President Mahinda Rajapaksa, today, marks 40 years since entering Parliament. He entered the then National State Assembly on June 7, 1970 as the youngest Legislature winning the Beliatta constituency for the United Front coalition.
Throughout his political career, he went on to become a Cabinet Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister and later as the executive President of the country.
A lawyer by profession, Mahinda Rajapaksa hails from a political family – his father, D. A. Rajapaksa represented the same region of Hambantota in Parliament from 1947 to 1965.
In 1994, following the election victory of the People’s Alliance, Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed Minister of Labour. He held this post until 1997 and in the cabinet reshuffle, his portfolio was shifted to Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
He was appointed as the Leader of the Opposition in 2001. After the General Election in 2004, Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s 13th Prime Minister on April 6, 2004. While Rajapaksa was the Prime Minister, he also held the portfolio as the Minister of Highways.
Mahinda Rajapaksa became the fifth Executive President of the country in the year 2005 .
President Rajapaksa was re-elected for a second term of office in the Presidential Election held on January 26, 2010. His re-election took place in the first nationwide election held after the defeat of the LTTE in May last year.