Suriya-Mal Movement

The Suriya-Mal Movement was started in the year 1933. Although it appeared as a social welfare movement, it also propagated anti-imperialist ideas, which ignited anti-imperialist sentiments about the National Liberation War among the people. The Suriya-Mal Movement in Sri Lanka was used as a counter to the Poppy Movement in Britain.

A group of young people who returned to Sri Lanka after studying abroad and who were interested in Marxist philosophy started this movement. S.A. Wickramasinghe, N.M. Perera, Advocate Leslie Gunawardena, Dr. Colvin R. De Silva, Doreen Wickramasinghe, Advocate Vernon Gunasekara, Advocate B.J. Fernando, and Selena Perera were among them. The appointment of Doreen Wickramasinghe as the founding president of the organisation is notable. These individuals later formed the first political party, the Ceylon Communist Party.

Among the welfare activities of this movement were efforts to raise the education level of children considered to be of lower castes in Sri Lanka, save people from the malaria epidemic, and provide medicine, food, and other essential materials to distant areas.

Kamkaru Handa, 02.11.1934, Suriyamal Movement

Department of National Archives Sri Lanka

Department of
National Archives
Sri Lanka

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