Sri Lanka president to be in office an extra year

Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga will remain in office until December 2006, a year longer than many had believed based on her swearing in for a six-year term in December 1999. Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga will remain in office until December 2006, a year longer than many had believed based on her swearing in for a six-year term in December 1999. Government spokesman Mangala Samaraweera said Kumaratunga’s term would end not in December 2005, six years after she was sworn in publicly, but in December 2006.

The president said last year that she had had a second swearing-in ceremony some time in 2000, about a year after the December 1999 presidential election.

The government has not disclosed when the second ceremony was held and why it was not announced at the time.
The constitution does not allow the president more than two terms but the exact time when Kumaratunga’s current term ends had been a subject of intense political debate.

She called the 1999 presidential election with one year left in her first six-year term, which she narrowly won.
The vote was held three days after she lost her right eye in a suicide bomb attack blamed on Tamil Ti