General Secretary of the People’s Alliance (PA), Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Jayaratne was sworn in as the Prime Minster before President Mahinda Rajapaksa a short while ago.
Mr. Jayaratne entered parliament from Gampola electorate following the General Election in 1970 from the United Front led by Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike.
Born in June 7, 1931 he is one of the earliest members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party when it was founded in Kandy in 1951. He was educated at Doluwa Maha Vidyalaya where he was later a teacher. He was later postmaster at Doluwa, Gampola from 1960-62.
He was defeated in the General Election of 1977 and later re-elected from the Kandy District. In the 1989 General Election, he obtained 54,290 votes; the highest polled by a candidate of the district from the SLFP and was a member of the opposition in the parliament
He was a key member in organizing the People’s Alliance and in the General Election of 1994, he was elected again with the highest number of votes from the Gampola electorate and appointed Minister of Land, Agriculture and Forestry in the cabinet of Prime Minister Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.
Following the election in 2000 he was appointed Minister of Agriculture, Food and Corporative. In 2001 he was elected Chairman of the Asia Pacific Region of Food and Agriculture Organization.
With the General Election victory of the PA in 2004, he was appointed Minister of Post and Telecommunication and Upcountry Development and later in 2005 he was appointed Minister of Post and Telecommunication and Rural Economic Development under President Mahinda Rajapaksa. From 2007 to date he has been the Minister of Plantation Industries. lankaenews