AT THE CENTER
RELATED RESOURCES: CONFLICT
Mahinda Rajapaksa is the sixth and current President of Sri Lanka and Commander in Chief of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, sworn in for a six-year term in 2005 and re-elected in 2010. Rajapaksa was first elected to the Parliament of Sri Lanka in 1970, losing his seat in 1977. He returned parliament in 1989 and was appointed Minister of Labor in 1994 under the People's Alliance, led by Chandrika Kumaratunga. He was appointed as the Leader of the Opposition in 2002 after the Alliance lost power to the United National Party in 2001. He served as prime minister from April 6, 2004 until he won the 2005 Presidential election, representing the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Rajapaksa's government oversaw the 2009 defeat of the Tamil Tigers following a renewed government military offensive; he has been accused of media censorship and war crimes related to the conflict.