Mrs. B’s final farewell

Bandaranaike (1916-2000)

The hand that stoked the kitchen fire, went on to rock a nation.

What does she know of politics?" scornfully asked a cousin of the assassinated prime min­ister of Ceylon, Solomon ("Solla") Bandaranaike, when his widow Sirima announced that she was taking over his party's leadership in 1960.

"In Solla's time Sirima presided over nothing fiercer than the kitchen fire," continued Paul Pieris Deriyanagala, who was best man at the Bandaranaikes' wedding. "She'll end by spoiling her personal reputation and ruining the family name."

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Himal Southasian