July 21, 2024


Latest News and Updates on Sri Lanka

Retromachine: The world’s first elected state woman

On July 21, 1960 , Sirimavo Bandaranaike was appointed Prime Minister of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), after winning the legislative elections. She thus becomes the first woman elected to become the head of a government.

The post was previously held by her husband, Solomon Bandaranaike, before he was assassinated in 1959. Sirimavo Bandaranaike promises to continue her husband’s social policy. Nicknamed by her opponents “the weeping widow”, she is known for her emotionality; she notably exploded into tears in public. She was Prime Minister three times until August 2000. Her daughter, Chandrika Kumaratunga, was elected President of Sri Lanka between 1994 and 2005 and her son, Anura Bandaranaike, was Minister of Tourism and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Others July 21 : Burning of the temple of Artemis in Ephesus (356 a. JC); Leopolod I, first king of the Belgians, sworn in (1831); Eddy Merckx wins his fifth Tour de France (1974).

Born July 21 : American writer Ernest Hemingway (1899), philosopher and researcher Marshall Mc Luhan (1911), French singer Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine (1948), American actor Robin Williams (1951) , French artist Charlotte Gainsbourg (1971).