PM turns 75 today

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa turns 75 today. He assumed office as the Prime Minister, exactly two months after passing the significant milestone of completing 50 years in Parliament.

The people of Kurunegala gave him a massive endorsement at the last General Election - 527,364 preferential votes - which no other candidate has ever received.

Having first entered the August Assembly on June 7, 1970, following the General Elections of May 27, 1970, Prime Minister Rajapaksa is among a handful of politicians who have completed the milestone of 50 years in politics in Sri Lanka.

Politics came naturally to young Mahinda, whose father D.A.Rajapaksa was afounding member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party in 1951.When Mahinda Rajapaksa entered Parliament just three years after the death of his father, he was only 24 and the youngest MP in the House as well as in the Government led by Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who was described in a recent interview by Prime Minister Rajapaksa as one of the most inspiring figures in his life. This was a record that would not be broken for 30 long years, until Duminda Dissanayake was elected MP for Anuradhapura at 21, in 2000.

Today, as Prime Minister, he has the unique distinction of carrying on his legacy under his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The Coronavirus pandemic has once again brought his leadership qualities to the fore at a time when the country needs it most.

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