Gotabaya Rajapaksa – SL’s 7th Executive President

2019-11-18 at 13:55

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was elected the 7th Executive President of Sri Lanka, was sworn in as the Head of State this morning.

The swearing in ceremony was held in the premises of the Ruwanweli Maha Seya.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa took oath before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya as the country’s new President.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who contested the 2019 Presidential Election, under the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna ticket, was elected the President after obtaining 52.25% votes at Saturday’s election.

He won 16 districts and secured 6,924,255 votes. Sajith Premadasa, who contested the 2019 Presidential Election from the New Democratic Front ticket, only received 41.99% of the votes.

Premadasa won six districts and received 5,564,239 votes.

Accordingly, following the publication of the island-wide result last evening, Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya announced that former Defence Secretary Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been elected as Sri Lanka’s seventh Executive President.

Born on the 20th of June 1949, in Palatuwa in the Matara District, to parents of nine children, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the fifth of nine siblings.

He was raised in Weerakatiya, Hambantota and obtained his primary and secondary education at Ananda College Colombo. Rajapaksa hails from a well-known political family in Sri Lanka.

His father, DA Rajapaksa, was a Member of Parliament, and served as the Deputy Speaker and Cabinet Minister of Agriculture and Land.

Three of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s siblings, Chamal, Mahinda and Basil have served as Members of Parliament while Mahinda Rajapaksa was first elected to Parliament as a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party at the age of 24 in 1970.

He gradually rose through party ranks to become the Leader of the Opposition in 2001, Prime Minister in 2004 and the President of Sri Lanka in 2005 and is at present the Leader of the Opposition.

After completing his primary and secondary education at Ananda College, Gotabaya Rajapaksa completed his Master’s Degree in Defence Studies at the University of Madras in 1983.

In addition, Rajapaksa also completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Information Technology at the University of Colombo in 1992.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa joined the Sri Lanka Army as a Commissioned Officer in 1971 and subsequently held positions of Deputy Commandant of the Kotalawala Defence University and the Commanding Officer of the Gajaba Regiment.

Rajapaksa’s time in the military included battlefront experience in some of the hard-fought battles in the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam terrorist group.

As a reward of gallantry and excellence in combat, Rajapaksa was awarded the Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP) and Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP) in 1991.

In 1998, Rajapaksa and his family migrated to the United States of America.

In 2005, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was appointed the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence where he played a key role in ending the three-decade-long terrorist war.

In 2010, Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official responsibilities were expanded to include both Defence and Urban Development.

Although he had expressed hesitations about a pursuing a political career on a number of occasions, after filing nominations for the 2019 Presidential Election on the 7th of October, Gotabaya Rajapaksa officially entered active politics.

By winning the November 16th Election, Gotabaya Rajapaksa replaced Maithripala Sirisena as the country’s Head of State and will lead the country for the next five years.