National Contours for Moral Education: Sri Lanka
Military Strength + Weapons Exports
1899 - 1959
From birth background in Anglican colonial (reflected in his given names Solomon West Ridgeway Dias) Ceylon, during his undergraduate studies in Oxford, he was directly exposed to the philosophical and political debates associated with Indian nationalism. These informed his association with the Ceylon National Congress and subsequent pursuit of independence. In spite of his own acceptance of Buddhist views and direct opposition to Tamil interests, he was assassinated by a Buddhist monk.
1916 - 2000
Chosen as Prime Minister of Ceylon following her husband’s assassination. She was the first woman PM of modern times anywhere in the
world. Her political beliefs were in democratic socialism and she pursued these to overcome the remaining elements of colonialism – changing the country’s name to Sri Lanka, the capital from Kandy to Colomo and the national language from English to Sinhalese. Her religious beliefs
were Buddhist. They informed her foreign policy intiatives in non-alignment; less positively, along with the quite limited social contact she had with members of the Tamil Hindu minority at home, they explain her inattention to their economic and political interests.