Mahinda Rajapaksa won a landslide victory in January 2010 in early elections which he called after he declared victory in a 25-year war with the Tamil Tiger separatists.
Former army chief General Sarath Fonseka, who led the final campaign that crushed the Tamil Tigers, stood against Mr Rajapaksa in the 2010 election and challenged the result.
Soon after, Gen Fonseka was arrested and charged with a variety of offences ranging from harbouring deserters to treason. He was found guilty on several of the charges but was released from prison in May 2012. The terms of his release prevent him from running for public office for seven years.
President Rajapaksa further consolidated his grip on power when his ruling coalition won an overwhelming majority in parliamentary elections in April 2010. Later in the year, MPs passed a constitutional amendment allowing him to stand for unlimited terms in office.
The opposition accuses the president of moving the country towards dictatorship, but Mr Rajapaksa says he is guaranteeing Sri Lanka much-needed stability.
Mr Rajapaksa first won the presidency in 2005 when Sri Lanka was in the middle of a tenuous ceasefire agreement with the Tamil Tigers. Peace talks yielded nothing and in 2006 he determined to defeat the Tigers once and for all.
Defeat of the rebels came in mid-2009. Mr Rajapaksa, seeking to capitalise on his success at ending the war, called early elections to get a fresh mandate to revive the economy and implement a political solution for ethnic minorities.
A lawyer from the Sinhalese ethnic majority, Mr Rajapaksa draws the core of his support from rural Sinhalese voters whose rights he championed as labour minister in the 1990s.
Mr Rajapaksa became prime minister in 2004, and was praised for his handling of the aftermath of the tsunami of the year.
But he has faced criticism for events at the end of the Tamil Tiger war, during which thousands of civilians were killed as troops battled to corner and crush the rebels.
He also promised to protect journalists and freedom of speech, but at least one prominent journalist was murdered and dozens have been beaten, arrested or forced to flee the country during his time in office.
In 2011, Mr Rajapaksa's government scrapped emergency laws in place for much of the past four decades. However, it sparked international outcry by introducing new laws restoring many of the controversial powers granted the authorities under the state of emergency.
Growing tension between the government and the judiciary culminated in the impeachment and dismissal of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake in January 2013, in what critics described as a politically motivated move intended to curtail the independence of the judiciary.
- Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
- Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
- Capital city > Name: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
- Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
- Country name > Conventional long form: This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note.
- Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
- Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
- Executive branch > Head of government: Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
- Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
- Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
- Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
- Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
- Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
- Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
- Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
"Sri Lanka Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Sri-Lanka/Government
"Sri Lanka Government Stats, NationMaster." 1948-2014. <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Sri-Lanka/Government>.
'Sri Lanka Government Stats, NationMaster', <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Sri-Lanka/Government> [assessed 1948-2014]
"Sri Lanka Government Stats", NationMaster [Internet]. 1948-2014. Avaliable from: <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Sri-Lanka/Government>.
"Sri Lanka Government Stats", NationMaster. Avaliable at: nationmaster.com. Assessed 1948-2014.
"Sri Lanka Government Stats, NationMaster," http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Sri-Lanka/Government (assessed 1948-2014)
"Sri Lanka Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Sri-Lanka/Government (last visited 1948-2014)
"Sri Lanka Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Sri-Lanka/Government (as of 1948-2014)