Chandrika Kumaratunga: President, Sri Lanka, 1994-2005
Chandrika Kumaratunga, born on June 29, 1945, was the fifth President and the first female President of Sri Lanka. She served as the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party until the end of 2005. She took up politics in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and in 1974 became an Executive Committee Member of its Women's League. Following the Land Reform in Sri Lanka in 1972- 1976, she was Additional Principal Director of the Land Reform Commission (LRC). She also served in various other capacities during this time, including as Chairman of the Janawasa Commission, which established collective farms, and as a consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). After her husband Vijaya Kumaratunga was assassinated, she left the country for the UK, working for UNU-WIDER (United Nations University-World Institute for Development Economics Research). In 1993, after returning to Sri Lanka, she was elected as the Chief Minister of the Western Province of Sri Lanka in a land slide election victory. Kumaratunga herself was elected Prime Minister of a People's Alliance (PA) government on August 19, 1994 and President in the presidential election held shortly thereafter in November.
Chandrika Kumaratunga can be found at: