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Vintage posters and photos recall colonial Ceylon

Images disguise complicated history in island's British-dominated past

1950s promo poster for Qantas, left, and World War II poster (Courtesy of Anura Saparamadu)

COLOMBO -- About 20 years ago, Anura Saparamadu stumbled across something online that changed his life.

It was an image of a vintage poster -- if he remembers right, a Quantas promotional advert with a stylized sketch of a Kandyan dancer against a bright red background, promoting the Australian airline's early flights to Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was known until 1972.

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