CHANDRIKA - "MOONLIGHT" OVER SRI LANKA
A. A. SUVOROV Doctor of Philological Sciences Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Keywords: Republic of Sri Lanka, Bandaranaike dynasty, women in power, Sinhalese-Tamil conflict, devolution Chandrika Kumaratunga (b.1945), President of Sri Lanka from 1994-2005, is a unique case among the six women who led governments in South Asia in the twentieth century. Chandrika is the daughter of two former prime ministers, one of whom (Solomon Bandaranaike) was martyred, and his wife Sirimavo Bandaranaike - the other prime minister-became a national symbol. So Chandrika initially had all possible "dynastic rights", both patrilineal and matrilineal. However, the reason the electorate chose her was because Chandrika's husband, movie star Vijaya Kumaratunga (1945-1988), was killed by a leftist extremist. It was Vijaya's death in 1988, which caused deep mourning throughout the country (it is known that at least twelve of his fans committed suicide after his funeral), that made his widow Chandrika a "victim of injustice", which in traditional political culture entails mass sympathy and electoral success among the people. In Sinhala, the name "Chandrika" means "moonlight". All three of the Bandaranaike couple's children - the eldest daughter Sunetra, the middle daughter Chandrika and the youngest son Anur - grew up in the midst of political events. "Since childhood, we have been breathing, eating, and living in politics," 1 Chandrika said, and recalled sitting on the rail of her father's chair and listening to people talk about what was happening in the country. "STRONG DARK SINHALESE" The Bandaranaike sisters received their school education at St. Brigid's Catholic Monastery in Colombo. Chandrika was just 14 years old when her father was killed - the first heavy loss in her life. A year later, Sirimavo became Prime Minister, which made her less accessible to children. After leaving the convent school, Chandrika studied for several more years at St. Thoma ... Read more
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18.03.2024 (91 days ago)
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