Europe

Sri Lanka clears 19 citizens branded as traitors by British

Sri Lanka's president has revoked a nearly 200-year-old British colonial order, clearing the names of 19 citizens who were branded as traitors for rebelling against British rule.

President Maithripala Sirisena rescinded the order and declared the 19 people to be "patriotic war heroes who fought for the freedom of the motherland," his office said Friday.

The order issued by then-British Gov. Robert Brownrigg in January 1818 listed the 19 leaders of a rebellion against the British empire.

Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, was ruled by Britain from 1815 to 1948, when it gained independence.