“Maithripala Sirisena, 53, is the new Minister of River Basin Development and Rajarata (North-Central Province) Development. He first entered Parliament in 1989. He holds a diploma in agriculture and is currently the secretary of the SLFP. Sirisena was the deputy minister of irrigation in the previous PA government and served as minister of Mahaweli (river basin) development from 2000-2001. As a “rustic”-style politician, he is popular in rural areas of the country. He is a Sinhalese Buddhist and is married.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.
The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The classified diplomatic cable details the biographic data on Sri Lanka’s new cabinet was sworn in on April 10, 2004. The “Confidential” is cable signed by the US Ambassador to Colombo Jeffrey J. Lunstead on April 15, 2004.