Glimpse of History from ANCL Archives:
When Mahinda became the youngest MP...
Father and son - his first political poster in 1970
Ancestral home in Medamullana
As an actor
When he enters into wedlock with Shiranthi (Attesters Chief Justice
Neville Samarakoon and Secertery General of Parliament , Sam
With Yasser Arafat
President Rajapakse with the happy family (first lady Shiranthi,
Namal, Yoshitha and Rohitha)
* Mahinda Rajapaksa was born on November 18, 1945 as the third son of
D. A. Rajapakse and Dandina Samarasinghe Dissanayake. He grew up in a
religious background amid brothers and sisters. (Chamal, Jayantha,
Chemis, Jayanthi, Chandra, Tuder, Gotabhaya, Nanda, Bazil, Rohana,
Dudley, Piyasiri, Prithi, Chandrani, Gangani, Chithra and Siladari.).
Mahinda learnt Buddhism at Galketiya Viharaya in Galle.
* In 1951 he was admitted to Richmond College, Galle to commence his
formal education where the future leader spent his formative years until
he entered Nalanda College. At Nalanda, he played not only cricket but
also football for the under 13 college football team.
Addressing the United Nations
During the Jana Ghosha
Sworn in as Attorney-at-Law
A seasoned campaigner
* In 1956, he once again changed school and entered Thurstan College,
Colombo where he won the Colombo District Championship for the event
putt shot and was a member of the College relay team.
* In 1975 Mahinda Rajapaksa formed the Sri Lankan Committee for
Solidarity with Palestine and was the chairman for over thirty years.
* On May 13, 1983, he married the daughter of Air Commodore E.P
Wickremesinghe, Shiranthi Wickremesinghe. Shiranthi was Miss Sri Lanka
in 1978 and also represented Sri Lanka at the Miss World Contest.
The then Chief Justice Neville Samarakoon and Secretary General of
Parliament, Sam Wijesinghe attested their wedding. President Mahinda
Rajapaksa has three sons; Namal, Yohita and Rohitha. He hails from a
prominent political family. His father Don Alwin Rajapakse was a
prominent politician and former Member of Parliament. D. H. Rajapakse
his uncle was a State Councillor for Hambantota in 1930 who started
wearing the earthly brown shawl to represent kurakkan (a type of maize)
cultivated by the people of the area.
* In 1970 he entered Parliament from the Beliatte constituency as the
youngest MP at the tender age of 24 with a record lead of 6626 votes. *
In 1973 he entered Sri Lanka Law College. He was instrumental in forming
the SLFP Lawyers' Association. He took oaths as an Attorney-at-Law in
1976 and did his apprenticeship in the chambers of President's Counsel
* Following the by-elections in Mulkirigala which made the exercise
of franchise a mockery in the face of unprecedented terror unleashed
upon the opposition by the UNP regime, Mahinda Rajapakse was taken into
custody as a political prisoner and imprisoned at Magazine Prison in
1985. He spent more than three months in Prison under trying
circumstances. His mother died while he was in prison and was thus
unable to fulfill her last wish to see her beloved son.
* On March 16, 1992, Mahinda Rajapaksa launched the Pada Yathra (a
protest march) against State-terrorism of the Premadasa regime and its
The historic mass march similar to those launched by freedom fighters
such as Moa and Mahatma Gandhi commenced at Viharamahadevi Park and
reached its destination the sacred city of Kataragama in eight days. He
also launched a spate of mass protests such as Human Chain (from Colombo
to Ratnapura) and Jana Ghosha (mass protest movement) culminating in
In 1994 he was appointed as Minister of Labour and Vocational
Training. Among his achievements as Minister of Labour are the drafting
of the Workers' Charter, establishment of the Vocational Training
Authority, setting up Rural Vocational Training Centres and the
acquisition of Hambantota Lunu Levaya (Saltern) by Employee Trust Fund.
* Initiated a housing programme called Deewara Gammana for fishermen
and their families.
* Initiated the first ever University for Oceanography known as
Introduced a special banking scheme called "Idiwara Banks" for
fishermen established a Coastal Guard Unit, a much needed security
system for an Island nation, to stop illegal fishing activities and
protect the coast of Sri Lanka. Provided fisheries communication
equipment to improve efficiency through the use of technology.
In addition to the Portfolio of Fisheries, he also held the Portfolio
of Ports and Shipping for a short period of three months. Within this
period, he took initial steps to construct the Hambantota Harbour.
* A crusader of Human Rights, Mahinda Rajapaksa fought against the
thousands of involuntary disappearances during the 1988-1989 period of
terror. He complained against the gross human rights violations in Sri
Lanka to the international human rights organizations including the
Geneva Conference for Human Rights.
On October 4, 1999, he delivered a lecture under the title of
"Involuntary Disappearances" at the Deheradunhi Human Rights
Organisation in India.
* President Rajapaksa is also an accomplished actor and portrayed
diverse roles including that of a General in Gamini Fonseka's Nomiyena
Minisssu. In the Opposition, he became a campaigner for Human Rights and
together with Manorani Saravanamuttu of Mother's Front, he launched a
campaign to highlight the plight of the disappeared.
He was conferred the title of Professor Emeritus by the Vishva
Bharati University of Calcutta in recognition of his record on human
On April 06,2004, Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the 13th Prime
Minister of Sri Lanka. As PM he initiated a number of development
projects including Maga Neguma and proposed and planned " fly-overs" in
Colombo to reduce traffic. He became the 5th Executive President on
November 19, 2005.