S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike

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S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike
Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
In office
1956–1959
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by John Kotelawala
Succeeded by Wijeyananda Dahanayake
Personal details
Born 8 January 1899(1899-01-08)
Ceylon
Died 26 September 1959(1959-09-26) (aged 60)
Colombo, Sri Lanka (assassinated)
Nationality Ceylonese
Political party Sri Lanka Freedom Party
Spouse(s) Sirimavo Bandaranaike
Children Sunethra, Chandrika, Anura
Profession Politician, Barrister
Religion Theravada Buddhism
Website Official Website

Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaiek (Sinhala: සොලමන් වෙස්ට් රිජ්වේ ඩයස් බණ්ඩාරනායක, Tamil: சாலமன் வெஸ்ட் ரிச்சர்ட் டயஸ் பண்டாரநாயக்கா; 8 January 1899 – 26 September 1959) commonly known as S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, was the fourth Prime Minister of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). He was killed (assassinated) by a Buddhist monk named Talduwe Somarama.[1]

Early life[change | change source]

It is believed he was privately tutored and was sent to S.Thomas' for sake of record. He entered Oxford University instead.

Bandaranaike was born in Colombo, Ceylon to a Sinhalese Anglican Christian family and was the son of the powerful Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranike the Maha Mudaliyar (the chief native and advisor to the Governor) of Horagolla Walauwa in Atthanagalla, during the British colonial rule, who named his son after West Ridgeway, the Governor of Ceylon at the time was his god father. In later life he converted to Buddhism in order to join politics. He received his secondary education at St Thomas' College and went on to study modern greats at Christ Church, Oxford University, where he was Secretary of the famous Oxford Union.

Political career[change | change source]

As a young lawyer, Bandaranaike became active in the Ceylon National Congress (CNC). He was elected to the Colombo Municipal Council in 1926. From 1931 to 1947 he served in the State Council of Ceylon. In order to raise Sinhala culture and community interests, Bandaranaike organized the Sinhala Maha Sabha in 1936. In 1946 he backed the United National Party (UNP) and held posts from 1947 to 1951. In 1951, Bandaranaike led his Sinhala Maha Sabha out of the UNP and established the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

References[change | change source]