|Friday, 4 January 2002|
Galle MC mourns death of Gamini Atukorale
by Bentota group correspondent
Galle M.C. at its monthly meeting held on 2nd January unanimously passed a vote of condolence on the death of Assistant Leader of the United National Party and Transport, Highways and Civil Aviation Minister Gamini Atukorale.
Mansoor Marikar, Mayor, Galle MC who presided at the meeting tabled the motion which was seconded by former Mayor Wijaya Dahanayake (UNP).
Moving the motion Mansoor Marikar, Mayor said: "We are grieved over the death of Gamini Atukorale, Minister of Transport, Highways and Civil Aviation and Asst. Leader of the UNP, who was an exemplary leader". His contribution to the UNP was immense. He was a leader par excellence. I was saddened by his death. As a Minister he did yeoman service to the country. His demise was a great loss not only to the UNP, but to the whole country.
Wijaya Dahanayake (UNP) seconding the condolence vote, said that late Minister Gamini Atukorale was a leader par excellence. He had rare qualities and lived an exemplary life. He was a person needed by the country. He did gentlemanly politics and did not earn from politics. Minister Atukorale was born on April 2, 1951, in Kahawatte, Ratnapura, where his parents were landed proprietors. He was educated at St. Peter's College, Colombo. He took to politics at the age of 22 and entered Parliament at 26 on the UNP ticket, in 1977. He created a record by winning the Nivitigala seat, previously a Leftist bastion.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and Atukorale have had a long partnership. When Ranil Wickremesinghe was the Minister of Youth Affairs and Employment in the J. R. Jayawardene Cabinet, Atukorale was his Deputy. Atukorale was later appointed Asst. Leader of the Party. He held the portfolios of Lands, Irrigation, Forestry and Mahaweli Development during the Ranasinghe Premadasa regime.
Nimal Ranasinghe (UNP) said Gamini Atukorale was in the forefront of the people's movement for restoring democracy. He stepped into politics with Ranil Wickremesinghe in 1973. He entered Parliament with Mr. Wickremesinghe. He served together with Mr. Wickremesinghe in the Ministry of Youth Affairs for a number of years. After the collapse of the UNP following the defeat in 1994 he joined Mr. Wickremesinghe in the difficult task of rebuilding the party. He played a major role in the United National Front's victory on December 5, addressing rallies throughout the country and meeting the people at grass roots level.
On behalf of the MEP, Chandana Nanayakkara said: "His demise is an irreparable loss to the country. On behalf of the MEP, I say may he attain the bless of Nibbana".
Mayor Mansoor Marikar (PA) said: "Our sole aim is to work for the public welfare. Let us forget our petty differences and ideologies and work together to fulfil the public aspirations.
Produced by Lake House