Eight Women Elected to Parliament of Sri Lanka
Ajith Perakum Jayasinghe
Six women were elected for parliament in the 2020 election. Out of those, three were from Ratnapura District.
Pavithra Wanniarachchi (Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna)
Thalatha Athukorala (Samagi Jana Balawegaya)
Muditha Soysa (Wife of Ranjith Soysa) (Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna)
Rajika Wickremasinghe (Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna) was elected for Kegalle District in Sabaragamuwa province, where Ratnapura District belongs to.
Sudarshani Fernandopulle and Kokila Harshani Gunawardena, both representing Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna were elected from Gampaha district.
Geetha Kumarasinghe (Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna) was elected from Galle district.
Rohini Kumari Kaviratne (Samagi jana Balawegaya) was elected from Matale district.
Chandrani Bandara, Former Minister of Women Affairs, Hirunika Premachandra and Thusitha Wijemanne, who represented Samagi Jana Balawegaya in the previous parliament were defeated at the current election.
Wijayakala Maheshwaran and Anoma Gamage who contested from United National Party were defeated.
Sriyani Wijewickrema and Sumedha G. Jayasena who contested from United National Party were defeated at this election.
Women representation in Sri Lankan Parliament never exceeded 6.5%. Women representation in 2015 – 2020 was 5.3%. Out of 225 members, there were only 12 women. Out of this figure, 10 were elected from the election.
In this context, the biggest challenge for the political parties is how they allocate women representation in the national lists aftermath of the election. We anticipate that Seetha Arembapola of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna would get an opportunity from the national list. There are another two women in the same list. There is a possibility that Ambika Sathkunananthan would be elected from the national list of Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi alias Tamil National Alliance. Women in the United National Party or Samagi Jana Balawegaya are not so prominent. Dr. Harini Amarasuriya, a famous academic, Deepani Silva, an actress and Chamila Thushari, the leader of “Dabindu Collective”, an organization in Free Trade Zones are In the national list of Jathika Janabalawegaya.
(Cover photo: Rajika Wickremasinghe elected from Kegalle District during her election campaign.)
- Translated by Rajendra Wijesinghe