Former Sri Lankan prime minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake died of an unspecified illness on Tuesday at the age of 83. He had been admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital on December 21, according to the Official News Portal of Sri Lanka.

Wickremanayake had served as prime minister during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s term as president from 2005 to 2010. He had earlier held the post from August 2000 to December 2001. He was a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party for more than 60 years.

A number of Sri Lankan leaders expressed their sympathies for the 83-year-old’s family, including President Maithripala Sirisena and Rajapaksa. “Veteran politician Ratnasiri Wickremanayake was loved by his people for many decades,” Sirisena said on Twitter.