US Vice President Richard Nixon became the first ever Vice President to visit Ceylon – his airacraft landed at Ratmalana Airport on 27th November 1953. Richard Nixon stayed with the Prime Minister of Ceylon Sir John Kotelawala at his residence in Temple Trees in Colombo. During that vidit he also stayed at the Galle Face Hotel Colombo. The next morning Nixon recorded a message for Radio Ceylon, just after breakfast – the US Vice President focused on the following factors – ‘On this visit to Asia I have been concerned that while many of the countries in which I have travelled are deeply aware of the threat of Communist expansion and the spectre of the third world war, they are also apprehensive that the mounting interest of the United States in this area may be just another phase of imperialism…I can say without equivocation: the United States firmly supports the orderly progress towards self-government throughout the world. The United States has no imperialistic ambitions whatsoever in Asia or in any other part of the globe.’
Richard Nixon’s message went over the airwaves of Radio Ceylon at 8.45 p.m. on the night of 28th November 1953.
Read a very interesting article on the reasons behind the US Vice President’s visit to Ceylon:
Vice-President Richard Nixon in 1953:
Prime Minister Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranayake met with President Nixon at the White House, during a private visit to Washington following her attendance at the United Nations General Assembly in 1971: