Public Lecture on 24th June 2019
Posted on June 14th, 2019

Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka (RASSL)

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 24th  June 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 “Public Lecture on 24th June 2019”

  1. Christie Says:

    “Jewel in the British crown?”

    What is that the greatest sewer in the world?

    Of course the WWII kicked the guts of the British -Indian Empire.

    But it did not help us free ourselves from the Indian Colonial Parasites.

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