Hon Dinesh Gunawardena was sworn-in as the 15th Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on 22.7.22.
He is also currently the Minister of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils & Local Government, a Member of Parliament, and Leader of the MEP which is in alliance with SLPP.
As a veteran politician, Hon Dinesh Gunawardena has engaged at all levels of politics and governance since he started his political career as a Youth Leader in 1968 and later in 1973 as the Leader of Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (People’s United Front).
Hon Dinesh Gunawardena was first elected to Parliament in 1983 as an Opposition M.P., and since has been re-elected to Parliament by the people on seven occasions.
He held multiple Ministerial portfolios, serving previously as Minister of Transport (2000), Minister of Transport & Environment (2001), Minister of Urban Development (2004–2010), Deputy Minister of Higher Education (deputized under the President, 2004–2007), Minister of Sacred Area Development (2007–2010), Minister of Water Supply & Drainage (2010–2015), Minister of Megapolis & Western Development (2018), Minister of Labour Relations, Employment, & Skills Development (2019–2020), Foreign Minister (2019–2021), and Minister of Education (2021-2022).
Hon Dinesh Gunawardena has also served as Chief Government Whip (2008–2015), Leader of the Joint Opposition (2015–2018), and Leader of the House (2018, & 2019-2022) in Parliament of Sri Lanka.
Hon Dinesh Gunawardena was born on 2nd March 1949 in Sri Lanka, and his Father Late Hon Philip Gunawardena is a National Hero of Sri Lanka & a Freedom Fighter, Trade Union Leader, a Member of Parliament, a Minister, the Founder of political party & an author, and fondly remembered as the Lion of Boralugoda, while his Mother Late Kusuma Gunawardena is also a veteran Parliamentarian in Sri Lanka.
Hon Dinesh Gunawardena is an old boy of Royal College, Colombo, and graduated from Nyenrode Business University (the Netherlands’ School of Business) with an Associate Degree in Business Management, and with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Management & International Transport from University of Oregon Eugene, in the US.
The Hon Prime Minister is also the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his enduring contribution to Sri Lanka and the Global Community including; The Orden de Isabel awarded by the King of Spain (2012), the International Pro-Poor Leader awarded by the Slum Dwellers International (2009) and Cuba’s Solidarity Order awarded by the Government of Cuba (2006).
Hon Prime Minister is a veteran in Parliamentary practice with IPU & CPA membership nearing 40 years. He was the Chairman of Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms (2002-2012 & 2020-2022), which recommended the new mixed electoral system and made progressive reforms to strengthen all forms of election laws in Sri Lanka.
Hon Dinesh Gunawardena was the vice chairman of the Montreal Protocol summit (also known as Ozone Summit) in 2001. He is the architect of Urban Settlement Development Authority (USDA) founded in 2008 with a special legislative enactment to provide housing for the poor. In 2013 he founded the Community Water Trust and was the architect of the Department of National Community Water, which developed water schemes through community based organizations (CBOs) supplying pipe-born water to 18.5% of Sri Lanka's population.
Hon Dinesh Gunawardena, while Minister of Education managed to rectify 24 years of unsolved salary anomalies of 250,000 Teachers (2021) and launch the 1,000 National Schools program (2022). He was the architect of two national universities; Uva Wellassa University (2005) and Vavuniya University (2021). He also increased National University intake by 10,000 students (2021). During his tenure as Labour & Employment Minister he brought an historic tripartite agreement between employers federation, trade unions, & government on securing 3.5 million private sector jobs during 2020/21 pandemic with zero job losses.