The new Minister of State for Defence Hon Ruwan Wijewardene (MP) assumed office at the Ministry of Defence on Friday (16) after a multi-religious ceremony.
Welcomed to the office premises by Secretary Defence, the Buddhist religious observances, led by Ven Galaboda Gnanissara Nayake Thero, invoked blessings on the new appointment by chanting Seth Pirith after the new Minister paid his respect to the Buddha statue in the office. Later on, Christian, Islamic and Hindu clergies blessed the new appointment.
As the auspicious minute struck, Mr Wijewardene, flanked by his spouse, family members, Secretary Defence, Additional Secretaries, Tri-Service Commanders, Inspector General of Police and Director General Civil Defence Force symbolically placed his signature in a formal document, signifying the acceptance of the new office.
Afterwards, he shared a couple of views with the MoD officials present at the location and received greetings from the attendees.
Born on 4 August 1975 to a political dynasty, Dinendra Ruwan Wijewardene, is the youngest son of Mrs Ranjani Senanayake and Mr Ranjith Wijewardene, Chairman, Wijeya Newspapers. His maternal great grandfather, Rt Hon D.S Senanayake, hailed as the Father of the Nation was the first Prime Minister of then Ceylon and his grand uncle, Dudley Senanayake, was the second Prime Minister of then Ceylon who went on to become the Prime Minister two more times during the 1950s and 1960s.
His paternal grandfather, D. R. Wijewardena, was a well-known Press baron who was one of the leaders in the Sri Lankan Independence movement. A successful entrepreneur, he established the Lake House Newspapers alias Associated Newspapers of Sri Lanka (ANCL).
Mr Ruwan Wijewardene is a nephew of the first Executive President J.R. Jayewardene of Sri Lanka and a cousin of Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe, the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
He has been a Member of Parliament (MP) for Gampaha District and the UNP Chief Organizer for Biyagama electorate. Prior to entering Parliament in 2010, he was a member of the Western Provincial Council. He contested Parliamentary Elections in 2010 and secured the highest number of preference votes from Gampaha District. As the Chairman in the UNP-led ‘Yowun Peramuna’ (Youth Front), Mr Wijewardene has been performing a commendable role in the UNP to revive the party and its young members.
Wijewardene completed his primary and secondary education at St. Thomas' Preparatory School. He then pursued further studies at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, where he earned a BA.