Today is the 112th Birth Anniversary of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike who effected a revolutionary change to politics in Sri Lanka.
Soloman West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike, born on 8th January 1899 pursued studies at the Oxford University in England after his basic education and became a Barrister. He also served as the General Secretary of the Oxford Union. On his return to the motherland, the young Bandaranaike played an active role in the Lanka National Congress. He was thereafter elected to the Colombo Municipal Council and the Senate. In 1936, He established the Sinhala Maha Sabha. Thereafter in 1947, he held a Ministerial portfolio representing the United National Party. Pointing out that the Government was not doing any service, he ditched the party with another group of patriots including D.A. Rajapaksa, and established the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. He succeeded in establishing a new government in 1956 and paved the way for the nationalization of the bus service and making Sinhala the official language of the country.
As Prime Minister, he took a neutralist stance in foreign affairs. In the third year in office, he died on 26th September 1959 at the age of 60 due to wounds received after being shot. The people’s friendly public administrative system launched by him is even being now appreciated by the entire nation.