Sirima Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike
(1916 to 2000)
Prime Minister of Ceylon
July 1960 — March 1965
My Aunty Bandaranaike
On this historic night it is only right to remember my Aunty Bandaranaike, the Modern World’s First Female Head of Government.
She pre-dated Indira Gandhi and Golda Meir by quite a few years.
No she was not related to me. But I knew her well and did call her Aunty Bandaranaike. There was a couple of years, c. 1963, when I was about 8 years old, when I spoke with her every morning, first thing I did every day! My adoptive father who had been her husband’s private secretary, when he was Prime Minister, was one of her closest (and if the truth be told, ablest) of confidantes. They, together, came up with the ‘schools takeover‘, ‘Poya-based week‘, ‘newspaper nationalization‘ etc. Hence the daily, first thing in the morning phone calls.
She would have approved of Hillary. Very similar personalities. Strong and capable.
Congratulations Mrs. Clinton, my Aunty Bandaranaike would have been proud of you (though she was a real socialist that would make Bernie look like a Republican).
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