PLF Rebellion in Ceylon 1971

[ 1971 ]

...Sirimavo Bandaranaike (1916-)... [was replaced] in the 1965 Ceylonese elections by a moderate socialist and pro-Western ruler, she resumed power in 1970 and formed a new coalition government of the SLFP and the marxist socialist parties. Opposition from the exteme left and the marxist People's Liberation Front (PLF), impatient with the government's slow social reform, resulted in an attempted takeover of Colombo, the capital, and other cities (April-May 1971). Ceylon's government received military aid from the Soviet Union, India, Pakistan, and Britain, helping it suppress the rebels first in the cities and by mid-June in the rural and jungle areas. In 1972, Mrs. Bandaranaike proclaimed a republic, a new constitution, and a new name for the country -- Sri Lanka ("resplendent land" in the Sinhalese language). But the majority-minority problem remained unresolved.

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