Michael Ondaatje is a Sri Lankan-born Canadian poet, writer, and filmmaker. Born in Sri Lanka, he eventually migrated to Canada. He studied at Bishop's University and embarked on a teaching career. His literary works include poems, novels, and essays. He is the recipient of multiple prestigious awards, including the Giller Prize and the Booker Prize.
Former president of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, son of a World War II veteran, first stepped into politics with the Ceylon Communist Party and then led the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. A probe into the 2019 church bombings in Sri Lanka found he had ignored prior hints about the attack.
Ranasinghe Premadasa was a Sri Lankan politician who served as the third president of Sri Lanka from 1989 to 1993. Before serving as the president, Premadasa served as the prime minister of Sri Lanka from 1978 to 1989. In 1986, he became the first Sri Lankan to receive the prestigious Sri Lankabhimanya, the country's highest civilian award.
Former Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremasinghe was born into a family of print media moguls and grew up to become an advocate. The United National Party leader had also been in the news for his rounds of peace talks with the LTTE. He is married to academic Maitree Wickremasinghe.
Ananda Coomaraswamy was a Ceylonese Tamil philosopher of Indian art, metaphysician, and pioneering historian. He is credited for being one of the earliest interpreters of Indian culture to the West. He is also held responsible for introducing ancient Indian art to the West. Apart from bridging the gap between East and West, Coomaraswamy's works also aimed at rehabilitating original Buddhism.
Sri Lanka’s first prime minister, D. S. Senanayake, was the son of a plantation owner and graphite miner and was raised as a devout Buddhist. An amateur cricketer in school, he later took to rubber planting and formed the cooperative-society movement. He rejected the honor of a knighthood.
J. R. Jayewardene was a Sri Lankan politician and leader. He served as the prime minister of Sri Lanka from 1977 to 1978 and then went on to serve as the country's second president from 1978 to 1989. A controversial figure, Jayewardene's actions have been recognized as a contributing factor to the commencement of the Sri Lankan Civil War.