Along with the Prime Minister, a group of Parliamentarians belonging to the Joint Opposition also joined the SLPP at this simple ceremony.
Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris was also present on the occasion.
Mahinda Rajapaksa first entered Parliament in 1970 at the age of 24 as the youngest MP by winning the Beliatta seat represented earlier by his father late D.A. Rajapaksa from 1947 to 1965.
Although Rajapaksa lost his seat in 1977 during the convincing victory of the UNP he re-entered Parliament in 1989 representing the Hambantota District under the Proportional Representation system.
Mahinda Rajapaksa who selected a left and centrist political orientation from the beginning of his political career earned a name as a champion of labour and human rights. Rajapaksa earned a name as an exemplary character and a leader among Parliamentarians. He worked closely with Manorani Saravanamuttu who represented the Mothers Front launched by mothers of missing persons during the 1988-1990 period.
The Vishwa Bharathi University of Calcutta India awarded him an honorary doctorate in recognition of his services towards safeguarding human rights.
Mahinda Rajapaksa who has functioned as the Chairman of the Palestine Sri Lanka Joint Committee for the last 25 years has rendered unqualified support to Palestine in its search for a settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Mahinda Rajapaksa who held the portfolio of labour relations and fisheries in the Chandrika Bandaranaike government from 1994 to 2001 was instrumental in launching the Ocean University and a Coast Protection Unit.
Although he presented a Labour Charter Draft Bill for the first time in Sri Lanka as Labour Minister, it did not get approved during the Kumaratunga government. Apart from this Mahinda Rajapaksa functioned as Ports and Shipping Minister for a period of three months and took steps towards building a port in Hambantota.
In March 2002, Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected as the Leader of the Opposition. After the UPFA victory at the April 2004 General Elections, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as the 13th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on April 6, 2004.
At the Presidential Election held on November 2005 the SLFP fielded Mahinda Rajapaksa as its Presidential candidate and his appointment was endorsed by 25 political parties and civil organisations. Mahinda Rajapaksa who won the Presidential election with the approval of the vast majority of people took oaths as the 5th Executive President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on November 19, 2005. Mahinda Rajapaksa is credited with ending the war in May 2009. He was elected President for the second time in January 2010. He remained as an MP after 2015 and President Maithripala Sirisena appointed him as the Prime Minister on October 26, 2018.