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Move over Ceylon, it will be Sri Lanka from now on everywhere

Dec 30, 2010 12:07:48 PM- transcurrents.com

by R. K. Radhakrishnan

Colombo, Dec 30 ~ The Sri Lankan Cabinet, which met here and was considering a change in name for its power board, Ceylon Electricity Board, debated and decided to extend the name-change to all the remaining organisations.


A Bank of Ceylon logo. All institutional names that include Ceylon is to be changed as per a Cabinet decision.

The country changed its name from the British colonial “Ceylon” to Sri Lanka in 1972 when it became a Republic. Even before that, the country was “Ilangai” to the Tamils and “Lanka” to the Sinhalese. The Ramayana too describes the Ravana kingdom as Lanka.

The name Ceylon is of recent origin, given the fact the Arab traders called it ‘Serendib' (island of jewels) and the Romans, “Taprobane”. A few academics in Tamil Nadu theorise that the river “Thamirabharani” in Tamil Nadu derives its name from Taprobane, pointing to the fact that no river in Tamil Nadu has such a sanskritised name. The 18th century European seafarers and conquerors seemed to have been in the business of naming everyplace they visited and the name of Sri Lanka changed from “Sinhaladvipa” to Ceilao, to Ceylan and, much later during the British occupation, Ceylon. “The Cabinet decided to bring in legislation to effect the name change not only for the electricity board, but other organisations which still have ‘Ceylon' as part of their name,” AFP, quoting a government official said. [courtesy: The Hindu]