Colombo, Jan 9: Also known as Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena, he was born on September 3, 1951 to World War II veteran Albert Sirisena.
Education and Politics
He studied at the Royal College, Polonnaruwa. Then he studied for three years at the Sri Lanka School of Agriculture, Kundasale. In the year 1980, he earned a Diploma in Political Science at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Russia.
He was interested in Communism ever since he was a child and in 1967, he joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party's (SLFP) youth league in Polonnaruwa. An active leader, he was jailed during the 1971 Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Insurrection.
He joined the politburo of the SLFP in 1981. He became president of the All Island SLFP Youth Organization in 1983. Sirisena worked at the Palugasdamana Multi Purpose Cooperative Society and also as a grama niladhari.
Active political career
He was elected to the Parliament in 1989 and was re-elected in 1994. During the reign of Chandrika Kumaratunga, he was appointed the agriculture minister. He was then appointed as the minister of the Mahaweli Development.
He was appointed the minister of Agriculture, Environment, Irrigation and Mahaweli Development in November when Rajapaksa came to power in 2005.
Sirisena was re-elected at the 2010 parliamentary election and was appointed Minister of Health in April 2010.