COLOMBO: Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake passed away at the age of 83.
Wickremanayake is a senior member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and was serving as a senior advisor to President Maithripala Sirisena.
He was appointed Prime Minister by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on November 21, 2005. He had earlier served as Prime Minister from August 2000- December 2001, succeeding Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike who resigned at the age of 84.
Wickremanayake entered politics in 1960 winning the Horana seat in the March General Election as a member of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP). Later in 1970, he was appointed Deputy Minister, Justice and went on to become the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in 1977.
In the 1994 General Election, he won the Kalutara District seat and was appointed as Minister of Public Administration, Home Affairs and Plantation Industries and Leader of the House in President Chandrika Kumaranatunge’s Cabinet.
His son Vidura Wickremanayake is also a member of the parliament but is with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.