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25 July 1957

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Talks between S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and leaders of the Federal Party: the ‘Bandaranaike–Chelvanayagam Pact’ is signed, pledging to devolve state power through regional councils, to recognise Tamil as a national minority language and to slow Sinhalese resettlement in the North East.

Quotations

“The settlement envisaged setting up of regional councils in the north and east with powers in agriculture, education and selection of candidates for colonisation schemes; provision of a national minority of Ceylon without infringing on the position of the Official Language Act; and the provision of Tamil as the language of administration in the northern and eastern provinces.” From Witness to History: A Journalist’s Memoirs (1930- 2004), S. Sivanayagam, 2005.

“The failure to obtain a single-merged North-East province left him dismayed that narrow district parochialisms could emerge in the absence of an all-embracing Tamil region.” S.J.V. Chelvanayakam and the Crisis of Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism, 1947 – 1977. A Political Biography, A.J. Wilson.

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