Sri Lanka’s daughter of destiny departs, reluctantly

Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who steps down as president next week after serving her maximum two terms, leaves her parents’ party in turmoil and the country at a crossroads. Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who steps down as president next week after serving her maximum two terms, leaves her parents’ party in turmoil and the country at a crossroads. The 60-year-old president came to power in 1994 pledging to abolish the all-powerful executive presidency within six months.

Instead she enjoyed two terms in office and went to the supreme court to try to extend her stay into 2006. But her rein finally ends on Thursday when elections to replace her are held.

Dubbed by loyalists as Sri Lanka’s daughter of destiny, Kumaratunga must also give up leadership of the centrist Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) which her late prime minister father Solomon Bandaranaike launched in 1951.

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