Sri Lankans celebrate 65th independence anniversary


The slogan for the Independence Day celebrations is “A prosperous tomorrow in a glorious motherland”.

For over three centuries, Sri Lanka has been under the influence of European powers. The Portuguese arrived in 1505, followed by the Dutch and finally the British. But it was only in 1815 that our long line of Kings came to an end, with the British Empire capturing the last King and exiling him to South India. After the signing of the Kandyan Convention for the deposition of rule King Sri Wikrama Rajasinha, we became British subjects, until February 4, 1948, when we became a member of the British Commonwealth.    
Today, Sri Lankans all over the world celebrate the country’s 65th year of independence with a sense of joy, for it is also the fourth Independence Day celebration that is not marked by the seal of civil war. May 17, 2009 brought hope, peace and happiness to many. After 26 years of a dreadful war that tore apart the country, the world can once again refer to Sri Lankans as ‘the nation of the smiling people.’

Thousands of people have died waiting for a time like this, when all Sri Lankans can come together and enjoy the patriotic sentiments that such an event conjures. More importantly, this day also marks the achievements of our forefathers, who worked together in unity to win this independence from the British without any bloodshed.

Contributed by Ruth Mohotti
University of Seychelles

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