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Madam Shiranthi Rajapakse:

First Lady of Sri Lanka

PROFILE: The First Lady was a close associate and friend of mine since the late seventies and I have known her intimately for several years. I wish to write a few words about her.


HAPPY MODEL FAMILY: President Mahinda Rajapakse, Madam Shiranthi Rajapakse and their three sons - Namal, Yoshitha and Rohitha.

She is the gift of the Lord Almighty received by her dear parents - late Commander E. P. Wickramasinghe and Mrs. Violet Wickramasinghe. Nisantha Wickramasinghe and Srimal Wickramasinghe are her brothers.

She is blessed with an overwhelming grace of kindness, friendliness and is of a charitable nature. She is also a graceful person and devoted wife and a duty bound mother. All this goes to describe the sparkling gem detected in 1983 by Mahinda Rajapakse in Colombo.

In history

She enters the annals of history as the fourth First Lady of Sri Lanka as a dedicated wife of the Fifth Executive President of Sri Lanka. She had her secondary education at Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya and was brought up in an environment of peace and well-disciplined atmosphere - within the school and at her home.

She excelled at school both in fields of education and sports activities and was considered a brilliant all-rounder. While in school she played netball, hockey and tennis where she represented her school with records of leadership in many achievements. This brought honour to her Alma Mater in a competitive world of sports.

Miss Sri Lanka

She entered the limelight when she was crowned 'Miss Sri Lanka 1978' and reigned as the most beautiful women of Sri Lanka. She also had the distinction of being placed amongst the choice of the finalists at the Miss Universe contest held in Athens. She was also qualified for the Miss World contest that year and brought fame to the island.

She continued her education leading into the field of child psychology and preschool education. For this, she holds a diploma from a well-recognised institute.

Marriage

In 1983, she married the debonair young Mahinda who had by then completed successfully as an Attorney-at-Law with specialisation in Criminal Law.


FIRST LADY: Madam Shiranthi Rajapakse

At the time Shiranthi got married, Mahinda was a very prominent lawyer and also the youngest Member of Parliament from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

This took place in 1983, a fusion of one glamorous lady to a glorious man as her husband, which resulted on the birth of three boys - Namal, Yoshitha and Rohitha.

The birth of these three children adorned the glorious family with lots of love and foretold a fortunate future for the young family.

Children

Namal at present, having completed his GCE Advanced Level at S. Thomas' College, Mt. Lavinia is reading for his Degree-in-Law with special emphasis on Criminal Law. He also happens to be a star-studded ruggerite who also with his brothers Yoshitha and Rohitha excelled at rugby for their college.

The two younger boys are studying for their Advanced Level and Ordinary Level respectively at STC. The children are dramatists and also bright students.

Their natures of being charitable, dependable, well disciplined and graceful is also the characteristics of their parents and they have been inculcated to them by their parents.

As family

The parents spend most of their free-time with the children guiding them at home on their day-to-day activities mainly on their studies. Thus the parental love and sacrifice overshadowing the children has brought in plenty of courage and determination among the children. They are also able to face the world with competence, dignity and confidence.

The President would share his opinions to say that his success in politics that paved the way to the Presidency was designed for him many years back. In fact with the support, and guidance brought into his nest, his home through his beloved wife and the three young sons.

Start of public life

The President started his public life as a young lawyer, Member of Parliament, Minister of Labour, Minister of Fisheries, Leader of Opposition and as Prime Minister. Shiranthi's support gave the President courage to face the world of challenges, which was laid ahead on every step of the long successful ladder, where he reached to Presidency.

Child educationist

Madam Rajapakse being a professional in the field of child psychology and pre-school education established six pre-schools in Colombo and down South Tangalle, Beliatta, Ranna, Walasmulla and Weeraketiya. Each years over 600 young children are enrolled and 25 teachers are employed in these pre-schools.

Her vision is to give the future generation a good foundation with a high standards of discipline, knowledge, mental advancement, love to all and the upbringing of a dutiful society for the country. Madam Rajapakse, is the Principal of all Carlton Schools in Colombo and down South.

She engages herself giving her best to these schools. At most times during the week, she visits these pre-schools in Colombo and the pre-schools in the South fortnightly.

With her personal guidance, sacrifice and excellent planning, these pre-schools are performing with the correct perspective and would lead the way for a better future for the children studying in these schools. She intends to continue to serve these preschools.

The poor in society

Madam Rajapakse is a personality much concerned about the upbringing and development of the less privileged society.

She is gifted with a deep love for children and personally has a close touch for those with less privileges. I have observed personally one such case where she is bringing up a student from a less privileged family, educating him in a Colombo school.

He plays rugby for the school in the under 13 team, and has been blessed with her kindness which promises a brighter future.

This First Lady has been a tower of strength to the less privileged society. When she observes the requirements of schoolbooks, uniforms for those children, she extends her warmth to provide these facilities.

When such children excel in sports, and require assistance both financially and otherwise to represent Sri Lanka and abroad, she had extended her hand to support them. She also extends her hand on personal levels too. That is the poor sick people undergoing surgeries and also to the poor people in times of bereavements.

Hospital committees

She takes up her time in Hospital Committees and it is her objective to see that all Government hospitals have the needed facilities, also ensuring hygienic standards and cleanliness.

This interest caused her to observe many shortcomings in the maternity ward of the Beliatta Hospital and she was able to obtain financial assistance from the Czechoslovakian Government to provide the required equipment for the maternity ward at Beliatta Hospital.

Now the Hospital has clean wards along with all other facilities to provide an excellent service for women warded in the hospital for childbirth and gynaecology related problems. She intends to develop other hospitals, which have many shortcomings.

The people of this country wish Madam Rajapakse well along with the President who was elected to the highest position in the country, due to the love and devotion extended to him by the people of Sri Lanka.

His 'Mahinda Chinthana' will certainly achieve success, development and a country graced and fulfilled with peace. May he be blessed to serve many fruitful years along his future journey and may his wishes be strengthened by the support of his devoted wife.

May we offer Choicest Blessings of the people. May the Triple Gem and God Almighty shower blessings on President Mahinda Rajapakse, the First Lady Mrs. Shiranthi Rajapakse and their three children.

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