The Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) would like to extend their warm wishes and greetings of friendship to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in commemoration of their 76th Independence Day this February 4, 2024.


The history of Sri Lanka is grounded in its geographical characteristic as known to be an attractive acquisition to other countries which led to the colonization of the British empire. The Portuguese had its first attempt in the 16th century to occupy Ceylon (the old name of Sri Lanka) when the Dutch got rid of the Portuguese from the island of Ceylon in the 17th century, resulting in clashes between both countries. Later in 1815, Sri Lanka had been colonized by the British Empire.

H.E William Gopallawa, First President of Sri Lanka
Photo courtesy of Kiddle Encyclopedia

Don Stephen Senanayake, First Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Photo courtesy of The Island Online

Furthermore, despite the colonial challenges faced by Sri Lanka, the country was granted a semi-independent status in 1948 and became fully independent in 1972, claiming its recognition as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. In the same year, William Gopallawa was seated as the first President of Sri Lanka when he replaced the British Empire’s appointed Governor. The father of the nation, Don Stephen Senanayake, then became the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

Given the events encountered by Sri Lanka throughout the years, their Independence Day holds a monumental significance to their nation as it marked the end of 446 years of colonization under the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule. Their Independence Day also promotes a sense of unity and commonality among the Sri Lankan communities regardless of their ethnicity and religious backgrounds. It provides a platform for important dialogues to address challenges and creates an opportunity for Sri Lankans to build partnerships with other nations.


Every year, Sri Lankans celebrate their Independence Day through grand displays, music, performances and speeches from the politicians. Although the theme this year is not officially announced, their Independence Day is still celebrated with solemnity and be respectfully observed in the duration of the events.

Military Parade during the 74th Independence Day of Sri Lanka
Photo courtesy of Daily Mirror

Traditional lighting of oil lamp, 66th Independence Day of Sri Lanka
Photo courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Sri Lanka

The main celebration takes place in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, wherein the President delivers a speech during the flag hoisting ceremony. There is also a lighting of traditional lamps before the procession as it completes with military parades and cannon firings. Their celebration also includes cultural performances, fireworks displays and family gatherings. All of these are done to honor the forefathers of the land.

Sri Lanka’s parade, 75th Independence Day
Photo courtesy of Xinhua News

Cultural performance, 67th Independence day
Photo courtesy of Anadolu Ajansi


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