Former Prime Ministers

Rt. Hon. D. S. Senanayake

( 24th September 1947 - 22nd March 1952 )

The first Parliamentary Election in Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) after attaining dominion status was held in August 1947. Don.Stephen Senanayake, whose party gained a majority of seats at the elections, was sworn in as the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on September 24, 1947. He was a leader who was closely involved in the nationalist movement for independence of Sri Lanka from colonial rule. He met with an untimely death resulting from an accidental fall from the horse he was riding on March 22, 1952. He was honored by the British monarch by making him a Privy Counsellor in recognition of his service to the nation...

Hon. Dudley Senanayake

( 26th March 1952 - October 1953 )

Mr. Dudley Senanayake was appointed Prime Minister on the death of his father the Rt. Hon. D. S. Senanayake. Hon. Dudley Shelton Senanayake who served four terms as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was the eldest son of the first Prime Minister Rt. Hon D.S. Senanayake. He assumed office of Prime Minister on March 26, 1952 to fill the vacancy created by the demise of his father and was re-elected at the general election in May 1952. He resigned from premiership on October 12, 1953 on grounds of ill health. He became the Prime Minister once again on March 20, 1960. He was sworn in as the Prime Minister for the fourth time on March 25, 1965 and retried from politics after the general elections in 1970. He passed away on April 13, 1973...

Rt. Hon. Sir John Kotelawala

(12th October 1953 - 12th April 1956 )

Sir John Lionel Kotelawala assumed office as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on the resignation of Hon. Dudley Senanayake in October 1953 and continued in office till April 1956.The visit of the British Queen, Elizabeth II to Sri Lanka and the admission of Sri Lanka as a member of the United Nations were significant events that took place during his tenure as Prime Minister. He was also appointed a Privy Counsellor by the British Queen...

Hon. S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike

(12th April 1956 - 26th September 1959 )

Hon. Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike won the general elections in April 1956 creating a significant change in the political life of the country and was sworn in as the fourth Prime Minster of Sri Lanka on April 12, 1956. Among the notable events during his term of office were the recovery, through friendly negotiations, of the naval base at Trincomalee and the air base at Katunayake from British control, the nationalization of the bus service, the passing Official Language Act making Sinhala the official language and the Paddy Lands Act. He succumbed to injuries from an assassin’s bullet on September 26, and could not complete his full term of office...

Hon. Dr. W. Dahanayake

( 26th September 1959 - 20th March 1960 )

Hon. Wijayananda Dahanayake was sworn in as Prime Minister following the assassination of Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. He held office only for a short period and relinquished office after losing at the general elections held in March 1960...

Hon. Dudley Senanayake

( 21st March 1960 - 21st July 1960 )

At the general election the United National Party emerged with the largest number of seats but without a majority and was asked to form the government .Dudley Senanayake became Prime Minister for a second time. However his Government was defeated in the House on 22 April 1960 when a vote was taken on the throne speech...

Hon. (Mrs.) Sirima Bandaranaike

( 21st July 1960 - 25th March 1965 )

Being the Leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) she was appointed Prime Minister on 21 July 1960 as SLFP won the election held in July 1960. As she was not a Member of Parliament which is required for appointment as Prime Minster she was appointed to the Upper House on 02 August 1960 enabling her to serve as P.M. Mrs. Bandaranaike's Government was defeated in the House on 3 December 1964. Hon. Mrs. Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike created history by being the first woman Prime Minister in the world. She was again elected to parliament at the General election held on May 27, 1970. The House of Representatives was converted to a National State Assembly during her second term in office after Sri Lanka adopted a Republican Constitution with a unicameral legislature. When Prime Minist..

Hon. Dudley Senanayake

( 25th March 1965 - 29th May 1970 )

Mr. Dudley Senanayake was appointed Prime Minister for the fourth time on the results of the general election held in March 1965.He completed his full term of five years, the first time in Sri Lanka’s parliamentary history when a Prime Minister completed the full term of five years...

Hon. (Mrs.) Sirima Bandaranaike

( 29th May 1970 - 22nd May 1972 )

Mrs. Bandaranaike became Prime Minister for a second time after the sweeping victory at the election in 1970...

Hon. (Mrs.) Sirima Bandaranaike

( 22nd May 1972 - 23rd July 1977 )

The House of representatives was named the National State Assembly during Mrs. Bandaranaike’s second term office when Sri Lanka became a Republic under a new Constitution adopted in May 1972...

Hon. J. R. Jayewardene

( 23rd July 1977 - 04th February 1978 )

Hon. Junius Richard Jayawardene was sworn in as the Prime Minister when his party won a landslide victory at the general election held in 1977. Using the massive majority he received at the polls, he changed the Constitution of Sri Lanka and resigned from the post of Prime Minister to assume office as the first executive President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in February 06, 1978...

Hon. R. Premadasa

( 06th February 1978 - 07th September 1978 )

With the assumption of office as the President by Hon. J.R. Jayawardene, Hon. Ranasinghe Premadasa was sworn in as the Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on February 06, 1978..

Hon. R. Premadasa

( 07th September 1978 - 02nd January 1989 )

Hon. Ranasinghe Premadasa was re-appointed as Prime Minister on September 07, 1978 and remained in office as the Prime Minister till he resigned to contest the Presidential elections in December 1988...

Hon. D. B. Wijetunga

( 06th March 1989* - 28th March 1990** )

With the resignation of Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa to contest the presidential election in 1988, Hon. Dingiri Banda Wijetunga was sworn in as the Prime Minister on March 03, 1989...

Hon. D. B. Wijetunga

( 30th March 1990 - 07th May 1993 )

Hon.D B Wijethunga resigned on March 28, 1989 but, was reappointed on March 30, 1990. With the assassination of President Premadasa on May 01, 1993 he was sworn in as the President of Sri Lanka...

Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe

( 17th May 1993* - 19th August 1994)

Mr. Wickremasinghe was appointed as Prime Minister after Mr. Wijetunga assumed the Office of President of Sri Lanka in May 1993. He remained in office till August 19, 1994...

Hon.(Mrs.) Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge

( 19th August 1994 - 12th November 1994 )

Hon. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge was sworn in as Prime Minister on August 19, 1994 when her party gained a majority at the general election held on August 16, 1994. After serving for a very short period as the Prime Minister she contested and won the presidential election held on November in the same year...

Hon. (Mrs.) Sirima Bandaranaike

( 14th November 1994 - 09th August 2000 )

Mrs. Bandaranaike was appointed Prime Minister, for a third time, after Mrs. Kumaratunge assumed the office of President of Sri Lanka in November 1994...

Hon. Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka

( 10th August 2000 - 13th October 2000 )

Hon. Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka became the Prime Minister with the resignation of Hon. Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike in August 2000. He was sworn in on 10th August 2000...

Hon. Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka

( 13th October 2000 - 07th December 2001)


Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe

( 09th December 2001 - 02nd April 2004 )

Hon.Ranil Wickremesinghe was again appointed as the Prime Minister on December 09, 2001 when his party was elected to power at the parliamentary elections held on December 09, 2001...

Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa

( 06th April 2004 - 19th November 2005)

Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed the Prime Minister on April 06, 2004 when his party captured power at the general elections in April 2004. He resigned from office after winning the presidential elections on November 19, 2005...

Hon. Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka

( 19th November 2005 - 24th April 2010 )

Hon. Rathnasiri Wickemanayake was re-appointed as Prime Minister on November 21, 2005 when Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected President of Sri Lanka...

Hon. D.M.Jayaratne

( 24th April 2010 - 8th January 2015 )

Hon.D.M.Jayaratne was the choice for premiership in the new Cabinet of Ministers appointed following the UPFA’s victory at the General Elections held on 08th April, 2010. Accordingly, Hon.D.M . Jayaratne was sworn in as the prime Minister of Sri Lanka before his Excellency president Mahinda Rajapaksha at the Temple Trees on 21st April, 2010. He was reappointed on the 22nd November, 2010 for the Second term as Prime Minister following the commencement of the second tenure in presidency of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa on 19 th November, 2010...

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