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July 20
1960: Ceylon elects world's first woman PM
[ 2007-07-19 08:48 ]

July 20
Sirimavo Bandaranaike is the first ever female head of government
1960: Ceylon elects world's first woman PM

England have

Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike, widow of Ceylon's assassinated prime minister Solomon Bandaranaike, has been elected the world's first woman prime minister.

Her Sri Lanka Freedom Party won a resounding victory in the general election taking 75 out of 150 seats.

Mrs Bandaranaike only entered politics after her husband was shot by an extremist Buddhist on 26 September 1959.

She has become known as the "weeping widow" for frequently bursting into tears during the election campaign and vowing to continue her late husband's socialist policies.

This week's election was called after Dudley Senanavake's United National Party failed to produce a working majority after winning elections in March.

Aristocratic by birth

Mrs Bandaranaike was born into the Ceylon aristocracy and her husband was a landowner. She was educated by Roman Catholic nuns at St Bridget's school in the capital, Colombo, and is a practising Buddhist.

She married in 1940 aged 24 and has three children - and until her husband's death seemed content in her role as mother and retiring wife.

Her SLFP aims to represent the "little man" although its policies during the campaign were not clear.

Mr Bandaranaike attributed her success to the "people's love and respect" for her late husband and urged her supporters to practise "simple living,decorumand dignity".

Her husband came to power in 1955, eight years after independence, and declared himself a Buddhist which appealed to nationalists. But his government was wracked by infighting among Sinhalese and Tamils and lacked direction.

Mrs Bandaranaike inherits a country in a state of flux and her party's proposed programme of nationalisation may bring her into conflict with foreign interests in commodities like tea, rubber and oil.

July 20
The bomb was planted in the visitors' toilets

1990: IRA bombs Stock Exchange

Artificially 1969:
The An IRA bomb has blown a 10-foot hole in the London Stock Exchange. Nobody was injured in the blast, although police say there would have been fatalities if they had not evacuated the area before the explosion at 0849 BST.

It was the first time the IRA had given any warning of an attack in England since the 1983 Harrods bombing.

Police and other organisations received eight warning calls in an 18 minute period - from 0800 BST - from a man with an Irish accent using a new IRA coded message.

Officers evacuated neighbouring buildings and kept them clear until after midday, as they dealt with a series of hoax calls.

They also cordoned off the area round Threadneedle Street and Broad Street for several hours and traffic was severely disrupted.

Disruption to business was minimal because most trading is done by computer and telephone and the central information system was in another building.

Chairman of the Stock Exchange Andrew Hugh Smith said: "If the purpose of this callous act was to bring the City to a halt, they have failed singularly; our systems and services have functioned perfectly, and training has continued as normal."

The traded options floor was the main area affected. Up to 300 people - sporting their colourful corporate blazers - were evacuated onto the street.

Business there remained closed for the rest of the day, although the worst damage was done to the visitors' gallery.

Investigators say the bomb - containing five to 10lbs of high explosives - had been planted in the men's toilets behind the gallery.

Visitors normally have to book in advance and the area had not opened this morning, suggesting the bomb had been left overnight.

Scotland Yard says today's target shows the IRA has switched to "soft" civilian targets - as opposed to "hard" political or military ones - and has asked the public to be extra vigilant.


decorum :appropriateness of behavior or conduct(免疫学)

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