Mahinda Rajapaksa

Who is Mahinda Rajapaksa ?

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Who is Mahinda Rajapaksa ?

Sri Lankan prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa (77) is at the helm of the current economic crisis in the island nation. In his long political career, he served as President of Sri Lanka from 2005 to 2015, as Leader of the Opposition from 2002 to 2004 and 2018 to 2019, and as Minister of Finance from 2005 to 2015 and 2019 to 2021.
 
Early life and Education
 
Born in 1945 in Weeraketiya, a town in southern Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa is the second among six brothers (three of whom are also in the national politics) and three sisters. He was first elected as a member of parliament from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in 1970 from the Hambantota district. He is an alumnus of Colombo Law College and practised law in the southern town of Tangalle from 1977 to 1994.
 
Career
 
Rajapaksa was first elected as the President from SLFP in 2005. In his first term, which ended in 2010, he was known for the fight against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who were defeated in May 2009. He won the 2010 presidential election and his second term ended in 2015.
 
Accused of corruption in both the previous elections, Rajapaksa lost the 2015 presidential election to his former ally Maithripala Sirisena.
 
He was the leader of the opposition between December 2018 and November 2019 from Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party.
 
In 2019, Rajapaksa assumed power as prime minister after his brother and former defence chief, Gotabaya Rajapaksa won the presidential election.
 
Sri Lanka crisis
 
Rajapaksa’s support base mainly comprised a conservative and Buddhist majority population who favoured his political ambitions until the deepening economic crisis shook the country.
 
His government’s decisions to reduce taxes and ban all chemical fertilizers used in agriculture along with the Covid-19 pandemic have taken a huge hit on the Sri Lankan economy.
 

Latest Updates on Mahinda Rajapaksa

Ex-prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa accused of destroying records of mass graves

2 min read Last Updated : Jun 23 2023 | 6:28 PM IST

Sri Lanka's apex court to try rights petition against ex-Prez, PM & FM

2 min read Last Updated : Oct 08 2022 | 9:26 AM IST

Sri Lanka SC bars overseas travel of Rajapaksa brothers till July 28

2 min read Last Updated : Jul 16 2022 | 12:51 AM IST

How Sri Lanka spiralled into its current economic crisis: An explainer

4 min read Last Updated : Jul 10 2022 | 4:14 PM IST

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka's economy shrinks 1.6% in the March quarter

2 min read Last Updated : Jun 29 2022 | 1:31 AM IST

FS Kwatra discusses Lanka situation with Prez Rajapaksa, PM Wickremesinghe

3 min read Last Updated : Jun 24 2022 | 1:03 AM IST

Sri Lanka to appoint 5 finance, 10 oversight committees to resolve crisis

2 min read Last Updated : May 30 2022 | 7:12 AM IST

Rising risk of Sri Lankan banks defaulting on their obligations: S&P

3 min read Last Updated : May 27 2022 | 10:31 AM IST

Former Sri Lankan PM Rajapaksa questioned by CID over May 9 violence

3 min read Last Updated : May 26 2022 | 12:09 PM IST

'We are going to die': Food shortage grapples Lanka amid economic crisis

4 min read Last Updated : May 20 2022 | 11:07 AM IST

A day's petrol left, power cuts may last 15 hours: Lanka PM Wickremesinghe

5 min read Last Updated : May 17 2022 | 1:51 AM IST

Sri Lanka's ruling SLPP party decides to back PM Ranil Wickremesinghe

3 min read Last Updated : May 14 2022 | 3:01 PM IST

Indian envoy calls on new Sri Lankan PM Wickremesinghe, discusses crisis

3 min read Last Updated : May 13 2022 | 12:50 PM IST

PMK, VCK ask Centre not to give political asylum to Mahinda Rajapaksa

2 min read Last Updated : May 12 2022 | 12:58 PM IST

Sri Lanka crisis: Opposition split over choice of next PM under Gotabaya

5 min read Last Updated : May 12 2022 | 12:18 PM IST

The PM's meeting, then the mob. 'Turning point' in Sri Lankan crisis

5 min read Last Updated : May 11 2022 | 9:14 PM IST

Sri Lankan army chief denies shoot-on-sight order at general public

2 min read Last Updated : May 11 2022 | 10:13 AM IST

Live: Sri Lanka President says he will appoint new PM, cabinet this week

1 min read Last Updated : May 11 2022 | 9:52 PM IST

India fully supportive of Sri Lanka's democracy and economic recovery: MEA

2 min read Last Updated : May 11 2022 | 12:54 AM IST

Rajapaksa faces calls for arrest as Sri Lanka violence claims eight lives

4 min read Last Updated : May 10 2022 | 11:00 AM IST