Sajith Premadasa

From TobaccoUnmasked


Image 1: Sajith Premadasa. Source: Minister of Housing, Construction & Culture Affairs.[1]

Sajith Premadasa was born on 12 January 1967 in Colombo, to Ranasinghe Premadasa and Hema Premadasa. Ranasinghe Premadasa was the 2nd Executive President of Sri Lanka getting elected in 1989, after having served as Prime Minister from 1977. Sajith Premadasa has only one sibling, a younger sister, Dulanjali Premadasa.[2]

Sajith had his formal education at St. Thomas’ Preparatory School and Royal College, Colombo and Mill Hill School, London. He is a graduate of the ‘London School of Economics (LSE) and Political Science’ of the University of London.[3][2] Authenticity of his stated education qualifications were questioned repeatedly in media during the 2019 Presidential election campaign.[4][5]

In 1994 Sajith entered politics from the Hambantota District joining the United National Party (UNP), one of the two main political parties in Sri Lanka. As of 2019, he has been a Member of Parliament in Sri Lanka, representing UNP since 2000.[3]He was appointed deputy leader of the UNP in 2011.[6]

On 26 September 2019, Sajith Premadasa was named as the Presidential Election candidate of New Democratic Front (NDF), an alliance of political parties led by UNP.[7]He is the current Leader of the Opposition of Sri Lanka.[8]

Political/ Government Positions held

  • District organiser of the UNP for Hambantota District from 1994 to present[9]
  • Member of Parliament from 2000 to present[9]
  • Deputy Minister of Health - 2001- 2004[9]
  • Deputy Leader of the UNP – 2011 - 2013 and September 2014 - November 2019[9]
  • Cabinet Minister for Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs – January 2015 - November 2019[9]
  • Candidate of the Presidential Election 2019[10]
  • Leader of the opposition of Sri Lanka Parliament from December 2019 to present[11]

Tobacco Related Activities

Promising to enhance the livelihood status of beedi manufacturers

At a public meeting held at Warakapola during his presidential election campaign, Sajith Premadasa declared that he would enhance the livelihood, within the current legal structure, of the local manufacturers of the Beedi industry in Kegalle District.[12] Beedi, a domestically produced cigarette-like tobacco product, is a prominent home industry in Kegalle District run by a larger network of companies and brokers. Kegalle District Parlimentarian of UNP Champika Premadasa, who was present at the Warakapola meeting, is the owner of a leading beedi manufacturing company. Please see more details in our page Champika Premadasa.

Image 2: Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa speaks about the Beedi industry. Source: Ada Derana[12]

Tobacco Unmasked Resources

Other relevant Tobacco Unmasked entries:

The local language translations



  1. Ministry of Housing ,Construction & Culture Affairs, 2019, Accessed November 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 Daily Ft. Book on Sajith Premadasa out next month, 12 January 2019, accessed November 2019
  3. 3.0 3.1 OFFICE OF SAJITH PREMADASA. About- Sajith Premadasa, 2019, accessed November 2019
  4. Dr.M.D.P.Dissanayake. [1], 20 July 2019, accessed November 2019
  5. Ranga Jayasuriya. [2], 30 July 2019, accessed November 2019
  6. NDTV. [3], 05 December 2019, accessed December 2019
  7. Krishan Francis. Sri Lanka’s governing party picks Premadasa as candidate, 26 September, 2019, accessed November 2019
  8. News 1st. [4], 05 December 2019, accessed December 2019
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 LinkedIn. [5], 2019, Accessed December 2019
  10. Election Commission of Sri Lanka. [6], 2019, Accessed December 2019
  11. The Hindu. [7], 05 December 2019, Accessed December 2019
  12. 12.0 12.1 Derana TV. Ada Derana Main News at 6.55, 03 November 2019, accessed November 2019