Today is the 59th death anniversary of SWRD Bandaranaike
Recorded history reveals that from very ancient times there had been political murders . As an example, during the roman empire, there had been blatant and devastating political murders of the highest magnitude. The assassination of Julius Ceasar on 15th March 44 BC, can be attributed as the most famous political murder in history. He was promoted and ordained as the ‘supreme commander’ and also as the ‘dictator for life’, by his colleagues and friends but differences of opinion culminated among his closest comrades and it led to his murder and he was killed in the name of liberty.
Brutus was the leading figure, behind the assassination. Cicero, the Roman politician who earned his mark as a philosopher, poet, orator, was not a party to the plot, but was an eyewitness to the murder.
There had been political murders even in the land of ‘Mother Democracy-in the United Kingdom. The serving British Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval was killed in the Lobby of the House of Commons on 11th May 1812 by John Bellingham, a merchant who blamed the government for his debt. British police records reveals that the militant Irish republicans have assassinated six members of parliament from 1882 to 1990. The first female MP to be assassinated was Helen Joanne Cox, a British Labour party politician who was the member of parliament for the Batley and Spen constituency from her election in May 2015, until her murder in 2016. She was a graduate of Cambridge, specializing in political science.
She was assassinated on 16 June 2016 by Thomas Mair, a white supremacist.
In the USA, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, the 16th President was brutally assassinated on April 14, 1865, by a well known stage actor, John Wilkes Booth, while attending the play ‘OUR AMERICAN COUSIN’ at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC.
At the end of 1963, the White House occupied by charismatic President John F. Kennedy and his trusted political advisers were hurriedly preparing for the upcoming presidential campaign. President Kennedy was advised by his closest supporters that a feud among party leaders in Texas could jeopardize his chances of carrying the state in 1964, and one of his strategies was to strengthen the bonds of democrats in the State of Texas. He was also aware of the fact that a small group of disgruntled extremists in Texas was contributing to the political tensions in this state. In Dallas, Texas the US ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson was physically manhandled and attacked by a group of extremists a month earlier after making a speech there. However, John F. Kennedy a born political strategist decided to move the people in Texas and jump into the political fray.
However, THE MAN OF WHITE HOUSE, President John F. Kennedy was killed by a gunman in the evening of November 22, 1963 as he rode in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown, Dallas, Texas.
Martin Luther King, the unchallenged leader of the civil rights movement in USA was gunned down at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennesse on April 4, 1968. He was a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. For this crime, James Earl Ray, a fugitive from the Missouri State, was arrested on June 8, 1968 and prosecuted and was sentenced to 99 years imprisonment.
On February 21, 1965 another Negro leader Malcolm X took to the stage of the Audobon Ballroom, a site often used for civil rights meetings in USA and was gunned in the presence of his wife and children. Investigations into the murder revealed that the assassination came after a public feud between Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam’s founder, Elijah Muhammad.
On 25th September 1959, Somarama dressed in a yellow robe gunned down the Prime Minister who believed in the power of the ballot throughout his illustrious life. On the following day, the lovable Prime Minister, the great democrat departed from us
There were a series of attempts to kill the legendary revolutionary leader Fidel Castro by the Central Intelligence Agency and mercenaries but all these attempts were foiled by the intelligence units of the revolutionary armed forces in Cuba. The investigations carried-out so far into the clandestine operations into the killing of Mahathma Gandhi in India and SWRD Bandaranaike in Sri Lanka reveals the fact although there were only two killers directly involved in these murders, there were hidden factors and mysterious ring leaders behind these conspiracies. The motives behind these two murders remains the same. They were motivated by communalism, hatred and greed for wealth.
Extensive research conducted by Larrry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, best illustrated in their thesis, ‘Freedom at Midnight’ explains in detail why Gandhi was liquidated. It has been proved here, that Gandhi’s assassination was the outcome of a well planned conspiracy launched by Hindu fundamentalists to eliminate Gandhi from the Indian political scene. Further, scholars and historians like A.G. Noorani have relentlessly written about how V.D. Savarkar, the Hindutva ideologue and former President of the Hindu Mahasabha, were involved in this treacherous act. Further, Noorani referred to communications written by the home minister V. Patel to Prime Minister Jawarharlal Nehru in 1948, conforming that it was a fanatical wing of the Hindu Mahasabha directly under the commission of Savarkar that ‘hatched the conspiracy and saw it through’.
The killer Nathuram Vinayak Godse, who pumped three bullets into Gandhi’s chest was also a Hindu extremist.
Gandhi never wanted a divided India, he wanted A United India in the true sense of the word.
Even in India today, patriotic historians believe that the Hindu extremist ideology which killed Gandhi is the same as the one which threatens India today. Professor Mridula Mukherjee of the Delhi’s Jawaharlal University is of the view that the ‘communal forces and their divisive ideology which killed Gandhi is the same as the one which threatens India today in the form of the Ghar Wapsi and Love Jihad campaigns’……’The main objective of communal forces is to increase antagonism between communities. It’s their aim to promote the idea that religious identities must be at loggerheads with each other. The vicious atmosphere that was created by them at the time of Gandhi’s assassination is the same as it is today’.
In India, Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi, were also assassinated for political reasons, cemented with a communal anger. In Egypt, President Sadam Hussein was also brutally killed for political grievances.
In Sri Lanka, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike who swept to power in 1956 with the backing of the organized left movement in the country took several progressive measures including nationalization, closing of foreign bases in the country, opening diplomatic connections with the socialist camp, paddy lands act and paving the way for a public sector economy, sweeping agrarian reforms by introducing the paddy lands act etc. He made Sinhala, the official language of Sri Lanka and was moving forward to ameliorate the grievances of the Tamil people by implementing the provision of reasonable use of Tamil in government administrative affairs. Further, he signed the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact to heal the wounds of the Tamil People.
Vested interests saw a developing threat to their inherited way of life. Buddharakhitha, very cunningly introduced his nominee to the cabinet, Wimala Wijewardena. Several deals, including setting up of shipping contracts and disposal of scrap iron in a big way were some of the business deals introduced by the vested interests to the Prime Minister, Bandaranaike. Due do the inner struggle, Philip Gunawardena and William De Silva had to leave the government. However, the Prime Minister was not ready to bow down his head to each and every demand of the right-wing forces.
The struggle came to a final point, where Buddharakkitha and fellow accomplices decided to get rid of the Prime Minister. They made use of frustrated Somarama for the devastating act.
On 25th September 1959, Somarama dressed in a yellow robe gunned down the Prime Minister who believed in the power of the ballot throughout his illustrious life. On the following day, the lovable Prime Minister, the great democrat departed from us.