S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and Sirimavo Bandaranaike, former Prime Ministers of Sri Lanka who steered the country to a people’s friendly political arena are being commemorated.
Today is the 52nd death anniversary of the Late Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike who was totally dedicated to Sri Lankan identity and independence bringing together the Sangha, the physician, the teacher, the peasant and labour fraternities. He ditched the United National Party in 1951 and launched the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Many genuine patriotic politicians such as D.A. Rajapaksa, Bernard Aluvihare and T.B. Ilangaratne were with Mr. Bandaranaike in the progressive initiative taken by him. The United National Party Government was routed following the election held after the 1956 Harthal.
The Late Mr. Bandaranaike served as the 4th Prime Minister of the country after being elected to Office on the 12th of April in 1956. The service discharged by him during his tenure was priceless. Bandaranaike vision enabled Sri Lankans to stand on their own feet as a free and independent nation overcoming all odds and enemy forces.President Rajapaksa’s Mahinda Chinthana is the beginning of a new chapter of the Bandaranaike vision. President Rajapaksa is engaged in the task of realizing the dream of Mr. Bandaranaike. He was assassinated on 25th September 1959. He was shot at point blank range during his routine meetings with the public at his residence in Rosmead Place. He was 60 years at the time of his demise.
After his assassination, the Late Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike volunteered to carry forward his mantle for the sake of his people, becoming the world’s first woman Prime Minister in 1960. The name of Sirimavo Bandaranaike is also written immortally in the country’s political history book as a figure which did yeoman service for the people.