Sri Lankan

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Popularly referred to as ‘the tear drop of India’ or ‘the pearl of the Indian Ocean’, Sri Lanka is an island country situated in South Asia in the Indian Ocean. The largest exporter of tea and the originator of the spice cinnamon, Sri Lanka has taken up quite an important place in the world map. The country boasts of highest literacy rate in the entire South Asia. These are some of the many interesting facts about Sri Lanka as a country. Talking about its nationals or Sri Lankans, the country has served as the address of numerous famous writers, scientists, politicians, singers, artists, restaurateurs, journalists, engineers, philanthropists and so on.
Vote For Your Favourite Sri Lankan Personality
 1 
Muttiah Muralitharan
30
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 17, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kandy, Sri Lanka
 2 
Kumar Sangakkara
(Cricketer)
Kumar Sangakkara
16
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 27, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Matale, Sri Lanka
 3 
Jacqueline Fernandez
(Miss Universe Sri Lanka 2006 and an Established Actress in Hindi Film Industry)
Jacqueline Fernandez
36
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: June 2, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Manama, Bahrain

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.

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 4 
Yohani
(Singer-songwriter)
Yohani
26
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 30, 1993
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
 5 
Radhika Sarathkumar
7
Birthdate: August 21, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
 6 
Dhee
(Singer)
Dhee
7
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: June 26, 1998
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
 7 
Lasith Malinga
(Sri Lankan cricketer)
Lasith Malinga
9
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 28, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Galle, Sri Lanka
 8 
Michael Ondaatje
(Canada's Most Renowned Living Authors)
Michael Ondaatje
3
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 12, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka

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. 

 9 
Ranil Wickremasinghe
(9th President of Sri Lanka)
Ranil Wickremasinghe
29
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: March 24, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka

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.

 10 
Sanath Jayasuriya
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 30, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Matara, Sri Lanka
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 11 
Pooja Umashankar
7
Birthdate: June 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
 12 
Sirimavo Bandaranaike
(Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1960 - 1965, 1970 - 1977, 1994 - 2000))
Sirimavo Bandaranaike
17
Listed In: Leaders
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.
 13 
Sujatha
(Actor)
Sujatha
1
Birthdate: December 10, 1952
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Galle, Sri Lanka
Died: April 6, 2011
 14 
Mahinda Rajapaksa
(President of Sri Lanka)
Mahinda Rajapaksa
21
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. 
 15 
Tillakaratne Dilshan
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 14, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kalutara
 16 
Angelo Mathews
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 2, 1987
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
 17 
Ranasinghe Premadasa
(Third President of Sri Lanka)
Ranasinghe Premadasa
7
Listed In: Leaders
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.

 18 
Arjuna Ranatunga
(Sri Lankan cricketer)
Arjuna Ranatunga
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 1, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gampaha
 19 
Sukumari
(Actress)
Sukumari
4
Birthdate: October 6, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nagercoil, Travancore, British India (present-day Tamil Nadu, India)
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. 

 20 
Chandrika Kumaratunga
(5th President of Sri Lanka (1994-2005))
Chandrika Kumaratunga
4
Listed In: Leaders
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. 

 21 
Aravinda de Silva
(Sri Lankan cricketer)
Aravinda de Silva
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 17, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Colombo
 22 
Sonali Deraniyagala
(Memoirist, Economist)
Sonali Deraniyagala
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 1964 AD
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
 23 
Anagarika Dharmapala
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 17, 1864
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Matara, Sri Lanka
Died: April 29, 1933
 24 
Ananda Coomaraswamy
(Metaphysician, Historian and a Celebrated Philosopher of Indian art)
Ananda Coomaraswamy
2
Birthdate: August 22, 1877
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
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.

 25 
Maithripala Sirisena
(President of Sri Lanka)
Maithripala Sirisena
9
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 3, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sri Lanka

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.

 26 
Marvan Atapattu
(Sri Lankan cricketer)
Marvan Atapattu
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kalutara
 27 
S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike
(Diplomat, Politician, Lawyer)
S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike
1
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: January 8, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Colombo
Died: September 26, 1959
 28 
Arul Pragasam
(Former activist who had a part in forming the group Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS) in January 1975)
Arul Pragasam
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 13, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: affna, Sri Lanka
Died: December 3, 2019
 29 
Nirosha Radha
(Actress)
Nirosha Radha
3
Birthdate: January 30, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
 30 
J. R. Jayewardene
(2nd President of Sri Lanka (1978-1989), 7th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1977-1978))
J. R. Jayewardene
7
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 17, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
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.

 31 
C. W. W. Kannangara
(Diplomat, Politician)
C. W. W. Kannangara
4
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 13, 1884
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sri Lanka
Died: September 23, 1969
 32 
D. S. Senanayake
(First Prime Minister of Sri Lanka)
D. S. Senanayake
21
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.

 33 
Kusal Perera
(Sri Lankan cricketer)
Kusal Perera
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 17, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kalubowila
 34 
Dinesh Chandimal
(Sri Lankan cricketer)
Dinesh Chandimal
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 18, 1989
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Balapitiya
Velupillai Prabhakaran
26
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 26, 1954
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Valvettithurai
Died: May 19, 2009
 36 
Dhananjaya de Silva
(Sri Lankan cricketer)
Dhananjaya de Silva
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 6, 1991
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hambantota
 37 
Ajantha Mendis
(Sri Lankan cricketer)
Ajantha Mendis
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 11, 1985
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Moratuwa
 38 
Thisara Perera
(Sri Lankan cricketer)
Thisara Perera
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 3, 1989
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Colombo
Duṭṭhagāmaṇī
1
Birthplace: Hambantota, Sri Lanka
Died: 0137 AD
 40 
W. D. Amaradeva
(Singer, Composer)
W. D. Amaradeva
2
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 5, 1927
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
Died: November 3, 2016
 41 
Susanthika Jayasinghe
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 17, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Uduwaka, Sri Lanka
 42 
Sarath Fonseka
(Politician)
Sarath Fonseka
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ambalangoda
 43 
Bernard White
2
Birthdate: June 8, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
 44 
Madhumila
(Actress)
Madhumila
1
Birthdate: May 23, 1988
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jaffna, Sri Lanka
 45 
Sangamitta
(Emperor Ashoka's daughter)
Sangamitta
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0282 AD
Birthplace: Ujjain
Died: 0203 AD
 46 
Kusal Mendis
(Sri Lankan cricketer)
Kusal Mendis
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 2, 1995
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
 47 
Dinesh Kanagaratnam
0
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: August 30, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Badulla, Sri Lanka
 48 
Chandran Rutnam
(Film director and producer, Screenwriter)
Chandran Rutnam
0
Birthdate: July 22, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sri Lanka
 49 
Parākramabāhu I
3
Birthdate: 1123 AD
Birthplace: Punkhagama, Lanka
Died: 1186 AD
 50 
Ranjan Ramanayake
(Actor, Politician)
Ranjan Ramanayake
3
Birthdate: March 11, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Negombo, Sri Lanka
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.