This article includes a list of general references, but it remains largely unverified because it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (November 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Chamal Jayantha Rajapaksa (Sinhala: චමල් රාජපක්ෂ; Tamil: சமல் ராஜபக்ஷ; born 30 October 1942) is a Sri Lankan politician who was Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka from 2010 to 2015. Previously he served as Minister of Ports & Aviation and Irrigation & Water Management. He hails from a well known political family in Sri Lanka. His father, D. A. Rajapaksa, was a prominent politician, independence agitator, member of parliament and Minister of Agriculture and Land in Wijeyananda Dahanayake's government. He is the elder brother of Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was President of Sri Lanka from 2005 to 2015. Nine members of the Rajapaksa family have been members of parliament in Sri Lanka.
Shashindra Rajapaksa (eldest son of Rajapaksa) is the former chief Minister of Uva Provincial Council and former Basnayaka Nilame (Lay Custodian) of the Ruhunu Maha Kataragama devalaya.
Early life and education
Rajapaksa was born in Palatuwa in the Southern District of Matara and raised in Medamulana in the District of Hambantota. Born to D. A. Rajapaksa and Dona Dandina Samarasinghe Dissanayake. He was the eldest of nine siblings which included Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa had his entire education at Richmond College, Galle. As a student, he played Soccer for the school and was an athlete.
Following his schooling, he joined the Ceylon Police Force as a Sub-inspector and served for eight years. He thereafter served the State Trading General Corporation as the Asstant General Manager before getting into active politics in 1985.
Contested the by-election held in 1985 for Mulkirigala Electorate.
Entered Parliament in 1989 as a member of parliament of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party representing Hambantota District. Has been a member of parliament continuously since 1989, retaining his seat in all elections held to date.
Prior to the present appointment as Speaker of the Parliament he has held the following portfolios.
- Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Lands
- Deputy Minister of Ports & Southern Development
- Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries
- Minister of Agricultural Development
- Minister of Irrigation & Water Management
- Minister of Ports & Aviation