Sept 20, Colombo: Sri Lanka's former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has become the first Sri Lankan to be awarded the Prestigious Medal of Commander in the National Order of the Legion of Honor, the highest rank of the National Order of France, the Government Information Department said.
Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Jean-Marin Schuh presented the Medal of "Commandeur de la Légion D'Honneur" on behalf of President of France, Emmanuel Macron, at a special function held at the Ambassador's Residence.
President Kumaratunga served as the 4th Executive President of Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2005. Prior to that, she has held the elected positions of Western Province Chief Minister and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
At present President Kumaratunga holds numerous Honorary positions including being a Member of Club de Madrid (the premier global forum of former democratic Presidents and Prime Ministers), a Member of the Global Leadership Foundation (led by former President of South Africa F. W. de Klerk), was an Advisor and Member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and is the Chairperson of the South Asian Policy and Research Institute and the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka.
She holds a Degree in Political Science from the prestigious Political Science Institute (Science Po) of the University of Paris and entered a Ph.D. Program in Development Economics at the Ècole Pratique des Hautes Ètudes, University of Paris, where she studied from 1970-1973.
The event was attended by Diplomats, Ministers, Academics and Well-wishers.