Percy Mahendra "Mahinda" Rajapaksa (Sinhala: මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ, pronounced [maˈhində ˈraːɟəˌpakʂə], Tamil: மகிந்த ராசபக்ச; born 18 November 1945) is the 6th President of Sri Lanka and Commander in Chief of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. A lawyer by profession, Rajapaksa was first elected to the Parliament of Sri Lanka in 1970, and served as Prime Minister from 6 April 2004 until his victory in the 2005 Presidential election. He was sworn in for a six-year term as president on 19 November 2005. He was re-elected for a second term in office on 27 January 2010.
Mahinda Rajapaksa was born in Weeraketiya in the southern rural district of Hambantota. He hails from a well known political family in Sri Lanka. His father, D. A. Rajapaksa, was a prominent politician, independence agitator, Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister of Agriculture and Land in Wijeyananda Dahanayake's government. D.M. Rajapaksa, his uncle, was a State Councillor for Hambantota in the 1930s who started wearing the earthy brown shawl to represent kurakkan (finger millet) cultivated by the people of his area, whose cause he championed throughout his life. It is from his example that Rajapaksa wears his characteristic shawl.
Rajapaksa was taught at Richmond College in Galle, before moving to Nalanda College Colombo and later Thurstan College, Colombo. He also had a few cameo roles as a movie actor in Sinhalese movies and worked as a library assistant at Vidyodaya University.
Following the death of his father in 1967, Rajapaksa took over as the SLFP candidate for Beliatta constituency and was elected to Parliament in 1970 as the youngest Member of Parliament at just 24. Later he studied law at the Sri Lanka Law College and took oaths as an attorney-at-law in November 1977. Throughout his parliamentary career, except for the period from 1994–2001 when he was a minister, he continued his law practice in Tangalle.
Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena (born 3 September 1951) (known as Maithripala Sirisena) Sinhala: මෛත්රිපාල සිරිසේන is a Sri Lankan politician and a member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka. He joined mainstream politics in 1989 and has held several ministries since 1994. He is the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and was Minister for Health until 2014. He escaped an assassination attempt carried out by a suicide cadre of the LTTE in 2008.
On 21 November 2014, Sirisena announced his candidacy for the 2015 presidential election as the opposition coalition's 'Common Candidate'.
Sirisena was born on 3 September 1951 in Gampaha. Later, his family moved to Hingurakgoda in Polonnaruwa as part of the 'Govi Janapada' (farmers' community) movement initiated by Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake. He was educated at Royal College, Polonnaruwa. He went on to read agriculture at the School of Agriculture in Kundasale, and worked as a Grama Sevaka (village officer) for a period. Sirisena was jailed after the 1971 JVP Insurrection, although his involvement in it was never clearly established.
Sirisena joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party 1979 as the secretary of its district organization. He became the president of the All Island Sri Lanka Freedom Party Youth Organization.
In 1989, Sirisena contested for the general elections from the Polonnaruwa District and became a MP. At the 1994 general elections he obtained the highest number of preferential votes (62,925), and was made the Deputy Minister for Irrigation and Mahaweli River Development.
Sirisena was elected to be the Secretary General of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. In 1994, he was appointed the Minister for River Basin Development and Rajarata Development, a newly created Ministry. He then served as the Cabinet Minister for Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services Development in the current Sri Lankan government, and subsequently held the Health portfolio until November 2014..
On 9 October 2008 an attack was carried out by unidentified gunman targeting Sirisena at Katuwawala, Piliyandala. The attack was carried out when his motorcade was en route to the capital, but ultimately missed the ministerial vehicle. Although Sirisena escaped unhurt 7 others were injured and 1 killed.
2015 Presidential Election
Following weeks of speculation in the press, Sirisena defected to the UNP-led opposition coalition on the 21st November 2014 along with half a dozen SLFP MPs, and was declared the common opposition candidate for the 2015 presidential election. Subsequent to this announcement, Sirisena's cabinet portfolio and party membership were revoked.
Courtesy - Wikipedia
Last edited by Sstar on Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:54 pm; edited 3 times in total