April 1978 World Coin News
Inauguration of J. R. Jayawardene as president of Sri Lanka is noted on this satirical note issued by partisans of the United National Party which ousted the Freedom Party in elections last July. The mock note is printed in maroon on an unwatermarked paper and bears the 1978 date, (Courtesy L. D. Hunter, Gates Mills, Ohio)
Sri Lanka's ruling United National Party celebrated the 1978 inauguration of its leader, J. R. Jayawardene, with the issuance of a political "note" in maroon, 164 by 90mm, depicting him.
Most of the text on the imitation note is in Sinhala, but an English line on the face side reads: SOUVENIR OF SRI LANKA PRESIDENT, 1978. Printed by the Tilaka Press at Colombo, it was published by H. A. S. Perera, and bears the denomination "000 rupees".
Jayawardene assumed the presidency Feb. 4, 1978 on the retirement of William Gopallawa (president 1972-1978). The new president had been prime minister since July 1977, when the UNP defeated the then-ruling Freedom Party of Prime Minister Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike.
Gopallawa had Been a Freedom Party appointee who was governor general of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) until 1972.
Under recent amendments to the 1972 constitution of the republic, much executive authority has been transferred from the prime minister to the president, thereby establishing a presidential system of government in the island nation.
Jayawardene appointed R. Premadasa, the number 2 man in the UNP, as the new prime minister of Sri Lanka, and may also appoint a new vice president of the republic at a later date. Information and specimen for photography were furnished to World Coin News by reader L. D. Hunter Jr., Gates Mills, Ohio.