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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

The origin of leftist politics in Sri Lanka

[b]The origin of leftist politics in Sri Lanka[/b]

By Para Kumarasamy

Seventy years ago, the oldest left political party of Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was known then) was formed on December 18th. The party was named Lanka Samasamaja Party (The Equality Party). This party had made significant impact on the minds of the people and the political history of the country.

There was greater political awakening among the masses with the introduction of the universal franchise in Ceylon in 1931. The struggle for independence in the neighboring country, India also had great influence on the people. Anti-colonial ideas that were spreading at that time were also due the visits to country by the Indian Congress freedom fighters like Jawaharlal Nehru.

There were several youth leagues and associations making demands for the independence from the British colonial rulers. The organization of native bourgeoisie, the Ceylon National Congress was pleading with the British rulers to grant more powers to the ministers in the State council, instead of a demand for full Independence as in India. The reason for this difference was the social and economic differences between the Indian and Ceylonese bourgeoisies.

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