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BUSH SPEAKS WITH SRI LANKA PRESIDENT
President George W. Bush speaks with Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga from Crawford, Texas, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2004. (UPI Photo/Eric Draper/White House)
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Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (Sinhala: චන්ද්‍රිකා බන්ඩාරනායක කුමාරතුංග) born June 29, 1945) was the 4th Executive president of Sri Lanka, serving from November 12, 1994 to November 19, 2005. The daughter of two former Prime Ministers, she was also the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party until end of 2005. She is Sri Lanka's only female president to date.

Hailing from one of the most prestigious aristocratic families that has a long history in the socio-political arena of the country, her father, S.W.R.D Bandaranaike was a government minister at the time of her birth and later became Prime Minister. He was assassinated in 1959, when Chandrika was fourteen. Chandrika's mother, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, then became the world's first female prime minister in 1960 and her brother Anura Bandaranaike was a former Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka and a former minister. Her grandfather, Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranike was the Maha Mudaliyar, (the chief Ceylonese representative and advisor to the Governor) during British colonial rule.

She was educated at the St Bridget's Convent, Colombo and in 1965 she entered the Aquinas University College and gained a scholarship to the University of Paris in 1967, where she spent five years, graduating from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Science Po) in political science. While in Paris she obtained a Diploma in Group Leadership from the same University.Her Ph.D studies in Development Economics at the University of Paris were interrupted when she returned to Sri Lanka to enter politics, where her mother’s government had launched a wide ranging programme of socialist reform and development. During her days in France, she was active in the Student Revolution of 1968. She is fluent in Sinhala, English and French.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Chandrika Kumaratunga."
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