Regional hegemony and small state survival: Re – examining Ceylon’s foreign policy under premier D.S Senanayake
Literature that deals with Ceylon's foreign policy during the D.S Senanayake administration (19481952) evinces a general hypothesis regarding the close relationship between the Ceylonese administration and the British government. This paper argues that Ceylon adopted an ‘inclination’ to an extra-regional power with the intention of mitigating the threat stemming from India. It argues that Ceylon's relationship with the British was intended to balance the threat from India. The paper evaluates the threat perceptions from India at the time of Ceylon’s independence and the rationale behind the close relationship between Ceylon and its former colonizer. I have utilized a descriptive, analytical and historical methodology based on existing literature on Ceylon and India to demonstrate the threat perception that Ceylon faced from the latter as well as the underlying reasons behind an ‘inclined’ foreign policy towards the British. The paper examines the security challenges that the small state faced from its incipient regional hegemon and the reasons. Under such circumstances Ceylon chose to be inclined towards the British - thereby balance the threat of India - so as to ensure her survival.