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Foreign Policy

Mr Bandaranaike firmly believed that a country’s foreign policy was but an extension of its domestic stand on the crucial challenges it faced. He saw the world in the context of the 1950’s as one divided between two ideologically opposed power blocs perilously poised on the edge of nuclear warfare, mass destruction and the imminent annihilation of the human race. He saw his own country dangerously caught between these two power blocs, and moved decisively to alter the status quo. As a first step, he called on Britain, the former ruler and a pillar of the Western bloc, to remove her air and naval bases from the country.

Accordingly, the Katunayake Air Base and the Trincomalee Naval Port were handed over to national control. Simultaneously, he with other like - minded Third World leaders, launched the Non Aligned Movement, a unique association, signifying Afro-Asian unity and solidarity in making the world safe for democracy and future peace. In 1976, Sri Lanka had the privilege of hosting the 6th Non Aligned Summit of 67 countries under the Premier-ship of Mr Bandaranaike’s widow, Sirimavo Bandaranaike.