Nationalisms in Ceylon: Origins, Stimulants and Ingredients

Michael Roberts, … reproducing Chapter III in Volume I of Documents of the Ceylon National Congress and Nationalist Politics in Ceylon, 1929-1950, Vol I, 1977, Department of National Archives, 1977 , pp. lxviii–lxxviii **

While the political activists of the first half of the twentieth century were drawn from both the national and the local elites, the political leadership (at significant island-wide levels) was largely composed of individuals who could be ranked among the national elite. As indicated earlier, the national elite was a small segment of the Ceylonese population. Its levels of wealth, power and status, its lifestyle, and its value-system marked it off from the rest of the population.

In such circumstances, it is no surprise that the older, rosy image of “nationalists” as selfless-patriots who led the struggle against foreign political domination is no longer accepted. Indeed, the tendency in some circles today is towards the other extreme and in favour of the view that the nationalists of old were a group of brown sahibs seeking to stake out for themselves the powers and pickings held by the foreign white lords—or “ step-in-your-shoes nationalists”as one writer has dubbed them.77

In modification of this view one needs to reiterate a commonplace: the eclectic view that the nationalist stirrings and agitations in Ceylon during the first half of the twentieth century were a blend of self-interest and patriotic hostility to foreign rule. Such a general statement, however, leaves a large area uncharted. The specific content and shape of the nationalist stirrings remains an unexplored territory demanding survey and description. The question remains whether one can speak of “Ceylonese nationalism” and represent nationalism in Ceylon as a unitary force. Such questions demand preliminary attention to the forces and events which influenced both the emergence and the shape of nationalist thinking in Ceylon.

As in most parts of Asia, the backdrop for the development of “modern” forms of nationalism in Ceylon was the unification achieved by the imperialist power of Britain. The subjugation of the independent Kandyan Kingdom in the period 1815-1818 created a political unity which the island had lacked for a considerable time. In 1833 the separate administration of the Kandyan Kingdom was done away with and a deliberate policy of de-emphasizing its separateness commenced.78 The island was brought under an increasingly uniform and centralised system of administration. A network of roads, railways and telecommunications linked the different parts of the island. New postal and telegraphic services and the appearance of printed newspapers consolidated this process of linkage, while the socio-economic transformation associated with cash crops and export agriculture provided it with a solid foundation. The emergence of a new social group (the national elite), linked by a Western education and lifestyle and the English language, was an integral part of this process of unification.

The introduction of the English language and the implantation of a Western educational system opened the door to the entry of the ideologies of nationalism and West European liberalism. The implications of their educational policy were understood by the British officials who initiated this policy in the early nineteenth century. Those with an authoritarian cast of mind, such as the military man Edward Barnes, frowned on the idea; and forewarned that the products of this system would eventually challenge the British supremacy.79 But, for the British, the early and mid-nineteenth century was an optimistic age. The diffusion of Anglo-Saxon civilisation was regarded (by some) as a virtue which should override other considerations. Besides, there was a need for native administrative and judicial assistants; by no other means could colonial budgets be balanced.

Then again, it was realised—by such individuals as Colebrooke and Macaulay—that there was a need for auxiliary and collaborating native elites who would assist the British in transforming the institutional structure and social milieu that prevailed in their colonies. Indeed, for Ceylon, Colebrooke anticipated Macaulay’s ideas for India80 by seeking to create a group of “natives” who were progressive in outlook and not bound by servility to the traditional (headmen) elite or by caste distinctions. It was towards this end that he advocated: (a) the diffusion of knowledge through publications so as “to diminish the influence of those classes who [were] interested in upholding the ignorant prejudices of the people, and who retain[ed] them in servile dependence on themselves;”81 (b) the provision of the means of education whereby the local peoples “might in time qualify themselves for holding some of the higher appointments;” and (c) an emphasis on education in English and a requirement that “the principal native functionaries throughout the country’’ should be competent in English.82 Some of Colebrooke’s suggestions were only partially or halfheartedly pursued. But the outcome was in the direction of his hopes and Barnes’ forebodings. Intermediary and collaborating social formations (the national and local elites described previously) arose and participated in the process of socio-economic transformation that occurred under British rule, while providing the bulk of the administrative manpower employed by the British in both commercial and government sectors.

But the very same social groups or categories served as a seed-bed for those elements who began to question the right of the British to rule Ceylon and those individuals who began to urge a devolution of administrative and political power. At least one manifestation of modernistic nationalist thinking appeared as early as 1849 in that remarkable little pamphlet penned by an individual who remained anonymous behind the pseudonym “Henry Candidus.”83 But he was an unusually early swallow and did not constitute, or even herald, a summer of nationalism. The nationalist stirrings in the nineteenth century were, for the most part, muted and indirect in the challenges to the authorities.84 It was largely in the twentieth century that the British had to cope with demands and agitations of a nationalist hue.

These demands and agitations were often fashioned on materials of Western origin. The idiom, the language, and the concepts embodied in the demands were, as often as not, drawn from the experiences of the Western world. The political activists among the national elite lived up to the hopes of early nineteenth century British Liberals and drew sustenance from their background of Western education. They were stimulated by the writings of John Locke, Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill, Mazzini, and other such authors. They were equally stimulated by histories and tales about the French Revolution, about the movement for Italian unification and for Home Rule in Ireland, and about the exploits of such figures as Garibaldi and Parnell.85 They had been taught by countless Englishmen, moreover, to value “Liberty” and to regard the evolution of the British Constitution as a great historical process which symbolised the struggle against “Despotism.” It was but a simple step to refashion these concepts and to contend that the British administration of Ceylon was a despotism which demanded modification. In doing so they did not use the Asian language of sirita (custom), but the Western language of “rights:” referring for example to the “rights of the people, ” their “ right to revise the constitution, ” and the fact that freedom was every man’s “ birthright.”86 They could refer, as A. C. G. Wijeyekoon did in 1929, to Dicey’s Law of the Constitution in protesting against specific actions of the authorities.87 Or they could refer to such events and developments as Lord Durham’s Report and the beginnings of self-government in Canada in order to buttress their own demands.88 Nor were the incidents they employed confined to events buried in the past. Contemporary European history inspired their thinking and added to their battery of tactical arguments.

Perhaps the most influential of these events in terms of nationalist thought in Ceylon was the tragedy that was being enacted in Ireland. In the early twentieth century in particular, Irish events were closely followed and provided the model for the slogan “Home Rule” and a person such as A. E. Goonesinha has left on record the fact that he was stimulated by accounts of the Irish freedom movement and its leaders.89Again, as elsewhere in Asia, Africa, and the Middle-East, the pledges given by the Allies during the course of the First World War  regarding their readiness “to grant all peoples the right of self-development and self-determination” provided Ceylonese political activists with fresh hopes and a new verbal weapon.90 So did Winston Churchill’s stirring words and appeals to the Norwegians, Dutch, Czechs and other conquered nationalities of Europe during the Second World War.91 In brief, then, the Western influences on nationalism in Ceylon had many stems: in precept, in event and in example.

The West also provided the principal forms of idea dissemination: viz., the new educational institutions as well as the modern printing press and its products, the book, the pamphlet and the newspaper. And in the early stages of journalism, as Herbert Passin has observed, direct foreign influence was important: “In some cases the colonial government published journals, sometimes to encourage modernization and the acquisition of the metropolitan civilization, sometimes to forestall an opposition press and sometimes simply for purposes of public information. In others resident foreigners opened the way or carried on an important part of the national journalism.”92

His general statement accurately encapsulates the early history of journalism in Ceylon. And once journalism took root among the Ceylonese, there developed (as elsewhere) “a close union between political and social reform and journalism.” The political activists used journals and newspapers not merely to disseminate and clarify their ideas, but also for “organizational purposes” and in order to exert “leverage on the government,”93

Armand de Souza, A News Editor  of considerable acumen



EW Perera

It was also of some significance that the knowledge of European and extra-European history was mostly derived from British schoolteachers and dons and from British books and newspapers. The history of Western civilisation was interpreted through lenses fashioned by the British. Several political activists openly expressed their admiration of the British heritage;94 and even the more militant (some latter-day Marxists excepted) seem to have had a sneaking regard for the British. Such partialities in their educational background influenced their perspectives. As Ali M. Mazrui has perceptively observed, the people of England developed such a high degree of “national consciousness” (in the sense of a shared national identity) during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that they did not find it necessary to assert it in strongly nationalistic terms. Their nationalism, moreover, was closely intertwined with the liberal ethic and was “basically oriented towards individual freedom” rather than the freedom of the group. As a result, as Mazrui observes: “when Hans Kohn comes round to special paying attention to nineteenth century nationalism, he finds himself choosing John Stuart Mill as the “prophet” of British nationalism. In the company of Mazzini, Treitschke, M’chelet and Dostoevsky, John Stuart Mill is hardly a striking example of a “people’s prophet”…. British political philosophers were simply not adequately preoccupied with the fatherland.95

This background conditioned the premises of British colonial policy. Independence was not viewed as an automatic right of those who were nationally distinct until they showed themselves capable of safeguarding individual freedom and maintaining liberal democratic institutions. Mazrui concludes: “In the context of such values capacity for self-government was, in effect, capacity for Anglo-Saxon liberalism. And the right to such government rested on that liberal capacity, and not on national distinctiveness,”96

It would seem that some African politicians did not question this criterion of eligibility for self-government.97 Nor was this notion absent in Ceylon (though there is evidence to suggest that it was not considered the sole criterion); several nationalists accepted the idea that they must “satisfy the authorities” regarding their “fitness” for “responsible government” and their capacity to operate democratic institutions.98 They were imbued, moreover, with a strong attachment to the British model of parliamentary government with its reliance on a cabinet system and a party system. As a result, the bold constitutional deviation presented by the Donoughmore Commission drew strong and sustained opposition from the very outset.99 Then again, the notion that a party system was a sine qua non for democracy100 might also be traced to such influences. So too might the popular rhetoric levelled against all forms of “communalism,”101 For the tendency to denigrate “communalism” as barbarous, primitive and vile would appear to be an attitude that is more specifically British than European.

More latterly, from the early 1930’s, the European inheritance within nationalism in Ceylon received a fresh infusion; that of socialism, communism and social revolutionary thought.102 By that stage, the consolidation of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the Fourth International had given the radical socialist movement a great boost and converted it into a force of unprecedented significance. Marxist, socialist and communist ideology was of significance to nationalism because of its overt anti-imperialist stance and because it made good use of antiimperialist propaganda to embarrass the West European powers. These ideologies inspired and strengthened the nationalism of several Ceylonese youth in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The media by which these ideas entered Ceylon were largely cultural and personal: through books, periodicals and pamphlets and through the return of Ceylonese converted to socialist ideas during their studies or journeys abroad.

“Abroad,” for the most part, should be read as “Britain,” or even as “London.” As such, the socialist thinking that had the most significant influence at this stage was heavily impregnated with the Left radicalism of London and was a product of the interplay of radical thinking among the British dons and intellectuals and the wide variety of colonial and European students and professional-trainees who were a segment of the cosmopolitan academic world of London. Indeed, the first manifesto of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party has been described as resembling “more the sober Fabian approach then the revolutionary philosophy of full-blooded Marxists”.103 Nor was socialist-inspired nationalism within Ceylon confined to members of the Sama Samaja and Communist parties. Besides those on the fringe of these parties who were popularly regarded as “fellow-travellers,” there were Congressmen who were influenced by socialist thought. For instance, the manifesto entitled “What we can do,” which presented a scheme for the regeneration of the Ceylon National Congress sometime during 1938 or 1939, as well as the drafts of the Congress “Policy and Programme” in 1939, would have gladdened the hearts of many a socialist: among other demands there were suggestions that there should be state control of education, state control of the import of certain goods, and collective farms under state sponsorship.104

However, nationalism in Ceylon was not merely inspired by contact with the West. It had many stems and many faces. It was also a reaction against the Western world. As Henry Candidus anticipated: “whatever may be the pressure on a conquerred (sic) people, there will come a moment of their recoil.”105

Recoil was induced by many aspects of British rule in Ceylon. The racial snobbery and arrogance of many British residents in Ceylon, their aspersions on the character of the “natives,” and the insistence of the British authorities that Ceylonese were unfit for employment in the higher branches of administration were among the most potent causes of friction. The British in Ceylon, for the most part, had no doubts about their racial superiority. Inheriting a social and administrative system with age-old practices of deference and much obsequiousness, they had been careful to maintain these forms and practices. The colonial administrator was accordingly surrounded by much pomp and pageantry: the G. A. was the new secular God of the “Little Tradition” and the Governor and His British Majesty the new monarchs of the “Great Tradition.”

The British community as a whole constituted an upper ‘caste’ in caste-ridden Ceylon, largely aloof from the “natives,” carefully maintaining the exclusiveness of their clubs in the larger towns, as carefully ostracising those English women who had stooped to marry Ceylonese (to whom the derogatory label, “landladies’ daughters,” was applied),106 and quickly deporting the handful of European “ne’er-do-wells” who happened to visit Ceylon (e.g., Bracegirdle, J. H. Marrett, Mrs. Morrison, and Hamer S. Durkee).107 As in India, the British officials “developed their own brand of self-righteous arrogance considering themselves purveyors not of popular but of good government [so that] the word ‘British’ became an epithet signifying moral rectitude.”108 Within British circles, it was not uncommon for the Ceylonese political leaders to be referred to as “unscrupulous half-castes,” “low-caste scoundrels,” “cowards,” et cetera;109 and it is to be presumed that these attitudes were not kept entirely under cover. Their aloofness and sense of superiority was underlined by a tendency to be patronising and sharply underscored by occasional acts of arrogance (such as the forcible ejection of Ceylonese who dared to enter first-class railway carriages in which Europeans were seated).

Inevitably such attitudes and actions produced sharp reactions among the Ceylonese elites and drew them together in self-defence. The masses had not the confidence or the status to take offence. The elites had. When, moreover, it was claimed that the Ceylonese were not fit to enter the higher reaches of administration, the economic aspirations as well as the pride of the elites were at stake. Sir Alexander Ashmore (the Colonial Secretary) discovered this at some cost to himself in I906 when, at the prize distribution at Trinity College, he observed that the Government did not employ Ceylonese in the higher posts in the public service “because they were deficient in those qualities of duty and honour that the British Government had a right to expect.” But neither did he attempt to pour oil on the stormy waters of protest which this statement aroused.110 In a brief letter to those lawyers who had initiated a movement of public protest, he resorted to a snide insinuation that they were merely coveting “an opportunity for self-advertisement.”111

On such crass stupidity and self-righteous arrogance was nationalism in Ceylon nurtured. Indeed, the conditions were such that disparagements were imagined even where none were intended. For all their education and status, the conditions of colonial society inevitably bred in the Ceylonese feelings of inferiority in relation to the British.112 One response was that of aggressive counter-thrust; so that John Kotelawala and Dannister Perera Abeyewardena thrashed individual Europeans who were deemed to have acted arrogantly; and became folk-heroes as a result.113 Another response was mimetism: for individual Ceylonese seem to have gone out of their way to breach white sahib preserves, to try and gain entry to the Colombo Club or the Grand Hotel at Nuwara Eliya for instance,114 partly in order to prove their equality. In this fashion, resentment against discrimination produced a paradox, namely, aspirations which supported mimetic practices with nationalist implications and which sought to dislodge notions of white superiority with the accomplishments valued by Westerners.

In such a context, therefore, the maintenance of self-respect was a vital need.115 As Mao Tse Tung noted, the colonial peoples had to be made “to stand up.” If the actions of Kotelawala and Abeyewardena represented individual reactions on these lines which may have had limited effects, there were others who moved on a broader and more penetrating front. In protesting against colonial inequalities and in his scholarly defence of Sinhalese literature during the mid-nineteenth century, James Alwis was forging shoes for national self-respect in more important arenas.116

In ridiculing Christianity and lampooning the process of Westernisation, the religio-cultural revivalists, Dharmapala, Sirisena and John de Silva, were similarly digging foundations in support of self-respect; as Sarath Amunugama has stressed, their activities were an effort to counteract “the psychological defeatism, the inferiority complex, of the Sinhalese about their religion and culture;” their activities, too, were an aggressive counter thrust, for they engaged the Christian missionaries in a propaganda war in which they used techniques introduced by the missionaries themselves.117 When, therefore, the Lankopakara Press was initiated in the 1860’s, its prospectus expressed its opposition to the many publications which “insult the Buddha” and spoke of a “threat to our People’s spiritual emancipation.” Likewise, Piyadasa Sirisena was only too conscious of these needs. He reminded his readers (in 1910) that the Sinhala Jatiya had been started originally so as to improve “the fortunes of the Sinhala nation” by spreading modern knowledge, for knowledge was a means by which the Sinhalese could “be rid of unfounded fears and a sense of inferiority” —an important objective because “so long as a sense of inferiority remain[ed], the Sinhalese nation [would] not be rich and powerful.”118

Nor were such motives confined to the oddballs or to those concerned with indigenist revivalism. National honour was as important to the Western-educated and the highly Westernised.

“Recently….we have been asking for reforms, we have been dreaming of responsible government. Some good people imagine we want a greater number of councillors in the Legislative Council; others believe educated men wish to be associated in the administration of the country…. There may be some truth in these statements, but if they represent the whole truth, I, for one, want no reforms at all. The Indian cry for reform is a cry from the heart—the cry of a people with a newly awakened consciousness— I am asking for political freedom, for scope for political expansion, because I seek spiritual regeneration,”

said E. T. de Silva in the late I910’s.119 It was in this spirit, no doubt, that he subsequently claimed the right to be “the King’s equal subjects here and abroad.”120 It was in much the same spirit that E. J. Samerawickrame spoke (in 1923) of “our onward march towards a position of self-respect,” and that the suriya mal campaigners of the early I930’s appealed to the public to “demonstrate to the Nation [their] self-respect and independence” by purchasing a suriya flower rather than a poppy on Remembrance Day.”121

“They must be prepared,” said S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike (paraphrased) on one occasion in 1933, “to work for the political emancipation of the country. Economically, socially, culturally, and in various other ways, they were treated as inferiors. They would be so treated as long as they were under foreign rule. It was time they worked for their national self-respect.”122 In brief, nationalism in Ceylon, as elsewhere, was in significant part an attempt to defend national honour and an emotive movement for an equal station in life.

Such circumstances and such desires invested events which reduced the status of the Western powers and the West with a particular significance. Japan’s naval and military victory over Czarist Russia in 1905 was, for much of Asia, one such event. It chipped a hole in the grandeur of invincible power with which the West had been girded. It raised hopes for the future. It was invested with a symbolic aura. In Ceylon, as in Asia, it kindled the smouldering embers of nationalism.123 And in subsequent years these fires were stoked further by the exploits of Mustapha Kemal and the Turkish nationalists, by the activities of the Wafd Party in Egypt, and, above all, by the vigour of the Indian nationalist movement.124

Conversely, anything which raised the status of the indigenous peoples served as an inspiration and support for fledgeling nationalisms in search of concrete foundations for their future political efforts. In Ceylon, the Past provided these supports; and provided them amply. As elsewhere in Asia, some of the linguistic, historical and religious studies on Ceylon were pioneered by scholar-officials—by such civil servants as George Turnour, Hugh Nevill, T.W. Rhys-Davids, Thomas Steele and H. C. P. Bell. These studies were supported and enlarged by the work of a small band of Ceylonese literati working and writing in English as well as the vernaculars: to name some, by such individuals as James Alwis, John Pereira, Ratmalane Sri Dharmarama thero, Dandris de Silva Gunaratna, Pundit W. F. Gunawardana, Waskaduve Sri Subhuti thero, Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala thero, W. P. Ranasinha, Revd. J. S. de Silva, Abraham Mendis Gunasekera, C. Visvanathapillai, C.W. Thamotherampillai, V. Kanagasabaipillai, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, D. B. Jayatilaka, and Munidasa Cumaratunga.

Among other aspects, these studies established the validity of the folklore which pointed to the existence of a highly-developed Sinhalese civilisation at Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa in the distant past. Archaeological investigations and the remains of large tanks (irrigation reservoirs), moreover, provided monumental evidence of the skills that had been achieved under the aegis of this civilisation. And the introduction of modern printing presses permitted the dissemination of this knowledge to a wider public.

In consequence, nationalists never tired of reminding their British rulers of their contrasting levels of civilisation during the last millennium B. C. and the first millennium A. D. The idealised past, moreover, served to underline the perception of the British period as one of degradation and misfortune: “[The] Sinhalese must wake up from their slumber. We were, a great people,” the Anagarika Dharmapala once reminded himself in his diary;125 and Ponnambalam Arunachalam also struck a similar note in his diary: “Thought much of the unhappy condition of our country and what a glorious thing it would befor Ceylon to emulate and excel her great past.”126 Dharmapala’s romanticised vision of ancient Lanka was that of a dream world, an Utopia “untainted by alien customs,” with a “joyously cheerful life” permeated by a religious atmosphere, and centred around the “dazzling magnificence” of Anuradhapura.127 Phrases such as “the pristine glory of Polonnaruwa” and “in the time of the Sinhalese Kings” did not merely evoke nationalist pride in the past, but also aroused visions for the future. History became a powerful powder.

Among these historical traditions the tenacious resistance to the Western powers offered by the Kandyan Kingdom also attracted much mention. The Kandyan Convention of the 2nd March 1815 was therefore regarded as a particularly sad and symbolic event: when a tiny band of radicals formed an association known as the Young Lanka League, they chose to inaugurate their effort on the centenary day, 2nd March 1915 ; while a new Sinhala newspaper, the Dinamina, was launched on the same day with an inaugural issue which included a reprint of the Convention, articles of a nationalist tone by D. B. Jayatilaka and E.W, Perera, and a reproduction of the Lion flag of the Sinhala.128

These influences suggest parallels with the manner in which romanticism stimulated nationalism in several Central and East European lands. In similar fashion, too, the idealised past provided a means of defining one’s cultural identity. The latter search, however, carried inherent problems in the pluralistic ethnic structure of modern Ceylon. The glories of the past that were extolled were the glories of a Sinhala civilisation. The historical traditions of the Mahavamsa and other such chronicles were framed in terms of a Lanka that was the home of the Sinhala (the Sihadipa concept) and destined to preserve the Buddhist doctrine in all its pristine purity and glory (the Dhammadipa concept).129 Their epic heroes were the kings and princes who defeated or slew the Tamils. And, as Piyadasa Sirisena’s statement would have indicated, for some the search for self-respect was in terms of Sinhalese honour and Sinhalese fortunes. The patriotic inspiration derived from the past, therefore, carried sectionalist undertones which moulded nationalist thinking in problematic forms—a subject regarding which further comment must be reserved for a subsequent section of this essay.

The “recoil” against the West took other important forms. Three centuries of aggressive Christian proselytisation in the maritime districts had produced a religious and ideological restiveness in these areas by the turn of the eighteenth century. These religious stirrings were nurtured and accentuated by the- influence of the eighteenth-century Buddhist revival in the Kandyan Kingdom and by regional and caste rivalries. One consequence during the first half of the nineteenth century was an eruption of movements which sought to purify and rejuvenate Buddhism and the Sangha through the formation of new Buddhist. nikayas (or fraternities). In such an environment the bigoted Evangelicalism of certain mid-nineteenth Christian missionaries in Ceylon and the campaign launched in the I840’s to sever the connection between the State and Buddhism could not but heap coals on a fire that was already aflame.130 Anti-Christian reactions appeared soon.

One of the forms of defence and counterattack was the polemical tract; another that ofthe public debate. Such debates appear to have commenced in the I840’s (if not earlier), though historical attention has been largely focussed on those of the late 1860’s and the “Panadura Controversy” of 1873. Be that as it may, the Buddhist revival gathered ever-increasing momentum from the late I860’s. The arrival of Colonel Olcott, Madame Blavatsky, and other Theosophists in 1880 paved the way for the movement to develop a degree of organisation which it had lacked previously. Lay participation in religious affairs increased. A flock of Buddhist socio-educational and religious associations were formed in the late 1880’s and I890’s.131 An old idea and activity, that of starting Buddhist schools, was now pushed with some vigour. In meeting the thrusts of Christianity in this fashion, the Buddhist reformers were part of a process of cultural awakening among the Sinhala peoples which involved the evolution of national consciousness at the same time that it sought to restore their self-respect. In turn, the religio-cultural awakening sharpened the thrust of Sinhala nationalism and provided it with the crusading zeal and militancy that is symbolised in the writings of Don David Hewavitarne, better known as the Anagarika Dharmapala. The British Government, after all, was perceived by contemporaries as a Christian government and was believed to be hand in glove with the missionaries. Hostilities and reactions generated in the religious and secular realms were part of a seamless web.

Buddhist reformism, moreover, was part of a wider cultural reaction against the West. While the British may have succeeded in producing a number of brown Britishers and Anglophiles, willy-nilly, they also produced the antithesis and antidote. The extension of Western culture generated a protest against the spread of foreign habits and foreign customs. There was an indigenist and traditionalist reaction. The spread of a Western life-style was interpreted as a reflection of the moral and material decline of the Sinhala people which, in turn was traced to Western political domination.132 By certain Sinhala nationalists, Christianity, Westernisation, and British Rule were placed along one continuum. All three had to be rejected.

And here, they were more or less in agreement with certain Ceylon Tamil nationalists. For the nineteenth century witnessed a parallel cultural awakening among the Tamils in India and Ceylon. A Hindu revival was championed in Ceylon by such individuals as Arumuga Navalar (1822-1879) and by organisations such as the Saiva Paripalana Sabhai (formed 1888). Hindu reformism, too, was characterised by open denunciations of Christianity, by a denigration of Western ways, and by a movement to regenerate the Hindu religion.133

Nationalist reactions against British rule were also aroused by specific acts of commission or omission on the part of the authorities. The occasions were varied. The recruitment of foreign personnel on specific occasions for posts for which Ceylonese were eligible, the strong-arm methods employed to restore law and order during the 1915 Sinhala-Muslim riots, specific pieces of legislation that favoured imperial interests, acts of certification by the Governors in the period after 1924, such incidents as the deportation order on Bracegirdle, all contributed to the development and extension of nationalism. They aroused indignation. They gave cause for campaigns of protest and rhetoric which sometimes produced a snowballing momentum of their own. Such policies and events had particular significance for nationalism during its gestation period: they performed a service to Ceylonese nationalism that was equivalent to the role of the Vernacular Press Act (of 1878), the British community’s attacks on the llbert Bill (early I880’s), the Partition of Bengal in 1905, and other such events, in stimulating Indian nationalism. Tissa Fernando, for instance, provides the following assessment of the consequences of the prolonged campaign for justice after the 1915 riots:

“[The Ceylonese elite] gained a sense of mission, a national identity, leadership skills, and, in becoming acutely conscious of their lack of power, the zeal for political agitation. The nationalist movement of Ceylon which had hitherto been dilettante now became purposeful.”134

Among other such counter-productive official actions, perhaps the most recurring grounds for protest were provided by the religious policy of the British authorities, their excise policy, their policy towards the waste lands, and their recruitment and placement policies in the public services.

As embodied in the Waste Lands Ordinance (No. I) of 1897 and its precursor, the Crown Lands Encroachment Ordinance (No. 12) of 1840, British waste lands policy gave occasion for charges that the Crown was expropriating large extents of forest and chena land, that were either part of the commonwealth of villages, or “belonged” to individual villagers, in order to sell the land to foreign planters. These charges were persistently and heatedly hurled at the Government from the 1890’s.135 By pamphlet and essay, on public platform and on every conceivable occasion, the waste lands policy provided a useful whip with which to smack at British rule. The Chilaw Association, under the direction of the Corea family, figured powerfully and prominently in this campaign.136 The relatively greater degree of militancy which the members of this association revealed in other spheres of nationalist politics, one suspects, may have originated in the experiences gained in the course of this campaign.

In pursuing a policy which supported the existence of a number of licensed taverns the British Government had attracted criticisms from a few Christian reformers since the mid nineteenth century. By the late nineteenth century these critics were joined by Buddhist reformers as well as budding nationalists; and the latter “groups” soon took command of this protest movement. By then, liquor consumption was widely represented as a Western importation that was contrary to the tenets of Buddhism. The temperance agitation, therefore, became part of the wider cultural struggle, namely, the indigenist reaction against Western ways. There can be little doubt that the political activists of the 1900’s were aware of the political advantages in the temperance movement and used it as a facade for attacks on the Government. It was a very convenient and effective means of embarrassing the authorities.137 The Excise Ordinance of 1912 was used to great advantage in this regard; and the period 1912-1915 turned out to be one of the peak periods of temperance agitation.

The British policies on various issues involving Buddhist interests had been another fertile seed-bed of opposition since the mid nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, criticism of the Government’s religious policy invariably drew a reference to the Kandyan Convention of 1815. A novelty in the history of nationalisms can be witnessed here. One might have expected that, in dwelling on the acts of defiant resistance which characterise Kandyan history, the latter- day nationalists would have heaped abuse on the act of monumental folly by which Kandyan independence was bartered away. But matters did not turn out thus. The Kandyan Convention was juxtaposed with subsequent Government policies and used as an instrument by which the British could be represented as perfidious villains. The Convention was perceived, not as a subtle technique of imperialism, but as a legal instrument which had the validity of law and which the British authorities had frequently violated in subsequent decades. That such an interpretation should gain wide acceptance is perhaps a measure of the degree to which lawyers dominated political activity in Ceylon during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

EAP Wijeyeratne with Nehru …. & AE Goonesinha shakes Nehru’s hand

Nationalism in Ceylon, then, was influenced by Western traditions and Western thought. It was also a reaction against the cultural impact of the West and against specific policies pursued by the British. It was also, one can add, inspired and prompted by the nationalist movement within the neighbouring sub-continent. Nationalism in British India had begun and matured much before that in Ceylon, and proximity facilitated influences through personal contacts as well as the written word. For instance, The National Monthly of Ceylon in the years 1917 and 1918 had book reviews of a number of works on the Indian nationalist movement which had appeared in print very recently—examples being N. C. Kelkar’s The Case for Indian Home Rule, B. C. Pal’s The New Policy, and various editions of speeches by Sarojini Naidu, Gandhi and Tilak.

From the 1890’s, if not earlier, certain Ceylonese activists attended social or political conferences in India—examples being Walter Pereira (1897), M. A. Arulanandan and Dr. Nallamma Murugesan (1918), A. E. Goonesinha (1925 and 1927) and Bernard Aluvihare (1930’s). A delegation of the LSSP attended the Faizpur Sessions of the Indian National Congress in 1936 and official delegations of the Ceylon National Congress attended the latter’s annual sessions in 1940 (Ramgarh) and 1943 (Bombay). Much acclaimed visits were made to Ceylon by Annie Besant (1893), Swami Vivekananda (1897), Bepin Chandra Pal (April 1918), B. G. Tilak (1919), Mrs. Sarojini Naidu (October 1922), Moulana Saukat Ali et al (January 1924), Mahatma Gandhi (November 1927), Kamaladevi Chattopadyaya (1931 and 1937), Jawaharlal Nehru (1931) and Satyamurthi (late 1937) among others; and they were received with due reverence and earnest attention.

Indian nationalism produced several notable leaders and reached levels of performance which had the capacity to inspire. The Gandhian movement in particular captured the popular imagination in Ceylon.138 In the three decades extending from about the year 1920, Gandhi was to the young men of Ceylon what Mao-Tse-Tung and Che Guevara are today (1973). The image which he evoked of an ascetic and unrelenting patriot served as a model which several Ceylonese attempted to re-create (at least for public consumption). The picture of young S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike before a spinning wheel, with accompanying discourse, for instance, was nothing but unadulterated imitation.139 Indeed, the nationalist activities in Ceylon abound with references to such ideas and techniques as “soul force,” “passive resistance” and “non-violence,” or to such symbols as the charka, the takli and the khaddar, with resolutions on the spinning and weaving of cloth in homes, and with swadeshi drives; all these Indian ideas became part of the nationalistic rhetoric and the nationalist programme in Ceylon.140 

Again, the constitution framed for the Ceylon National Congress in 1940 appears to have been founded on the constitution of the Indian National Congress as amended at the congress held at Haripura in 1939.141 Indeed, the period 1939-1947 was marked by an unusual degree of inspirational influence from India: in part because the forced sojourn of some LSSP leaders in India led to closer contacts with socialist groups on the sub-continent and in part because of the degree to which young J. R. Jayewardene was influenced by the nationalism of the Indian National Congress.142

Since J. R. Jayewardene’s role in the regeneration of the Ceylon National Congress from 1939 was pivotal, these influences were incorporated into the Congress programme. In 1941 for instance, he insisted that the “Congress movement for freedom [should be] based on Non-Violence (Ahimsa) in thought, word and deed” and that all British imperial honours should be rejected. He initiated a swadeshi movement. He spoke of “Basic Education” and “Rebel India.” He even wrote about “An Indo-Lanka Federation.”143

young JR Jayawardene

In postulating this latter notion, his was not a solitary voice. Thoughts and plans of a federation with India were voiced by several individuals and political groups from time to time.144 This was in part an index of the admiration which Indian nationalism evoked. In part it was a tactical ploy by which Ceylonese nationalists hoped to hasten the moment of independence — seeking in effect to gain freedom the quicker by hanging on to the coattails of the Indian nationalists.

Once nationalism, in all its variety, had become an established part of Ceylon’s political scene, the British Government’s concession of constitutional reform in 1920—which created a territorially-elected chamber of representatives—provided this nationalism with another source of momentum. In appealing to an electorate, however small, prospective candidates had to stand forth as nationalists of one sort or the other (the shades being partly determined by the situation in their constituency and their patron-client networks in Ceylon). A nationalist stance was a source of political mobility and a fountain of political legitimacy—the more so after 1931 when, well before her independence, Ceylon was granted universal adult suffrage. The more radical shades of thought which the moderate nationalists adopted in the late 1930’s and the refashioning of the principal goals of the Ceylon National Congress were partly the result of this process of (internal) competition for votes—though partly, too, a product of the new socialist literature of the 1930’s and a response to the emergence of a new competitive political force, the LSSP.

The demands of the political constituencies, however, were not necessarily all-island ones; they were not necessarily founded on an overarching Ceylonese nationalism. Many people identified themselves in terms of their primordial ethnic group. Their loyalties were primarily to their kith and kin or their ethnic community. The process of political devolution, therefore, introduced “a valuable new prize over which to fight.” As Geertz notes, “the very process of the formation of a sovereign civil state …. stimulates sentiments of parochialism, communalism, racialism and so on.”145

Ceylon’s cultural and social bedrock consequently pushed nationalist ideology into sectionalist channels and shapes. Despite its indebtedness to West European thought, nationalist thinking in Ceylon was also threaded by concepts and notions which were more akin to the cultural nationalisms of Central and South-Eastern Europe than the territorial and institutional concept of the nation that prevailed in England, Switzerland and France; and whereby cultural, ethnic and linguistic criteria were emphasised in demarcating the contours of the nation. The emphasis was universalistic rather than individualistic; so that, in this view, one was born into the collectivity, the nation; and did not enter into a citizenship-contract in a nation defined, in the outlook of an Abbe Sieyes, as “a body of associates living under one common law and represented by the same legislature.”146 This is but one of the reasons which renders the content and focus of nationalism in Ceylon, or more correctly, that of the various strands of nationalism in Ceylon, a crucial historical problem.


KEY ACTIVISTS in the CNC in the years 1947-50

George E. De Silva 

 Jayantha Weerasekera

FOOTNOTES …. Chapter Three….. with infra & supra referring to pages in the Introductory book within a book in Documents of the Ceylon National Congress and Nationalist Politics in Ceylon, 1929-1950. Vol 1.

Likewise, readers must visit this book to access the book references in these footnotes.

  1. Angus Maddison, Class Structure and Economic Growt : India Since the Moghuls, London : George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1971, pp. 71-73.
  2. K. M. de Silva, “Origins of Nationalism,” in UCHC vol. 3, I973b, pp. 251-55.
  3. G. C. Mendis (ed.), The Colebrooke-Cameron Papers, O. U. P., 1956, vol. 2 pp. 30-31.
  4. See Ravinder Kumar, ” Liberalism and Reform in India,” Journal of World History, vol. VII: 4, 1963, pp. 892 ff.
  5. Colebrooke presented this specific suggestion because he considered that the limited range of published materials in the island tended “ to check the progress of moral and intellectual improvement” and to perpetuate the ignorance and prejudices of the people in those areas which had little contact with Europeans (G. C. Mendis (ed.), C-C Papers, 1956, vol. I, p. 75).
  6. G. C. Mendis (ed.), C-C Papers, 1956, vol. I, pp. 65-76, quotations from 68, 69 and 75.
  7. Henry Candidus, Desultory Conversation, 1853.
  8. The protests embodied in the Buddhist revival and the activities of the Buddhist Theosophical Society after 1880 presented, at best, a limited and indirect challenge to the government authorities. The Government’s contretemps with the unofficial! in the Legislative Council and a section of the mercantile sector over military expenditure in 1864, which led to the agitation of the Ceylon League, presented a greater nuisance-value; on the other hand, though a few Ceylonese were involved in this agitation, it was essentially a white “settler” movement.
  9. There seems to have been little knowledge about German, Polish, and East European nationalisms. I have not, in my limited research, come across any references to Herder or even to Rousseau. Till a more comprehensive review is attempted, however, the names listed must be treated as partial in cope.
  10. Items 20: B and 88: A, infra, for instance. Also infra, p. 953, 961, 1130, 1214-15, 1454,1353, 1472-83, 1517-18 and 1581-86.
  11. Item 20:B, infra, p. 908. Also see S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, “Nationalism,” Island Review, April 1926, pp. 20-21.
  12. Victor C. Perera in seconding a resolution (item 27:C, infra, p. 1130).

89. V.K.  Jayewardena, Labor Movement, 1972, p. 235.

90. The phrase quoted is the interpretation provided in a resolution of the Ceylen National Congress in 1920 (infra, p. 245) where the reference is used as a foundation for the claim that Ceylon should be placed on the same footing as the sell-governing dominions. The principle of self-determination had been included in Woodrow Wilson’s “Fourteen Points “ and in 1918 Lloyd George specifically noted that the principle was applicable to the colonies as well.

91. Infra, pp.1473-74 (P. de S. Kularatne).

92. Herbert Passin, “Writer and Journalist in the Transitional Society” in Lucian W. Pye(ed), Communications and Political Development, Princeton University Press,1963,p, 98.

93.Ibid, pp  99-100. Examples  of such papers during the period 1890-1930 would be: in English, The Ceylon Independent, The Ceylon Standard, The Ceylon Morning Leader and — once D. R. Wijewardene purchased it—The Ceylon Observer; in Sinhalese, the Sarasavi Sanderdsa, the Dinamina and the Kamkaru Handa; in Tamil, The Hindu Organ.

  1. E.g., Handbook CNC, 1928, p, 673.
  2. All A ,Mazrui, Towards a Pax Africana, London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson,1967,pp,6-7(emphasis added). As Mr. W J.F. Labrooy noted, however, Mazrui is looking at the wrong century; 16th and 17th century England would have provided him with patriot writers of this genre.
  3. Ibid, pp. 7-8.
  4. Azlklwe of Nigeria as noted by Mazrui (ibid., p. 8).
  5. Quotation from Francis de Zoysa’s speech in 1925 in Handbook CNC, 1928, p, 686. For another example see T. H. Obeysekere’s essay in N.M,C, Vol,V: I,1917, pp. 15-16.
  6. For instance, see infra, items 21, 22, 23 et seq and 74-77, 80-84, and 87-89.
  7. E.g. Infra, Items 100, 59 and 63.
  8. E,g. see Handbook CNC, 1928 pp. 509, 515 & 586 and infra, items 24, 26, 94, 95:H, and          102:F. Significantly, When Bandaranaike presented a theoretlcal justiflcation for nationalist-sectionalism (see infra, pp. 566-70), he also contended that Ceylon’s politicians commonly made the mistake of thinking “along the lines of British political thought, unintelligently and without any consideration of the particular conditions of their own country” (see infra, p. 569). The juxtaposition of these two aspects was [is] highly pertinent,
  9. The revolutions in Russia in 1917 and the eventual Bolshevik victory seem to have had less inspirational influence in the decade that followed than they did in such countries as China, India, and Indonesia. For references to a response that was couched in terms of enthusiasm at the fall of “Czardom” and for a brief survey of the discussions generated, see V. K. Jayawardena, Labor Movement, 1972, pp. 227 & 338, and her “Impact of the October Revolution on Ceylon, 1917-1935,” Ceylon Observer, 16 Nov. 1967. The latter deals with possible reasons for the late entry of social revolutionary thought into Ceylon and for the absence of a Marxist movement in the 1920’s.
  10. G. J. Lerski, Origins of Trotskyism in Ceylon, Stanford, 1968, pp. 27-28; also see p. 40 and Henry M. Oliver, Economic Opinion and Policy in Ceylon, Durham; N. C.: Duke University Press, 1957.
  11. Items 59, 60, 61 & 62 infra.
  12. Desultory Conversation, 1853, preface.
  13. Based on interviews with numerous retired British and Ceylonese C. C.S. personnel in the years 1965-1967 as part of an oral history project (ROHP). Also see W. T. Stace, “ Notes on Life in Ceylon, 1910-1932,” autobiography in typescript (available at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London), written c. 1950’s?, final chapter ; and Frederick Bowes, “ Bows and Arrows pp. 71-73, 313, 403-04. Bowes was in the Ceylon Civil Service from 1891-1922
  14. See C. N. A., 25.20/12, Copy of encl. in confid. despatch of 14 May 1934(?) or 1937(?).
  15. Angus Maddison, Class Structure, 1971, p. 44.
  16. See Frederick Bowes, “Bows and Arrows,” pp. 228, 404-06, & 447 and V. K. Jayawardena. Labor Movement, 1972, pp. 200-01.
  17. Re the protest see Sir Alexander Ashmore’s Disparagement of Ceylonese: Monster Public Meeting at the Public Hall, Ceylon on Friday, November 23, 1906 Colombo : The “Ceylon Independent” Press, 1906.
  18. Letter to Allan Drieberg and others, dated 14 Nov. 1906, in ibid., p. 19.
  19. Cf. E. A. P. Wijeyeratne’s comment that the inferiority complex of the Ceylonese was “the most vicious of our political drawbacks,” (item 27:C, infra, p. 1119).
  20. V. K. Jayawardena, Labor Movement, 1972, p. 126 and personal knowledge of Galle folklore supported by Mrs. F. B. de Mel’s folk tales and reminiscences (copy with Miss Rohini de Mel and with author).
  21. E. g. an apocryphal story concerning Samuel Lawson Peiris’s successful breaching of the racialist walls set up at the Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya by means of a cabled booking of accommodation in which he used the name “Samuel Lawson.” The incident appears to have occurred in the inter-war period and is part of Colombo 7 folklore.
  22. This has also been emphasised by Sarath Amunugama (Communications,1973,passim); and Mao-Tse-Tung’s words and some of the illustrations below have been incorporated from his dissertation.
  23. See Michael Ames, “Westernization or Modernization: The Case of the Sinhalese Buddhism,” Social Compass, vol, XX, 1973, pp. 155-57.
  24. Amunugama, Communications, 1973, pp. 127-28, 141, & 186 ff. Also see Supra, pp. xc ff.
  25. Quoted In ibid., pp. 211-12 & 267.
  26. From a typed copy of a speech delivered by Silva in the late 1910’s (From a set of Speeches sent to me by Mr. E.A.G de Silva, his son)..
  27. From a typed copy of an election speech at the Town Hall, Colombo on the 13th October,1923.
  28. Handbook CNC., 1928, p. 508 and an article in the Samasamajamist, vol. I. 1937, quoted by G.J. Lerski, Origins, a1968, pp. 17-18.
  29. Infra, item 76:b.
  30. See V K Jayawardena, Labor Movement, 1972, pp. 116-20.
  31. See ibid, pp. 226-27; E. T. de Silva’s speech of the 13th October 1923; and infra, items 144-50.
  32. “Diary Leaves,” Mahabodhi, LXVII: 3-4, March-April 1959, p. 82.
  33. Extract from Arunachalam’s Diary of 1903, according to notes taken by Mr. James T.Rutnam. Also see infra, pp. 1345-47.
  34. A. Guruge (ed). Return to Righteousness, Colombo: Govt. Press, 1965, Pp, 489-90.
  35. Author’s Interview with A. E. Goonesinha, 12 May 1966 and V. K. Jayawardena, Lader Movement, 1972, pp. 226-27; and Charles S. Blackton, “The Action Phase of the 1915 Riots,” Journal of Asian Studies, vol. XXIX: 2, 1969, p. 236.
  36. Fer elaboration, see Malalgoda, “Millennialism, ” C.S.S.H., 1970a, pp. 43 ff and Roberts, “Variations,” C.S.S., 1972, pp. 17-22. Also see supra, p. liv.
  37. For the growth of the nikayas and the Buddhist revival, see Kitsiri Malalgoda, Sociological Aspects of Revival and Change in Buddhism in Nineteenth Century Ceylon, Oxford University: D. Phil, dissertation in Sociology, 1970b and Malalgoda, “The Buddhist-Christian Confrontation in Ceylon, 1800-I880” Social Compass, vol. XX. 1973. For the evangelical campaign and government Pellcy towards Buddhist i (1840-1855), see K. M. de Silva, Social Policy and Missionary Organizations In Ceylon, 1840-1855, London: Longman’s, 1965.
  38. See L.A. Wickremeratne, “Religion, Nationalism, and Social Change in Ceylon, “JRAS,GB& I,no, 2, 1969, pp. 123-50; Malalgoda, Revival and Change 1970 Chap, Seven; and Roberts, “Political Antecedents,” C.S.S., 1970, pp. 14-16.
  39. See supra, pp xci-xcii.
  40. See V. K. Jayawardena, Labor Movement, 1972, pp. 39-42 : Revd. X. S. Theninayagam, “Regional Nationalism in Twentieth Century Tamil Literature,” Tamil Culture, vol. X : I, Jan-March 1963; and John H. Martyn, Notes on Jaffna, Tellippalal: American Ceylon Mission Press, 1923, pp. 52, 239-40 and note no’s 173& 177.
  41. P.T.M. Fernando,” The 1915 Riots and Martial Law in Ceylon: A Study of The Campaign For Justice,” in A Symposium on the 1915 Communal Riots, Peradenlya: C.S.S.,1970b, p. 121.
  42. E.g., C E. Corea, Communal Rights: a Letter to the Hon. The Members of the Legislative Council in Ceylon, Dehiwaia: Pearl Press, 1916 (with a second edn. in 1917); Mudaliyar A. Dissanaike, “ The Land Settlement Policy under the Waste Lands Ordinance in Ceylon,’’ C.N.R., vol. III : 9, March 1910, pp. 130-32; and Albert A.Wickremesinghe, Land Tenure in the Kandyan Provinces, Colombo: Maha Jana Press, 1924. E. A. P. Wijeyeratne and D. S. Senanayake assisted Wickremesinghe to produce his 43 page monograph. Also see infra, pp. 1124 ff., 1395-96 & 1414.
  43. Arnold Wright (comp.), T. Cent. Imp., 1907, p. 737 and Lai Jayawardena, The Supply of Sinhalese Labour to Ceylon Plantations (1830-1930), Cambridge University: Ph.D. dissertation in Econ.History, 1963, pp. 19 ff. Jayawardene reveals that some of the critics were among the prominent buyers of land in the private market during this period. There are obvious parallels here with recent revisionist assessments of Romesh R.C. Dutt’s role as a nationalist critic of British economic policy in India (see Angus Maddison, Class Structure, 1971, p. 48 f n. 2 and 54 fn. 2).

Cf. one of the themes in Harry G. Johnson, “A Theoretical Model of Nationalism in New and Developing States,” Political Science Quarterly, vol. 30: 2, June 1965, pp. 169-85.

  1. See P. T. M. Fernando, “Arrack, Toddy and Ceylonese Nationalism: Some Observations on the Temperance Movement, 1912-1921,” M.C.S., vol. 2: 2, July 1971, passim and V. K. Jayawardena, Labor Movement, 1972, pp. 142-45.
  2. E.g., see C. W. W. Kannangara’s eulogy, item 22:B, p. 972 below; infra, pp. 774, 748, 918, 1007 & 1348 ; and also W. A. de Silva’s talk at the Tower Hall in Feb. 1918 (N. M. C., March 1918, p. 100).
  3. See S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, Charrkaya saha goyam ketha, Colombo: J. D. Fernando, 1933. This pamphlet is reprinted as “The Spinning Wheel and the Paddy Field,” in his Speeches and Writings, Colombo: Government Press,1963, pp. 550-609—without the photograph.
  4. For e.g., see items 22:B, 23:B, & 59-61 below ; or infra, pp. 1374, 1379-82 (year 1940) and pp. 1427 ff.
  5. See items 50 & 51, infra.
  6. See item 63 and items under Section IX. In 1940 J. R. Jayewardene, P. D. S. Jayasekera, and J. E. Amaratunga attended the Ramgarh sessions of the Indian National Congress as delegates of the Ceylon National Congress.
  7. Item 150, infra.
  8. E. A. P. Wijeyeratne in 1949 (infra, pp. 1388-89); and Siripala Samarakkody in the 1940’s (infra, pp. 1446 & 1523). George E. de Silva even referred (in 1939) to India as “our mother country,” (infra, p. 1348). Sir P. Arunachalam was another individual who favoured the idea of a federation (personal communication from K. M. de Silva). Also see item 15:A below.
  9. Clifford Geertz, “The Integrative Revolution: Primordial Sentiments and Civil Politics in the New States” in Geertz (ed.), Old Societies and New States, New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1963, p. 120 ; also see pp. 121-23.
  10. F. H. Hinsley, Nationalism and the International System, Dobbs Ferry N. Y.; Oceana Publications, 1973, chap. 4 quotation from p. 44. Also see Louis L. Snyder, The New Nationalism, Ithaca, N. Y.: Cornell University Press, 1958, pp. 53-59, following Hans Kohn and Morris Ginsberg, Nationalism. A Reappraisal, Leeds University Press, 1963. Also see S. Arasaratnam, History, Nationalism and Nation Building: The Asian Dilemma, An Inaugural Lecture at the University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, 1974.

** This chapter was extracted and typed up in manageable form by Iranga silva of the ICES, Kandy. Note that the whole book within-a-book in the DNA edition that places the CNC papers before the public was drafted by me when lecturing at Peradeniya University in the years 1972-73; while the tedious printing process  — which involved visits to the Govt Press near the Oval in Maradana was in the year 1974 or so. Though Messrs Dewaraja and Haris de Silva were eager to publish four books, their superiors under the United Front government of Mrs Bandaranaike were not enthusiastic. I was in Germany (mostly in Heidelberg) on a Humboldt Fellowship from July 1975 and was pleasantly surprised when I was able to attend a ceremony marking the remarkably rapid-production of the book in January 1977 — the result of the UNP coming to power under JR Jayewardene.

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