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Google Doodle celebrated Sri Lanka Independence Day on 4 February

Google marks the 76th celebration of Sri Lanka’s National Independence Day

Amelia Neath
Monday 05 February 2024 14:11 GMT
The 4 February Google Doodle depicted the Sri Lankan flag waving in the sky
The 4 February Google Doodle depicted the Sri Lankan flag waving in the sky (Google Doodle)

Google Doodle launched its new image on 4 February to celebrate the 76th Sri Lankan Independence Day.

On 4 February 1948, Sri Lanka became politically independent after centuries under colonial rule. The country was under British rule at the time it made its steps towards independence.

Various movements and constitutional reforms in the country all led to the achievement of independence. Sri Lanka gained its independence largely through a peaceful political movement that sought to transfer power to them through peaceful actions.

The Donoughmore Commission in 1927 was also a pivotal moment in the lead-up to an independent Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon).

The commission led to constitutional reforms such as the removal of communal representation and replaced this with universal suffrage. While this boosted greater voting power for the Sinhalese, other smaller minority groups such as Muslims, Tamils and Europeans had less, according to the UK Parliament blog.

While not everyone agreed with universal suffrage reform, the attainment of individuality among the people of Sri Lanka meant that the desire for fairer representation and political change increased, the blog states.

Another significant agent in Sri Lanka’s constitutional reforms was the Soulbury Commission, which was set up in 1944.

Don Stephen Senanayake, a Sinhalese statesman, led negotiations over independence and sent a letter to the United Kingdom’s secretary of state to make a case for dominion status, the UK Parliament blog says.

Mr Senanayake would go on to become the first prime minister of Ceylon after political independence had been achieved.

On 10 December 1947, the Ceylon Independence Bill was passed in the UK, and it became an independent country within the British Commonwealth of Nations on 4 February 1948, the blog said.

24 years after this, Ceylon became the Republic of Sri Lanka in 1972, changing the country’s name and establishing itself as an independent republic.

This year, Thailand’s prime minister Srettha Thavisin was invited as the guest of honour at Independence Day celebrations. He joined Sri Lankan president Ranil Wickremesinghe for a ceremony that included a military parade and parachute jumps, the Associated Press reported.

Despite the cause for celebration, a debt of more than $83bn and the declaration of bankruptcy in 2022 continue to loom over the South Asian island country.

Sri Lanka’s financial difficulties led to the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in 2022, and the appointment Mr Wickremesinghe.

Last March, the International Monetary Fund approved a bailout programme for the country, AP said.

The Thai prime minister, while on his visit, signed a free trade agreement in order to increase trade and investment.

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