Tilak Marapana, PC, MP is a Sri Lankan lawyer. He is the current Minister of Foreign Affairs. He is a Member of Parliament Appointed from the national list and had served as Minister of Law and Order, Prison Reforms from September 2015 to November 2015. Earlier he was the Minister of Defence (2001 – 2003) and Minister of Transport, Highways and Aviation (2002 – 2004). He is the only non Presidential or Prime Ministerial holder of the portfolio of Defence. A lawyer by profession and a President’s Counsel, he had served as a government prosecutor in the Attorney General’s Department for twenty six years, serving as Solicitor General and Attorney General.
Early life and education
Mr. Marapana hails from Ratnapura, Sabaragamuwa, born in August 1942. He is the second son of former District Judge Mr. P. Marapana and has one brother Gamini Marapana, who is also a Presidents Counsel. He is an alumnus of S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia. He has a degree in Chemistry and Maths as well as a Law degree.
Mr. Marapana joined the Attorney General’s Department as a Crown Counsel in 1968. He served the Attorney Generals Dept as a State Counsel, Senior State Counsel and Deputy Solicitor General. In 1988 he was made a President’s Counsel. In 1990 he was appointed Solicitor General and thereafter promoted as the Attorney General in 1992. He retired as Attorney General in 1994, following the change of the United National Party Government, reverting to the Unofficial Bar.
In 2000 he was appointed as a Member of Parliament from the national list by the UNP. In 2001 he was made Minister of Defence. In 2002 he was made Minister of Transport, Highways, and Aviation in addition to the portfolio of Minister of Defence. In 2015, he was reappointed as Member of Parliament from the national list and was appointed as Cabinet Minister of Law and Order and Prison Reforms. He resigned from the post in November 2015 following a speech made by him in Parliament regarding the “Avant Garde” issue and the weapons stored in a ship hired by that company, following allegations by the opposition that he could, as the Minister in charge of the police, interfere in the ongoing investigations. In May 2017, following a cabinet reshuffle he was appointed the Minister of Development Assignments. He was in addition appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs on August 15th 2017.
Mr. Marapana is married to Stella. They have two sons, Janaka and Chamith both practicing lawyers. His wife is an Educationist with over 50 yrs service in the Education sector and is currently serving as the Member of the Public Performances Board.