Jayaratne, Dissanayake Mudiyansalage (Sri Lanka)

Reference work entry


On 21 April 2010 D. M. Jayaratne was sworn in as prime minister, a largely ceremonial position. He also served as minister for Buddha Sasana and religious affairs. One of the country’s longest serving politicians, he headed various government ministries and was a senior member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). He left office in Jan. 2015.

Early Life

D. M. Jayaratne was born on 7 June 1931 in the Central Province hill town of Gampola. The fifth child of nine, he was schooled at Doluwa Maha Vidyalaya (Gampola), Zahira College (Kandy) and Mahatma Gandhi College (Kandy). In 1951 he became a teacher at Doluwa Maha Vidyalaya and from 1960–62 he was postmaster of Gampola.

By 1950 he was politically active, working in the grassroots community centre networks where he rose through the ranks, acting as secretary in the Kandy council and then chair of the island-wide network. In 1951 he joined the newly formed SLFP and in the 1970 general election he was elected to parliament as...

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