Sri Lanka to no longer use “Slave Island” title

Sri Lanka to no longer use “Slave Island” title

February 4, 2023   12:25 pm

Sri Lanka has decided to erase the name “Slave Island” from road signs, postal usage and voter registers nearly two centuries after slavery was abolished in the country.

The Secretary to PM Dinesh Gunawardena has given instructions to issue a gazette notification regarding the name of the locality, which has been known as “Slave Island” up until now, replacing it with “Kompagngna Veediya” in Sinhala, Tamil and English.

Mr. Anura Dissanayake has directed the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Local Government and Provincial Councils; Postmaster General; and the Commissioner of Colombo Municipal Council regarding this decision, which coincides with the 75th anniversary of Independence.

Accordingly, road signs, postal usage, road signs, postal usage and voter registers associated with Kompagngna Veediya, Colombo 02 will be renamed as “Kompagngna Veediya” in the main three languages in the country 

The decision has been taken on the advice of PM Gunawardena since the nomenclature of “Slave Island” used during the colonial period signifies a different meaning.

The name “Slave Island” was coined during the period of British colonial rule and was a reference to the usage of the island under Portuguese rule as a holding area for African slaves, most of them from the Swahili coast and Portuguese East Africa.

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