Famous Sri Lankan Leaders

Sri Lanka maybe a small island country in South Asia but that doesn’t mean it is unimportant. The country, popularly known as the tear drop of India due to its shape, is the largest exporter of tea in the world. Did you know that cinnamon which you so fondly use in your daily food owes its roots in Sri Lanka? Sri Lanka’s deep harbours and its strategic geographic location made it an important seat during the World War II. It has a high human development index. Much of that has been possible due to its leaders who have played a quintessential role in putting Sri Lanka as one of the most important countries in the world map. Prior to the current presidential system, Sri Lanka had a parliamentary system until 1978. The Prime Minister was vested with executive powers while the role of the President was largely ceremonial. However, in 1978, the constitution changes introduced by J.R Jayewardene empowered President with executive powers, thus making the position of the Prime Minister nominal. Jayewardene presided over Sri Lankan governmental affairs for more than ten years before being taken over by Ranasinghe Premadasa who was later assassinated. Chandrika Kumaratunga was the first female President to serve the country from 1994 until 2005. Maithripala Sirisena currently serves as the President of Sri Lanka. Check this section to know more about famous Sri Lankan leaders.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Velupillai Prabhakaran

Velupillai Prabhakaran
2
Birthdate: November 26, 1954
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Sri Lankan
Died: May 19, 2009

 2 Mahinda Rajapaksa

Mahinda Rajapaksa
0
Famous As: President of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: November 18, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Sri Lankan
The highlight of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s political career as the Sri Lankan president was ending the 30-year-old civil war with the Tamil Tigers. The Freedom Party member lost the 2015 election but came back to power as the leader of the Sri Lanka People's Front, becoming the country’s prime minister. 
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 3 Sirimavo Bandaranaike

Sirimavo Bandaranaike
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Famous As: Former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: April 17, 1916
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Sri Lankan
Died: October 10, 2000
Sirimavo Bandaranaike served as the prime minister of Sri Lanka and was the world's first female prime minister. She was initially married to prime minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike and participated in charitable work for rural women. She joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party after her husband’s assassination.

 4 Maithripala Sirisena

Maithripala Sirisena
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Famous As: President of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: September 3, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Sri Lankan
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 5 Ranil Wickremasinghe

Ranil Wickremasinghe
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Famous As: Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: March 24, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Sri Lankan

 6 Chandrika Kumaratunga

Chandrika Kumaratunga
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Famous As: Fifth President of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: June 29, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Sri Lankan

Chandrika Kumaratunga is a Sri Lankan politician who became the first female president when she was elected as the president of Sri Lanka in 1994. Having served as the president from 1994 to 2005, Kumaratunga is the only female Sri Lankan president to date. She also served as the head of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party from 1994 to 2006. 

 7 Arul Pragasam

Arul Pragasam
0
Birthdate: January 1, 1940
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Sri Lankan
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 8 Ranasinghe Premadasa

Ranasinghe Premadasa
0
Famous As: Third President of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: June 23, 1924
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Sri Lankan
Died: May 1, 1993

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.

 9 Anagarika Dharmapala

Anagarika Dharmapala
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 17, 1864
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Sri Lankan
Died: April 29, 1933

 10 D. S. Senanayake

Don Stephen Senanayake
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Famous As: First Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: October 20, 1883
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Sri Lankan
Died: March 22, 1952

 11 C. W. W. Kannangara

C. W. W. Kannangara
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Famous As: Diplomat, Politician
Birthdate: October 13, 1884
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Sri Lankan
Died: September 23, 1969

 12 Sarath Fonseka

Sarath Fonseka
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Sri Lankan

 13 J. R. Jayewardene

J. R. Jayewardene
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Famous As: Former President of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: September 17, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Sri Lankan
Died: November 1, 1996

 14 J.B. Jeyaretnam

J.B. Jeyaretnam
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 5, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Sri Lankan
Died: September 30, 2008

 15 Dingiri Banda Wijetunga

Dingiri Banda Wijetunga
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Famous As: President of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: February 15, 1916
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Sri Lankan
Died: September 21, 2008

 16 Udaya Gammanpila

Udaya Gammanpila
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 6, 1970
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Sri Lankan

 17 Neelan Tiruchelvam

Neelan Tiruchelvam
0
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: January 31, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Sri Lankan
Died: July 29, 1999