Sri Lankan Foreign Policy.
From my point of view the foreign policy of a country could changed, if not radically or materially, at least in nuance. At different times Sri Lankan’s foreign policy has shown changes in nuance. As a country whose geographical location has a high strategic importance, Sri Lanka has had to be doubly cautious about her foreign policy stand to prevent the attraction on undue force/power from countries’ whose political economic and military might are fine excess of Sri Lanka’s.
When Sri Lanka was a British colony its foreign policy was determined by them. After independence the main intention of our leaders’ was to protect the newly won freedom and sovereignty of the country. I think that soon after the independence Sri Lanka had a pro-western nuance to her foreign policy with many connections with Britain. D.S. Senanayaka the first prime minister of Sri Lanka [then Ceylon] had security agreements with Britain. [a NATO country] to protect Sri Lankan’s freedom. He also kept Sri Lanka a dominion within the Commonwealth instead of making it a republic like India and Pakistan did. During the period 1948-56 Sri Lanka had leaders like D.S. Senanayaka, Dudley Senanayaka and Sir John Kotalawala and all their foreign policies had a pro-western nuance. The beginnings of change however were beginning to appear they did in the Bandung conference – this in spite of the Sir John Kotalawala – Chou En Lai clashed. S.W.R.D.Bandaranayaka who became prime minister in 1956 fell back strongly on the Bandung principles of peaceful coexistence. He also reclaimed the British bases at Katunayaka and Trincomalee and set Sri Lanka on its path towards Non Aligned Movement. He became totally committed to Non Aligned during the period of the premiership of Mrs. Bandaranayaka when Sri Lanka became one of the founder members of the Non Aligned Movement. Sri Lanka has since then followed the path of Non Aligned in spite of the occasional glitch like our voting with Britain on the Malvinas/ Falkland island issue and our abstention on the West Iranian issue.