Bandaranaike, Solomon West Ridgeway Dias, 1899–1959, prime minister (1956–59) of Ceylon (later Sri Lanka); husband of Sirimavo Bandaranaike. A lawyer educated in England, he entered politics and rose to hold a cabinet position. He resigned, however, in 1951 to form what became the Sri Lanka Freedom party. In 1956 he organized a leftist coalition that came to power with the 1956 elections. As prime minister, he took a neutralist stance in foreign affairs; domestically, he was faced by economic problems and disputes over languages. He was assassinated by a dissident Buddhist monk.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.