Sept 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka's ruling party of the government, United National Party (UNP) has selected its Deputy Leader Minister Sajith Premadasa as the party's candidate at the 2019 Presidential Election.
Minister of Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs and Member of Parliament for the Hambantota District, Sajith Premadasa was endorsed as the Presidential candidate of the UNP in a unanimous decision of the Working Committee. The Working Committee was convened this evening at the UNP headquarters Sirikotha under the aegis of Leader of the UNP, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Sajith Premadasa's name was proposed at a special discussion held at Temple Trees this morning with the participation of UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and senior ministers.
Accordingly, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe proposed Minister Sajith Premadasa as the Presidential candidate and all members of the Working Committee seconded his proposal.
The United National Party will contest the Presidential Election under the alliance United National Front (UNF). Accordingly, the presidential candidate has received the approval of the other parties in the alliance.
Sajith Premadasa was born in 1967 and received his primary education at St. Thomas and Royal College, Colombo. He later attended Mill Hill School in London, where he finished his schooling, earning honors for a distinguished foreign student. Premadasa, who represented the college cricket team for four years, was appointed to the captaincy in 1986.
Later, he graduated from the University of London with a degree in Economics, Politics and International Relations. His study of foreign relations in the United States during an internship with Senator Larry Presler was a significant resource for his later political life.
In 1993, Sajith Premadasa suddenly returned to the country after learning of the assassination of his father, the then President Ranasinghe Premadasa. Sajith Premadasa entered politics in 1994 after his father's death choosing Hambantota District, then a rural area, as base. Sajith entered Parliament in 2000 polling the highest number of preferences in Hambantota and the highest preference vote percentage of the whole country.
Following his father's footsteps, Sajith Premadasa initiated the Jana Suvaya poverty alleviation program and provided immense benefits to the people in Hambanthota district.
With the UNP led unity government came to power in 2015, Premadasa was appointed to the Cabinet as the Minister of Housing and Construction. He initiated a grassroots national program to alleviate poverty and fulfill housing needs of the people.