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Everything you need to know about: Sri lanka Independence Day

June 30, 2021

Celebrating independence from the UK is a major national event in Sri Lanka – here’s the political, social, and cultural lowdown on its significance

Sri Lankan Independence Day (February 4) is usually marked by a grand military parade in the capital of Colombo ; there are significant political speeches and ceremonies, followed by a festive series of cultural programs that highlight the best and brightest of Sri Lankan music, dance, food, and history. This is a nation-wide celebration, so no matter where you are on the island, you’re bound to catch a glimpse of regional pageants and festivities; travellers in Colombo will be able to get an up-close and personal view of the military parade, airshows, fireworks, ceremonial double-ended drums ( magul bera ), the chanting of the Jayamangala Gatha, and the President’s iconic flag-hoisting ceremony. The holiday is also known as National Day.

A brief history of Sri Lankan independence

Once known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka was a major economic hub and port for the British Empire, which granted it semi-independent ‘dominion’ status in 1948. Sri Lanka became a full republic on May 22, 1972 and is formally known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was Don Stephen Senanayake, who is widely considered the Father of the Nation. In 1972, William Gopallawa became the first President of Sri Lanka, replacing the British Empire’s Governor. Independence Day is also observed by Sri Lankan diaspora communities in other countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Singapore, and the United States. (Fun fact: Sri Lanka had the first female head of government in the modern world, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who was elected in 1960 and served for three terms).

What to expect

Bars, clubs, and liquor stores will be closed. Independence Day is considered to be an extremely important national holiday, which means that banks, post offices, and other public institutions won’t be open either, so plan ahead if you need anything official done. In the capital city, Colombo, traffic detours and road closures are also common during this period; leading up to February 4 – and of course, on the day itself – there are usually rehearsals held at Galle Face Green that cause road congestion along on Galle Main Road, from Colpetty Junction to the old parliament roundabout.

Locals in front of the Indra Wine Shop in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka.

Get ready for plenty of intricate, traditional dances, as well as music, and arts-and-crafts pageants all across the country – no matter where you are, locals will be celebrating with the best of Sri Lanka’s cultural offerings. On a local level, schoolchildren participate in elaborate drama and music competitions in tribute to Independence Day, usually with themes of unity and multiculturalism to represent Sri Lankan’s different demographics. This is an excellent time to experience the full spread of traditional Sri Lankan food, including favourites like kiribath (milk rice), varai (fritters), hoppers (thin, fermented rice-flour 'bowls'), and of course, the irresistible variety of Sri Lankan ‘short eats,’ or snacks.

Kiribath or milk rice is a traditional Sri Lankan food made from rice and coconut milk.

Galle Face Green

Galle Face Green is the usual site for Colombo’s Independence Day celebrations – this bustling 12-acre coastal park was once the site of cannon warfare between the Dutch and Portuguese; there are still historic cannons sitting along the beach (and a yearly Cannonball Run to commemorate an unfortunate misfiring in 1840). It features a 1.6km-long oceanside promenade and is considered to be the largest open-air space in Colombo. Everyday sights here include food and drink vendors, busy families, joggers, young people on dates, and kite-flying. Due to its location and size, Galle Face Green is also a popular site for major political rallies and civic events, although everyone tends to put their differences aside for Independence Day preparations. Today, it hosts an extravagant annual parade to pay tribute to the role of the military in Sri Lanka’s struggle for freedom, and its peaceful transition to independence.

Old colonial canon on the Galle Face Green beach in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Pre-parade religious ceremonies

Sri Lanka is home to several major religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Roman Catholicism, and other Christian denominations. Each community celebrates Independence Day by holding religious ceremonies at their respective temples and mosques during the week preceding February 4. Visitors in Colombo can observe the diverse, multicultural range of celebrations that includes Buddhist pirith chanting at Independence Square, and Hindu puja ceremonies at major kovils (temples).

Drum player at a colourful Hindu festival in Nainativu Nagapooshani Amman Temple in Sri Lanka

A united front

The annual military parade usually steals the spotlight, featuring a patriotic joint effort between the army, navy, and air force, as well as the police, Special Task Force, Civil Security Department, and National Cadet Corps. Parade-watchers can expect neat rows of infantry, armoured tanks, planes, helicopters, mounted cavalry, and navy craft. The President gives an annual address – considered a significant annual event for the country, in which he covers the nation’s past sacrifices and struggles – and leads a two-minute period of silence to commemorate past war heroes.

Photo 5:  Independence Day parade rehearsal in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The lighting of the lamp

Oil lamp lighting ceremonies are used to mark major events in Sri Lanka, and Independence Day is no exception. For many Sri Lankans, the oil lamp symbolises of a person’s journey through life, marriage (sometimes called ‘second life’), and ultimately, death. On a larger scale, lamp lighting often represents unity, which is deeply representative of Sri Lankans peacefully coming together to achieve independence from colonial rule. The National Museum of Colombo boasts a wonderful collection of oil lamps, which are often embellished with beautiful brasswork animals and other decorative details.

Exhibits inside the National Museum of Colombo in Sri Lanka

Flags, flags, and more flags

What else could be more symbolic of national pride than the hoisting of one’s national symbol? Expect to see the fluttering orange, green, and maroon flag – complete with a gold lion holding a kastane sword – adorning houses, businesses, and flagpoles. The three main colours of the flag represent the three main demographics in Sri Lanka – the maroon for the majority Sinhalese, the orange for Sri Lankan Tamils, and the green for Sri Lankan Muslims. The lion symbol dates back to 486 BC, when the first king of Sri Lanka, Vijaya, brought a royal standard with a lion from India to Sri Lanka.

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All that You Need to Know about the Sri Lanka Independence Day History!

British and Sri Lankan flags flying high, signifying the history of the Sri Lankan Independence day.

The graceful history woven around the splendid island of Sri Lanka is just simply wonderful. Starting from the civilization of Naga-Yakka tribe, with the arrival of Prince Vijaya and his 700 followers, passing a series of successive ancient kingdoms, the journey Sri Lanka came was full of delight, and excitement. However, next, Sri Lanka passed a period of colonization . Of course, it is this period that paved the path for the Sri Lanka independence movement. Thus, it is something that can never be missed. Specially, when studying about the history of Sri Lanka , as well as about the Sri Lankan independence day history. 

Hence, we thought of sharing with you the story behind these incidents, helping you have a good overview on the olden days of this charming isle. So, why not? Let us start getting to know about this epoch of the Sri Lankan saga. For a better understanding, let us start with the British colonial period.     

Who ruled Sri Lanka Before Independence? 

If you have an idea about the colonization history timeline of Sri Lanka, you might know that Sri Lanka was first colonized by Portuguese. Next, Sri Lanka was under Dutch rule. Finally British colonized Sri Lanka, in 1815.

Of course, Sri Lankans were happy with the British rule. They proceeded ahead with their day to day lives at first. Yet, with time, Sri Lankans hated the British rule. They needed Sri Lanka to regain freedom, and to have a self-rule. Thus, the struggles against colonial power began. Many struggles came up, and all of them had an important role when considering the Sri Lanka independence day history. Some of them are as follows.

Uva Rebellion

Matale rebel.

Below sections highlight those most significant incidents that took place with regard in detail. 

Accordingly, in 1817, the Uva rebellion took place. There were two closest incidents that led to this uprising. One was the obstacles Sri Lankans faced when enjoying the traditional privileges. The other was the appointment of a Moor loyal to British as an official. Keppetipola Disawe launched the rebellion. Moreover, several chiefs joined and supported the rebel. However, the rebel could not achieve the expected success, owing to poor leadership, and several other reasons. 

And then in 1848, the Matale rebel came up. Hennedige Francisco Fernando (Puran Appu) and Gongalegoda Banda led it. The Sinhalese army left from Dambulla to capture Kandy from the British. They attacked the British buildings, and destroyed tax records as well. However, British troops took Puran Appu as a prisoner, and they executed him. Yet, Gongalegoda Banda and his younger brother escaped. Later, British issued a warrant to arrest Gongalegoda Banda. Moreover, they declared a reward for any who provided information about him. However, Malay soldiers were able to arrest Gongalegoda Banda, and the British kept him as a prisoner in Kandy. 

The Buddhist Resurgence in Sri Lanka

From ancient times, Buddhism remained the main religion in Sri Lanka. Of course, there were instances where Hinduism flourished in this island owing to the South Indian invasions. Moreover, Islamism emerged from some parts of the island due to the foreign traders who arrived in Sri Lanka. Yet, the majority of the great monarchs were Buddhists. Thus, their main contributions were towards flourishing Buddhism in the island. 

However, with the colonizations, Catholicism, and Christianity came up. The British worked hard with regard. Moreover, they attempted to provide Protestant Christian education to the younger generations of the country. Yet, the efforts could not reach a success as per their expectation. That was because of the Buddhist resurgence that took place during this period. Several eminent personalities aided this Buddhist resurgence. Further, foreigners such as Col. Henry Steel Olcott were among them as well. Owing to their activities, Buddhism flourished on this island again. Also a group of Buddhist institutions came up with their sponsorship. 

In the course, Sinhala Buddhist revivalists such as Anagarika Dharmapala emerged influencing the society. Many individuals were with him. Hence, it was more like the emergence of a group of people striving towards a similar cause. However, Anagarika Dharmapala, together with his community, could create a Sinhala-Buddhist consciousness.  

1915 Sinhala Muslum Riots

In 1915, an ethnic riot arose in the city of Colombo. It was against Muslims. Moreover, Buddhists, as well as Christians took part in it. Besides, British understood that this riot could later turn out to be against them as well. Hence, they heavy-handedly reacted to this riot. As a result, Dharmapala broke his leg. His brother passed away there. Also, the British government arrested several hundreds of Sinhalese Buddhists for supporting this riot as well. Among the imprisoned were several future leaders of the independence movement. Some of them highlighting characters among them were F.R. Senanayake, D. S. Senanayake, Anagarika Dharmapala, Baron Jayatilaka, Edwin Wijeyeratne, A. E. Goonesinghe, John Silva, Piyadasa Sirisena, etc.

Their imprisonment was indeed a great loss for the continuation of the struggles. Yet, nothing could hold back the Sri Lankan motive. Sir James Peiris, with the support of Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, and E.W. Perera, submitted a secret memorandum to the Secretary of States for Colonies. It was a plea to repeal the martial law. Also, it described the cruelty of the Police, led by the British, Dowbiggin. However, these attempts succeeded, as the British government ordered the release of the imprisoned leaders. Further, several British officers were replaced as well. 

Founding the Ceylon National Congress

In December, 1919, a nationalist political party was founded. Yes, you guessed it right! It was named Ceylon National Congress (CNC) .

This group was a combination of the members from the Ceylon National Association and the Ceylon Reform League. However, the Ceylon National Congress played a vital role in Sri Lanka’s journey of attaining independence. The founding president of the CNC Party was Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam. Later, eminent personalities such as Sir James Peiris, D. B. Jayatilaka, E. W. Perera, C. W. W. Kannangara, Patrick de Silva Kularatne, H. W. Amarasuriya, W. A. de Silva, George E. de Silva and Edwin Wijeyeratneled the party. However, it was this CNC party that paved the path for the formation of the United National Party as well.  

Sri Lanka Independence Movements and the Youth Leagues

The youth of the country were highly interested and involved in the Sri Lanka independence movement. Moreover, their utmost motive was not only achieving freedom, but also seeking justice for the citizens of the country. It is no secret that it was Dharmapala’s ethnic group that paved the way for the youth to take part in the independence movement. However, it was the Tamil Youth of Jaffna, that gave the head start for the youth leagues. Accordingly, they formed Jaffna Students. It was later popular as the Jaffna Youth Congress (JYC). They argued that the Donoughmore reforms did not concede sufficient self-governance. Thus, they successfully led a boycott of the first state council elections that took place in Jaffna, in 1931. 

Meanwhile, more youth leagues came up from South Sri Lanka. Intellectuals who returned from Britain, after completing their education in foreign states, supported these leagues. However, the ministers of the CNC demanded more power from the colonial government. They even petitioned the government in order to get their demands. Yet, they never demanded for independence, or at least the dominion statues. Nevertheless, owing to their demands, as well as due to a severe campaign of the Youth leagues, the CNC ministers had to withdraw their ‘Ministers’ memorandum’. 

Nevertheless, the youth leagues that came up during that period actively took part in several activities. And of course yes! All those activities had some kind of an influence in the journey of the Sri Lanka Independence movement. Thus, we thought of having a quick glance over those highlights as well. Some of them are as follows.

  • Suriya- Mal Movement

Formation of Lanka Sama Samaja Party

Of course, they were some interesting movements. They had a uniqueness of their own. Continue reading, to get to know what they are! 

Suriya-Mal Movement

As the British rule continued, a poppy sale was carried out in Sri Lanka. It was with relation to the Armistice Day, which was on 11th November. Moreover, it was a project to support the British ex-servicemen to the detriment of Sri Lankan ex-servicemen.

However, Aelian Perera, who could not tolerate this activity, started a rival sale of Suriya flowers (flowers of the Portia tree) focusing on the same day. It was with the aim of aiding the needy Ceylon ex-servicemen. Later, the South Colombo Youth League joined hands with this movement and revived it. British authorities tried to interrupt this effort of the youth. Yet, they failed. Thereafter, until the second world war, groups of youth sold Suriya flowers, in competition with the poppy sellers.

Indeed, this is one of the most significant milestones with regard to the involvement of youth leagues in the Sri Lanka independence movement. The Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), also known as the Marxist Lanka Sama Samaja Party was the first party that had the sole motive of demanding independence. And the speciality is that it grew out of the youth.

Moreover, their aims were specific, since what they aimed at was complete national independence. Also, re-gaining nationalism in terms of production, distribution, as well as exchange was associated with their objectives. Moreover, they also worked hard to abolish the ethnic inequality, caste inequality, and gender inequality as well. Going beyond, they also demanded that colonial authorities replace the official language by Sinhala and Tamil. Yet, the demanded replacement did not take place, and English continued to be the official languages until 1956. Still, their efforts were impressive. They could strengthen the Sri Lanka Independence day movement.

The Sri Lankan Society By Then

Owing to the Colebrook reforms, a number of opportunities and income paths emerged. Thus, the castes and status of the traditional Sri Lankan society diminished. Instead, a new middle-class was formed within the society.

Most of them were businessmen, and they were educated. Among them were even individuals who completed their education in foreign countries. Thus, they had a good exposure, and they had a good overview on the political status of the country. All these things made this new middle-class get involved and lead the political campaigns of Sri Lanka. Hence, their involvement can be seen significant when considering the Sri Lanka independence day history. 

Solbury Reforms and the Sri Lanka Independence

However, the British government appointed the Soulbury Commission. Their task was to study and make recommendations for Sri Lanka constitutional reforms. The members of the commission arrived in Sri Lanka in December, 1944. The report of the commission came out in September, 1945. Accordingly, the commission had recommended a constitution that offers Sri Lankans the full power of the internal activities of the country. Schedules were made for the first parliament election under the Solbury reforms. Yet, the British authorities declared nothing with regard to the grant of independence for Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, Sri Lankan political leaders such as D. S. Senanayake argued detailing the rights that Sri Lankans have for independence. However, after much effort, and struggles, just two months before the scheduled parliament election, British authorities declared that they would grant Sri Lanka the freedom to enjoy the facilities of an independent country. 

Then, in August 1947, the first parliamentary election took place. As per the results, having won the majority of the seats, the United Nationals Party with the leadership of D.S. Senanayake could establish the government. Yet, the British rule still had power in terms of foreign affairs, and military. The reason behind this was the significant geographical location of Sri Lanka, which was highly beneficial in terms of foreign affairs and military activities. 

Nevertheless, D.S. Senanayake could recognize the wishes of the British authorities. Hence, he took actions to sign treaties with them. Time passed by, and later, the British government approved the Ceylon Freedom Act. Accordingly, the British government lost the power to interfere with the activities related to governing Sri Lanka from 4th February, 1948 . Of course, with that, Sri Lanka attained Independence, and it happened to be the independence day of Sri Lanka. 

Sri Lanka Independence Day Celebration

However, it was on 10th February, 1948 that the first parliament of the independent Sri Lanka assembled. On that day, D.S.Senanayake took down the British flag, hoisted the Sri Lankan national flag, and symbolized the establishment of Sri Lankan rule. 

Yet, from 1948 onward, Sri Lanka celebrated independence day on 4th February each year, commemorating the national heroes, and the efforts behind this achievement. The official independence day celebration takes place having the president as the chief guest. The president hoists the national flag, and addresses the country. Parades, and cultural performances also take place as a part of this official celebration annually. Meanwhile, Sri Lankans all around the island, hoist the national flag on this day, and join the celebration. 

The Bottom Line | Sri Lanka Independence Day History

Likewise, when considering the Sri Lanka independence day history, it is clear that the journey of achieving independence had not been that much easy. It was a collective effort of several hundreds. Moreover, it was the strength of the unity of Sinhalese. However, even after achieving independence on 4th February, 1948 Sri Lanka was under dominion state. It was only on 22nd May, 1972 that Sri Lanka achieved the status of a republic. It was after that Sri Lanka was called the ‘republic of Sri Lanka’. Besides, more than 70 years have passed after Sri Lanka gained independence. Sri Lanka passed several milestones after independence day as well. If you are willing to get to know about them as well, do not forget to check our article on, ‘ Significant milestones of Sri Lanka after independence ’.  

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Short- and long-term consequences, what was the reaction that the ltte aimed to achieve, bibliography.

  • It's Been 20 years since the LTTE Suicide Bomb Attack on the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic | Sri Dalada Maligawa. 2019. It's Been 20 years since the LTTE Suicide Bomb Attack on the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic | Sri Dalada Maligawa. [ONLINE] Available at: https://sridaladamaligawa.lk/its-been-20-years-after-ltte-suicide-bomb-attack-temple-sacred-tooth-relic. [Accessed 31 October 2019].
  • 11 Killed in Truck Bombing At Sri Lanka Buddhist Site - The New York Times. 2019. 11 Killed in Truck Bombing At Sri Lanka Buddhist Site - The New York Times. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/1998/01/26/world/11-killed-in-truck-bombing-at-sri-lanka-buddhist-site.html. [Accessed 31 October 2019].
  • Los Angeles Times. 2019. 11 Killed in Assault on Buddhist Shrine - Los Angeles Times. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-jan-26-mn-12396-story.html. [Accessed 31 October 2019].
  • 8 Killed in Truck Bombing at Kandy, Sri Lanka Buddhist Site. 2019. 8 Killed in Truck Bombing at Kandy, Sri Lanka Buddhist Site. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.anusha.com/kandy.htm. [Accessed 31 October 2019].

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Facets of Sri Lanka’s history and Independence

sri lanka independence day short essay

Sri Lankans across the island still live freely and independently because of the lionhearted fighters for freedom Mother Lanka gave birth to more than seven decades ago. The National Day or Independence Day which falls on February 4 annually, is a day when every Sri Lankan commemorates the country’s independence from British rule in 1948.

Independence Day is celebrated through flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades, cultural and other performances which showcase the cultural traditions strengths and wealth of Sri Lanka.

The Independence Ceremony

D.S. Senanayake

D.S. Senanayake

Normally, this event takes place in Colombo where the President hoists the National Flag and addresses the nation.

In the President’s speech, he highlights the achievements of the Government during the past year, raises important issues and calls for further development of the country.

The President also pays

tribute to the national heroes of Sri Lanka and observes two minutes’ silence in their memory.

Military parades

A military parade is also held. The military parades showcase the power of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and the Civil Defence Force.

The commitment, bravery, national unity, and determination to achieve peace are aroused in the minds of the people, who also thank patriots who fought and laid down their lives for the country.

The Portuguese arrive

After the arrival of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in India, the Portuguese learnt that Ceylon as Sri Lanka was then known, produced good quality cinnamon. During that time spices like cinnamon had a big demand in the European market.

A Portuguese Naval officer, Lourenço de Almeida and others who were on a mission to capture Muslim merchant ships got caught in a storm and unexpectedly landed in Ceylon in the year 1505. At first, they said that they were here for trading. However, they later interfered in politics.

The Portuguese era

Sri Lanka did not become a colony of Portugal until King Dharmapala of Kotte handed over the region of Kotte to the Portuguese as a deed of gift in 1580. The rule of the Portuguese started to much aversion by the people of Kotte. The Kings of Kandy led the nation into many battles to set free the Kingdom of Kotte from the Portuguese with little success and later the Kings of Kandy had to seek help from the Dutch.

The Dutch arrival

sri lanka independence day short essay

In 1658, the Dutch took control of the maritime provinces from the Portuguese. The Dutch were used by the Sinhalese king to counter the Portuguese who wanted to expand their rule. The coming of the Dutch led to the Portuguese having two enemies to deal with. The Portuguese were forced to sign a treaty with the Dutch and come to an agreement with their enemies.

Finally, the Portuguese left Ceylon. Even after the Portuguese period ended a part of their culture remained in Sri Lanka.

Battles by the Dutch

During the years 1659–1668, the Dutch attacked the kingdom of Kandy but the Kings of Kandy managed to win almost every battle and the Dutch had to retreat. By the year 1762 the dissents between the ruler of Kandy and the Dutch started increasing even more. As a result, the ruler of Kandy had to seek help from the British.

The British arrive

In 1796, the British arrived and took control of the maritime provinces from The Dutch. Different elements of Dutch culture are now integrated into Sri Lanka’s culture. The islands of the Palk Strait were renamed during Dutch rule in the Dutch language. Among them were Kayts and Delft. There is a part of the Sri Lankan population with Dutch surnames, often people of mixed Dutch and Sri Lankan heritage, who are known as Burghers within the community.

The British take over

The British period is the history of Sri Lanka between 1815 and 1948. During this era the fall of the Kandyan Kingdom into the hands of the British Empire took place. It ended over 2,300 years of the Sinhalese monarchy on the island.

The British rule in the island lasted until 1948 when the country gained Independence following the Independence Movement’s fight for freedom.

Although the British monarch was the Head of State, in practice, his or her functions were exercised in the colony by the colonial Governor, who acted on the instructions from the British Government.

The British found that the hill country of Sri Lanka was suited to grow coffee, tea and rubber. By the mid-19th century, Ceylon Tea had become a key feature of the British market.

The first rebellion against the British took place in 1818 but was not successful. The leaders of this rebellion were Keppetipola Disawa, Kiwlegedara Mohottala, Madugalle Disawe and Butawe Rate Rala.

Then again, there was a second rebellion in 1848, this time led by Veera Puran Appu, Gongalegoda Banda and Dingirala. But this rebellion too did not achieve its main goal, freedom from British rule.

The Independence Movement

sri lanka independence day short essay

The transfer of power was generally known as a peaceful transfer of power from the British administration to Ceylonese (Sri Lankan) representatives. The Independence Movement was initiated around the turn of the 20th century and was led mostly by the educated middle class.

Independence

It succeeded when on February 4, 1948 Ceylon was granted independence as the Dominion of Ceylon.

Dominion status within the British Commonwealth was retained for the next 24 years until May 22, 1972 when it became a republic and was renamed as the Republic of Sri Lanka.

The personalities who led the nation to independence are honoured as National Heroes.

The first Prime Minister Don Stephen Senanayake

(D.S. Senanayake) (1884 – 1952) was an independence activist who served as the first Prime Minister of Ceylon from 1947 to 1952. He played a major role in the Independence Movement, first supporting his brother F.R. Senanayake.

After his brother died in 1926, D.S. took his place in the Legislative Council and led the Independence Movement to success. His most distinguished contribution to the nation was his agricultural policy. He is known as the ‘Father of the Nation.’

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sri lanka independence day short essay

National Independence Day of Sri Lanka

The national flag is hoisted and the national anthem sung, the traditional lamp is lit and the processions begin, complete with meticulously coordinated military parades, firing of canons and various religious and cultural performances, all to paying tribute to the forefathers of the land for their glorious feat. Sri Lanka celebrates the gaining of her independence from Colonial rule with magnificent pomp and pageantry and the spirit of patriotism resonating in every street corner.

A Day of Celebration

The Independence Day in Sri Lanka is celebrated annually on the 4th February . Sri Lanka gained Independence from the British on February 4, 1948. The day is a national holiday in Sri Lanka . It is celebrated all over the country with flag-hoisting ceremonies, dances, parades and cultural performances. The main celebrations take place in Colombo . Here the President raises the national flag and delivers a speech at a nationally televised event.

Many struggles were made in the history of Sri Lanka for the cause of freedom. And on the Independence Day all of those who fought for this are remembered and celebrated. But the independence movement against the British is especially recalled.

In the President’s speech, he highlights the achievements of the government during the past year, raises important issues and requests the people to join together in commemorating this historic day. The President also pays tribute to the national heroes of Sri Lanka , observing two minutes of silence in their memory.

A great military parade is also performed. In recent years it showcased the power of the army, navy, air force, police and the civil defense force. And the commitment, bravery, national unity and determination to achieve peace is recollected in the minds of the Sri Lankan people.

The History of Peace

D.S. Senanayake became the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka after we got the independence from the British in 1948. He emerged as the leader of the Sri Lankan independence movement that lead to the establishment of self-rule in Sri Lanka. The legal head of State was Queen Elizabeth’s governor at that time.

The first President of Sri Lanka was William Gopallawa in 1972. This replaced the Governor’s role. Until 1972, Ceylon was a Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state and Queen of Ceylon.

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Home Ruwantissa Abeyratne What Independence Really Means — Some Reflections on Independence Day

What Independence Really Means — Some Reflections on Independence Day

By Sri Lanka Guardian • February 04, 2024 • Columns feature Ruwantissa Abeyratne • Comments : 0

An independent individual possesses the capacity to decide and behave according to their own volition without undue pressure or limitations from others.
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sri lanka independence day short essay

What Independence Really Means — Some Reflections on Independence Day

An independent individual possesses the capacity to decide and behave according to their own volition without undue pressure or limitations from others.

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Independence is no substitute for good government. ~ Sir Ivor Jennings

The 4 th   of February marks the 76 th  anniversary of “independence” of Ceylon from British rule.  Simplistically put, independence means freedom from external control.  In expanded terms, independence typically denotes freedom from external dominance or sway that could pertain to individuals, collectives, or countries. An independent individual possesses the capacity to decide and behave according to their own volition without undue pressure or limitations from others. Likewise, when a collective or country attains independence, it signifies their ability to self-govern and control their own affairs without external intervention.

Independence may materialize in diverse areas, including political, economic, or personal realms. It is commonly regarded as an essential human entitlement and a crucial element of self-rule. 

From the perspective of the 4 th  of February and its significance to Sri Lanka, the statement of Sir Ivor Jennings – first Vice Chancellor of the University of Ceylon – that independence is no substitute for good government,  is linked to the fact that he frequently highlighted the importance of legal structures in creating and upholding organization, consistency, and administration in liberated countries. He understood that while legal frameworks offer a sense of order and direction, they might also encroach upon independence if not meticulously formulated or if excessively shaped by external pressures.

It’s evident that Jennings accepted that laws, when applied suitably, serve to protect personal liberties and entitlements, thereby fostering autonomy and sovereignty. Nonetheless, he also believed  that laws could be exploited or distorted to curtail autonomy.

It can be assumed that every citizen of a country celebrating independence could inevitably ask the question “ Do I, as an individual, have independence in a system of governance that has not given me the unfettered right and freedom to meet my needs?” 

This brings to bear the question of what those needs might be.

Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow introduced his theory of human motivation, known as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, in 1943. This theory proposes that individuals have a hierarchical structure of needs that must be fulfilled in a specific order, beginning with basic physiological needs and progressing to more complex psychological needs. Maslow depicted these needs in a pyramid with five tiers:  Physiological needs : fundamental needs for survival including food, water, medicine, shelter, sleep, and warmth;  Safety needs : once physiological needs are met, individuals seek safety and security, encompassing physical safety, financial stability, health, and environmental stability;  Love and belongingness needs : following the fulfillment of safety needs, individuals desire social connections, love, and a sense of belonging, which involve relationships with family, friends, romantic partners, and community engagement.  Esteem needs : With social needs satisfied, individuals pursue self-esteem and the esteem of others, which entail feelings of achievement, recognition, respect, and confidence;  Self-actualization needs : At the pinnacle of the hierarchy are self-actualization needs, focusing on realizing one’s full potential, pursuing personal growth, creativity, and fulfilling unique talents and aspirations.

Maslow posited that individuals are driven to fulfill each level of needs sequentially, with lower-level needs serving as motivators until satisfied, enabling progression to higher-level needs. Once a need is met, it no longer serves as a primary motivator, prompting individuals to ascend the hierarchy in pursuit of the next level of needs. Maslow’s hierarchy continues to wield significant influence in psychology and other fields, shaping our comprehension of human motivation and behavior.

The philosophy of Sir Ivor Jennings can be taken to mean that these needs can be subject to good governance but they must not be suppressed. In other words, the first two in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: basic physiological needs which ensures good health; and personal security take primacy in good governance and independence from outside control.  Firstly, on the right to good health and sustenance,  it can be said that throughout the course of human history, a fundamental truth has become evident: the prosperity of a nation hinges on the well-being of its population. This sentiment has been expressed by various thinkers across different eras.

Virgil emphasized the primacy of health, asserting that true wealth lies in one’s physical well-being. Ralph Waldo Emerson echoed this sentiment, stating that health is the foremost form of wealth. Li Keqiang conveyed a similar message, underscoring the vital role of a healthy populace in fostering national prosperity and happiness. Benjamin Disraeli linked good health with happiness, recognizing it as the cornerstone of a thriving society. Mahatma Gandhi contrasted the value of health with material wealth, emphasizing its true significance in comparison to material riches.

Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights  emphasizes the entitlement of every individual to a decent standard of living, encompassing essential needs such as food, clothing, housing, medical care, and social services. It underscores the importance of healthcare in promoting health and well-being, highlighting the responsibility of nations to ensure universal access to medical services.

Similarly, Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), ratified in 1966, acknowledges the right to the highest attainable level of physical and mental health. This provision obligates countries to implement measures aimed at enhancing public health, preventing diseases, and controlling health-related challenges.

The second need – security – calls for public safety and freedom from punishment from exercising the freedom of speech, assembly, and protest.

Often corruption is the foremost restriction to a person’s independent demand and need for food, water, medicine and shelter. At its essence, corruption entails the misuse of power or authority by individuals, organizations, or governing bodies for personal gain. Typically, this exploitation comes at the expense of the common good or the welfare of others. Corruption encompasses deceitful, unethical, or illegal behaviors such as bribery, fraud, nepotism, favoritism, and other forms of abusing entrusted positions.

It is widely acknowledged that corruption can manifest in various ways and is pervasive across both public and private sectors, impacting governments, businesses, institutions, and society as a whole. This phenomenon undermines fundamental values like fairness, transparency, and accountability, eroding public trust in institutions and impeding social and economic progress. Recognizing corruption as a significant obstacle, many nations and global entities are actively engaged in combating it through legal reforms, enhancing transparency, fortifying institutional frameworks, and fostering public awareness. The battle against corruption is crucial for nurturing a society that upholds principles of justice and equality, ensuring that resources are utilized for the collective benefit of all.

True independence ultimately means good governance that provides the individual with the autonomy to meet his needs. Good governance is no longer confined to scholars and practitioners but has become a widespread concern among the general population. This increased interest can be attributed to higher levels of education and awareness, often referred to as “civic literacy,” as well as the emergence of complex global issues and a heightened international consciousness that transcends national borders.

As a result, there is now a pressing need for empirical evidence of good governance to equip the public with the tools necessary to shape governance models that meet their expectations. This in turn reflects the independence of a country and its citizens. While local methodologies exist for assessing quality of life and global review processes like those conducted by the World Bank evaluate governance on a national scale, there is a lack of general indicators to gauge whether governance is improving. Moreover, there is ongoing debate on  whether evaluating governance can actually contribute to its improvement.

Finally, the education system of a country must promote autonomy of thinking and creativity that would provide the child with independence to grow, unfettered by parochial teaching methods.

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Ruwantissa Abeyratne

Dr. Abeyratne teaches aerospace law at McGill University. Among the numerous books he has published are Air Navigation Law (2012) and Aviation Safety Law and Regulation (to be published in 2023). He is a former Senior Legal Counsel at the International Civil Aviation Organization.

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Local and foreign leaders, diplomats and international organisations have all issued messages to mark Sri Lanka’s 75th Independence Day. Sri Lanka’s 75th Anniversary of Independence from colonial rule is being observed during an extremely critical and challenging time in the country, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said in his Independence Day message. There is a new economic [...]

While the country has been placed under lockdown, making newspaper distribution impossible, the Sunday Times team produced your favourite Sunday newspaper in digital format to bring you the latest news, feature stories and political commentaries. We are happy to announce that we are giving you free access to our digital paper. Click here to access the free epaper . If you like to be a subscriber to our regular epaper please click here .

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75 years of Independence: Best wishes for a brighter future

Local and foreign leaders, diplomats and international organisations have all issued messages to mark Sri Lanka’s 75th Independence Day.

Sri Lanka’s 75th Anniversary of Independence from colonial rule is being observed during an extremely critical and challenging time in the country, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said in his Independence Day message.

There is a new economic and social reform agenda for the country with the objectives focusing first on recovery and then on renewed development, Mr. Wickremesinghe said.

“It is imperative for us to unite in its implementation so we can emerge with a high level of economic prosperity. I pledge today to make the extremely difficult though vital decisions to achieve this goal with courage and determination. I anticipate the confidence and support of you, our country’s people, in this endeavour,” he stressed.

“Being trapped in narrow chauvinism and communalism is not the way to experience true freedom, and to achieve true freedom, we must unite as citizens with equal rights for all. We must adopt a policy of unity in diversity, and a commitment to safeguarding the needs and self-esteem of all citizens,” Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said in his message.

There is no better opportunity than this anniversary to make a mark on the world map as one country, an undivided Sri Lankan nation, and a community that appreciates each other’s differences, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said. He called on Sri Lankans to dedicate this day for a sustainable future and eternal freedom.

In his message, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said as a free nation, Sri Lanka achieved much progress, built a literate youth force and provided excellent health and education services to the people.

“However, during the recent past our country faced several challenges leading to economic setbacks. The Government has taken a series of actions to ensure economic recovery, while increasing agricultural production to attain self-sufficiency and food security. Our ardent desire is to overcome challenges and build an economically sound progressive nation,” he asserted.

US President Joe Biden meanwhile, conveyed his best wishes to President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Sri Lankan people on the 75th Independence Anniversary.

In a letter to President Wickremesinghe, Mr Biden said he looks forward to strengthening and deepening the bilateral friendship even further and, together, continuing to advance the shared values and vision for a peaceful, prosperous and secure future for the people of the two countries.

“We value Sri Lanka’s partnership and the resilience of its people, and we welcome progress the country continues to make to emerge from the current crisis, including its reform efforts to ensure a strong democracy, stable economy, and good governance to address the needs of all its citizens. We reaffirm our continued support and look forward to many more years of people, progress, and partnership together,” US Ambassador Julie Chung said in a message.

Others took to Twitter to send their best wishes to Sri Lanka. Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar extended warm congratulations to Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, the Government and Sri Lanka’s people on 75 years of Independence. “Guided by our Neighbourhood First policy, India will always remain a dependable partner and a reliable friend,” he added.

Wishing Sri Lanka, a happy Independence Day, the United Nations office in Sri Lanka said: “The UN remains committed to working with the Sri Lankan people to advance peace, human rights, and sustainable development. Together we can realise a shared vision of Sri Lanka where everyone can reach their full potential and enjoy their rights.”

“As Sri Lanka celebrates 75 years of Independence, we wish all Sri Lankans, and the Government a happy Independence Day. We look forward to another year of strong EU-Sri Lanka relations,” the delegation of the European Union in Sri Lanka said in a tweet.

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Essay on Sri Lanka

Students are often asked to write an essay on Sri Lanka in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

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100 Words Essay on Sri Lanka

Sri lanka: the pearl of the indian ocean.

Sri Lanka, also known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, is a beautiful island nation located south of India. It is a land of rich culture, history, and natural beauty.

Natural Beauty

Sri Lanka is blessed with stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and majestic mountains. The island is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, and blue whales.

Culture and History

Sri Lanka has a long and complex history, dating back to the arrival of the first settlers thousands of years ago. The island has been influenced by many different cultures over the centuries, including Indian, Chinese, and European. This diversity is reflected in Sri Lankan art, music, and dance.

People and Economy

Sri Lanka is home to a friendly and welcoming people. The island’s economy is based on tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing. Sri Lanka is a major producer of tea, rubber, and cinnamon.

250 Words Essay on Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, a beautiful island nation located in the Indian Ocean, is often referred to as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”. It is a land of rich history, diverse culture, and stunning natural beauty.

History and Culture

Sri Lanka has a long and fascinating history, dating back to ancient times. It was once ruled by powerful kingdoms, and its culture is a blend of various influences, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity.

Sri Lanka is blessed with stunning natural beauty, including lush green hills, cascading waterfalls, golden beaches, and diverse wildlife. The country is home to several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, where visitors can see elephants, leopards, and other exotic animals.

Beaches and Water Sports

Sri Lanka’s coastline is dotted with beautiful beaches, making it a popular destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy swimming, surfing, snorkeling, and diving in the crystal-clear waters.

Tea and Spices

Sri Lanka is famous for its tea and spices. The country produces some of the finest teas in the world, and visitors can visit tea plantations and learn about the tea-making process. Sri Lanka is also known for its aromatic spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.

500 Words Essay on Sri Lanka

Sri lanka: an enchanting island.

Sri Lanka, also known as Ceylon, is a beautiful island country located in the Indian Ocean, south of India. It is known for its diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. The country boasts stunning beaches, lush rainforests, ancient ruins, and a fascinating blend of ethnicities and religions.

A Glimpse into Sri Lanka’s History

Sri Lanka has a long and storied history, dating back to over 2,500 years. The country has been influenced by various cultures, including the Sinhalese, Tamil, Portuguese, Dutch, and British. The ruins of ancient kingdoms and temples, such as Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa, offer a glimpse into the country’s rich past.

Mesmerizing Landscapes and Pristine Beaches

Cultural tapestry and vibrant festivals.

Sri Lanka is known for its diverse culture, which is a blend of Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, and Burgher influences. The country is home to many festivals and celebrations, including the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Vesak Poya, and Deepavali. Traditional dances, music, and art forms reflect the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka.

Exploring Sri Lanka’s Natural Wonders

Sri Lanka is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The country’s national parks, such as Yala National Park and Udawalawe National Park, offer opportunities to spot elephants, leopards, sloth bears, and a variety of bird species. The island is also famous for its tea plantations, which produce some of the finest tea in the world.

A Culinary Journey

Sri Lankan cuisine is a blend of local and foreign influences, resulting in a unique and flavorful culinary experience. Rice and curry is a staple dish, accompanied by an array of flavorful curries, sambals, and condiments. The country is also known for its delicious street food, such as kotthu rotti and hoppers.

In conclusion, Sri Lanka is a captivating island nation that offers a wealth of experiences to visitors. From its ancient ruins and diverse landscapes to its vibrant culture and delicious cuisine, Sri Lanka is a perfect destination for those seeking a rich and memorable travel experience.

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Sri Lanka’s prehistoric record

Legendary origins, indo-aryan settlement in sri lanka, conversion to buddhism, the anuradhapura period, the polonnaruwa period, government and society, the advent and impact of irrigation, the fall of polonnaruwa.

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Sri Lanka

history of Sri Lanka , a survey of the notable events and people in the history of Sri Lanka from ancient times to the present day. The country, formerly known as Ceylon, is an island lying in the Indian Ocean and separated from peninsular India by the Palk Strait . Proximity to the Indian subcontinent has facilitated close cultural interaction between Sri Lanka and India from ancient times. At a crossroads of maritime routes traversing the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has also been exposed to cultural influences from other Asian civilizations.

sri lanka independence day short essay

Sri Lanka has had a continuous record of human settlement for more than two millennia, and its civilization has been shaped largely by that of the Indian subcontinent. The island’s two major ethnic groups, the Sinhalese and the Tamils , and its two dominant religions, Buddhism and Hinduism , made their way to the island from India , and Indian influence pervaded such diverse fields as art, architecture, literature, music, medicine, and astronomy.

Despite its obvious affinities with India, Sri Lanka nevertheless developed a unique identity over the ages that ultimately set it apart from its neighbour. Cultural traits brought from India necessarily underwent independent growth and change in Sri Lanka, owing in part to the island’s physical separation from the subcontinent. Buddhism, for instance, virtually disappeared from India, but it continued to flourish in Sri Lanka, particularly among the Sinhalese. Moreover, the Sinhalese language , which grew out of Indo-Aryan dialects from the mainland, eventually became indigenous solely to Sri Lanka and developed its own literary tradition.

Also important to Sri Lanka’s cultural development has been its position as the nexus of important maritime trade routes between Europe , the Middle East , and Asia. Long before the European discovery of an oceanic route to India in the 15th century, Sri Lanka was known to Greek, Roman, Persian, Armenian, Arab, Malay, and Chinese sailors. With the coming of the Europeans, however, the strategic importance of Sri Lanka increased, and Western maritime powers fought to control its shores. Both Sri Lanka and India came under European influence and colonial rule. This common experience worked to tighten the long-standing links between the two countries, and, with the attainment of independence in the mid-20th century, Sri Lankan and Indian social institutions and ideologies began to resonate more closely with each other.

Vintage, old-timey world map for Former Names of Current Places Quiz.

Geologically, Sri Lanka is an extension of peninsular India that separated from the mainland perhaps as recently as the Miocene Epoch (roughly 25 to 5 million years ago). Archaeological excavations undertaken since the late 20th century have indicated that the island already supported human inhabitants some 75,000 to 125,000 years ago. The earliest occupants of the region were, like other Paleolithic peoples, hunters and gatherers who made and used fairly rough stone tools. Finer tools made of quartz and occasionally of chert become visible in the archaeological record about 28,000 years ago. The artifacts from this era, which include many microliths (very small, sharp flakes of stone that can be used individually or hafted together to make a serrated edge), have been found throughout the country, especially among the grasslands of the hills and the sandy tracts of the coast. By about the 9th century bce , people had begun to experiment with food production and irrigation and had gained access to some of the iron tools produced on the continent.

Early settlement and the spread of Buddhism

Sri Lanka’s earliest human inhabitants of whom there is direct fossil evidence were hunter-gatherers in the area of Balangoda in the south. Urban settlements first appeared in the 10th century bce near Anuradhapura in north-central Sri Lanka. The ancestors of the Sinhalese , who were speakers of Indo-Aryan languages , migrated from northern India about the 5th century bce . The Tamils were probably later immigrants from areas of central, eastern, and southern India where Dravidian languages were spoken; their early migrations spanned a period from about the 3rd century bce to about 1200 ce .

Sri Lanka possesses a historical tradition preserved in written form by Buddhist chroniclers. The earliest of the extant chronicles is the Dipavamsa (“Island’s Chronicle”), compiled probably by Buddhist nuns in the 4th century ce . The Dipavamsa was followed by the Mahavamsa (“Great Chronicle”) and its continuation, called the Culavamsa (“Little Chronicle”). Together, these chronicles constitute a literary record of the establishment and growth of Sinhalese political power and of Sri Lankan Buddhism; however, the documents must be used with caution and always in conjunction with archaeological—especially epigraphic—material.

According to the Sinhalese tradition, as recorded in the Mahavamsa , the first Indian settlers on Sri Lanka were Prince Vijaya and his 700 followers, who landed on the west coast near Puttalam (5th century bce ). They had been banished for misconduct from the kingdom of Sinhapura in northern India by Vijaya’s father, King Sinhabahu, who put them all in a ship and drove them away. When Vijaya’s band landed on the island, it was inhabited by yaksha s (a type of spirit; perhaps referring here to human members of a cult of yaksha devotees), whom they defeated and chased into the interior. Vijaya married a yaksha princess and had two children by her. Later he drove her and the children away and sent to the Madurai court in India for a Pandu (probably referring to the Pandya dynasty ) princess and for wives for his 700 followers. Vijaya settled down to reign as king after a ceremonial enthronement and marriage and founded a dynasty . He had no heir to the throne, and toward the end of his reign he sent for his younger brother at Sinhapura. The brother, unwilling to leave his native land, sent his youngest son, Panduvasudeva, to Sri Lanka. Panduvasudeva landed with 32 followers at Gokanna (now Trincomalee ) on the east coast. He was enthroned at Upatissagama and continued the Vijaya dynasty.

The account of Sri Lanka’s settlement as presented in the Mahavamsa contains an element of historical fact—the settlers were Indo-Aryan peoples from northern India. However, controversy exists as to the exact provenance of the early settlers; the legends contain evidence pointing to both the northeastern and the northwestern parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain . Vijaya’s ancestors hailed from Bengal , in the northeast, but his father established himself subsequently in Gujarat , the area in northwest India from which the adventurers were put out to sea. Before arriving in Sri Lanka, their ship called at Supara, on the west coast of India. Their landing in Sri Lanka, at Tambapanni, near Puttalam, would indicate their arrival from western India. Some early tribal names occurring in Sri Lanka also suggest connections with northwestern India and the Indus River region.

While considerable evidence points to western India as the home of the first immigrants, it seems probable that a subsequent wave arrived from the vicinity of Bengal and Odisha in the northeast. One band of settlers landed in Sri Lanka at the east-coast port of Gokanna, a natural port of disembarkation for vessels arriving from the Bay of Bengal . The traditional accounts of the arrival of Panduvasudeva may portray a second wave of migration following the first mentioned in the Vijaya legend . Linguistic affinities between the early Sinhalese- and Prakrit -speaking peoples of eastern India strengthen the hypothesis of a migration from this area.

The tradition speaks primarily of settlement by conquest, and tribes of conquerors led by a warrior nobility would certainly have propelled the Indo-Aryan migration southward. Also important, however, was the pursuit of trade (as opposed to military conquest). Indo-Aryan merchants probably reached Sri Lanka while sailing down the Indian coast, and some of these merchants, motivated by a lucrative trade in Sri Lanka’s natural products, may have founded settlements.

The view that Indo-Aryan migrants laid the foundations of Sinhalese civilization increasingly has come into question since the late 20th century. Archaeological evidence has indicated that settled agriculture, tank irrigation, use of iron, and pottery were features present before the Indo-Aryan migrations. During the early phases of these migrations, a synthesis seems to have taken place between Indo-Aryan, pre-Indo-Aryan, and possibly Dravidian elements to create the early Sinhalese culture of the Anuradhapura period, which spanned the 3rd century bce to the 10th century ce . The chronicled account of Vijaya’s confrontation with the yaksha s and the search for consorts in the Pandu kingdom of Madurai (if this may be presumed to be the Pandya Tamil kingdom of southern India) point to such integration .

In any case, Indo-Aryan settlements grew in different parts of the island from about the 5th century bce . The settlers came in numerous clans or tribes; the most powerful were the Sinhalese, who eventually gave their name to the descendants of the various groups. The earliest settlers were those on the west-central coast, who pushed inland along the Malwatu River and founded a number of riverbank villages. Their seat of government was Upatissagama.

Tradition attributes the founding of the kingdom of Anuradhapura to Pandukkabhaya, the third king of the Vijaya dynasty. With its growth as the strongest Sinhalese kingdom, the city of Anuradhapura and the nearby settlements flourished . Kings built up the city and developed it for urban life as they extended royal control over villages and outlying settlements. With the establishment of strong government, the population grew and the kingdom expanded into the north-central region.

According to Sinhalese tradition, Buddhism was first brought to Sri Lanka by a mission sent out from eastern India during the reign of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka (c. 273–232 bce ). The leader of the mission to Sri Lanka, Mahendra (Mahinda), is described as Ashoka’s son. Mahendra and his colleagues traveled to the Mihintale hill (the site of some of the earliest inscriptions), 8 miles (13 km) from Anuradhapura. There they chanced to meet the Sinhalese king Tissa, to whom they delivered a sermon on Buddhism. The king was brought into the Buddhist fold, and he invited Mahendra and his followers to the city. The missionaries were settled in a royal pavilion in the city park of Mahamegha, where they preached first to members of the royal family and then to the common people. Many embraced the new religion, some taking holy orders and joining the Buddhist sangha (community of monks). The king donated the Mahamegha park to the sangha. Meanwhile, the monastery of Mahavihara was established, and it became the prime centre of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Mahendra sent for his sister Sanghamitta, who arrived with a branch of the Bo tree (at Bodh Gaya ), under which the Buddha had attained enlightenment. The sapling was ceremonially planted in the city. Sanghamitta founded an order of nuns, and a stupa (shrine), the Thuparamacetiya, was built by the king for popular worship. Thus, with the founding of these and other institutions, Buddhism became an established religion in Sri Lanka.

Through the conversion of King Tissa and the missionary activity of monks in the villages, by the 2nd century bce the Sinhalese had accepted Buddhism, and this faith helped produce a unity and consciousness on which subsequent political and economic strength was founded. However, it should be recognized that while the monastic chronicles accord the pride of place to Buddhism, other religions also were practiced on the island. Jainism , for instance, probably represented another major religious tradition, and a Jain monastery is mentioned in the Mahavamsa . The chronicle also indicates the presence of Brahmans —Hindus of the highest social rank—in Sri Lanka.

Early growth and political centralization, c. 200 bce –1255 ce

Expansion of Buddhism preceded political unification; many of the areas embraced by the new religion were still ruled by a multitude of chiefs. The ruler of Anuradhapura , Duttagamani Abhaya (reigned 161–137 bce ), was preeminent among these chiefs, and, as Buddhism spread, the Anuradhapura kingdom extended its political control over the rest of Sri Lanka.

sri lanka independence day short essay

The Vijaya dynasty of kings continued, with brief interruptions, until 65 ce , when Vasabha, a member of the Lambakanna royal family, founded the Lambakanna dynasty. The Lambakannas ruled for about four centuries. Their most noteworthy king was Mahasena (reigned 276–303), who constructed many major irrigation systems and championed heterodox Buddhist sects.

sri lanka independence day short essay

A Pandyan invasion from southern India put an end to this dynasty and, briefly, to Sinhalese rule in 432. Dhatusena (reigned 459–477) defeated the Pandyas and reestablished Sinhalese rule with the line of Moriya kings. His son Kashyapa I (reigned 477–495) moved the capital from Anuradhapura to the rock fortress of Sigiriya . After Kashyapa’s dethronement the capital was returned to Anuradhapura.

From the 7th century there was an increase in the involvement of south Indian powers in the island’s politics and in the presence of Tamil mercenaries in and around the capital. Manavamma, a Sinhalese royal fugitive, was placed on the throne in 684 with the support of the Pallava rulers of south India.

Manavamma founded the second Lambakanna dynasty, which reigned in Anuradhapura for about 400 years. The dynasty produced a number of distinguished kings, who consolidated and extended Sinhalese political power. During this period, Sinhalese involvement with southern India was even closer. Sinhalese kings were drawn into the dynastic battles between the Pandyas, Pallavas, and Colas . Invasions from south India to Sri Lanka and retaliatory raids were a recurrent phenomenon. In the 10th century the island’s political and military power weakened because of regional particularism and internecine warfare; the Colas—hostile because of the Sinhalese alliance with Pandya—attacked and occupied the Sinhalese kingdom in 993 and annexed Rajarata (in the north-central region of Sri Lanka) as a province of the Cola empire. The conquest was completed in 1017, when the Colas seized the southern province of Ruhuna.

sri lanka independence day short essay

The Colas occupied Sri Lanka until 1070, when Vijayabahu liberated the island and reestablished Sinhalese power. He shifted the capital eastward to Polonnaruwa , a city that was easier to defend against south Indian attacks and that controlled the route to Ruhuna. The capital remained there for some 150 years. The most colourful king of the Polonnaruwa period was Parakramabahu I (reigned 1153–86), under whom the kingdom enjoyed its greatest prosperity. He followed a strong foreign policy , dispatching a punitive naval expedition to Myanmar (Burma) and sending the army to invade the Pandyan kingdom; however, these initiatives achieved no permanent success. After Parakramabahu I the throne passed to the Kalinga dynasty, and the influence of south India increased. Nissankamalla (reigned c. 1186–96) was the last effective ruler of this period. The last Polonnaruwa king was Magha (reigned 1215–36), an adventurer from south India who seized power and ruled with severity.

sri lanka independence day short essay

Kingship was the unifying political institution in the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa periods, a symbol of the aims and achievements of the Sinhalese people. The kingship was essentially Brahmanic (hereditary within the priestly social class), with strong Buddhist influences; all the kings were practicing Buddhists and patrons of Buddhist institutions. The support and blessing of the clergy, moreover, were perceived as essential to a peaceful and continuous reign. This connection between kingship and Buddhism enabled Buddhism to flourish. Kings built, maintained, and endowed many shrines and monasteries, and they intervened to establish order and prevent schism within the Buddhist community . Nobles and commoners too were lavish in their support, and thus Buddhist institutions prospered. Many beautiful temples were built with finely carved sculpture, and monasteries thrived as centres of learning in the Pali and Sinhalese languages and in Buddhist philosophy.

The king was supported by an inner administrative hierarchy consisting of members of his family and influential nobles. The yuvaraja , the king’s chosen heir to the throne, was given responsible office. The army was the major prop of royal absolutism, and the senapati , or commander in chief, was the king’s closest counselor and confidant.

Sinhalese society was segmented into social classes— castes —each of which performed a particular occupation. (The caste system in Sri Lanka, however, was not as rigid as its counterpart in India.) The Govi, or cultivators, made up the highest caste in Sri Lanka, but many other castes also engaged in farming. Administrative officials were drawn from the Govi caste, which was stratified into chiefs, titled men, and peasants. Chiefs were important supporters of royal absolutism and helped administer the government. Nonagricultural people, the Hina, were considered of lower rank and were divided into occupational groups. These caste groups were endogamous; each lived in its own section, along particular streets. Castes were stratified in terms of status, with the lowest on the scale—the candala —performing the most menial of jobs.

The Sinhalese civilization was hydraulic, based on the storage and use of water for the regular cultivation of wet fields. The early Indo-Aryan settlers cultivated rice and settled along river valleys and other suitable lands. They began with simple schemes for damming rivers and storing water below them. Small systems for storing water in reservoirs by tapping seasonal streams later became a feature of nearly every village; these waterworks probably were managed communally by the landowners of the village. With the increase in royal power, the attraction of greater revenue through greater production made kings play an active role in the construction of large-scale irrigation schemes. Beginning about the 1st century ce during the reign of King Vasabha, large perennial rivers were blocked with massive earthen dams to create colossal reservoirs. With increasingly sophisticated irrigation technology, water from these reservoirs was delivered through canals to distant fields and through underground channels to the capital city.

Further technological progress was achieved in the 3rd century during the reign of King Mahasena; a number of storage tanks and canals are attributed to him, the most outstanding of which is the Minneriya tank and its feeder canals. The construction and maintenance of monumental irrigation works became a regular preoccupation of kings. Reservoirs and canals studded the northern and north-central plains, tapping every source of water. Among the most noteworthy was the magnificent Parakrama Samudra in Polonnaruwa, the crowning glory of Parakramabahu I’s reign, with a storage area of more than 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) for the irrigation of 18,000 acres (7,300 hectares).

Operation of the large works demanded a great deal of coordination and central control; mobilization of labour and technical skill was required at the construction stage, and bureaucratic machinery was essential to keeping the system in repair. Among the primary functions of the central administration was the enforcement of regulations to coordinate cultivation of irrigated plots, to control the flow of water, and to collect water dues from the irrigation operators. Such effective and efficient water management led to increased productivity, which ultimately increased the power of the king.

Many medium and small irrigation works were, however, initiated and managed by regional and village authorities, who became important props of royal authority. When rights to revenue were devolved to these local notables, a feudal system began to emerge, with feudal relations proliferating especially rapidly after 1200.

A grain tax, the water dues, and trade in surplus grain were major sources of the king’s revenue. They sustained strong political and military power for more than a millennium and enabled the dispatch of expeditions abroad. Increased revenue also made possible widespread religious construction, which, along with remarkable accomplishments in the plastic arts and irrigation, was a hallmark of the reign of Parakramabahu I.

When Parakramabahu I died in 1186, the throne passed to the non-Sinhalese Kalinga dynasty—to Nissankamalla, brother of Parakramabahu I’s Kalinga queen. Following the death of Nissankamalla in 1196, the Polonnaruwa kingdom was weakened by a succession of ineffective rulers. Non-Sinhalese factions such as the Kalingas and Pandyas of India gained power in Sri Lanka as a result of dynastic marriages with south Indian royalty; conflict between these factions was common. South Indian notables occupied positions of influence under Kalinga kings, and their power was buttressed by mercenaries of various origins. In 1214 Magha of the Kalingas invaded Sri Lanka with the help of thousands of such mercenaries, and he took control of the whole island. Magha’s rule, a veritable reign of terror, lasted until 1255 and was marked by bold disregard of traditional authority and of established religion. Polonnaruwa itself fell into the hands of non-Sinhalese elements, each vying with the others for power and office.

United Nations

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations

76th anniversary of the independence of sri lanka.

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Independence Day Message by President Ranil Wickremasinghe

sri lanka independence day short essay

Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka

Full text of the speech made by His Excellency President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 73rd Independence Day – February 4, 2021

Today marks the 73rd anniversary of our nation gaining independence from colonial rule. On this day we pay our respects to all the leaders from the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and other sections of the population who made various sacrifices to win our independence.

I also pay my tribute to the brave war heroes who sacrificed their lives and underwent great hardships to preserve our nation’s independence and sovereignty.

We have faced many challenges as a nation in the 73 years since our independence. From time to time, we have had to face religious and ethnic conflicts, racist and terrorist activities, undue external influences, constitutional crises, and many other obstacles. The challenges of establishing national security, achieving true reconciliation amongst various communities of our nation, and building a strong economy that can deliver sustainable economic development and eliminate poverty still lie ahead of us.

At a juncture when our nation’s heritage, its traditions, its national identity and patriotism were under serious threat, more than 6.9 million people elected me as President to provide the leadership needed to reestablish national security and overcome the many challenges facing our country.

I am a Sinhala Buddhist leader and I will never hesitate to state so. I govern this country in accordance with Buddhist teachings. Within the Buddhist philosophic tradition of peaceful coexistence which gives due respect to all religions and ethnicities, every person in this country irrespective of his or her ethnic or religious identification has the right to enjoy the freedom as equals under the nation’s legal framework.

Traitorous elements always band together and seek to marshal domestic and foreign forces against the leadership that upholds indigenous way of life and country’s sovereignty. Such elements mislead the public through false propaganda in a subtle way. I request the people of our nation to always think critically before acting. If people make assessments based on facts and take decisions only after finding out the truth, no one will be able to mislead the public.

The public has given the current Government a mandate to execute the policies articulated in my vision statement “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”.

I have sworn as the nation’s leader to always protect our nation’s independence, unitary status, territorial integrity and sovereignty on behalf of our future generations. I will always uphold that pledge.

Sri Lanka is a democratic nation. Every citizen who lives in this country has equal rights. We reject any efforts to divide our citizens based on ethnic or religious reasons. We always strive to protect the fundamental rights and human rights of all our citizens, and always stand for the principle of one nation, one law.

We always respect the rule of law. The public has rejected the undue influence that was exerted on law enforcement agencies and the judiciary by politicians in the past. However, the public also expects fair, unbiased and efficient service from the officials who enforce the law. As such, I have advised the Attorney General’s Department to swiftly act upon matters that have caused great concern to the public, such as the Easter Sunday Attacks and the Central Bank scam.

I have now received the final report of the Presidential Commission appointed to inquire into the Easter Sunday Attacks. I have already given instructions to implement its recommendations. Simultaneously, taking into account the recommendations of the previous Parliament’s Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security, action will be taken against all parties involved in this tragedy. We will not allow those responsible for designing and enabling this tragedy to escape justice. We will never allow extremism to raise its head again, in this country.

At a time when the entire world is in crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our country has had to face many challenges. For more than a year, the pandemic has posed serious obstacles to carrying out the development activities and for people of our country to lead a normal life.

Several countries have by now successfully developed vaccines for the COVID19 virus. I have requested the leaders of India, China and Russia to support Sri Lanka to swiftly obtain these vaccines. This matter has also been discussed with the World Health Organization. Accordingly, we have obtained one vaccine and have already started our vaccination programme. This vaccination programme will be carried out without any disruption.

An important lesson learnt by all nations faced with the prevailing global crisis has been the need for a strong domestic production base. This experience has further underscored the appropriateness and timeliness of our policy of strengthening domestic agriculture to ensure food security and self-sufficiency.

The stimulus provided through distribution of free fertilizer, raising the floor price of paddy to 50 rupees, striking off the debts of farmers, reconstructing thousands of irrigation tanks around the country, and the encouragement provided to home gardening and urban farming has revived the agriculture sector. We will act to further increase agricultural productivity through the infusion of new technologies. We are already seeing the benefits of strengthening farmers through managing import taxes to encourage the production of paddy, maize, grains, potatoes and onions; by limiting imports of products such as turmeric which can be grown domestically and by limiting the re-export of spices such as pepper. Domestic production has increased, and export opportunities have expanded.

I have always maintained that in order to strengthen farmers economically we must encourage them to become agricultural entrepreneurs. It is our aim to further develop and strengthen the domestic agriculture sector so that it becomes a significant foreign exchange earner.

We have not forgotten the importance of the industrial and service sectors in economic development. The Government has taken action to encourage these sectors through the provision of tax incentives and by reducing interest rates. A great improvement is already visible in traditional handicrafts such as batik, cane, clay and jewellery through the state ministries that were established for this purpose.

We have paid attention to provide entrepreneurs engaged in small and medium enterprises as well as those who are self-employed avenues in minimizing delays in various approvals they require, in helping them to access financing at single digit interest rates and in obtaining required training.

Providing stimulus to the construction industry has been shown to be a successful means of reviving stalled economies. Initiatives such as the 100,000 kilometer roads programme; the 10,000 bridges programme; the reconstruction of thousands of irrigation tanks around the country under the ‘Irrigation Prosperity’ programme; the programme to construct 14,000 houses under the theme of ‘one village, one house’; the creation of 100,000 housing units for middle income earners, low income earners and urban shanty dwellers; the programme to construct 4,000 houses for estate workers; and the construction of walkways for densely populated areas around the country will provide great benefits to the public at large whilst directly supporting the revival of the economy.

Amidst striving to develop the agriculture, industrial and service sectors to strengthen the national economy, we are also taking steps to minimize obstacles to the promotion of foreign direct investments. While our policy of not selling national economic hubs to foreigners remains unchanged, I trust that the public will critically assess the misinformation and misinterpretations being propagated by those with ulterior political motives to deter foreign investors from investing in Sri Lanka.

I have established a Presidential Deregulation Commission to change the outdated laws and regulations that affect the general public as well as the domestic and foreign companies. This long discussed but unimplemented activity has finally commenced. I believe that implementing the recommendations of this Commission will provide significant impetus to the country’s future economic development.

The 21st Century is considered as the Knowledge Century.

Human resources are extremely important to the development of the nation. The “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” policy statement articulates the need for educational reforms to foster a knowledgeable and skilled future generation.

Accordingly, a separate State Ministry has been created to undertake the reforms needed in the education sector. Two task forces have also been created to obtain specialist assistance for these reforms. The recommendations they have provided are already being implemented.

During the course of this year, the number of students gaining admission to universities will increase by 10,000, or 30 percent. Provisions have been made to double the number of students entering the state Technical Colleges from 100,000 to 200,000. Approval has been granted for the creation of a system of city universities catering to every district in order to increase the capacity of universities. We are acting quickly to implement recommendations for educational reforms. As a result, we anticipate that there will be an appreciable qualitative improvement in the education sector within the next few years.

In order to fulfil our economic ambitions in the modern world, we must foster a society familiar with technology. In order to compete in the future, the agriculture, industrial and service sectors will need to be infused with technology. To support this, we look forward to fostering a culture of technological innovation that will uplift the living standards of the people.

In accordance with the policies contained in the “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” vision statement, the Government will encourage innovation through the use of technology in both the public and the private sectors. With this in mind, a range of tax incentives has already been provided to the technology intensive sectors.

In recent weeks, I established a dedicated Ministry of Technology and brought it under my purview. Through this Ministry, due attention will be paid to developing the policies and legal framework required to improve the technology sector, as well as to simplify the functioning of the state sector and markets through the use of information technology as a tool for broader digital governance. Action has already been taken to create five technology parks with all facilities in five identified districts in order to encourage entrepreneurs and start-ups in the technology sector. We will have an opportunity to create a revival in the technology sector through such incentives.

I request the intelligent public to remember that all of this has been achieved in little over a year, whilst facing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has debilitated the entire world.

Our tourism industry earned approximately US$ 4.5 billion annually and provided direct and indirect employment to three million people. These people are now in great difficulty as they are unable to make a living from tourism. We need to find solutions for these people as soon as possible. As such, whilst strictly adhering to health recommendations, we have acted to restart the tourism industry in a phased manner.

I have always loved and respected the environment. In the past, whilst serving as the Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development, I strove to protect the environment when undertaking such activities as urban beautification, urban development, and the creation of walking paths and urban parks. Today, too, our Government has paid particular attention to preserving the environment for future generations. What the creation of urban forests, designing of green cities, promotion of green businesses, undertaking of nationwide tree planting programmes, reconstruction of irrigation tanks and canals, recultivating of fallow paddy fields, promoting the use of organic fertilizer, and limiting the use of plastics demonstrate is the implementation of this sustainable environmental management policy.

The foundation of our citizen centric economic policy is that the true potential of the economy cannot be unleashed without economic freedom. To achieve the Government’s aims of eliminating poverty, providing equal opportunity for improvement of all citizens, and developing domestic businesses, we require a clean and efficient public service. The public service is a powerful, nationwide mechanism. This represents an opportunity that many countries in the world do not possess. Therefore, I expect this powerful mechanism to make a significant contribution to the national decision making process. However, I observe that weaknesses currently prevail in decision making at every level. Even on very simple institutional matters, I have observed that officials avoid making decisions and refer them to the Cabinet of Ministers. They expect advice from circulars for every activity.

They avoid taking decisions even within the limits of their authority. If we do not change this situation, it will be extremely difficult for us to take this nation forward.

The legal reforms necessary to protect those in the public service who take correct decisions are currently being formulated. I therefore request all those in positions of authority to ease the limitations and practices that obstruct the general public through the state administration.

I personally participate in the ‘Conversation with the Village’ programme because rural development is one of my Government’s priorities. The public administration system at both the District and Divisional level is extremely important to achieving the citizen centric economic development articulated in my vision statement “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”. There is a clear responsibility incumbent on everyone involved in this development process, from the Governors, District Secretaries, Divisional Secretaries and Public Health Officials, to officials such as Grama Niladharis, Samurdhi Officials, Agriculture Research and Production Assistants, Family Health Service Officials and Development Officials at the village level. They have all provided tremendous support in controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus and in providing other essential services. Similarly, I look forward to the unstinted support of all public servants in successfully overcoming the challenges that confront us in terms of our economic development.

The political leadership has a grave responsibility not only on matters at the national level but also in rural development. We have instituted mechanisms to ensure the active participation of Cabinet and State Ministers, Members of Parliament, and Members of Urban and Municipal Councils in the development activities at District and Divisional levels.

Corruption and waste are significant obstacles to a nation’s development. We are setting an example to eradicate corruption and waste in the public administration. We will not be lenient on anyone who is found guilty of corruption or waste. However, one of the difficulties we face in preventing corruption is the indirect support given willingly or unwillingly by the public to such activities. I request the general public not to encourage corruption either directly or indirectly. If anyone is found to be engaging in corrupt practices, please inform the relevant authorities.

I invite everyone to join in a national effort to mobilize public opinion against corruption and waste. Our future generations too must be educated in this regard. I appreciate the support that is being extended by the media for this initiative.

Various parties claim that they worked to ensure my election as President. That may be true. People from every section of society gathered around me to support my campaign. I believe that the vast majority of these people did so not in search of personal benefits but because they expected me to serve the nation diligently. I am always prepared to fulfil the genuine expectations of the public that supported me with honest intent. However, I will never take decisions that will damage the country and to please those who seek gains for themselves personally or for their businesses.

Throughout history, strong civilizations were built and nations developed by those who worked on targets by looking positively towards the future. At this juncture, our nations’ development requires precisely that kind of vision.

No contribution can be expected from pessimists and those who do nothing but criticize the work of others. What we require today is the support of citizens with a positive vision, who love their country, who contribute to society, and who do not make unfair criticism but offers practical solutions to the issues we face.

We are committed to achieve the principle of the ‘productive citizen, happy family, disciplined and ethical society, and prosperous nation’. If the majority of citizens in this country provide their due contribution towards this, we can make this principle a reality. I therefore once again request all the citizens of this country to think positively and join with us to build the future for all our children.

I am the leader that you searched for. I will discharge the responsibility you have entrusted to me, with commitment and dedication. May the blessings of the noble Triple Gem be with you.

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Sri Lanka National Day

Press Statement

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

February 3, 2024

On behalf of the United States of America, I congratulate the people of Sri Lanka as they celebrate the 76th anniversary of their country’s independence on February 4.

The robust partnership between the United States and Sri Lanka is built upon our shared values, commitment to democracy, and a collective vision for a free, open, and secure Indo-Pacific region. Our relationship spans security cooperation, mutually beneficial trade and investment, as well as people-to-people ties nurtured by educational exchanges and scientific partnerships. In the coming year, as partners in the Indo-Pacific, we will further deepen our economic and maritime security ties and continue to address the climate crisis and other key areas of shared concern.

On its national day, Sri Lanka’s celebration of its sovereignty and independence underscores the ongoing commitment to strengthening democratic governance and inclusive economic growth and building resilient institutions that deliver for all Sri Lankans. The United States stands by Sri Lanka as it works to build a more prosperous future for all of its citizens.

I wish the Sri Lankan people prosperity and happiness as they celebrate this important occasion.

U.S. Department of State

The lessons of 1989: freedom and our future.

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COMMENTS

  1. Independence Day (Sri Lanka)

    Independence Day (Sri Lanka) National Day, also known as Independence Day, [1] is a Sri Lankan national holiday celebrated annually on 4 February to commemorate the country's political independence from British rule in 1948. It is celebrated all over the country through a flag-hoisting ceremony, dances, parades, and performances. Usually, the ...

  2. A Day of Celebration: Sri Lanka National / Independence Day

    The Independence Day in Sri Lanka is celebrated annually on the 4th February. Sri Lanka gained Independence from the British on February 4, 1948. The day is a national holiday in Sri Lanka. It is celebrated all over the country with flag-hoisting ceremonies, dances, parades and cultural performances. The main celebrations take place in Colombo.

  3. Everything you need to know about: Sri lanka Independence Day

    Everything you need to know about: Sri lanka Independence Day. June 30, 2021. Celebrating independence from the UK is a major national event in Sri Lanka - here's the political, social, and cultural lowdown on its significance. Sri Lankan Independence Day (February 4) is usually marked by a grand military parade in the capital of Colombo ...

  4. Sri Lanka Independence Day History

    On that day, D.S.Senanayake took down the British flag, hoisted the Sri Lankan national flag, and symbolized the establishment of Sri Lankan rule. Yet, from 1948 onward, Sri Lanka celebrated independence day on 4th February each year, commemorating the national heroes, and the efforts behind this achievement.

  5. Informative Essay on Independence Day in Sri Lanka

    Informative Essay on Independence Day in Sri Lanka. This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples. Northeastern Sri Lanka was the base for the Tamil terrorist group known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Origins aim and Ideology of the LTTE.

  6. Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka - Island Nation, Culture, History: Actual independence for the dominion of Ceylon came on February 4, 1948, when the constitution of 1947 went into effect. The constitution provided for a bicameral legislature with a popularly elected House of Representatives and a Senate that was partly nominated and partly elected indirectly by members of the House of Representatives. A prime ...

  7. Facets of Sri Lanka's history and Independence

    Sri Lankans across the island still live freely and independently because of the lionhearted fighters for freedom Mother Lanka gave birth to more than seven decades ago. The National Day or Independence Day which falls on February 4 annually, is a day when every Sri Lankan commemorates the country's independence from British rule in 1948.

  8. PDF Full text of the speech made by His Excellency President Gotabaya

    Full text of the speech made by His Excellency President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 73rd Independence Day - February 4, 2021, Independence Square

  9. Kids Essays

    On February 4, 1948 Sri Lanka gained independence. Our national anthem is 'Sri Lanka Matha'. The official languages in Sri Lanka are Sinhala, Tamil and English.

  10. 10 lines on National Day of Sri Lanka in English

    National Day, also known as Independence Day, is a Sri Lankan national holiday celebrated annually on 4 February to commemorate the country's political independence from British rule in 1948.

  11. Everything You Need to Know About Sri Lanka's Independence Day

    Sri Lanka's Independence Day, observed annually on February 4th, stands as a testament to the nation's triumph over colonial rule and its journey towards sovereignty. This article delves into the ...

  12. National Independence Day of Sri Lanka

    The Independence Day in Sri Lankais celebrated annually on the 4th February. Sri Lankagained Independence from the Britishon February4, 1948. The day is a national holiday in Sri Lanka. It is celebrated all over the country with flag-hoisting ceremonies, dances, parades and cultural performances. The main celebrations take place in Colombo.

  13. Sri Lanka Independence Day 2023

    In this video essay, you will learn a best, short, few 15 lines essay on Sri Lanka Independence Day (Nidahas dinaya rachanawa, Nidahas uthsawaya rachana) in ...

  14. What Independence Really Means

    The 4th of February marks the 76th anniversary of "independence" of Ceylon from British rule. Simplistically put, independence means freedom from external control. In expanded terms, independence typically denotes freedom from external dominance or sway that could pertain to individuals, collectives, or countries.

  15. What Independence Really Means

    From the perspective of the 4 th of February and its significance to Sri Lanka, the statement of Sir Ivor Jennings - first Vice Chancellor of the University of Ceylon - that independence is no ...

  16. 75 years of Independence: Best wishes for a brighter future

    Sri Lanka's 75th Anniversary of Independence from colonial rule is being observed during an extremely critical and challenging time in the country, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said in his Independence Day message.

  17. Essay on Sri Lanka

    High-quality essay on the topic of "Sri Lanka" for students in schools and colleges.

  18. History of Sri Lanka

    History of Sri Lanka, a survey of the notable events and people in the history of Sri Lanka from ancient times to the present day. The country, formerly known as Ceylon, is an island lying in the Indian Ocean and separated from peninsular India by the Palk Strait. Proximity to the Indian

  19. FULL SPEECH: President Rajapaksa's address on Independence Day

    COLOMBO (News 1st); President Gotabaya Rajapaksa addressed the nation at the national Independence Day celebration in Colombo on Friday (4) and touch - Get the latest breaking news and top stories ...

  20. 76th Anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka

    76th Anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka Independence Day Message by President Ranil Wickremasinghe

  21. Full text of the speech made by His Excellency President Gotabaya

    Today marks the 73rd anniversary of our nation gaining independence from colonial rule. On this day we pay our respects to all the leaders from the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and other sections of the population who made various sacrifices to win our independence.

  22. Sri Lanka National Day

    On its national day, Sri Lanka's celebration of its sovereignty and independence underscores the ongoing commitment to strengthening democratic governance and inclusive economic growth and building resilient institutions that deliver for all Sri Lankans. The United States stands by Sri Lanka as it works to build a more prosperous future for all of its citizens.

  23. Indian Independence Day Essay

    Sri Lanka Post Independence Essay Essay On Australia Day sri lanka post independence essay during the first decade after independence in 1948, sri lanka (