The Ceylonese Constituent Assembly yesterday (Monday) passed a Constitution making the island the new Republic of Sri Lanka (pronounced: Sree Lan' (as in man) Ka (Kuh), ending the country's 157-year link with Great Britain.
The Ceylonese Constituent Assembly yesterday (Monday) passed a Constitution making the island the new Republic of Sri Lanka (pronounced: Sree Lan' (as in man) Ka (Kuh), ending the country's 157-year link with Great Britain. In a special meeting of the Assembly in the new Theatre at Navarangahala, Prime Minister Mrs Sirimavo BandaranaIke read the proclamation and the Speaker of the Constituent Assembly, Stanley Tillekaratne, signed the document proclaiming the Republic.
After the proclamation ceremony, the authorities and guests adjourned to the gardens where Governor-General William Gopallawa ran the new Republic's flag up the flagpole. The Governor-General, who is a close relative of P. M. Bandaranaike, will be Sri Lanka's first President, while Mrs Bandaranaike herself will be the first Primer.
The majority of the people are Sinhalese who came to the Island from India in the 6th Century B.C., when the tamils invaded the north and forced the Sinhalese int the Southwest. European colonies appeared first in the 16th Century from Portugal, then the Dutch moved in the 17th Century, and British took over from Holland in 1795. Now, the 25,000 square mile (65,000 square-kilometre) island and its 12,750,000 inhabitants will continue to be members of the British Commonwealth.
SYNOPSIS: The House of Representatives in Colombo in the former British Colony of Ceylon, which became the independent Republic of Sri Lanka on Monday. The new crest is already in place - but the flag outside is still that of the Buddhists. Nearby, in the New Theatre at Navarangahala, the Constituent Assembly was meeting to hear the Proclamation of the Republic. Prim Minister Mrs Bandaranaike took her place on the rostrum - as traditional Ceylonese drummers stood by. Then she proceeded to read the document which was bringing to an end the one-hundred-and-fifty-seven year-old link with the British Crown.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Stanley Tillekaratne, signed the Proclamation - followed by Mrs Bandaranaike, who becomes the new Republic's First Premier
Then the members and special guests adjourned to the Theatre gardens, where Honour Guards shared the limelight with traditional drummers and dancers who were to perform later in the day. They stood to attention as Governor-General William Gopallawa raised the flag of the new Republic. The Governor, a close relative of Mrs Bandaranaike, will be Sir Lanka's First President.