List of Presidents of Sri Lanka

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Coat of arms of Sri Lanka, showing a lion holding a sword in its right forepaw surrounded by a ring made from blue lotus petals which is placed on top of a grain vase sprouting rice grains to encircle it. A Dharmacakra is on the top while a sun and moon are at the bottom on each side of the vase.
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Sri Lanka

The President of Sri Lanka is the elected head of state and the head of government. The President is a dominant political figure in Sri Lanka. The office was created in 1972, as more of a ceremonial position. It was empowered with executive powers by the 1978 Constitution introduced by J. R. Jayewardene. The current President is Maithripala Sirisena, elected on January 8, 2015.

Presidents[edit]

Parties

      United National Party       Sri Lanka Freedom Party       Independent

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Home province
Term of office
Electoral mandates
Time in office
Other ministerial offices
held while President
Political party
of President
Government Refs
1 William Gopallawa.jpg William Gopallawa
(1897–1981)
Central
22 May
1972
4 February
1978
Independent Sirimavo Bandaranaike II 10th [1]
 —
5 years, 8 months and 13 days
Served as the last Governor-General of Ceylon and the first (non-executive) President when Ceylon declared itself a republic in 1972, and changed its name to Sri Lanka.
2 Junius Richard Jayawardana (1906-1996).jpg Junius Richard Jayewardene
(1906–1996)
Western
4 February
1978
2 January
1989
Minister of Defence
Minister of Planning & Economic Affairs
Minister of Plan Implementation
& Minister of Higher Education
United National Party Jayewardene 11th
12th
[1]
1982
10 years, 11 months and 29 days
Introduced the Executive Presidency in 1978, and assumed the position of President of Sri Lanka.[2]
3 No image.png Sri Lankabhimanya
Ranasinghe Premadasa
(1924–1993)
Western
2 January
1989
1 May
1993†
Minister of Defence
Minister of Buddha Sasana
& Minister of Minister of Policy Planning & Implementation
United National Party Premadasa 13th [1]
1988
4 years and 4 months
Was assassinated during a May Day rally, by an LTTE suicide bomber.
4 No image.png Sri Lankabhimanya
Dingiri Banda Wijetunga
(1916–2008)
Central
1 May
1993
12 November
1994
United National Party Wijetunga 13th [1]
 — 14th
1 year, 6 months and 10 days
Prime Minister at the time of Ranasinghe Premadasa's assassination by LTTE. Appointed as acting president and continued in that capacity until 7 May 1993 when he was elected by Parliament to the office of President under Article 40 of the Constitution.
5 Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga As The President of Sri Lanka.jpg Chandrika Kumaratunga
(1945–)
Western
12 November
1994
19 November
2005
Sri Lanka Freedom Party Kumaratunga 14th
15th
[1]
1994, 1999 16th
11 years and 7 days 17th
The first non UNP President of the country. Appointed her mother, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, to succeed her as Prime Minister. Victim of multiple assassination attempts by LTTE, which were all unsuccessful.
6 Mahinda Rajapaksa.jpg Mahinda Rajapaksa
(1945–)
Southern
19 November
2005
9 January
2015
Minister of Defence
Minister of Finance
Minister of Law & Order
& Minister of Highways, Ports & Shipping
Sri Lanka Freedom Party Rajapaksa 17th
18th
[1]
2005, 2010
9 years, 1 month and 21 days
Ended the 25-year-long Sri Lankan Civil War and LTTE insurgency in the country. Alleged war crimes during the final stages of the Sri Lankan Civil War, Feud with Sarath Fonseka, Eighteenth Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, Impeachment of Shirani Bandaranayake, Defeated in 2015 elections.
7 Maithripala Sirisena (cropped).jpg Maithripala Sirisena
(1951–)
North Central
9 January
2015
Incumbent Minister of Defence
Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment
Sri Lanka Freedom Party[N 1] Sirisena
(UNP backed coalition)
18th [1]
2015 19th
7 months and 21 days
Defeated Rajapaksa in his bid for unprecedented third term. Mainly backed by United National Party and other opposition parties. 100-day reform program. Reinstated Shirani Bandaranayake as Chief Justice. Promoted Sarath Fonseka to the rank of Field Marshal. Reset foreign relations with India and the United States. Appointed new governors to each provincial council.

Living former Presidents[edit]

President Term of office Date of birth
Chandrika Kumaratunga 1994–2005
4025 days
(1945-06-29) June 29, 1945 (age 70)
Mahinda Rajapaksa 2005–2015
3338 days
(1945-11-18) November 18, 1945 (age 69)

The most recent death of a former President was that of Dingiri Banda Wijetunga (1993–1994) on 21 September 2008, aged 92.

Timeline[edit]

Maithripala Sirisena Mahinda Rajapaksa Chandrika Kumaratunga Dingiri Banda Wijetunga Ranasinghe Premadasa Junius Richard Jayewardene William Gopallawa

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Elected as a New Democratic Front candidate.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Heads of State". Parliament of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Former Sri Lanka president dies, leaves mixed legacy". CNN. 1 November 1996. Retrieved 4 October 2008. [dead link]

External links[edit]

General