D. M. Jayaratne

Disanayaka Mudiyanselage Jayaratne MP is the 20th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, and a veteran Sri Lankan politician.

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Disanayaka Mudiyanselage Jayaratne MP (known as D. M. "Di Mu" Jayaratne;[1] Sinhala: දිසානායක මුදියන්සේලාගේ ජයරත්න, Tamil: திசாநாயக்க முதியன்சேலாகே ஜயரத்ன; born 4 June 1931[2]) is the 20th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, and a veteran Sri Lankan politician. A founding member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Jayaratne was first elected to parliament in 1970. He was sworn in as Prime Minister on 21 April 2010.[3]

Early life

D. M. Jayaratne was born on 4 June 1931. He was educated at Doluwa Maha Vidyalaya in Gampola, a town just outside Kandy. Following the founding of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party in Kandy in 1951 by S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, Jayaratne worked as a teacher at Doluwa Maha Vidyalaya. He later worked as Postmaster at Doluwa from 1960 to 1962.[4]

Politics

Jayaratne first entered parliament following the 1970 general election, obtaining 14,463 votes as the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) candidate in the Gampala electorate, and defeating W.P.B. Dissanayake of the United National Party (UNP).[5] He was subsequently defeated by Dissanayake in the 1977 election in which just 8 members of the SLFP were returned to parliament.[6] He was again re-elected to parliament in 1989 from the Kandy District under the new preferential voting system. He obtained 54,290 preferential votes, topping the SLFP list in the Kandy District.[4]

Re-elected to parliament under the People's Alliance in 1994, Jayaratne was appointed Minister of Land, Agriculture and Forestry by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, entering the cabinet for the first time.[4]

  • Member of the Village Council
  • Chairman of the Village Council
  • President of the Kandy District Village Council Chairmen Association
  • Member of the Federation of All Ceylon Village Council Chairmen
  • Member of Parliament (1970 Parliament – Member of Parliament, Gampola)
  • Secretary General of People’s United Front (from 1993 to-date)
  • Senior Vice President of Sri Lanka Freedom Party
  • Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Forestry and Livestock (1994)
  • Minister of Agriculture, Land and Forestry (1997)
  • Minister of Agriculture and Land (1999)
  • Minister of Agriculture (2000)
  • Minister of Agriculture Land Forestry Food and Cooperative Development (2011 Probationary Government)
  • Minister of Post and Communication (2004 while being in the Opposition)
  • Minister of Post and Telecommunication (2004)
  • Minister of Telecommunication and Rural Economic Promotion (2005)
  • Minister of Telecommunication and Upcountry Development (2006)
  • Minister of Plantation Industries (2007)
  • Prime Minister, Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs w.e.f. 2011 to-date

Prime minister

Following the election victory of the United People's Freedom Alliance at the 2010 general election, Jayaratne, the most senior member of the SLFP, was sworn in as Prime Minister on 21 April 2010. Under the constitution of Sri Lanka, the Premiership is largely a ceremonial post. Along with it, he will also hold the ministry of Buddha Sasana (Buddhism) and Religious Affairs.[7]