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Major General Sarath Munasinghe passes away

COLOMBO: Army officer turned politician and former Deputy Speaker Major General Sarath Munasinghe passed away at a private hospital in Colombo yesterday after a prolonged illness.

Major General Munasinghe’s death occurred a few hours after the death of Anura Bandaranaike who shared the Speaker’s Chair in the fifth Parliament as Speaker and Deputy Speaker from 2000 to 2001.

Major General Munasinghe who retired from the Sri Lanka Army

while serving as the Security Forces Commander in Jaffna in 1999 switched to politics after entering Parliament as a National List MP from the People’s Alliance.

He was elected as the Deputy Speaker from the Government ranks when Anura Bandaranaike, the nominee from the main Opposition, was unanimously elected as the Speaker.

Destiny fell upon both in the same way, embracing death just a few hours apart at the age of 59.

Munasinghe hailing from Polgahawela in Kurunegala was an old boy of Maliyadewa Boys School, Kurunegala. He joined the Army on February 5, 1970 and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on June 1, 1971 and was attached to the 4th Artillery Regiment.

He acted as the Directorate of Media of the Sri Lanka Army from May 20, 1997 to July 6, 1998. He retired from the Army on November 11, 1999.

After his retirement he authored the book Soldiers Version.

After his tenure as the Deputy Speaker, he crossed over to the United National Party and could not enter Parliament though he contested the 2001 general elections from the Kurunegala district.

Major General Munasinghe’s funeral will take place on Thursday in Polgahawela.

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