Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, Sir Henry Moore, tentative plan, United National Party, Colombo Plan
On February 4, 1948, the colony became an independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations; Sir Henry Moore was installed as governor-general and D. S. Senanayake, leader of the United National Party (UNP), became prime minister. An ancient Sinhalese flag was adopted as the flag of the new state, known then as Ceylon.
The foreign ministers of the Commonwealth of Nations assembled at Colombo in January 1950, and drafted a tentative plan for the economic development of Southeast Asia. As finally formulated, the Colombo Plan allocated nearly $340 million of Commonwealth funds for a variety of projects designed to advance the economy, notably irrigation works and hydroelectric plants.
When D. S. Senanayake died in 1952, his son, Dudley Senanayake, who belonged to the same party, was named prime minister. In 1954 Ceylon declined to join the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, which was formed as a defensive alliance by the United States, the United Kingdom, and six other nations. On December 14, 1955, Ceylon was admitted to membership in the United Nations.
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