Sri Lanka was formerly known as Ceylon. It was a British protectorate. The British had occupied the coastal areas of Ceylon from 1796 – 1917. During the break of the Second World War, Sir Don Baron Jaytilaka pledged to the King of British and the Prime minister that Ceylon would collaborate with them.
The Ceylonese were called upon to volunteer in the war. The volunteers joined the Ceylonese Defense Force. The reserve unit was transformed to mobilized units of 10 infantry battalion, two artilleries regiment, and the support units.
The Commonwealth Forces now consisted of the Ceylonese British army, and Royal. Ceylonese Defense Forces also joined in the front of the British Army. They were deployed in Burma, the Middle East, North Africa, and Malaya. They stayed in Malaya until 1949.
In the course of the Commonwealth realignment, Japan attacked Ceylon. The attack was later termed as East Sunday Raid since it was done on the Easter Sunday of 5th April 1942 at Colombo. Shortly after, the Japanese attacked Trincomalee.
The attacks brought panic to the people of Columbia who began to flee by boat to India. It was on record of how the Japanese were brutal besides the Nanjing massacre that was still fresh in their memory.
The Lama Sama Samaja Party was against the war, they supported the independence movement, and they tried through other personalities like the rebel German Buddhists to lure the Japanese to help the ousting out of the British, but D.S Senanayake thwarted the efforts. The resistance against the British rule continued to grow powerful.