Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, assumed duties as Foreign Minister on 25 November 2019. As a veteran politician, Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena has engaged at all levels of politics and governance since he started his political career in 1973 as the Leader of the party of the People’s United Front (the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna).
Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena remained a member of the Parliament for 37 years from 1983 and has held multiple Ministerial portfolios, serving previously as Minister of Transport (2000), Minister of Environment (2001), Deputy Minister of Higher Education (deputized under the President- 2004-2007), Minister of Sacred Area Development (2007-2010) Minister of Urban Development (2004-2010), Minister of Water Supply and Drainage (2010-2015), Minister of Megapolis and Western Development (2018) and has also served as the Leader of the Joint Opposition (2015 to 2018).
Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena was also the Leader of the House from November 2019 to March 2020 and is Minister of Employment Skills Development, and Labour Relations since 2019. He was Chief Government Whip from 2010-2015. He was a member of Parliamentary Select Committee.
As the Foreign Minister, Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena envisions a foreign policy that is articulate and principled, ensuring a peaceful and prosperous neighbourhood for development. He believes in the reinforcement of the non-aligned Foreign Policy and long-standing relationships with Sri Lanka pursuing a policy of partnerships for peace, security and prosperity.
He was born on 02 March 1949 in Sri Lanka and his father, Late Hon. Philip Gunawardena was a legacy in politics in Sri Lanka. Late Hon. Gunawardena was a National Hero of Sri Lanka and also acted as a Trade Union Leader, a Member of Parliament, a Minister, the Founder of a political party and an author during his career. Mother of Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Late Kusuma Gunawardena is also a veteran Parliamentarian in Sri Lanka.
He is an past pupil of Royal College Colombo and graduated from Nyenrode Business University (the Netherlands’ School of Business) and the University of Oregon with an Associate Degree in Business Administration, Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Management and International Transport respectively.