Bye Bye Mrs. B

Like the Nehrus in India, ruling Sri Lanka has been the family business of the Bandaranaikes.

It was curtains for Sri Lanka´s mother-daughter political act when Sirima Bandaranaike who had been the ´token´ prime minister of her daughter Chandrika Kumaratunga´s People´s Alliance (PA) government since 1994, was made to step down from office to make way for a younger successor able to contribute towards the reelection of the PA at the 10 October general election.

The 84-year-old matriarch, near crippled by arthritis, had not been able to function for much of her last lap in office. Confined to a wheelchair and unable to communicate effectively, Mrs. B, as she is popularly known in political circles, was unable to even marginally take part in governance. Although the office is without real power under Sri Lanka´s Constitution where a directly elected executive president is both head of state and head of government, the prime ministry remains the number two slot hierarchically.

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Himal Southasian