“Did Japan contribute to Sri Lanka and India gaining independence from British colonial rule?”
Posted on April 23rd, 2019

By Senaka Weeraratna 

Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka (RASSL)

Public Lecture

 Did Japan contribute to Sri Lanka and India gaining independence from British colonial rule?” 


Senaka Weeraratna 


Monday 29th April 2019 at 5.00 p.m.

at the

Gamini Dissanayake Auditorium

No. 96, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 07



The time has come to challenge the hype that Sri Lanka won independence from Britain in 1948 exclusively by our own local efforts through an exchange of correspondence and political negotiations without any supportive foreign factor. This British centric – friendly narrative is increasingly unsustainable in the light of new evidence.

Moreover, it is political correctness and tendency to please our former colonial rulers that has prevented an objective appraisal being undertaken taking into account the external factors that contributed substantially towards the gaining of freedom from colonial rule.

It is indisputable that Japan struck the greatest decisive blow ever by any non – white country or non – white people to European power in Asia with the attack on Pearl Harbour.  In about 90 days beginning on December 8, 1941, Japan overran the possessions of Britain, the US and the Netherlands in east and south-east Asia, taking the Philippines, Singapore, Malaya, Hong Kong, the Dutch East Indies; much of Siam and French Indochina and Burma with bewildering swiftness to stand poised at the borders of India by early 1942.

Within less than a decade of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on Dec. 7, 1941, India, Burma and Ceylon were granted independence. At the commencement of the Second World War on Sept. 03, 1939, there was not even an empty promise or hint on the part of Britain to give freedom to its colonies.   We were lucky. Freedom came to Ceylon on a platter. How?

What are the factors that pushed Britain to withdraw hastily from India and in turn discard its control over Burma and Ceylon having lost the Jewel in the British crown?

One Response to “ “Did Japan contribute to Sri Lanka and India gaining independence from British colonial rule?””

  1. aloy Says:

    These are divisive forces that is pulling our country in different directions. Therefore, this crap should end. Japan did not help us in any meaning full way for us to develop our technology. To my mind they have not helped any other either. If their effort succeeded world would have been divided between the Aryan supremacists and the yellow race.

    To my mind the UK and US are keeping the present world order that is going to be challenged China and India. But they still call the shots: what happened in Brexit?.

    We are a small nation located in a strategic location. Let us secure our nation and forget the rivalries among world powers.

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