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Territorial Court:
Judge: Hon. W. G. Morrow

Chief Justice of Alberta

Justices of Appeal of Alberta
Judges of the Territorial Court of the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories



he island of Ceylon lies in the Indian Ocean off the southern extremity of the Indian sub-continent, between latitudes 5° 55' and 9° 50' N. and

longitudes 79° 42' and 81° 53' E. It is separated from Cape Cormorin by the Palk Strait. The maximum length of the island from north to south is 270 miles and its greatest width is 140 miles. Its area is 25,332 square miles, about half the size of England.

From a central massif of mountains composed of almost solid gneiss and of outstanding scenic beauty the land slopes down to the sea on all sides in a series of three terraces or peneplains. The third of these lies at approximately 6,000 feet, the second at 1,600 feet and the first at 100 feet. The first peneplain or coastal plain is broadest towards the north.

The highest peak in the central massif is Pidurutalagala (8,292 feet). The other major peaks are Kirigalpota (7,837 feet), Totapella (7,733 feet), Adams' Peak (7,341 feet) and Great Western (7,258 feet). Although not particularly high, the fourth of these, Adam's Peak, is probably the most famous and spectacular mountain in Asia south of the Himalayas. It has been likened in outline to the Matterhorn and the pinnacle can be seen far out to sea in all directions. A mark on the summit which resembles a gigantic human footprint has made it since very early times one of the great places of pilgrimage in the world, revered by Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. For Buddhists, the footprint is that of Gautama, for Hindus that of Vishnu, and in Muslim tradition it was made by Adam when he was cast down from paradise.

Rivers radiate from the central massif in all directions, the longest of which, Mahaweli Ganga (more than 200 miles long), drains into Trincomalee Bay. None of the rivers is navigable to ocean-going vessels. Ceylon has an excellent natural harbour at Trincomalee; it was an important naval base from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries and was again in use as such during the Second World War.

The climate is hot in the low country, particularly from March to May. The average mean temperature is 799–82°F and the humidity in the wet zone is high. In the hills it is pleasantly temperate, and at resorts such as Nuwara Eliya near Pidurutalagala there may be frost at night in December and January but no snow or ice. There are two main seasons, that of the south-west monsoon from mid-May to September and that of the north-east monsoon from November to March. The average temperature in Colombo throughout the year is 80°F ranging to a maximum of 95°F. The annual rainfall ranges from 43 inches in the dry Northern Province to 218 inches in the central massif. The inland average is 99.49 inches.

A national census conducted in July 1963 found the total population to be 10,590,000. The provisional estimate in 1969 was 12,245,000. The distribution of the main ethnic groups at the time of the 1963 census was (per cent): Sinhalese

71.0 Ceylon Tamils

11.0 Indian Tamils

10.6 Moors

6.5 Burghers and others

0.9 There is a census every ten years. In 1967 the estimated birth and death rates were 31.6 per thousand and 7.5 per thousand respectively. The net annual increase in population in 1968 was 2-4 per cent. It is estimated that 66-3 per cent of the population are Buddhists, 18.4 per cent Hindus, 8.3 per cent Christians and 6.9 per cent Muslims.

Primary education is free and compulsory, but there are not yet enough school places to enable all children to attend. About 29 per cent of the population attend secondary schools, and the literacy figure for 1966 was 82-2 per cent. (IBRD Report). There were 13,005 students attending university in 1968/69.

Ceylon is divided into eight provinces, these (with population figures according to the 1963 census) being: Western (2,845,408), Central (1,710,136), Southern (1,433,781), Northern (741,802), Eastern (547,000), North-Western (1,157,082), North-Central (394,282), Uva (665,538) and Sabaragamuwa (1,128,668). For administrative purposes, the provinces are divided into districts (22 in all), each of which is administered by a Government Agent, who is a member of the Ceylon Administrative Service.

The capital of Ceylon is Colombo, with an estimated population, in 1968 of 561,000. Other major towns are Dehiwela/Mt. Lavinia, a suburb of Colombo, (122,000), Jaffna (101,000), Kandy (78,000) and Galle (73,000). Colombo, Trincomalee and Galle Port are the principal ports, Colombo handling 3,074,747 tons of cargo during 1968. The principal local shipping line is Ceylon Shipping Lines Ltd. A new body, the Ceylon Shipping Corporation, has been established by the authorities to set up a national shipping line to handle a proportion of Ceylon's exports and imports. It is expected that the Corporation will purchase a small number of cargo vessels to start the new line.

The principal airports are Katunayake, 19 miles to the north of Colombo, with a runway of 11,000 feet, and Ratmalana, 9 miles south of Colombo, with a runway of 6,000 feet. A new passenger terminal building at Katunayake, built with substantial assistance from the Canadian Government, was opened for use in June 1968. Ceylon's national airline is Air Ceylon.

The railway system, operated by Ceylon Government Railways, has (excluding sidings) 845 miles of broad gauge line and 87 miles of narrow gauge. At its highest point the railway reaches 6,200 feet above sea level. At the end of 1967 the total road mileage was some 13,000, of which 10,780 miles were motorable. Of the motorable roads, 7,670 miles were bitumen surfaced and the rest were tarred.

The Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation, a public corporation since 5th Januray 1967, provides services in Sinhala, Tamil and English for the whole island. There is no television service at present but the possibility of introducing television on a limited scale is under consideration.

Principal products include, tea, rubber, copra, spices and gems. There is increasing emphasis on local production of food, particularly rice. Plans also exist for large-scale production of sugar cane, cotton and citrus fruits.

Government revenue for the financial year 1969/70 is estimated at Rs.2,528 million or Rs.92 million more than the revised estimate for 1968/69. Estimated total Government expenditure for 1969/70 is Rs.3,899 million, an increase of Rs.208 million on the 1968/69 provisional revised total of Rs.3,596 million. A gross budget deficit of Rs.1,067 million is forecast for 1969/70 compared with a deficit of Rs.925 million in 1968/69.

The economy of Ceylon has traditionally been based on export agriculture, particularly tea production and to a lesser extent, rubber and coconut products. Although production of these commodities has expanded, falling world prices have resulted in a severe foreign exchange shortage. Export earnings which had been improving steadily from the low levels of 1963 declined in the years 1966 and 1967. Even in 1968, although as a result of the devaluation of the rupee terms increased substantially, in terms of US dollars the decline continued. In 1969 the value of Ceylon's exports was Rs.119 less than that for 1968-a decline of US $20 million to US$322 million or Rs.1,916 million.

Since 1965, successive World Bank missions have discussed with the Government possible lines along which Ceylon's economy could be stimulated. Five meetings of aid-giving countries have been convened in consequence of which various countries have granted commodity and project aid designed to make it possible for Ceylon to devote more resources to productive capital investment. The Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs in August 1967 issued 'Economic Development 1966-68 Review and Trends' which gives an analysis of the economic progress of the country as seen at that date. Following a World Bank mission in October/November 1967, the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association published the ‘Problem of Foreign Exchange and Long-Term Growth of Ceylon' containing recommendations on future policy. This publication also contains a useful assessment of Ceylon's economic progress in the public and private sector.

On 21st November 1967, following the devaluation of sterling, Ceylon devalued its currency by 20 per cent. In May 1968 Ceylon introduced the Foreign Exchange Certificate Scheme. The foreign exchange for a wide range of international transactions can be obtained on production of Certificates to the equivalent face value, purchased separately on a free market. A certificate costing Rs.55.00 (June 1969) entitles the buyer to foreign exchange worth Rs.100.00. Certificates are also given in return for foreign exchange brought into Ceylon (e.g. payments for certain exports). Overseas visitors and tourists are also given the favourable F.E.E.C. rate on traveller's cheques etc. This F.E.E.C. scheme is now, however, under reconsideration following the election of May 1970.

Important national development projects include the setting up of factories. An agreement was signed early in 1969 between the Ceylon Government and the British Leyland Motor Corporation Ltd. to set up the Lanka Leyland Co. Ltd. for the manufacture of buses and trucks. The Government has also called for proposals for the manufacture of motor cars. A number of large textile manufacturing projects have been approved (some of which are under contruction) to make Ceylon self-sufficient in textiles. An Engineering Corporation has been set up to provide consultancy and technical services for Government projects and Industrial Corporations. A tyre factory and stage 1 of a steel factory, established with technical and financial assistance from the U.S.S.R. were opened in March 1967. An oil refinery built by E.N.I. of Italy came into production in the middle of 1969. Large-scale multi-purpose irrigation and hydro-electric schemes include:

the Gal Oya Development Scheme, now completed, provides irrigation for some 120,000 acres and 75 Mw. generating capacity, bringing the present installed capacity of the island to 225 Mw; the Uda Walawe Project now under way will provide irrigation for another 50,000 acres and 5.94 Mw. extra generating capacity; and in May 1970 work was started on the large Mahaweli Ganga Diversion Project.

Ceylon's National Day is Independence Day, the anniversary of which is the 4th February


By Country

Exports 1968

1969 Rs.m. Rs.m.

489 379
101 79
62 49


25 3

2 40 34 39 48 5

8 42 60

Imports 1968 1969 Rs.m. Rs.m.

319 443 125 104 44 34

12 15 153 213 4

7 6

8 45 18


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2 240

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United Kingdom
Hong Kong
New Zealand
Other Commonwealth Countries
Argentine Republic
United Arab Republic
East Germany
Federal Republic of Germany
Maldive Islands

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of which (a) Food and Drink

(i) Rice
(ii) Flour

(iii) Sugar

(b) Textiles and Clothing ..
of which (a) Fertilisers

(b) Petroleum Products
(c) Chemicals
(d) Paper and Paperboard

(e) Yarn and Thread
of which (a) Building Materials

(6) Transport Equipment..

(c) Machinery and Equipment IV. UNCLASSIFIED

Value Rs.m. 1968

1969 1,147

1,218 989

976 341

257 250

255 97

115 77

122 629

592 110

66 196

156 45

66 37


80 383

700 95

99 80

213 195

368 14







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