Famous Sri Lankans

Politics

  • List of Sri Lankan KingsWikipedia link

  • S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike – Former Prime Minister and University of Oxford alumni

  • Sirimavo Bandaranaike – World’s first female Prime Minister

  • Junis Richard Jayewardene – Sri Lanka’s 1st Executive President

  • Gamini Dissanayake – Initiator of the famous Mahaweli Project. Advocated for Sri Lanka’s Test Cricket status

  • Mahinda Rajapaksa – Former President who led the offensive to defeat the 30 year terrorist conflict in Sri Lanka

  • General Sarath Fonseka – Sri Lanka’s 1st Field Marshal. Politician....Read More

 

Diplomatic

  • Vernon Mendis - Referred to as the ‘Sri Lanka's Father of Diplomacy’. Former Secretary General of the Non Aligned Movement

  • Neville Kanakeratne - Lawyer, diplomat and scholar. Vice President of the United Nations Trusteeship Council and legal adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

  • Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe – Diplomat, Civil Servant. President of the United Nations General Assembly in 1976. One of the leaders of the negotiations to draft the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

  • Christopher Weeramantry – Lawyer. A Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from 1991 to 2000, serving as the Vice-President from 1997 to 2000

  • Lakshman Kadirgamar - Diplomat, Politician, Lawyer

 

Economic

  • Gamani Corea - Economist, civil servant and diplomat. Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1974 to 1984

 

Social

  • A.T. Ariyaratne - Founder and president of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka. Recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1969, the Gandhi Peace Prize from the government of India in 1996, the Niwano Peace Prize in 1992 and the King Beaudoin Award.

  • Otara Gunewardene - Entrepreneur, philanthropist and activist. She was named the 'Best Female Entrepreneur' at the seventh US Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

 

Arts and Culture

  • Lionel Wendt - Musician, Photographer

  • Barbara Sansoni – Painter, Designer

  • Maestro Pandit W.D. Amaradeva - Padma Sri Award from The Ramon Magsaysay Award of the Philippines

  • Maestro Premasiri Kemadasa - World famous Musician

  • Chitrasena – Veteran Dancer, dramatist

  • Chandran Ratnam- Sri Lankan Film Director and international location coordinator

  • Pani Bharatha – Veteran Dancer.

  • Jagath Chamila – Winner of world best movie actor award in International New York city film festival

 

Science

  • Sir Arthur Charles Clarke - Arthur C Clark - Initiated the idea about geostationary satellites used as telecommunication relays. The person who granted Sri Lanka’s first 'Resident Guest' status British science fiction writer, science writer and futurist.

  • Cyril Andrew Ponnamperuma - Scientist in the fields of chemical evolution and the origin of life. He was the principal investigator at NASA for analysis of lunar soil brought to earth by Project Apollo.

  • Sarath Gunapala - Solid-state physicist, senior research scientist and group supervisor at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  • Mahinda Pathegama - Scientist and artificial intelligence researcher-promoter.

  • Erantha De Mel - Psychologist / Cognitive Neuroscientist. Recipient of the US President's Service Award.

 

Sports

  • Arjuna Ranatunga – Sri Lanka’s 1st World Cup winning Captain.

  • Sanath Jayasuriya – World class Cricketer. Only ODI cricketer with more than 12,000 runs and 300 wickets. First cricketer to play in 400 ODIs matches. The Sri Lankan cricket team holds the record for the Highest Innings Totals in Tests, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals at one time. In each of these Highest Innings Totals, Sanath Jayasuriya was the leading scorer for Sri Lanka.

  • Kumar Sangakkara – World class Cricketer. ICC Cricketer of the Year (2012), Test Cricketer of the Year (2012) and ODI Cricketer of the Year (2011 and 2013). Most career runs (28016) by a left handed batsman. Most ODI dismissals as a wicketkeeper (482). Sangakkara won the crown of One-Day International Greatest of All Time (GOAT) after an exhaustive online polling process conducted by cricket.com.au in 2016.

  • Mahela Jayawardene – World class Cricketer. ICC Captain of the Year 2006, Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2007 and ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2013.

  • Muttiah Muralitharan – Highest international wickets in the cricket world. He was rated the greatest Test match bowler ever by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in 2002. Muralitharan held the number 1 spot in the International Cricket Council’s player rankings for Test bowlers for a record period of 1,711 days spanning 214 Test matches.

  • Susanthika Jayasinghe – Known as the ‘Black Mare of Asia’. Asia’s fastest female runner. Only Asian female sprinter to win an Olympic medal.

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