The President of Sri Lanka

President Maithripala Sirisena

The President of Sri Lanka and Minister of Defence

President Maithripala Sirisena, the 6th President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, assumed his term of office on January 9, 2015, after the Presidential Election held the previous day.

His election came with the defeat of the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was seeking an unprecedented third term as Executive President. Contesting as the candidate of the Common Opposition, Mr. Sirisena obtained 6,217,162 votes (51.28%) while Mr. Rajapaksa obtained 5,768,090 votes (47.58%) of the total 12,264.377 votes polled with a turnover of 81.52%, obtaining a majority of 449, 072 votes.

Maithripala Sirisena is the first member of the rural agricultural population to be elected as President of Sri Lanka, and hails from Polonnaruwa, where is located the second ancient capital of the country, stablished in 1070 AD. Polonnaruwa remains a rural region largely populated by rice cultivators, and is the home of many irrigation reservoirs, historic places of Buddhist worship, and other monuments of the history of Sri Lanka, and the Ancient City of Polonaruwa is a declared World Heritage Site.

A person with no previous family links to politics, Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena comes with a long personal history in politics, especially as a representative of the rural people. The son of a middle-class farming family, whose father was a veteran of World War II, and cultivated five plus acres of paddy land in Polonnaruwa near the historic Parakrama Samudra. The son of Sinhalese Buddhist parents, Maithripala Srisena was born on 3rd September 1951, and brought up as a Buddhist, with close associations with the Buddhist temples.

A friendly and unassuming person, Maithripala Sirisena shows the traditional Buddhist values that prevail in the rural areas of Sri Lanka. He has shown a great commitment to duty, service to the people, an emphasis of simplicity in living and an attachment to family values that make the core of the Sri Lankan rural tradition to this day. His political life has its roots in his youth, from the time he was 16 years of age, and has since grown with a deep understanding of social and political issues. He has shown a demonstrable commitment to ease the economic and social burdens of the rural and working people who comprise the majority of the Sri Lankan people. This has brought him from the politics of youth leadership, to participation in protests, moving up to Parliamentary representation, leadership in political party organization, holding of important ministerial positions and now to the highest office of Executive President of Sri Lanka. His campaign for election as President, which was focused on the need to reduce the powers of the Executive Presidency and pave the way for good governance in a functioning democracy, with unity among all communities of Sri Lanka is the new challenge that he faces.