Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development Jeevan Thondaman has been recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

This marks him as the first Sri Lankan Minister to achieve such recognition, spotlighting his leadership and efforts towards societal development in Sri Lanka.

The Young Global Leaders programme identifies promising leaders under 40 who are shaping the future. Past inductees include prominent figures like French President Emmanuel Macron, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Ali Baba founder and technology entrepreneur Jack Ma and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Minister Thondaman’s inclusion in this group comes as recognition for his commitment to public service, focusing on improving living standards and advancing rights for marginalised communities in Sri Lanka.

The Ministry and the World Economic Forum announced Minister Thondaman's selection yesterday (04), highlighting his role in improving access to clean water and advocating for social justice.


Minister Thondaman is currently leading major reforms in the water sector and has commenced new development and policy initiatives aimed at improving life quality for plantation communities. This includes new housing schemes and a land rights programme pursuing economic inclusion for all 1 million members of the plantation community.


In a statement, Minister Thondaman thanked the World Economic Forum and outlined his plans to use the platform for fostering international collaboration and promoting entrepreneurship, particularly among Sri Lanka’s youth.

"This recognition is not just a reflection of my journey, but it stands as a testament to the resilience and spirit of the people of Sri Lanka. I am committed to leveraging this platform to foster greater international collaboration and drive forward our shared goals for sustainable development and equality," he said.

Minister Thondaman's selection as a Young Global Leader is seen as a significant milestone for Sri Lanka, demonstrating the country's leadership on the international stage. It comes at a time when Sri Lanka is navigating economic challenges, positioning Thondaman’s recognition as a positive note for the country’s global image and its potential for future development.

This recognition is not just a personal achievement for Minister Thondaman but also highlights Sri Lanka's growing influence and the importance of its leaders in the global arena, affirming its place in the global community of innovative and forward-thinking leaders.

It is also a major recognition for members of the marginalised plantation community of Sri Lanka that has suffered decades of statelessness, forced repatriation and an indentured form of labour.

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