Rosy Senanayake

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The Honorable
Rosy Senanayake
MP
Prime Minister's Spokesperson and the Deputy Head of the Prime Minister's Office
Assumed office
12 September 2015
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
State Minister for Child Affairs
In office
12 January 2015 – 17 August 2015
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for Colombo District
In office
2010 – 26 June 2015
Leader of the opposition of the Western Province Provincial Council
In office
2009–2010
Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia
In office
2001–2004
Personal details
Born (1958-01-05) 5 January 1958 (age 59)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Nationality Sri Lankan
Political party United National Party
Spouse(s) Athula Senanayake
Children Kanishka
Thisakya
Radhya
Occupation Politician
Profession Activist
Rosy Senanayake
Title Mrs World 1985,
Miss Asia Pacific International 1981,
Miss Sri Lanka 1980

Bernadine Rose Senanayake (known as Rosy Senanayake) (née Ramanayake; born 5 January 1958[1]), MP is a Sri Lankan politician,[2] current Prime Minister's Spokesperson and the Deputy Head of the Prime Minister's Office for Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe[3] She was the former state minister for child development under President Maithripala Sirisena. She is also an activist, a former beauty queen, and 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 Organizer for the Colombo West electorate. Senanayake has served as the Sri Lankan High Commissioner for Malaysia[4] 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 limelight.

Beauty queen[edit]

Senanayake won 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.[5]

Community work[edit]

Her professional life has been devoted to promoting Sri Lanka, and particularly Sri Lankan trade, to the world. She works for 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.[6]

Senanayake 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. 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 by 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.[7] In Parliament, she has raised several prominent issues such as violence against women and children, chauvinism and socio-cultural and socio-economic problems affecting Sri Lanka.[8]

Controversies[edit]

The UK-based Guardian in its edition of 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 unimpressed, 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."[9]

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[10] 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 (Athula and Rosy) have three children Kanishka, Thisakya and Radhya.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]