Ranasinghe Premadasa

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Colombo, Sri Lanka
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Colombo, Sri Lanka

Ranasinghe Premadasa was a politician from Sri Lanka. He was the country’s third President. He had also been the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka before that. Like many of Sri Lanka’s important political leaders, he did not come from a wealthy family and was born into a lower caste. From a young age, he worked to help the poor and downtrodden people of Colombo. After high school, he was going to go to the prestigious University of London, but he changed his mind and joined the Sri Sucharita Movement instead. After making a name for himself in Colombo politics, he joined the United National Party. After a failed run for office, he was finally able to become a member of parliament. He was a member of parliament for a long time from Colombo Central. During his time in politics, he started a number of programs to help the poor. He helped build homes for the poor that were affordable, and that is still one of his most important legacies. After he was named President, he also faced opposition from people in his own party, but he was able to get through it.

Early years and childhood

Ranasinghe Premadasa was born on June 23, 1924, in Dias Palace, Colombo 11, Sri Lanka. His parents, Richard Ranasinghe and Jayasinghe Arachchige Encina Hamine were his parents. Even though his family was not from Sri Lanka’s upper class, his father owned a fleet of rickshaws that helped them make a good living. He was the oldest of the family’s five children.

During his childhood, he went to many different schools. He went to the Harvard Girls’ High School in Colombo for his primary education. For his secondary education, he moved to St. Joseph’s College in the same city.

He was a good student and met all the requirements to go to the University of London for his college education. But he decided to stop going to school and instead spend his time helping the poor in Sri Lanka.

Ranasinghe Premadasa’s Career

He joined the Sri Sucharita Movement, which worked to improve the lives of poor people in Colombo on both an economic and a social level. After that, in 1939, he was made the group’s organizer, and the community development project was his job.

His first step into politics was to work with A. E. Goonesinghe, the leader of the Ceylon Labour Movement. In 1949, he joined the Ceylon Labour Party. A year after he joined the Ceylon Labour Party, he got a job in Colombo’s city government.

In 1956, he ran for parliament from the Ruwanwella constituency as a member of the United National Party (UNP), but his opponent, Dr. N. M. Perera, beat him. Four years later, he was elected to parliament, but he lost his seat in a snap election held four months later.

When his party, the UNP, won a majority in the general elections of 1965, he was elected to parliament again. His party made him the leader of the government whips. He was both the Parliamentary Secretary of Local Government and a minister of local government at the same time. He was in charge of making sure that a million affordable homes were built.

In 1970, people in Colombo Central voted him into parliament, but his party could not form the government. Seven years later, when elections were held, he kept his seat in Colombo Central and was made minister of local government. On February 23, 1978, he became the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. He held that job for about 10 years and 1 month.

After being the Deputy Leader of the UNP, Premadasa was chosen as Sri Lanka’s second executive president on January 2, 1989. His predecessor had decided to step down, so Premadasa was the only candidate. He played a big role in helping his party, the UNP, win the general election earlier that same year. During his time as president, he kept working to help Sri Lankans get out of poverty and money problems.

Works of note

During his time in politics, his most important work was a set of programs to help people, such as a plan to build a million affordable homes.

Personal History and Legacies

He married Hema Wickramatunge on June 23, 1963. They had a son named Sajith and a daughter named Dulanjali.
On May 1, 1993, in Colombo, he was killed by a suicide bomber from the militant group LTTE. At the time, he was 69.

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