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Wimal Weerawansa

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Wimal Weerawansa

The Honourable
Wimal Weerawansa
Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for Colombo District
Personal details
Born (1970-03-07) March 7, 1970
Kalutara
Citizenship Sri Lankan
Other political
affiliations
Jathika Nidahas Peramuna
Spouse(s) Sashi Weerawansa
Occupation Politician
Website www.wimalweerawansa.net

Wimal Weerawansa (Sinhala:විමල් වීරවංශ(වීරසන්ගිලි පනික්කියලගේ විමලසේන) is the leader of the Sri Lankan political party Jathika Nidahas Peramuna and the Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities in United People's Freedom Alliance government.

Early life

Weerawansa (වීරසන්ගිලි පනික්කියලගේ විමලසේන) was Studied at Kalutara Tissa Central College, Kalutara. He was a team member of the school cricket team. Being attracted to the politics, he joined Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna in 1980s when he was schooling at Kalutara Tissa Central College. Later, he worked as a political columnist and cartoonist at the 'Lakmina' newspaper with the alias name "Wimalasiri Gamlath". [1]

Politics with JVP

He was entered into politics through the JVP in 1988 and rocketed to the position of Propaganda secretary. He fell out of favor with top JVP leadership as he insisted publicly that the party should support the Rajapaksa government during its military campaign against the LTTE. However the JVP's inability to impose its will on the president on key policy matters such as the number of ministerial portfolios forced them to oppose the government. The JVP declared that its parliamentary members would abstain from voting for the government budget proposals for the year 2008.[2] The government which did not have a majority at the time was at the risk of losing its budget proposals in a vote, which would require a general election to be held according to the Constitution of Sri Lanka. On April 2008, Weerawansa made an "emotional" speech at the parliament that the party leadership is planning to remove his membership. He alleged that a conspiracy within the party by Western agents led him to be sidelined.[3][4] However, some of the JVP's MPs including Wimal Weerawansa (at the time parliamentary group leader of the party) and Nandana Gunathilake (the JVP presidential candidate for 1999 presidential election) publicly voted in favor of the government while emphasizing the need to support the government war effort to defeat the LTTE. Despite not having JVP's support, the government managed to pass the budget proposal bill in the parliament with help from MPs that joined the government from the opposition After its futile attempt, JVP charged Wimal Weerawansa with corruption, extramarital relationships and espionage (though the JVP leadership and politburo never presented any credible evidence similarly to many of its allegations and conspiracy theories). After an arbitrary investigation by the JVP, he was "expelled" from his positions and party membership.[5] Consequently, 10 party MPs, including Weerawansa, have decided to function as an independent group in the Parliament.

Post JVP Politics

JVP suffered major setbacks in following elections, in which it had lost over 70% of the seats held from previous elections, and currently has itself relegated to the status of a minority party with little political leverage. On May 2008, Weerawansa formed a new political party named Jathika Nidahas Peramuna[6] Weeransa played a key role in president Mahinda Rajapaksa's the 2010 presidential election campaign against Sarath Fonseka. He was re-elected in 2010 general election with highest number of preferential votes in Colombo District.[7]

Controversies

Hunger Strike on UN

On July 8, 2010 Weerawansa and his party colleagues started a Hunger strike in front of the Colombo UN office to protest against the "Experts Panel" appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.[8][9] With the intervention of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Weerawansa gave up his 'Fast unto Death' after 2 days.[10]

Calls to boycott US products

On March 2012 while addressing a rally minister Weerawansa said that Sri Lankans should boycott American products in protest against the US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council. Further he added "I will stop using my gmail account. Let us boycott Pepsi, Coca Cola, Google and McDonalds".[11]

Publications

  • Garu Kathanayaka Thumani [12][13] - Excerpts of speeches delivered by Weerawansa in the Parliament
  • Naththa Wenuwata Aththa [14] - Controversial revelations about the split in the JVP.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.kalaya.org/files2/i100714.pdf
  2. ^ "BBCSinhala.com". Bbc.co.uk. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  3. ^ "Wimal Weerawansa cofirms his suspension in an emotional speech in the Parliament". Asian Tribune. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  4. ^ "Wimal Weerawansa's Speech at The Parliament". Lankapuvath.lk. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  5. ^ "BBCSinhala.com". Bbc.co.uk. 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  6. ^ "The Sunday Leader Online". Thesundayleader.lk. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  7. ^ http--www.slelections.gov.lk-pdf-GE2010_preferences-Colombo_pref_GE2010.pdf
  8. ^ Thamby7 (2010-07-08). "Minister Wimal Weerawansa to start fast unto death from today in front of the UN Complex". Asian Tribune. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  9. ^ "BBCSinhala.com | Sandeshaya | Int. with Minister Weerawansa". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  10. ^ Iqbal Athas (2010-07-10). "Former Sri Lankan Cabinet member ends 'fast unto death' - CNN". Articles.cnn.com. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  11. ^ "Wimal calls for boycott of US products | The Sunday Leader". Thesundayleader.lk. 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  12. ^ "Sri Lanka Political News | Online edition of Daily News - Lakehouse Newspapers". Dailynews.lk. 2010-02-25. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  13. ^ http://www.wimalweerawansa.net/Wimal%20Book%20page%20WEB_re.pdf. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  14. ^ "The Island-News". Island.lk. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 

External links

  • Parliament Profile
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