Sri Lanka celebrated its fifth anniversary as a Republic on Sunday (22 May) amid a great deal of pageantry and colour.
Sri Lanka celebrated its fifth anniversary as a Republic on Sunday (22 May) amid a great deal of pageantry and colour. In 1948, Sri Lanka, then Ceylon became independent and in 1972 was declared a republic.
SYNOPSIS: In Colombo, a number of religious services marked the occasion and a military parade was held in the heavy monsoon rain. President William Gopallawa and Prime minister Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike took the salute.
A planned colourful march-past by 2,000 schoolchildren and 1,000 scouts and girl guides was cancelled at the last moment because of the weather. The country's main opposition party, the United National Party (UNP) were also celebrating, but for another reason. To them the day marked the end of seven years of rule by Mrs. Bandaranaike.
Sri Lanka's parliament was dissolved on May 18th, one day before it was due to resume sittings after a three-month suspension. A general election is to be held on July 21.