by Anura Guruge
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I happened to see this yesterday on Wikipedia when I was looking up dates for Ceylon’s (now Sri Lanka’s) ex-Prime Minister Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike.
It just cracked me up (and then reminded me of the agonized hand wringing that took place 56 years ago).
“… his assassination by a Buddhist robe wearer in 1959”.
A “Buddhist robe wearer”?
The assassin was a well known, relatively senior Buddhist MONK.
That was why he was a “Buddhist robe wearer”. He wore Buddhist robes BECAUSE he was a genuine Buddhist monk.
Say it. To obfuscate with words like that is just silly and sad.
Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike was shot and killed by a Buddhist monk. Period.
The Wikipedia entry for S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike goes onto say, quite clearly, that the assassin was a Buddhist monk. So why the “Buddhist robe wearer” nonsense?
The Wikipedia entry for Talduwe Somarama, in addition, even calls him ‘thero‘ — which means a Buddhist monk!
So this is all rather silly and makes the Sri Lankan Buddhist look quite immature.
I remember Mr. Bandaranaike assassination, though I was but 6. I remember the funeral. I followed the trial of Somarama with great interest. I wanted him hanged. He had killed my Prime Minister. Given the circles I traveled in those days, I knew at least two people who visited with Somarama in prison. I remember grilling them about their visit, what they saw, what he had to say etc. I also remembered that he gave up his robes before he was hanged. That was a BIG deal. They didn’t want to hand a Buddhist priest. I also used to know the chief hangman — at the time! Yea. I moved in a rather interesting circle. Not many people we didn’t know. I had FORGOTTEN that they said that he had become a Christian two days BEFORE he was hung. That was Ceylon. Not much has changed when it comes to stuff like this. Talk about … FUNNY.