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Famous People From Sri Lanka

Updated August 28, 2018 31.2k views1.0k items

List of famous people from Sri Lanka, including photos when available. The people below are listed by their popularity, so the most recognizable names are at the top of the list. Some of the people below are celebrities born in Sri Lanka, while others are simply notable locals. If you're from Sri Lanka you might already know that these prominent figures are also from your hometown, but some of the names below may really surprise you. This list includes people who were born and raised in Sri Lanka, as well as those who were born there but moved away at a young age.

List features people like Ivan Corea, Vivimarie Vanderpoorten and more!

If you want to answer the questions, "Which famous people are from Sri Lanka?" or "Which celebrities were born in Sri Lanka?" then this list is a great resource for you.
  • Gamini Dissanayake

    Dec. at 52 (1942-1994)

    BirthplaceKandy, Sri Lanka

    Dissanayake Mudiyanse Ralahamilage Lionel Gamini Dissanayake (known as Gamini Dissanayake; Sinhala: ලයනල් ගාමිණි දිසානායක,Tamil: காமினி திஸாநாயக்க; 20 March 1942 – 24 October 1994) was a prominent...  more
  • Lakshman Kadirgamar

    Dec. at 73 (1932-2005)

    BirthplaceColombo, Sri Lanka

    Sri Lankabhimanya Lakshman Kadirgamar, PC (Tamil: லக்ஷமன் கதிர்காமர்; Sinhala: ලක්ෂ්මන් කදිර්ගාමර්, 12 April 1932 – 12 August 2005) was a Sri Lankan Tamil lawyer and statesmen. He served as Minister...  more
  • BirthplaceColombo, Sri Lanka

    Shyam Selvadurai (born 12 February 1965) is a Sri Lankan Canadian novelist who wrote Funny Boy (1994), which won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and Cinnamon Gardens (1998). He currently lives...  more
  • Parami Kulatunga

    Dec. at 56 (1950-2006)

    BirthplaceKandy, Sri Lanka

    Lieutenant General Parami Sugandika Bandara Kulatunga, RSP, VSV, USP, GW (Sinhala:පාරමී කුලතුංග) (9 October 1951 in Kandy – 26 June 2006 †) was a Sri Lankan general. He was serving as the Deputy...  more
  • Ananda Coomaraswamy

    Dec. at 70 (1877-1947)

    BirthplaceColombo, Sri Lanka

    Ananda Kentish Muthu Coomaraswamy (Tamil: ஆனந்த குமாரசுவாமி, Ānanda Kentiś Muthū Kumāraswāmī; Sinhala: ආනන්ද කුමාරස්වාමි; 22 August 1877 − 9 September 1947) was a Sri Lankan Tamil philosopher and ...  more
  • Lakshman Algama

    Dec. at 59 (1940-1999)

    BirthplaceKelaniya, Sri Lanka

    Major-General (Rtd) Chulasoka Lakshman "Lucky" Algama VSV, USP, ndc, psc (June 2, 1940 – December 18, 1999) was a former Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army and a United National Party activist...  more
  • Ranjan Wijeratne

    Dec. at 59 (1931-1991)

    BirthplaceSri Lanka

    General Ranjan Wijeratne (4 April 1931 – 2 March 1991) was the former Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister for Defence and Minister of Plantation Industries from 1989 to 1991 in the...  more
  • BirthplaceColombo, Sri Lanka

    Philip Michael Ondaatje, (; born 12 September 1943), is a Sri Lankan-born Canadian poet, fiction writer, essayist, novelist, editor and filmmaker. He is the recipient of multiple literary awards such...  more
  • T. Maheswaran

    Dec. at 41 (1966-2008)

    BirthplaceJaffna, Sri Lanka

    Thiyagarajah Maheswaran (Tamil: தியாகராஜா மகேஸ்வரன்) (10 January 1966 – 1 January 2008) was a Tamil Sri Lankan Member of Parliament (MP) from Colombo. He belonged to the main opposition United...  more
  • Rohana Wijeweera

    Dec. at 46 (1943-1989)

    BirthplaceSouthern Province, Sri Lanka

    Patabendi Don Jinadasa Nandasiri Wijeweera (Sinhala: පටබැඳි දොන් ජිනදාස නන්දසිරි විජෙවීර; 14 July 1943 – 13 November 1989) known as Rohana Wijeweera, was a Sri Lankan Marxist politician,...  more
  • BirthplaceHambantota, Sri Lanka

    Percy Mahendra Rajapaksa (Sinhala: මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ, Tamil: மஹிந்த ராஜபக்ஷ; born 18 November 1945) is a Sri Lankan politician serving as Leader of the Opposition since 2018, and has served as Member of...  more
  • Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thero

    Dec. at 101 (1896-1998)

    BirthplaceBalangoda, Sri Lanka

    Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thero (Sinhala: අග්ග මහා පණ්ඩිත බලංගොඩ ආනන්ද මෛත්‍රෙය මහනාහිමි;23 August 1896 – 18 July 1998) was a Sri Lankan scholar Buddhist monk and a personality of Theravada Buddhism...  more
  • BirthplaceBadulla, Sri Lanka

    Nilenthi Nimal Siripala de Silva MP (born 6 September 1944) is Sri Lanka's Cabinet Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation in 15th Parliament of Sri Lanka. He is a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom...  more
  • BirthplaceHenepola

    Bhante Henepola Gunaratana is a Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist monk. He is often affectionately known as Bhante G....  more
  • Anagarika Dharmapala

    Dec. at 68 (1864-1933)

    BirthplaceColombo, Sri Lanka

    Anagārika Dharmapāla (Pali: Anagārika, [ɐˈnɐɡaːɽɪkɐ]; Sinhalese: Anagarika, lit., Sinhala: අනගාරික ධර්මපාල; 17 September 1864 – 29 April 1933) was a Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) Buddhist revivalist and...  more
  • Gamini Haththotuwegama

    Dec. at 69 (1939-2009)

    BirthplaceGalle, Sri Lanka

    Gamini Kalyanadarsha Haththotuwegama (29 November 1939 – 30 October 2009) was a Sri Lankan playwright, director, actor, critic and educator. He was widely known as the father of Sri Lanka's modern...  more
  • BirthplaceMoratuwa, Sri Lanka

    Sri Lankabhimanya Wannakuwatta Waduge Don Albert Perera(Sinhala: වන්නකුවත්ත වඩුගේ දොන් ඇල්බට් පෙරෙරා; 5 December 1927 – 3 November 2016) better known by his adopted name Amaradeva, was a prominent...  more
  • BirthplaceColombo, Sri Lanka

  • Arunachalam Mahadeva

    Dec. at 83 (1885-1969)

    BirthplaceColombo, Sri Lanka

    Arunachalam Mahadeva (Tamil: அருணாசலம் மகாதேவா, romanized: Aruṇācalam Makātēvā; 5 October 1885 – 15 April 1966) was a Ceylon Tamil lawyer, politician and government minister....  more
  • BirthplaceSri Lanka

    Cecil Balmond OBE is a Sri Lankan–British designer, artist, and writer. In 1968 Balmond joined Ove Arup & Partners, leading him to become deputy chairman. In 2000 he founded design and research...  more
  • Professor Devaka J S Fernando MBBS MSc MD FRCP FCCP FCGPSL was a Sri Lankan physician and academic between 1990 and 2004. President of the Osteoporosis Society of Sri Lanka and Foundation Professor...  more
  • BirthplaceColombo, Sri Lanka

    Anarkali Akarsha (Sinhala: අනර්කලී ආකර්ෂා;born 12 July 1987,as Anarkali Janina Jayatilaka) is a Sri Lankan Film actress, model, singer, TV Host and a politician. She was crowned Miss Sri Lanka 2004...  more
  • Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah

    Dec. at 85 (1929-2014)

    BirthplaceSri Lanka

    Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah (16 January 1929 – 19 January 2014) was a social anthropologist and Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor (Emeritus) of Anthropology at Harvard University. He specialised in...  more
  • BirthplaceColombo, Sri Lanka

    Raj Rajaratnam (Tamil: ராஜ் ராஜரத்தினம்; born Rajakumaran Rajaratnam; June 15, 1957) is a Sri Lankan-American former hedge fund manager and founder of the Galleon Group, a New York-based hedge fund...  more
  • BirthplaceColombo, Sri Lanka

    Deshamanya Vidya Jyothi Dr Philip Revatha "Ray" Wijewardene was a Sri Lankan Engineer, Aviator, Inventor and Olympian athlete. He was an authority on tropical farming and natural resource management,...  more