Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga
Kumaratunga, Chandrika Bandaranaike (chŭnˈdrēkə bändränĪˈkē kōmärˌətŏngˈgə) [key], 1945–, Sri Lankan politician, president of Sri Lanka (1994–2005). The daughter of two former prime ministers, the assassinated (1959) Solomon Bandaranaike and his wife, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, and the widow of Vijaya Kumartunga, another slain (1988) political leader, she is an economist and a member of the People's Alliance (PA) party. In 1994 she became chief minister of Sri Lanka's Western Province and, after the PA's election victory ended 17 years of rule by the United National party, became prime minister of Sri Lanka. Later in 1994 she was elected president, and her mother succeeded her as prime minister. In 1999 she was injured in a suicide bombing during a campaign rally; she won a second term by a narrow margin. Kumaratunga worked unsuccessfully to find a solution to the long and bloody war with the Tamils, but after the United National party won control of parliament in late 2001 she opposed its attempts to resolve the war.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.