Basil to be sworn in as MP today
KOTTE: Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa is due to take
oaths before Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara today as a UPFA National List
He will fill the vacancy created by the demise of Irrigation Minister
and UPFA National list MP Anwar Ismail.
The UPFA General Secretary and Education Minister Susil Premajayanth
yesterday informed the Election’s Commissioner on the new appointment.
Rajapaksa, who has over 40 years experience in politics, spearheads
the Jathika Saviya-Gama Neguma programme under which 14,000 villages
will be developed.
He played a pivotal role in the election campaign of 1970 to bring
his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa to Parliament.
He was also actively involved in the SLFP campaign for the 1976
by-election for Mulkirigala, following the demise of George Rajapaksa.
The candidate was Lakshman Rajapaksa. He won the by-election.
Basil Rajapaksa contested the 1977 General Election from the
Mulkirigala seat, losing by a narrow margin. He then strove to re-organise
the party which suffered a heavy defeat at the polls. He established
youth branches of the party around the country. In appreciation of his
efforts, the party elected him as a deputy secretary in April 1980.
At the next election, held in 1989, he handled the polls campaign for
his brothers Mahinda and Chamal, who emerged victorious.
In 1994, he played a leading role in securing victory for the
People’s Alliance at the Southern Provincial Council election, the
precursor for the victory at the General Election.
This was a decisive election in recent times and Basil Rajapaksa
worked hard behind the scenes to ensure the victory of Mahinda Rajapaksa
(highest number of preference votes in Hambantota district), Chamal
Rajapaksa, Nirupama Rajapaksa and Mahinda Amaraweera, among others.
He rendered a yeoman service in the South to ensure the victory of
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga at the 1999 Presidential Elections.
He worked tirelessly to ensure the victory of Mahinda Rajapaksa at
the polls held in 2000, 2001 and 2004 and subsequently at the November
2005 Presidential Election for which he brought together all patriotic
Basil Rajapaksa is the eighth in the Rajapaksa lineage, from D.M.
Rajapaksa in 1936, to enter Parliament.