President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday completed 42 years since becoming a Parliamentarian, having first entered Parliament as its youngest MP in 1970. President Rajapaksa was elected a Member of Parliament for the Beliatta electorate at the May 27, 1970 general election.
He succeeded his father D A Rajapaksa to Parliament and represented the same electorate his father did from his first election in 1947. He was the Labour and Vocational Training and Fisheries Minister in the Cabinet from 1994 to 2001.He also held the portfolio of the Ports and Shipping in addition to Fisheries, for three months. He was the Opposition Leader from 2002 to 2004.
He was chosen as the 13th Prime Minister in April 2004.
He had by then risen to the position of Senior Vice President of the SLFP.
From the time he was chosen Prime Minister in April 2004 till his election as President, he also held the Highways portfolio.
He became the country’s fifth Executive President in 2005.
He was elected for a second term of office at the January 26, 2010 Presidential Election with Sri Lanka recognising him as the national leader who liberated the country from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and set the country on the path to peace and rapid economic development.
Mahinda Rajapaksa was first elected President of Sri Lanka in 2005 on a wide-ranging and largely people-oriented policy as laid out in the Mahinda Chintana.
He now leads the country towards post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation.