Ranjith de Zoysa bids adieu today | Sunday Observer

Ranjith de Zoysa bids adieu today

Ranjith de Zoysa
Ranjith de Zoysa

The funeral of UPFA Ratnapura District Parliamentarian T. Ranjith de Zoysa will be held at the Godakawela Pradeshiya Sabha ground today at 3.00pm. MP Zoysa passed away on December 4 while receiving treatment at a hospital in Singapore at the age of 57.

Ranjith de Zoysa was born on May 3, 1962. After completing his education at the Godakawela Rahula National School, he completed a diploma course in agriculture at the Colombo Aquinas University College to follow his father’s steps into the Plantation Sector. However, he gave up his agricultural pursuits and ventured into politics in 1994.

He was elected Chairman of the Atakalampanna Pradeshiya Sabha in 1997 and a member of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council in 2004 with the highest number of votes in the district and appointed Provincial Minister of Agriculture, Land and Irrigation. In 2006, he was appointed electoral organiser for Rakwana. He was re-elected to the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council for the second time and appointed Provincial Minister of Health, Indigenous Medicine and Women’s Affairs. In 2015, he was elected Member of Parliament for the Ratnapura district and played a significant role as a backbencher. He also served as Member of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Youth Affairs, Sports, Arts and Heritage of Parliament and the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Plantation Industries.

Ranjith de Zoysa’s name came into limelight when Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the Presidential Election in January 2015. As a close associate of the former President, he always stood by him both in good and bad times. Zoysa played a major role in bringing back Rajapaksa to active politics after his defeat at the 2015 Presidential Election. The impulsive political views expressed by him helped rekindle patriotic masses. He made a giant contribution towards the Mahinda popularity wave which started from Nugegoda and swept across the country.

At the 2015, August General Election, he contested under the UPFA banner and was elected to Parliament with over 63,000 preferential votes.

After the UPFA lost the 2015, August Parliamentary election, Mahinda Rajapaksa who was elected as a Member of Parliament from the Kurunegala District could not claim the Opposition Leader’s post. Thereafter, 51 UPFA Parliamentarians formed a group called the Joint Opposition (JO) and Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena acted as the leader of the JO parliamentary group while Ranjith de Zoysa became the Deputy National Organiser of the JO.

Ranjith de Zoysa who fell prey to the oppression of the former UNP led Government had to languish in remand prison for no valid reason. He gave impetus to the anti-government movement for over four years from 2015 and made a major contribution towards the formation of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and its resounding victory at the 2018 Local Government elections. He who devoted all his time and strength towards ensuring the convincing victory of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the recent Presidential Elections suddenly fell ill and was confined to the ICU of a private hospital and later transferred to a hospital in Singapore where he passed away.