| Sri Lankan|
Sri Lankan Politician
| Dinesh Gunawardena|
Mahajana Eksath Peramuna
| Mahajana Eksath Peramuna|
United People's Freedom Alliance (2004 - Present)
People's Alliance (2000 - 2004)
Royal College, Colombo,
University of Oregon
University of Oregon, Royal College, Colombo
Dinesh Gunawardena Wikipedia
Dinesh Chandra Rupasinghe Gunawardena (born 2 March 1949) is a Sri Lankan politician, Member of Parliament and former cabinet minister. He is the current leader of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP), a member of the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA).
Gunawardena was born 2 March 1949. He is the son of Philip Gunawardena and Kusumasiri neé Amarasinghe. He was educated at Royal College, Colombo. After school he joined the Netherlands School of Business, graduating with a diploma in business management. He then joined the University of Oregon, graduating with a B.B.A. degree in international business. Whilst in the USA he became involved in student activism, taking part in Anti-Vietnam War protests.
Gunawardena married Ramani Wathsala Kotelawela. They had one son (Yadamini) and one daughter (Sankapali). Ramani died of undiagnosed hepatitis in the mid 1980s.
After university Gunawardena worked in New York City but in 1972 his father died and Gunawardena returned to Sri Lanka. He was appointed to the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna's (MEP) central committee in August 1973. He became general-secretary of the MEP in 1974.
Gunawardena was the MEP's candidate in Avissawella at the 1977 parliamentary election but failed to get elected. He was the MEP's candidate in Maharagama at the 1983 by-election. He won the election and entered Parliament. Gunawardena contested the 1989 parliamentary election as one of the MEP's candidates in Colombo District. He was elected and re-entered Parliament. He was one of the MEP's candidates in Colombo District at the 1994 parliamentary election but the MEP failed to win any seats in Parliament.
On 27 August 2000 the MEP joined the People's Alliance (PA). Gunawardena contested the 2000 parliamentary election as one of the PA's candidates in Colombo District. He was elected and re-entered Parliament. He was appointed Minister of Transport after the election. He was given the additional portfolio of Environment in September 2001. He was re-elected at the 2001 parliamentary election. On 20 January 2004 the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) formed the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA). The MEP joined the UPFA on 2 February 2004. Gunawardena contested the 2004 parliamentary election as one of the UPFA's candidates in Colombo District. He was elected and re-entered Parliament. He was appointed Minister of Urban Development and Water Supply and Deputy Minister of Education after the election. In January 2007 his cabinet portfolio was changed to Minister of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development but he lost his deputy ministerial position. He was appointed Chief Government Whip in June 2008.
Gunawardena was re-elected at the 2010 parliamentary election. He was appointed Minister of Water Supply and Drainage after the election. He lost his cabinet position following the 2015 presidential election. He was re-elected at the 2015 parliamentary election. In March 2017 he was suspended from parliamentary sittings for one week due to repeatedly disrupting proceedings.