President Maithripala Sirisena celebrates 67th birthday

President Maithripala Sirisena celebrates 67th birthday

President Maithripala Sirisena celebrates 67th birthday

Written by Staff Writer

03 Sep, 2018 | 10:20 pm

Colombo (News 1st) – President Maithripala Sirisena celebrated his 67th birthday on Monday (Sept 3rd)

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party was founded on the 2nd of September 1951. Born the day after, Maithripala Sirisena has had a close bond with the political party.

Born to an agrarian family, Maithripala Sirisena was educated at the Thopawewa Maha Vidyalaya and Royal College, Polonnaruwa. Engaging with the political affairs of the Communist Party since his school years, Sirisena was steeped in the leftist tradition.

In August 1967, Maithripala Sirisena entered active politics as the Secretary of the SLFP Youth Organisation in the Polonnaruwa electorate. Sirisena claimed victory at the parliamentary election held on the 15th of February 1989 and was sworn in as a member of parliament on the 9th of March.

At the 1994 parliamentary election, Sirisena won the most preferential votes in the Polonnaruwa district and commenced his sophomore term as an MP also taking on the responsibility of the portfolio of Deputy Minister of Irrigation.

In 1997, he was appointed Cabinet Minister of Mahaweli Development & Parliamentary Affairs and also took on the responsibility of Assistant Secretary of the SLFP. In 2000, he was elevated to the position of Vice President of the SLFP.

Following the victory at the parliamentary election in 2001, Sirisena was appointed General Secretary of the SLFP. He was appointed Leader of the House in 2004 and the position of Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Mahaweli Development in 2005.

As the war drew to a close in May 2009, Maithripala Sirisena served as the acting Minister of Defence. In 2010, he was appointed Minister of Health preceding his overwhelming victory at the presidential election on the 8th of January 2015, being sworn in the next day as the 6th Executive President of Sri Lanka.

Following his election, President Sirisena immediately committed himself to the strengthening of democracy through the passage of the 19th amendment to the constitution, to curtail the limitless powers of the president, strengthen independent commissions and establish media freedom.

Over the past 3 and a half years, major development programs including the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Multi-Purpose Development project have been undertaken under the direction of President Sirisena.

A golden fence encircling the sacred Bo tree at President’s House in Colombo, which was erected with a donation from the President’s personal finances, was unveiled today marking President Sirisena’s birthday.

Religious observances were held to celebrate the President’s birthday while rituals were observed yesterday and today to mark the event.

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