[citation needed] In the aftermath of the events, most of the UNP members publicly expressed their regret supporting a common candidate in 2015 and promised to field their own presidential candidate in 2019 elections.[citation needed]

Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was the obvious choice for the candidacy and he reportedly expressed his intentions to run for the presidency in a meeting with other senior members. Meanwhile, several rebel MPs including Mangala Samaraweera, Harin Fernando, Ajith Perera, Harsha de Silva, Sujeewa Senasinghe wanted deputy leader Sajith Premadasa as the candidate and organized a rally in badulla where Sajith himself openly expressed his intentions to be the UNP candidate[7]

With the growing support for the deputy leader Sajith Premadasa and party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe refusing to make a move, Speaker of the parliament Karu Jayasuriya released a statement signalling his intention to run for presidency to end the confusion and avoid a rift within the party[8] However the Sajith faction gained strong support from the fellow party members through another two successful rallies in Matara,[9] Kurunegala[10] Matugama.[11]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ New Cabinet Ministers sworn in
  2. ^ The Royal Cabinet
  3. ^ PM at Royal College
  4. ^ Former Sri Lankan President’s Son Was Given Aegrotat Degree – LSE Admits Today
  5. ^ Book on Sajith Premadasa out next month
  6. ^ Sajith Premadasa appointed UNP deputy leader
  7. ^ "Sajith Premadasa stakes claim for Sri Lanka UNP candidacy". EconomyNext. 13 August 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Karu Jayasuriya : PM's new pawn to secure his seat as the Opposition Leader in 2020 - Sri Lanka Latest News". Sri Lanka News - Newsfirst. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Sri Lanka : UNP Deputy Leader avows to 'definitely contest' presidential election at Matara Rally". www.colombopage.com. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Sajith's Kurunegala rally draws mammoth crowd". Sunday Observer. 7 September 2019. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Sajith Premadasa's Controversial Speech At Mathugama Rally Causes Ripples Among Working Committee Members Ahead Of Crucial Meeting". www.asianmirror.lk. Retrieved 29 September 2019.

External linksEdit