Rajapaksa family

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Rajapaksa family
Ethnicity Sinhalese
Current region Hambantota District
Notable members D. A. Rajapaksa
Mahinda Rajapaksa
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
Basil Rajapaksa

The Rajapaksa family is one of Sri Lanka's most powerful families.[1][2] Led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, many members of the family occupy senior positions in the Sri Lankan state.[3][4] At one point the family reportedly controlled around 70% of the national budget (in the 2014 budget they have been allocated 47% of the budget).[5][6] President Rajapaksa enjoys great popularity because of the victory over the Tamil Tigers in 2009.[5]

History[edit]

The Rajapaksas are a rural land-owning family from the village Giruwapattuwa in the southern district of Hambantota. The family owned paddy fields and coconut plantations.[7] One of its members, Don David Rajapaksa, held the feudal post of Vidanarachchi in Ihala Valikada Korale.[7] The family entered the political scene when Don David Rajapaksa's son Don Mathew Rajapaksa was elected in 1936 to represent Hambantota district in the State Council.[8] Don Mathew died in 1945 and at the resulting by-election his brother Don Alwin Rajapaksa was elected without a contest.[9] At the 1947 parliamentary election two members of the family were elected to represent both of the constituencies in Hambantota district. Don Alwin Rajapaksa was elected MP for Beliatta and Lakshman Rajapaksa (Don Mathew's son) was elected MP for Hambantota.[10] The Rajapaksas continued to dominate politics in Hambantota district for next three decades with two other members of the family (George Rajapaksa and Mahinda Rajapaksa) also entering parliament. The Rajapaksas were represented in the country's legislatures continuously from 1936 till 1977.[9] The family wasn't represented in parliament after the UNP landslide at the 1977 parliamentary election.

The family re-emerged as the dominant political force in Hambantota district when Mahinda and his brother Chamal Rajapaksa were elected in 1989 Parliamentary election to represent Hambantota Electoral District.[11] They were later joined by Nirupama Rajapaksa, Basil Rajapaksa and Namal Rajapaksa.

Although the Rajapaksas had dominated politics in Hambantota district since 1936, national politics had been dominated by other families such as Senanayakes and Bandaranaikes. This changed in 2005 when Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected president. Since then members of the family have been appointed to senior political positions. Immediately after being elected president Mahinda appointed his brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as Defence Secretary (the most senior civil service position in the Ministry of Defence).[12] Another brother, Basil Rajapaksa, was appointed Senior Presidential Advisor. In 2010 Mahinda Rajapaksa was re-elected President contesting against a grand opposition coalition that included UNP, TNA, JVP. At the 2010 Parliamentary Elections, Chamal Rajapaksa, Basil Rajapaksa and Namal Rajapaksa were elected. Basil Rajapaksa received 425,100 preferential votes from the Gampaha District, the highest by any candidate at the 2010 General election while Namal Rajapaksa obtained 147,568 preferential votes from Hambantota District, the highest majority percentage-wise at the election.[13][14][15] Subsequently, Chamal was elected as the Speaker of Parliament unanimously and Basil was appointed as the Minister of Economic Development.[16][17] Between them the three Rajapaksa brothers are in charge of five government ministries: Defence & Urban Development, Law & Order, Economic Development, Finance & Planning and Ports & Highways. At one point the brothers reportedly directly controlled 70% of the national budget.[18][19] The Rajapaksas denied having control over such amounts.[20] According to the 2014 budget the brothers have been allocated 47% of the national budget (40% of recurrent budget and 57% of capital budget).[21][22]

Numerous other members of the extended family have also been appointed to senior positions state institutions.[23]

The accumulation of so much power by one family has inevitably led to accusations of nepotism.[24][25][26] The Rajapaksas deny the charges of nepotism even though large amount of corruption, such as the censorship of journalists and the family's unwillingness to yield power to recent victorious Tamils in Northern Sri Lanka, exist everywhere the country.[27][28]

Family tree[edit]

Mahinda Rajapaksa, head of the Rajapaksa family

1. Don David Rajapaksa, Vidane Arachchi (colonial post) + Dona Gimara Moonesinghe

1.1 Don Charles Coronelis Rajapaksa
1.2 Dona Carolina (Carlina) Bandara Weeraman
1.3. Don Mathew Rajapaksa (1896-1945), Member of State Council for Hambantota (1936-45), + Emalin (Emalyn) Weeratunga
1.3.1. Lakshman Rajapaksa, Member of Parliament for Hambantota (1947-52, 1956-60), Member of Parliament for Tissamaharama (1960-65), Member of Parliament for Mulkirigala (1976-77)
1.3.2. George Rajapaksa (died 1976), Minister of Health, Member of Parliament for Mulkirigala (1960-76) + Lalitha Samarasekara
1.3.2.1. Nirupama Rajapaksa (born 1962), Deputy Minister of Water Supply & Drainage (2010-), Member of Parliament for Hambantota District (1994-2000, 2005-) + Thirukumaran Nadesan
1.3.2.2. Shyamlal Rajapaksa (1966-2009),[29] Member of Southern Provincial Council (1999-2004)[30] + Prashanthi
1.3.3. Esther Gurly Rupasinghe
1.3.4. Pearl (Peri) Jayanthi Gunaratne
1.3.5. Kamala Wickramasuriya
1.3.5.1 Anoma Laphir, Co-ordinating Secretary to the President[31]
1.3.5.2 Jaliya Wickramasuriya (born 1960), Ambassador to the USA
1.3.5.3 Prasanna Wickramasuriya, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services Limited
1.3.6. Neil Kumaradasa Rajapaksa
1.3.7. Ruby Lalitha Rajapaksa + Nandasiri Rajapakse
1.3.7.1 Chithra
1.3.7.2 Kapila
1.3.7.3 Suyama
1.3.7.4 Maneesa
1.4. Don Alwin Rajapaksa (1905-67), Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Government Minister, Member of Parliament for Beliatta (1947-60, 1960-65) + Dandina Samarasinghe Dissanayake* (see Related families below)
1.4.1. Chamal Rajapaksa (born 1942), Speaker of Parliament (2010-), Minister of Irrigation & Water Management (2007-2010), Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries (2004-07), Deputy Minister of Ports Development & Development of the South (2000-01), Member of Parliament for Hambantota District (1989-) + Chandra Malini Wijewardene
1.4.1.1. Shashindra Rajapaksa, Chief Minister of Uva Province (2009-), Member of Uva Provincial Council for Monaragala District (2009-), Basnayaka Nilame of the Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya, Private Secretary to the President
1.4.1.2. Shameendra Rajapaksa, Director SriLankan Airlines, Director of Sri Lanka Telecom, Director of Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Private Secretary to the Minister of Ports & Aviation, Private Secretary to the Minister of Finance & Planning[32]
1.4.2. Jayanthi Rajapaksa
1.4.2.1. Himal Laleendra Hettiarachchi, CEO of Sky Networks[33]
1.4.2.2. Rangani Hettiarachchi
1.4.3. Mahinda Rajapaksa (born 1945), President (2005-), Minister of Defence (2005-), Minister of Finance & Planning (2005-), Minister of Highways (2010), Minister of Ports & Aviation (2010), Minister of Ports & Highways (2010-), Minister of Law & Order (2013-), Prime Minister (2004-05), Leader of Opposition (2002-04), Chief Opposition Whip (2001-02), Minister of Ports (2000-01), Minister of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development (1997-01), Minister of Labour & Vocational Training (1994-97), Member of Parliament for Hambantota District (1989-2005), Member of Parliament for Beliatta Electorate (1970-77) + Shiranthi Rajapaksa (née Wickremasinghe)** (see Related families below)
1.4.3.1. Namal Rajapaksa (born 1986), Member of Parliament for Hambantota District (2010-), Chairman of Tharunyata Hetak, Owner of Carlton Sports Network[34]
1.4.3.2. Yoshitha Rajapaksa, Owner of Carlton Sports Network[34]
1.4.3.3. Rohitha Rajapaksa
1.4.4. Chandra Tudor Rajapaksa, Private Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Private Secretary to the Minister of Ports & Highways[35]
1.4.4.1. Chaminda Rajapaksa, Presidential Adviser, Co-ordinator for Hambantota
1.4.5. Lieutenant Colonel Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (born 1949), Defence Secretary, Chairman of Lanka Hospitals, Chairman of Lanka Logistics
1.4.5.1. Manoj Rajapaksa
1.4.6. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development (2010-), Member of Parliament (2007-), Senior Presidential Advisor (2005-), Chairman of Uthuru Wasanthaya (2009-13) + Pushpa Rajapaksa
1.4.6.1. Thejani Rajapaksa
1.4.6.2. Bimalka Rajapaksa
1.4.6.3. Asanka Rajapaksa
1.4.7. Dudley Rajapaksa
1.4.7.1. Mihiri Rajapaksa
1.4.8. Preethi Rajapaksa + Lalith Priyalal Chandradasa, Member of Securities & Exchange Commission, Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Member of Insurance Board, General Secretary of the Government Medical Officers Association, Chairman of PJ Pharma Care (Ceylon) Ltd, Chairman of MED 1 (Pvt) Ltd, Chairman of Employees Holdings Limited, Chairman of National Aquaculture Development Authority, Chairman of Ceylon Fisheries Harbours Corporation[36]
1.4.8.1. Malaka Chandradasa
1.4.8.2. Madhawa Chandradasa
1.4.8.3. Madini Chandradasa
1.4.8.4. Malika Chandradasa
1.4.9. Chandani (Gandani) Rajapaksa + Thusitha Ranawaka
1.4.9.1. Eshana Ranawaka
1.4.9.2. Nipuna Ranawaka
1.4.9.3. Randula Ranawaka

Related families[edit]

Dissanayake[edit]

2. Samarasinghe Dissanayake

2.1. Dandina Samarasinghe Dissanayake + Don Alwin Rajapaksa (1905-1967), Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Government Minister, Member of Parliament for Beliatta (1947-60, 1960-65)
See Family tree above for descendants
2.2. Nanda Samarasinghe Dissanayake* (d.2012)[37] + Wilbert Weeratunga
2.2.1. Udayanga Weeratunga, Ambassador to the Russian Federation[38]
2.2.2. Ramani Weeratunga
2.2.3. Dayani Weeratunga
2.2.4. Gayani Weeratunga

Wickremasinghe[edit]

3. Commodore E. P. Wickremasinghe + Violet Wickramasinghe (died 2008)[39]

3.1. Nishantha Wickramasinghe, Chairman of SriLankan Airlines,[40] Chairman of Mihin Lanka
3.1.1. Dilshan Wickramasinghe, CEO of Asset Networks (Pvt) Ltd/Asset Holdings (Pvt) Ltd[41]
3.1.2. Shehan Wickramasinghe , SLAF Pilot.
3.2. Shiranthi Rajapaksa (née Wickremasinghe)** + Mahinda Rajapaksa (b. 1945), President (2005-), Prime Minister (2004-05), Minister of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development (2000-01), Leader of Opposition (2002-04), Chief Opposition Whip (2001-02), Member of Parliament for Beliatta (1970-77), Member of Parliament for Hambantota District (1989-2005)
See Family tree above for descendants
3.3. Srimal Wickramasinghe, Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister at Embassy in Vienna[42]
3.3.1. Tishan Wickramasinghe
3.3.2. Mishan Wickramasinghe

Other relatives[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Perera, Amantha (28 April 2010). "The Long Reach of Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa Dynasty". Time (magazine). 
  2. ^ "Putting the raj in Rajapaksa". The Economist. 20 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Chu, Henry (25 August 2007). "Ruling Sri Lanka is a family affair". Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ "Sri Lanka". Freedom in the World 2012. Freedom House. 
  5. ^ a b Haviland, Charles (18 November 2010). "Sri Lanka to inaugurate leader with 'biggest rice cake'". BBC News. 
  6. ^ Kelum Bandara; Yohan Perera (22 October 2013). "Appropriation Bill presented". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 
  7. ^ a b Fernando, Reggie. "DA- An exemplary figure in politics". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka). Retrieved 4 May 2008. 
  8. ^ Wijesinghe, Sam (25 December 2005). "People and State Power". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka). 
  9. ^ a b Gunasekera, D. E. W. (6 November 2011). "D.A. Rajapaksa- the pulse of Ruhuna". Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 
  10. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1947". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  11. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1989". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  12. ^ "President and LTTE get set to talk while preparing for eventual war". The Sunday Leader. 4 December 2005. 
  13. ^ "Sri Lanka marches towards new era". The Sunday Observer. 8 April 2012. 
  14. ^ "Results of Parliamentary General Election 2010 Gampaha District". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  15. ^ "Results of Parliamentary General Election 2010 Hambantota District". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  16. ^ "Chamal Rajapaksa elected Speaker". The Hindu. 22 April 2010. 
  17. ^ Mr. Basil Rajapaksa assumes duties as the Minister of Economic Development. 30 April 2010. 
  18. ^ "Profile: Mahinda Rajapaksa". Al Jazeera. 19 November 2010. 
  19. ^ Perera, Kusal (12 December 2010). "It’s One ‘Oxford’ Salad For Two Racist Calls". The Sunday Leader. 
  20. ^ "‘Mr. 10%’? Prove it, says Basil". Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 30 September 2007. 
  21. ^ "Appropriation Bill 2014". Government Press, Sri Lanka. 
  22. ^ Indrajith, Saman (23 October 2013). "Budget 2014". The Island (Sri Lanka). 
  23. ^ Chakma, Suhas (12 April 2012). "It’s all in the family for the Rajapakses". Tehelka. 
  24. ^ "Between a rock and a hard man". The Economist. 21 January 2010. 
  25. ^ "Ex-Lankan army chief Fonseka vows to topple Rajapaksa govt". Associated Press/The Indian Express. 14 June 2012. 
  26. ^ Wax, Emily (17 November 2009). "Sri Lanka's President Rajapaksa sought to silence astrologer Bandara". The Washington Post. 
  27. ^ "Shadows over Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka". BBC. 13 November 2013. 
  28. ^ "'Trust' is the only process we now depend on after defeating 'terrorism'- President Rajapaksa". Trans Currents/Al Jazeera. 27 May 2010. 
  29. ^ Wijesinha, Sam (11 September 2011). "An endearing personality". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka). 
  30. ^ "Shyamlal Rajapaksa's funeral tomorrow". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka). 16 August 2009. 
  31. ^ Singh, R. Bhagwan (29 January 2012). "Love lost to Lankan war". Sunday Chronicle (India). 
  32. ^ "sri lanka telecom plc (SLTL:Colombo) - Shameendra Rajapaksa". Bloomberg Businessweek. 
  33. ^ Gunasekara, Tisaranee (12 July 2009). "From the Sun God to the High King?". The Sunday Leader. 
  34. ^ a b Pathirana, Saroj (15 June 2012). "Sri Lanka Cricket defends TV deal". BBC Sport. 
  35. ^ "Ministry Guide 2013". 
  36. ^ "dfcc bank (DFCC:Colombo) - Lalith Priyalal Chandradasa". Bloomberg Businessweek. 
  37. ^ "Funeral of Mrs Nanda Weeratunga today". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka). 13 May 2012. 
  38. ^ Gunasekara, Tisaranee (3 June 2012). "Indifference And Intolerance In A Disabling-State". The Sunday Leader. 
  39. ^ "Obituaries". Daily News (Sri Lanka). 26 March 2008. 
  40. ^ "House of First Lady's brother looted". The Nation (Sri Lanka). 10 June 2012. 
  41. ^ Kannangara, Nirmala (11 October 2009). "More nepotism in IT contracts". The Sunday Leader. 
  42. ^ "Rajapaksas's roller coaster relations with the Foreign Ministry". Lanka News Web. 29 July 2009. 
  43. ^ "Crisis in filling vacancies in the Supreme Court!". Retrieved 8 August 2014.