Chandrika Kumaratunga

Chandrika Kumaratunga

President of Sri Lanka

Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga was the 5th President of Sri Lanka, serving from 12 November 1994 to 19 November 2005. The daughter of two former Prime Ministers, she was also the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party until the end of 2005. She is Sri Lanka's only female president to date.… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Chandrika Kumaratunga.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Chandrika Kumaratunga.


1945 Birth Born on June 29, 1945.


1959 14 Years Old He was assassinated in 1959, when Chandrika was fourteen. … Read More


1970 25 Years Old 1 More Event
…  She gained a scholarship to the University of Paris where she spent five years, graduating from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) in political science and international relations in 1970. … Read More
1972 27 Years Old …  Following the land reforms in Sri Lanka in 1972–1976, she was the principal director of the Land Reform Commission.


1976 31 Years Old 1 More Event
From 1976 to 1977, she was chairman of the Janawasa Commission, which established collective farms.
1978 33 Years Old She married film star and Sri Lankan politician Vijaya Kumaratunga (also Kumaranatunga) in 1978.


1991 46 Years Old She stayed active in politics leaving the SLFP and supporting her husband's party, the Sri Lanka Mahajana Party. After Kumaratunga was assassinated, she left the country for the UK, working for World Institute for Development Economics Research at the United Nations University in the interim, and not returning until 1991.
1993 48 Years Old On return to Sri Lanka she rejoined SLFP and led her party to a historic and decisive victory at the southern provincial council elections. Kumaratunga was elected as the chief minister of the Western Province of Sri Lanka in 1993 in a landslide election victory. Kumaratunga herself was elected prime minister of a People's Alliance (PA) government from 19 August 1994 and won the presidential election held shortly thereafter in November. … Read More


1999 54 Years Old 1 More Event
In October 1999, Kumaratunga called an early presidential election.
2001 56 Years Old In December 2001 she suffered a setback in the parliamentary election: Her People's Alliance lost to the UNP, and her political opponent, Ranil Wickremasinghe, became Sri Lanka's new prime minister. … Read More
2003 58 Years Old President Kumaratunga believed Wickremasinghe was being too lenient towards the LTTE, and in May 2003 she indicated her willingness to sack the prime minister and government if she felt they were making too many concessions to the rebels. … Read More


2005 60 Years Old …  The country's only female president to date, she is the daughter of two former prime ministers and was the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) until the end of 2005. … Read More
2008 63 Years Old Chandrika's brother, Anura Bandaranaike is a former Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka and a former minister who died in March 2008.
2014 69 Years Old On 21 November 2014 Kumaratunga formally announced her return to active politics at a press conference held by the country's opposition coalition, following weeks of speculation regarding her involvement in the coalition's decision-making. Chandrika married movie star and politician Vijaya Kumaratunga in 1978. He was assassinated on 16 February 1988, outside his residence in the presence of Chandrika and their two children, then aged five and seven. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.