Famous Sri Lankan Prime Ministers

Sri Lanka is an island country in the Indian Ocean, situated near south-east India. Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka was occupied by the British East India Company during the 19th and 20th century. It was only in 1947 that Ceylon gained its independence from British Raj. Prior to independence, the post of the Prime Minister of Ceylon was created with D.S, Senanayake serving as the first Prime Minister of the nation. In 1972, Sri Lanka became a Republic, and thus the premiership was known as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. In its initial days of functioning, Sri Lanka followed a Westminster-based political system wherein the Prime Minister served as the head of the government. He was the most powerful politician of the country. However, after the 1978 constitutional changes, Executive Presidency was adopted by the country according to which the President became the head of both the country and the government. The Prime Minister, on the other hand, served as the leader of the Cabinet and deputy of the President. Sri Lankan Prime Minister gained greater powers over appointment of his Cabinet of Minister after the 19th amendment that was instituted in 2015. Over the years, the seat of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka has been held by various noteworthy politicians. The incumbent PM of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe is serving is third non-consecutive term as the premier of Sri Lanka. Check this section to find out detailed information about the life and career of Sri Lanka Prime Ministers.

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 Sirimavo Bandaranaike

Sirimavo Bandaranaike
3
Famous As: Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1960-65, 1970-77, 1994-2000)
Birthdate: April 17, 1916
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mahawalathenna, Sri Lanka
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.

 2 Ranil Wickremasinghe

Ranil Wickremasinghe
3
Famous As: Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: March 24, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dominion of Ceylon

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.

 3 Chandrika Kumaratunga

Chandrika Kumaratunga
3
Famous As: Fifth President of Sri Lanka (1994-2005)
Birthdate: June 29, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka

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. 

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 4 Ranasinghe Premadasa

Ranasinghe Premadasa
3
Famous As: Third President of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: June 23, 1924
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
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.

 5 D. S. Senanayake

D. S. Senanayake
3
Famous As: First Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: October 20, 1883
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mirigama
Died: March 22, 1952

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.

 6 J. R. Jayewardene

J. R. Jayewardene
3
Famous As: Former President of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: September 17, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Colombo
Died: November 1, 1996

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.

 7 Dingiri Banda Wijetunga

Dingiri Banda Wijetunga
2
Famous As: President of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: February 15, 1916
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Polgahanga, Sri Lanka
Died: September 21, 2008
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