Prime Minister retires
[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 August 2000, 06:42 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike,84, retired from office Thursday. Minister for Public Administration, Home Affairs and Plantation Industries Ratnasiri Wickramanayake has been appointed by the President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge as the new Prime Minister.
Mr.Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, 67,was sworn in as the new Prime Minister before the President at Temple Trees. He is the most senior minister in the People's Alliance (PA) Cabinet. A lawyer by profession, Mr. Wickremanayake entered politics in 1959. He was elected as an independent MP for Horrane electorate in 1960 elections. He has also held the position of General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent of the ruling PA.
Mrs Sirima Bandaranaike became the world's first female head of a government when she was elected as the Prime Minister in July 1960, three years after the assassination of her husband and then Prime Minister, S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike. She served also as the Prime Minister between 1970 and 1977.
Mrs. Bandaranaike was again made Prime Minister by her daughter, President Chandrika Kumaratunge in 1994.
Mrs. Sirima Bandaranaike's retires about two weeks ahead of the expiration of the parliament's 6-year period on 24 August.