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Namal Rajapaksa

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Namal Rajapaksa

Namal Rajapaksa
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for Hambantota District
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1986-04-10) April 10, 1986 (age 28)
Political party Sri Lanka Freedom Party
Other political
United People's Freedom Alliance
Relations Mahinda Rajapaksa (Father)
Shiranthi Rajapaksa (Mother)
Alma mater St. Thomas' College
City University London
Sri Lanka Law College
Religion Theravada Buddhism

Lakshman Namal Rajapaksa (Sinhala: ලක්ශ්මන් නාමල් රාජපක්ෂ; born 10 April 1986; known as Namal Rajapaksa) is a son of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a Member of Parliament.[1][2] It is widely believed that Rajapaksa is being groomed to succeed his father.[3][4]

Early life and family

Rajapaksa was born on 10 April 1986.[5] He is the son of Mahinda Rajapaksa and Shiranthi Rajapaksa.[6] He has two younger brothers - Yoshitha and Rohitha.[7] His paternal grandfather D. A. Rajapaksa was a Member of Parliament and Minister of Agriculture and Land in Wijeyananda Dahanayake's government.[8]

Rajapaksa was educated at S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia.[9][10] After school Rajapaksa joined Cardiff University to study law.[11][12] He then went to City University London from where he graduated in September 2009 with a third-class degree law degree.[8][13][14]

Rajapaksa then joined Sri Lanka Law College in order to qualify as an attorney at law. He sat the college's preliminary exam in October 2009 and passed with second class honours.[15] It was alleged that Rajapaksa sat the exam in a special cubicle that was set aside for him and the college's principal accompanied him.[16][17]

Final exams controversy

In December 2010, several media sources reported that Rajapaksa had allegedly received special treatment during his final examination at Sri Lanka Law College.[18][19][20] A fellow law student, Thushara Jayarathna, alleged that Rajapaksa had been given a separate room along with an internet enabled computer, later filing a complaint with the Law College examination system, Keselwaththa police station and the Supreme Court.[19]

Media and NGO sources reports that Jayarathna's complaints were largely ignored or rejected,[21] although he appeared before the college authorities early in January 2011.[19] After the incident, sources reported that Jayarathna had been allegedly abducted and beaten up by the police, and that he also received multiple death threats traced to the police[20] and the college.[21][22][23]

According to the principal of the college, an investigation had been held but it concluded that the allegations "were based on hearsay" and "unfounded". [24] Although the official investigation didn't find anything irregular, the threats against Jayarathna have not been investigated.[21] The Colombo Telegraph reported that the consequences of Jayarathna's reporting wasn't unusual and that he is one of several others who have been harassed or persecuted after filing complaints against the ruling family or the police.[19] Chief Justice Asoka de Silva also questioned the investigation, saying "We have only one Law College in Sri Lanka. If there are suspicions over its credibility, it will affect the whole profession."[18]

Rajapaksa was sworn in as an attorney at law on 15 December 2011 before a panel of Supreme Court judges including Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.[25][26]

Political career

Rajapaksa contested the 2010 parliamentary election as one of the United People's Freedom Alliance's candidates in Hambantota District and was elected to Parliament.[27] Rajapaksa's father was an MP for Hambantota District for 16 years before becoming president in 2005. It is widely believed that Rajapaksa is being groomed to succeed his father.[28][29] Rajapaksa is often seen at state events and is the chief guests at ceremonies inaugurating new roads, bridges, schools and other government buildings.[3][8] Although Rajapaksa holds no government position, he has made numerous official foreign trips, sometimes accompanying his father.[3] In January 2011 Rajapaksa led a parliamentary delegation to Libya and met with Muammar Gaddafi.[30] Rajapaksa has also made official trips to United Nations Headquarters (September 2010), Nepal (March 2011), Palestine (February 2012),[31] Japan (March 2012),[32] South Korea (April 2012),[33] USA (May 2012),[34] China (May 2013)[35] and Australia (June 2013).[36] Rajapaksa also led Hambantota's unsuccessful bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.[3][8]

Business career

Carlton Sports Network, a sports, lifestyles and business television channel, is owned by Rajapaksa and his brother Yoshitha.[37][38] Rajapaksa was a shareholder in Ascot Holdings PLC - as at 30 September 2011 he owned 92,000 shares (1.15%) in the company.[39][40]

Tharunyata Hetak

Rajapaksa and his brother Yoshitha started Tharunyata Hetak (A Tomorrow for Youth), a youth organisation, in 2005.[41] Rajapaksa is chairman of Tharunyata Hetak, Yoshitha is vice-chairman.[42][43] According to Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) Tharunyata Hetak spent Rs. 172 million promoting Rajapaksa's father and his party during the 2010 presidential and parliamentary elections.[44][45] Tharunyata Hetak receives significant funding from public bodies including the Bank of Ceylon and National Lotteries Board both of which are under the control of Rajapaksa's father.[42]

See also


External links

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