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Devolved power

Centralized power was a feature of the political system of the British administration. Mr. Bandaranaike firmly believed that this would have to be reformed if all of the country’s diverse groups and peoples were to fully enjoy their political freedom and independence. He saw the emergence of diverse political parties within the country based on regional, ethnic or language affiliation as an indication of the desire for sub-national structures which would satisfy these aspirations without diminution of the greater national unity.

In fact he, more than others of his time, foresaw the rise of separatist movements, which could threaten the foundations of the nation State, if such relief was not provided. The pivotal reforms he formulated in this regard were the Regional Councils Act and the Bandaranaike – Chelvanayakam Agreement of 1958.