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Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga

Chairperson/BCIS Council of Management


Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA served as the Executive President of Sri Lanka during the period 1994 – 2005. Having had her primary education here in Sri Lanka, she attended the Institute of Political Science (Sciences Po) at the University Of Paris to engage in higher studies.

Since her retirement from active Politics, Madam Kumaratunga has been a driving force behind Sri Lanka’s major efforts for reconciliation with a view towards achieving lasting peace in the country. She has also associated herself with major reforms in the country at policy level, especially in the field of Anti-corruption, Human Rights, and Economic Reforms.

Madam Kumaratunga is a Member, and formerly a Director, of Club de Madrid as well as the Global Leadership Foundation; two global networks of distinguished leaders among several other International Organisations.

She was awarded, among others, the Medal of Commander of the Legion of Honour from the French Government as well as the Search for Common Ground Award for Outstanding Political Vision and Courage.

Academic background

  • Completed secondary education in Sri Lanka.
  • Graduated in Political Science and International Relations in 1970 from the Political Science Institute – (Sciences Po) of the University of Paris.
  • Diploma in Group Leadership.
  • Trained as a journalist at Le Monde newspaper.
  • PhD studies in Development Economics at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, University of Paris from 1970-1973.
  • Research Fellow at Institute of Commonwealth Studies of the University of London from 1988 -1991 and UNU-WIDER
  • Fluent in English, French and Sinhala.


  • “The Janawasa Movement: Future Strategies for Development in Sri Lanka,” a FAO publication (1980).
  • The Co-Operative Movement in Sri Lanka - Land and Agrarian Reforms in Sri Lanka
  • Food Policies and Strategies in Sri Lanka from 1948 to 1989 (a WIDER publication)
  • The State and Social Structures in Sri Lanka.

Professional achievements

  • 1972-1977 - Additional Principal Director of the Land Reforms Commission
  • 1976 - 1977 - Chairperson of the Janawasa Commission, which established cooperative farms for rural youth. State lands were used to set up 250 farming units employing 30,000 young people in whom ownership of the farm land was vested. This project was identified as one of the most successful employment projects for rural youth in a Developing Country. Awarded the FAO Silver Medal for Agricultural Development in 1977.
  • 1978 - 1979 - Served as Expert Consultant to FAO. Awarded the FAO Ceres Medal for efforts to foster rural development and peace in Sri Lanka.(2003)
  • Led the successful privatizations of State Enterprises.Telecommunication
    Ports and Aviation Services
    Plantations of Tea / Rubber
  • Guest lecturer at many Universities across the world.

Areas of Competence

  • Leadership in formulating and implementing projects in all areas of development.
  • Wide experience and skills in policy planning and implementation and in the promotion of private investment for Developmenta. Setup the National Council for Economic Development [NCED] for purpose of formulating State policy and for monitoring its implementation, with the participation of government / business leaders/professionals/ academics.
    b. Strategic Enterprises Management Agency [SEMA] to manage government owned enterprises, as well as to monitor privatized, previously State owned enterprises, led by the State and the private sector.
    c. The National Procurement Agency [NPA] to eliminate corruption in the procurement processes of the government.
  • Led a successful campaign against Corruption in Government, with new laws, practices and institutions created for this purpose.
  • Wide experience in international relations for over 30 years with a large number of high government level contacts, in many countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.
  • Effective communications and public relations skills.
  • She was mainly responsible for bringing her Party to power after 17 years and continuing to win free and fair elections for 13 years.
  • She moved her Party and the country away from the pro-war, confrontational mind-set to one of negotiations and peace for the first time in 46 years after independence. Formulated and successfully implemented strategies to steer the Nation to begin to accept living within a plural, multicultural society.