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President to visit India

President Maithripala Sirisena is scheduled to undertake a State visit to India from February 15 -18, 2015 on an invitation extended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During the visit President Sirisena will meet Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and will hold bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Modi. The President is also scheduled to meet political leaders and other dignitaries.

He will also attend religious observances at Buddhagaya and Thirupati.

This is the first overseas visit by President Sirisena after assumption of office last month.

February 05, 2015

From : Policy Research & Information Unit of the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka


List of Cabinet Minister, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers


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About Maithripala Sirisena


Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena was born on 3rd September 1951 to a middle-class farming family. (He is known as Maithripala Sirisena or Maithri (Sinhala: මෛත්රිපාල සිරිසේන) and is a member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka. He joined mainstream politics in 1989 and has held several ministrial portfolios since 1994. He is the longest serving General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) (ශ්රී ලංකා නිදහස් පක්ෂයஇலங்கை சுதந்திரக் கட்சி) and was selected as the Common Candidate of the for the Presidential Election to be held on 8th January 2015, where he is expecting the majority support of the people of Sri Lanka to change the regime to build a better governance and a economically prosperous Sri Lanka for everyone.

Maithripala Sirisena is a rare breed of a gentleman politician in today’s political landscape, a politician with an impeccable track record, untainted by either violence or corruption. Maithripala is a political leader with a genuine national appeal. The son of a farmer, he had practiced a brand of centrist, moderate and clean politics, which characterizes the best in Sri Lanka’s political culture.


In 1967 Maithripala became a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s Youth Organization and became its secretary of the Polonnaruwa electorate at the time he was completing his ordinary level (O/L) examinations at Royal Central College, Polonnaruwa. In 1970 he actively participated in the SLFP election campaign as a student.

He obtained the “Diploma in Agriculture” from School of Agriculture in Kundasale in 1973.

Maithri was jailed after the 1971 JVP Insurrection, although he was not involved in it.

He became a Co-orporative Purchasing Officer in Polonnaruwa as his first employment.

He became “Grama Niladhari” – The “Chief Government Officer” and served his fellow villages in day today administrative matters.

Appointed as the Secretary to Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Central Committee’s Polonnaruwa electorate and he played a leading role in 1977 election, and had to undergo hardships due to prevailing post election violence.

He resigned from his job to engage in full time politics.
He attended an International Youth Congress held in Cuba in the same year.

He became the Secretary of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Polonnaruwa District.
He was once again jailed for taking part in protest campaigns against stripping Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranayake’s civic rights.

He was appointed as the SLFP – Polonnaruwa District Organizer to lead the SLFP in district level.
He received a Diploma in Political Science, from the Maxim Gorky Academy in Russia.

Maithri became the Treasurer of “All Island SLFP Youth Organization” which made him elegible to become a Central Committee Member of SLFP (SLFP Politburo), which is the highest level decision making body of the party.

In 1989, Maithri for the first time contested for the general elections from the Polonnaruwa District and became a member of the parliament (MP) on 15th February 1989. He contested under the well-known SLFP symbol “HAND” and this was the last time this symbol was used in an election in Sri Lanka.

In the general elections of 1994, he obtained the highest number of preferential votes from Polonnaruwa District. After this, he was made the Deputy Minister for Irrigation.

He was offered the Cabinet Ministerial portfolio of Mahaweli Development and Parliamentary Affairs and was elected as the Assistant Secretary of the SLFP.

Maithri was elected as the Vice Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. (SLFP)

He was elected to the 12th Parliament and in July 2001 Minister Maithripala Sirisena was appointed to the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and he is still serving in this position to date as the longest serving secretary of the history of Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

In February 2004 Maithripala Sirisena signed the historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) with Mr. Tilvin Silva, the secretary of JVP, which lead to the birth of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) (එක්සත් ජනතා නිදහස් සන්ධානය), the current coalition government.

He was elected to the 13th Parliament of Sri Lanka and was appointed as the Cabinet Minister of Mahaweli, River Basin & Rajarata Development.

He was also appointed as the Leader of the House of Parliament.

In November 2005, Maithripala Sirisena was given two portfolios in the government of Sri Lanka:

  • The Cabinet Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Mahaweli Development.
  • The Minister of Environment & Natural Resources

Mr Maithripala Sirisena once again signed the memorundum of understanding (MOU) between Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United National Party (UNP) with then chairman of UNP Mr. Malik Samarawickrama. This was an agreement to coorporate with the government to end the civil war.

He then served as the Cabinet Minister for Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services Development.

During this period he was able to introduced the agricultural cultivation drive of the ministry “API WAWAMU – RATA NAGAMU” program which lead to agricultural boom throughout Sri Lanka including accelerated field crop production to sustain the agricultural sector in Sri Lanka.

On 25th January 2007, The Minister initiated and started the Moragahakanda – Kalu Ganga project under the Mahaveli Master Plan, which was a 90 billion Sri Lankan Rupee project. In addition to providing water for irrigation and drinking purposes in North-Central, Northern and Eastern Provinces. Moragahakanda project was also generate 25 MW of power, fulfilling a long-term need for domestic and industrial electricity demand.

In March 2007 the Minister escaped from the terrorist suicide-bombing attempt by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Welikanda. With the information provided by the security information divisions, 3 LTTE carders were on hunt, but they had swallowed cyanide capsules hanged on their neck and killed themselves at the time of capture.

Once again in 09th October 2008 the Minister was targeted by the world’s most ruthless LTTE terrorist group. The attack was carried out when he was returning from the “Wap Magul Ceremony” held in Bandaragama. This time the Minister was miraculously escaped and saved his life to serve the country. Unfortunately 4 people died 15 were injured in this incident.

Since 2005 at the height of the war in Sri Lanka, Mr Maithripala performed as the Acting Defence Minister of Sri Lanka for five times. He was the acting Defence Minister at the final days of the war in Sri Lanka in the absence of the Defence Minister (The President).

Minister Maithripala was elected back in to the parliament in 2010 and was appointed as the Cabinet Minister of Health of the UPFA government.

“Sri Lanka – National Drug Policy Act”
During the period 2010-2014 the minister have taken initiative to introduce back the well-known Bibile “Drug Policy Act” and presented it to the cabinet, fulfilling the need of a National Drug Policy Framework for Sri Lanka. The act is now before the cabinet for approval.

“Pictorial Warnings on Tobacco Packaging”
He fought with the multinational tobacco companies, both in and out of the courts with threats to introduce the “Pictorial Warnings” on the tobacco / cigarette packings to educate the general public to adverse effects of the smoking. During this two and half year of legal battle, he had to sit and wait hours on watching the court proceedings and finally won the case. By January 2015 each and every cigarette pack will carry pictorial warnings on 60% of its serface.

“WHO Recognition”
Received World Health Organization ‘World No Tobacco Day Award 2013’ for his determine action taken to stop tobacco smoking in the country. This is the first time a Sri Lankan was awarded with this honour.

“Harvard Ministerial Leadership in Health Award” 2013
Received ‘2013 Harvard Ministerial Leadership in Health Award’ from Harvard School of Public Health & Kennedy School of Government, United States of America in recognition of his commitment to innovative leadership in his tenure as Minister of Health, Sri Lanka. This is also the first time a Sri Lankan was awarded with this honour.

“World Health Assembly in Geneva”
Rendered leadership to G15 Group of Countries at 2013 World Health Assembly in Geneva and presented the G15 Statement on health related issues to the Assembly.

Was selected as the one of the four Vice-Presidents WHO World Health Assembly 2014.

Empowering Local Medicine Manufactures
A historical decision was taken by the initiative as the Health Minister Mr. Mathripala, obtained the approvals to purchase locally manufactured medicines directly to the ministry of health empowering the local medicine manufactures.

Sri Lanka’s first Government to Government Medicine Procurement Mechanism
Mr Maithripala, as the health minister initiated and commenced Sri Lanka’s first government to government medicine procurement mechanism by singing an agreement with the government of Bangaladesh and Sri Lanka to create an atmosphere to get quality medicine at a better rate to help the people in Sri Lanka who could not afford.

2014 November
2015 Presidential Election – Common Candidate

Minister Maithripala Sirisena was selected and named as the Common Candidate for the upcoming Sri Lankan Presidential Election to be held on 8th January 2015.


Summary of Biography

  • Constituency: Polonnaruwa District
  • Political Party Name: Sri Lanka Freedom Party(SLFP)
  • Date of Birth: 03.09.1951
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Spouse’s name: Mrs.Jayanthi Pushpa Kumari
  • Children: 2 Daughters, and one son
  • Religion: Buddhist
  • Education:
    1955 Primary education at Lakshauyana School (BOP-292) Polonnaruwa
    Topawawa Maha Vidyalaya – Polonnaruwa
    Royal Central College – Polonnaruwa
    Excelled in aesthetic studies (singing, dancing, art & cultural activities)
    1973 Diploma in Agriculture ( Sri Lanka School of Agriculture, Kundasale )
    1980 Diploma in Political Science, Maxim Gorky Academy Russia
  • Profession: Agriculturist



World Leaders congratulate President Maithripala Sirisena

World Leaders have congratulated new President Maithripala Sirisena on his victory at the 2015 Presidential Election.

US President Barack Obama has congratulated the people of Sri Lanka on the successful and peaceful conclusion of Sri Lanl election and incoming President Maithripala Sirisena on his victory.

President Barack Obama adds that beyond the significance of this election to Sri Lanka, it is also a symbol of hope for those who support democracy all around the world.

President Obama goes on to say that, at this moment of hope, the United States looks forward to deepening its partnership with the people and government of Sri Lanka and to working with President Sirisena to advance peace, democracy, and prosperity for all Sri Lankans.

British Prime Minister David Cameron in his congratulatory message to President Maithripala Sirisena says that the peaceful, democratic elections are a credit to all those involved and the people of Sri Lanka.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has congratulated the people of Sri Lanka on the successful conclusion of the presidential election, and welcomes the constitutional transfer of power.

The Secretary General applauds the Sri Lankan Elections Commission for its professionalism in ensuring a peaceful and credible election.

In his statement Ban Ki-moon also commends the efforts of the candidates, including in particular, outgoing President Mahinda Rajapaksa, law enforcement agencies and civil society for upholding and respecting democratic governance.

The Secretary General adds that he looks forward to working with President Maithripala Sirisena and the people of Sri Lanka and affirms the continuous support of the United Nations for development, reconciliation, political dialogue and accountability in Sri Lanka.

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop says that the Australian Government congratulates Maithripala Sirisena on his election win and wishes him well in implementing his mandate for democratic reform, good governance and anti-corruption.

Her statement adds that Australia looks forward to working with the new government in support of its agenda, to further develop strong bilateral relationship, and to address shared regional and global challenges.

High Representative of the European Union and Vice President and Head of the European Defence Agency Federica Mogherini while congratulating President Maithripala Sirisena adds the EU will continue to support Sri Lanka in its development as a prosperous and inclusive democracy for the benefit of all its citizens.

Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam has written to President Maithripala Sirisena, congratulating him on his victory in the Presidential election citing that his victory is a testament of the faith that the people have in his leadership.

The letter, adding that Singapore has consistently supported national reconciliation, peace and progress in Sri Lanka, goes on to say that the Singapore President hopes that the positive momentum in Sri Lanka’s reconstruction and development efforts will continue.

Also congratulating President Maithripala Sirisena on his victory, Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom noted that through the election, Sri Lankans have demonstrated yet again the strength of the country’s democracy and the resilience of its institutions.


New President will be the Chair-in-Office of Commonwealth

 The newly elected President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena with his victory will also assume the position of Chair-in-Office in the Commonwealth.

The congratulatory message issued by the Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma to the new President said he looks forward to working with Sirisena and his Government, both in his capacity as President of Sri Lanka and as Commonwealth Chair-in-Office.

 Commonwealth Secretary-General has congratulated the new President on his success in the 8 January presidential election and his assumption of office.

 “I extend my warm congratulations to President Sirisena and wish him success in the tasks that lie ahead as he takes office. I look forward to working with him and his Government, both in his capacity as President of Sri Lanka and as Commonwealth Chair-in-Office. I also look forward to welcoming him to next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta in November 2015.” the Secretary-General said.

 The Secretary-General commended the work and contribution of the Commonwealth Observer Group for the election and, in a telephone conversation, thanked President Bharrat Jagdeo for his leadership of the Group. He said he looks forward to receiving the Group’s findings and recommendations.

 He also applauded “President Rajapaksa, who swiftly honored the democratic verdict of the people.”


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