Sri Lanka and the Yellow Races
by Senaka Weeraratna on 03 Sep 2017 7 Comments
The White Man enslaved the Brown Man and the Black Man for centuries. The Yellow Man liberated them. This is the true outcome of the Second World War. The Brown Man enslaved for nearly 500 years is free today because the Yellow Man fought the White Man at Port Arthur in 1905 followed by the epic attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941.


Had the Yellow Man not fought the White Man, the Brown Man may still be in Chains, because none of the Colonial countries had any serious intention to give freedom to the black, brown and yellow races, except engage in deceitful talks of a never, never kind. The Black and Brown Races were too weak to do battle on their own or take on the might of the Coloniser then in occupation of vast swathes of Asian and African territory.


It is time to acknowledge world’s debt to Japan for Asia’s liberation from Western colonialism. This is undoubtedly Japan’s greatest achievement in the 20th century, which led to the retreat of the West from the East and its colonies all over the world, shortly after the end of the Second World War.


No amount of spin or contortion can change this stubborn fact.


The contemporary Japanese must be made to be conscious and proud about their historic role in Asia’s liberation from colonialism. Freedom did not fall from the sky to Asia. It came due to the blood sacrifices of many local patriots, but mostly daring Japanese soldiers. It is time to acknowledge this blood debt to Japan and the Japanese.


The majority of the Buddhist Sinhalese would have most likely welcomed the Japanese with open arms and great warmth, had they landed on the shores of Sri Lanka in 1942 to liberate the indigenous people from the yoke of tyranny and subjugation, which is what colonialism is.


Of all the major countries that took part in the Second World War, Japan is the only country that had declared as one of its primary goals the liberation of fellow Asians from Western imperialism. No other country in the West or East declared the grant of freedom to Asians and Africans then in a state of colonial subjugation, following victory in the war.


Here are excerpts from the Speech by Prime Minister General Hideki Tojo to the Assembly of Greater East-Asiatic Nations at an International Conference held in Tokyo, Japan, November 5, 1943:


“During the past centuries, the British Empire, through fraud and aggression, acquired vast territories throughout the world and maintained its domination over other nations and peoples in the various regions by keeping them pitted and engaged in conflict one against another. On the other hand, the United States which, by taking advantage of the disorder and confusion in Europe, had established its supremacy over the American continents spread its tentacles to the Pacific and to East Asia following its war with Spain. Then, with the opportunities afforded by the First World War, the United States began to pursue its ambition for world hegemony. More recently, with the outbreak of the present war, the United States has further intensified its imperialistic activities, making fresh inroads into North Africa, West Africa, the Atlantic Ocean, Australia, the Near East and even into India, apparently in an attempt to usurp the place of the British Empire.


“The need of upholding international justice and of guaranteeing world peace is habitually stressed by America and Britain. They mean thereby no more and no less than the preservation of a world order of their own based upon division and conflict in Europe and upon the perpetuation of their colonial exploitation of Asia. They sought to realize their inordinate ambitions in Asia, through political aggression and economic exploitation; they brought on conflict among the various peoples; they tried to destroy their racial integrity under the fair name of education and culture.


“Thus, they have to this day threatened constantly the existence of the nations and peoples of Asia, disturbed their stability, and suppressed their natural and proper development. It is because of their notion to regard East Asia as a colony that they harp upon the principles of the open door and equal opportunity simply as a convenient means of pursuing their sinister designs of aggression, while constantly keeping their own territories closed to us, the peoples of Asia, denying us the equality of opportunities and impeding our trade, they sought solely their own prosperity.


“The Anglo-American ambition of world hegemony is indeed a scourge of mankind and the root of the world’s evils. Movements for emancipation have occurred from time to time among the nations and peoples of East Asia, but due to the ruthless and tyrannical armed oppression by America and Britain, or due to their malicious old trick of division and alienation for ruling other races, those patriotic efforts ended largely in failure.


“Meanwhile, Japan’s rise of power and prestige was looked upon by America and Britain with increasing dislike. They made it the cardinal point of their East Asia Policy on the one hand, to restrain Japan at every turn and on the other, to alienate her from the other countries of East Asia. It was obviously unwise for them to permit either the rise of any one country as a great Power or the banding together of the various nations and peoples. These American and British methods became more and more sinister and high-handed, especially in the last several years”.




When both Germany and Japan stood condemned like outlaws or pariahs of the international community by the victorious Allies at the end of the Second World War, seeking huge amounts of reparations and heavy punishments for their leaders, political and military, as war criminals, the leaders and people of Ceylon / Sri Lanka adopted an entirely different approach to both these countries. It was an approach based on the Buddha´s teachings.


The words of Ceylon´s delegate Finance Minister J.R. Jayawardene in defence of a free Japan at the San Francisco conference on September 06, 1951 is worthy of reproduction here. He said:


“We in Ceylon were fortunate that we were not invaded, but the damage caused by air raids, by the stationing of enormous armies under the South-East Asia Command, and by the slaughter-tapping of one of our main commodities, rubber, when we were the only producer of natural rubber for the Allies, entitles us to ask that the damage so caused should be repaired. We do not intend to do so for we believe in the words of the Great Teacher whose message has ennobled the lives of countless millions in Asia that hatred ceases not by hatred but by love.


“It is the message of the Buddha, the Great Teacher, the Founder of Buddhism which spread a wave of humanism through South Asia, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Siam, Indonesia and Ceylon and also northwards through the Himalayas into Tibet, China and finally Japan, which bound us together for hundreds of years with a common culture and heritage.


“This common culture still exists, as I found on my visit to Japan last week on my way to attend this Conference; and from the leaders of Japan, Ministers of state as well as private citizens and from their priests in the temples, I gathered the impression that the common people of Japan are still influenced by’ the shadow of that Great Teacher of peace, and wish to follow it. We must give them that opportunity.”




Sri Lanka was very fortunate in gaining independence in 1948 despite not having resorted to arms or used violence to rid the country of foreign occupation. It is valiant soldiers from other Asian countries e.g. Indian National Army under Subhas Chandra Bose, and Japan, who primarily made blood sacrifices to fight western domination of Asia during the Second World War. We were simply beneficiaries of these sacrifices and battles.


Finally, it must be admitted without reservation that because of age old Buddhist links, the Yellow Races of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos among others, have proved themselves to be eternal friends of the Sinhalese. Their services and heroic assistance in the hour of economic and military need of Sri Lanka must be acknowledged with gratitude and reciprocated.


See also



-        Greater East Asia Conference Vol.1, November 5, 1943

-        Glorious Imperial Japan, Greater East Asia Conference Vol.2, November 5, 1943

-        Glorious Imperial Japan, Greater East Asia Conference Vol.3, November 5, 1943

-        Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour ignited the liberation of Asia from Western domination



-        Sri Lanka’s Independence – a beneficiary of Japan’s entry to the Second World War which sealed the fate of European Colonialism in Asia




-        The Japanese Peace Treaty – J.R. Jayewardene (1951 Sep 01)

-        In Japanese

-        Peace With Japan (1951)

-        JR Jayawardene Memorial Monument in Japan

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