S.Lankan PM Resigns In Run-up to General Elections

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the world's first elected woman premier, stepped down Thursday in the run-up to the general elections which is due by early November.

Officials said Bandaranaike, 84, was resigning to make way for the next elections as there is intense speculation that the parliament may be dissolved before the end of its six-year term on August 24. Her post is to be filled by Minister of Public Administration, Home Affairs and Plantation Industries Ratnasiri Wickremanayake.

Bandaranaike made history as the first woman prime minister in the world in July 1960, succeeding her assassinated husband. She was re-elected in 1970, serving 12 years in all.

Bandaranaike has the record of being prime minister thrice, the latest in 1994 although the post is nowadays a largely ceremonial position given her by her daughter, President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

People's Daily Online --- http://www.peopledaily.com.cn/english/