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About Sajith Premadasa

 

Sajith Premadasa was born in 1967 into an environment of politics. At the time, his father, Ranasinghe Premadasa, a Member of Parliament representing Colombo Central had already made his presence felt as no ordinary politician.

Sajith having schooled at St Thomas Preparatory College and Royal College, he sat for his ordinary (O/L) and advance level (A/L) examination at Mill Hill School, London. Young Premadasa won the A/L prize for politics and business studies and besides being appointed a prefect, a rare honor for any foreign student, also played in the first 11 cricket team for four years, captaining the side in 1986. A graduate of the London School of Economics (LSE) and Political Science of the University of London, his degree covered the areas of economics, politics and international relations, an education that served him in good stead later when he launched himself as a grassroots politician.

Following his BSc at LSE, Sajith decided to pursue a Masters in Public Management at the University of Maryland, near Washington DC. During his studies Sajith also had the rare distinction of completing his internship at the U.S. Senate working in it’s 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.

But in 1993, tragedy struck when, with 18 months of his studies left, Sajith’s father was assassinated and the young man left America to return to his home in Sri Lanka. Sajith chose to take the plunge into politics in 1994. It was, incidentally, a year after his father’s assassination. He was made the UNP District Organizer for Hambantota an area of his own choosing. He didn’t lose time in getting on the political track, similar to his father’s Janasaviya, he launched his version a Janasuwaya, to alleviate poverty in the Hambantota District.

 

After years of working at grassroots level, young Premadasa entered parliament in year 2000 polling the highest number of preferences in Hambantota and the highest preference vote percentage of the whole country. He was appointed Deputy Minister of Health when the UNP assumed office a year later.

 

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