25.09.

1959: Buddhist Monk who Shot Prime Minister Solomon Bandaranaike

1959: Buddhist Monk who Shot Prime Minister Solomon Bandaranaike
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 25 September 1959
  • The monk was arrested and brought to trial. He was sentenced to death, and hanged three years later. Two days before the hanging, he converted to Christianity. Therefore, he was able to receive spiritual forgiveness.

Solomon Bandaranaike, a Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, was assassinated by a Buddhist monk on this day in 1959.

The monk Talduwe Somarama was persuaded to do so due to the conspirators who wanted the death of the Prime Minister.

On this day, the monk came to the prime minister’s private residence for a meeting. At the entrance, he wasn’t checked because he was a monk, even though he was carrying a weapon. When he entered the Prime Minister’s room, Solomon Bandaranaike greeted him (using the traditional Buddhist greeting).

The monk then took his revolver, and shot the Prime Minister. Mortally wounded, Solomon died the next day at the hospital, despite the best surgeons in the country trying to save his life during an operation which lasted six hours.

The monk was arrested and brought to trial. He was sentenced to death, and hanged three years later. Two days before the hanging, he converted to Christianity. Therefore, he was able to receive spiritual forgiveness.

Solomon’s wife, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, succeeded him and became the first female Prime Minister in history. Their daughter Chandrika Kumaratunga also became a Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, and later the President of Sri Lanka, while their son became the president of the parliament.

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