Political Behaviour and Political Forces

  • A. Jeyaratnam Wilson


Sinhalese Buddhists regard Sri Lanka as their land in which must be preserved theravada Buddhism in its most pristine form. Many Sinhalese Buddhists believe that the future of the Sinhalese race is tied up with the very existence and continuance of this kind of Buddhism. Hence their antipathy to powerful minority groups such as the Tamils (Ceylon and Indian) and the Roman Catholics.


General Election Political Party Prime Minister National Government Trade Union 
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  1. 1.
    For a diligent exposition by a westerner see Richard F. Gombrich, Precept and Practice: Traditional Buddhism in the Rural Highlands of Ceylon (Oxford, 1971). The chapters Total Responsibility in Theory and Practice’ (pp. 214–43) and The Ethnic of Intention’ (pp. 244–68) are particularly useful.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sir Frederick Rees, one of the members of the Soulbury Commission, makes an oblique reference to this (confirmed in a conversation with the writer) in The Soulbury Commission, 1944–45’, The Ceylon Historical Journal, Vol. 5, Nos 1–4, pp. 23–48, when he wrote (p. 45) ‘the rather subtle methods adopted by Sir Oliver Goonetilleke were much more obvious than he himself realised’ (note, Sir Oliver Goonetilleke and D. S. Senanayake were the two persons, according to Sir Ivor Jennings, solely responsible for obtaining independence for Ceylon, see his The Constitution of Ceylon, 3rd ed. (Bombay, 1953), p. x). Sir Charles Jeffries, in his Sir Oliver E. Goonetilleke (Pall Mall, London, 1969), p. 76, refers to the remarks of Rees and reports ‘I suspect that he [Goonetilleke] realised it well enough and could not care less’. J. L. Fernando in his column Then and Now’ in the Ceylon Observer (Sunday edition), 1 February 1959, wrote revealingly : ‘Later came even delicate hints that there would be under the set-up of independent Sri Lanka an attractive job of a governor-generalship. The suggestions were delicately expressed but freely made to more than one person-to Sir Henry Moore, even to the fire-eating Sir Geoffrey Layton and My Lord Soulbury himself. D. S. Senanayake was not much good at putting across these subtle magnetic appeals but he had a trained one-man brains trust to attend to such arrangements.’ Note, the late J. L. Fernando was one of Sri Lanka’s top journalists and a close confidant of D. S. Senanayake. The ‘one-man brains trust’ was none other than Goonetilleke. Sir Henry Moore was British governor of Ceylon immediately prior to independence and became Ceylon’s first governor-general. Admiral Layton was wartime commander-in-chief of Ceylon.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    For the most thorough and analytical examination of parties in Ceylon see Calvin A. Woodward, The Growth of a Party System in Ceylon (Providence, 1969).Google Scholar
  4. 14.
    For the account of the causes of the U.N.P.’s defeat, etc. see I. D. S. Weera-wardena, The CeylonGeneral Election 1956 (Colombo, 1960). AlsoGoogle Scholar
  5. W. Howard Wriggins, Ceylon: Dilemmas of a New Nation (Princeton, N.J., 1960), pp. 326–69.Google Scholar
  6. 15.
    See Wriggins, Ceylon, and Donald E. Smith, ‘The Sinhalese Buddhist Revolution’, in Donald E. Smith (ed.), South Asian Politics and Religion (Princeton, 1966).Google Scholar
  7. 29.
    For a vivid and authentic account of these riots, see T. Vittachi, Emergency ’58: the story of the Ceylon race riots (London, 1958).Google Scholar
  8. 33.
    S. Ponniah’s, Satyagaraha and the Freedom Movement of the Tamils in Ceylon (Jaffna, Ceylon, 1963), provides the fullest account of the events of 1961.Google Scholar
  9. 45.
    See political pamphlet by Dr Colvin R. de Silva, Their Politics and Ours (Colombo, 1954).Google Scholar
  10. 64.
    See Leslie Goonewardene, ‘New Outlook of the L.S.S.P.’, in Ceylon Daily News, 21 December 1970. See alsoGoogle Scholar
  11. V. Karalasingham, ‘An L.S.S.P. Viewpoint: What Should be Today’s Slogans’, in Ceylon Daily News, 2 September 1970 and the full text of the resolution of the Central Committee of the L.S.S.P. in Ceylon Daily News, 2 September 1971.Google Scholar
  12. 65.
    See (Mrs) V. K. Jayewardene, The Rise of the Labour Movement in Ceylon (Durham, North Carolina, 1972), andGoogle Scholar
  13. R. N. Kearney, Trade Unions and Politics in Ceylon (Berkeley, 1971).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© A. Jeyaratnam Wilson 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Jeyaratnam Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of New BrunswickCanada

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