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7th Executive President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

por Angela Crowe (2020-04-04)


Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa was born on 20th June 1949 to former Cabinet Minister D. A. Rajapaksa and Dandina Dissanayake Rajapaksa. He is the 5th sibling in a family of 9 and is the brother to 5th Executive President of Sri Lanka and current Leader of Opposition, His Excellency, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Chamal Rajapaksa, former Speaker of the Parliament and Basil Rajapaksa, former Cabinet Minister.

He was educated at Ananda College, Colombo and joined the Sri Lanka Army in 1971. During his military service, he earned a Master’s Degree in Defense Studies from the University of Madras and underwent advanced training in Pakistan, India and the USA. Having commanded many anti-terrorist operations in the North and East of Sri Lanka, he was awarded the Rana Wickrama Padakkama and Rana Sura Padakkama Medals for Gallantry and Excellence in combat. He also received commendations from the President of Sri Lanka and the Commander of the Army for his bravery in action. After retiring from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1991, Mr. Rajapaksa studied Information Technology at the University of Colombo where he attained a Post Graduate Diploma in Information Technology. He later emigrated to the USA with his family where he worked as an IT professional at the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California.

Mr. Rajapaksa returned to Sri Lanka in 2005 with the election of his brother, HE Mahinda Rajapaksa as the 5th Executive President of Sri Lanka and was appointed as Secretary to the Ministry of Defense on 25th November 2005. He was instrumental in ending the three decades long terrorist conflict in Sri Lanka through an expertly conceived and skillfully coordinated military strategy. Following the end of the conflict, he swiftly restored normalcy to the country, whilst taking steps to further consolidate national security. In post-war Sri Lanka, Mr. Rajapaksa fast-tracked the de-mining of the North and Eastern Provinces affected by the war and displaced civilians were resettled in their homes, within a short span of time. He also initiated a globally recognized de-radicalization and rehabilitation program whereby approximately 13,500 former LTTE combatants were re-integrated to society successfully.