NAMAL RAJAPAKSA for SRI LANKA
Lakshman Namal Rajapaksa, born 10 April 1986; known as Namal Rajapaksa is a Sri Lankan politician. He is one of three son of Sri Lankan former President Mahinda Rajapaksa; national leader who liberated the country from the terrorism of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and set the country on the path to peace, stronger democracy and rapid economic development. His paternal grandfather D. A. Rajapaksa was a member of parliament and Minister of Agriculture and Land in Wijeyananda Dahanayake’s government.
Hailing from a notably political family, he has always been at the forefront to help people and offer solutions to problems that are ever-present in this modern day. His distinguished family encompasses Gotabhaya Rajapaksa- Former Defense Secretary, the current President of Sri Lanka, Basil Rajapaksa- Former Minister of Economic, Chamal Rajapaksa – Member of Parliament and former speaker of the Parliament-Sri Lanka. His grand uncle the late D.M. Rajapaksa, a renowned State Councilor for Hambantota in the 1930s. Namal’s grandfather was D.A. Rajapaksa, a former prominent politician, independence agitator and former Member of Parliament. Born to a political family at a time of upheaval, in Sri Lanka, Namal recalls his early years as a time of turmoil and uncertainty.
“I was born in 1986 and until about 1993 or 1994 it was one of the darkest periods in Sri Lanka. We faced a lot of hardship during our childhood especially due to the politics of the JVP and the UNP at that time. Once this house was bombed and my second brother could not speak for about ten years,” says Namal, the oldest of three boys. Namal is the eldest of three brothers – Yoshitha a year younger and Rohitha three years younger than him. He is very close to his siblings and has always been an advisor and guiding light to help not only his family but everyone whom he has associated with.
Namal Rajapaksa studied at St.Thomas’ College (STC) in Mount Lavinia and was an intelligent student who balanced his academic life with a sportier outlook with his strong involvement in tennis, athletics and more prominently – rugby. Namal captained the Under 10 and Under 12 tennis teams and was very involved in every sports meet event at school. Under his captaincy, STC clinched the Roy-Tho title after 5 years with an impressive feat on his part.
Rugby was his lifeblood and his commitment and dedication for the game saw him being awarded national colors in the Under 16 and Under 19 group also captained the nation youth team, with school colors for four years. He captained the Under 13, Under 15, Under 17 and Under 19 rugby teams. During his AL studies, he even won the political science prize in 2004 professing an interest in that area. “Playing for college, captaining the team, putting on the Sri Lanka under-19 jersey for the first time were some of the greatest moments. The most valuable and memorable lessons, more than the education per se were all about the friends I made. Some of the guys are still working for me.” Namal Says.
After school Namal Rajapaksa joined Cardiff University, United Kingdom to study international law and graduated in September 2009 with a LLB degree. Recalling his time studying in England he says it was then that he realized that Sri Lanka was the best place to live in. He said he travelled a lot meeting new people and studying different systems of politics. “It is when one travels far away from home that you begin to appreciate one’s own country and realize home is the best place to live in. It’s a good place to earn money and a great place for entertainment but for me it wasn’t a place I wanted to live in.” Namal says.
Namal Rajapaksa then joined Sri Lanka Law College to qualify as an attorney at law. He sat the college’s preliminary exam in October 2009. In Year 2011, Namal Rajapaksa took oaths as an Attorney-at-Law before a Three-Judge Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Dr. Shirani A. Bandaranayake, Justice Nimal Gamini Amaratunga and Justice Suresh Chandra, and appeared in his first case, in a land matter, before the Supreme Court Two Judge Bench comprising Justice Suresh Chandra and Priyasad Dep PC. Attorney Namal Rajapaksa appeared as the junior counsel for President’s Counsel D S Wijesinghe.
Namal enjoys reading and also confesses to having ventured into the area of racing. He is very much devoted to community service and does it with as much passion and purpose. Having started community development work ever since he was 16 years, he has been at the forefront of achieving as much as he can for Sri Lankan youth.
He is the founder President of the “Tharunyata Hetak”, a movement for youth which introduced innovative concepts to meet the demands of youth in Sri Lanka. The movement has made a significant contribution to meet the aspirations of rural youth.
Sri Lanka’s most vibrant youth organization – The Tharunyata Hetak – plan strategies and implement them from the grass-roots level with a greater commitment to unite, develop and nurture the youth of Sri Lanka together with a motto ‘Let us strive towards equality.’ With their compelling leader Namal Rajapaksa ‘Tharunyata Hetak’ keeps the youth of today energized. Youth are the lifeblood of this country and their interests should be alive in their hearts at all times.
The Tharunyata Hetak youth organization works towards creating bonds between the youth of Sri Lanka with mutual understanding, national patriotism and development highlighting significant qualities of goodwill, friendship and harmony under the leadership of Namal Rajapaksa. Sympathy surrounds Sri Lanka’s poignant history that has taken a number of young lives hence we are dedicated to learn from our country’s grave mistakes by ensuring that youth are not wasted for unintelligible acts of suffering and rebellion. Namal hopes to instill faith and hope in the hearts and the minds of the youth of Sri Lanka, the future generation that will take our country forward.
POLITICS & SOCIAL WORK.
In April 2010, He was nominated by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party to contest the parliamentary election from Beliatta in Hambantota district. It was his father’s and grandfather’s constituency and he won with the largest percentage of preferential votes.
Namal has always been at the forefront to help people and offer solutions to problems that are ever-present in this modern day. He is determined to put aside differences like religion, caste, race, social standing and financial status to strengthen peace and unity in Sri Lanka.
During his first 5 years at parliament, Youthful MP Namal Rajapaksa dedicated to bring some mega developments in to Hambantota which are having benefits to the rest of the country. Most notable among these projects were the Mattala International Airport and the Magampura port in Hambantota. These projects could be transformed into profitable ventures with proper planning and guidance. The Hambantota port, geographically located in the world’s busiest shipping routes between East and the West and Mattala airport located just 20 minutes away by bonded trucking route from the port, is an ideal location for a sea/air hub and a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) which is very similar to Jebel Ali port, Free zone and Dubai World Centre (DWC) airport in Dubai, UAE.
During his time at parliament as a MP from Hambantota district, more than 65 investors had expressed interest in investing in the Hambantota district. More than 2,000 hectares of lands attached to the Magampura harbour was to be declared as a special economic and industrial zone to boost industrial and commercial activities. With these ventures, the infrastructure and other facilities in and around Hambantota were improved with the construction of the port and will play a pivotal role towards the economic development of Sri Lanka.
During the 2010-2015 time period under the leadership of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, he was also keen to develop Hambantota as a knowledge hub with a special focus on Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), software development and computer assembling.
In August 2015, Namal contested for the parliamentary election from Beliatta in Hambantota district and won the highest number of preferential votes from the Hambantota District in the 2015 General Election with 127,201 votes.
Namal will work towards building a political identity for his people which cannot be violated by petty ethnic, racial or religious traits.