The Sunday Leader

Premadasa Remains An Iconic Figure – Thalatha Athukorala

By Faraz Shauketaly

UNP Ratnapura parliamentarian, Thalatha Athukorala, issued a statement condemning the remarks made by the recently elected MP Ranjan Ramanayaka.

Athukorala said in a telephone interview with The Sunday Leader, that to slate the dead was poor form but to attempt to tarnish the name of a former leader of the UNP and former President of Sri Lanka was below par for a serving parliamentarian like Ramanayaka who had only recently been elected to parliament.

Athukorala continued adding that President Ranasingha Premadasa remains an iconic figure amongst the people of Sri Lanka who reminisce fondly of the many achievements of the former UNP Leader.

President Premadasa ultimately paid for his visionary ideals with his own life when he was assassinated by the LTTE.

Ramanayaka had suggested that President Premadasa was responsible for the erosion of the UNP vote base, drawing flak from the likes of Athukorala who is known as a fiercely loyal member of the UNP resisting attempts to crossover to the government in the run up to the last parliamentary elections.

28 Comments for “Premadasa Remains An Iconic Figure – Thalatha Athukorala”

  1. President Premadasa was the best leader Sri Lanka ever had.
    He was accused for things he never did. He was accused of giving arms to LTTE.
    But at that time LTTE was fighting against Indian army and not against Sri Lanka
    armed forces. At that time Rajapaksa was demanding the government to chase the Indian Army from Sri Lanka. Whatever said and done they killed Premadasa
    because he was a threat to LTTE .
    People like Ramanayake should think first before they talk since it is not like
    in films where you talk what you memorised without thinking.

  2. Barai

    President Premadasa was and is my idol. I listened to my first major political speech at Technical Junction in 1977 as a small boy and i was instantly attracted to him. In that speech he related the hardships common man faced due to SLFP’s rule. He also promised to build 100,000 houses by the end of the term which he exceeded. I was fan of Ranjan till today. I am not a fan of him anymore. President Premadasa has visited my poor house more that 4 times in canvasing votes in Colombo Central, that is how he increased the voter base in Colombo. A 5 decades back Colombo Central was a SLFP stronghold, President Premadasa changed all that with a common man’s attutude. We will always love him and honour him the greatest President SL ever had.

    • Ari

      If he is your idol, then check why some land in front of the Parlaiment had come to the ownership of Premadasa wife, Ok?

  3. sarath

    People of Ratnapura is mongal to send a idiot like Ramanayake to represent them in parliament.

    It is a shame to undermine your own past party leader, it is a disgrace to do so to a past state leader.

    Ranil should be countable for giving nominations to low person like ramanayake.

    well said Mrs Athukorala, she has class, only one to represent from Ratnapura

  4. Psycho

    Iconic ? Yes, Yes, for all wrong reasons.

    Even I an iconic for whatever reasons.

  5. Sadun

    President Premadasa is a good leader who had understood the concerns of the poor and catered to the needs of the poor.

    This govt which accused him at that time of giving arms to the LTTE is having a major general, who is accused of being on the payroll of LTTE, on the military tribunal hearing a court marshal against the Great General Sarath Fonseka who libreated the country from the LTTE.

    • Ari

      Go around Colombo and see the slums he had given green light to build, and then say your say…

  6. Lucky

    Late President Premadasa was the only leader who understood requirements of the poor accurately and did his best to assist them. Some of the projects that he launched in remote areas in Hambantota benefits the villagers even today. Besides he was a leader who got the relevant government departments to assists the poor speedily and effectively. He devoted his entire life for poor masses. Therefore it is wrong for anyone to blame him for the present misery in UNP. Probably those people do not know what they are talking.

  7. peaceful

    Mahinda is our idol, you can see the number of votes he got, so he is the best leader this country will ever have, Premadas’s are have beens and you can
    see the fate that he got…………

  8. Salman

    What nonsense is this, what Mahinda has done and will keep on doing for Hambantota will go down as records in the annals of history, he is the greatest and not only for Hambantota or the poor but for the rich and poor so that the country develops and even the poor will become rich soon. Go back to the past you old UNP goons and bury yourselves in the dung…………..

    • anil


  9. Hard knox

    Newly elected actor seems to know very little about the real life. The words reflect how little this man knows about evolution of politics in Sri Lanka. Premadasa defied all corrupt political norms and standards in Sri Lanka to move from a Shanty to the Presidential Palace. Bourgeois like Ramanayake can’t withstand this remarkable achievement of a poor man belonging to downtrodden majority of Sri Lanka.

  10. Gamunu Kula

    We know what Preme did. He started all the routs, and thuggery. Can someone repeat, the number of millions of Rupees found in the safe at the Presidential house, when he got bumped off at Maradana. He remains an iconic thug. Man who never earned a salary till he got elected to the Parliament, ended up with multi-millions. From where did he get all that money ?

  11. sarath

    What does Ranjan know about the politics? He is only a baby to the parliment.
    Sajith is more suitable for the leadership. Ranil should go home and rest without doing anymore damage to the party.

    • Talaball

      Talatha is jealous that Ranjan R got more preferential votes than her …..
      This is the problem with the old horses or mares in the UNP, we know what
      Preme did and as correctly pointed out started the riots and even gave a
      house to the naval rating who hit Rajiv with the rifle, he was the biggest mistake we made when electing a president. Leave these vipers to their den and let the UNP sort itself out without guys like this, meanwhile we have a good president in Mahinda who gave us peace and will now lead us to prosperity…..

  12. Yehiya-Doha

    Today failure of UNP because of Premadasa

  13. Yehiya-Doha

    Do you remember Sothi upali. Sriseda. & kudu

  14. MaPer

    Late Ranasinghe Premadasa was also a MR kind of dictator = and always fought for only the “podi miniha”. He did a lot, only for the poor. But he was a dictator – it was because of his dictatorial attitude that led Lalith Athulathmudal and Gamini Dissanayake to go for an impeachment motion and finally leave the party. Sajith admitted that his father had made mistakes.

  15. MaPer

    Tala Ball – do you really believe MR is going to lead us to prosperity. MALNUTRITION HIGHEST IN HAMBANTOTA. FAILURE OF ECONOMIC CENTRE IN WEERAWILA. SUDDEN HALT OF CONSTRUCTION OF SWIMMING POOL IN JAFFNA. And above all =- Arent food prices. gas, petrol, etc. skyrocketing by the day. The government fooled the people by reducing the prices just before the presidential and general elections – but within a few weeks of being elected, have already started raising the prices. This was an election gimmick = JILMAAT.

    • Talaball

      Have patience dear boy, things do not happen like magic, the govt is under pressure to resettle IDP’s, bring down the cost of living, give all you idiots what you want, looks after the beggers who are being murdered, fight off the BBC and other european countries who secretly supported the tigers, did’nt
      your parent teach you patience ?? wait a bit and put you weight behind Mahinda to help the country achieve prosperity and not just bark like a rabid dog listening to bankrupt UNP politicians and washed out generals……where do you get your warped info about malnutrition and swimming pools ??

  16. D'shan

    Late Premadasa was a good leader there is no debate ….
    but as usual power leads him some crooked paths..
    major thing was Lalith/ Gamini clash.. some are described it as educated n’ un-educated – who knows ?.. he only knows what happened..
    secondly money & arms to LTTE.. thats the main reason UNP got Pro-LTTE lable.. which still cannot be removed..

    We like or not have to accept the truth..

  17. Hussein

    Ranil sent Ramanayaka to Ratnapura to collect votes for the UNP,because there was no way for UNP to get votes on a political basis. He got it ,because young people voted for him as he was their film idol. He knows no politics and talks rubbish now. He does not know Premadasa who was loved by millions of people in this country, and he made the supreme sacrifice by giving his life. Ranil will never do anything like that. He was afraid of the LTTE and never uttered anything against the LTTE. But I want to ask Thalatha why she is supporting RW.

    • Machan

      Crap, Preme did not know that his killer was in and out of his own house, he used to pre check the 200 factories weeks before he came for the opening and was that becos he wanted to sacrifice his life, Nobody will sacrifice their like to a suicide bomber – maybe only a fool. As for Ranjan going to Ratnapura, it was to get more votes, and this was becos Talatha cannot summon up enough votes for the party herself. Hussein you had better look after your muslim gun toting politicians and try to get more of them into parliament through democratic means or very soon there will be no muslims in parliament.

  18. peri

    Yes we all know how many were killed by this icon, how he slapped his closest minister informing that he killed lalith, by saying tho mava keva. so it shows he approved whatever this minister did or killed. He wapurapuwa thamai nellanne. So got himself killed. Can not you remember all these killings and how he allowed his wife to go against all the media people, by telling things about his wife tennis plays, Did u forget this icon fought with JR and fought with Lalith and Gamini and destroyed UNP

    • neilsom

      Though I respect Late Premedasa and not so much respect for MP Ramanayaka, I believe what Ramanayaka said on Premedasa was true.

      Premedasa never tolerated anyone who were highly educated than him in the party.The worst thing to happen under his leadership was the splitting of the party into two which the UNP is paying a heavy price till today.

      After Lalith & Gamini left the part it paved the way for an incompetence person like RW to take the UNP leadership.Because unlike Lalith & Gamini RW never really had any guts to question the barbaric acts of his leader who was taking the county to a dictatorship rule at that time.

      Had this split not taken palce UNP would still be a strong party today and CBK would have never come to power in 1994, let alone Mahinda.At least now itself stop this unnecessary divisions among members and pls unite under a common objective.

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