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Minister completes 25 years service as MP

Mrs. Amara Piyaseeli Ratnayake, Minister of Women's Affairs completes 25 years of service as a Member of Parliament today. She first entered Parliament by winning the Wariyapola seat for the 8th Parliament of Sri Lanka by a majority of 4,090 votes at the general elections held on 21st July 1977 and from then onwards continued the winning sequence up to the general elections held on 5th December 2001.

She holds the unique record as the only elected women parliamentarian who has represented Parliament for a period of 25 years continuously.

In her long record of service, she has been the Member of Parliament for Wariyapola in 1977, Deputy Minister of Transport Board in 1987, State Minister of Home Affairs in 1988, Minister in charge of Pubic Services in 1991 in addition to being an Opposition member in 1994, 2001 and finally, as Cabinet Minister in charge of Women's Affairs in 2001.

A trained teacher by profession, she received her training at the Polgolla Teacher's Training College in 1961 and served in a number of schools in the Kurunegala District. She entered the political arena after her husband, the late Mr. W.M. Wimalaratne Bandara who was the organiser of the United National Party in the Wariyapola electorate, was killed by political opponents in 1975.

Mrs. Amara Piyaseeli Ratnayake won the Wariyapola seat in her first attempt at the 1977 general elections as she had dedicated herself to the welfare of the people of the Kurunegala district.

Under her leadership and guidance when she was Minister of Home Affairs the concept of the system of the Assistant Government Agents in rural areas was implemented.

She also implemented schemes for the welfare of women and children in the country besides rendering yeoman service to improve the conditions of roads, electricity supplies, and solve health and school building problems etc. in her electorate with State funds as well as her decentralised budget funds.

She is also a member of the Working Committee of the United National Party. She has represented Sri Lanka at many international Parliamentary conferences and seminars. She was a member of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Women's Affairs.


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