A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Sri Lanka


The United States recognized Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1948. The United States enjoys cordial relations with Sri Lanka that are based, in large part, on shared democratic traditions.

Modern Flag of Sri Lanka


U.S. Recognition of Ceylon’s Independence, 1948.

The United States recognized Ceylon (Sri Lanka) as an independent state with the status of Dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nation on February 4, 1948, in accordance with the date set in an agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and Ceylon. President Harry S. Truman extended American recognition in a letter to Sir Henry Moore, Governor General of Ceylon, dated February 3, 1948.

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1948.

Diplomatic relations were established on October 29, 1948, when the Embassy of Ceylon opened in Washington, D.C. with Sir Claude Corea as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.

Establishment of American Embassy in Colombo, 1949.

Diplomatic relations were established on August 3, 1949, when Felix Cole presented his credentials as American Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.


  • Department of State Country Fact Sheet: Sri Lanka
  • Department of State Country Information: Sri Lanka
  • Library of Congress Country Study: Sri Lanka