Sirima Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike, commonly known as Sirimavo Bandaranaike, was a Sri Lankan stateswoman. She became the world's first non-hereditary female head of government in modern history, when she was elected Prime Minister of Sri Lanka in 1960.
She served three terms: 1960-1965, 1970-1977 and 1994-2000.Born into an aristocratic Kandyan family, Bandaranaike was educated in Catholic, English-medium schools, but remained a Buddhist and spoke Sinhala as well as English. On graduating from secondary school, she worked for various social programmes before marrying and raising a family.
Playing hostess to her husband S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, who was involved in politics and later became Prime Minister, she gained his trust as an informal advisor. Bandaranaike died on 10 October 2000 of a heart attack at Kadawatha, as she was heading home to Colombo.
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