It was a bizarre, one-of-a-kind demonstration which was executed on a visiting political leader to Sri Lanka. The prospective assassin was not a public Sri Lankan citizen, but a low-ranking member of the Sri Lankan armed forces.
Of all the places in this globe, such an act could only have been enacted in Colombo. Before July 30, 1987, nothing of this sort had been recorded in 20th century history.
The Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord was signed by Rajiv Gandhi and the Sri Lankan President J.R.Jayewardene, in Colombo on 29 July 1987.
The very next day, on 30 July 1987, Rajiv Gandhi was assaulted on the head with a rifle butt by a young Sinhalese naval cadet named Vijayamunige Rohana de Silva, while receiving the honour guard. The intended assault on the back of Rajiv Gandhi’s head however glanced off his shoulder. Though the embarrassed Sri Lankan President Junius Richard Jayewardene initially attempted to pass off the bizarre assault as “Rajiv tripped a little and slightly lost his balance”, Rajiv Gandhi while en route to New Delhi asserted to J.N. Dixit “Of course, I was hit.”
Video of 14sec ( hitting moment)
Video of 3min 15sec ( full occasion)
The 22-year old assailant, identified as Vijayamuni Vijitha Rohana de Silva, joined the navy two years ago. He comes from a family where a brother is in the army and a sister in the airforce. Indian security authorities have questioned the suspect in the presence of the local authorities.
A little less than four months after the incident, the purported assassin was sentenced to six years in prison by a Sri Lankan military court.