Premadasa lives in Siriyaweya, in a dry part of Sri Lanka. Although his parents were farmers, he always loved experimenting and his favourite hobby was repairing bicycles. His skills were quickly recognised and, with financial help, he was able to buy the welding machine and tools that he needed to set up a workshop.
He earned money by repairing bicycles and agricultural machines. Then in 1993 he met representatives from Practical Action’s transport project and was trained to make bicycle trailers. Before long he had designed a new, stronger wheel and a trailer with a stove, for a friend to use as a mini-kitchen.
After making over 100 trailers, Premadasa designed the first trailer to fit a motorbike. He used to make a profit of 4000 rupees per month - now he can make 15,000 per month and dreams of making a low-cost car from scrap metal.