Rosy Senanayake

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Honourable
Rosy Senanayake
Rosy Senanayake.JPG
Rosy Senanayake
Member of Parliament
for Colombo District
MP
Former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia, Leader of the opposition of the Western Province Provincial Council
Personal details
Born (1958-01-05) 5 January 1958 (age 56)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Nationality Sri Lankan
Political party United National Party
Spouse(s) Athula Senanayake
Children Kanishka
Thisakya
Radhya
Occupation Politician
Profession Activist
Religion Christian
Rosy Senanayake
Title Mrs World 1985,
Miss Asia Pacific International 1981,
Miss Sri Lanka 1980
Rosy Senanayake with Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia and wife Rosmah Mansor in Colombo during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2013.

Bernadine Rose Senanayake (known as Rosy Senanayake) (née Ramanayake; born 5 January 1958[1]), MP is a Sri Lankan politician,[2] activist, and a former beauty queen. A current member of the Sri Lankan parliament, she was the leader of the opposition in Western Provincial Council and is the United National Party Chief Organiser for the Colombo West electorate. Rosy Senanayake has served as the Sri Lankan High Commissioner for Malaysia[3] and was a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund. She has been an activist on several issues and an active figure in the opposition gaining much lime light.

Beauty queen[edit]

Rosy Senanayake was the winner in the first Mrs World competition in 1985. She is also a former Miss Asia Pacific International 1981 and competed as Miss Sri Lanka in Miss World 1980.[4]

Community work[edit]

Her professional life has been devoted to promoting Sri Lanka, and particularly Sri Lankan trade, to the world. She promotes the rights of women and adolescents in her country, and as a United Nations Population Fund Goodwill Ambassador she has, through the National Youth Services Council, promoted reproductive health services for young people and for migrant women workers in Sri Lanka's Free Trade Zone.[5]

She has worked with the private sector to provide reproductive health services to employees of private companies in Sri Lanka, and recently starred in a film about reproductive health. Through her popular daytime television program 'Eliya' she has become an icon for women's and children's causes in Sri Lanka.

Diplomatic work[edit]

In 1998 she was appointed as a United Nations Population Fund Goodwill Ambassador. Rosy Senanayake was appointed as Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia in 2002, which she held until 2004.

Politics[edit]

A major opposition activist, she is the Chief Organiser for the Colombo West Electorate of the United National Party. She was elected to the Western Provincial Council in 2009 topping the preferential votes list in Colombo District obtaining 80,884 votes. There, she served as the Leader of the Opposition until being elected to the parliament in 2010 securing the fourth place in the UNP list with 66,357 preferences.[6] In Parliament, she has raised several prominent issues such as violence against women and childen, chauvinism and socio-cultural and socio-economic problems affecting Sri Lanka. Her professional life has been devoted to promoting Sri Lanka, and particularly Sri Lankan trade, to the world.[7]

Controversies[edit]

UK based The Guardian in its edition on 14 June 2013 published an article titled, Top 10 sexist moments in politics: Julia Gillard, Hillary Clinton and more which described an encounter in 2012 between Rosy Senanayake and Kumara Welgama, Sri Lanka's transport minister, as sexist. Welgama is quoted as saying, "You are such a charming woman. I cannot explain my feelings here. But if you meet me outside Parliament, I will describe them … My thoughts are running riot … I don't want to reveal [them] to the public." Senanayake was strangely not impressed as saying, "......As a woman you are not recognised as a person who has done so many portfolios, but always referred to as the beauty you were in your heyday. I consider that as a sexist remark."[8]

Family[edit]

Daughter of a civil servant, she was educated at Embilipitiya Maha Vidayala(1969–1974) and Ferguson High School, Ratnapura. She married Athula Senanayake, an entrepreneur[9] who is the son of Stanley Senanayake, a former Inspector General of Police and Maya Senanayake the daughter of the founder of Nalanda college P. de S. Kularatne(MP). They have three children Kanishka, Thisakya and Radhya.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]