Sri Lanka's Independence
celebrate the Independence Day on February 4. The Independence was
declared on February 4, 1948. Don Stephen Senanayake was the first Prime
Minister of Ceylon. Prominent Tamil leaders such as Sir Ponnambalam
Ramanathan and Arunachalam Mahadeva joined his Cabinet. In 1956. S. W.
R.D. Bandaranaike was elected prime minister.
The formal ceremony marking the start of self-rule was with the
opening of the first Parliament at the Independence Square in Colombo.
Sirimavo Bandaranaike, widow of S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, took office
as Prime Minister in 1960. In 1972, the country became a Republic and
was named Sri Lanka, repudiating its dominion status.
J. R. Jayewardene's government took office in 1977. Jayewardene
introduced a new Constitution calling a free market economy and an
executive presidency. Sri Lanka was the first South Asian country to
liberalise its economy. In 2009, under President Mahinda Rajapaksa the
Security Forces defeated the LTTE and re-established control of the
country. Sri Lanka has become one of the fastest growing economies in