Tag Archives: 1948

Did You Know That Israel Just Passed A Parliamentary Bill Proclaiming That It Is Principally A Jewish State?

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE and scan here. From “bbc.com”. Google … Easy to find.

Click to access UK “Sky News” original.

Click to access UK “Sky News” original.

I am an avowed news junkie and consume a lot of cable news a day, morning, noon and night. But, I am sure I did NOT hear about this either on CNN and MSNBC last week.

I happened to see it when I was scanning through “Sky News” last night.

I was shocked — mainly in that I had not heard about it.

This seems like a MAJOR change in Israel’s status — but folks are claiming that it is not so. That it is only codifying the obvious and what has been the law of the land since its inception in 1948. Though I have visited Israel once, have done a ton of work for Israeli companies and have an alter-ego in Israel, I am not qualified to really tell you what-is-what.

My gut feel is that this is NOT good.

When I then hear that this could only have got approved under a Donald Trump presidency, it gets me worried further.

It just doesn’t sound kosher to I.

Looks like they are discriminating against all of the now-Jewish folk that live in Israel — and 25% of the population is indeed non-Jewish.

You should look it up. Appears that the Wall Street Journal did cover it bit my days of reading the WSJ on a daily basis are long gone.

Related posts:
Search ‘Israel.

by Anura Guruge

British Musical Superstar, Baron Andrew Lloyd Webber Was Born This Day 69-Years Ago; March 22, 1948.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE and read snippet here. Wikipedia link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Lloyd_Webber

What an amazing body of work.

I am delighted that he shares a birthday with Teischan.

I have not seen all of his musicals BUT have seen most of them, some more than once and in some cases both in London and New York.

We watched “I’d Do Anything” on PBS and loved it.

Related Posts:
++++ Check Categories ‘Events’ for other related posts >>>>

by Anura Guruge

Today, March 12, 2017, Is JAMES TAYLOR’s 69th Birthday — Happy Birthday JT, You Are A Miracle.

by Anura Guruge

Wikipedia entry. Click to ENLARGE and read here. Link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Taylor

Related Posts:
++++ Check Category ‘Events’ for other related posts >>>>

by Anura Guruge

February 3, 2017: A Sad Day, 69th Anniversary Of Mahatma Gandhi’s Funeral.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. “Raj Ghat” in New Delhi: The memorial in – Memorial marking the cremation spot of Mahatma Gandhi

I only discovered a few years ago, quite accidentally, that February 3, 1948 had been the day of Mahatma Gandhi’s Funeral.

The following day, February 4, 1948 was Independence Day for Ceylon. I was looking for newspaper clippings from February 4, 1948 when I came across a picture of the funeral pyre from February 3.

I was quite taken aback.

His funeral pyre hardly had time to cool before Ceylon was celebrating its Independence. How ironic. We got our Independence on his back. India’s and Ceylon’s independence, 6 months apart, was essentially a joint deal, though it is never portrayed as such.

So, now, ahead of Independence Day I make a point of observing the anniversary of the GREAT MAN’s funeral.

Related posts:
++++ Check Category  ‘Sri Lanka’ for many other related posts.

by Anura Guruge

Since When Was There ‘Occupied Territory’ In Sri Lanka — As Claimed By “National Geographic”.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and read here. “Occupied territory” highlighted. How to access original access shown below.

cv-1116_006-275x400This statement about “occupied territory” appears in the very biased and unflattering article about Sri Lanka in the November 2016 issue of “National Geographic” (which focuses on travel to Mars). It is on page 108 of the printed magazine. See below to access it online.

I am confused.

Since when did Sri Lanka have “occupied territory”?

Does France have “occupied territory”?

Does Italy have “occupied territory”?

So why does Sri Lanka have “occupied territory”?

It was one UNIFIED country when it gained Independence on February 4, 1948.

That land mass, as of February 4, 1948, has not changed.

So where is this “occupied territory”?


I found a copy, from “National Geographic” themselves, online!



Click this image to access ‘NatG’ original.

Related Posts:
>> Check Category “Sri Lanka” for many other posts >>>>

by Anura Guruge

Sri Lanka: First Olympic Medal — 1948, Duncan White, 400 Meter Hurdles (2nd Place).

by Anura Guruge


Click to access YouTube video. AMAZING quality given that this was shot, on film, 68 years ago. MUST WATCH.


Click to ENLARGE and read here. Use link below to access the original.

Click here for the Wikipedia original.


What made this even MORE special was that Ceylon had just got its independence from Britain
on February 4, 1948.

Related posts:
Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ >>>>
++++ Search ‘Olympics’ for many other posts >>>>

by Anura Guruge

Ceylon/Sri Lanka Independence Day — Events Leading Up To 1948 Handover Of Power.

by Anura Guruge


Click to access YouTube video.

February 4, 2016 will be the 68th anniversary of Ceylon/Sri Lanka Independence — the great day having occurred in 1948.

If we are lucky Google will do a Doodle, for Sri Lanka Independence Day (which Google called ‘National Day‘), as they did in 2015 & 2013 (and MY request).

Around this time I start combing the Web looking for historic new stories or movie clips related to Independence. This is my first contribution this year.

Related posts:
>> Sri Lanka Independence Day 1948.
>> 2015 Independence Day Google Doodle.
>> Ceylon Independence Act.

++++ Search on ‘Ceylon independence’ for MANY related posts >>>>

by Anura Guruge

Ceylon Independence Day, February 4, 1948: A Story, Pictures And Even ‘The Film’.


Anura Guruge

Two Related posts:
>> Google Doodle For Sri Lanka Independence Day … — Jan. 26, 2012.
>> Radio Ceylon: The Radio Station Sir Hillary Listened To While
>> On Mt. Everest …– Jan. 30, 2013.

This is a story that over the years I heard my adoptive father tell at least 20 to 30 times, mainly to foreigners, either those visiting Ceylon or when we lived abroad in Buffalo (U.S.), Paris, New Delhi and Bangkok.

I am not sure whether it is true. I was 5.5 years from being born. My adoptive father would have been 19 and attending university. So he was the perfect age to savor this moment. My adoptive father was a born storyteller (as befits an author of his prolificity). Typically his stories that deal with historical events usually have some basis, though my father does like to embellish. I wanted to make sure that I captured this story, on the Web, for posterity because it is cute.

So those are the caveats.

Though my adoptive father always referred to it as the ‘National Anthem‘, I, after some Web research, realize that it, i.e., Sri Lanka Matha (Mother Sri Lanka), though written in 1940 did NOT become the national anthem until 1951. It was, however, very popular in the 1940s and most likely was played on Independence Day as the de facto National Anthem. It never also occurred to me to ask why it was not sung as part of the flag raising by a group of young ladies dressed in white, as became the norm. The first few times I heard the story I would have been about 6 or 7. After that I didn’t pay that much attention to it. I had heard it before.

Actual ‘British Pate’ News coverage film (movie)
of that historic day, 65 years ago.

Click to access 'British Pate' for this newsreel and at least one more related film ... on that same page. Yes, in Ceylon they were called 'films'. We went to the films, not the movies.

Click to access ‘British Pate’ for this newsreel and at least one more related film … on that same page. Yes, in Ceylon they were called ‘films’. We went to the films, not the movies.

The formal Independence ceremony at ‘Independence Square’. This was the setting for the story. Click to ENLARGE.

Click for Ceylon/Sri Lanka National Anthem from YouTube. There are other versions too. The Anthem has been slightly altered over the years for reasons of political correctness.

Click for Ceylon/Sri Lanka National Anthem from YouTube. There are other versions too. The Anthem has been slightly altered over the years for reasons of political correctness.

Independence Commemoration Hall built on the site of the original 1948 ceremony. I remember it well from my childhood. We would go and play on and around it. Click to ENLARGE.

The Independence Day 1948 Story

The Ceylon Independence Ceremony was held during the day (unlike the Indian one in 1947 which took place, quite correctly, at midnight, the Indians counting the minutes). Duke of Gloucester (Prince Henry, the 3rd son of King George V) and Duchess of Gloucester attend the official flag-raising ceremony in Colombo. Per my father the flag raising was to occur sharp at noon. The National Anthem was going to be played on Radio Ceylon as the flag was raised. This would be the first time the National Anthem,  Sri Lanka Matha, had been played on the radio — British rule not permitting it previously. There was, as was to be expected, much anticipation. Much of the population, which was probably around 8 million at the time (I am guessing), would have been listening to the radio. There was no TV or Internet. This was 1948.

It is just before noon. The Union Jack is hauled down for the last time.

The new Ceylon flag, resplendent with the lion rampant, is ready to be hoisted aloft for the first time.

Anticipation builds.

It is noon.

Radio Ceylon plays the (BBC) Big Ben chimes for the hour.

Ceylon is independent.

There is no cheering. Just silence. The crowds are waiting for the national anthem to be played so that the flag can be raised to it.

There is a pause. It soon becomes pregnant.

Still nothing. Just silence on Radio Ceylon. People check their radios to make sure that power is still on.

Suddenly, a British voice is heard:
where is that bloody record?

Those were the first words broadcast to the newly independent Ceylon by Radio Ceylon.

That concludes the story. Though there were Ceylonese working for Radio Ceylon by then, it was still British run at the time of independence.

This was just 65 years ago. So there will be quite a few people, in Ceylon, Britain and other parts, who were there on the day and can remember the ceremony. Did this really happen?

I can ask my father, but this story is part of his lore and by now he probably can’t remember its true origins. He likes to tell a lot of stories about me that I have no idea what he is talking about. So, I am looking for independent verification. It is a great story. If it is indeed 100% true it needs to be cherished and preserved. Even if it is an anecdote, it is a good one and worth repeating. I can see it happen. Open mikes are so much fun. To be honest, I can’t remember whether it was ‘bloody’ or ‘damn’. But, a good Brit would always opt for bloody ahead of damn. It was not any other swear word. ‘Bloody’ really is not even a swear word.

Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’, on this blog, in the sidebar (to your right or BELOW),
for many other posts on Independence.