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Mahinda Samarasinghe

Mahinda Buddhadasa Samarasinghe (Sinhala: මහින්ද සමරසිංහ), MP (born 30 January 1956) is a Sri Lankan politician and former diplomat. He is the current Minister of Ports & Shipping in President Maithripala Sirisena's Government,[1][2][3] and Sri Lanka Freedom Party chief organiser for the Panadura Electorate in Kalutara District. Samarasinghe co-chairs the Permanent Standing Committee on Human Rights in Sri Lanka.

Mahinda Samarasinghe

Mahinda 1.jpg
Minister of Ports and Shipping
In office
22 May 2017 – 26 October 2018
PresidentMaithripala Sirisena
Prime MinisterRanil Wickremesinghe
Succeeded bySagala Rathnayake
Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training
In office
4 September 2015 – 22 May 2017
PresidentMaithripala Sirisena
Prime MinisterRanil Wickremesinghe
State Minister of Finance
In office
22 March 2015 – 17 August 2015
PresidentMaithripala Sirisena
Prime MinisterRanil Wickremesinghe
Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament
for Kalutara District
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1956-01-30) 30 January 1956 (age 63)
NationalitySri Lankan
Political partySri Lanka Freedom Party
(2006 - Present)
United National Party
(1988 - 2006)
Other political
United People's Freedom Alliance
(2006 - Present)
United National Front
(2001 - 2006)
Residence53/2, Torrington Mawatha,
Colombo 07, Sri Lanka.
Alma materLa Trobe University


Mahinda Samarasinghe completed a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) degree at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.

Diplomatic careerEdit

Having joined the Sri Lanka Overseas Service, he served as the First Secretary to the Sri Lanka High Commission in Australia and as Counselor for the Sri Lankan Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva during the 1980s. He has represented Sri Lanka at the International Labour Organization, World Health Organization, International Telecommunication Union and the World Meteorological Organisation. While working at the Sri Lanka Mission in Geneva, he represented Sri Lanka at almost all of the Governing Body meetings of the International Labour Organization in 1986 and 1987, as well as the International Labour Conference from 1985–1987. At the end of the 1987 ILC, he successfully presented a draft resolution on ‘Workers Housing,' which was adopted at the conference.

Human rightsEdit

As co-chair of the Permanent Standing Committee on Human Rights in Sri Lanka, Samarasinghe works in close cooperation with several UN Organisations including the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and International Labour Organization, as well as other international organizations such as the International Organisation for Migration to continue Sri Lanka's endeavors to rehabilitate and reintegrate citizens from the country's formerly war-torn areas. He also acted as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Human rights task force of sri lanka while being the Executive member of the parliamentary group for the protection and promotion of human rights.

Political careerEdit

Samarasinghe entered active politics in 1988 and was elected to the Provincial Council of the Western Province, where he served as the Leader of the House of the Provincial Council and the Provincial Minister of Health and Economic Infrastructure.

In 1994 he was elected to parliament from the Kalutara district, and was re-elected in subsequent elections held in 2000, 2001,2004 and 2010. During the period 2001 - 2004, he served as the Cabinet Minister of Employment and Labour.[4] He was the Government Chief Whip from 2001–2004 and the Opposition Chief Whip from 2004 - 2006. Samarasinghe joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party in 2006 and is the Sri Lanka Freedom Party chief organiser for the Agalawatta Electorate in Kalutara District. He had also served as Cabinet Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights from 2006 - 2010 and Minister of Plantation Industries from 2010 - 2015.[5][6] He was a member in the Parliamentary Consultative Committees of the Ministries of Trade, Commerce, Industries, Finance and Foreign Affairs.

National Executive
Position Period
Minister of Employment & Labour 2001-2004
Minister of Disaster Management & Human rights 2006-2010
Minister of Plantation Industries 2010-2015
State Minister of Finance 2015
Minister of Skills Development & Vocational Training 2015-2017
Minister of Ports & Shipping

Personal lifeEdit

Samarasinghe is married and has four [7] children.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Presidency and vision for development Archived 15 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Daily News, Retrieved on 8 July 2010.
  2. ^ Lanka most liberalised economy in South Asia Archived 15 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Daily News, Retrieved on 12 July 2010.
  3. ^ UN statement unsubstantiated - govt. BBC News, Retrieved on 14 March 2009.
  4. ^ UNF cabinet reshuffled after five postponements Tamil Net, Retrieved on 28 February 2002.
  5. ^ Mahinda Samarasinghe In HARDtalk interview BBC News, Retrieved on 3 March 2009.
  6. ^ UN statement unsubstantiated - govt. BBC News, Retrieved on 14 March 2009,
  7. ^ Australia


External linksEdit