Famous Sri Lankan People

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 1 
Muttiah Muralitharan
(Sri Lankan Cricket Coach and Former Professional Cricketer)
Muttiah Muralitharan
47
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 17, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kandy
 2 
Kumar Sangakkara
(Sri Lankan Former Professional Cricketer)
Kumar Sangakkara
32
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 27, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Matale
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 3 
Lasith Malinga
(Sri Lankan Former Cricketer and One of the Greatest Limited Overs Bowlers of All Time)
Lasith Malinga
14
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 28, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Galle
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
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 4 
Sanath Jayasuriya
(Sri Lankan Former Cricketer)
Sanath Jayasuriya
9
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 30, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Matara
 5 
Jacqueline Fernandez
(Miss Universe Sri Lanka 2006 and an Established Actress in Hindi Film Industry)
Jacqueline Fernandez
52
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: June 2, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Manama

Talent knows no geographical boundaries and Sri Lankan actress and model, Jacqueline Fernandez, showed it with her success in Bollywood and the numerous awards she won. Raised in a multi-ethnic family, she is known for glamour and found a place in Forbes’ India list of 100 celebrities. Fernandez is also noted for her concern for animals as acknowledged by PETA.

 6 
Yohani
(Singer-songwriter)
Yohani
47
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 30, 1993
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Colombo
 7 
Radhika Sarathkumar
(Actress)
Radhika Sarathkumar
14
Birthdate: August 21, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Colombo
 8 
Dhee
(Singer)
Dhee
21
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: June 26, 1998
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Colombo
 9 
Michael Ondaatje
(Canada's Most Renowned Living Authors)
Michael Ondaatje
6
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 12, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Colombo

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. 

 10 
Pooja Umashankar
(Actress)
Pooja Umashankar
12
Birthdate: June 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Colombo
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
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 11 
Sirimavo Bandaranaike
(Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1960 - 1965, 1970 - 1977, 1994 - 2000))
Sirimavo Bandaranaike
25
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 17, 1916
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mahawalathenna
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.
 12 
Aravinda de Silva
(Former Sri Lankan Cricketer and Captain)
Aravinda de Silva
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 17, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Colombo
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 13 
Tillakaratne Dilshan
(Sri Lankan Former Cricketer and One of the Most Innovative Players of All Time)
Tillakaratne Dilshan
9
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 14, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kalutara
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 14 
Sujatha
(Actor)
Sujatha
5
Birthdate: December 10, 1952
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Galle
Died: April 6, 2011
 15 
Ranil Wickremasinghe
(9th President of Sri Lanka)
Ranil Wickremasinghe
55
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: March 24, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Colombo

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.

 16 
Angelo Mathews
(Sri Lankan Professional Cricketer)
Angelo Mathews
8
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 2, 1987
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Colombo
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 17 
Sonali Deraniyagala
(Memoirist, Economist)
Sonali Deraniyagala
5
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 1964 AD
Birthplace: Colombo
 18 
Ranasinghe Premadasa
(Third President of Sri Lanka)
Ranasinghe Premadasa
14
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 23, 1924
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Colombo
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.

 19 
Nirosha Radha
(Actress)
Nirosha Radha
4
Birthdate: January 30, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Colombo
 20 
Sukumari
(Actress)
Sukumari
7
Birthdate: October 6, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nagercoil
Died: March 26, 2013

Sukumari was an Indian actress known for her contribution to Tamil and Malayalam films. One of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation, Sukumari acted in over 2,500 films in a career that spanned over 50 years. In 2003, she was honored with the Padma Shri. In 2011, she won the National Film Award for her performance in Namma Gramam. 

 21 
Arjuna Ranatunga
(Sri Lankan Former Cricketer and Politician)
Arjuna Ranatunga
8
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 1, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gampaha
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 22 
Ananda Coomaraswamy
(Metaphysician, Historian and a Celebrated Philosopher of Indian art)
Ananda Coomaraswamy
4
Birthdate: August 22, 1877
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Colombo
Died: September 9, 1947

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.

 23 
Chandrika Kumaratunga
(5th President of Sri Lanka (1994-2005))
Chandrika Kumaratunga
11
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 29, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Colombo

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. 

 24 
Arul Pragasam
(Sri Lankan Tamil Activist and Revolutionary)
Arul Pragasam
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 13, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jaffna
Died: December 3, 2019

Arul Pragasam was a Sri Lankan Tamil activist and revolutionary. He played an important role in the formation of the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students during the Tamil independence movements in England. The movement, which originated in Sri Lanka, aimed at securing an independent Tamil state in the island country due to the oppression of Sri Lankan-Tamils by the government.

 25 
Mahela Jayawardene
(First Sri Lankan in the History of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup to Score a Century)
Mahela Jayawardene
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 27, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Colombo
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 26 
Ajantha Mendis
(Sri Lankan Former International Cricketer)
Ajantha Mendis
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 11, 1985
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Moratuwa
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 27 
J. R. Jayewardene
(2nd President of Sri Lanka (1978-1989), 7th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1977-1978))
J. R. Jayewardene
8
Listed In: Leaders
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.

 28 
Anagarika Dharmapala
(Writer)
Anagarika Dharmapala
13
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 17, 1864
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Matara
Died: April 29, 1933
 29 
D. S. Senanayake
(First Prime Minister of Sri Lanka)
D. S. Senanayake
28
Listed In: Leaders
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.

 30 
S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike
(Diplomat, Politician, Lawyer)
S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike
7
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: January 8, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Colombo
Died: September 26, 1959
 31 
C. W. W. Kannangara
(Sri Lankan Politician Who Played an Important Role in the Sri Lankan Independence Movement)
C. W. W. Kannangara
10
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 13, 1884
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sri Lanka
Died: September 23, 1969

C. W. W. Kannangara was a Sri Lankan politician and lawyer. He played an important role in the Sri Lankan independence movement, a peaceful political movement aimed at achieving freedom from the British Empire. As a lawyer, C. W. W. Kannangara defended many political prisoners during the Riots of 1915 and later served as the President of Ceylon National Congress.

 32 
Dinesh Kanagaratnam
(Singer)
Dinesh Kanagaratnam
2
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: August 30, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Badulla
 33 
Kusal Mendis
(Sri Lankan Professional Cricketer)
Kusal Mendis
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 2, 1995
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moratuwa
 34 
Duṭṭhagāmaṇī
(King)
Duṭṭhagāmaṇī
3
Birthplace: Hambantota
Died: 0137 AD
 35 
Marvan Atapattu
(Sri Lankan Cricket Coach and Former Cricketer)
Marvan Atapattu
8
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kalutara
 36 
Kusal Perera
(Sri Lankan Professional Cricketer)
Kusal Perera
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 17, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kalubowila
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 37 
Susanthika Jayasinghe
(Athlete)
Susanthika Jayasinghe
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 17, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Uduwaka
 38 
Dinesh Chandimal
(Sri Lankan Professional Cricketer)
Dinesh Chandimal
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 18, 1989
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Balapitiya
 39 
W. D. Amaradeva
(Singer, Composer)
W. D. Amaradeva
4
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 5, 1927
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moratuwa
Died: November 3, 2016
 40 
Sangamitta
(Emperor Ashoka's daughter)
Sangamitta
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0282 AD
Birthplace: Ujjain
Died: 0203 AD
 41 
Dhananjaya de Silva
(Sri Lankan Professional Cricketer)
Dhananjaya de Silva
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 6, 1991
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hambantota
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 42 
Madhumila
(Actress)
Madhumila
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1988
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jaffna
 43 
Chandran Rutnam
(Film director and producer, Screenwriter)
Chandran Rutnam
1
Birthdate: July 22, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sri Lanka
 44 
Mahinda Rajapaksa
(President of Sri Lanka)
Mahinda Rajapaksa
43
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: November 18, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Weeraketiya
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. 
 45 
Parākramabāhu I
(King)
Parākramabāhu I
4
Birthdate: 1123 AD
Birthplace: Punkhagama
Died: 1186 AD
 46 
Ranjan Ramanayake
(One of the Most Popular and Celebrated Sri Lankan Actors of His Generation)
Ranjan Ramanayake
3
Birthdate: March 11, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Negombo

Ranjan Ramanayake is a Sri Lankan former politician, film director, actor, script writer, and singer. He achieved immense popularity during the 1990s, when he appeared in many Sinhala language films. One of the most popular and celebrated Sri Lankan actors of his generation, Ranjan Ramanayake has won numerous awards, including nine Sarasaviya Awards.

 47 
Sarath Fonseka
(Former Chief of the Defence Staff of Sri Lanka)
Sarath Fonseka
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ambalangoda

Sarath Fonseka is a Sri Lankan former politician and army officer. He served as the Commander of Sri Lanka Army during the Sri Lankan Civil War and is credited with ending the 26-year war in 2009 by defeating Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. After serving as the Commander, Sarath Fonseka briefly served as Chief of the Defence Staff in 2009.

 48 
Bernard White
(Actor)
Bernard White
2
Birthdate: June 8, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Colombo
 49 
Jackson Anthony
(Actor)
Jackson Anthony
3
Birthdate: July 8, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Podiwee Kumbura
 50 
Mahinda
(Monk)
Mahinda
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0285 AD
Birthplace: Ujjain
Died: 0205 AD
Some of the most iconic Sri Lankan role models include CWW Kannangara, an educationist who is noted as the father of free education, Dr GP Malalasekara, an orientalist of world fame, George Keyt, a foremost painter and artist, Mahela Jayawardene a cricketer and so on. Nanda Malini, a world-class singer, is credited for starting a new chapter in Sri Lankan classical music. Her outstanding talent for music has made her the most respected and idolized singers of the country. Booker prize felicitated writer and novelist Michael Ondaatje is a Sri Lankan by birth. Find out in details about famous Sri Lankans, their life and their works through this section.