( November 22, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Hailing from an agrarian family, Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena, became popular in Sri Lankan politics after 1979 as Maithripala Sirisena.
Maithripala Sirisena, who learnt his letters in politics as the Secretary of the Polonnaruwa Branch Committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, was later appointed as the President of the SLFP Youth Organisation. He first entered parliament in 1989, representing the Polonnaruwa District.
Sirisena, who was an ardent campaigner for the reinstatement of Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s civic rights, had also served time in prison as a result.
In 1994, Sirisena was elected to parliament as the candidate who polled the second highest number of preferential votes, across the country.
Maithripala Sirisena who held the portfolio of Deputy Minister of Irrigation and Mahaweli Development in the 1994 government of Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge, later held the portfolios of Minister of Irrigation Development and Rajarata Development, Agriculture and Agrarian Services.
He was appointed Assistant Secretary of the SLFP in 1997 before being appointed the General Secretary of the party. He was the Health Minister in the current government.
At present, Maithripala Sirisena has taken his political journey onto a different path.