The Democratic Weekly History Thread

Welcome to this week’s history thread!

Today’s topic: Democracy. Perhaps as much of a philosophical/political discussion as historical, but there are plenty of historical examples upon which to draw. Does democracy work? Is it the most desirable form of government, or not? What limitations can or should be placed on freedom and liberty under a democratic system?

Today’s picture: On September 25, 1959 Solomon Bandaranaike, the Prime Minister of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), was assassinated by Buddhist monk Talduwe Somarama Thero. Dressed in traditional Buddhist garb, Thero visited the Prime Minister at his residence and shot him at point-blank range with a revolver, mortally wounding him. Thero was wounded by Bandaranaike’s bodyguards and arrested; he was found to be part of a conspiracy of Buddhist nationalists angry at Bandaranaike’s failure to support pro-Buddhist policies as Prime Minister (he was a Sinhalese Christian). This event marked a curtain raiser to Sri Lanka’s long and bloody internecine feud between its Sinhalese and Tamil populations, which continued until 2009.