October 13, 2000 |
President Chandrika Kumaratunga claimed Thursday to have won enough support in parliamentary elections to form a government but not enough to push through a constitution aimed at ending a 17-year civil war. Kumaratunga had campaigned on a pledge to end the war with Tamil Tiger rebels by offering the minority Tamils greater autonomy in a new constitution. The rebels' fight for an independent homeland for Tamils has killed more than 62,000 people since 1983.
October 15, 2000 |
Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the world's first female prime minister and the matriarch of Sri Lankan politics, was remembered at a state funeral Saturday with fondness and respect. Hundreds of mourners stood under the blazing afternoon sun to catch a glimpse of her flower-covered casket as it was carried through the streets in a military procession. The coffin was lowered into the ground after a 19-gun salute.
March 4, 1989 |
President Ranasinghe Premadasa on Friday appointed Finance Minister Dingiri Wijetunge as Sri Lanka's new prime minister, ending weeks of maneuvering within the ruling United National Party for the post. As prime minister, Wijetunge will be Premadasa's main representative in Parliament and the head of the ruling party legislative delegation, which won 125 of 225 seats in Feb. 15 general elections. He will retain the finance portfolio.
November 27, 1989 |
Two government officials were wounded and Prime Minister Dingiri Wijetunge narrowly escaped injury when unidentified attackers hurled two grenades during a college rally near Colombo on Sunday, police said. The incident occurred minutes after the conclusion of a youth committee session of the ruling United National Party at Prince of Wales College in Moratuwa.
January 3, 1989 |
Ranasinghe Premadasa was sworn in as president of Sri Lanka on Monday in a Buddhist ceremony at the Temple of the Tooth, and he again appealed for an end to the ethnic violence that has devastated the island nation. "Further delay in finding a solution will enable certain elements to destroy many more innocent lives. This destruction must end because democracy cannot tolerate it," Premadasa said in his inaugural address.
July 30, 1999 |
The suicide bomber who killed one of Sri Lanka's most respected leaders seemed intent on cutting away the last bits of middle ground left on the shattered island. Neelan Tiruchelvam, a prominent member of Sri Lanka's Tamil minority, died Thursday when a man laden with explosives dashed into the street and threw himself on Tiruchelvam's idling car in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital. Tiruchelvam and the attacker died instantly, and five others were injured.