S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike

4th Prime Minister of the Dominion of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) from 1956-59

Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike (Sinhalese: සොලමන් වෙස්ට් රිජ්වේ ඩයස් බණ්ඩාරනායක - Tamil: சாலமன் வெஸ்ட் ரிட்ஜ்வே டயஸ் பண்டாரநாயக்கா; 8 January 189926 September 1959) was the fourth Prime Minister of Ceylon (later Sri Lanka) and founder of the left wing and Sinhala nationalist Sri Lanka Freedom Party, serving as Prime Minister from 1956 until he was assassinated by Talduwe Somarama, a Buddhist Monk.

S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike


  • BBC Interviewer: Mr. Prime Minister, the introduction as Sinhalese as the official language by your government [Sri Lankan Government], appears to have damaged the good relations, which previously existed between Sinhalese and Tamils, how do you justify this act?
    S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike: Well, when our country became independent, naturally the question aroused... of national language. superseding English as the official language of the country. Sinhalese, we decided upon, as the official language, because 70% of the people of Ceylon are Sinhalese. At the same time, we naturally realized that the Tamil minority had a language that was also old, very rich language, literature... so on, and therefore we decided, also, to give a reasonable use to the Tamil language, as a language of a national minority. In such matters, and education, examinations, and the public service, and so on: We fear that that is the fairest way, for a problem to be settled.

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