He was a real gem in politics | Daily News


 

He was a real gem in politics

Ratnapura District MP Ranjith de Zoysa’s funeral on Sunday:
Contemporary politicians, including Sabaragamuwa Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa and Chairman of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Kanchana Jayaratne, carrying the casket bearing the remains of Parliamentarian T. Ranjith de Zoysa. Picture by Ratnapura Special Corr.
Contemporary politicians, including Sabaragamuwa Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa and Chairman of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Kanchana Jayaratne, carrying the casket bearing the remains of Parliamentarian T. Ranjith de Zoysa. Picture by Ratnap

The funeral of Ratnapura District Parliamentarian T. Ranjith de Zoysa who passed away in Singapore on December 4 will be held on Sunday (8) at 3 pm at the Godakawela Pradeshiya Sabha grounds.

Ranjith de Zoysa was born on May 3, 1962 as a son of T. Edwin de Zoysa, a farmer by profession. After completing his education at the Godakawela Rahula National School, he followed a diploma course in agriculture at the Colombo Aquinas University College to follow his father’s steps in the Plantation Sector. But, his intention was to take up public service. So, he gave up his agricultural pursuits and ventured into politics in 1994.

After engaging in local politics, he was elected Chairman of the Atakalampanna Pradeshiya Sabha in 1997. In 2004, he was elected as a member of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council with the highest individual majority of votes in the district and appointed Provincial Minister of Agriculture, Land and Irrigation. In 2006, he was appointed the electoral organiser for Rakwana and was elected to the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council for the second time and appointed Provincial Minister of Health, Indigenous Medicine and Women’s Affairs.

He was elected as a Member of Parliament in 2010 and worked as a backbencher. He was elected to Parliament once again at the August 2015 General Election. Ranjith Zoysa’s name came into the limelight when current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the Presidential Election in January 2015. As a close associate of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, he always stood by him both in good and bad times. He was among the handful of Parliamentarians who vociferously opposed moves to expel current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

Ranjith Zoysa made a sterling role in bringing back current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to active politics after his defeat at the 2015 Presidential Election. The impulsive political views expressed by him helped to rekindle patriotic masses. He made a giant contribution towards the Mahinda popularity wave which started from Nugegoda and swept across the country.

Although Ranjith de Zoysa and Prasanna Ranatunga subscribed to the opinion that current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his group should contest the August 2015 General Election under a different symbol, it did not become a reality.

When it was finally decided that they should contest under the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) label, Ranjith de Zoysa too willingly agreed to that and contributed to the UPFA election campaign and was elected to Parliament with over 63,000 preferential votes. Since the UPFA lost the Parliamentary election, current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who was elected from the Kurunegala District could not claim the Opposition Leader’s post. Thereafter, 51 UPFA Members of Parliament formed a joint opposition group and Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena acted as its leader, while Ranjith de Zoysa acted as the deputy national organiser of the alternative opposition group.

Ranjith de Zoysa who fell prey to the oppression of the United National Party (UNP)-led Government had to languish in remand prison for no valid reason.

He gave energy to the anti-government movement for four years from 2015 and made a major contribution towards the formation of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and its convincing victory at the 2018 Local Government elections.

Ranjith de Zoysa who devoted all his time and strength towards ensuring the convincing victory of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the recent elections, suddenly fell ill and was confined to the ICU of a private hospital and later transferred to a hospital in Singapore where he passed away.

May he attain the Supreme Bliss of Nibbana.


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