Chandrika Kumaratunga
President of Sri Lanka
Chandrika Kumaratunga
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.
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A Few Thoughts on Sri Lanka's New Court
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Sri Lanka has recently announced that it will create a new court to examine abuses which allegedly transpired during the country's civil war. The government has noted that this is going to be a domestic mechanism, but hasn't ruled out the possibility of some international involvement. The abrupt announcement of this special court came as a surprise to many. Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga has stated that the court will commence its work either later this month or in January. At this point, a few matters are worth considering. For starters, what does the creation of this special court mean in terms of the consultative processes surrounding transitional justice which remain in their incipient stages? A credible, thorough consultative process likely would have taken a number of months and yet the government has already come out and announced the creation of this special court. In addition, Sri Lanka still doesn't have certain laws, including war crimes and crimes against huma ...
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Huffington Post article
Angela's Angels and the Political Patriarchy
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Angela Merkel has again become the most powerful woman in the world. Surveying the global map of female heads of government highlights some surprising realities about emancipation and the patriarchy. Angela Merkel has made it to a third term in office. Not being a fan of her conservative austerity politics and feeling that Germany, not to mention the EU as a whole, needs an injection of progressive radicalism, I had half-wished that the protest Pirate Party would, against the odds, force Germany to change political course. Still, I have some reason to rejoice. Merkel, as the leader of the EU's largest member state, remains the "most powerful woman" in the world. Merkel is the first woman in Germany to become chancellor, and now she's done that thrice over, in what has been described as the "Merkel miracle." This achievement is all the more impressive when you consider that Merkel -- a scientist and not a politician by training -- started off at a severe disadvantage in Germany's ...
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Mini polls III on Oct 8 - On Lanka
Google News - over 5 years
The Nomination paper submitted by an unregistered political party Janatha Balavegaya Pakshaye, which included the names of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga's son Vimukthi Kumaratunga and Daughters name Yashodhara Kumaratunga were rejected along
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CBK admirer nominates Vimukthi for K'gala MC - Daily Mirror
Google News - over 5 years
A nomination paper for the Kurunegala Municipal Council which contained the names of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga's children Yasodara and Vimukthi had been submitted by an alleged “mentally
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* False nominations filed using names of Sri Lanka's former President's children - Colombo Page
Google News - over 5 years
... district election office Sri Lanka's North Western Province say that a nomination has been filed by a lesser known political party for the Kurunegala Urban Council with the names of the children of former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga
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The people must rise up against corruption: Sarath Silva - Sunday Times.lk
Google News - over 5 years
It is also significant as Chandrika Kumaratunga was the President then and Ranil Wickremesinghe the Prime Minister. Then came the presidential election. In the Mahinda Chintanaya it was declared that the first law to be enacted by the Mahinda Rajapaksa
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CBK denies intention of joining UNP - Daily Mirror
Google News - over 5 years
Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga chats with UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya at yesterday's launch of the biography of UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake (titled 'Tissa') at the Sri Lanka Foundation
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Ranil should go by the 23rd: Reformists - Daily Mirror
Google News - over 5 years
Referring to a comment made by the pro Wickremesighe group of provincial council members that the reformists should follow former President Chandrika Kumaratunga who won elections without the party leadership, Mr. Gunaratne said Ms. Kumaratunga was
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Chandrika's bombshell - Frontline
Google News - over 5 years
President Mahinda Rajapaksa with his predecessor Chandrika Kumaratunga at the 54th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party in Colombo on September 6, 2005. Chandrika Kumaratunga has warned him of a "short-lived peace" unless the
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Killings in Lanka nothing compared to Iraq —Navin - The Island.lk (subscription)
Google News - over 5 years
Q: Had your father lived, do you think he would have easily defeated Chandrika Kumaratunga at the 1994 presidential election? There was lot of mixed thinking on that. Lot of us felt he shouldn't have contested for that election because it was not his
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People in the dark in every way - Sunday Times.lk
Google News - over 5 years
The Liam Fox Agreement that he brokered (which he said yesterday should have been called the Fox- Kadirgamar Agreement for the role the former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister played) between the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Opposition leader
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Women in political dynasties: The distaff of office - The Economist
Google News - over 5 years
In Sri Lanka, Chandrika Kumaratunga, president from 1994 to 2005, has the unusual distinction that not one but both parents served as prime minister. In Bangladesh the leaders of the main political parties, called the “battling Begums”,
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* Sri Lanka's farmer advisers to strike work from July 15 - Colombo Page
Google News - over 5 years
Agricultural Research and Development officers were appointed originally as farmer advisers in 1995 under the People's Alliance government led by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. The trade union of the Agricultural Research and Development
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MARSHY CONFUSION - Sunday Leader
Google News - over 5 years
The marshy site was once adjacent to the Presidential Palace during Chandrika Kumaratunga's time. The Palace acted as a sponge, absorbing rainwater in Madiwala. After it was filled, the resident said their gardens were flooded even after light rainfall
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Chandrika Kumaratunga
    FORTIES
  • 2014
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The extremist Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) claimed responsibility. Kumaratunga's funeral remains to date, the largest-attended funeral of any politician or film idol in Sri Lanka (and potentially in the whole of Asia). Their two children are Yasodhara Kumaratunga Walker (born 1980), a medical doctor (Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge and St George's Medical School, University of London), and Vimukthi Kumaratunga (born 1982), a veterinary surgeon (University of Bristol), both in the UK.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2008
    Chandrika's brother, Anura Bandaranaike is a former Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka and a former minister who died in March 2008.
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  • 2005
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Born Chandrika Bandaranaike comes from an political family with a long history of socio-political involvement in the country. Her father, Solomon Bandaranaike was a government minister at the time of her birth and later became Prime Minister.
  • 2003
    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.
    More Details Hide Details On 4 November 2003, while Prime Minister Wickremasinghe was on an official visit to the US, Kumaratunga prorogued Parliament and took over Defense, Interior and Media ministries herself. Her opponents criticised her, calling her behaviour dictatorial. Kumaratunga's PA and the leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna or JVP (People's Liberation Front) formed the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in January 2004 and dissolved Parliament. Having won the election held on 2 April 2004 the UPFA formed a government with Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister. This marked the first time in history that the JVP became a partner in a Sri Lankan government. However, in June 2005, the JVP left Kumaratunga's government over a disagreement regarding a joint mechanism with LTTE rebels sharing foreign aid to rebuild the tsunami-devastated Northern and Eastern areas of Sri Lanka. Kumaratunga's six-year term ended that year. She argued that since the 1999 election had been held one year early, she should be allowed to serve that leftover year. Mahinda Rajapaksa succeeded her as president, leading all 25 parties in the UPFA.
  • 2001
    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.
    More Details Hide Details She continued as president of Sri Lanka although her relationship with the Wickremasinghe government was a strained one. In February 2002 Wickremasinghe's government and the LTTE signed a permanent ceasefire agreement, paving the way for talks to end the long-running conflict. In December, the government and the rebels agreed to share power during peace talks in Norway.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1999
    She lost vision in her right eye (permanent optic nerve damage) in an assassination attempt, by the Tamil Tigers, at her final election rally at Colombo Town Hall premises on 18 December 1999.
    More Details Hide Details She managed to defeat Ranil Wickremasinghe in the election held on 21 December and was sworn in for another term the next day.
    In October 1999, Kumaratunga called an early presidential election.
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  • 1993
    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.
    More Details Hide Details This ended 17 years of United National Party rule. She appointed her mother to succeed her as prime minister. Early in her term she made conciliatory moves towards the separatist Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in an attempt to end the ongoing civil war. After these overtures failed, she later pursued a more military-based strategy against them.
  • 1991
    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.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1978
    She married film star and Sri Lankan politician Vijaya Kumaratunga (also Kumaranatunga) in 1978.
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  • 1976
    From 1976 to 1979, she acted as a consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
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    From 1976 to 1977, she was chairman of the Janawasa Commission, which established collective farms.
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  • 1972
    Following the land reforms in Sri Lanka in 1972–1976, she was the principal director of the Land Reform Commission.
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  • 1970
    Her PhD studies in Development Economics at the University of Paris 1970–73 were interrupted when she returned to Sri Lanka to enter politics, when her mother’s government had launched a wide-ranging programme of socialist reform and development.
    More Details Hide Details During her days in France, it is reported that Chandrika was active in the Student Revolution of 1968. She is fluent in Sinhala, English and French.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details While in Paris she obtained a diploma in Group Leadership from the same university and was trained as a political journalist at the Le Monde newspaper.
  • OTHER
  • 1959
    He was assassinated in 1959, when Chandrika was fourteen.
    More Details Hide Details Chandrika's mother, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, then became the world's first female prime minister, in 1960.
  • 1945
    Born on June 29, 1945.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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