In Sri Lanka, the President, Mr. Junius Jayewardene, proclaimed a new constitution at a ceremonial?
GV Honour guard at ceremonial parade.
SV President Junius Jayewardene arriving. (3 shots)
CU Sri Lanka flag.
SV President Jayewardene takes salute, guard at present arms (2 shots)
GV Decorated streets and Parliament building festooned (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR President Jayewardene addresses parliamentarians. (4 shots)
GV Colombo streets decorated (2 shots)
LV & SVs School children parading around stadium (3 shots).
SV Children performing rhythmic exercises.
The new Sir Lankan constitution guarantees human rights, provides for an independent press and judiciary, and for proportional representatives voting. It received an important endorsement when the powerful Ceylon Workers Congress, representing a million plantation workers of Indian origin, split with the TULF and joined President Jayewardene's United National Party (UNP) government.
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Background: In Sri Lanka, the President, Mr. Junius Jayewardene, proclaimed a new constitution at a ceremonial sitting of parliament on Thursday. (7 September) The new constitution is the third since the country gained independence from the British in 1948. Reflecting the ruling United National Party's political philosophy of democratic socialism, it is committed to ending more than thirty years of racial strife, making major concessions to the country's racial minorities.
SYNOPSIS: The ceremonial session was boycotted by the opposition members of the Tamil minority. President Jayewardene brought in a constitution which, he says, has made major concessions to the two and a half million Tamils, who are eighteen percent of the population. It cases restrictions on use of their language and opens more jobs in the government sector for the Tamils, whose ancestors came to the island from Southern India.
The Tamils called for a boycott of the national day of celebration, and set the day aside to pray for the Liberation of their mainly Hindu population. The Freedom Party of former Prime Minister, Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, accused the President of giving himself too much power in the constitution, and of shaping a dictatorship.
To celebrate the constitutions becoming law, bells pealed in the capital of Colombo.
The festivities included a march-past by children dressed in national costume. Yet, while these youngsters celebrated, children in the Tamil-speaking provinces of the north and east were kept home from school, and the Secessionist Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) flew their flag symbolising their hopes for a separate Tamil state.