Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ranasinghe Premadasa (June 23, 1924 - May 1, 1993) was Prime Minister of Sri Lanka from February 6, 1978 to March 3, 1989 and President from January 2, 1989 to May 1, 1993. He was assassinated in Colombo in a Tamil Tiger suicide bombing.
He was a great man who felt for his country and, who had a burning desire to help the poor and the downtrodden as perhaps he himself came from that same soil. He was destined to reach the top.
People benefited from his people-friendly policies. Shelter for the poor, due to which the United Nations declared a Year of Shelter, Jana Saviya, the instrument he used to help the poor, the foster parents scheme, the Gam Udawa project with which he tried to stir up the stupor in the villages, the mobile secretariat whereby he took the central government bureaucracy to the peasant, the Tower Hall Foundation for oriental drama and music, the pension schemes he initiated for the elder artistes, an unostentatious life led by him in his simple residence away from his luxurious official residence, a man who perhaps travelled the least as a politician at the helm, an oriental in the true sense of the word, are just a few among many of his achievements and qualities.
On the economic front, the garment industry project that he initiated became a forerunner in earning foreign exchange and provision of employment in the villages. This was just one step in the direction of taking the economy to the outstations.
St Joseph's College, Colombo at that time had started an oriental languages course. Richard Ranasingha wished his son to follow this course. But St Joseph's was strict on admitting only Catholics. The interview with Rector Fr Le Goc.
What's your nationality? I am a Sinhalese
What is your religion? I am a Buddhist.
Do you attend classes in religious instruction? Yes I do on Sundays.
Are you proud of being a Buddhist? Yes Father
Why do you like Buddhism so much? Because the Buddha taught us kindness. Because he taught us to be merciful, even to our enemies
Why do you want to join this school? I want to study further.
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