First Lady of Sri Lanka refers to the wife of the president of Sri Lanka. To date, there have been eight women who have served in the role. The current First Lady of Sri Lanka is Professor Maithree Wickremesinghe, wife of President Ranil Wickremasinghe, who has held the position since 20 July 2022. There have been no first gentlemen of Sri Lanka to date, since former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the country's only female head of state, was a widow while in office.
|First Lady of Sri Lanka|
as President of Sri Lanka
|Inaugural holder||Seelawathie Gopallawa|
|Formation||22 April 1972|
In recent years the holders of the title have been formally or informally referred to by the title First Lady or First Lady of Sri Lanka, though there are no provisions for such in the constitution.
The office of the president of Sri Lanka was created in 1972 when Sri Lanka became a republic. William Gopallawa, who was the governor-general of Ceylon at the time, became the country's inaugural president. His wife, Seelawathie Gopallawa, became the first wife of a president of Sri Lanka. When J. R. Jayewardene became the next president, his wife was known as Lady Elina Jayewardene during and after his presidency. During the presidency of Ranasinghe Premadasa, his wife Hema Premadasa took on a very viable role and became a public figure unlike before.
Chandrika Kumaratunga who was president from 1994 to 2005 was a widow as her husband, film star Vijaya Kumaratunga, was assassinated in 1987. When Mahinda Rajapaksa became president, his wife Shiranthi Rajapaksa took a higher profile role, using the title of first lady and becoming a public figure during her husband's presidency, with her own naval aide and staff funded by the Presidential Secretariat.
(Husband, unless noted)
||Age at tenure start||Tenure ended||Length of retirement
|8 March 1928||William Gopallawa||1972||1977†||0 days||4 October 1977|
|–||Position vacant||Position fell vacant upon the death of Seelawathie Gopallawa.|
|15 December 1913||28 February 1935||J. R. Jayewardene||1978||64 years, 51 days||1989||18 years, 319 days||17 November 2007||93 years, 337 days|
|27 October 1934||23 June 1964||Ranasinghe Premadasa||1989||54 years, 67 days||1993||29 years, 282 days||Living||88 years, 103 days|
|4||Wimalawathi Kumarihami||Dingiri Banda Wijetunga||1993||1994|
|–||Position vacant||Chandrika Kumaratunga||Kumaratunga's husband, Vijaya Kumaratunga, was assassinated in 1988 before she became president.|
|23 January 1953||1983||Mahinda Rajapaksa||2005||52 years, 300 days||2015||8 years, 29 days||Living||70 years, 15 days|
|6||Jayanthi Pushpa Kumari||1970s||Maithripala Sirisena||2015||2019||3 years, 81 days||Living|
|7||Ioma Rajapaksa||Gotabaya Rajapaksa||2019||2022||208 days||Living|
|11 August 1964||1994||Ranil Wickremasinghe||2022||57 years, 343 days||Incumbent||Living||58 years, 180 days|
- "How did Ranil Wickremesinghe become Sri Lanka's president after six terms as PM?". The National (Abu Dhabi). 2022-07-20. Archived from the original on 2022-08-03. Retrieved 2022-09-27.
- "First Lady travels alone in London". The Morning (Sri Lanka). 2022-09-25. Archived from the original on 2022-09-27. Retrieved 2022-09-27.
- "Shiranthi Wickremesinghe Rajapaksa - First Lady of Sri Lanka". Office of the First Lady of Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 2014-06-13. Retrieved 2022-09-27.
- Welilaka, Clarence (2 December 2007). "Memoirs of a just, caring and endearing personality". The Sunday Leader.
- "President Premadasa's death anniversary commemorated with military honours on President's directive - Azwer". Daily News. 18 May 2006.