|Cabinet Minister of Plantation|
|Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament
for Kalutara District
23 April 2010
|Former Cabinet Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights|
|Former Cabinet Minister of Employment and Labour|
|Former Provincial Minister of Health and Economic Infrastructure|
|Born||30 January 1956|
|Political party||Sri Lanka Freedom Party|
|United National Party|
|Residence||53/2, Torrington Mawatha,
Colombo 07, Sri Lanka.
|Alma mater||La Trobe University|
Mahinda Buddhadasa Samarasinghe, MP (born 30 January 1956) is a Sri Lankan politician and former diplomat. He is the current Cabinet Minister of Plantation in President Mahinda Rajapakse's Government, and Sri Lanka Freedom Party chief organiser for the Agalawatte Electorate in Kalutara District. Samarasinghe co-chairs the Permanent Standing Committee on Human Rights in Sri Lanka, the other chair being former minister of foreign affairs, Mangala Samaraweera.
Having joined the Sri Lanka Overseas Service, he served as the First Secretary to the Sri Lanka High Commission in Australia and as Counselor for the Sri Lankan Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva during the 1980s. He has represented Sri Lanka at the International Labour Organization, World Health Organization, International Telecommunication Union and the World Meteorological Organization. While working at the Sri Lanka Mission in Geneva, he represented Sri Lanka at almost all of the Governing Body meetings of the ILO in 1986 and 1987, as well as the International Labour Conference (ILC) from 1985–1987. At the end of the 1987 ILC, he successfully presented a draft resolution on ‘Workers Housing,' which was adopted at the conference.
As co-chair of the Permanent Standing Committee on Human Rights in Sri Lanka, Samarasinghe works in close cooperation with several UN Organisations including the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as other international organizations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to continue Sri Lanka's endeavors to rehabilitate and re-integrate citizens from the country's formerly war-torn areas.
Samarasinghe entered active politics in 1988 and was elected to the Provincial Council of the Western Province, where he served as the Leader of the House of the Provincial Council and the Provincial Minister of Health and Economic Infrastructure.
In 1994 he was elected to parliament from the Kalutara district, and was re-elected in subsequent elections held in 2000, 2001,2004 and 2010. During the period 2001 - 2004, he served as the Cabinet Minister of Employment and Labour. He was the Government Chief Whip from 2001–2004 and the Opposition Chief Whip from 2004 - 2006. Samarasinghe joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party in 2006 and is the Sri Lanka Freedom Party chief organiser for the Agalawatta Electorate in Kalutara District. He had also served as Cabinet Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights from 2006 - 2010. He was a member in the Parliamentary Consultative Committees of the Ministries of Trade, Commerce, Industries, Finance and Foreign Affairs.
Samarasinghe is married and has three children.
- Presidency and vision for development Daily News, Retrieved on 8 July 2010.
- Lanka most liberalised economy in South Asia Daily News, Retrieved on 12 July 2010.
- UN statement unsubstantiated - govt. BBC News, Retrieved on 14 March 2009.
- UNF cabinet reshuffled after five postponements Tamil Net, Retrieved on 28 February 2002.
- Mahinda Samarasinghe In HARDtalk interview BBC News, Retrieved on 3 March 2009.
- UN statement unsubstantiated - govt. BBC News, Retrieved on 14 March 2009,
- Address by Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe at the First Session of the Human Rights Council – Geneva - 19 June 2006
- Sri Lanka: New rulers have bloody past
- Panos South Asia at the International Conference on Disaster research & Ethics in Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Lanka to raise UN HR Commissioner’s partiality - Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe
- Ministry of Plantation Industries
- Sri Lanka Parliament profile
- Hot Seat, Interview with Human Rights Minister Hon.Mahinda Samarasinghe
- Depriving IDPs freedom of movement biggest HR violation
- Statement made by Hon.Mahinda Samarasinghe at the UN Human Rights Council Special Session on Sri Lanka on 26 May 2009 in Geneva
- Comments and answers by Hon.Mahinda Samarasinghe at UN Human Rights Council in Geneva