Sirisena, Maithripala

Sirisena, Maithripala (Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Gapa Sirisena), 1951–, Sri Lankan political leader. After an early interest in the Communist party, he joined the Sri Lankan Freedom party (SLFP) in 1968, becoming head of its youth organization in 1983. First elected to parliament in 1989, Sirisena held several ministerial posts, including those of agriculture (2005–10) and health (2010–14). In 2015, after breaking with President Mahinda Rajapakse and accusing the president and his family of corruption and undermining the rule of law, Sirisena ran against him and was elected president of Sri Lanka he also became defense minister.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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