Here’s some history on the whole thing.
Originally, the presidency was merely a figurehead position – the real power was in the hands of the Prime Minister.
1977 – things changed. The President became the real source of power, and the Prime Minister was merely the head of government.
Current president. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumarartunga. Try twisting your tongue around it. Believe me when I say that
- Sri Lankans don’t pronounce these things the way they’re spelled – the way that we see it
- Sri Lankans have sounds in both Sinhalese and Tamil that simply don’t exist in English – or English spoken the way that North Americans speak it
- the names, therefore, have sounds that don’t exist in North American English
Yeah, I think that’s it.
Chandrika is the daughter of two former prime ministers. Her daddy was Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaika, prime minister from 1956 until his assassination in 1959. Her mummy was SirimavoRatwatte Dias Bandaranaike, who took control of her hubby’s party when he died and served as prime minister from 1960-1965, then again from 1970 to 1977, and 1994-2000.
Her husband, Vijaya Kumaratunga, was an actor turned politician, and with him she formed another political party. When he was assassinated in 1988, she formed yet another party, and then she went to Europe and partied, and on her return, formed yet another party.
She was elected prime minister August 16, 1994, and then in the presidential election on November 9, 1994, she became the president. She defeated Srima Dissanayak, widow of the UNP candidate Gamini Dissanayake, who’d been assassinated two weeks earlier. On November 14th, she appointed her mother prime minister.
Oh, and presidential elections are not held at the same time as government elections. Can ya tell? And presidents are limited to two terms of six years.
Which means that she can’t be president anymore after 2006. Unless she changes the law. Which I wouldn’t put past her.