Who is the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka?

Monument to the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. Editorial credit: Catalin Lazar / Shutterstock.com.

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has a prime minister who is appointed by the president and serves as the leader of the Cabinet. The president is the head of the government and chief of state. The position of the prime minister was created in 1947 when the country was still a colony of Britain and was known as Ceylon. The country became a republic in 1972, and the name changed from the prime minister of Ceylon to prime minister of Sri Lanka. The current prime minister of Sri Lanka is Ranil Wickremasinghe. 

Prime Ministers Of Sri Lanka Since 1972

Junius Richard Jayewardene (1977-1978)

Jayewardene served as the prime minister of Sri Lanka from 1977-1978. He was born to a well-known Ceylonese family. He received his early education at Bishops College and later attended Royal College for his secondary education. He later joined Colombo Law College and graduated as an advocate. In 1938 he became one of the activists in the Ceylon National Congress. He later became its secretary in 1940 and was elected to the colonial legislature in 1943 after he won the Kelaniya by-election. In the 1977 elections, Jayawardene replaced Sirimavo Bandaranayake as the prime minister of Sri Lanka.

Ranasinghe Premadasa (1978-1989)

Premadasa was born on June 23, 1923, at Dias Place in Colombo and attended both primary and post-primary education in Colombo. He later joined the University of London. In 1955 he was elected the deputy mayor of Colombo, and also served as the minister for broadcasting in the 1960s. The general election of 1965 saw Premadasa elected to parliament and he was appointed government chief whip and later as the minister of local government. On February 23, 1978, when Jayewardene became the executive president of Sri Lanka, Premadasa became the prime minister serving until 1989 when he was elected the president of Sri Lanka.

Mahinda Rajapaksa (2004-2005)

Mahinda Rajapaksa was born on November 18, 1945, in the southern rural district of Hambantota. His father was a prominent politician. He joined Richmond College in Galle and later on attended Nalanda College in Colombo. He also attended Thurstan College. He attended Colombo Law School and graduated in 1974. In a 2004 election, the People’s Alliance won the parliamentary elections. Rajapaksa was sworn in on April 16, 2004, as the 13th prime minister of Sri Lanka. In 2018, Mahina Rajapaksa was appointed as prime minister of Sri Lanka. However, his position has been delayed by a court order. 

Dingiri Banda Wijetunga (1989-1993)

Lankabhimanya Dingiri Banda Wijetunga was born on February 5, 1916, and joined St. Andrew’s College in Gambola. He later worked as an inspector in a corporate department. He entered parliament for the first time in 1965. He lost the same seat on 1977 and claimed it again in 1977. He was appointed a minister of information and broadcasting. Between 1988 and 1989 he served as the Governor of North Western Province of Sri Lanka and on March 3, 1989, he was appointed the Prime Minister when Premadasa was assassinated until May 7, 1993. President Premadasa awarded Wijetunga the country’s highest award of Civilian Sri Lankabhimanya in 1993. He later became the president of Sri Lanka.

Where Does the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Live?

The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka is Temple Trees in Colombo. 

Prime Ministers Of Sri Lanka Since 1972

Prime Ministers of the Republic of Sri LankaTerm(s) in Office
Sirimavo Bandaranayake
1972-1977; 1994-2000
Junius Richard Jayewardene
Ranasinghe Premadasa
Dingiri Banda Wijetunga
Ranil Wickremesinghe (Incumbent)
1993-1994; 2001-2004; 2015-Present
Chandrika Kumaratunga
August-November of 1994
Ratnasiri Wickremanayake
2000-2001; 2005-2010
Mahinda Rajapaksa
D. M. Jayaratne

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