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Vajira Srimathi Dissanayake (Sinhala: වජිර ශ්‍රීමති දිසානායක, romanized: Vajira Śrīmati Disānāyaka; 1943 – 29 March 2019) was a Sri Lankan lawyer, politician and presidential candidate.

Srima Dissanayake

ශ්‍රීමා දිසානායක
United National Party candidate for
President of Sri Lanka
Election date
9 November 1994
Opponent(s)Chandrika Kumaratunga
and others
IncumbentD. B. Wijetunga
Personal details
Born1943
Died(2019-03-29)29 March 2019
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Political partyUnited National Party
Spouse(s)Gamini Dissanayake
ChildrenNavin, Mayantha, Varuni
Alma materCeylon Law College
OccupationLawyer

Contents

Early life and familyEdit

Dissanayake was born in 1943.[1][a] She was the daughter of Piyasena Lenaduwa from Galle in southern Ceylon.[2] She was educated at Ladies' College, Colombo.[2]

After school Dissanayake joined Ceylon Law College where she met her future husband Gamini Dissanayake.[2][3] They had two sons, Navin and Mayantha, both of whom are Members of Parliament, and a daughter, Varuni.[4][5]

CareerEdit

Dissanayake was a lawyer by profession and was a member of the Central Provincial Council.[6][7] Her husband Gamini Dissanayake, who was the Leader of the Opposition, was chosen by the United National Party to be its candidate at the 1994 presidential election.[8] However, he was killed in a suicide bombing on 24 October 1994, sixteen days before the election.[9] The UNP, hoping to capitalise on the sympathy vote, chose Srima Dissanayake over former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former first lady Hema Premadasa to be Gamini Dissanayake’s replacement.[10] However, many UNP officials refused to campaign for Srima Dissanayake who, for security reasons, campaigned through the media only.[9][11] Dissanayake was heavily defeated by Prime Minister Chandrika Kumaratunga who swept the polls, winning in all but one of the 160 polling divisions.[12] Dissanayake received 2,715,283 votes (35.91%), the lowest share for a major party candidate in any Sri Lankan presidential election.[13][14]

Dissanayake left politics thereafter and devoted herself to her family, the Gamini Dissanayake Foundation and the Gamini Dissanayake Institute of Technology and Vocational Studies.[2][15]

Dissanayake died at a private hospital in Colombo on 29 March 2019.[16][17]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Another source gives Dissanayake's year of birth as 1941.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Peebles, Patrick (2015). Historical Dictionary of Sri Lanka. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-4422-5584-5.
  2. ^ a b c d e Pelopla, Palitha (31 March 2019). "Passing away of a gentle lady…". Sunday Observer. Colombo, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  3. ^ Jayasekera, Talia (21 March 2003). "Remembering a trail-blazing servant of the people". Daily News. Colombo, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  4. ^ Epasinghe, Premasara (23 October 2003). "Gamini Dissanayake - Man who was born to be great". Daily News. Colombo, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Death of Srima Dissanayake". Daily News. Colombo, Sri Lanka. 30 March 2019. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  6. ^ Jayaram, P. (15 November 1994). "Another shattering blow". India Today. Noida, India. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  7. ^ Epasinghe, Premasara (7 July 2011). "Navin Dissanayake - Crickting personality with leadership ingredients". The Island. Colombo, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Six Vie for Presidency" (PDF). Tamil Times. Vol. XIII no. 10. Sutton, U.K. 15 October 1994. p. 7. ISSN 0266-4488.
  9. ^ a b "Sri Lankan Claims Victory in Presidential Vote". The New York Times. New York, U.S.A. 10 November 1994. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  10. ^ Dahlburg, John-Thor (26 October 1994). "Sri Lankan's Widow Gets Party Nod : Asia: The wife of the slain opposition figure will run for president in his place, sources say". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, U.S.A. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016.
  11. ^ Dahlburg, John-Thor (10 November 1994). "Sri Lankan Premier Wins Presidency, Partial Results Show". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, U.S.A. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016.
  12. ^ Sebastian, Rita (15 November 1994). "Shortest Race to Presidency" (PDF). Tamil Times. Vol. XIII no. 11. Sutton, U.K. p. 4. ISSN 0266-4488.
  13. ^ Weerapperuma, E. (14 November 2005). "A historical sketch of Presidential Elections". Daily News. Colombo, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  14. ^ Ranatunga, D. C. (7 January 2015). "Long journey to presidency: Part V". Daily FT. Colombo, Sri Lanka. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Final rites of Srima Dissanayake tomorrow". The Sunday Times. Colombo, Sri Lanka. 31 March 2019. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Mrs. Srima Dissanayake no more". The Daily Mirror. Colombo, Sri Lanka. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Srima Dissanayake passes away at age 76". News First. Colombo, Sri Lanka. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 31 March 2019.