Rajiv Gandhi hit by Sri Lanka Naval Rating in 1987


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.

The Punishment

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.

The Punishment
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.


2 thoughts on “Rajiv Gandhi hit by Sri Lanka Naval Rating in 1987

  1. Edvige Antonia Albina Maino was born December 09, 1946 to Stefano and Paola Maino in contrada Màini (“Maini street”) in Lusiana, a little village 30 km from Vicenza in the region of Veneto, Italy. She spent her adolescence in Orbassano, a town near Turin, attending a Catholic school. Her father, a building contractor, died in 1983. Her mother and two sisters still live around Orbassano. In 1964, she went to study English at the Bell Educational Trust’s language school in the city of Cambridge. She met Rajiv Gandhi, who was enrolled in Trinity College at the University of Cambridge in 1965 at a Greek restaurant while working there, as a waitress to make ends meet. In all three years of Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure at Trinity College had not passed a single examination. Sonia and Rajiv Gandhi married in 1968.

    Antonia Maino was given the name ‘Sonia’ by her late mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi. But there is no notification in the gazette regarding this change in name. This change of name runs in Nehru family is to fool the Indian public for their votes. Indira Gandhi’s real name was Indira Priyadarshini. In 1934–35, after finishing school, Indira joined Shantiniketan,a school set up by Rabindranath Tagore. Subsequently, she went to England and sat for the University of Oxford entrance examination, but she failed, and spent a few months at Badminton School in Bristol, before passing the exam in 1937 and enrolling at Somerville College, Oxford where she never finished her degree. Khushwant Singh, who has personally known Indira Gandhi, has said that she felt uncomfortable around educated people because she had no real education. During her stay in the UK, she frequently met Feroze Gandhi, whom she knew from Allahabad, and who was studying at the London School of Economics. Feroze Khan was quite sympathetic to Indira and Indira married Feroze Khan in a London mosque as per Islamic rites Feroz Khan after converting herself to Islam. Indira’s muslim name was Maimuna Begum and later both had changed their name to fool the public of India by an affidavit in a court to Indira Gandhi and Feroz Gandhi.

    The second son of Indira known as Sanjay Gandhi was not the son of Feroze Khan. Sanjay’s real father was Mohammad Yunus. Baby Sanjay had been circumcised following Islamic custom, although the reason stated was phimosis. Sanjay was notorious in getting unwed young women pregnant. Menaka too was rendered pregnant by Sanjay. It was then that her father, Colonel Anand, threatened Sanjay with dire consequences if he did not marry her daughter. And that did the trick. Sanjay married Menaka. It was widely reported in Delhi at the time that Mohammad Yunus was unhappy at the marriage of Sanjay with Menaka; apparently he had wanted to get him married with a Muslim girl of his choice.

    Mohammad Yunus who cried the most when Sanjay died in the plane accident. Sanjay used to blackmail Indira and due to this she used to turn a blind eye when Sanjay started to run the country as though it were his personal fiefdom. When the news of Sanjay’s death reached Indira, the first thing she wanted to know was about the bunch of keys which Sanjay had with him.
    Rajiv Gandhi changed his so called Parsi religion to become a Catholic to marry Edvige Antonia Albina Maino. Rajiv became Roberto. His daughter’s name is Bianca and son’s name is Raul. Quite cleverly the same names are presented to the people of India as Priyanka and Rahul. What is amazing is the extent of Indians’ ignorance in such matters. The press conference that Rajiv Gandhi gave in London after taking over as prime minister of India was very informative. In this press conference, Rajiv boasted that he was NOT a Hindu but a Parsi. Mind you, speaking of the Parsi religion, he had no Parsi ancestor at all. His grandmother (father’s mother) had turned Muslim after having abandoned the Parsi religion to marry Nawab Khan.

    In 1980 Sonia’s name appeared in the voter’s list for New Delhi prior to her becoming an Indian Citizen. At the time she was still holding Italian Citizenship. A violation of Form 4 of the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960, which states that “Only the names of those who are citizens of India should be entered on the electoral rolls.” When she did acquire Indian Citizenship, in April 1983, the same issue cropped up again, as her name appeared on the 1983 voter’s list when the deadline for registering had been in January 1983.

    Rajiv Gandhi had been singularly lacking in intellectual attainments, and his interventions in Parliamentary debates were notoriously prosaic and dull.

    Rajiv Gandhi began to a show keen interest in evolving an acceptable political package to bring an end to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka to deflect attention from domestic issues. Rajiv Gandhi had been at the center of a heated political controversy since March, 1987. It all started with Assembly elections in Kerala, West Bengal and Jammu & Kashmir. In Kerala on March 23, 1987, the Congress-led coalition government was driven out of power by the leftist front, meaning that the opposition regional parties had now taken control of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. At the same time, Congress, under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi, miserably failed to wrest power back from the communists in West Bengal, while Congress did manage to retain its hold in Jammu and Kashmir as junior partners.

    At this time, Finance Minister V.P.Singh was transferred to the Ministry of Defense by Rajiv Gandhi.

    In early part of March 1997 the intelligence branch of the federal government raided the offices of the Indian Express newspaper. During the raid, the government stumbled on information that the Ministry of Finance had employed the services of a US consulting firm, the Fairfax Group, to investigate illegal offshore transactions of such distinguished business luminaries as the Bachchan brothers and textile magnate Dirrubhai Ambani.

    V.P.Singh admitted that the investigation had been undertaken under his authority, which prompted the Congress leaders and a section of the media to accuse him of selling national interests to foreign operatives closely linked with CIA of America. Never mind that the investigation was aimed at alleged economic crimes, and had nothing to do with security issues. Rajiv Gandhi tried to play down the seriousness of the issue by making it a subject of a closed-door examination.

    But the public impression lingered that, something fishy was going on. This impression was reinforced by V P Singh in his role as minister of defense. It was alleged that kickbacks, as much as 7%, had been solicited by Indian middlemen, on a US$340 million submarine order, placed with a West German shipyard during Indira Gandhi’s rule. Such commissions were banned under Indian law, and there was speculation that the alleged payments had been a kickback to the Congress ruling party.

    V.P.Singh ordered a fresh departmental probe into the scandal, when he took over the Defense portfolio. He did not notify either Rajiv Gandhi or the cabinet, which is customary procedure on launching such a probe. He only announced the investigation on the floor of parliament – the Lok Sabah – on April 9, 1987.

    Congress party leaders were quick to accuse the defense minister of a cheap publicity stunt, bent on grabbing media publicity without regard to cabinet or party procedures. On April 12, V.P.Singh resigned as defense minister over charges that, he had intended to malign and embarrass Rajiv Gandhi. V.P.Singh went as far as to proclaim his loyalty to Gandhi and to the party, when he announced his resignation.

    No sooner had the kickback scandal arisen than, Swedish radio broadcasters reported that Stockholm’s premier arms maker, BOFORS, had paid a $16 million commission into Swiss bank accounts of Indian middlemen to secure a $1.3 billion order for 400 howitzers.

    The allegation involving BOFORS targeted for investigation both Ajitab Bachchan and his brother Amitab Bachchan, a Congress member of parliament from the Alahabad constituency, in Uttar Pradesh. Rajiv Gandhi and Amitab Bachchan were childhood friends. The arms deal was consummated while Rajiv Gandhi had been Minister of Defense. He left the post to replace Singh as Minister of Finance.

    The governments of India and Sweden, and also BOFORS, rushed to deny the allegations, claiming that the howitzer deal had been concluded from direct negotiations, between Rajiv Gandhi and the late premier of Sweden, Olaf Palme, during the latter’s state visit to India in 1985.

    Rajiv Gandhi’s political vulnerability became increasingly apparent and rumors were rife of an impending “constitutional coup” to be staged by Giani Zail Singh, the president of India. Giani Zail Singh, an Indira Gandhi loyalist, was about to complete his five-year term as president. He felt that a second term would not be forthcoming and he felt snubbed by Rajiv Gandhi, who neglected him on issues of government.

    Beginning in April 1987, newspapers reported that Giani Zail Singh was quietly seeking advice on his constitutional power to remove the prime minister. The president was said to be waiting for possible evidence that, Rajiv Gandhi himself had been involved in the graft scandal.

    On May 1, 1987 Rajiv Gandhi lashed out at unidentified opponents, whom, he said, wanted to stage a coup against the democratically elected government. The prime minister added that even the highest elected officials could be held answerable to parliament. Following the outburst of a veiled threat on the president, Giani Zail Singh’s public repudiation of the idea of removing Rajiv Gandhi was reported in the national press on May 5, 1987. The opposition were reluctant to entertain the idea of having a democratically elected prime minister dismissed. In one statement, leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that such an action by the president was “too dangerous a proposition for the future democracy and the country”.

    While Rajiv Gandhi struggled with corruption scandals and open hostility to his country’s president, the ruling Congress party was handed an overwhelming defeat in the state assembly election held on June 18, 1987 in Haryana. The defeat was the party’s 6th loss in the past 7 elections that, it had contested under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi.

    On July 13, 1987 Ramaswami Venkataraman was elected as the eighth president of India. Venkataraman, a senior Congress party leader from Tamil Nadu, South India, had served for 4 years under Indira Gandhi, both as Minister of Finance and later as Minister of Defense and had become vice president of India in 1984.

    Venkataraman was Rajiv Gandhi’s nominee for the mostly ceremonial post of president, and his chief opponent was V R Krishna Iyer, a retired Supreme Court Judge, who was supported by a collection of opposition parties.

    Balloting for the presidency was confined to members of the national parliament and state assemblies. Venkataraman brought a breath of fresh air to Rajiv Gandhi and to the Congress party, by garnering about 71% of the votes.

    Emboldened by this result, Rajiv Gandhi began to purge leading dissidents in the Congress party. On July 15, 1987 he expelled party leaders Arin Mohammad Khan, V C Shukla and Arun Nehru. Again, on July 19, 1987 he expelled V.P.Singh. Infighting within Congress was not the single issue that confronted Rajiv Gandhi. The Punjab problem, Sikhs uprising for the formation of a separate state, coupled with problems in Nagaland and Mizoram became major issues.

    So, for distraction, Rajiv Gandhi latched on to Sri Lanka to divert attention from his mounting domestic problems, with the airdrop of supplies on June 4, 1987 into Jaffna, being a turning point in the Indo-Sri Lankan relationship.

    Swiss magazine Schweitzer Illustrierte in 1991 claimed that Sonia was controlling accounts worth $2 billion dollars in her son Raul’s name.

    Harvard scholar Yevgenia Albats cited KGB correspondence about payments to Rajiv Gandhi and his family, which had been arranged by Viktor Chebrikov, which shows that KGB chief Viktor Chebrikov sought in writing an “authorization to make payments in U.S. dollars to the family members of Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi” from the CPSU in December 1985.

    Payments were authorized by a resolution, CPSU/CC/No 11228/3 dated 20 December 1985; and endorsed by the USSR Council of Ministers in Directive No 2633/Rs dated 20 December 1985. These payments had been coming since 1971, as payments received by Sonia Gandhi’s family and “have been audited in CPSU/CC resolution No 11187/22 OP dated 10/12/1984.

    In 1992 the media confronted the Russian government with the Albats disclosure. The Russian government confirmed the veracity of the disclosure and defended it as necessary for “Soviet ideological interest.”

    In 2008 Sonia’s party appointed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Manmohan Singh was the only international leader to initially refuse data provided by the German authorities during 2008 Liechtenstein tax affair.

    Sonia wrote in Indian Parliament’s Who’s who: she has an English diploma from Cambridge University. Cambridge University refuted Antonia Maino’s claim being a student at any time. Later, Sonia’s champchas told in the Indian Parliament, it was a typographic error. And poor Rajiv Gandhi fall into a trap for an uneducated waitress, which costs his life later (with Bofors scandal, Sonia’s boyfriend Ottavio Quattrochi who gave Anton Balasingam several millions in Paris to request Velupillai Prabaharan to kill Rajiv Gandhi).

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