What is immediately evident to anyone upon meeting Rehan Wijeratne Jayawickreme is the infectious friendliness and the respect he treats everyone with. A former student of St. Thomas College Mount Lavinia and The British School in Colombo, Rehan hails from a family rooted in politics for generations. As with many youngsters, Rehan has indulged in a life of merry making that is all too attractive to most in their teens and early twenties. Experiences on the way made him stop and question his life choices. Doing a complete three sixty Rehan has turned his life around for the better and is currently in the process of contesting the Weligama seat in the upcoming local government elections.

A politician in the making, Rehan is steadily working towards breaking the stigma and connotations, associated with politics today, Rehan has remarkably proven that it is not what you do but who you are that really matters. He is a genuine and inspiring person who I am proud to call a friend.

LT is honoured to present ten life questions to Rehan

What’s your favourite Sri Lankan food and Drink?
My favourite Sri Lankan food would definitely be my Grandma’s homemade hoppers. And favourite drink I would have to say is thambili.

What do you love about Sri Lanka?
I love that we are a very giving nation and majority of the people are charitable. We tend to stick by each other except when petty political games tend to divide us. One must have a strong love for one’s country and then focus on the rest of the world.

What do you dislike about Sri Lanka?
I dislike the indifferent attitude towards women. I don’t like the fact that they are not treated equally in many instances and that would be more often than you would think or notice.

What inspires you?
Myself. And my own self – determination. I have always described myself as a reckless person and it has taken a lot of determination and self –belief on my own part to overcome a lot of obstacles in my way and get to where I am right now. It was far from easy especially in a small fish pond like Sri Lanka.

What prompted you to choose politics as a career?
Well I grew up in a very political household. It was in the air we breathed. Both my paternal and maternal Grand uncles were politicians and so was my step-father. My father also contested the Weligama seat in 1989 but gave it up later on in life. It is what I grew up with and have known all my life. I think it is a good thing because you could say that my training to be a good policy maker began the day I was born. My mentor Hemaka De Alwis has also been greatly instrumental in my progress. Unfortunately Politics today have gained a seriously negative reputation and it is almost always associated with corruption and misuse of power and I feel it is vital now more than ever to start at a grass-root level. It is important to me personally to prove that young people from good back grounds and a sound education can enter the political arena and truly make a difference.

If there is anything you could change about this country what would it be?
If there was anything I could change about this country it would be equality for all races and lasting peace. Which I can hopefully contribute towards changing.

How has your past experiences altered your perception of life?

I have let past experiences stop haunting me. Reputation is one thing and character another. I think what is most important in life is to learn from your past and look forward to the future. Contray to the popular belief I strongly feel that character supercedes reputation. I think it is important to build your character because it is what will see you through your trial and tribulations . I know now that that if you put your mind into anything you can and will achieve it.Do not be afraid to challenge yourself because at the end of the day it will all be worth it.

How has going into politics changed your life?
I have got into tons of trouble when I was young, done things that I am definitely not proud of however I do not shy away from them. I choose to ackwknolwdge them and learn from them. Choosing to go into politics has been a big life decision, one which I had to give a lot of thought to because it not only affects my life but everyone close to me.My girlfriend Nithiesha offers me a lot of support and encouragement. She has been there with me every step of the way and keeps my usually crazy self in check. All the losses I have faced in life, the deaths of people I love, and all the lessons learned on the way has brought me here to this point and I can confidently say that I believe that I can make a difference

What do you do for fun?
I am a huge movie buff . I think if i didn’t get in to politics I would have most definitely been a movie critique. My favourite movie of all time would have to be The Godfather.

Where is your favourite place in Sri Lanka?
Weligama because it arguably has the best beaches on the island and the people are wonderful.

 

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. What a joke of an article! This guy used to shoplift when he lived in Melboune. He was expelled from 3 schools in Colombo – st Thomas’s, Stafford and British school. Failed his O/L. Malaka Silvia’s friend, did and sold all sorts of drugs with him. These are things I know for a fact because I knew him in Melbourne. The only reason he was even sent to melbourne by his parents was to avoid being sent to jail for the assault on a foreigner (also with Malaka).

    The writers should be ashamed of themselves for feeding such rubbish to the readers, portraying this menacing uneducated idiot as a saint!

    I sincerely hope the good people of weligama will see through him and elect him.

    1. LT choose our ‘People’ Feature subjects carefully and selecting Rehan Wijeratne Jayewickreme was no exception. Further to your comment, there is no evidence that he has been charged with or convicted of a crime. In his interview, we (and Rehan) acknowledged that he has a past that he is not proud of and LT chose to focus on his future. Rehan’s story was relevant for precisely that reason, because he, like everyone else; deserves the chance to learn and grow from past mistakes and be acknowledged for doing so. And we take him at his word, until/unless we know otherwise.

      We stand by the integrity of our journalism and suggest contacting the interview subject directly if you have personal grievances.

      Please let us know whether you wish us to publish your comment or you wish to retract it.

  2. hope you remember me rehan. was studying with you at MIBT burwood. very nice to see you doing well, knew that you were a good leader!! all the best mate..chamath from NSW

    1. Yes! And with all the work Rehan is doing in Weligama, I’m sure he’s smiling from above 🙂

  3. “Godfather” was directed by Francis Ford Coppola not Martin Scorsese. A movie buff/critique will probably know the difference…

  4. Does he remember the time he was expelled from Stafford dealing drugs? Talks about character and reputation! One with neither! Lol goodluck Sri lankan politics.

  5. Shameless embarrassing journalism. Have you guys got nothing better to write about other than these spoilt brat thugs that were born with a silver coconut spoon? You forgot that he was also a student of Stafford international school and he was a little thug bully pushing his weight around like a ministers son. And typical thug to try and use his dads influence to become a politician. Disgraceful human being and Aparna Lay, you should be ashamed to write about people like this. Clearly you have no morals.

    1. We do write about other things, perhaps you should read more. And if you insult our writers or our journalism, please have the courage not to hide behind a ‘Peter Pan’ Pseudonym, it shows your lack of morals, not ours.

  6. You are a great example of a individual changing for the better. Do not know you personally but have heard that you will go places. Please do not lose sight of what you will achieve and do not be a corrupt politician like the rest . It is thanks to your grand uncle the late general Ranjan Wijeratne that we do not have the JVP menace. He sacrificed his life for the country and hope you will do the same if required . All the best Son. Ariyasena Gunaratne

  7. “You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
    – Neil Gaiman

    this quotation above helped myself get over troubling times. Hope it serves you well. maybe you will be loved by millions or hated, cheers if you have changes as you have mentioned

  8. LT APOLOGY: The only apology we make for this article is to Francis Ford Coppola, for our proof readers missing the incorrectly named director of The Godfather. We have since corrected it, but acknowledge our mistake.

    Much like Rehan, who has acknowledged his mistakes, LT too will keep moving forward…

  9. whats with all the haters!!!! So much hate going around that this guy probably feels like a star . personally happy that young guys want to enter shit storms like this. if the kid was going to be a doctor no one would give a shit i think. hope you go places rehan and make our mother lanka proud

  10. It’s interesting reading all these negative comments. I knew Rehan personally when he was studying in Australia. He worked for me as a sales assistant in a retail store. I have been managing retail stores for over ten years and I have had lots of staff work for me. I think that Rehan has to be one of the best staff members I have ever had. He was a hard worker who was reliable, passionate, humble, driven and most importantly honest in his dealing with people. I don’t know anything about his school life or Sri Lankan politics, but the person I know will go very far in what ever endeavor he pursues.