Royal People

A dedication to those wonderful people who served Royal Primary School & Royal College, in Sri Lanka, since 1835, and, who will be remembered for their committment, sincerety and unselfishness.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Lalith Athulathmudali

Lalith William Samarasekera Athulathmudali (November 26, 1936 - April 23, 1993) was a Sri Lankan politician of the United National Party.

Athulathmudali studied at Royal College, Colombo and law at Jesus College, Oxford from 1955 and was President of the Oxford Union in 1958.[1]

Athulathmudali was the Minister for Defense under President J.R. Jayewardene during the 1980s. During this time, he organized several offensives against territories held by the LTTE. Upon Jayewardene's retirement in 1988, Athulathmudali tried to obtain the UNP's nomination for the presidential election, but was defeated by Ranasinghe Premadasa who went on to win the presidency.

Premadasa demoted Athulathmudali to Minister of Agriculture, then Minister of Education. He also tried to have Athulathmudali removed from his UNP party positions. Athulathmudali became disenchanted with Premadasa's leadership, especially after it was revealed that Premadasa had been sending weapons to the LTTE in order to fight the Indian Peace-Keeping Force in the north of the country [citation needed].

Athulathmudali and several UNP MPs brought forth a motion to impeach Premadasa. When that failed, he was expelled from the UNP, and began forming a new party, the Democratic United National Front. He announced his candidacy for the presidency, but was assassinated by a gunman on April 23, 1993 after an election rally . The government blamed the LTTE and produced the body of a Tamil youth named Ragunathan was found near the scene of the shooting the following day. He had apparently died from taking a cyanide capsule.


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