Saturday, 26 September 2009

A melancholy anniversary

Fifty years ago today, SWRD Bandanaranaike, the Prime Minister of Ceylon, was assassinated by a yellow-robed figure. Foreshadowing several of the troubles which continue in the region today, his enlightened attitude to the Tamils, and his perceived closeness to the Western powers, had antagonised many of his compatriots.

The event did have a momentous outcome. After ten months of a government led by Dudley Senanayake, Bandaranaike's widow Sirimavo was elected as the world's first female prime minister in July 1960.

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