Kumaratunga: Sri Lanka’s daughter of destiny, mother of destruction

Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga who steps down in December came to power promising to scrap the very office which she fought to cling to after 11 turbulent years dominated by a tortuous peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga who steps down in December came to power promising to scrap the very office which she fought to cling to after 11 turbulent years dominated by a tortuous peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels. A Supreme Court ruling Friday means her second and final term ends on December 22 after more than a decade helming the divided nation.

Since she first came to power in 1994, the convent-educated Kumaratunga has presided over an on-again off-again peace process with the rebel Tamil Tigers whose three-decade campaign for a homeland has cost more than 60,000 lives.

In addition, during the final year of her rule, she has had to grapple with the political, economic and human consequences of the tsunami last December that killed 31,000 people along Sri Lanka’s palm-fringed coasts.

The daughter of two prime ministers — her mother Sirima Bandaranaike was the world’s first woman prime minister — Kumaratunga grew up living and breathing politics.

She once to