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Fifty years ago on 21 July 1960, Sirima Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike was sworn in as Prime Minister of Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was known then). The 44-year-old widow of Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike made history on that day as the world’s first woman Prime Minister. Large crowds lined up along the streets of Colombo to cheer the smiling lady as she was driven from Tintagel at Rosmead place to Queen’s House in Fort and then to Temple Trees in Colpetty. Upon becoming Premier, her name underwent a change of sorts with people and media adding a suffix as a term of respect. Sirima became Sirimavo thereafter. Sirimavo Bandaranaike was Prime Minister during 1960-65, 1970-77 and 1994-2000 and Leader of the Opposition during 1965-70 and 1989-1994. She had been PM for a total of 18 years. No other individual has been premier for so many years in Sri Lanka.
Saturday, 24 July 2010 | 2597 hits | Print | PDF |  E-mail | Report | Read more