Home » Political History » 1931 - 1948 Freedom Struggle and First Parliment

1935
Sri Lanka Leftist movement was started. They fought for gaining full freedom. The Sooriyamal campaign against Popi mal campaign was a successful one. They organized strikes to fight the British imperialists. Their members were mainly from Plantation Tamil Community.

Lanka Samamaja party was established with 3 principles, which were focused on winning freedom from British. The total economy was controlled by British. The organizing of work strikes was a part of the freedom struggle.

First Rajaya Mantharan Sabha was desolved and an election was held.
W Doresami became the President of Rajaya Mantharan Sabha, leader of the house and Minister of local affairs was Sir D B Jayatilaka. They requested a similar system to English in the parliament.

1943
British said that they will give consider to give a parliamentary system after the Second World War.

1944
Japanese Attacked Colombo and Trincomale by Air.

Minister of Agriculture D S Senanayake Started Minneriaya Govi Janapada. Built Galoya Reservior. Minister of Industries John Kotalawala build Watawala Hydro Electric Poewer Station. Co-operative System and Grama Sanwardana Vyaparaya Developed. Mallika Hewawitharana like women leaders came forward for benefit of the Public.

Solbary Commission sent from England for hearing for Freedom.

The system proposed contained Governor, Cabinet and manthrees (members of parliament). The governor appoint 6 mps, 95 from votes. Parliament select 15 members for senate and governor appoint 15 for the senate making a senate of 30 members. This was made active in first parliament election in 1947.

1946
UNP was formed by Lanka jathika Sanagamya, Sinhala maha Sabhawa, All Ceylon Muslim Congress, Lanka Yonaka Sangamaya, A Mahadeva Jaffna, S Nadesan Kankasanturai Together.

Party proposal was proposed by S nadeshan MP Kankasanture TB Jaya Seconded it. D S Senanayaka became the Leader of the Party.

1947 The First parliament
- D S Senanayake became the Prime Minister,
cabinet Ministers were
- S W R D Bandaranayake – Health & Local Administration
- Lalithabhaya Rajapaksha – Justice
- John Kotalawala – Roads & Industry
- J R Jayawardena – Finance
- T B Jayah – Labour
- Dudley Senanayake – Agriculture & Lands
- E A Nugawela – Education
- G Sithtampalam – Industry Research & Fisheries
- C Sithtampalam – Post & Telecom
- A Ratnayaka – Food and Cooperative
- E A P Wijeyratna – Local Affairs
- H W Amarasooriya – Trade
- E A Gunasingha – Karya Niyamayak Nomathi Amathi
- A F Molamure Became Speaker of the parliament
- D J Wijeykoon was The Leader of the Senate
- Dr. N M Perera was the Leader of the Opposition.

Prince of Gloster opened the parliament.

Solbary Sami was made the Governor.
A meeting of foreign ministers and prime ministers of common wealth was held in Sri Lanka. Indias Javahallar Neru came to Sri Lanka. Foreign Ministers from England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Minister of Common Wealth participated.

1948
Lanka was given parliament freedom. The Foreign Policy and Defense was still under British Control. British kept the Airports and harbors to them self. The Royal Army and Royal Air Force was under British command. The freedom received was called a status of Dominion.

many political Analysts said that compared to India Sri Lankas freedom fight was nothing. India won freedom after a long struggle with British by giving lives of many people. India built a one force of people accumulating all divided by race, religion and cast. Sri Lankan freedom fight was lead by children of Wealthy people produced by British economy (Plantation, Liquor Business, Money lending). The continuation of the British system was needed for their survival.

British handled the foreign policy and state security; the leaders did not want to obtain a full freedom from British rule.

How ever the new era began after 1948. People enjoyed it.