February 4 is Sri Lanka’s Independence Day, which is celebrated to commemorate its internal political independence from British rule on that day in 1948.
Its geographic location and deep harbors made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to World War II.
From the 16th century, some coastal areas of the country were also controlled by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. Between 1597 and 1658, a substantial part of the island was under Portuguese rule. The Portuguese lost their possessions in Ceylon due to Dutch intervention in the Eighty Years’ War. Following the Kandyan Wars, the island was united under British rule in 1815. Armed uprisings against the British took place in the 1818 Uva Rebellion and the 1848 Matale Rebellion.
Independence was finally granted in 1948 but the country remained a Dominion of the British Empire until 1972.
In 1972 Sri Lanka assumed the status of a Republic. A constitution was introduced in 1978 which made the Executive President the head of state. The Sri Lankan Civil War began in 1983, including an armed youth uprising in 1987–1989, with the 25-year-long civil war ending in 2009.
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and known from the beginning of British colonial rule until 1972 as Ceylon, is an island country in South Asia near south-east India.
In commemoration of the day, we’d like to introduce you to the “Sri Lankan Curry Kitchen Project”, a team who distributed over 2,000 meals to evacuees of the 3.11 Earthquake.
*Click a photo below to see their stories!
“We’ve received a lot of assistance from Japan. Sri Lanka and Japan have a deep relationship with each other. My Japanese friend says that Sri Lanka helped us a lot more, but anyway we thought, ‘Now it’s our turn to give back to Japan.’ after the earthquake occurred.” – Medagama Gamage Sunil, the spearhead for Sri Lankan Curry Kitchen Project