Namal Rajapaksa

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Honourable
Namal Rajapaksa
MP
Lakshman Namal Rajapaksa.jpg
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for Hambantota District
Incumbent
Assumed office
2010
Personal details
Born (1986-04-10) 10 April 1986 (age 28)
Political party Sri Lanka Freedom Party
Other political
affiliations
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
Website www.namalrajapaksa.com

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[edit]

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 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[edit]

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[edit]

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] US (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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Namal Rajapaksa's law exam cheating case goes to Geneva". Colombo Telegraph. 30 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Namal Rajapaksa to open Mihin Lanka Airlines office in Jaffna". TamilNet. 10 September 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d "The son also rises". The Economist. 17 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Sriskandarajah, Usha (29 October 2012). "Sri Lanka: A look at the Rajapaksas prior to the UPR". South Asia Analysis Group. 
  5. ^ "NAMAL RAJAPAKSA". Directory of Members. Parliament of Sri Lanka. 
  6. ^ "Carrots like carat: Johnnie eats humble vegetable pie". The Sunday Times. 18 December 2011. 
  7. ^ Perera, Amantha (28 April 2010). "The Long Reach of Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa Dynasty". Time. 
  8. ^ a b c d Aditi Khanna; Namini Wijedasa; Saleem Samad; Shafi Rahman (8 August 2011). "South Asia's other Rahuls". India Today. 
  9. ^ "Namal begins a new chapter". Daily FT. 16 December 2011. 
  10. ^ Kotelawala, Himal (18 April 2010). "New Faces in Parliament". The Sunday Times. 
  11. ^ Madawala, Tissa (13 April 2006). "Surprise birthday boy at London Temple". The Daily Mirror. 
  12. ^ "Mahinda reacts to Kebetigollewa, Mervyn clowns on a chopper". The Island. 18 June 2006. 
  13. ^ Page, Jeremy (22 February 2010). "Rise of Sri Lankan President's son Namal Rajapaksa sparks concern". The Times. 
  14. ^ Mendis, Patrick (8 December 2012). "The Colombo-Centric New Silk Road". Economic and Political Weekly. XLVII (49). 
  15. ^ "Awards Ceremony Sri Lanka Law College 2010". Sri Lanka Law College. 
  16. ^ Gunasekara, Tisaranee (13 December 2009). "Spurious Claims and Real Agendas". Asian Tribune. 
  17. ^ "Some Are More Equal". The Sunday Leader. 29 November 2009. 
  18. ^ a b Pathirana, Saroj (9 January 2011). "Law College initiates probe on 'exam cheat'". BBC Sinhala service. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c d "Namal Rajapaksa's law exam cheating case goes to Geneva". Colombo Telegraph. 30 October 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  20. ^ a b Sujan, Dheera (19 January 2012). "Above the Law". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  21. ^ a b c "SRI LANKA: Police refuse to conduct investigation into malpractice during the Sri Lanka Law College exam and threaten the life of the complainant". Asian Human Rights Commission. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  22. ^ "SRI LANKA: A whistle-blower who exposed the leakage of a question paper at Sri Lanka Law College forced into hiding". Asian Human Rights Commission. 29 December 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "He was abducted, tortured & plotted to be killed but he continues to fight for justice". Sri Lanka Guardian. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  24. ^ Wickrematunge, Raisa. "Law Student Goes Underground". The Sunday Leader. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  25. ^ "That's My Boy". The Sunday Leader. 18 December 2011. 
  26. ^ "Two stories:Namal Rajapaksa took oaths as Attorney-at-Law and two students arrested for exam fraud". Colombo Telegraph. 16 December 2011. 
  27. ^ "Parliamentary General Election – 2010 Hambantota Preferences". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  28. ^ Haviland, Charles (7 April 2010). "Rajapaksas out in force for Sri Lanka election". BBC News. 
  29. ^ "Saturn Affects Three Main Parties". The Sunday Leader. 6 November 2011. 
  30. ^ Pathirana, Saroj (4 March 2011). "Gaddafi calls President Rajapaksa". BBC Sinhala. 
  31. ^ "Namal and Abbas discuss conflict". The Sunday Leader. 20 February 2012. 
  32. ^ "Namal meets leading Japanese dignitaries in Tokyo". Daily FT. 14 March 2012. 
  33. ^ "Korea signs deal for $200 m support for Sri Lanka". Daily FT. 25 April 2012. 
  34. ^ "Govt. Continues To Stumble With Lessons Unlearnt". The Sunday Leader. 6 May 2012. 
  35. ^ "The President's Fruitful Visit To China". The Sunday Leader. 2 June 2013. 
  36. ^ "Aussie PM looks forward to attending CHOGM". The Island. 19 June 2013. 
  37. ^ Pathirana, Saroj (15 June 2012). "Sri Lanka Cricket defends TV deal". BBC Sport. 
  38. ^ "Cricket Chief exposes Nishantha Ranatunga". The Island. 12 June 2012. 
  39. ^ Laduwahetty, Ravi (21 January 2012). "President's sons in Ascot's Top Twenty lis". The Island. 
  40. ^ "Rajapaksa Sons Among Top 15 Shareholders of Ascot Holdings". Colombo Telegraph. 28 January 2012. 
  41. ^ "Coca-Cola Partners with Tharunyata Hetak to Drive Forward Youth Entrepreneurship". The Daily Mirror. 23 September 2007. 
  42. ^ a b Electoral Integrity: A Review of the Abuse of State Resources and Selected Integrity Issues During the 2010 Elections in Sri Lanka. Transparency International Sri Lanka. 2010. ISBN 978-955-1281-32-8. 
  43. ^ "Workshop on English Language and Personality Development by Tharunyata Hetak". The Sunday Times. 14 February 2010. 
  44. ^ "TISL puts Rs. 824 m Ad spend for Presidential polls". Daily FT. 30 September 2010. 
  45. ^ Wickrematunge, Raisa (17 January 2010). "Namal's Tharunyata Hetak Beats Them All". The Sunday Leader. 

External links[edit]