Born Jan. 8, 1899, in Colombo; died there, Sept. 26,1959. Politician and statesman of Ceylon (since 1972, the Republic of Sri Lanka).
In 1925, Bandaranaike joined the Ceylon National Congress and soon became one of its leaders. He held various offices in the British colonial administration. Between 1947 and 1951 he was minister of health. In 1951 Bandaranaike formed the Ceylon Freedom Party, which united the Sinhalese national bourgeoisie. In 1956 he became head of the government (1956–59), which took measures to strengthen political independence and develop the national economy. In 1959, Bandaranaike was assassinated by henchmen of reactionaries, who had organized a plot against him.