193. Editorial Note

On September 25, Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was shot and fatally wounded. He died the following day. On September 26, Wijeyananda Dahanayake, the Minister of Education, formed a new government, retaining all the ministers from the Bandaranaike government.

On October 1, at the 420th meeting of the National Security Council, Allen Dulles discussed this development during his survey of significant world developments affecting U.S. security:

“Mr. Dulles believed the assassination of the Prime Minister in Ceylon would have no great political consequence, inasmuch as it appeared to be the act of a fanatic for personal not national reasons. The Prime Minister’s successor would not have the prestige, standing in the party or grasp of foreign problems possessed by Bandaranaike. The result might be a weak central authority, followed by another change in the government.” (Memorandum of discussion by Marion W. Boggs, October 2; Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)

Documentation on the assassination of Bandaranaike and the accession of Dahanayake to the Prime Ministership is in Department of State, Central File 746E.00.