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Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike Quotes


Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike
  • Born: 17th April 1916, Ratnapura, British Colony of Ceylon
  • Died: 10th October 2000, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Resting place: Horagolla Bandaranaike Samadhi, Atthanagalla, Western Province, Sri Lanka
  • Alma mater: Ferguson High School, Ratnapura and St Bridget's Convent, Colombo
  • Occupation: Politician and prime minister
  • Famous for: Becoming the worlds first female prime minister in 1960
  • Terms as prime minister: 21st July 1960 - 25th March 1965, 29th May 1970 - 23rd July 1977, 14th November 1994 - 9th August 2000
  • Political party: Sri Lanka Freedom Party
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"History is full of examples of the disastrous consequences that came upon such nations that changed their constitutions by giving one man too much power"

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike

"Premier Dahanayake offered to get the State to pay compensation. He said certain countries had paid the widows of assassinated leaders, for example in Burma. But I categorically refused to accept a cent as compensation for the blood of my late husband"

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike

"In 1956 when Parliament was prematurely dissolved by Sir John, S.W.R.D. did not have the ready cash to spend for the SLFP Party at the elections. Almost all his candidates were not people of means. They were mainly rural-based persons"

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike

"After his death, we were called upon to pay heavy death duties for which we had to sell some properties. I paid back the loan with whatever I got including my allowance as Prime Minister"

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike

"I was often asked the question how I functioned with an all-male Cabinet. I must say that I had no problems. They all co-operated and gave me all the support necessary. Well, I appointed my Cabinet of Ministers"

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike

"I believe it is time for me to quietly withdraw from the humdrum of busy political life, to a more tranquil and quiet environment"

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike

"The Tamil people must accept the fact that the Sinhala majority will no longer permit themselves to be cheated of their rights"

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike

"It was far from my mind to achieve any personal glory for myself when I assumed the leadership of the party at the request of its leaders"

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike

"The Indian question (the problem of citizenship of settlers of Indian origin) must be settled first"

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike

"As a woman and mother, I call upon the nations of the world to desist from violence in their dealings with each other"

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike

"I came to know at first hand the agony and the ecstasy of the farmer"

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike

"I would say that joining the Samiti was a landmark in my career"

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike

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Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike Biography

Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike was married to the prime minister of Ceylon; Solomon Bandaranaike who was assassinated while in office in 1959, this led to a series of events where she became the incidental prime minister of Ceylon.

During her 1960 election campaign she won the hearts of the electorate with her emotional speeches despite the opposition branding her the "Weeping Widow" and not politician material let alone prime ministerial.



After winning the 1960 election for her party the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike became the first democratically elected female prime minister the world had ever known.

She went on to be elected three times as prime minister in a political career spanning 40 years until her death in 2000. As a stateswoman of high regard finding quotes by her was not a challenge so this is my compilation of 12 of the best Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike quotes, I hope you enjoy them.

Quotes About Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike

In 1960 a Ceylon paleontologist Paul Pieris Deraniyagala got this prediction very wrong: "What does she know of politics? In Solla's time, Sirima presided over nothing fiercer than the kitchen fire. She'll end by spoiling her personal reputation and ruining the family name"

The Sri Lankan historian K. M. de Silva paid her this tribute: "Mrs. Bandaranaike's legacy is this: After her husband died, there was so much confusion and the party was almost collapsing. She was an untried leader. But she not only survived, she sustained the party and the family in politics"

The Sri Lankan poet Yasmine Gooneratne described her as: "the most formidable and charismatic leader the country has ever seen"

The journalist D.B.S. Jeyaraj made this observation: "There is no denying that Sirima Bandaranaike was an incorruptible figure. Her financial integrity has been beyond reproach"

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party issued this statement: "She was a heroic mother of the nation"

During the height of the 1971 insurrection to topple her government Sir John Kotelawala was quoted as saying "She was the only man in the Cabinet"


Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike  image quote