History of Sri Lanka and significant World events from 1796 AD to 1948
World events are in normal letters and Sri Lanka History events are highlighted in BOLD LETTERS
1796 Third British delegation arrives in Kandy: king falls into the trap by believing their lies Led by Robert Andrews, they arrived at a good time when King was very unhappy with the Dutch for their desperate attempts to keep the trade monopoly. British offered an outlet for Kandy to obtain salt and fish, and to operate 10 ships. King wanted more ports and an assurance that the Dutch areas do not fall into British control. What the British really wanted was for the King to keep at least some of the Dutch troops tied down in the forts, enabling the British to take on the scattered Dutch military resources with the least casualties. They also frightened the king about the fall of the monarchs, giving French revolution as an example, and said that only the British could help Kings in the world.
1796 How British Were Different From the Portugese and the Dutch. Once the British realized that they would get extraordinary profits from Lanka, they would be desperate to keep Lanka as long as they could. British studied ways to guarantee the long-term control over Lanka. The biggest problem they had, was the Buddhists who would always unite under their philosophy, to unite the country. The British also saw how the power delegated to the locals by the Portugese and the Dutch, was not enough to keep the patriots down. The British also noticed that both the Portugese and the Dutch rule were harsh even on the collaborating natives. British realized that the loyalty that can be earned by giving more to a few collaborators, could keep the rest of the masses suppressed forever. Therefore British would plan to concentrate on the creation of a faithful elite of several ethnic, religious, and social fractions, and then get them to the run the colonial rule. It was a classic way of taking care of patriots and their freedom struggles.
1796 British takes Colombo: They break the promise given to Lanka British Navy advanced along the coast to Negombo, and then on foot they crossed Kelani river to reach Colombo. They humiliated the Lankan army by sending them back to Kandy, saying that they were not needed. British also sent the Lankan army units that took Matara from the Dutch on the 2nd February, back within 22 days. On 15 the February 1796, British took Colombo from the Dutch without resistance. Then British broke the promise given to the Lankan King. The British had only used Kandy to tie the Dutch troops in forts. Thus the joint elements of British East India co. and British Government took the entire coastline and the land 20 miles to the interior. Lanka was faced with the most powerful enemy in the world then.
1796 British keep Dutch and Malay mercenaries British re-enlisted the services of the mercenaries that the Dutch had in Lanka. Dutch and Malay mercenaries of Dutch service, were transferred to British East India Co. Lanka has only changed from one invader to another.
1796 First Freedom Fight against the British: British gives what the selfish officials & village chiefs needed, and easily suppresses the patriotic Sinhalese Having introduced drastic social and economic reforms, British expected an uprising. The rebellion the British expected took place. British gave what the selfish officials and village chiefs needed, and easily suppressed the patriotic Sinhalese. Full military power was used against the Lankans who dared to complain. Kandyan chiefs, Dutch and French officials secretly supported the Lankan freedom fighters. Noticing this, British promised to reintroduce the old way of taxes and removed the reforms. The selfish officials were happy with that. This also won the selfish village chiefs to the British side, and with their help the British rounded up the few remaining Lankan patriots with ease.
1796 Dutch and Malay mercenaries Dutch and Malay mercenaries of Dutch service, were re-enlisted by the British East India Co.
1797 Napoleon takes the lands under the control of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church The Pope has become the facto ruler of the city of Rome and the suburbs by the 6th century AD. But in 754 AD, Pepin the Short, king of the Franks, officially handed over these areas to Pope Stephen II. These Italian lands under direct rule of the Pope were called Papal States, or States of the Church or Pontifical States. Pope, with the help of regional powers like the Franks, continued to annex more territories by gifts, purchases, and conquests until the Papal States included nearly the whole of central Italy. These areas reached their greatest extent in the 16th century. In 1797, Napoleon Bonaparte took much of the territory. In 1815, after the allied forces defeated Napoleon at Waterloo and restored Papal rule back in these areas under Austrian protection. But in 1870, Italian King Victor Emmanuel II annexed all Papal states including Rome and limited the Pope's jurisdiction to the Vatican. In protest, each Pope thereafter considered themselves as prisoners under Italian occupation. In 1929, in the Lateran Treaty, Italian king Victor Emmanuel III recognized the full independance of the Vatican City under Pope.
1797 British brings in the "Caste-tactic"- By giving jobs to the two largest casts, British get the Sinhalese majority depended on the British rule. With this Sinhala majority being loyal to the British, Sinhala rebellions will only lead to the massacre of the patriotic Sinhalese. A committee that was appointed to investigate the cause of the rebellion recommended a strong tactics to curb any future uprising. While continuing with the Village headmen rule, the very first British Governer Frederick North himself declared himself of Govigama caste, and a lower civil servant as a Karawe caste. This created the fashion of superior jobs for the Govigama or Vellale and next level of jobs to karawe caste. Sinhalese will continue to believe in this fashion. With these two casts being the majority of the Sinhalese society, the British had the majority Sinhalese depended on the British rule. From here onwards, the Sinhala rebellions would not arise from the Sinhala majority, as the majority was loyal to the British.
1798 France loses on all fronts when Napoleon was away Napoleon took 54,000 French troops to the Middle East and the north Africa. British Navy would wipe out the French Navy. While Napoleon was away, France would lose all territory around the country to the invading European armies.
1798 Last King of Lanka - 4th Nayakkar king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe -This Puppet of the Selfish Pilimatalawe will destroy the reputation of the 3 previous Good Nayakkar kings The good king Rajadi Rajasinghe died of a fever, leaving no heir. Selfish Pilimatalawe, who was the first Adigar, had the power to nominate the next king. He was very unpopular among the people for his selfish and treacherous ways. Pilimatalawa planned to place a temporary puppet king who would be dumb enough not to challenge the power he was gaining in Kandy. He found the ideal candidate for the job. He selected an 18-year-old Lankan born Nayakkar named Konnasamy, who was a son of the sister of a former Nayakkar queen. He thought that people would invite himself to be the king, when they get tired of this uneducated, ill-disciplined young South Indian man. This was another example to show the difference between the Sinhalese nobles of the golden days, and then. By these times, through collaboration, many low class, low quality Lankans had become nobles. These new nobles would stoop to such pathetic levels with their greed and hunger for power.
1799 Napoleon Bonaparte makes tactical history again. General Napoleon Bonaparte made tactical history by wiping out the much-feared 35,000 Turkish army in one single battle, losing only two French soldiers.
1799 Napoleon becomes the ruler of France General Napoleon Bonaparte of the French Army was getting frustrated with the government. The French politicians and officials failed to keep up with his military successes. They seemed to enjoy, rather than to improve, on Napoleon's hard work. The so-called military and political leaders failed to protect all the victories Napoleon had achieved. Whenever Napoleon left for another front, the areas Napoleon had secured, crumbled because of the incompetent and ignorant French leaders. The patriotism, leadership, and the philosophy practiced in the Napoleon's army, was much in contrast with the selfish bureaucracy, corruption, laziness in Paris. Finally, Napoleon grabbed power in a coup named 18 Brumaire (November 9). Then Napoleon re-structured the French army, as he had wanted, enlisting capable Frenchmen. Within a few years, this new French army would conquer all of western Europe, except Portugal and England.
1799 Pilimatalawe fails to control his puppet king Pilimatalawe's plans, to use this new king, whom he thought was dumb, to his advantage and then to oust him once he was unpopular among the people, backfired. Once in power, the new King took control of the situation himself. Plilimatalawe was so selfish and was so desperate for power, that he secretly approached the British seeking their help.
1799 Selfish Pilimatalawe offers British the country, in return for the crown to rule Lanka In a meeting with the British Governer Frederick North in Avissawella, Pilimatalawe forwarded his offer. The Governer Frederick North rejected it. Frederick North proposed Pilimatalawe to be a deputy king in Kandy, under the control of British officials and the British Army. Frederick North stressed the fact that the British must have the King and his ministers in Colombo as a puppet king and a nominal leader, in order to stop the patriotic Sinhalese from liberating the country. (Like King Darmapala of the Portugese period). But Pilimatalawe insisted that only he should be the one and only king of Lanka, under the British. Such were the low qualities of these new Sinhalese nobles.
1799 Deciding not to be a puppet to Pilimatalawe, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe goes bananas Sensing the lack of loyalty around him, and surrounded by insecurity, plotters and conspirators, Sri Vickrama Rajasinghe, started to destroy any suspected opponent. He obviously lacked what it took to be a King of Lanka. Sometimes when he couldn't single out a possible threat, he would kill hundreds, hoping the one he wanted was among them. He confiscated the wealth of the Nobles in punishment for not displaying loyalty. He applied cruel torture methods indiscriminately. One of the regular tortures was impaling of victims by draining the blood out. He began to trust the lower classes and considered all aristocrats as his opponents. He changed sleeping rooms during the night and changed guards at will, to stop timing by any conspirators. He became indulgent in alcohol, and finally became an alcoholic due to the tension around him.
1799 The Famous Cleghorn minute Hugh Cleghorn, the first Colonial secretary was ordered to provide a report on the "Administration of Justice and Revenue in the Dutch Settlements" by the British government. The Tamil racists to justify the existence of a separate Tamil country have misrepresented this historical document. Many international organizations backed by the Eelamists had given wide publicity to twisted facts from this document. But a closer look at the document revealed that all these are lies. The document has no mention of a Tamil state. In fact the document proves that the east was actually under the Lankan government. The twisted propaganda only fooled the ignorant Tamil voters of 1977.
1800 Napoleon surprised the world by retaking all lost territories of France After becoming the leader of France, Napoleon Bonaparte returned to the battlefronts. European armies, who invaded France, had advanced well into France. Napoleon retook all the lost territory around France in unbelievable military victories. The western world was amazed and was shocked how Napoleon defeated such well-equipped well-trained armies. At the same time he advised French officials to draft a civil code.
1800 King rejects British General Macdowall's offer King demanded that Lanka should have at least one port and the trade opportunity of at least 10 trade ships per year. King also rejected the British proposal that the British would give protection to the king, in return for British authority in the country. In that sense, even Sri Vickrama Rajasinghe was much noble than the Buvanekabahu-7 and his son Darmapala, of the Portugese times, who welcomed the protection by the whiteman in order to keep their selfish power.
1801 Birth of Sikh power: Kingdom of Lahore by Ranjit Singhe Sikhs were a relatively new minority community of the Punjab province who had united under their new religion, Sikhism. As the last Moghul emperor tried to crush the Sikh religion, they rebelled against the Mughals with outstanding bravery. The Sikhs became a powerful community in Punjab as the Mughal Empire collapsed. As Afgans were also too weak to interfere in Punjab, the Sikhs, led by Ranjit Singh established the Kingdom of Lahore, which included Afghan territories to the west, and Kashmir to the east, and the border of Tibet. Ranjit Singh's Sikh state depended on a powerful military meritocracy, which was dominated by the Khalsa. Ranjit Singh's kingdom lasted until 1849 when British conquered it. Due to their fearsome ways, the British who later recruited them in large numbers into the Indian Colonial Army treated them with suspicion.
1801 British establish Christian Parish schools with long-term plans British created 170 Christian Parish schools to expand its local support base. At these Christian schools, under Anglican management, Lankan children didn't get to learn the true history of Lanka. These children were educated to respect only the history and the culture of the invader and to be loyal to the west. This was how the British created social classes who believed in migrating to the west as the ultimate success of life, and who believed in selfish personal interests.
1802 In Vietnam, the Southern Family wins over the Northern Trinh family Nguyan family won the long battle between the two aristocratic families in Vietnam. They united the country, making Hue as the new imperial capital. The American Bombing would destroy it in 1968.
1802 British Government takes Lanka from the British East India Co. The long-term prospects of the profits from Lanka were so good, that the British Government itself took over Lanka from the British East India co. But British East India Co. was given time till 1822 to monopolize on Cinnamon trade.
1802 British Government takes Lanka from the British East India Co. Many collaborators continue, even today, to praise the British for developing Sri Lanka. British only developed what they needed to exploit the country. Some of the profits were shared with the collaborators who advanced tremendously in the Lankan society because there was NO competition from the masses. Huge profits were collected by exploiting Sri Lanka and the people on relatively short-term projects, which jeopardized the social structure, environment, peace, harmony, economy, and the national security. Even today, Sri Lanka is yet to recover from the consequences of these British projects. British Colonial government managed to cover all state revenues in Lanka, from Lanka itself. There is ample proof that the British didn't invest a single penny in Sri Lanka. The Colonial administration in Lanka had to pay 177,000 pounds per year to the British home government as the cost of the British army stationed in Lanka. Even during the severe ec
onomic crisis the Colonial government didn't have to ask for any financial help from England. Such was the magnitude of the profits.
1802 Dutch hands over all Lankan possessions to British
1802 First Minority to be made powerful: Muslims become a powerful community British started favouring the Muslims. They treated Muslims as their best collaborating community. British recruited many loyal soldiers from the community and formed the Malay regiment. These Muslim troops would do anything their British masters ordered. British didn't trust the South Indians at the beginning. Muslims were allowed to trade freely. Muslims also took the advantage of the situation. They asked for more Islamic schools and mosques. British gave them everything, Knowing that as long as their selfish interests were looked after, they would be loyal to the British rule. Like this, the minorities became more powerful and larger than life.
1802 Kandyan officials meet the British in Colombo They were led by the second adigar Migastenne. They failed to get the British agreed on Lankan demands.
1802 Britain agrees to give to Napoleon all British colonies except Ceylon & Trinidad. Treaty of Amiens was a peace treaty signed on March 27, 1802, between Britain and Napoleon. Napoleon commanded France, Spain, Netherlands, Egypt, Naples, Italy and Vatican states. By this Treaty of Amiens, Britain agreed to surrender to France "all British colonies except Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Trinidad". In return, France agreed to withdraw from Egypt, Naples, Italy and Vatican States. This included large British territory from the Cape of Good Hope to the Batavia in Indonesia, including Malta and India. As British later refuse to honour the agreement, war broke out again in the following year.
1802 First Two Local army regiments are formed by the British (One with Malays & one with collaborating Sinhalese-"Sepoy") The Malays formed initially as a Malay Corps and later in 1802 as the 1st Ceylon Regiment under a British Commanding Officer. In the same year, a 'Sinhalese' unit was raised. It was called the 2nd Ceylon Regiment, and came to be known as the 'Sepoy' corps.
1803 British threatens War British demanded half of Kandyan territory in return for peace. They threatened the king that they would conquer the whole of Lanka if he doesn't agree.
1803 "Indeed you may come and stay on, and conquer the whole of Lanka"- Brave Migastenne challenges the British to come and try it As British threatened Lanka, a very brave Migastenne- the second Adigar said " Indeed you may come and stay on, and conquer the whole of Lanka ". This came as a proof of the existence of true brave Sinhalese nobles in the society.
1803 1st War against the British: British Invades Kandy Two columns, one led by British Major Macdowall from Colombo, and a second column led by Barbut from Trinco, reached Kandy in 21 days. Lankan king had evacuated the city of Kandy. (In 122 days, Lankans would counter-attack the invader.)
1803 British plans to install two puppet kings (One for Jaffna, One for Kandy, giving birth to the claims of separate Tamil kings and Tamil homelands.) British wanted to install two puppet kings for Lanka. Muttusami, a Nayakkar who fled for the British coastal area few years back, was to be appointed as the British ruler of Jaffna. Pilimatalawe was to be appointed as the British ruler in Kandy. Such British moves gave birth to the claims of the Eelamists, about the existence of a Tamil king and a separate Tamil state in Jaffna. These appointments of collaborating Kings and states, which were done purely for the benefit of the invader by force, should not be treated as Tamil homelands or Tamil Kings.
1803 Lanka's Counter-attack wipes out the British Army Within 122 days, Lankan patriots would counter-attack according to a military strategy prepared by the descendants of King Dutugemunu's army warriors. In that deadly Guerrilla campaign, British force would get wiped out.
1803 Battle of Kandy: British force in Kandy is annihilated. This was the last Sinhala ARMY victory before the total surrender in 1815. The counter attack came when the British were plagued with Malaria. First attack was repulsed. But British had too many casualties. They decided to withdraw to Trinco leaving the sick and injured. The withdrawal force got trapped, as they couldn't cross Mahaveli river, which had higher water level due to the floods. Lankan King demanded the trapped British to hand over the traitor Muttusami. British handed him over. He was executed on the spot. Then the Lankans fooled the British troops. Pretending that they were being escorted to cross the river two by two, all the British troops were taken away and were killed. Only 4, including Major Macdowall (who would die a prisoner) were kept alive as prisoners. Only one of them survived to escape later.
1803 British Fort Macdowall is withdrawn all the way to Trinco As British Army units in Kandy, got massacred, Fort Macdowall, 18 miles east of Kandy, was evacuated under attack. The Lankans counter attack was so severe that the British Commanding Officer abandoned his sick and injured. He barely managed, with great difficulty, to escape to Trinco.
1803 3rd Local regiment under British, is formed (again for Malays only) In 1803, a 3rd Ceylon Regiment was raised with Moluccans and recruits from Penang in South East Asia. All these regiments fought against the Lankan Army in the Kandyan wars of 1803. More collaborating Sinhalese and Malays were recruited to these regiments thereafter.
1803 British reinforcements save the British in Dambadeniya British fortress in Dambadeniya received reinforcements just in time, as it was about to fall to the Sinhala patriots.
1803 Angry British resort to Raid & Destroy missions into King's territory British took revenge by releasing army units on raid and destroy missions in to the Kandyan territory. They used both British and local units for these destructive attack on the civilians and the infrastructure. This destruction caused famine in Lanka.
1803 Sinhala army advances within 15 miles of Colombo & then gets routed by British firepower. This was the LAST Major battle of the Sinhala Army before the collapse in 1815. Lankan King Sri Vickrama Rajasingha misunderstood the British failure in the guerrilla warfare in malaria infested rough terrain. Being just a civilian who hadn't been groomed or trained to become a king, this king had remained ignorant to the outside world. He believed that he could take Colombo with a few captured 6-pound cannons. British allowed the Lankan Army to advance for 30 days before hitting them with heavy firepower. Sinhala army captured the British fort in Hanwella only to lose it the following day. In 2 months, the British firepower and the local collaborators who provided the invader with precise information routed Lankan army. They had advanced within 15 miles of Colombo. King fled all the way back to Kandy as he had no army to stop and fight with.
1804 Haiti becomes the second (after USA) independent American country The news about the French and American revolutions made the colonists in the Latin America to dream about independence from the European superpowers. In 1791, African slaves in Haiti revolted against slavery and many rebels, including the leader died in French prisons. The liberation struggle took example from them, and continued. Haiti became the second independent American country in 1804.
1805 Napoleon becomes the Emperor of France Desperate that he didn't receive the required dedication and the support from the bureaucracy, and also getting carried away by the absolute power he had in his hands, Napoleon decided to become the Emperor of France.
1805 Solid Proof that even at this time, majority in Jaffna are Moors, not Tamils. Capt.Robert Percival of British army in Jaffna wrote in his book "An account of the island of Ceylon" that the majority in Jaffna peninsula were Moors who wore a little white round cap on their shaven heads. Second largest community was Malabars, who had migrated to Lanka after the Portugese period, from the Coromandel coast of South India. They appeared different to the South Indians in Jaffna. Capt. Percival also recorded in his book that there were more foreigners in Jaffna than the people who were native to Jaffna. These "foreigners" were those Malabars who came from the Coromandel coast to grow tobacco. The legacy of the tobacco boom in Jaffna was reflected in the 80,000 odd wells that have been used and are still being used for irrigation. Third largest community in Jaffna was the Sinhalese community in Jaffna (This was even after the big massacre of the Jaffna Sinhalese by Tamil racists in 1478 AD). The South Indian community who had arrived as merchants and invaders, was smaller than all the above three communities.
1805 2nd War against the British: Lankan Army attacks the British camp in Katuwana Katuwana was a frontier town from where the British launched their "raid and destroy missions" into Lankan King's territory. Lankan Army from Kandy launched a massive attack on the British outpost in Katuwana. British were forced to give up Katuwana and withdrew.
1807 Portugese King escapes from Napoleon to Brazil Running away from Napoleon's invading French army, King John III of Portugal came to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and made that the capital of the Portuguese empire. In 1821 he returned to Lisbon, leaving his son Pedro I as the King of Brazil in Rio.
1807 First industrialized country in Europe - Belgium Belgium became the first industrialized country in mainland Europe with the development of machine shops at Liege.
1807 Proof of 2500 year old Buddhist Temple Education System Rev. James Cordiner recorded that the majority Lankans he met in his extensive travels across the country could read and write very well because of high education standards of the Buddhist Temple schools. He was the Superintendent of Parish Schools who worked closely with Frederick North the Governor himself. He described how the Temple education system functioned beautifully. He mentioned how sacred the books and the learning was to the teachers and the students alike and how the villagers respected the Buddhist monk. The Europeans were proud to claim that they conquered the lands of the savages. It wasn't true for countries with many ancient civilizations. In Lanka, Lankans were more refined and dignified than the Europeans. The once great Buddhist universities, which dotted the landscape of Lanka for every 12 kilometers, were no more. The Portugese destroyed last of the greatest and the largest Buddhist universities. The smaller ones struggled to survive without the backing of the government. That was how the education in Buddhist temples was destroyed.
1807 Kandy Lake is completed. Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe using forced labour built it. Both the public and the ministers questioned the value of this lake, which irrigated no land. King kept his harem in an island in the middle of the lake.
1807 British stops " Raid and Destroy" missions in order to win Lankans British learnt that Lankans were getting more and more disappointed with the king. More and more Kandyan chiefs were approaching the British in secret, talking about power sharing after getting rid of the bad king. All these made the British to stop the " Raid and Destroy" missions in order to win the people under the king.
1807 Governor's letter reveals the devious social strategy January, 1807, a letter sent by Governer Maitland to Eden, GA of Matara says, " Use this carefully and secretly, Reliance of Buddhism and philosophy of Matara Buddhists must be destroyed, In Matara, Bikkus are more powerful than village chiefs, Make sure all chiefs are Christians. "
1810 Legend of Simon Bolivar The first Latin American freedom fighter, Simon Bolivar was born in Venezuela. He was educated in Spain and was in France during the French Revolution. In 1810, Bolivar joined a revolutionary army in Venezuela to fight for a united Latin America free of European control. Today six countries, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela regard Bolivar as their liberator. While ruling Venezuela, he abolished slavery and was the first to suggest a union of American republics.
1810 Under Simon Bolivar, Colombia fight to win independence from Spain After many battles against the Spanish Army, Simon Bolivar surprised the Spanish army in Colombia by a bold march across the Andes to Colombia. He defeated the Spanish army in this Battle of Boyaca. Then he organized a government and became president of Colombia.
1810 Hopes of a united Latin America shattered Simon Bolivar's hopes to create a united Latin America were shattered as Venezuela and Ecuador, led by power hungry leaders, separated from Colombia. Disappointed, he said, “Those who have served the cause of the revolution have ploughed the sea”.
1810 Mexican revolution A Mexican revolution began in 1810, led by Miguel Hidalgo Costilla.
1811 Pilimatalawe is beheaded King Sri Vickrama Rajasingha finally ordered his number one Adigar (minister) to be beheaded for treason. It was only 13 years ago that Pilimatalawe installed this young South Indian to the throne, hoping to use him to his advantage. Ehelepola was promoted as the first Adigar.
1811 First locals to be trained in England for Christianity Frederick North, the British Governer, like the Dutch had done before him, knew the effectiveness of employing locals as Ministers of religion. The British were determined to make the system better. They decided to train these locals in special education courses in Lanka and also in England. The first two trainees were sent to England in 1811 to be trained as Christian ministers of religion. They would come back to train more.
1812 Baptist Mission Arrives Baptist Missionaries arrived in 1812. Under the excuse that they were serving the humankind, they set up Christian Schools with the objective of Christianizing the population.
1812 Russia enters European power race After the death of the Great Russian king Peter in 1725, his second wife, Catherine, became the ruler of Russia as Catherine I. She was a peasant woman whom the king Peter had married in 1712. Under the Queen Catherine and subsequent kings, Russia expanded westward into Poland, which brought Russia into the European power race.
1812 Napoleon is ruined in Russia In 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia and advanced into the outskirts of Moscow. Then the Russian winter arrived. In a legendary historical event, the French Army was ruined and weakened forever by the Russian winter. Like the German dictator Adolph Hitler a century later, Napoleon overreached himself by trying to conquer Russia.
1812 After Napoleon's defeat, Russia & Austria emerge as the two strongest in Europe. With the final defeat of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna convened to organize Europe. Austria and Russia became the most powerful European powers.
1812 Lankan Land is given to Europeans British Government allowed Europeans to receive up to 4000 acres of land. This was achieved by chasing away Sinhalese from their properties.
1812 American Missionaries arrive in India First group of missionaries from the American board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions arrived in India in 1812. British who were obviously worried about giving a foothold to them in India, refused them. Instead, British allowed them to work in the Jaffna peninsula in Lanka. British were not worried about that small land area.
1813 American Missionaries arrive in Lanka: British send them to the Jaffna peninsula First group of missionaries from the American board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions, who were not allowed to practice in India in 1812, arrived in Lanka. British Governer Brownrigg directed them to the Jaffna peninsula in Lanka. British were not worried about that small land area, which had the most under privileged population of Lanka. They would establish scores of Christian Missionary schools in Jaffna peninsula. This would be the main reason for one third of the schools (over 300 out of 819 schools in the country) to be located in Jaffna peninsula by 1885.
1814 Ehelepola runs to British King summoned Ehelepola to be tried for treason while he was on an assignment in Sabaragamuwa. Realizing what his fate would be, he escaped to the British. Angry king took his innocent family into custody.
1814 Napoleon loses to allied forces Weakened permanently by the destruction suffered in Russia, he was overwhelmed by a coalition of Swedish, Prussian, Austrian, and British troops. He was forced to abdicate the throne. He was imprisoned in the island of Elba. (After 100 days he returned to take over the power again.)
1814 The most shocking execution in Lankan history - Alcoholic king murders the family of the first Adigar who has defected to the British Even the experienced and hardened executioner fainted with disgust, for the torture the family of Ehelepola was subjected to. People stayed indoors for 2 days in grief and in shock. Many nobles, who believed that the British would give them the ruling power, took this opportunity to convince the people that the British were better than the Nayakkar rule. But people neither supported the king nor the selfish Kandyan aristocracy. King was said to be too drunk, and was in anger at the time of the execution. He was said to have regretted his cruel orders later when he was sober.
1814 Fourth local regiment is formed by the British (using only Africans) The British formed a fourth local regiment. They brought Africans and trained them. It became a regiment of Africans.
1814 Arrival of Wesleyan Methodists Wesleyan Methodist Missionaries arrived in Lanka. They would go on a program of setting up missionary schools and spreading Christianity.
1814 Only 23,000 Tamil speaking people in Batticaloa district British records indicate that the district of Batticaloa, which was 150 miles long from north to south, only had 23,000 Tamil-speaking people. This included both the newly arriving Malabar people of South India and the 3775 of the Murukkuwas population. There were 3641 Muslims all of whom, except just 3, were relying on trade as livelihood. British also recorded that half of these Tamil-speaking people and the Muslims lived in only 12, out of 139 villages. Sinhalese were the majority of the east at the time. But soon the new migrants would drive them deeper inland.
1815 British advance on Kandy saying that they will save Sinhalese from a cruel Malabar ruler Power-hungry Kandyan chiefs flocked around the British expressing willingness to co-operate with the British to overthrow the king. British wasted no time in taking this golden opportunity. British said that they would gladly save Sinhala people from a cruel Malabar ruler. Two British Army divisions reached Kandy in 30 days. King's Chief Adigar, Molligoda pretended to be loyal to the king. He waited till the British force reached Kandy before changing sides. It is impossible even to imagine the dilemma of the patriotic Lankans, who would not know what to do, or how to fight the British under such circumstances. This is why it is so important to foresee and solve problems, with foresight and wisdom, before they become stronger and unsolvable.
1815 14th February, 1815- Kandy, & Lanka fall forever British Governer Sir Robert Brownrigg and 7 Kandyan chiefs signed the agreement, which came to be known as "the Kandyan Convention". (According to this agreement, British promised to look after the interests of the Sinhalese and Buddhism. But British would shamefully dishonour this agreement in just few years, as if they had never made these promises. Such dishonest promises, made without a real intention of honouring them, created such angry hatred among the patriotic Sinhalese about the Europeans). The agreement gave what the Kandyan chiefs had wanted. Molligoda remained as the first Adigar. Ehelepola refused a post of minister and chose to retire if he was not made the new king. He received a few villages, a bulk sum, and all his lands confiscated by the king. British promised to provide state patronage to Buddhism, and not to allow Christian Missionary schools to be opened in Kandy (Missionaries would campaign to break this promise in 3 years).
1815 Dilemma of the public The public was at a dilemma, trying to figure out what the future of the country would be. The disgusted public ignored this ceremony, as they didn't approve any of the parties who were signing the treaty.
1815 Only one signature in Tamil All 6 Kandyan chiefs signed in Sinhala while only one signed in Tamil. He was the great grandfather of J.R.Jayawardana.
1815 18th February 1815- Last King of Lanka is captured Sri Vickrama Rajasingha, the unsuitable civilian who was installed as the king by the selfish Pilimatalawe, was the fourth Nayakkar King of Lanka. He would die as a prisoner in India in 17 years time. His son will die childless, in 28 more years.
1815 Napoleon's bold plan to save France from allied invasion The Congress of Vienna, which represented all the European powers except Turkey to serve the interests of the 4 major powers ( Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Austria ) decided to finish Napoleon for good. On 17 th March, Austria, Britain, Prussia, and Russia each offered 150,000 troops to invade France. In an audacious strategy, Napoleon decided to attack the allies on their own ground before their armies familiarise with eachother. He chose to finish British, Prussians, Saxons, Dutch on Belgiun border first and then go to face Russian and Austrian armies approaching France from the east. With typical Napoleonic energy and decisiveness, he raised an army of 360,000 trained soldiers in 2 monthes.
1815 Napoleon advances to Belgian border On June 14, 1815, Napoleon left half of the new French Army in France ( which is regarded as the first of the three mistakes of the French) and reached Belgian border with 124,000 soldiers in the utmost speed and secrecy. On the way he deployed 56,000 to guard the route. Facing him at the Belgian border were two separate allied armies commanded by the British general Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, the commander-in-chief of the allied forces. Prussian field marshal Blucher led 116,000 Prussians and Saxons. Second army was 93,000 British, Dutch, and German troops. Napoleon planned to attack both armies with the aim of splitting and destroying them. This he did by dividing his army into two attacking groups and a reserve. The trusted veterans known as the Old Guard were in the reserve.
1815 Napoleon attacks Napoleon attacked on 15th June. At the end of the first day he managed to place his army between the allied armies and held the strategic advantage. Then three horrible mistakes made in the next two days by two Generals, one by his best Marshal Ney, and one by himself Napoleon, enabled the allied forces to escape destruction before 18th June, 1815.
1815 The Three Mistakes : Two missed opportunites on the second day In the first instance Napoleon should have taken more troops to the Belgiun border as while he lost in Waterloo half of the French Army was idling in France. Other two mistakes took place on 16th June, when Napoleon and Marshal Ney attacked in two fronts. Napoleon saw that he could destroy the Prussians with extra manpower. A courier took Napoleon's message for Marshal Ney to send 30,000 troops to him, to the General who commanded that army under Marshal Ney, who quickly left to join Napoleon. Without knowing information on courrier's message, an over-cautious Marshal Ney delayed attacking the British and ordered his General back when he was almost with Napoleon. Napoleon survived after 3 hours of tactical brilliance but that allowed 70,000 Prussians to escape that night. In the second missed opportunity, Napoleon expected Marshal Ney to destroy the weak British formation. But as Ney waited to understand what was going on, British reinforced. Finally, as General wouldn't reach him till 9pm, Ney attacked at 2 pm. By that time British had been re-inforced. Ney couldn't penetrate and was forced back.
1815 The Five Mistakes : Two missed opportunites on the third day On 17th June, in the fourth opportunity, Ney again failed to obey Napoleon's order to attack the British. Napoleon knew that Wellington was withdrawing to join the Prussians who he forced to withdraw the day before. Ney didn't believe that the British was withdrawing. Napoleon had to despatch a 30,000 army under General Grouchy to hunt down the withdrawing Prussians and move to Ney's position which had been a tactical disaster so far. He arrived at Ney's location in the afternoon and attacked the British, easily overruning the small army left behind. Then he moved to Waterloo where the British had withdrawn to. Meanwhile he sent repeated messages to General Grouchy to destroy the Prussians before they join the British. In the fifh missed opportunity, General Grouchy failed miserably to catch up, locate and engage enemy formations. That allowed the Prussians to arrive in Waterloo next day.
1815 18th June - Battle of Waterloo: On 18th June, 1815, near present-day Brussels, Belgium, 67,660 allied forces of all major European powers, Austria, and Britain, and assited by a Prussia army who arrived later at a crucial moment, routed the 71,947 French army as Napoleon watched in horror. At 11.30 Napoleon attacked. At 1pm Napoleon saw the first Prussian units arriving and sent a desperate message to General Grouchy to vigorously engage whatever Prussian units as he can because Napoleon couldn't handle them. At 4pm when Prussians began attacking, Napoleon didn't have enough resources for him to play his battle winning tactics. At 6pm, a heroic assault led by Marshal Ney that went deep into British lines, was repulsed by British with more manpower. Final assault was at 8 pm when Prussians swept the weakened French from the right flank sending French troops fleeing from the field. Napoleon managed to escape only because of his heroic Old Guard battalions who fought buying enough time for him to escape. 4 days later, he surrendered.
1815 " Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won " Wellington@Waterloo The British commander Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington, led the allied force. After the battle, standing in the field of 40,000 French and 22,000 Allied troops dead and dying, he said, "Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won." The battle of Waterloo was one of the most important in European history. Napoleon was forced to surrender later as a prisoner and was sent to an island named St.Helena. He died there of stomach cancer and it is widely believed that the British gradually poisoned him to death.
1815 French monarchy is restored 10 days after Waterloo, the victorious Allied forces restored the French Bourbon dynasty. But the French Revolution and the Napoleon's rule had permanently changed the attitudes of the ruling class. France became a modern bureaucratic state dominated by the newly powerful "bourgeoisie".
1815 Allies who defeated Napoleon restore the lands under the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church The Pope has become the facto ruler of the city of Rome and the suburbs by the 6th century AD. But in 754 AD, Pepin the Short, king of the Franks, officially handed over these areas to Pope Stephen II. These Italian lands under direct rule of the Pope were called Papal States, or States of the Church or Pontifical States. Pope, with the help of regional powers like the Franks, continued to annex more territories by gifts, purchases, and conquests until the Papal States included nearly the whole of central Italy. These areas reached their greatest extent in the 16th century. In 1797, Napoleon Bonaparte took much of the territory. In 1815, after the allied forces defeated Napoleon at Waterloo and restored Papal rule back in these areas under Austrian protection. But in 1870, Italian King Victor Emmanuel II annexed all Papal states including Rome and limited the Pope's jurisdiction to the Vatican. In protest, each Pope thereafter considered themselves as prisoners under Italian occupation. In 1929, in the Lateran Treaty, Italian king Victor Emmanuel III recognized the full independance of the Vatican City under Pope.
1816 British favors Moors: Sinhalese are angry and helpless British noticed Moors as their most trusted community. The Moor soldiers had played a key role in fighting the Lankan army. British would use Muslims as soldiers, traders, and officials to control the Sinhalese masses. In turn, the Muslims received special treatment that was not available to others, especially Sinhalese. In the years to come, the British would treat the Muslims at the expense of the Sinhalese. British would discriminate against the Sinhalese in so many unfair decisions, trying to please the demanding Muslims. So much of injustices would be done to the Sinhalese by the favourations extended to the minorities.
1817 1st Freedom Struggle against the British: National uprising with impostor Vilbave as the new king Sinhalese in Uva province were very angry due to the discrimination that they were subjected to, because of the special treatment given to the Muslims by the British. As they rose up in protest, the freedom struggle spread to all areas of Kandy. British didn't have enough troops to counter the threat. The rising water levels in the rivers and the floods, made movement of heavily armed British Army units very difficult. A person claiming to be a relative of the good Nayakkar kings, appeared, winning the confidence of the people. He was declared the new king of Lanka.
1817 1st Freedom Struggle: Battle of Kehelwella, Veddas armed with bows and arrows, fight the British colonial force In September 1817, the British Government Agent in Badulle, appointed a Muslim named Muhandiram Hudjee to lead a force to capture the so-called new Sinhalese king. This force was the first British colonial force to engage the freedom fighters in battle. On a tip they received, Hudjee led his force on Wilbawe in Kehelwella. Wilbawe met him with a 200 strong force of Veddas, armed only with bows and arrows. Hudjee's collaborators had guns. But the Veddas massacred the Hudjee's force. Hudjee was captured and was taken to Wilbawe. On his orders, this collaborator was executed.
1817 1st Freedom Struggle: British GA Wilson's force is annihilated to the last man Wilson, British government agent in Badulle was furious. On 14th October 1817, he himself led a stronger force this time. He took all 24 British troops belonging to the platoon attached to Badulle, commanded by the lieutenant Newman. Sinhala freedom fighters trained and led by Kohukumbure Rate Rala, Kewlegedara Disawe and Baddulugamene Rate Rala attacked the British force with classic guerrilla tactics. All world-class British troops were killed in battle. British GA Wilson turned back and ran. An arrow killed him. Nine days later, the British would send Keppitipola to crush the freedom fighters.
1817 Reasons for the rebellion - Shows where the Lankan society is heading… Landlessness of the Sinhalese increased due to forced take-over of their land by the British and their collaborators. Negligence of irrigation works led to the decline of the peasant agriculture. This affected the self-sufficient lifestyle of the Sinhalese tremendously, leading to famine and insecurity in life. The collaborating Village chiefs were not concerned about these problems as they reaped the benefits of colonialism. British negligence on the threats to Buddhism by the Missionaries, Social oppression at the hands of the new local ruling class, increasing lawlessness and breakdown in peace and harmony due to opening of taverns, crimes which started after the arrival of Indian Tamils, pressure on the Sinhalese peasants to neglect peasant agriculture and work for low wages as slaves in colonial plantation agriculture, were other reasons. All of the above were a classic indication of where Lanka was heading.
1817 1st Freedom Struggle: British destroys the irrigation complexes in Uva British destroyed the irrigation complexes in Uva province in scorched- earth tactic. They hoped then the villagers who fought for the independence, would starve to death.
1817 Lieutenant Maclaine's adventures British Lieutenants had the authority to kill anyone without a trial. Assistant Commissioner of Badulla, named Braybrooke wrote about the jolly good time one such lieutenant had in the countryside. British Lieutenant J. Maclaine of the 73rd British Regiment had a practice of enjoying his breakfast while the Sinhalese men were hung to death. Later, the Sinhalese guerrilla fighters killed him in an ambush.
1817 Sadism of British Colonel Hook British Colonel Hook was another sadistic officer who enjoyed his life fully at the expense of the Sinhalese villagers. He ordered any body who was suspected, to be hung without any questions asked. He was responsible for many innocent deaths. While fulfilling his fantasy, he even hung innocent Mawatagama Nilame who was a close relative of Mahanayaka of Asgiriya.
1817 Sinhalese Guerrilla tactics Dr. Davey, a British Army Surgeon recorded the Sinhalese Guerrilla tactics. " They had the paths we walked lined with snares, spring-guns, string bows, deep pits lightly covered and armed with thorns and spikes. When they attacked they were ferocious and showed no fear or mercy. They were totally dedicated fighters. Over 20% of our troops died in sickness in these jungles. Over 1000 British troops died in this war. We didn't manage to kill the enemy. But we killed a lot of villagers. We must have killed at least 10,000 men in the villagers."
1817 1st Freedom Struggle: Keppitipola and Madugalle joined the freedom struggle Kandyan Chief Keppitipola was the brother-in-law of Ehelepola. On 23rd October 1818, nine days after the British force led by Badulle GA Wilson was annihilated, he was sent by the British to crush the rebels. He joined the Lankan liberation movement in order to free his country from the invaders. So did all Kandyan chiefs, except Molligoda. Molligoda would become a helpful collaborator to the British. Keppitipola discovered that the so-called king was an impostor, but he decided to settle it once the rebellion was over. British arrested Ehelepola who was in retirement. British expelled him to Mauritius, where he died after 7 years. Madugalle, chief of Dumbara, joined the freedom struggle following Keppitipola. Both Keppitipola and Madugalle were shot dead by the British later.
1817 1st Freedom Struggle: Dalada is captured by the British Variyapola Sri Sumangala Thero went into hiding in the jungle with the tooth relic from Kandy in April. Based on information passed by the traitors, he was captured on 28th November by the British troops based in Nikawella. They found the tooth relic hidden in the robe. Major John Davey treated it with respect, in order to win the hearts and minds of the public.
1817 British Memo reveals Sinhalese Guerrilla tactics On 27th November a desperate British Governer Brownrigg wrote a memo to his superiors in London. In that he described the guerrilla tactics of the Sinhalese freedom fighters. " They don’t face us in combat. Instead they follow us through the jungle. They wait until bad weather arrives. They wait until we become tired or sick. They wait until we finish our supplies. Any European would not be able to destroy them in this country alone without the help of their own countrymen". So the British increased the number of local collaborators by paying them to become unpatriotic.
1817 1st Freedom Struggle: First use of propaganda as a tactic in Lanka British resorted to wasteland policy. It created starvation in villages. British firepower was used to destroy any thing, even irrigation structures and Buddhist temples that could help the freedom fighters. British used Modern Propaganda for the first time in Lankan history by publicizing that the Dalada was still in British hands and the so-called new king was an impostor.
1818 American Missionaries in Jaffna American Ceylon Mission (A Christian Missionary project) was established in Jaffna in 1818. In just four years, they would be running 42 Missionary schools in the peninsula alone. The Americans who had learnt to speak Tamil very well staffed them. In just 115 years, by 1933, they would be running 90 schools in the peninsula. Tamil children learnt English, History, Tamil prose, philosophy, Greek, Latin, and Maths. The medium of instruction was English.
1818 Lanka's Best Education system is in Jaffna The American Ceylon Mission had the best well-structured education system in Lanka. 1. Central Day schools for the best students handpicked from other schools. 2. Charity Boarding Schools for the best students who needed to be boarded at the school. There they were fed and clothed by the Christian Mission. 3. Village Schools for the front line education where reading/writing of Tamil & English, basic Maths, and Christianity was taught. The Best students handpicked from these village schools were sent to the previous two schools. In all these schools, English education was of very much higher standard than all other schools, including missionary schools, in the country. Only the districts of Colombo and Galle had a good system of education. But they couldn't match these standards in Jaffna. Such was the standard of education the Jaffna Tamils received. It is very unfortunate that they later used this education to further oppress the Sinhala masses, instead of hel
ping the Sinhala masses out of their misery.
1818 Jaffna Tamils advanced into artificial and unchallenged heights, while the Sinhalese fought the invader. In just 100 years, the most under-developed population of Jaffna, became the strongest community second only to the Burghers. Thus, though being only less than 10% of the population, some Tamils were enjoying nearly half the privileged positions of the country. The Tamils in the peninsula progressed under the colonial rule, while the patriotic Sinhalese fought the invader and died in the south. Soon they grew up to be a social elite hardly matched by any of the under-privileged Sinhalese in the south. They even found employment, very easily, in South India and Malaysia.
1818 Massacre of Sinhalese in the Battle of Madulla On 6th January 1818, a British Army unit assaulted a jungle base belonging to a Sinhala Army unit in Madulla. Sinhalese camp was based around a cave in a mountain range. British used the superior manpower they had with the local collaborators, specially the Muslims. The Sinhalese didn't have the firepower. At the end of the battle, the last 50 Sinhalese troops were cornered at the cave. They decided to do a final suicidal charge on the British. With a huge war cry they rushed out of the cave entrance, and crashed into the British troops. British and the collaborators were surprised and many ran away. While twenty Sinhala troops fell dead, the rest jumped from the steep cliff and committed suicide. In the darkness of that night, the angry British troops committed more horrendous crimes against the Sinhalese villagers. In a dispatch sent to the Governer Brownrigg, they admitted killing of only one Sinhalese woman and her child.
1818 Dumbara and Hewaheta joins Uva By February 1818, both Dumbara and Hewaheta joined the freedom struggle.
1818 British worry about losing the hill country By 21st Feb 1818 British were discussing withdrawal from Hill country. But 7000 troops brought from India help crush the revolt.
1818 The Best Opportunity Ever to chase the British On 20th April 1818, British Governor Brownrigg in Lanka wrote a memo begging the Viceroy of India for immediate reinforcements. He said that it would be a disgrace to the British Army and would damage the safety of the British empire if the natives threw them into the sea. The dangerous situation was further proved by the orders he received from London. London ordered the British in Lanka to abandon the interior and retreat to the coast. That was how bad the situation was. Unfortunately, patriots were not able to take advantage of the situation because of the disunity of the nation. Greedy collaborators refused to join the freedom struggle. Sri Lanka missed the best opportunity they ever had, to free the country.
1818 British would have lost Lanka, if not for the reinforcements All records indicate that British would have lost Lanka if not for the British reinforcements that came from India. Most of the reinforcements were Indian Sepoy troops led by British officers. They had a jolly good time with their superior firepower and the destruction carried out unopposed. (Sinhalese were able to inflict disastrous casualties on them only in the jungles). After the war was over, British started thinking of better social tactics to avoid future freedom struggles.
1818 Martial Law is declared On 21st February 1818, British declared Martial Law on the Kandyan provinces.
1818 Collaborators betray the country British used the local collaborators to the maximum. Some greedy low class people, passed information in return for special treatment and payments. Muslim traders, who penetrated deep into villages, brought valuable information. Many local chiefs remained neutral, keeping an eye for which side was likely to win. All these happened while the true patriots fought all alone. So did then, So do Now.....!
1818 1st Freedom Struggle: Major MacDonald completely destroy a Sinhala village Major MacDonald the British officer, who led one British force to Kandy in 1815, entered the village of the Sinhalese leader Wilbawe. He killed all the cattle and men above the age of 14. Sinhalese women were molested. He also destroyed all the food including grain, and burnt all the houses. He did all these with the help of the Lankan collaborators who were in the British payroll as mercenaries.
1818 Colonel Campbell's Memo: Soldiers wonder about the value of what they destroyed……..! "We were under orders to destroy all coconut trees, all fruit trees and paddy fields. We were also ordered to destroy the bunds of the water reservoirs. This water was essential to them for cultivation. We wondered how long it must have taken for them to build these giant reservoirs and how long it would take them now, without having any engineers or the equipment, to rebuild or repair them. "
1818 Memo by Major Forbes "We met so many military patrols who had been dispatched for burning the villages and their property. They were not looking for the enemy. The natives who survived our fire would definitely get perished in sickness and in famine as we had destroyed all their cultivation, lakes and villages."
1818 In the diary of Sergeant Calladine " Not a single day passed without burning a village and killing the Chingalese men. We didn't take prisoners."
1818 Wives and the children of the patriots are tortured to death, if the patriot doesn't surrender Learning from the brutal alcoholic decision by the Sri Vickrama Rajasingha who killed the family of the minister Ehelepola, British and the Sinhalese collaborators resorted to desperate tactics. They captured the wives and the children of the known patriot fighters and used them to make the patriot surrender. If the patriot doesn't surrender, it was said that it was his fault that his children and wife "disappeared". One of the British officers who recorded this was Dr.John Davey of the British Army. Also a captured freedom fighter could reverse his death penalty if his relatives surrender more patriots. These were very dirty tactics. But they worked as the British expected.
1818 Keppetipola and Madugalle captured. On 30th october 1818, British captured Keppitipola and Madugalle. On 25th Nov, they were beheaded. Keppitipola died as he said "Ithipiso gatha" in 2 strokes. Madugalle was nervous and he had been behaving like a coward fearful of death. He was also killed in 2 strokes.
1818 Suicidal Last Stand of the Dumbara Sinhalese: Battle of Atgalle " We are NOT scared of your burning of our houses, your killing of our wives and children, and your writings (Writing meant propaganda). We don’t mind our lives as long as we deprive you of our country which you will destroy entirely." In May, before the Battle of Atgalle, Sinhalese knowing the outcome of the battle handed this message neatly written on an ola leaf, to the British Commanding Officer. The Sinhala troops of Dumbara were largely outnumbered and outgunned by the British who had their local collaborating Sinhalese "Sepoy" and Muslim troops. In the ensuing battle, all the brave Sinhalese of Dumbara, fought and died to the very last man.
1818 All children of the noble patriots were killed Dr. John Davey of the British Army declared in 3 more years, that none of the children of the leading patriotic families in the hill country and in the Uva-Wellassa area, survived. This probably is the reason why we have so many unpatriotic rich people around us today.
1818 Confiscated properties are given to the collaborators as gifts British Governer Brownrigg declared a proclamation, which meant all the properties of anyone who participate or support the “rebellion”, would be confiscated. This scared the greedy and the new rich low class Sinhalese to whom the properties were of more value than freedom and honour. Such confiscated property was distributed among the chiefs who helped the British.
1818 End of the first Freedom Struggle: British crush the first Sinhalese freedom struggle With reinforcements that came from India, the revolt (which lost popularity under the weight of the propaganda) was crushed. Keppitipola was captured on 30th October, Madugalle on 26th November, and they were executed. Dr. John Davey estimated at least 7% of the population in the entire Central province was killed. That was how Sri Lanka lost the last of the warriors of the time. Kobbekaduwa Senevi was the only Sinhala military leader who managed to evade capture. He survived in the jungles until 1820. In 1820 the greedy local collaborators, who handed him over to the British hoping to get a reward or a position, would betray him.
1818 British casualties It is recorded that 114 out of 173 injured British troops brought to Batticaloa military hospital died. Over 10,000 Sinhalese died in action.
1818 "We don’t need British troops in Ceylon as long as Moor soldiers are there"- British admires Muslim Soldiers & stops recruitment of Sinhalese into colonial army British admired the Moors for their loyalty in the war against Sinhalese. "We don’t need British troops in Ceylon as long as Moor soldiers are there,” said Major Hardy. The Muslims get rewarded by a special British proclamation, placing them under British rule, instead of Kandyan rule, even if they resided in Kandy. The recruitment of Sinhalese into the British colonial army was stopped, as their loyalty couldn't be trusted.
1818 Decreased Taxes for the collaborators, Increased Taxes for the patriots British introduced a paddy tax of 10% on agriculture. As a policy of divide and rule, British reduced this tax to 7% for the districts, which remained loyal to the British during the freedom struggle. Families of those who were connected to the freedom struggle were ordered to pay an increased tax of 20%. In few more decades this became a very unfair tax as only the agricultural products that the natives needed, were taxed this way. The plantations that produced export commodities didn't have to pay taxes. Many Sinhalese farmers were scared of the high taxes they had to pay on high yields, despite the heavy costs they had to pay.
1818 Sinhalese Warriors become low-castes The Sinhalese Guerrilla fighters who successfully fought the World's Best Army, were hunted down by the village headmen and their henchmen who were well-paid by the British. Those who managed to survive this massacre, lived under close scrutiny of the village chief, named Arachchi, Vidane or Muhandiram. These Arachchis became a frustrated pawn in the hands of the British. They had to even give their own wife and the young daughters to the visiting British or Government officials. Whenever the villagers suffered injustice under these frustrated Arachchis, these brave Sinhalese ran into deadly conflicts with these Arachchis. Therefore these warriors were cornered and bashed. Their children were deprived of any education while the children of the Arachchi and his henchmen received the European education. These proud people were slowly branded low-castes and were isolated from the society. Given the opportunity, these outstanding Sinhalese with true Sinhalese noble blood, have displayed their true colours, which are very rarely visible in people who are truly low class.
1818 Missionaries get the British to break the promise of not establishing Missionary schools in Kandy Governer Robert Brownrigg came under Missionary pressure as early as in 1816 regarding the establishment of Christian Missionaries in Kandy. He refused permission in 1816 because of the promise the British had given in the Kandyan convention of 1815. The selfish missionaries however persuaded the British to allow them to establish missionary schools in Kandy. In these Missionary schools, a new generation of Lankan children learnt only how good the Christianity and the western world, was. They were deprived of their right to learn the full true history of the country. Many of these children would grow up learning to criticize Buddhists and their monks. Many of them were brainwashed into despising the heritage of their motherland.
1818 Arrival of the Church of England Missionaries from the Church of England arrived in Lanka. They would go on a program of setting up missionary schools and spreading Christianity.
1819 British doesn't introduce the injection during the Small-fox epidemic Though the injection for the small-fox virus was available since 1802, the British didn't introduce it to Lanka. British who had signed the Kandyan convention promising to look after the country and the people, watched as many people died during a 2-year period. Helpless people left the patients in a hut in the back yard and many died and became food to animals. Unlike in their glory days, the Lankans didn't have a Sinhala ruling system with first class medical system, to save them. The collaborators, who worked to establish the invaders rule, didn't care as they had access to British medical system.
1819 Arrival of Second Lt. Thomas Skinner - One of the greatest British soldiers who understood the plight of the Sinhalese: He treats Sinhalese with respect, and spends his money to develop the country. Accompanying his father who was an officer in the Artillery, 16-year-old 2nd Lt. Thomas Skinner traveled from Trinco to Colombo via Kandy. He was very much impressed by the land and the people. He looked after the smallpox patients around his outpost. He was so concerned about the Sinhalese that the patients crawled towards his camp. He sent out patrols to collect them. He had a room to lay them and to attend to them. He provided them with "Kenda"(Boiled rice water). Many patients were cured by his caring treatment. He paid his labourers with his own money as the funds granted were not enough to pay them for surveying the Colombo-Ratnapura road. He also recommended that governors should walk among the locals and should get to know them as much as possible. He criticised the British officials who only visited
the Arachchi's Bungalow. He delegated a lot of responsibility to local Sinhalese of good qualities and noted that no one ever let him down in honesty, efficiency or trust while many White colleagues had disappointed him while engaging in bad practices.
1820 British make Lankans alcoholic - alcohol promotion goes hand in hand with the frustration of the patriotic people in an era of hopelessness. British saw alcoholism as a way to weaken the people to submission. British used alcohol in Lanka, like the way they used the opium for Chinese masses. (Alcohol was a successful tool used to destroy the native Indians of America and the aborigines of Australia as well). In 1820, under British Governor Barnes, taverns were established in almost all villages in every district. British made considerable money merely by selling the rights to establish a tavern. Liquor licenses were issued to collaborators to establish taverns. Initially, alcohol was issued free, until the customers got addicted. Low country Sinhalese, who became tavern owners, became the most enterprising Sinhalese merchants. No one, except Buddhist monks, villagers and a few officials, cared about the increasing social problems due to alcohol. (Only in 1872, Governor Gregory admitted that the British were responsible for the drunkenness of the Sinhalese and the extinction of many noble families. He admitted these before the Legislative council.)
1820 This is what alcohol did to the Sinhalese… Sinhalese in some areas resisted hard, as not even 1% of the population in those areas could be made addicted to alcohols. But within few years, as more and more Sinhalese found temparory relief and comfort in it, alcohol became a 60,000 sterling pound a year business. The people had two choices to survive. One was to collaborate with the invader and their native ruling class. Second, was to become a target of the ruling class and starve to death. Many Sinhalese who tried hard to maintain their principles, found it difficult to collaborate. The alcohol promotion went hand in hand with this frustration and the helplessness of the people in an era of hopelessness. Many addicted villagers even sold their crops, even prematurely, to drink.
1820 Sinhalese Leadership is wasted in alcohol Truly patriotic Sinhalese nobles, who had no option other than collaborating with the British, were the most frustrated Sinhalese in the country. They knew that it was up to them to liberate the country. But they couldn't rally against the odds placed against them by the cunning British. They suffered from guilty feelings day and night, and got addicted to alcoholism quickly. As recorded by Major Thomas Skinner, Both the first Adigar Molligoda and his son died of alcoholism. Once powerful noble families vanished under alcoholism.
1820 First person to try to curb alcoholism in Lanka - Lt. Thomas Skinner of the British Army Thomas Skinner repeatedly recommended to his superiors that alcohol must be banned in this country as it destroyed this unique culture of the Sinhalese. " The vice of intemperance has become an enormous evil. It is rapidly gaining ground. There is no doubt". He recorded that many people were beginning to rob and to lose their values. But the British saw it as a way to weaken the people to submission. Thomas Skinner became the first person to try to curb alcoholism in Lanka.
1820 Culture of Drunkenness J.Forbes, a District Judge, wrote in his diary about the establishment of 133 taverns in an area to cover the 200,000 residents. " I entirely sympathise with the Buddhist monks who resist the establishment of the taverns. They practice a religion that forbid them to drink alcohol, but a Christian government is forcing them to do so. This will not only increase the revenue for the government, but also increase robbery, murder, gambling and drunkenness." He was right. Many Sinhalese became troublemakers of the village or of the bazaar.
1820 Beginning of the IRC figure in the town, "Chandiya" or "Ganankaraya" Warning by J.Forbes, a District Judge became a reality, as many Sinhalese became troublemakers of the village or of the bazaar. This was the beginning of the culture of the Criminal figures in towns and villages, known as IRC or "Chandiya" or "Ganankaraya", which continues even today.
1820 British use Rajakariya tactic to build roads - They use high caste administrative officials to get the low-caste people to work British realised the need to build roads in order to transport cannons and troops quickly. They used Rajakariya tactic, which was to get village chiefs to force their villagers to work for the colonial masters for nothing. Sinhalese began to hate these new forms of slavery and the cunning ways of naming them. Since the British had carefully selected mainly high caste people in administration system, the low-castes ended up doing the slavery.
1820 2nd Freedom Struggle: Uva-Wellassa rise up again A freedom struggle erupted again in Wellassa and Uva provinces in the beginning of 1820. Details are not available on this one. However, British recorded that the local collaborators led by Disawe of Bintenna crushed it.
1820 3rd Freedom Struggle: General Kobbekaduwa leads a freedom struggle The last surviving Sinhala General Kobbekaduwa came out of the jungle to Thamankaduwa area and tried to organize a Sinhala army to free the country. By this time there was a Sinhala social class even at village levels who were dependant of the British rule. Some of these collaborators captured him and handed him to the British. The British Lieutenant Hughes in Puliyankadawatta hanged Kobbekaduwa and his lieutenants to death.
1820 British Lieutenant discovered Polonnaruwa after 700 years & no Sinhala leader was interested. A Lt. Fagan of the British army, while exploring the jungles, stumbled upon a lost city covered in thick jungle. He reported this to the superiors and gave correct whereabouts. But no Sinhala leader would take steps to clear this lost city. They were obviously scared of the true history of the country, becoming public knowledge. All collaborating Sinhala leaders would wait for another 50 years, until the British governor himself ordered the Disawe of Thamankaduwa to clear the jungle so that the British Archaeologists could excavate the ruins.
1820 Miracle at Dalada 8th January, 12 noon, bright streaks of silver rays are projected to the sky as far as a human eye could see, from the pinnacle of the temple. All who were in the city of Kandy at the time observed this. A British Army doctor named Dr.John Davey recorded this very well. His account matched the recorded versions of the chief monk and another surviving document by a Catholic Mudaliyar. All these documents are preserved in the British archives today.
1820 Anuradapura is discovered by a young British civil servant, Ralph Backhaus The whole Rajarata area was generally covered in jungle. British had poor communication and transport facilities in Rajarata. A young British civil servant named Ralph Backhaus, reported a ruined great city hidden in a massive tropical forest, where malaria mosquitoes were breeding in millions in hundreds of unused large reservoirs. He also reported about an isolated, ill-nourished, disease ridden, declining population around the ruined city. But it would take another 70 years before the excavations began by the British Archaeologists.
1821 Napoleon dies as a prisoner in British custody: Today he continues to live, in the hearts of those who studies him. In 1815, Napoleon was imprisoned by the British, in the remote island of Saint Helena, off the coast of Africa. It was a legendary fact that Napoleon knew how to take care of himself. Yet, within just seven years, his health deteriorated fast, in a strange way. Even his writings supported the rumours that he was poisoned little by little. But there was nobody to worry about him. Napoleon had ended up as an unwanted man. Because of his service to the people's government, which came to power through the French Revolution, the new French rulers didn't want him. Being a Corsican, the French aristocrats despised him. The British feared him. There he died as a physically very weak person, in 1821. Despite efforts by the British propaganda to tarnish his image, today, he is known in every civilised corner of the earth. Today, he is still the example that inspires so many new leaders to overcome the impossible. He was the ultimate allrounder in the history. He was a highly talented soldier, a great leader, a noble statesman, a romantic lover, and a great philosopher.
1821 Myth of Sinhalese becoming lazy….? Dr. John Davey, a medical officer of the British Army published his book "An Account of the interior of Ceylon and its inhabitants". It is a poignant account of the sad end the Sinhalese were subjected to. In the book he revealed that those who were not killed, later died of sickness or famine as the British had destroyed the houses, trees, fields, reservoirs, and canals. He said the patriotic Sinhalese didn't know what to do and were walking from one area to another looking for work. He said that the Sinhalese, who were hard working before, had become lethargic. Sinhalese were proud farmers. They were not used to look for work. They had been pushed into a fate that they were not used to. To an outsider it appeared that they had become lethargic.
1821 "We should regret entering the Sinhalese interior" - says British Doctor John Davey In his book Dr.John Davey regretted the terrible genocide done on the Sinhalese. "We destroyed their cattle, stores of grain, villages, houses, crops, irrigation, cultivations, paddyfields, and fruit trees. When we consider that damage we should regret we ever entered their interior. The evil arising from our entering, exceeded any benefits we conferred on the natives."
1821 Colony of Mexico gains independence The European colonists in Mexico became independent from the Spanish Government rule.
1821 Malabars were late arrivals "An Account of the Interior of Ceylon" published by Dr. John Davy of the British Army, indicates that the Malabars and Moors were foreigners naturalised. This is proof of the relatively late arrival of the Malabars from Kerala coast to Sri Lanka. Malabars were not the descendants of the South Indians who lived in Sri Lanka after arriving as invaders or merchants. They were a late arrival. In 1849, the new Tamil elite would unite all south Indians, introducing a Tamil nation.
1822 Portugese king's son becomes king of Brazil Pedro was the son of the Portugese king who fled Portugal when Napoleon attacked. King returned to Portugal as Napoleon died in 1821. Pedro became king of an independent Brazil. During his son's rule, ( Pedro II ), Brazil became a modern country. Slavery was abolished in 1889. Later, Brazil gained their independence from Portugal.
1822 British Government grabs Cinnamon trade from British East India Co. British Government didn't renew the contract with the British East India Company. British Government took the monopoly of the cinnamon trade and reduced the exports in order to maintain artificial high prices for more profit.
1822 British civil servants to learn Sinhala or Tamil (This gives Tamil elite the 50:50 mentality) The regulation that no British civil servant would be promoted unless he knew either Sinhala or Tamil, made many to learn either Tamil or Sinhala. The Tamils who were not more than 7% of the population, were already enjoying half of the privileges. This gave the Tamil elite the 50-50 mentality.
1823 Kandy has 5 Missionary schools
1823 4th Freedom Struggle : Defiance in Matale by Kahawatte thero In May, 1823 a Buddhist monk named Kahawatte thero organised a patriotic front in Matale. Koswatte Rate Rala became their leader. They claimed freedom from the British crown. British easily wiped them out and confiscated all their property. British arrested 28 leaders. The Buddhist monk and the Rate Rala were hung to death. Seven were deported to Mauritius. The other 25 leaders were imprisoned.
1824 Having lost Peru, Spain decides to give up Latin America Spain lost the decisive Battle of Ayacucho at Ayacucho in Peru against the revolutionary movement led by Jose de San Martín. After this defeat, Spain decided to give up their control in South America.
1824 Latin American Military rule begins After the revolutions, which brought the independence, Latin American countries were ruled by those military strongmen. The Roman Catholic Church supported their conservative strict rule. Slowly, liberal-thinking critics began to appear who opposed both the church and the military dictators.
1824 European Businesses in Colombo are permitted to import Governer Sir Edward Barnes removed the government restriction on imports, making the European traders in Colombo very happy. They would be able to expand their businesses rapidly.
1824 5th Freedom Struggle : Defiance in Laggala Another unknown Buddhist monk led an uprising in Laggala area in Bintenna. Again, British easily wiped them out, arresting all surviving leaders. Five leaders were hung to death. The rest were deported to Mauritius.
1824 British estimate the population in Lanka as 851,940 The British probably missed the population in remote and inaccessible corners like Rajarata and the hill country. They must have counted only the population who lived in the developed area under the British. Within 87 years this will increase to 4,106,300 due to immigration and natural increase.
1825 World's first public steam railway World's first public steam railway, began operation between Stockton and Darlington in England.
1825 Colombo-Kandy Road completed. British were desperate to build roads. First to overcome the guerrilla warfare and then to keep the trade moving.
1826 Mahawansa is discovered George Turnour, British civil servant, GA of Ratnapura, with the help of Buddhist monks, traced the Mahavandsa written in Pali verse on old ola leaves ( dried leaves of Talipot leaves), in the library in Mulkirigala Viharaya which was built in 150BC.
1827 300 out of 2100 cinnamon workers die British forced Lankans to move to other areas for jobs of hard labour. Lack of transportation and housing facilities led to many such labourers falling sick and dying. Out of 2100 cinnamon quashers, 300 didn't return home this year as they fell dead on their 2-3 week long journeys through jungles.
1827 Best university education in Lanka : Batticaloa Seminary in Vadukkodai by the American Missionaries In order to provide university type education to the graduates of the Central Day schools and Charity Boarding Schools of Jaffna, American Mission established the Batticaloa Seminary in Vadukkodai. Within five years this seminary would have over 150 Tamil students. Provided with free board, food and education, they would receive the highest standard of education available in Lanka. These graduates would become powerful Tamil intellectuals.
1828 Proof of 2500 year old Buddhist Temple Education System In addition to Rev. James Cordiner's report in 1807, another proof of the existing good education system came from the Archdeacon himself, who testified in the Colebrooke Commission saying that the Buddhist children were NOT taught to read and write Sinhala very well in his Parish schools like the way the Buddhists Temple schools did. Naturally, British would not extend the latest knowledge in education, to these Buddhist temple schools. As children of Parish schools advanced with the international knowledge, the children of Temple schools had no access to the latest knowledge.
1829 Proof that British used forced, unpaid, labour to build the roads A memo sent by the Commissioner of inland revenue confirmed that British used forced labour, unpaid, to build the roads. In this case, it was Colombo-Kandy road.
1829 Dependence of export products In September, British exempted all land growing coffee, cotton, sugar, indigo, opium and silk, from taxes. This encouraged the production of the commodities, which earned the British massive profits and jeopardised the rice and vegetable production. When sale of export products in the fluctuating world markets decreased, there was food shortages and famine in Lanka.
1830 West attacks Turkey All superpowers in Europe (France, Britain, and Russia) were fearful of Turkey's rise in strength. Muhammad Ali led Turkey in a government known as the Porte. Europe thought that he might expand further in the Mediterranean. In 1827, European powers agreed to begin the campaign by freeing Greece. The European naval forces landed in Greece as Russia, who had own interests in the southeast Europe, started the two year Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829. When in 1829 the Treaty of Adrianople ended the Russo-Turkish War, Turkey surrendered Greece unconditionally.
1830 Problem in Greece France, Britain, and Russia prepared the "London Protocol", which contained the Greek constitution. Greece was declared free under the protection of Europe. The Greeks were unhappy as the territory of the new Greece was much less than what the Greeks had expected. Then the Greeks started to fight among eachother for power. To solve this problem the European powers invited a Bavarian to become the king of Greece. In 1832, Otto of Bavaria would take the opportunity offered by the European superpowers. In 1833, he was crowned Otto I, the King of Greece.
1830 Urubokka and Kirama Dams collapse due to neglect The last two irrigation projects, which helped to contain the famine and the food shortage, Urubokka and Kirama Dams, collapsed due to state neglect.
1830 Belgium is created In 1830, the southern provinces of the Netherlands revolted for freedom. They broke away from Netherlands as the independent country of Belgium. They would become the first industrialised nation on earth.
1830 Last king in France allows more power to parliament The French Revolution had brought so much pressure on the French kings that they pretended that the people selected the King. Louis Philippe, the last king of France, even adopted the tricolour flag of the French Revolution. But all these were mere acts of hypocrisy as even the right to vote was restricted to the social elite of France, just a 200,000 male property holders, which was only small minority among the 32 million French population.
1830 3200% profit on Lankan Products : British collect massive profits from Lanka The export economy improved due to massive profits collected by the British who sold products of high international demand forcibly grown in Lanka. Some high demand products like tea, were sold in various corners of the world as much as 32 times the original price by the British who had the monopoly. British constantly reviewed changes, to ensure the continuity of one of their most profitable colonies. British destroyed, and then, neglected the rice and vegetable production. As the profits of the export trade, didn't reach the masses of the country, when a trade disaster struck people couldn't eat tea, rubber, or coconut. They starved to death.
1830 British use Caste tactics to divide the Sinhalese - The caste that held offices would always go against the rebellions as their livelihood was threatened. Nearly half of the agricultural Lanka's population was of Govigama caste. They were the traditional cultivators. British tactic of getting these Govigamas ( the cultivators) to believe that they held the upper hand in the society, would divide the Sinhalese society forever. This very successful British tactic made sure no liberation struggle would ever become successful. As happened in other Asian countries under colonialism, the caste that held offices would always work with the invader against the freedom struggles, as their livelihood was threatened. This even divided the Buddhist monks as the Monks of high cast families suddenly adopted this British tactic and even barred the lower castes from receiving Upasampada ceremony. This made lower caste monks to seek higher ordination from Burmese monks, thus leading to the creation of Amarapura Nikaya.
1830 First theory of a computer by Charles Babbage Charles Babbage, a British inventor had a theory of an analytical machine. He showed that such a machine could do what modern computers would do. For practical reasons, it could not be built. It would have been as large as a football field and would require five steam engines to power it. That was the world's first design of a computer.
1831 Only 99 out of 1006, are British Government Schools There were 99 British Parish schools ( named Government schools). An Anglican management itself ran them.
1831 649 out of 1006 schools, are Missionary Schools In addition to 99 British government parish schools, there were 63 Roman Catholic church Schools, 100 American Missionary schools, 86 Wesleyan Mission schools, and 56 Church Missionary schools. The plan was to raise a native submissive class who would rule the masses on behalf of the British, despising the native heritage of the country. In these schools Lankan children learnt the glorious history of the Christianity and the need to serve and correct the savage world of ancient civilisations. They also learnt to ignore the 2500 year well documented history of Sri Lanka. They would learn to adopt a completely new philosophy in state rule and social values.
1832 30th January- Last King of Lanka dies in exile in India Sri Vickrama Rajasingha, the last king of Lanka died as a prisoner of the British.
1832 The Road British always wanted : Trinco-Colombo Highway British finally finished building the road they had always wanted. The highway from Trinco to Colombo, via Kandy was the key to transport reinforcements quickly in case of freedom struggles.
1832 Unique British Tactic in Lanka : A British-dependant native elite to rule the masses The British were desperate to keep Lanka as long as they could, because of extraordinary profits they were getting from Lanka. British studied ways to guarantee a long-term control over Lanka. The biggest problem they had was the Buddhists who would always unite under their philosophy, to unite the country. The British also saw how the power delegated to the locals by the Portugese and the Dutch, was not enough to keep the patriots down. The British also noticed that both the Portugese and the Dutch rule were harsh even on the collaborating natives in order to keep them loyal. Instead of all these, British planned to concentrated on the creation of a faithful elite of several ethnic, religious, and social fractions, and then get them to the run the colonial rule. It was a classic way of taking care of patriots and their freedom struggles.
1832 Lanka becomes the Constitutional Pioneer of the British Empire: Colebrook-Cameron Reforms : Creation of a faithful elite who will run the colonial rule Instead of assigning all the power into the hands of the Governer, the reforms committee recommended a government with an administrative, legislative framework. This was to be run by British officials using the native officials and local chiefs. Those natives were to be educated in European schools. This was why so many European schools like the Missionary schools were established. They were established not because the invader liked the Lankans. It was a breakaway from the Dutch administration system, which was in place at the time. It abolished the rules, which were hard and harsh on the collaborating elite, introduced during Portugese and the Dutch times. This reform concentrated on the creation of a faithful westernised native elite of several ethnic, religious and social fractions. British would use them to run the colonial rule. If any locals threatened them, the British would take care of them. It was a classic way of taking care of patriots and their freedom struggles.
1833 Why did British develop an infrastructure in Lanka ? The British developed the infrastructure of Lanka, in order to enable themselves and their faithful native collaborators, to rule the country as long as they could. For this, the British used the funds collected from Lanka itself. They developed all these not because they loved the country or the people, but only to continue to collect the benefits of what Lanka and the people had to offer. This answers the argument forwarded by the collaborating elite who benefited from the colonial rule, that Lankans should be grateful to the British for developing the country. British developed only themselves and provided the opportunity for the local collaborators to develop, in such terrible selfish ways. The effects of that selfish act, sent Sri Lanka into a rollercoaster ride into hell, from which Lanka is yet to recover.
1833 Peradeniya wooden bridge is built without using a single nail or a nut. Major Thomas Skinner as the Highway commissioner, built the bridge using the locals. It didn't have a single nail or a nut. The bridge was made of the wood, Burutha. A model of this bridge is still in a museum in UK.
1833 British establish the Supreme court
1833 Set up of Legislative Council -One rep for each community (Burgher,Tamil, Sinhala) Legislative Council introduced 3 unofficial three representatives, one each from the Burgher, Sinhala and Tamil community. Burgher representative was selected from the Chamber of Commerce, and Planters Association. Sinhala and Tamil representatives were selected usually from the same families. They were able to raise their voice in the council, and had the opportunity to get their concerns reported in the newspapers of Britain. With that, they were able to apply some kind of pressure on the decision-making power of the Governer. Unfortunately, the Sinhala representative, always selected from a family very faithful to the British, would be the most silent representative. He would even go against the reforms requested by the Burgher and Tamil representatives, in order to please his British master. The Tamil community who were less than 7% of the population was placed on a 50% basis against the Sinhalese population who were 85% of the population. Tamil elite slowly began to think on a 50-50 basis.
1833 Pathetic Performance by the Sinhala rep. Sinhala representative was selected usually from the same families ( mainly from Alwis or Obeysekera families). These families were notorious collaborators who enjoyed the privileged position given by the British. They didn't really represent their community. They didn't fight to protect the rights and concerns of their community. They only wanted the British to stay in Lanka as long as possible. This further weakened the majority Sinhalese as the minorities took the opportunity to advance. Sinhala representative would always be a Catholic until 1889. This made the Sinhalese Buddhists who were the most endangered community in Lanka, totally unrepresented in the council. The first Buddhist came to the council in 1889 when a post was created to represent a Kandyan. Then again, even the Kandyan rep fought only the Kandyan interests. This was how the rights and the concerns of the Sinhalese Buddhists, were crushed.
1833 British establish offices in Anuradapura, leads to more problems in the Holy city British decided to establish a new town on the ruins of the holy city of Anuradapura. It was a cruel decision, which paid no respect to the heritage that was important to the Sinhalese. As the British established the Kachcheri, many more Government buildings and residences came up. Then came the meat stalls, Taverns, Kovils, Churches established by the non-Buddhists like the Muslim traders. Those who occupied these buildings began to complain that the drumming and praying in Buddhist temples was a nuisance to them. Then, British limited the number of hours where "these noises" can be made. This agitated the Buddhists.
1833 Only the English- educated can enter the Government service British said that no native should be employed in the civil administration without the knowledge of English. British passed this law forcing many Buddhists to enter Missionary schools. ( There was NO public non-Christian education system. Even the government schools were under an Anglican management. ) Jaffna Tamils, who had one third of the schools in the peninsula, were able to enter and dominate the public service. And they never recovered from that sudden superiority feeling. Sinhalese Buddhist masses, had no way of learning and practising English, unless they wished to become Christians. Even today, Sinhalese Buddhist masses have no access to a proper, effective English education.
1833 What happened in the east ? ( Please read the British Administration Report of 1878. That is the best explanation of what happened to the Sinhalese in the east. ) Three British engineers submitted a report highlighting the fact that the majority Sinhala population in Kantale area in 1833 had disappeared by 1855 and that the ‘Malabars’ had replaced them. Even at this time, the majority Sinhala population was getting replaced by the South Indians. What really could have happened to the Sinhalese during this period in the north and the east, is NOT a mystery. There are numerous British documents revealing a trend of gradual replacement of the Sinhalese majority by the newly arrived South Indian Malabar population. Sinhalese preferred to stay away from these foreigners as they couldn't cope with their lack of principles. Slowly, they left their paddyfields and the villages and moved further deep into the jungles for chena cultivation. Malabars and Moors took over the village. The selfish Sinhalese elite, who could've prevented this tragedy, was busy in Colombo, dreaming of their social status, completely neglecting their poor Sinhalese in the north and the east.
1835 Beginning of Photography : But it will a specialist job for 50 more years Although photography was first developed in this year, it would be a specialist job for 50 years. By 1885, Eastman made the first simple camera for the use by the public.
1838 Trail of Tears : Cherokee Indians are betrayed by the White settlers Cherokee Indians had agreed and signed treaties, like many other Indian tribes, with the United States government for "live and let live" policies. In their agreement, Cherokee Indians had promised to live peacefully in civilised ways, in the eastern United States. In order to be "civilised", the Cherokee Indians even developed a constitution, which resembled the American government, and even developed an alphabet for the Cherokee language. Unfortunately, blind with the greed and selfishness, the White settlers robbed the land of the Cherokee Indians. The Cherokee Indians were removed from their homeland in the Appalachian Mountains, by force. As the US Army was marching about 18,000 to 20,000 Cherokee survivors from their homeland to Oklahoma, over 4,000 died along the route. It is called the Trail of Tears, which symbolised the fate of the native American population.
1839 South Indians are brought in as Estate workers Beginning from 1839, the British began to bring in Indian workers to be employed in tea estates in the hill country. They worked under near slavery conditions. Yet they were willing to work under such cruel conditions because they had no opportunity to make a living in their hometowns in India where there were no jobs available. These unfortunate poor people walked many kilometers to Madurai in South India, and then were transported to Mannar by British ships. Then they were forced marched over 208 kilometers from Mannar to the hill country. Yet they were needed only for the period from August to December. During the off-season, British needed only one third of the work force. This meant the rest had to go back to South India. It was a hard journey where only the fittest survived to reach the plantations in the hill country. Many died on the way.
1839 Plantation Myth : British claim Sinhalese are lazy The Sinhalese in the hill country were not willing to work in British plantations built on the lands forcibly taken out of them, for very little pay. British propaganda dubbed them, very unfairly, as lazy. They had earned so much more, working very much harder on their own land before.
1839 Opium war : Chinese try to stop British bringing Opium into China The British introduced Opium into China, leading to many Chinese becoming addicted to it. Chinese Government ruled by the Manchu's decided to end the opium trade before it destroy the Chinese. In 1839, Chinese officials confiscated and destroyed opium stored in warehouses in Canton. In return, Britain declared war on China. This Opium War ended in 1843 as the Chinese were defeated. Under the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, China even had to open more Chinese ports to the British traders and had to give Hong Kong to Britain.
1839 Proof of Missionary conspiracy against Buddhism : The invisible missionary attack on the Buddhists, was revealed in a pamphlet distributed by a Wesleyan missionary named R. Spence Hardy. He criticised and condemned even the little support the British were giving to Buddhism. He said that it was contrary to the teaching of the God. He demanded that the British must stop all connections with Buddhism immediately. This placed the British government in a dilemma. They had a legal obligation to uphold Buddhism as promised in the Kandyan convention. But as a Christian government they couldn't look after Buddhism. When the British renounced their responsibility, the Buddhists didn't have an international Court of Justice they could complain to.
1839 Walane Sri Siddhartha Thero establishes Parama Dhamma Chetiya Pirivena. The Buddhist monk Walane Sri Siddhartha established this new Buddhist temple school in 1839. British ignored providing state funds and were under severe criticism from the Buddhist and Hindu communities. In 1878, this school became the first and the only Buddhist school to receive any funds or financial assistance from the British rulers as they began to receive just 1000 Rupees a year. ( British refused funds for all other Pirivenas). Among the Buddhist monks graduated from this school were, Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala (who established Vidyodaya Pirivena in 1873), and Ratmalane Sri Darmaloka ( who established Vidyalankara pririvena in 1875).
1840 Mexican settlers gain independence from Spain Mexico, controlled by the Spanish settlers themselves, gained independence from Spain. They had campaigned for 300 years for that.
1840 Devastating Land Encroachment Ordinance : 90% of the land is taken over by the British The demand for land to be used as plantations, was rising. British introduced the Crown Land Encroachment Ordinance of 1840, giving legal status to the practice of grabbing Sinhalese land. Overnight, 90% of the Sinhalese farmer's lands became British property. By 1930, 2.5 million acres of land had been robbed from the poor SInhalese farmers. Europeans, or sometimes the collaborating Sinhalese, Malabars, and Moors could claim Sinhalese land if the landowner couldn't produce documents proving the right to the land. Then the British would sell these Sinhalese land to private merchants who were mostly Europeans. Refusal to vacate the land meant another fine of 5 shillings and a 14-day imprisonment. This was the beginning of the shrewd ethnic cleansing of the Sinhalese farmer of the hill country. By the Waste Lands Ordinance of 1897, Sinhalese farmer became a wandering alcoholic without a land to cultivate.
1840 Beginning of environment disasters in Lanka The deforestation created by the clearing of trees for plantations, had adverse effects on the nature. Beautiful waterfalls became trickles of water. Rivers became narrower. Rain decreased. Landslides began to occur. Beginning from 1873, several British officials in charge of botanical gardens, began to point this out to the British authorities without success.
1840 The "Deeds" trick : Poor Sinhalese cant afford Lawyers or Surveyors The Sannasas ( the deeds) given by Lankan kings to temples and nobles were written in copper plates. But the British found ways to grab their land, saying that they were not detailed enough. The deeds granted to the common people were written only on ola leaves and didn't survive the destruction or the ravages of time. Only the collaborators knew about the British laws and regulations. The farmers and the Buddhist monks of the temples couldn't afford the high surveyor or lawyer fees. At least 60% of the land was taken by this method. Buddhist temples lost at least 80,000 acres of the land they owned. At least the British took 250,000 acres of land belonging to the Sinhalese farmers.
1840 "Pass over our dead bodies before you measure and sell our land" - Sinhalese farmers weep P.D.Millar, an early Coffee planter recorded a classic example of the humbleness of the Sinhalese farmer even against the injustice. He was a witness to an incident when the surveyor went to a Sinhala village to prepare the land for sale. British expected violent reactions. But the poor Sinhalese farmers surrounded them bewailing and lamenting. Then they threw themselves on the ground in front of the British and said "pass over our dead bodies before you measure and sell our land". There wasn't anybody to care.
1840 Dilemma of the cattle New European landowners refused to fence their land as it was expensive to do so. When the cattle belonging to Sinhalese farmers, went back to the unfenced estates, which had been their favourite pastures before, the Europeans could shoot them dead or claim damages from the owner. But the poor Sinhalese farmers couldn't pay. Losing the cattle to the Sinhalese farmer was like the loss of empire to the British.
1840 Sinhalese hate British plantations Governer Torrington wrote to his friend Lord Grey, " Our plantation estates are a source of deadly hatred to the hill country people (Kandyans)". This proved that the British were well aware of the Sinhalese anger and hatred.
1840 Under pressure from the Anti-Buddhist elements, British breaks their promise to look after Buddhism The British had promised under the Kandyan convention in 1815 to protect and to safeguard Buddhism. They had renewed that promise in 1818 when they were under attack by the patriots who led the freedom struggle. But three elements applied pressure on the British to break that promise. James Stephen who was a famous anti-Buddhist official in the State office, Anti-Buddhist Christian Missionaries, Secretaries of States were the culprits who applied pressure on the British saying that there was no meaning in continuing that promise. Therefore, in one of the legendary hollow promises the Europeans ever gave to it's colonial victims, the British Colonial office took a policy decision to disassociate themselves, from Buddhism. When the British renounced their responsibility, the Buddhists didn't have an international Court of Justice they could complain to. Unfortunately, those who trusted the British promise in
1815, were not alive that day to witness the double face of the invader.
1840 British Governer refuses to sign for the appointments of Buddhist Monks- breach of the Kandyan convention Protested by the Christian missionaries, Governer James Alexander Stuart refused to sign the document that appointed the leaders of the Buddhist monks. That was another breach of section 5 of the treaty, " Kandyan Convention" made in 1815.
1840 Dr Christopher Elliot asks for genuine representation of the Lankans in the legislative council. A lone fair British Medical practitioner named Dr Christopher Elliot, campaigned for genuine representation of the Lankans in the legislative council. The secretary of the state replied to him that further allocation of representation could lead the collapse of the British control in Lanka. His demands were viewed as very radical and it would take another 100 years before his line of thinking takes place.
1841 British establish Vernacular Schools in Sinhala & Tamil, but charges heavy fees that masses cant afford From 1841, the British provided vernacular schools teaching in Sinhala and Tamil. The Portugese and Dutch too, had given instruction in these two languages. But it was viewed as a sham to silence the critics. It didn't provide the opportunity to the masses. It was hardly recognized in the British ruling system in Lanka. There were No secondary schools to follow up. They were also run under the Anglican management. They charged a lot of money, which meant that only the officials could send children.
1843 Only child of the last Lankan king, dies childless in India Only child of the last Lankan king Sri Vickrama Rajasingha, died childless in India, while in Exile.
1843 Profits from Lankan Coffee reach it's peak
1843 Robbing of Kandyan Lands by Europeans Any European planter was allowed to select a land, then mark the boundaries. In the subsequent auction, the Europeans allowed the person who marked the land, to buy it. Europeans received five-year interest free loans to buy as many lands as possible. They were also exempt from taxes for 10 years. Kandyan villagers couldn't prove their right to the land as they didn't have a written document to prove it. This was how the mighty Coffee and Tea estates full of alien Europeans and Indian coolies, were created in the hill country. The invaders, at the expense of the Kandyan villagers whose livelihood was destroyed permanently, collected the profits of the new projects.
1843 Europeans rob 97% of the Kandyan Villagers land Lt.Col. Forbes, the government agent for Matale, wrote that Kandyan villagers had lost so much property to the Europeans that they had only 3% of the land to cultivate. He said the villagers had to plead with the estate owners to get permission for a place to bury the ashes of the dead relatives.
1843 Confiscating villager's property for damages done by the cattle The villagers had no place to pasture their cattle. The cattle used to go back to their favourite pasturelands, which were then coffee plantations. The villagers had to pay compensation to the European estate owner for the damage done by the cattle to the coffee plantation. These damages were many times exaggerated. Since almost all villagers couldn't pay these damages, they lost their house and the land again to the European estate owner.
1845 First Non-Govigamas are appointed to Mudaliyar posts British were getting reluctant to depend on one social class of Sinhalese collaborators. They wanted to extend this dependency across all varieties of social classes, which they created. They suddenly took a surprising policy decision. British decided to have competition. They started using the new rich Karawe caste as the next preferred caste for selecting candidates for Mudalier posts. From this point onwards, foolish members of the Govigama caste and the Karawe caste, would compete, fight and destroy eachother, thinking that one of them was supposed to be the best Sinhalese. Meanwhile, the British who made them think that they were the best Sinhalese, collected all what Lanka had to offer. The best Sinhalese, from all walks of life, and who were in all classes and castes, were suffering deep inside their hearts.
1845 Lankan Coffee profits begin to decline Within two years of reaching the peak, Coffee profits began to decline.
1845 Poor Sinhalese farmers make European merchants comfortable during the depression A severe depression affected the economy in the mid 1940s. Governor Torrington quickly abolished the export duty tax on coffee and reduced many fees, which brought relief for the European merchants. In order to recover the shortage of 40,000 pounds, he imposed new taxes, which fell very hard on the poor Sinhalese farmers. The lives of the European merchants were made comfortable, when the world markets were down, by the extra income squeezed out of the poor Sinhala masses. This was one of the reasons for the freedom struggle of the 1848.
1846 Indian Workers like to stay in Lanka In 1839, 2719 arrived and of them, 81% (2202) went back after the season. In the years to come few were willing to go back as they had more opportunities in Lanka than in South India. Within 7 years, by 1846, out of 42,318 workers who arrived, only 32.85% (13,904) went back. By 1871, 123,000 South Indian migrants were living in estates. By 1881, 195,000 were living. By 1891, 235,000 were living. British didn't care about the social and communal consequences of this damage done to the Lankan population. Since 1840's many infectious diseases such as smallpox and cholera, brought by these foreigners, against which the Sinhalese didn't have immunity, began to spread in the hill country.
1847 British refuses to take responsibility of Dalada Protested by the Christian Advisory Committee, and the missionaries, Governer Viscount Torrington was ordered by the British Foreign secretary Stanley, to detach all government connections with Buddhism in Ceylon. That was another breach of section 5 of the treaty "Kandyan Convention" made in 1815. And those Lankan ministers who trusted the British to honour those promises made in 1815, were no more there to see the results of their foolishness.
1847 Most unpopular Tax : The Road Tax (Roads even by-passed Sinhala villages) In this notorious Road Tax, every male between the ages 18 and 55 had to do 6 days of labour per year on building roads. Only the British Governor, British, and the Indian Immigrant labourers were exempted from this new law. The roads were designed to carry military reinforcements and trade goods to the coast. They were built along hillsides and bypassed the villages in the hill country. Villagers had to climb up or down steep hills as usual, in order to get somewhere. Sinhalese saw no reason why they should work for someone else's profits for nothing. There were heavy penalties for refusing, or neglecting. Sinhalese farmers whose labour was required through out the year on cultivation, were the worst affected. More than a half a million Sinhalese farmers were subjected to the Road Tax. Only about 15% did that. 85% avoided it as they hated to be manipulated by the British. Some Sinhalese even chose to work in the low-paid plantations in order to avoid this tax. Some went to jail, unable to pay. All these led the British to publicise that the Sinhalese were lethargic and lazy.
1847 Even some British criticised the Road Tax Testifying at the British Parliamentary Hearing on the 1848 rebellion, George Ackland, a British Planter, stated quite bluntly that the road tax transferred the cost of building roads from the colonial treasury to the common people of Ceylon. It was not fair to tax masses who were struggling to cultivate.
1848 367 Coffee Plantations in Lanka Over 60,000 acres had been cultivated with Coffee.
1848 American White Settlers conquer territory from Mexico After winning the Mexican war against the Spanish settlers in Mexico, the white settlers of America took Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and California from Mexico.
1848 French monarchy is permanently replaced by a republican govt. Though the European Kings concentrated their might to reinstall the French Monarchy in 1815 defeating the French Revolution and Napoleon, the effects of the revolution was unstoppable. In 1848 the February Revolution replaced the French monarchy with a republican government. The French Kings could play their rule over the masses anymore.
1848 Killing of Lankan Elephants British made the sport of shooting elephants popular among the Europeans and the local collaborators. In 1845, British announced that a reward of few shillings per each head of an elephant killed. Within 3 years, more than 3500 elephants were killed in the northern province alone. In 1851 and 1856 more than 2000 elephants were killed in the southern province alone. British Major Rogers alone killed more than 1200 elephants. British Captain Galway was responsible for killing over 600 elephants. Major Thomas Skinner also had a reputation for killing elephants. This was how the Lankan elephant population, who once served in the glorious Elephant Brigade of the Lankan Army in ten thousands, was drastically reduced. With this began the extinction of the elephant unique to Sri Lanka. By 2002, there were less than 1400 Lankan elephants left in Sri Lanka.
1848 British acquire lands by cunning and deceitful methods Many Sinhalese, mainly hill country residents, became landless as more and the British for plantation agriculture acquired more land. They used cunning and very devious tactics.
1848 British allow civil servants to become planters British offered commercial plantation opportunities for the civil servants when their salaries were cut back or when they asked for salary increases. British Parliamentary papers available now reveal that the civil servants became a merchant-official class who ignored the rights of the others as if they never existed. Every official, from Governor to District Judge and Magistrates, became planters. Their leniency towards eachother in many cases against them, made the whole bureaucracy look like a joke to the native masses. It was so bad that Major Thomas Skinner began to criticise this practice. He said " It was a mistake of the government to allow the public officials to be involved in the seductive plantations, as it has undermined the moral influence and the authority they hold. They have given priority to business interests than their duty".
1848 Planters become the Most Powerful Social class The planters community became the most powerful pressure group in the country. The organised themselves as the Chamber of Commerce, and as the Planters Association, and totally dominated the Legislative Council. They were so powerful that the Governor had to cancel general land tax and the increase of import duty on rice, which was supposed to be beneficial to the masses.
1848 6th Freedom Struggle: Puran Appu challenges British Led by Gongalegoda Banda, Puran Appu and Dingi Rala, the Sinhalese who were victims of the latest British tactics, stood up against the injustice and for freedom. Again, using the collaborators, they were crushed. Martial Law again gave British troops freedom to commit horrendous crimes against civilians. British Captain Watson virtually made many villages disappear along with the villagers. Only 352 Sinhalese fighters survived to face the court. Out of them, 18, including Puran Appu, received the death sentence. 28 were deported to Mauritius. Puran Appu refused the blindfold and died saying "If only I had 10 more men like me....."
1848 "If all the proctors said that the monk was innocent, he should be shot" - said British Governer Torrington in the Murder of Kadahapola Thero On 25th August, 1848, Buddhist monk Kadahapola thero, who was arrested by the British forces, faced the court martial. Only five British Army officers chaired the kangaroo court. Despite the lack of evidence, they ordered him to be shot dead. The lawyers who were present there told H.C.Selby (the Queen's Advocate) about the bogus witnesses and the lack of sufficient evidence. He approached the British Governer Torrington who refused to release the monk. With a pale face, while slapping his thigh with the hand he said "By God, If all the proctors said that the monk was innocent, he should be shot". He knew very well that he was allowing an innocent monk to be murdered. Such was the hypocrisy, vindictiveness and hatred these invaders had on the patriotic Buddhist monks. At seven o'clock following morning, the monk was shot to death.
1848 British realised the need to restore the irrigation system, which they had destroyed….. While reviewing the reasons for the Sinhalese uprising, British Governer Sir Henry Ward noticed the need to restore irrigation, which could reduce rice imports and increase export revenues. British would take another 7 years to put that into action.
1849 Gongalegoda Banda is exiled to Malacca On 1st January, after punishing him with 100 lashes, British sent all the surviving prisoners of the freedom struggle to prisons in Malacca for life imprisonment. He will die in 11 months while in exile.
1849 Gongalegoda Banda dies in exile On 1st December, he died. Other fellow rebel prisoners in exile informed Lanka of his death.
1849 Arumuga Navalar - The foremost Tamil reviver While working with Christian Missionaries, he had learnt the art of propaganda. He had also learnt the missionary tactics, which he countered with his own work later on. People like him who were part of the system against Hinduism, and the rich South Indian support they could always get, placed Tamil Hindu Revival much ahead of Buddhist revival. Arumuga Navalar also set up the school, which would become Jaffna Hindu College, the premier Tamil school in Lanka.
1849 Reasons for the revival of Tamil Hinduism much ahead of Buddhist revival The higher education the Jaffna Tamils were offered by the Europeans, and the Tamils who started to defend the Tamil culture after working with the Missionaries, were the key secrets behind the success of the Tamil revival in Lanka. Sinhalese didn't have both. Sinhalese masses were struggling under total suppression. Sinhalese were neglected and were oppressed by their own collaborators. This placed Tamil Hindu Revival much ahead of Buddhist revival.
1849 The Revival of the South Indians in Lanka as Lankan Tamils Vannarponnai Press was set up by Arumuga Navalar to print newspapers and leaflets that helped to maintain Hindu and Tamil identity. Under this propaganda, the various South Indian tribes ( like Pandyans, Cholas, Velakkaras, Murukkuvas, Malabars, and Kalinga people) in Lanka, brought in or migrated at various times of history, were brought together as one community as "Lankan Tamils" because most of them spoke Tamil dialects. The Tamil elite came up with this idea so that they could have the political leadership over a large community. Upto this time there was NO SUCH Tamil community. They were called Malabars who had migrated from the Kerala coast of South India since the portugese times. The Pandyans, Cholas, and the Kalinga people who had arrived from South India before the Malabars, lived as quiet communities spread all over Lanka. These evidence pointed out that these newly arrived Malabars were using the history of the Pandyans, Cholas and the Kalinga people, to create the fantasy of Eelam so that they could grab political power.
1850 Chinese Christian rebellion to grab power, cost 30 million lives : A Result of the Christian Missionary work The results of the invisible expansion policies of the Christian extremists, finally surfaced in China. A Chinese named Hong Xiuquan was a Christian convert. He had failed to enter the civil service because he failed the Confucian exams four times. Later, the fundamentalist Christianity influenced him. He even began to consider himself as a brother of the Christ. With the support of the invisible sources of funding, he waged a powerful Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864). The objective of this Christian rebellion was to replace the Chinese emperor with a Christian ruler. They tried to win the support of the people by saying that the nation's property shouldn't be in the hands of the emperor. They promised to hand them over to the people. The rebellion cost 30 million lives. It was one of the most destructive rebellions in history. It is one of the reasons why China has a strict rule even today to protect its culture.
1850 Christians of China & Sri Lanka Like the new Christians in China who couldn't cope with the native culture and the religion, many Christians in Sri Lanka also became hostile to the native Sinhalese culture and their Buddhism. They failed to understand that they were the changed people while the rest of the natives didn't change. The struggle against the failure to respect the native culture and the religion, continues even today....!
1850 British thinks Lankan population is 1.73 million British estimates Lankan population to be 1.73 million. But they obviously missed the correct numbers in the jungle-covered Rajarata, Uva, Wellassa and Digamadulla.
1850 British introduce Opium to Sinhalese 30 years after the introduction of alcohol, British tried opium on the Sinhalese. First opium shop was opened in 1850. In 55 years, the opium shops increased to 65. Their income increased on an average of 5% per year. But for some reason, unlike the Chinese, Sinhalese didn't get addicted to opium. Perhaps the alcohol addiction was too strong for them to change over to opium.
1853 Appointment of a wealthy Karawe brings Govigama protesting Appointment of the wealthiest Sinhalese, Jeronis De Soysa of Moratuwa to the post of Mudalier, brought the narrow-minded selfish Govigama caste leaders protesting. They demanded that only Govigamas should be appointed to the high posts. The Governer Sir George Anderson refused their demand. The Governor wanted competition between the foolish Sinhalese. " As long as they were at eachother's throats, they wouldn't have time to worry about the British rule". Karawe caste, being predominantly Catholics, were an ideal candidate to clash with the Govigama caste as it would bring the Buddhists into conflict with the Christians.
1853 European invaders take Japan : Samurais are crushed. By this time, Japan was weak due to the revolts against the selfish rule in Edo(Tokyo). Then in 1853, the British used warships to force the ruling Shoguns to open Japan to trade. Japanese Samurais were furious about the timidness of the Shogun and the Tokugawa family's failure to defend the national honour. They attacked the foreign visitors and assassinated shoguns who collaborated with the Europeans. Europeans kept on increasing the number of collaborators, until the collaborators were powerful enough to crush the Samurais, and to rule over the Shoguns.
1853 Standards of 2500 year old Buddhist Temple schools "In Buddhist Temple Schools, children are not only educated, they are fed and clothed. They are properly educated in their language in these schools much better than we do in Parish schools." This proof came from the report of the Central School Commission appointed by the British in 1853.
1854 The Most Moving Speech ever Recorded about the nature : Red Indian Chief Seattle responds to Washington In 1854, the Red Indian Chief Seattle responded to the Washington's demand that he sell his people’s land to the Whitemen. This moving speech is regarded as the most beautiful statement on the environment ever made. He said "The Great Whiteman Chief wants to buy our land and also sends us words of friendship and goodwill. If we do not sell, the white man will come with guns and take our land. How can you buy or sell the land? The idea is strange to us. We do not own the land. If you buy the land, you must teach your children that it is sacred. For you, the earth is not sacred. You conquer it, and move on. You treat the earth, as things to be bought, plundered, and sold like sheep. Your greedy appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert. So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we agree, it will be to secure the reservation you have promised. There, perhaps, we may live out our brief days as we wish. When the last red man has vanished from this earth, these shores and forests will still hold the spirits of my people".
1854 World's Best Speech against Whiteman's policies : Red Indian Chief Seattle responds to Washington "The sight of your cities pains the eyes. There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. The noise there is an insult to the ears. And what is there to life, if a man cannot hear the nature ? There are a thousand rotting buffaloes in the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing wagon. All things are connected like the blood, which unites one family. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth. Our children have seen their fathers humbled in defeat and the Whiteman contaminate their bodies with strong drinks ( alcohol). Soon the great tribes that once lived on this earth, once powerful and hopeful as yours, will vanish. Continue to contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste. That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffaloes are all slaughtered, and the view of the hills blotted by talking wires. That will be the end of living and beginning of survival. For they love this earth as the new-born loves its mother’s heart-beat."
1854 Florence Nightingale During the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale, an English nurse, arrived in the British hospital at Uskudar in Turkey, with 38 nurses. The death rate for the wounded British soldiers was 45%. She found that more soldiers were dying from disease than bullets. She introduced sanitary regulations, healthy diets, and clean linen. As a result, the death rate fell from 45 per cent to 2 per cent. She is regarded as the founder of the modern nursing.
1856 Killing of Lankan Elephants British made the habit of shooting elephants popular among the Europeans and the local collaborators. In 1845, British announced that a reward of few shillings per each head of an elephant killed. Within 3 years, more than 3500 elephants were killed in the northern province alone. In 1851 and 1856 more than 2000 elephants were killed in the southern province alone. British Major Rogers alone killed more than 1200 elephants. British Captain Galway was responsible for killing over 600 elephants. Major Thomas Skinner also had a reputation for killing elephants. This was how the Lankan elephant population, who once served in the glorious Elephant Brigade of the Lankan Army in ten thousands, was drastically reduced. With this began the extinction of the elephant unique to Sri Lanka. By 2002, there were less than 1400 Lankan elephants left in Sri Lanka.
1856 Railway workers use ancient bricks in India Between 1856 and 1919, for 64 years, the workers on the Lahore-Multan railway in India were using kiln-dried bricks that they could find everywhere in the area, as the base to build the railway. Nobody at the time knew how valuable those bricks were. They didn't know that those bricks were from one of the world's oldest cities, Harappa. It was only in the 1920, this came to the attention of the archaeologists. As they dug up Harappa, and Mohenjo-Daro, the amazing history of the Indus valley civilization came to life.
1856 Second Opium War : China lose again The British continued to flood China with opium. The Chinese government realised that they had done a big mistake by entertaining the Europeans. In one last attempt, Chinese government tried to get rid of the European hold in the land. This is called the second Opium War (1856-1860). This time China had to fight against Britain, France, Russia, and the United States. A joint British-French force took Beijing and looted and destroyed the emperor's Palace. The subsequent treaty limited the Chinese duties on imported goods to 5 per cent. It reduced revenues of the Chinese government and increased the income of the Britain, France, Russia, and the United States. The subsequent peace treaty, known in China as the unequal treaty, was in force until the 1940s. This explained why China still has strict guidelines on western influences.
1856 British had to repair the irrigation that they had destroyed British started to restore Irrigation networks with Uma Ela in Uva. The success of this project prompted the Governer Henry Ward to implement several other projects. In 50 years, Rs.13.5 million would be spent on restoring the irrigation, which unfortunately the British themselves had destroyed in 1818 and in 1848. Revival of the irrigation even in this small scale, stopped food shortages under the European rule. It would even create a surplus of rice, which the British would export.
1856 Restoration of Irrigation in Rajarata, is cancelled Restoration of irrigation projects in Rajarata areas, like in Kantalai, was cancelled. There were several reasons. Diseases like Malaria, lack of concentrated population in dry zones, lack of transport facilities, forced these projects to be abandoned.
1856 Gamsabhas are established To control the cultivation and the use of water in villages.
1857 Indians are unhappy with the British rule Many Indians were against the British rule because of the forceful introduction of English as the medium of learning, and the obvious dangers to the traditions and cultures. The westernised social reforms and the work of the Christian missionaries in India were also widely hated.
1857 Indians Two-year bloody rise up against British rule : Indian soldiers (sepoys) serving in the Bengal army of the British East India Company initiated the bloody freedom struggle. They hated the British indifference to Hinduism and caste traditions, and the British demand to fight overseas. To load a new rifle that was introduced, the sepoys had to bite off the ends of cartridges greased with a mixture of fat from cows (sacred for Hindus) and pigs (unclean for Muslims). In April 1857, 85 sepoy troopers at Meerut near Delhi refused to use the new rifles and were jailed. On May 10, their comrades freed them, killed their officers, and marched on Delhi. The rapid spread and popularity of the mutiny indicated the hatred against the British rule.
1858 Restoration of Yoda Ela irrigation project, is cancelled Restoration of irrigation projects in Rajarata areas, like in Kantalai, was cancelled. There were several reasons. Diseases like Malaria, lack of concentrated population in dry zones, lack of transport facilities, forced these projects to be abandoned.
1858 After taking the position of the Buddhist monks, Missionaries demand Government Education grants By this time the missionaries had positioned themselves comfortably in the position of the Buddhist monks. Then these Missionaries pressurized the British government to pay Government Education grants to Missionary schools as well. They used the influence the Christian Church had on the Government. It was a selfish move, as they were already well funded for spreading Christianity in the colonies. This prevented the available funds being allocated to strengthen and expand a PUBLIC education system. On 24th Nov'1858, Legislative council declared that the grants would be allowed ONLY to Christian schools. Thus the education again didn't reach the Sinhala masses.
1858 Increase in state-funded Missionary Schools The state grants allowed to the Missionary schools, saw a rapid growth of Missionary schools. By 1876, 697 Missionary schools ( who had a student population of 45,440) were relying on state grants.
1858 British Govt take over British East India Co. Following the bloody two year Indian uprising, British Government took over the British East India Co. The 24,000-man military force of the company was absorbed into the British army. The company was dissolved on January 1, 1874, with the introduction of the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act.
1858 If a child wanted an education……. ? British Central School Commission adopted highly discriminating rules on 26th November, 1858. "First hour of studies everyday, must be devoted to religious instructions, This religious instructions must be confined to the truths received by the Christians of every order and shall comprise the Lord's prayer, Ten Commandments, Apostles Creed, daily reading of the bible". This was what the Sinhalese children, if they ever wanted an education, had to go through. If any parent objected to this, they had to forward the objection in writing. Parents were scared to protest, fearing discrimination on the child.
1859 British crush the Indian Two Year Freedom Struggle Hopelessly outnumbered British desperately defended themselves. The rebels massacred British soldiers and women and children at the garrison in Kanpur. British held Lucknow and Arrah. Then British recaptured Kanpur in July 1857 and Delhi in September. British acts of revenge followed. Many Indians were executed without a trial. In Delhi, in particular, thousands of people were murdered. British fired cannons on the captured rebels. The Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah, was insulted and was reduced to a figurehead, by the British.
1859 Why the Indian Freedom Struggle failed ? The rebels didn't have an organised leadership or a solid strategy. They were driven by their desire to get rid of the invader. British held on because they had a better organisation, which had more resources and the ways to move them into places where they were needed. British were self confident of the final victory. Nepalese, Sikhs and many Princes, who depended on the British rule, didn't support the freedom fighters. Sikhs who were sworn enemies of the Mughal Empire, supported the British. As a result of this freedom struggle, the British East India Company was taken over by the British government. British Empire was forced to pay greater consideration for Indian views and traditions. But at the same time, this awakened many patriots in India who saw the British invulnerability. This would inspire them to develop a political nationalist movement to demand for freedom.
1860 Theory of "evolution by natural selection" - Charles Darwin Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution by natural selection, creating a controversy. He had studied the birds and the animals of the Galapagos Islands. He had also studied many other places around the world. He suggested that species slowly change through a process called natural selection. His theory indicated that the complex life forms developed from the simpler organisms. This led to his conclusion that humans were descended from the apes. Darwin's theory is today considered remarkable because of the small amount of evidence he had. Much more evidence has been discovered to support his theory today.
1860 Bishop of Oxford asks Charles Darwin whether it was through his father's or his mother's side that he was descended from the apes. Charles Darwin's work challenged the view of the Church. In a famous debate at the University Museum in Oxford in 1860, T. H. Huxley, arguing in support of evolution was asked by the Bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce, whether it was through his father's or his mother's side that he was descended from the apes. But today the theory had become accepted with the evidences uncovered mainly in biology. Misuse of the theory saw it being used in the restriction of women's rights, imperial rule, and racism.
1860 3000 miles of roads built in Lanka for transportation of troops and trade goods, using unpaid labour British had decided to build roads In order to facilitate trade and also to send reinforcements quickly. 3000 miles of roads had been built, costing over one million sterling pounds. All these funds were raised from the income received from Lanka. Because of the massive profits, the British didn't have problems in funding them. All these roads were used using Rajakariya tactic where the Sinhalese had to serve 8 months without pay to build these roads.
1860 Coconut become the Second best plantation next to coffee Coconut plantations were cheaper to maintain and needed less labour. Therefore, the British did not need Indian Tamils for Coconut plantations. The few Sinhalese workers were enough. Coconut also needed little capital to start, than coffee.
1860 Tea plantation is introduced.
1860 New Governer cancels restoration of irrigation projects Sir Charles MacCarthy saw no profit or short-term benefits in these projects. He cancelled them and invested more in building railway lines to coffee plantations. This showed that the policy of the British, was only to develop the infrastructure needed for their selfish gains.
1860 All, except the Sinhala elite, request reforms in the council. All unofficial representatives of the legislative council, including Planters, European settlers, Burghers, Dutch descendants, demanded for increased representation in the council, and reforms to be introduced in order to hand more power to the locals. Sinhala elite refused to support them. Their continuous lack of interest made these efforts unsuccessful.
1860 Buddhists resistance and liberation campaigns begin Mainly genuine Buddhist monks of Amarapura Nikaya, some traders in low country started public debates and meetings where Buddhists defended and defeated the others convincingly in arguments and discussions.
1860 Abraham Lincoln becomes president of USA In the 1860 presidential election in USA, Abraham Lincoln of the recently formed Republican party became the president of the America. He was a lawyer, politician, and a legendary statesman who wanted the abolition of slavery.
1861 Bloodiest war fought in the western world after Napoleon - American civil war of 4 years The southern states of America, broke away from Lincoln's America, while Abraham Lincoln tried hard to keep the country together by strengthening the Union. Within one year, the war began between the Union (northern states) and the confederation(the southern states). The Union wanted to abolish the slavery, while the southern states wanted it. He told his troops of the Indiana regiment just before his death “I have always thought that all men should be free. but if any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”
1861 Ceylon Volunteer Corps is formed This was the beginning of the volunteer military service in Lanka. Formation of the Ceylon Light Infantry Volunteers, delighted the mercantile community. It expanded into several volunteer units later.
1862 First Buddhist printing press : Lankopakara Press in Galle Missionaries and Tamil extremists had set up printing press for anti-Buddhist propaganda a long time ago. Setting up of Lankopakara Press in Galle in 1862 came late, but it was the first Buddhist printing press set up to counter the anti-Buddhist propaganda campaigns, which humiliated and despised Buddhism and Buddhist rights. That looked after printing needs of the Buddhist campaigns. The setting up of Lakvikrama press in 1863, and Lanka Abinawa Visruta Press in 1864 followed this. They printed books from the ola leaf manuscripts hidden in temples. This helped a revival of Sinhala literature.
1862 1st phase of the Buddhist campaign-Society for the propagation of Buddhism This was considered as the first phase of the campaign for the rights of Sinhala Buddhists. They were far behind the other communities who had advanced under the leadership of their social elite created under the British. Sinhalese social elite, meanwhile continued to despise and rule over their own people.
1862 Present Tuparamaya is restored in Anuradapura With the little funds available, Buddhist patriots restored the present Thuparamaya in Anuradapura. It is only 63 feet tall and 59 feet in diameter. It hardly showed it's former glory.
1863 November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln defines democracy In his famous "Gettysburg" Address, on November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln defined the democracy as "a government of the people, by the people, for the people".
1863 54th Massachusetts on Fort Wagner, South Carolina : First Blacks soldiers prove their bravery in American civil war Abraham Lincoln formed black regiments within the Union army. One of the first black troops were the 54th Massachusetts. Their defiant bravery in the unsuccessful assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina in 1863 proved to the white Americans that they were not any inferiors to the white skinned people. The South refused to honour the rights of the black troops who were killed if they were captured. In response, Lincoln stopped all prisoner exchanges until Confederacy changed its policy on blacks.
1864 De Soysa family become the wealthiest in Lanka They were rewarded by the income from investments in arrack, ferries, and agriculture everywhere in Lanka. This created a powerful Karawe caste who would always fight for places in the government. They were mostly unsuccessful, as the British would always prefer Govigama faithfuls, of which there were many.
1865 From slavery to Second class citizenship- American civil war ends after 4 years The American civil war ended in 1865 as Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox. It was the bloodiest war fought in the western world between the Napoleonic Wars and the World War One. Though the Civil War ended slavery, the new American state laws restricted the African-Americans to a second-class citizenship.
1865 State Secretaries on the ill-effects of the neglected Irrigation Sir Hercules Robinson, secretary of state, spoke in public about the ill-effects of the neglected irrigation. He renewed the cancelled irrigation projects with the limited budget available. His work would get Governor's support in 7 years.
1865 None of the 43 persons interviewed were Buddhists The legislative council on 14 the October, 1865 appointed a sub-committee under the Queen's advocate Richard Morgan as chairman, to investigate and report on the state of Education in Lanka. They prepared a questionnaire of 18 questions and got the results by having 43 persons answer them. As a consequence of these results, thousands of Buddhist children in Christian schools were compelled to receive compulsory instructions in Christianity. Of the 43 persons whom the British used, only one person was a Sinhalese. And, naturally he was NOT a Buddhist. One of the fair British public servants, who was the new First Director of Public Instructions, pointed out this injustice in 1869. He was told that it was none of his business.
1865 Establishing Ramanya Nikaya Ramanya Nikaya was established as an offshoot of the Amarapura Nikaya. Amarapura Nikaya supported the Sinhala Buddhist campaign for their rights and recognition. This new Nikaya would stress on the issue of poverty and the humiliation of the Sinhalese Buddhists.
1866 First Buddhist-Christian debate: Christian Missionaries accept the challenge A young bold Buddhist monk named Mohottivatte Gunananda, started challenging the missionaries for an open debate. He had studied the Christianity spread by the missionaries in detail. In 1866 the challenge was finally accepted. The first debate was held in Udanvita. The second was in 1871 in Gampola. The final was in 1873 in Panadura where this well-learnt monk beat all Missionaries. But this only added fuel to the hatred of the enemies towards Buddhist monks and the propaganda to tarnish their image.
1867 A wise Japan learns from the west, to become a powerful country The new wise government was efficient and encouraged learning from the Europeans and modernization. While Europeans were consolidating and colonising in China, South East Asia, India, and the Philippines, Japan managed to avoid colonization. Japanese learned, from the British to improve their navy, from the Dutch engineers the western construction techniques, and from the French advisors to reorganize the army. In 1871, the Japanese adopted universal education based on the American model.
1867 Why British didn't support the Buddhist Temple school system ….. Five reports individually submitted to the Morgan Committee in 1867 spoke of the very high standards of Buddhist temple schools even after suffering centuries of destruction. The Bishop of Colombo, G.S.Steward-master of Queens College, Steele-Police Magistrate of Anuradapura, J.W.W Birch- AGA for Kurunegala, G.F.Nell-Deputy Queens Advocate in Kurunegala, they all proved the very high standards and discipline of the education. The last report even warned about the possible danger as these schools could lead to freedom struggles. This made the British not to support this excellent network of Buddhist schools, which fell into decline soon.
1868 250 years of Japanese Shogun rule ( under Takagawa family ) ends The Japanese Samurais had been murdering the collaborators since 1853. This made Japan a very unsafe place for the European colonists. That allowed the Japanese to bargain with the Europeans by allowing them trade access and at the same time to learn from the Europeans. In November 1867 the last Japanese shogun resigned, allowing Prince Mutsuhito to become the head of government as the Emperor Meiji. That was the need of the Tokugawa family rule. The great clans, who ruled Japan under Shogun rule, gave their loyalty to the new Emperor.
1868 Last shipment of convicts to Australia In 1868 the last shipment of convicts from Britain landed in Australia.
1868 Curious British take photos of the Lost city of Polonnaruwa- again the Sinhala Disawe is NOT interested While following up on British Lt. Fagan's discovery after 48 years, a British civil servant named Birch, and a British Lt. Stewart traced the lost city of Polonnaruwa and photographed it. These photos prompted the British Governer Sir Arthur Gordon to order Tamankaduwe Disawe to clear the jungle and to excavate the ruins.
1868 Civil service has 74 Britons and only 10 Lankans ( including Burghers)
1869 Coffee Leaf disease is detected The deadly leaf disease that affected the Coffee plants, was first detected in 1869. Also affected by the popularity of the Brazilian Coffee in the world markets, and also due to the depression in England, Coffee plantations will cease to exist in 20 more years.
1869 Secondary Schools opened to Lankans For the first time, Secondary Schools were opened to Lankans. Again, only the rich were able to send their children to the secondary schools. The patriots who had been fighting, had become poorer and weaker. They couldn't afford to send their children to these schools run by the Anglican management.
1869 Dirty tactics to force students into Missionary schools - Govt schools are closed wherever a missionary school is opened The highly influential Christian missionaries and the Church got the British to impose a ruling that no school should be established within 3 miles of a Missionary school. Whenever a missionary school was opened, the government schools in the area, which normally charged a lot of money, was forced to close. Both these forced the students into the missionary school. Education became a tool to brainwash natives into submission.
1869 140 schools with 8751 students alarms British Within just 10 years, both these figures increased by eight times. This alarmed the British who were scared of having too many members of the elite.
1870 Governer personally orders reluctant Sinhala Disawe to clear the jungle in Polonnaruwa Photos taken in 1868, prompted the British Governer Sir Arthur Gordon to order Sinhala Disawe of Tamankaduwe, to clear the jungle and excavate the ruins. The work started under the supervision of S.M.Burrows, the Archaeological commissioner at the time.
1870 Indian Tamils number only 123,000
1870 Colombo Medical College is opened
1871 Prussians (Germans) - Most powerful European Army By 1871, under Prussian King Wilhelm I, Prussian soldiers became the best educated and the best trained in any European army. This made the German Empire the mightiest in Europe by having the best army in Europe.
1871 Europe divides into two sides after Germany won the war with France The two-year (1870-1871) Franco-Prussian War ended with an easy victory for the superb Prussian army. Prussia (Germany) took over territories from France. Then all European powers made alliances for their survival. Germany, Italy and Austria joined together in 1879. This made England, France, and Russia to join in alliance.
1871 Second Buddhist-Christian debate : Christian Missionaries are beaten in Gampola A young bold Buddhist monk named Mohottivatte Gunananda, started challenging the missionaries for an open debate. He had studied the Christianity spread by the missionaries in detail. In 1866 the challenge was finally accepted. The first debate was held in Udanvita. The second was in 1871 in Gampola. The final was in 1873 in Panadura where this well-learnt monk beat all Missionaries. But this only added fuel to the hatred of the enemies towards Buddhist monks and the propaganda to tarnish their image.
1871 Kandy railway opened- British get upperhand in transport British were desperate to break the Sinhalese monopoly on the transport of goods from the hill country to Colombo. Sinhalese businessmen owned carts, crafts, and lorries. British hoped that the railway would give them the upperhand.
1871 Marriage laws ban polyandry in Kandyan areas.
1872 British Governor admits creating Drunkenness among the Sinhalese 52 years after the introduction of taverns, in 1872, Governor Gregory admitted that the British were responsible for the drunkenness of the Sinhalese and the extinction of many noble families. ( He admitted these before the Legislative council.)
1872 British Archaeological reports prompts the British to restore the Sinhalese irrigation Sir Hercules Robinson, secretary of state, had renewed the cancelled irrigation projects with the limited budget available in 1865. The reports that were coming from the British archaeologists in Rajarata, surprised the British. Only then they realised the value and the magnitude of the Sinhalese irrigation complexes. British then looked for the possibility of making profits on rice. The Governor Sir William Gregory obtained the full backing from London to give priority to restore and to expand the Sinhalese irrigation networks. A GA was appointed to the North central province to personally supervise these activities. Villagers did the labour. Government gave sluice and masonry work free. Gamsabas provided administration at the grass root level. Hundreds of small reservoirs were restored.
1873 Vidyodaya Pirivena The Buddhist monk Walane Sri Siddhartha established Parama Dhamma Chetiya Pirivena, a new Buddhist temple school in 1839. British ignored providing state funds and were under severe criticism from the Buddhist and Hindu communities. In 1878, this school became the first and the only Buddhist school to receive any funds or financial assistance from the British rulers as they began to receive just 1000 Rupees a year. ( British refused funds for all other Pirivenas). Among the Buddhist monks graduated from this school were, Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala (who established Vidyodaya Pirivena in 1873), and Ratmalane Sri Darmaloka ( who established Vidyalankara pririvena in 1875).
1873 Cold war (between the British and the capable Lankan elite) starts The new breed of anglicized, self-made Sinhalese demonstrated ambitious, power hungry, and leadership qualities. They could match their British masters in any activity. The cunning British introduced tactics to bar this Lankan elite from entering the higher levels of power. The British made rules to divert the rising elite to less powerful areas like Medical, Education and Judiciary services where the authority for decision making was minimal and where they were unable to show initiative and influence. ( The British kept them away from the posts of GA, AGA, Railway, Survey, and Irrigation, which had the potential to freedom struggles.)
1873 British decides to favour Govigama caste again as a tactic to weaken the elite The British also went back to favouring Govigamas caste again. Since the majority Sinhalese were of Govigama caste, the British thought they could use them to suppress the strong elite of the Karawe caste. The effects of such cunning tactics created numerous social problems in Lankan society. In the century to come, these social problems would create complex social, political and economical problems. These led to a new social trend, where in a domino effect, the lower castes were rejected and discriminated all the way downwards by the Sinhalese Govigama caste.
1873 Final of the Buddhist Christian Debates: Panadura Debate - Christian Missionaries fail in public, even today they wouldn't enter into public arguments The Buddhist monk, Venerable Migettuwatte Gunananda thero became a brave, brilliant and an unbeatable speaker on the rights and the recognition of the Sinhala Buddhists. He would be named as "The terror of the Missionaries" for his silencing of the critics in excellent, witty, and eloquent speeches. In 1866 the missionaries finally accepted the challenge. The first debate was held in Udanvita. The second was in 1871 in Gampola. The final was in 1873 in Panadura. This famous Panadura debate between him and the Christian missionaries was the turning point. But this only added fuel to the hatred of the enemies towards Buddhist monks. They intensified the propaganda to tarnish the image of the Buddhist monk. Unable to prove themselves in public, the Missionaries would resort to mean invisible tactics. Even today, they would avoid arguments and discussions in public for they fear that their true motives would be exposed in public.
1873 An American reads the report on the Panadura Debate & migrates to Lanka to help the Buddhists The report on the Panadura Debate was read by an American in USA named Henry Olcott, who decided to migrate to Lanka to help the Buddhists. He would arrive in Lanka within 2 years.
1873 Battle for Anuradapura begins- British refuse to respect Buddhists pleas The mean invisible tactics of the highly influential missionaries began to show the results. British selected Anuradapura as the Administration capital of the North Central province despite the Buddhist requests for the holy city to be declared sacred. The British also rejected the Buddhist pleas and started to build government buildings right on the Sinhala heritage in Anuradapura. They established government buildings on top of historic monuments, without any respect for the Sinhala heritage.
1873 First Warnings on Deforestation Dr. G.B.Hooker, the director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, protested to the British government for the felling of timber. He said that this led to the irregular water supply. Five years later, this was followed by the warning given by Dr. Taste, director of Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. He said that this was washing the valuable surface soil, which cannot be replaced. He said that this soil is washed into rivers. He said water sources were drying up due to the disturbance to the nature. In 8 years the problem was so serious as the timber transportation in Kelani river became impossible. That was why British built the railway to Kelani Valley.
1874 Law college is opened
1874 Jethavanaramaya amazes the British Archaeologists Curious British archaeologists in Anuradapura began to clear the base of a huge Dagaba covered in jungle. They studied it in detail. What they found out over the next 20 years impressed them so much, that they wrote down everything about their findings in detail and gave them wide publicity and attention. That was none other than the third highest monument of the ancient world, the giant Dagaba of the Jethavanaramaya University complex. The South Indian Chola invaders and the South Indian racists living in Lanka in 1025 AD had destroyed it.
1874 First British to fall in love with the Lankan History : British Archaeologists Jethavanaramaya stunned the British archaeologists in Anuradapura. Discovery of such structures made many British archaeologists to further investigate and record the ruins of the Sinhalese civilisation with a personal interest. As they did, they learnt to respect the Sinhalese heritage. They were the first British to fall in love with the Lankan history. Today their impartial records are a solid proof of the glory of the Sinhala civilisation, which the selfish ethnic and religious extremists are trying to despise and downgrade.
1874 3 mile rule - pure discrimination on the Buddhists Noticing the Buddhist revival, the British imposed a rule that stopped the Buddhists from setting up new schools. The new rule abolished the entitlement of government grants to any new school set up within 3 miles of an existing Govt or a funded school. Catholics who were also affected, protested. Then the British changed the rule to "only the new non-Christian schools would lose the entitlement". This allowed Catholics to set up schools within 3 miles and receive Govt grants as well. Without state funds Buddhists were not able to set up new schools.
1875 Vidyalankara Pririvena The Buddhist monk Walane Sri Siddhartha established Parama Dhamma Chetiya Pirivena, a new Buddhist temple school in 1839. Among the Buddhist monks graduated from this school were, Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala (who established Vidyodaya Pirivena in 1873), and Ratmalane Sri Darmaloka ( who established Vidyalankara pririvena in 1875).
1875 Arrival of Sir Henry Olcott & Madame Blavatsky- He teaches Lankans about the tactics of the missionaries Impressed by the reports on Panadura debate, he decided to help Lankan Buddhists in their struggle against the sinister Catholic forces. He taught Lankans for the first time the tactics of the Missionaries, and the weaknesses of Christianity. He campaigned with success to get Vesak a Public holiday, and helped design the Buddhist flag in 1885.
1875 Sir Henry Olcott tells the British that it was wrong to disassociate from Buddhism He forced the British Governer Gordon to admit that British had been too hasty to disassociate Buddhism. ( under the pressure brought by the highly influential sinister anti-Buddhist elements, British in 1818 disassociated from Buddhism breaking the promises given in the Kandyan convention).
1875 Olcott establishes Buddhist Theosophical society to help the Buddhist education Noticing the sorry state of the Buddhist masses, the financial problems, the lack of teachers and administrators in Buddhist education, Olcott set up the Theosophical society to organize Buddhist education islandwide with the financial help given by a few Sinhalese traders.
1876 British couldn't enslave ALL Sinhalese Available records indicated that between 1876 and 1886, 517,000 Sinhalese had to work on the roads due to Road tax. Road tax was so unpopular, that 85% of the Sinhalese avoided that. Naturally proud Sinhalese hated to be manipulated. This made the British to brand them as lazy and lethargic.
1876 Hungry people cannot eat Tea or Coffee British branded the Sinhalese as lazy and lethargic. Sinhalese farmers wanted to do what they were doing for thousands of years. They didn't want to be forced into projects that would make someone else rich. British forced the Sinhalese to cultivate only the export commodities. The British and the collaborators collected the profits from the exports. Farmers didn't receive any. By this time, Sinhalese knew about the Whiteman and they refused to be enslaved. When the world market fluctuated, starving Lankans couldn't eat tea or coffee.
1876 The Best British Irrigation Work in the Colonial world so far : Restoration of some of the Sinhalese Irrigation systems Restoration work on some of the Sinhalese irrigation systems in the dry zone under the Governer Sir William Gregory, was the best British effort so far in the colonial world. Governer Gregory claimed that there never was a British social experiment more speedily and entirely successful. As a result of the revival of many of the Sinhalese irrigation systems, half-starved dying villagers in many areas became well-fed healthy well-to-do farmers within few harvests. (This proved what the Sinhalese were good at and why they were too proud to work as slaves). Governer was credited with having the best irrigation administration of the 19th Century. This would drastically increase the population in rice growing areas. In the south, this increase would be a staggering 46% increase of the population. Unfortunately within one year the Non-Buddhists, alarmed at the rate of the progress of the Sinhalese farmers, would pressurise the British to stop the restoration of any further irrigation projects and destroy the revival by introducing the Grain Tax.
1876 Kirindi Oya project is completed.
1877 British consider settling the Indian workers permanently British Report on Indian Tamil coolies in 21.4.1877 revealed that they wanted to settle these slave workers permanently. They wanted to settle them in Indian villages around the Sinhala land around Anuradapura. Fortunately, the British changed their mind to settle them in the lands acquired in the hill country, instead of Anuradapura, as they could live close to the plantations. The British had confiscated the lands belonging to any Sinhalese who had rebelled for freedom in 1848. ( By 1871, 123,000 South Indian migrants were living in estates. By 1881, 195,000 were living. )
1877 Fate of the Indian workers who became sick According to the report by the Agricultural Society at the time, it was a common sight on the roads to see sick, dead or dying unfortunate Indian workers. When the Indian worker became sick and unable to work, the British planters would frog-march them and kick them out of estates. These unfortunate sick men came to Sinhalese villagers begging for or stealing the little food the Sinhalese had. Since 1840's many infectious diseases such as smallpox and cholera began to spread in the hill country.
1877 Death of Major Thomas Skinner 10 years after his retirement, Thomas Skinner, a British officer who liked Lanka and Sinhalese so much, died.
1877 Rubber plantations introduced Rubber needed mainly part-time workers, for which, like in coconut plantations, there were enough Sinhalese workers.
1877 European Planters oppose the irrigation projects In an unfortunate and very unpatriotic move, the representatives of the selfish European planters in the legislative council opposed the restoration of reservoirs. They were obviously unhappy about the Sinhalese villagers becoming stronger, and the revival of the Sinhalese system.
1877 Grain Tax : British will earn 25% of their revenue from this Paddy Tax. Under the pressure from the influential sinister elements, Governer Gordon introduced a Grain Tax under the excuse of establishing an irrigation fund. 25% of the profits of the rice trade, was subjected to this sinister Grain tax. Despite their much publicised export income from coffee and tea, British earned 20% of their income from the paddy tax collected from the poor Sinhalese farmers.
1877 Effects of Grain Tax : Evil conspiracy destroy the Sinhalese farmers and the revival of the ancient irrigation projects This tax became a severe burden on Sinhalese farmers, specially the farmers who had to burrow money to cultivate or whose crop got destroyed in natural disasters. Strict implementation of the tax, without mercy or concessions, enabled the British to seize the land of the Sinhalese farmer and to sell the land to recover the arrears. This led to starvation and famine in rice-cultivating areas. This was the end of the revival of the ancient Sinhala irrigation complexes. Even the good Tamil politician Ponnambalam Ramanathan and many moderate newspapers in Colombo, tried to battle the British propaganda on the grain tax by exposing this.
1877 Impossible rate of Paddy Tax Dr.Christopher Elliot, the Irishman who was the editor of the Ceylon Observer, pointed out the shameful injustice of the sinister paddy tax. A poor farmer was asked to pay 7 shillings per year, in an era where few people were able to earn 10 shillings per year. He argued if the same tax rate was applied to the Europeans. they would be paying 50 pounds out of the 300 pounds earned.
1877 "Mary had a little lamb" : First recording & playback of sound On November 20, 1877, Thomas Edison in Menlo Park, New Jersey, USA, wrapped a tinfoil around a cylinder to develop a primitive machine that could record sound. Sound waves were recorded by variations in the depth of the grooves on the tinfoil. He shouted "Mary had a little lamb" into his machine, and then played the sound back. It was the first recording and reproduction of sound. Then he modified his machine using cylinders coated with wax instead of tin.
1878 Buddhist Children forced to attend Christian classes The report by the Director of Public Instruction, revealed that in most of the schools he himself discovered that not a single student belonged to the religion of the management. In other words, almost all students in Christian schools he visited, were Buddhists who were compelled to sit through the religious classes.
1878 First & the Only Buddhist school to receive any financial assistance from the British : Parama Dhamma Chetiya Pirivena get 1000 a year after 39 years The Buddhist monk Walane Sri Siddhartha established Parama Dhamma Chetiya Pirivena, a new Buddhist temple school in 1839. British ignored providing state funds and were under severe criticism from the Buddhist and Hindu communities. In 1878, this school became the first and the only Buddhist school to receive any funds or financial assistance from the British rulers as they began to receive just 1000 Rupees a year. ( However the British refused funds any other Buddhist Pirivenas). Among the Buddhist monks graduated from this school were, Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala (who established Vidyodaya Pirivena in 1873), and Ratmalane Sri Darmaloka ( who established Vidyalankara pririvena in 1875).
1878 There are 1178 schools with 67,750 students This was an increase of 800% within 9 years. It definitely was a warning sign to the European and Burgher extremists. Under their pressure, the British would conspire to stop these educated Lankans from rising up in the society.
1878 The best explanation of what happened to the Sinhalese in the east The best explanation of what happened to the Sinhalese in the east, came from the British Administration Report of 1878. " The east is inhabited by the Sinhalese of Kandyan origin. But they are rapidly dying out with the arrival of the Malabars from South India. The areas are becoming Tamilised, which is a great pity. There is only one school in the area. Schoolmaster is a Tamil. Only Tamil language is taught in the school. All Sinhalese children are learning Tamil, and speaking Tamil. The Malabars and Moors have bought Paddyfields and whole villages belonging to the Sinhalese. Even village names have been replaced by Tamil names. All local officials speak only Tamil. There are no Sinhalese officials these Sinhalese can go to. This is a great misfortune."
1878 British recommend strong action to save the Sinhalese in the east While the Sinhalese elite was asleep in Colombo, the British Administration Report of 1878 recommended action to save the vanishing Sinhalese majority of the east. " We suggest strong Sinhalese to be appointed as chiefs of the entire district. We like to see this Tamil school closed. The best help we can give to these SInhalese is to restore their reservoirs. That is the only way that they can live independent of the Malabars." Such strong action proposed by the British officials of the east, who were NOT under any kind of influence of the Sinhalese, clearly showed the gravity of the situation. The gradual ethnic cleansing was so strong that even the British officials had deep concerns for the gentle Sinhalese majority in the east. It is obvious that the Sinhalese, who were unsuspecting people of principles, were being tricked, trapped and played out by the newly arrived Malabars.
1879 British close many schools : Buddhist children are compelled to join Missionary schools The British government was forced to close many schools due to lack of funds. The students of those schools had no other option than joining the missionary schools in order to continue their education. Again, the Buddhist children were compelled to learn and practise Christianity.
1879 Missionaries establish schools using education grants, for religious expansion rather than education William Blair, Inspector of schools, reported that missionaries were establishing schools for the sake of spreading Christianity, rather than for the sake of education. They were using the education grants given by the British government.
1880 British tactic to control the educated Lankans: Civil service exam is conducted in London In order to stop the tide of the educating Sinhalese, the British shifted the Civil service exam, which was held in Colombo, to London. The British excuse for abolishing the Civil service exam in Lanka, was that it lowered the standards and the efficiency by having it in Lanka. Locals were advised to go to London to do the exam and "to shake themselves free of local ties". The cost of sitting for the exam became unbearable even to the wealthy. Only the most loyal had enough opportunity to make such wealth. To make Lankans happy, a queen's scholarship was offered to Lankans who got "Selected". This made sure only the children of the most faithful collaborating families, had the opportunity to enter the British civil service.
1880 Controlling the Sinhalese elite becomes a problem both to the British and the people British wanted to keep the civil service to themselves and allow the native educated elite to law, medicine and Church activities. Sinhalese children of the Mudaliars started getting into these careers. They despised the average public. They also opposed the education being offered to the common public, in fear of losing their privileged position.
1880 Sinhalese Elite despise fellow Sinhalese As these educated Sinhalese introduced a new social class, controlling this elite became a problem both to the British and the people. Second, third, and the fourth generations of collaborating Sinhala elite started to develop reasons to despise and to discriminate Sinhala masses to ensure their place in the society. Sinhala way of respecting those who serve the people and the country best, was then limited to a family-tradition of fewer and fewer Sinhala families who struggled to maintain the original Sinhala values.
1880 Jamaica pioneers British legislative council reforms Jamaica was the first British colony to obtain reforms to the British legislative council that gave wider representation and power to the natives.
1880 Sinhalese Elite refuses to extend the education to the rest of the Sinhalese public The new Sinhala elite supported British who didn’t want to spend on education to the average Sinhalese. It was one of the crucial issues they agreed on. Sinhalese such as J.P.Obeysekera,( Sinhala rep in the Legistative council), even publicly claimed that the children of the poor should not be educated for they might cause their parents to get into debt by spending lavishly. They were fearful that education would stimulate social change undermining their priviledged position, which was theirs by inheritance( or, rather by collaboration and timidness).
1880 Buddhist couldn't hire a hall, constructed with their tax money, for a Buddhist lecture When Henry Olcott requested permission to hire a hall for a public lecture on Buddhism, British GA of Kalutara refused. " The poor British creature believed that he could get the Buddhists to desert their religion and get them directed towards the more lovable Christianity, by refusing them to hire a public building for a Buddhist lecture, when the hall itself had been put up by the tax money paid by the Buddhists themselves." said Henry Olcott.
1881 Lankan representation in the Civil Service reduces from 10 ( in 1868) to 7. Civil service has 84 Britons and 7 Lankans ( including Burghers). Lankan representation had been reduced to 7 from 10 in 1868. This was the result of the increasing difficulties in sitting for the exam.
1881 First Year rule : Buddhists are too poor to run a school for one whole year on private funds British changed the Education Grants rule, saying that the grants to a new school would ONLY be considered in the second year following the registration. This meant a new school had to function for at least one year on private funds before receiving any grants. Although the Buddhists were more than 80% of the population, among the rich Lankan elite, the Buddhists were less than 20%. Many of this 10% was notoriously selfish. Buddhists had no way of funding schools due to the lack of patriotic rich Buddhists. Thus, the British successfully controlled the setting up of Buddhist schools.
1882 British records Sinhalese in the east F.D.A. Vincent, an official of the British Forest Administration, recorded that the Sinhalese, who were the majority in the east, were driven out in the east, wherever the Malabars or Moors settled in. He noted a gradual spread of the Malabars down the east coast. He said they didn't spread more than few miles to the interior. He also said that the Sinhalese lost their paddyfields and had to live on hunting and chena cultivation deep inland.
1883 The Orient Express begins The Orient Express began service from Paris to Istanbul in 1883.
1883 Religious Riots of Kotahena- Vesak celebrations of Buddhists annoy Catholics who were the majority in the area. Venerable Migettuwatte Gunananda thero in Kotahena temple organised a pinkama to honour the completion of a Budda Statue. His fiery speeches in the pinkama during the week, angered Catholics who were the majority in the area. Many Catholics were arrested for creating troubles for the Buddhists. This was a classic example to show the problems that can be created by the ethnic, religious and social groups created by the invaders, if they continued to ignore the native culture. The Catholics who never had an opportunity to learn about the Buddhists, their history and the Sinhalese civilisation, treated the noise as a nuisance. That in turn made Buddhists, who didn't know of the Catholic's lack of knowledge, very angry. Buddhists thought that the Catholics were challenging the Buddhism. Sir Henry Olcott himself represented matters to London about the grievances of the Buddhists.
1883 Tsunami created by Krakatoa eruption hits Sri Lanka In the night of August 26, 1883, 47 Sq.Km small volcanic island in the Sunda Strait, in south-western Indonesia, which was emitting smoke and ash since May 20, exploded destroying 70% of the island. The 35 m (120 ft) waves created by the underwater earthquake that accompanied the eruption travelled some 13,000 km, killing 36,000 people. One explosion here which was heard 4,800 km away is one of the loudest noises in history. The 2 meter high wave hit Sri Lanka.
1884 Headmaster rule : Buddhists couldn't afford certified teachers In 1884 British ruled that the headmaster of a school MUST be a certified teacher if the school was to be considered for government grants. Buddhist Schools didn't have funds to hire these expensive specially qualified headmasters. Without them, they wouldn't get grants. Without grants, they closed down. Simple logic, isn't it ?.
1885 1% Christians have 99% of Govt funded schools Only 8 Buddhist schools were receiving education grants, while 811 Christian schools were receiving education grants. At this time, only 1% of the population was Christians, including the Roman Catholics. The increase of the Christian population in Lanka later, was due to these education tactics, where the Buddhist children were forced to undergo christianisation in these devious and cunning plans. Within 36 years this 1% would increase to 8.8%. ( By 1921, Christian population 8.8% would receive 70% of the education grants.)
1885 One third of the schools are in the Jaffna peninsula Over 300 out of 819 schools in the country, are in the Jaffna peninsula. This explained the higher ratio of the educated Tamils later. All these 300 schools in Jaffna, were receiving the Government education grants.
1885 10% Tamils receive 45% education grants 45% of the total Government Education grants are directed to the schools in Jaffna peninsula. But the peninsula has less than 10% of the population of Lanka.
1885 The Top of Jethavanaramaya collapses The square tower at the top was damaged in this slip. One section of the Hataras kotuwa was already missing. The British Archeologists who had fallen in love with the history of the Sinhalese, insisted on repairs and repaired the damage.
1885 French take Vietnam French forces captured Vietnam. This was 90 years before Vietnamese would liberate themselves. ( In 1975, the heroic Vietnamese would defeat both the French and the American super powers to liberate themselves )
1885 Lady Ridgeway Hospital is established
1885 Buddhist flag is designed Buddhist flag was designed with the help of Sir Henry Olcott.
1885 Revival of Islam in Lanka Under a Muslim lawyer named Siddi Lebbe, assisted by Arabi Pasha, the exiled leader of an abortive Egyptian religious uprising in 1882, Islamic revival in Lanka took place. Up to this point of time, the Muslims had survived by bargaining for trade opportunities. From then onwards, they would concentrate further on the importance of education, which they had ignored. They were told that the education was necessary in order to save their children from brainwashing by the white man.
1885 Educated Willing Slaves…! - British legislators are surprised by the silence in Lanka British legislators noted with surprise that Lanka, despite having a massive educated social elite, lacked enthusiasm and agitation for reforms and for freedom. This was quite different to what was happening in other British colonies where freedom struggles were a headache to the British.
1885 First Motor car - By the German Karl Benz A German named Karl Benz developed the World's first Motorcar in his factory as a 3-wheeled vehicle. His prototype was a practical, petrol-powered motorcar. He then started to manufacture motorcars. His company was merged with another in 1926 to be known as the Mercedes-Benz.
1885 "Kodak" : After 50 years of photography, first camera for the public use Although the photography had started in 1835, no simple camera that the average public could use, developed for 50 years. In 1885, American inventor George Eastman became the first to market a camera that was simple enough for amateurs to use. His box camera, which was named "Kodak", was sold for an expensive $25. It was also the first camera designed to use the film rolled around a spindle. The film was fitted inside the camera. After taking 100 photos, the camera had to be returned to the factory, where the film was removed, processed and a new spool installed. To the public at that time, this camera looked like a miracle.
1885 Only one vote against the Vesak Poya day holiday Even the Governer Gordon, and the Tamil rep Ponnambalam Ramanathan voted in favour, to make Vesak a public holiday. Still, one vote fell against it. It was the vote of "the Sinhalese rep H.L. Alwis", who was a distant relative of Obeysekera and Bandaranayaka family. This shocking single act alone, explained the plight of the Sinhalese.
1885 Becoming tenants under new owners, in the land they once owned…..! British became very strict on the collection of the paddy tax which is a tax imposed on rice cultivation. Most Sinhalese farmers were not able to pay the high taxes as the infrastructure needed for the successful cultivation had been destroyed. In Uva province, 49% of the people lost their livelihood when 22.5 % of the total land area was confiscated and was sold by the British due to defaults in paddy tax. 2930 households, 14650 persons depended on this land for their sole income. Outsiders like European or Moor merchants bought 70% of the land sold. Over 2000 farmers had no option other than becoming the tenants under their new owners, of the land they once owned. More than 20%, about 626 Sinhalese families left the area in disgust.
1886 Samadi Pilimaya is discovered The statue was found hidden on the ground, with a broken nose. The bad nose repair job and the cement roof erected later to cover it, has spoilt the serene image of the statue. It will gain publicity in South Asia as Sri Javaharlal Nehru used this image to meditate and found immense peace and solace, in the British prison in India.
1886 382 Sinhalese farmers on the road AGA of Nuwara Eliya, C.J.R. Le Mesurier, in his administrative report of 1886 said " I am able to give some startling figures on the result of the policy of selling unfortunate villagers for their arrears during the last 4 years. Over 15% of the land had been forcibly taken. Of the land taken, The new owners have stopped cultivation on 8% of the land sold. 382 Sinhalese farmers had left the area with their families, looking for a land to cultivate in remote areas".
1886 Going nowhere…..! AGA of Nuwara Eliya, C.J.R. Le Mesurier, also recorded the following conversation with a Sinhalese farmer who was on the road with his family. He asked why they had left the village. Farmer said "because we lost all our property. We were allowed to run into arrears. Then, all of a sudden the arrears are called up. Without mercy, we are chased out." Then he asked where they were going. Farmer said " Nowhere in particular". He asked why they wouldn't work in the plantations. The farmer said " We tried. But we were not paid. The Indian Kangani collected even the little they paid us. He said that we were in debt forever." This clearly showed the pride of the Sinhalese who didn't have to work and live like that for thousands of years.
1887 Mauritius gets reforms to the Legistative council The native elite in the Mauritius managed to obtain reforms to their Legistative council. In Lanka, it was not necessary as the locals had no unity.
1887 A tunnel is dug thru Jethavanaramaya British Archaeologists dug a 162 feet long tunnel through Jethavanaramaya to find any buried books or documents. The Bricks that were taken out were used later to reconstruct the Dagaba.
1888 Muslims learn their lesson from the British Muslims requested for a seat in the legislative council. The British rejected it. It was a good lesson for the Muslim community who had collaborated so hard with the British in the early days of the British rule. Once in 1818, the British had even said that they wouldn't need British troops in Lanka as long as they had the Lankan Muslim troops. The Muslims realised that the British had used the selfishness and the unpatriotism of the Muslims, to the maximum.
1888 1048 Sinhalese farmers died of starvation near officials Lawn Tennis & Health center C.J.R. Le Mesurier who was the AGA for Nuwara Eliya at the time recorded it. This was due to the Grain tax, which led to famine, rural poverty, starvation and landlessness for the Sinhalese masses.
1889 After studying the world, Japan adopts a new constitution that make them stronger The wise Japanese studied the American and European constitutions and authoritarian rule of Russia, Germany, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Then they adopted a constitution with an emperor and a parliament. The emperor could issue laws and was able to adjourn the parliament on his own. This political reform further strengthened Japan.
1889 First Punch card Calculating machine - in 35 years it will be the birth of the IBM An American inventor named Herman Hollerith, patented a calculating machine, which relied on punched cards. It was used in the following year to compute census data successfully. His Tabulating Machine Company was finally merged into a company, which in 1924 adopted the name International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
1889 Muslims and the Kandyans get two additional seats in the Legistative council Two additional seats were created in the Legistative council to represent the Kandyans and the Muslim community. This angered the Buddhists who had NO representation in the council. ( The only Sinhalese rep in the council was always a Christian and was always selected from a handful of very faithful collaborating families). British tried to please the Buddhists by saying that the Kandyan rep could represent the Buddhists. But the Kandyan rep would concentrate on Kandyan interests rather than Buddhist's rights. The British had very cunningly divided the Sinhalese into social and religious sections.
1890 British archaeologists get the official green light for Anuradapura excavations after 70 years Under H.C.P. Bell, the British Archaeological commissioner, other British archaeologists, who were fascinated by the discoveries, excavations began officially. That was 70 years after a young British civil servant, Ralph Backhaus, discovered Anuradapura.
1890 Collapse of the Coffee Industry
1890 British try Sugar, cotton, tea, rubber after the collapse of coffee
1890 Theosophical society establish 40 Buddhist schools breaking the monopoly of Missionary schools Theosophical society established 40 Buddhist schools. They helped to break the monopoly of the Missionary schools. But the lack of funding hampered the continuation of these schools. A few Sinhalese traders funded them.
1891 Indian Tamils number reaches 235,000 They traveled back and forth between Lanka and South India. They treated South India as their home, and Lanka as a temporary work place.
1891 First Cinema - through a peephole Based on the Zoopraxiscope, (a device for viewing the movement of people and animals first invented by Eadweard Muybridge), and the studies on animal motion by Etienne Jules Marey, Zoopraxiscope was developed by Thomas Alva Edison and W. K. L. Dickson. The Kinetoscope was a large machine that enabled one person at a time to view images through a peephole.
1891 Quarter Mile Rule : Over 50 Buddhist Schools are closed & buildings demolished. New British rule that no grants would be allowed for schools set up within quarter mile of a previous school, forced over 50 Buddhist schools to be closed. These Buddhist schools had been set up by the poor Buddhist villagers through a great effort. They had trouble in finding and paying teachers. Many Buddhist children had left the Missionary schools to join these Buddhist schools. Once these schools were closed, they couldn't go back and they had no way to continue their studies. These hardships are explained in the Catholic Messenger newspaper dated 23rd Nov' 1896. The newspaper said that the Buddhist parents had only two choices. Either the parents had to send the child to Christian schools or they had to keep the child illiterate, as it was almost impossible to have a Buddhist school set up in an area.
1892 Best surviving Vahalkada of Lanka : Mirisavetiya in Anuradapura The King Dutugemuni built Vahalkada of Mirisavetiya in 161 BC. When it was discovered 2000 years later, it gained much praise from archaeologists and the art historians alike, for the fine architectural features. But on 7th June 1987, Mirisavetiya collapsed completely destroying everything including the great Vahalkada. It was President Premadasa who would rebuild it at a cost of 28 million rupees. He ceremoniously opened it on 4th June, 1993.
1892 Sinhalese farmers pay 52 days of tax while planters pay only 2 days of tax George Wall, a European critic of the paddy tax submitted a document to the Governor Havelock. It showed the astonishing details of the different rates of paddy tax. A Sinhalese farmer would work 52 days a year to pay the tax, while the European planters could pay their tax in two days of income. This document was the key that forced the British to abolish the paddy tax the same year. ( But they introduced new taxes, which kept the pressure on the Sinhalese masses).
1892 Battle of the Grain Tax in the Legislative council The good Tamil rep Ponnambalam Ramanathan and the Kandyan rep Panabokke, pushed for abolishing the Grain tax, which had become a deadly nightmare for the Sinhalese masses. The selfish European rep James pieris opposed the abolishing of the Grain tax.
1892 Grain Tax is abolished and new taxes are introduced When the facts became transparent and were getting widely publicised in British newspapers, Grain tax was abolished. The money would be collected for the so-called "irrigation fund" from the import tax imposed on the imported cheap rice. It had come too late as thousands of farmers had died. Also British shrewdly introduced new taxes such as stamp tax, salt tax, and import duties which continued to have the similar devastating effects.
1893 Trinidad gets reforms to the Legistative council Even the elite of the Trinidad, the other most profitable British colony next to Lanka, managed to obtain reforms to their Legistative council.
1893 New Zealand - The first country to give women the right to vote New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote. Australia followed them in 1902. 13 other countries, including USA, had followed them by 1919. Britain in 1918 only allowed women aged 30 or over who were householders, householder's wives, or university graduates to vote. British maintained that rule until 1928 when they also allowed all women the right to vote.
1893 A monk begins work on Ruwanvelimahaseya with some villagers A pious Buddhist monk named Naranvita Sumanasara, who started the reconstruction work with the local villagers, restored ruins of Ruwanvelimahaseya. Later it would get a boost by the establishment of Ratnamali ChaityaWardana society. Work would finish in 47 years. But the lack of funding and resources, made the Dagaba to be restored in a much smaller size than the original massive size of the monument.
1894 Second Catholic rebellion for power in China Sun Yat Sen, known as the father of modern China, was born to a peasant family near Canton. He was educated in Hawaii where he converted to Christianity. 46 years after the first Catholic rebellion which ended up in a big massacre, he returned to China to stage a rebellion in Canton in 1894. It failed. 10 years later, he made a union between several Chinese groups, called the Revolutionary Alliance Society. The alliance demanded freeing China from foreign control, ending the Manchu dynasty, and increasing the welfare of the people. Their policy was summarized as nationalism, democracy, and socialism. Today, both the Communist and the Nationalist Chinese agree in their admiration for Sun Yat-Sen, whom they call the father of modern China.
1895 Matara railway line is opened
1895 First film projector is introduced Lumiere brothers demonstrated a projector named Cinematographe. In 10 more years there would be enough film reels to open dedicated film theatres.
1896 Modern Olympic Games, banned by Romans in 394 AD, are revived in Greece Olympic Games which the Greeks started in 776 BC, was banned in AD 394 by the Roman emperor Theodosius I. 1,500 years later, in 1896, the modern Olympic Games began in Athens again.
1896 Big damage in Jethavanaramaya Western face of Hataras kotuwa collapsed, severely shaking the whole structure. Alarmed British Archeologists started repair work. H.C.P. Bell made substantial contribution to these repairs.
1897 Walisinha Harishchandra renounces civil life Walisinha Harishchandra, a student at Wesley college, gave up studies after listening to a lecture by Anagarika Darmapala, and joined him to live a life of a Brahmachari to preserve Buddhism in Lanka. He started to practise public speaking in Sinhala as he never had an opportunity to learn proper Sinhala.
1897 Tea becomes a ripper, earning nearly 60% of the export income Lanka's Tea, called Ceylon Tea at the time, grabbed number one place in the world, beating the Chinese tea in London markets.
1897 Sinhalese disappear from the hills British introduced the Waste Lands Ordinance, enabling the British to claim the land the Sinhalese farmers were holding on since the 1840 Crown Land Encroachment Ordinance. British could acquire all unoccupied land, all chena cultivations after an inquiry. Then the British would sell these Sinhalese land to private merchants who were mostly Europeans. This was the final nail on the coffin of the Sinhalese farmers in the hill country. Sinhalese farmers, who were experts in agriculture for thousands of years, began to roam without a land to cultivate. British had plans for them in place. The fathers took to drinking alcohol and got addicted easily. After this, the Sinhalese would disappear from the hills, and the Indian Tamil plantation workers would start to settle down in the vacuum created. Even today, Sinhalese masses had NOT recovered from this sad plight.
1897 Beginning of the Upcountry Estate Tamils - Indian Tamils begin to settle down in Lanka as Lanka's Tea become number one As tea needed around the year labour, the seasonal work patterns stopped. Requirement of the labour through out the whole year, turned the Indian Tamils who were seasonal workers, into full timers. Many of them limited their trips back and forth to and from South India and turned into permanent residents in Lanka. It was a decision made purely on economic reasons.
1898 America enters colonial race : America displays it's military power to the world American military power was first revealed to the world in 1898 when they entered the colonial race. As British were too powerful, America ran into confrontation against the Spanish. During this Spanish-American War, in the battle at Manila, US Navy won an overwhelming victory over the Spanish fleet. The world found out a new super power in the hunt for colonies. Following this, American supremacy in the Philippines was established. At the end of the war with the Spanish, America also took Puerto Rico.
1898 The first country to establish modern social security New Zealand, who also pioneered many other social reforms, introduced modern social security in 1898. Centuries before that, many ancient cultures like the Sinhalese, have had their own system of Social security until the invaders destroyed them.
1898 Tamil rep & the British refuse Funds to Buddhist Pirivenas other than Parama Darma Chetiya. In 1878, British had decided to allow Rs.1000 per year to Parama Darma Chetiya. Twenty years later, on 28th July, A. Seneviratne appealed to the Legislative council to propose granting similar funding for all Buddhist Pirivenas recognised in the British Administration report of 1897. Ponnambalam Ramanathan, the Tamil rep of the council objected to this. He proposed that instead of funds to Pirivenas, it should be requested to include Sinhala and Tamil as subjects in the exams the elite faced in the University of London. The elite was only interested in their exams, while the Tamil extremists were interested in having a language spoken only by an 8% of the population as an equal language of the country.
1898 Kandyans claim the highest cast The dividing tactics of the British on the Sinhalese, made many selfish and foolish Sinhalese to look for all types of reasons to rise above the fellow Sinhalese. This pathetic effort reached another ugly height when T.B. Panabokke claimed that the highest caste of the Sinhalese, was the Upcountry Govigamas. It was a gross deviation from the glorious social system of the Anuradapura period when the highest place in the society was reserved for the truly noble, capable, outstanding, brave heroes who lived and died for the development and protection of the nation.
1898 British try to take Thuparamaya, refusing to honour Ancient Sanansa issued by Kings, that guarantee temple rights to the land. They destroy valuable archaeological evidence Under the excuse that any land that was NOT occupied or utilized for religious purposes should be a crown land, British tried to take Thuparamaya. British refused to honour or to accept the Lankan king's Sannasa that guaranteed the temple rights to the land. To evict a Siamese monk from Tuparamaya, colonial government declared the temple a crown land and evicted the monk. Declaring the same again, the hut of a residing Upasaka was demolished by the Sinhala Town Arachchi ( Town Chief appointed by the British) on another occasion. In this process, the British destroyed valuable archaeological evidence in the premises. All these led to Buddhist riots of 1903 in Anuradapura.
1898 British refuse to recognise more than two Buddhist temples in A'pura. All other sacred places are covered in jungle. Refusing to honour the ancient Sannasa issued by the Sinhala Kings, British recognised only two temples in Anuradapura to be qualified for the rights under the Temple Lands Commission established by the British in 1856. These two were Udamaluwa and the RuwanveliSeya. Many Atamastanayas( The eight Buddhist Holy sites), including the land surrounding Ruwanvelimahaseya, were covered in jungle. Buddhists would have to find enough resources to repair them as the state neglected them. All these led to Buddhist riots of 1903 in Anuradapura.
1898 British begin to demolish temples in Anuradapura. Monk buys the rubble in auction. British Colonial government refused to honour the ancient Sannasas issued by the Sinhala Kings, which assured the land rights of the temples. On the record was the permanent destruction of Meda Pansala in Anuradapura. It was forcibly demolished and pieces were bought back in the auction for scrap, by the Buddhist monk Ratanapala Anunayaka thero himself. All these led to Buddhist riots of 1903 in Anuradapura.
1898 British GA in Anuradapura demolishes Gonameriyava temple C.S. Vaughen-the British Government Agent in Anuradapura, declared that the Sannasa issued by the last king (SriVikrama Rajasinghe) for the 2000 acres of land belonging to Gonameriyava temple, was invalid. All these were done under the excuse that if a land was not occupied or utilized for religious purposes, it was a British crown land.
1898 British use stones of Buddhist temples to build roads, Even Archeologists ignore the destruction of MahaPadmaViharaya in A'pura British decided to use the good quality bricks and stones of Sinhala monuments to build roads. On the record is the British project of demolishing Maha Padma Viharaya in Anuradapura. They used workers to crush the stonepillars of the MahaPadmaViharaya, to be used as stones on the roads. Even H.C.P.Bell, the Archaeological Commissioner, when approached by the patriots, refused to stop the workers crushing the stonepillars of the MahaPadmaViharaya. British then removed these valuable archaeological findings away on carts, mostly to be neglected and destroyed elsewhere without any record. Many Buddhist monks appealed against this destruction without success. All these led to Buddhist riots of 1903 in Anuradapura.
1899 Tamil rep Ramanathan become the unofficial Buddhist rep in the council Ponnambalam Ramanathan (nephew of Sir Muttu Coomaraswamy) who was the Tamil rep in the council, spoke on behalf of the Buddhists. The selfish anglicized Sinhala rep didn't speak a word on behalf of the Buddhists. Buddhists would treat Ponnambalam Ramanathan as their representative, and remember him, even today in gratitude for this act. He was even considered by the Buddhists as their rep at that time.
1899 British claim that ethnic relations are far more cordial in Lanka than in any other colony Because of the silence of the Sinhala rep in the council, who represented the only downtrodden community who had reasons to complain, the British claimed that the ethnic relationship in Lanka was far more cordial than in any other colony. The British ignored the fact that they had dangerously changed the ethnic balance of the country by advancing the minorities into artificial heights and by suppressing the Sinhalese masses into misery. Nobody thought about the chaos that would arise on the day when these injustices would get corrected. Even the Sinhalese community had been divided by the British, using religion, caste, and education. Collaborators had been forced up the ladder of success, while the patriots had been brutally crushed.
1899 British establish public buildings on Atamasthanaya The British colonial government took no interest in protecting the Buddhist heritage. They didn't have any respect for the desperate requests made by the Buddhists. Almost all government buildings, official residences, markets, and schools were located in lands belonging to the Atamastanaya.
1899 First well organized Buddhist movement to protect Anuradapura Walisinghe Harishchandra, on request by Anagarika Darmapala, was sent to Anuradapura by the Mahabodi society to safeguard Buddhist monuments and interests. They wanted him to counter the threatening activities of the enemies.
1899 " We may not succeed, But we must try, and ten years later we might get what we try to achieve"- Anagarika Darmapala Advising why they should look at long-term objectives rather than short-term gains, in order to free the sacred ancient city of Anuradapura, Anagarika Darmapala said " We are quite powerless to stop theses acts of state vandalism, due to the high status of officials concerned. We may not succeed, But we must try, and ten years later we might get what we try to achieve."
1899 South African Boer war begins The South African War (1899-1902) was an agonizing conflict between the Dutch settlers (Afrikaners or Boers) and the British settlers (Uitlanders) who were backed by the British Empire. The discovery of gold in the region of Transvaal increased the greed of the British empire. The British started a campaign using the British settlers, led by Cecil Rhodes, premier of the Cape of Good Hope. They asked whole of South Africa to be declared a colony of the British Empire. The British Settlers in Traansvaal, refused to vote and revolted against the Dutch settlers government, complaining about heavy taxes. Dutch settlers under the leadership of Paul Kruger, formed an alliance with the Orange Free State (now Free State) and demanded the immediate removal of all British troops in the Transvaal. When this was ignored, the Afrikaners declared war on the British empire. They invaded the British Zulu Natal and Cape of good hope Colony.
1900 British send the Lankan collaborators to Boer War- First overseas war under British In 1910, the name of the Ceylon Light Infantry volunteers Force, was changed to Ceylon Defence Force. Some of these men were sent to fight in the Boer war in South Africa.
1900 Boxer rebellion fails in China Within just 40 years, Europeans gained control over China. European influence threatened the Chinese, through the collaborators like the Catholics in China. Concerned patriotic Chinese, who didn't have modern weapons, tried to chase the Europeans and Americans out, using their martial arts skills in unarmed combat, in a Boxer Rebellion. The Europeans easily defeated them.
1900 "Family tradition of loyal service to crown is more important than mediocre intellectual talents" - British silences Karawe caste British had divided the Lankan elite in an ugly manner, using the caste factor. Karawe caste members dominated the capitalist elite who were mainly Christians. They challenged the Govigama caste for the post of the Sinhalese in the legislative council. Karawe members were very strong financially and socially. Yet the British didn't want them to represent the Sinhalese. The British barred them. British were scared that the much-anglicized Karawe members could push for the independence. British promoted the faithful Govigama caste members as they collaborated without any condition, as long as the British looked after them. British said "Family tradition of loyal service to the crown is more important than mediocre intellectual talents".
1900 With the little money collected from poor Sinhala farmers, First Buddhist schools are established in Rajarata after many centuries with only three (3) rupees in the account, Mahabodi society in Rajarata managed to gather only Rs.9.45 from the poor Sinhalese in Rajarata. But within a year they collected enough money to establish the first two Buddhist schools in the North Central province and the North province. First school was established in Kekirawa, second was in Anuradapura. But poverty and Malaria affected the children's ability to attend school. Schools functioned only on donations as the parents had no money to give.
1901 Mahamevuna Uyana is discovered British archaeologist H.C.P. Bell discovered the ancient Royal park of the Sinhalese. He recorded that the ruins of the park was spread in an area of over 40 acres. One could only imagine the number of the secrets buried in this Royal park, which served the country for 1400 years. Even today, Archeologists continue to find astonishing archaeological evidence on the glory of the lost grand civilisation of the Sinhalese.
1901 British estimate the Lankan population to be 3.56 million British missed the Sinhalese living in remote corners of the land, which were inaccessible to the British. These figures obviously covered only the popular areas under the British administration. The population figures revealed an increase of over 260% in 50 years in these areas.
1901 British Census 1901 The census carried out by the British in 1901 gave the following religious statistics. Buddhists, 2,141,404; Hindus, 826,826; Christians, 349,239; Mohammedans, 246,188; others, 2,367. The Christians were: Catholics, 287,119; Anglicans, 32,514; Presbyterians, 3337; Wesleyan Methodists, 14,991; Baptists, 3309, Congregationalists, 2446.
1901 Anuradapura Buddhist Defence council is established After 2 years of organizing, the Buddhist Defence council in Anuradapura, fought for the protection of sacred places. Chief Buddhist monk of Atamastanaya was the president of the council. V.Harishchandra was the secretary. They planned to appoint island-wide local managers to expand further.
1901 Battle of the Adahana Maluwa - British who refused rebuilding of the monastery, decides to build the Medical officers Bungalow on the Adahana Maluwa, a sacred land in Anuradapura. Few years earlier, the chief monk of Atamastanaya had applied for British permission to rebuild the ancient monastery of AdahanaMaluwa in Anuradapura. The British Government refused this request. When the British planned to establish more Government offices on this sacred land, the monks protested. Determined to erect the office buildings, the British colonial government divided the land into two sectors. They said that the Buddhists could have the western half and the British government would build offices in the eastern half. Buddhists were angry. V.Harishchandra's followers prepared the land to rebuild the monastery, repeatedly claiming that it was a Buddhist sacred land. The colonial government repeatedly brought down their nameboard “Mahabodi Society”. Everytime the name board was destroyed, the Buddhist patriots erected
the board again in the night. These arguments and the war of petitions dragged on for 3 years, finally exploding in the climactic Anuradapura riots of 1903.
1901 Exploitation of Arab oil by European Merchants begins In 1901, a British named William Knox D'Arcy got the Shah of Iran to sign a trade agreement. Just for a payment of £20,000 in cash and £20,000 in company shares, D'Arcy received exclusive rights to search for, dig and sell petroleum products found anywhere in the Persian Empire. He was to only 16 per cent of his profits to the Shah. With this very lucrative deal, he managed to exploit the Arab oil.
1902 British, using Scorched Earth policy and concentration camps, wins the Boer War in South Africa The Dutch-settlers, known as the Boers or the Afrikaners, won many battles initially. But the British reinforcements under Kitchener and Roberts, landed in 1900. Afrikaners were gradually overwhelmed. British tactics included the “scorched earth policy”, which destroyed the Dutch settlers economically. Captured Dutch settlers were imprisoned in concentration camps. Unable to continue, in May 1902 the Dutch settlers signed the Treaty of Vereeniging, ending the Boer war. They lost both Transvaal and the Orange Free State to the British.
1902 John Ferguson records the reluctance for reforms by the Sinhalese elite John Ferguson, owner editor of the Ceylon Observer, who was also an unofficial European representative in the council, noted that " the Sinhala elite is our greatest difficulty in pushing for reforms. Obeysekera ( Govigama caste Sinhala rep in the council ) objects to local elections & James pieris ( Karawe caste) does not even reply. They do not want power to be transferred to their own countrymen"
1903 Population in Colombo is 6000
1903 Sinhalese villagers are trapped among tea estates. Tea estates had covered over 400,000 acres of land. That was twice the size of the Coffee plantations. On an average, until 1897, 20,000 acres were becoming tea estates every year. Remaining Sinhalese villagers were then surrounded in a sea of tea plantations. Villagers had to cross tea estates in order to get to the villages. Many estates then had gate closing times. Anyone attempting to cross after hours could be shot. Some tea estates charged a fee to open the gate.
1903 Why did Don Senanayake's ( father of D.S) Temperance Society, fail ? Their meetings drew over 20,000 at a time when the population in Colombo was only 6000. Unfortunately, the society didn't get the support of the non-Buddhists who feared that it would give rebirth to the Buddhist nationalism. Without the support of the non-Buddhists the society could not progress as there weren't many genuine Buddhist patriots in the elite.
1903 The Aircrafts : First power-driven, heavier-than-air flying machine Although the hot air Balloons were in use since 1783 AD, there weren't any power-driven, heavier-than-air machines to fly. Wilbur and Orville Wright, two American brothers, invented the first practical aircraft. On 17 the December, 1903, Orville Wright flew in their flying machine for 12 seconds at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Within 12 more months, these two brothers advanced their aircraft so that it could stay aloft, and turn and bank. Other aircrafts were then designed and within a few years, aircrafts were carrying mail, crossing the English Channel, and fighting in the World War I, which would begin in 1914.
1903 9th June-Anuradapura Riots- frustrations of a helpless and downtrodden community, are let loose…..& then the British are ready to consider the Buddhists rights Mudaliyar Amarasekera, a town chief appointed by the British, knocked over an old women while trying to ride his carriage carelessly through a pilgrimage crowd in Anuradapura. Without stopping to treat the old lady, he continued to his house. Angry by his arrogance and careless attitude, the husband of the woman and some of the other pilgrims went to protest in front of the house. The Mudaliyar came out with his thugs and assaulted the protestors. Angry locals then attacked his house and other places within the sacred city in order to clear the area. Around 34 rioters were sent to prison for up to 3 years.
1903 Anuradapura Riots- British exaggerate the damage to the Church The situation got out of hand as rioters led by a Ratwatte Rate Mahattaya, another chief appointed by the British, attacked the Roman Catholic church severely assaulting and causing serious injuries to Rev. Father Raux. The Church was famous for their silence on Buddhist rights and support to the British. Later the British suspended this Ratwatte Rate Mahattaya for not being on leave from duty and by coming to Anuradapura for no official reason. But considering the loyal service of his father as a Mudaliyar, British gave him back the job. The damage to the church was exaggerated many times and was upto nine times of the second biggest damage claimed in the riot.
1903 British favours the collaborator families and imprison Sinhalese patriots Though the British colonial government suspended Ratwatte Rate Mahattaya for not being on leave from duty by coming to Anuradapura for no official reason, considering the loyal service of his father as a Mudaliyar to the British, British gave Ratwatte Rate Mahattaya, who attacked the Roman Catholic church, severely assaulting and causing serious injuries to Rev.Father Rauxhim, back his job. Other Sinhala commoners were punished and imprisoned.
1903 Governer asks Buddhists to pay compensation to the damaged Church before granting sufficient land rights to the temples It was only after the Anuradapura riots, the British decided to consider the rights of the Buddhists. Yet it was unfair to tax the whole of Buddhist community for the damage caused to a church by a convicted group of people who had already been fined and punished by the courts. The damage to the church was exaggerated many times and was upto nine times of the second biggest damage claimed in the riot. This vindictive punishment irritated the Buddhists again.
1904 Japanese victory against Russia surprises the world The whole world was surprised in 1904 at the end of the Russo-Japanese War. Japan unexpectedly humiliated the much larger Russian Empire with brilliant tactics. This was the first Asian victory over a European super power in nearly 450 years.
1904 Celebrations in Lanka for the Japanese victory Supporting the Asian Buddhist Japanese, Sinhala associations collected money for Japan. Japanese war hero’s photos were sold in the streets of Colombo. 15,000 copies of the famous Japanese War Hero Meesen were sold in one day. Sinhala leaders organized rallies in Colombo to celebrate the Japanese victory. These rallies were attended by a lot of patriotic Buddhist monks. Anagarika Darmapala spoke at these meetings, saying the Lankans should take Japanese as an example, as they had exposed the myth of the European invincibility.
1904 British newspapers make fun of the selfish Sinhala elite of Ceylon "Ceylon is Our Happy Possession, While other colony's make noise for more reforms, Ceylon makes Money". This appeared in Daily Graphics, a British newspaper commenting on the silence of the Sinhala elite who was not interested in more reforms on the legislative council.
1904 Sinhala elite refuse a seat for the low-country Sinhalese John Ferguson( a European rep in council) requested for a seat to be created to represent the low-country Sinhalese in the legislative council. He was obviously worried about the very unpatriotic selfish collaboration by the Sinhala rep. But there was no one to second it. Obeysekera, the Sinhala rep even objected to it.
1904 "Sinhala elite cant match the intellectuality or maturity of the Tamil reps"-says European reps John Ferguson ( a European rep in council) noted that none of the Sinhala elite, groomed by the British, could match the intellectuality or the maturity of the Tamil reps. He even recorded that it was the Tamil rep who had to speak on behalf of the rights of the Buddhist as the totally Anglican Sinhala rep did not even speak on Buddhist rights.
1904 Frustrated by the British favours to Govigama, Elite of the low-country Sinhalese, decided to neglect the national struggle and concentrated on moneymaking. Having failed in their attempts to represent the low country Sinhalese, the low country Sinhala elite became more interested in the very lucrative trade opportunities ( plantation agriculture, liquor, coconut, rubber ) than pursuing national interests. They gradually deviated themselves away from the national liberation or political struggle for the Sinhalese. While other communities established their stance on their rights, this left a vacuum for the leadership of the Sinhalese. Leaderless and powerless, Sinhala people and their rights, were ignored and forgotten. It also left the door open to any liar with ulterior motives, to step in to benefit from being the Sinhala leader. The sad plight of the once proud and mighty Sinhala civilisation, continues even today.
1904 Northern Tamils take maximum advantage of the Missionary Schools in the North Meanwhile the Tamils in the north had made maximum use of the education opportunity they had in the Missionary schools of the peninsula. These schools had made Jaffna to have the highest literacy rate in Lanka. These Tamil graduates, as Lanka didn't have enough positions for them, began to migrate to Asia and Africa for jobs.
1904 Tamil Nationalism is imported from South India The Tamil graduates from the northern Missionary Schools, who migrated to Asia, Africa and South India for jobs, brought back feelings of Tamil nationalism. It attracted many support as the weak Sinhalese were not able to protest or to oppose. The Tamil elite whether as a Hindu or as a Christian, was far less anglicised than the Sinhala elite. They pushed for and bargained with the British, establishing their rights and control in their areas and over the people. They would even get the railway built to Jaffna in the following year.
1904 Tamil elite is the Most Powerful next to the Burghers As the Tamil elite outnumbered the smaller Sinhalese elite in Colombo in almost every sphere, they became the biggest competitors to the Burghers who could not match them in this race. British began to notice the Tamil reps as the most intriguing community in Lanka. Tamil rep in the legislative council, Sir Muttu Coomaraswamy, and his successors kept up their support for the European reps who were pushing for the reforms. As the Tamil elite began to push for reforms, the British realised that they were tough customers to deal with or to cheat.
1905 War with Japan cripples Russian power Russian power established by the Peter the Great declined after the defeat in the Russo-Japanese War in 1904-1905, which ended in disaster. This encouraged the Russian Revolution of 1905.
1905 Irrigation Dept is established & why did it fail ? This only increased the area of cultivations. The cultivating techniques were not made efficient. That led to the productivity becoming the lowest in Asia. Because of that, it failed to improve the investment in irrigation works. This enabled imported cheap rice from Burma being easily available and many migrants and the upper classes choosing the imported rice. Growing other crops became more profitable for the farmers. Irrigation revival alone, was not enough. They needed research and development work, in order to stay in competition with the rest of the world, which the British ignored.
1905 First dedicated Cinemas ( They had no sounds till 1927 ) 10 years after the invention of the film projector, there were enough films to introduce full-time cinemas. The first dedicated cinemas were introduced in USA. Then the film production spread rapidly to France, Britain, Italy, Denmark, and Germany.
1905 Jaffna railway is opened The Tamil elite whether as a Hindu or as a Christian, was far less anglicised than the Sinhala elite. They pushed for and bargained with the British, establishing their rights and control in their areas and over the people. They even got the British to build the railway to Jaffna, while the Sinhala elite was enjoying the fruits of unpatriotic collaboration in their selfish fantasy world.
1905 Rubber Boom Expanding motor vehicle industry in Europe pushed the Rubber prices up.
1905 Drumming case in Anuradapura - exactly why the Buddhists asked the sacred city to be left alone The British colonial government had housed the government officials in the sacred city of Anuradapura ignoring the protests made by the Buddhists. Some officials, mainly Europeans and Catholics, started to complain about the Buddhist drumming in the temples, saying that they couldn't sleep in the night. British quickly introduced a law prohibiting Buddhists to drum after 9pm. Buddhists were unhappy and angry. In defiance, the drummers from Kurunegala drummed through out the night and were taken into custody by the colonial police.
1905 Drumming case in Anuradapura - British GA personally picks on the Buddhists Buddhists organised a procession to welcome the famous Buddhist monk, Hikkaduwe Sumangala thero in Anuradapura. Vigors, the British GA for Anuradapura, who had a reputation for his discrimination against the Buddhists, walked in with the police to ban the procession, saying that they should have obtained a license for drumming. Buddhist monks calmed down the angry Buddhist people and accepted the ruling peacefully.
1905 Drumming case in Anuradapura - " Bo-Maluwa is not a religious area " -says British as GA & police walk in with their shoes on When drumming started in Udamaluwa the same night, British GA and the police walked into Udamaluwa with their shoes on, to arrest the drummers. When many People protested to this disrespectful act, a Police Sergeant and a constable started to assault them. Two Sinhalese then hit back, injuring the policemen. 5 people, including 3 drummers, were arrested and fined. British Government defended the arrogance of the British GA saying that the Bo-Maluwa was not a religious worshipping area.
1907 First woman to receive the British Order of Merit - Florence Nightingale After returning to England from the Crimean War, she had established a nursing school in 1860. In 1907, she became the first woman to receive the British Order of Merit. She is regarded as the founder of modern nursing.
1907 Muslims prohibit any noise near the mosque in Gampola - result of British Arrogance in Anuradapura A signboard was put up at the mosque on Ambagamuwa street, in Gampola, prohibiting anybody making any noise within 100 yards of the mosque. When the annual Buddhist procession from Gangatileke temple in Gampola, arrived, as it had done for the last 800 years, the first Sinhalese-Muslim ethnic riots would start. This is a classic example to show how the British were responsible for the ethnic imbalance and the ruined harmony in Lanka. The selfish elements in the minorities, had dared to challenge the rights of the weak Sinhalese.
1907 British who refused to build a public pilgrim house, build a rest house for the comforts of visiting European visitors in Anuradapura British had refused to grant funds to build a public pilgrim house in Anuradapura. When many Europeans were interested to witness the great archaeological findings in Anuradapura, the British decided to build a rest house for the Europeans on the same spot. Near the banks of TissaWeva, British spent 50,000 Rupees of public money, to build a rest house for the comfort of visiting Europeans. This made Buddhists very angry. They had been asking for a public pilgrim house for the welfare of the Buddhist visitors.
1907 British challenge the poor Buddhists to raise money to build a pilgrims rest To calm down the Buddhists, devious British Government finally said that they would provide the land "IF" Buddhists could come up with the money to build it. With almost all of the Sinhala elite simply being NOT interested, poor Buddhists couldn't raise that kind of money.
1907 The British introduce the words “Buddhist Extremists” as Governer lies about the Meat Stall near the sacred Bo tree. Replying to a written Buddhist request to get the meat stall removed from the sacred Bo-tree area, the Colonial government said that it was an attempt engineered by the Buddhist "extremists". They also said that the Governer on his visit personally witnessed that it was nowhere near a shrine. ( yeah, it was only just another "tree" it was close to.) This "Buddhist extremist" term will become favourite words of those who try to rip off Lanka in the decades to come. Whenever the Sinhala Buddhists try to speak against injustice or unfair deals, they will be labelled with this term.
1908 "Even in UK, British citizens don’t get things done by sitting quiet" This was a sarcastic remark appeared in the Ceylon Morning Herald. The British journalist was obviously surprised with the silence of the Sinhalese elite about what was going on.
1910 Rubber takes the Second place Rubber becomes the second highest income earner next to Tea, replacing Coconut.
1910 Vo Nguyen Giap, the Greatest Strategist since Napoleon, is born in Vietnam. Vo Nguyen Giap, the greatest military strategist since Napoleon, is born in Vietnam. He would transform the patriotic Vietnamese farmers into a tough fighting force. They would defeat two World Superpowers, the French and the Americans, who tried to exploit their country by creating collaborators. After serving his country, he would go back to his farm as a farmer.
1910 Chilaw & Jaffna Associations - Only two elite social groups to push for reforms Chilaw and Jaffna Associations became the only two elite social groups to publicly push for reforms. But they were too local and were too few to apply enough pressure.
1910 Japan takes Korea
1910 Best standard of living for the ruling & collaborating elite in South Asia & South East Asia. Along with Singapore & Malaysia, Lanka enjoyed the best standard of living for the ruling and the collaborating elite in South Asia and in South East Asia. Native planters, investors, peasants played the key role in the economy. They became specialists in their jobs, increasing the productivity. But the British collected the profits. British handed over a smaller portion from these massive profits, which were in some instances exceeded 3200% profit, to the local elite, while peasants and the hard-workers received only a pittance.
1910 Very Low taxes for the elite, Very high taxes for the masses : Lankan elite and their Colonial masters were well off at the expense of the hard working and oppressed peasants. The elite and the European businessmen had extraordinary low taxes to pay compared to the very high income they received in tea, coffee, rubber, cinnamon, graphite mining, and in arrack sales. Land was easily accessible to them through government auctions and sales. But the farmers and the masses were taxed at a higher rate, without mercy. There was a cunning and a shrewd tax process in place.
1910 British sponsored Kandyan Govigama elite now talks of a separate Kandyan state: British taught Kandyans( 24%) to despise the low-country Sinhalese(43%). This gave Tamils(10%) the mentality of a large community Instead of pressing for more reforms and total independence of the country, the British-backed Kandyan Govigama elite, due to the silence of the Karawe caste who were busy making money, thought of Kandyan supremacy. John Halangoda cliamed in public that the Kandyans were a different race, and that they needed a separate state. This isolated the low country Singhalese who were 43% of the population. This gave ideas to the 10% Tamil community, who appeared larger than life due to this Sinhalese disunity.
1911 Third Chinese Catholic rebellion become successful : Sun Yat Sen grabs power from Manchu China, with American help On 10th October, 1911, the Catholic followers of Sun Yat Sen, who had rebelled 15 years ago to grab power, again rebelled to grab China. Unable to resist, the weakened Manchu's agreed to hand over China to the Catholic rebels in return for the guarantee of their safety. After the successful rebellion, Sun Yat Sen "returned from America" to become the head of the new Republic of China. As the internal power struggles continued in the new government, the local warlords began to rule the provinces. China with this ineffective central government, would continue until Mao Tse Tung united the Chinese under one rule in 1952.
1911 "Sinhala country should be ruled by the Sinhalese" Anagarika Darmapala addressed the Sinhalese saying that the Sinhalese should rule the Sinhala country, for only they could restore the ultimate fairness and justice with their Buddhist philosophy.
1911 Highest population Growth in Asia - Population shoot up to 4,106,300 Population estimates at the time showed a dramatic increase. This was both by natural increase and the immigration from South India. Due to the massive profits returned by the Lankan products, even the little the British gave to the locals was enough to make the economy better. This is an indication of the wealth of the resources Sri Lanka had, which had made Lanka a developed nation 1000 years ago.
1911 Internal Migration into Colombo & Hill country Flourishing plantations and trade activities in Colombo attracted more Traders, Craftsmen, and Technicians from other areas.
1912 Dept of Agriculture is formed
1912 Clash at Gampola Mosque : Muslim extremists dare to challenge the Buddhists for the First time in history Taking advantage of the British arrogant attitude towards the Buddhists in the Anuradapura Drumming Case, a signboard had been put up at the mosque on Ambagamuwa street, in Gampola, prohibiting anybody making any noise within 100 yards of the mosque. Five years after the placement of this noticeboard, the Muslim extremists, who obviously had forgotten all the sacrifices the Sinhalese had done for them, blocked the Buddhist procession from the Gangatileke temple. Elikewela who was the Basnayaka Nilame of the Gangatileke temple led the precession through the Muslim protesters saying that no one should stop an 800 years old Buddhist tradition.
1912 Clash at Gampola Mosque : British listens to the Muslims Muslims complained to the British GA for Kandy, P.S. Saxton that the Buddhists were behaving badly. They claimed that Buddhists were making insulting noises near the mosque. British imposed a Govt rule that no noise must happen within a 50 yards radius of the mosque, and threatened to ban the temple procession if it breaks the rule again. Elikewela, Basnayaka Nilame, through T.B.Nugawela- Diyawadane Nilame of Dalada Maligawa, complained to the British GA in Kandy, asking how an 800-year-old traditional procession became a problem to the mosque when the Christian church on the same street was not complaining.
1912 Clash at Gampola Mosque : Arrogant British GA increased the limit from 50 to 100 yards When Elikewela went to see British GA for Kandy, P.S. Saxton to remind him that the British were breaking the promise they made in the 5th chapter, of the Kandyan Convention of 1815, angry British GA extended the limit from 50 years to 100 yards.
1912 Foolish Caste Competition of the Sinhalese : Govigama Supremacists support a Tamil H.U.P. Jayawardana ( JR Jayawardana's uncle), wanted to beat the Sinhala contestant Marcus Fernando of Karawe caste in the contest for the educated Ceylonese post, (which had been created by the Macculum proposals in 1911). He even went to India to invite Ponnambalam Ramanathan to contest against the Sinhala candidate, whom the Govigama Kandyan supremacists saw as a low caste. Family members of both Jayawardana and Senanayaka families were at the harbour to welcome P. Ramanadan, who went on to win the post. This gave the Tamil extremists an idea about the power they had in their hands.
1912 15th April, Alcohol Act passes thru the council without any objections from the Sinhala rep Sinhala rep, Christopher obeysekera, (grandfather of SWRD Bandaranayaka), remained silent as the alcohol act passed through the council.
1912 Bars and Meat Stalls in front of Sri Maha Bodiya, Jethavanaramaya, Tuparamaya, and Ruwanvelimahaseya. The Alcohol act allowed Bars to be opened in front of Sri Maha Bodiya, and Beef, Mutton, Venison stalls to be opened near Jethavanaramaya, Tuparamaya, and Ruwanvelimahaseya. Mostly the Muslim traders did these. Their disrespect towards Buddhists would lead to ethnic clashes between Buddhists and Muslims.
1913 Temperance society : a classic example of how British had successfully divided the society to their advantage The few Non-Buddhists in the society did not want to criticise the Missionaries or their sinister activities. The Europeans didn't like public meetings or political demonstrations. Traditional elite does not want reforms to the legislative council. Nationalists wanted only to place more reps in the council. But Buddhists were pushing for the ultimate all the way. They could go nowhere.
1913 British ban civil servants & village chiefs from joining the temperance movement The civil servants had to get permission before joining the Temperance movement. The Village chiefs were banned from joining.
1913 "No one is complaining or unhappy in Lanka" Lack of one strong sentiment from the locals, enabled the British to claim that Lankans were happy the way the things were.
1913 Passing away of Walisinghe Harishchandra due to cancer He was the man who gave leadership to the Buddhist revival and the socially downtrodden Sinhalese masses. He did that while a new wave of collaborating Sinhalese Headmen and village chiefs appointed by the British, stayed silent despising the masses. He passed away on 13th September. His leadership, through the confrontations in 1903 Anuradapura riots and 1905 Udamaluwa incident, led to the survival of Anuradapura for the future generations.
1913 Catholic Church and the elite protest about having to send their children to the proposed public University. This will delay the university for 29 years. On 2nd December, 1913, in a letter signed by the Archbishop and the provincial Bishops, the Roman Catholic Church objected to the proposed Public University of Lanka. They said "We cannot agree to the compulsory requirement of our Catholic boys and girls to enter this university for their higher studies". Governer Robert Chalmers received many such objections from the Church members and the elite who feared that the children of the common people might enter this university. Their hair-splitting arguments continued for 29 more years in a country, which once had a university for every 12 kilometers. Only on 1st July, 1942 Lanka would get their university.
1913 Some Lankans think the people are NOT mature enough to study…….!!!! Among the objections the Governer Robert Chalmers received regarding the proposed Public university were some classic examples to show the selfishness and the insecurity of the new artificial elite who prospered by collaboration. Some Lankans objected to the setting up of the first public university, saying Lanka didn't need a university as people were not mature enough to study in a university yet. The arguments continued for 29 more years. Only on 1st July, 1942 Lanka would get their public university under the British.
1914 World War -1: Germany declares war on France and Britain In 1914, Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria, was assassinated in Sarajevo, Serbia. Austria, backed by Germany, threatened Serbia. England and France announced their support for Serbia. On 3rd August, Germany declared war on France. Initially, German Army moved quickly into France, threatening to take even Paris. But the French finally forced the Germans back. During the next four years the two sides held opposing lines of trenches, which stretched from the North Sea to Switzerland. These lines moved hardly at all throughout the 4 years of fighting.
1914 Clash at Gampola Mosque : Nilame Elikewela goes to courts against the British GA- Sinhala rep in the council is totally silent AGAIN In the ongoing issue of the signboard put up by the mosque, the arrogant British GA had extended the no-noise limit from 50 to 100 yards. Elikewela, Basnayaka Nilame, took the matter to courts. Christopher Obeysekera, ( Grandfather of SWRD Bandaranayaka) who was the sole Sinhala rep in the council, didn't speak a word to defend the Buddhists. Anagarika Darmapala campaigned hard. Buddhists won the case on 4th June.
1914 Clash at Gampola Mosque : 14th June, British GA, supported by Muslim & Christian extremists, appeal against the ruling. Many social, political and religious leaders from the minority communities in Lanka, had developed the habit of uniting together to despise Sinhala Buddhist rights. Unchallenged by the so-called Sinhala elite, they continued their mean onslaught against the Buddhists, until their propaganda took firm root as nothing but the truth.
1915 Young Lanka League -1st radical group with a political program for independence, But they forget to rally the upcountry Indian workers under them A.E.Goonesinghe, whose lonely efforts for 12 years were hardly supported by any other reformist or the elites or the National congress, set up Young Lanka League. Young Lanka League gave leadership to the urban working class. They also formed the urban trade unions, which made the strikes and work stoppages, a reality. But the league did one fatal mistake. They forgot to unionise the Indian workers in the hill country. This left a vacuum for the selfish Indian Tamil leaders to group them separately as an ethnic workers union in 1935.
1915 2nd Feb- British GA in Kandy wins the appeal & overjoyed Muslim extremists attack Buddhists On 2nd February, the Supreme Court decided that the British GA's 100 yards of no-noise zone around the mosque must stay. Such rulings gave confidance to minority extremists to humiliate and despise the rights of the Sinhalese. Jubilant Muslims, humiliated Buddhist Monks. Extremist Muslims attacked 2 houses in Kurunegala and Polgahawela during Pirith and Dana ceremonies. Muslim extremists also attacked some Sinhalese shops, which were in direct competition with Muslim traders.
1915 British favours Muslims: Sinhalese anger and frustration begin to boil 27 the Feb- Muslim thugs assaulted the Buddhist Upasampada procession at Teligamuwa. One monk was assaulted until he fell unconscious. A young Sinhalese who tried to protect the Samadi Budda statue was assaulted and the Muslim thugs broke the statue into pieces. In courts, Muslims lied that the procession made a big noise when passing a mosque, while there wasn't even a mosque at that time in any of the places where the incidents took place. There was only a Muslim school in the village. Realising Muslims thuggery couldn't be justified, British ignored to investigate further. British as usual, stayed lenient to Muslims. They only advised the Muslims not to be violent again. Then, British dismissed the case. But, helpless against continuing injustices and humiliation in their own country, Sinhalese anger and frustration began to boil.
1915 British orders the Vesak "DanSela" to be cancelled following Muslim complains of loss of profits those nights 26th May : Sinhala traders in Kandy and the Kandyan Buddhist Association organised a Dansela ( A free offer of food to the pilgrims) for the 30th time on the Vesak festival. Muslim traders complained to the British that the Buddhists were doing this with the intention of closing their businesses. They also complained that they could earn a lot of business those nights if not for the Dan Sela. They also protested that the Dansela was only important for the Buddhists, not for the Muslims. British ordered Dansela to be cancelled. Kandy municipal authority stated that "Muslims should not be suffering in business just because Buddhists celebrate Vesak and this decision was taken for the economic reasons on behalf of the Muslims grievances".
1915 28th may- Overjoyed by British leniency, confident Muslim extremists abuse & attack Buddhists Overjoyed by the British leniency, Muslims thugs assaulted and insulted many peaceful Buddhist pilgrims who were visiting Kandy. The nightmail train to Kandy was full of organised Muslim thug gangs who started many quarrels with the youngmen of the Sinhala families in the train. In Akurana, Muslim thugs threatened the Buddhists saying that the tooth relic in Kandy would be destroyed that night. Some Buddhists who were only used to peaceful temples, were too frightened and went back home without visiting temples. British had assigned only 5 policemen on duty in Kandy.
1915 28th may- Ambush of Buddhist pilgrims near the infamous mosque in Gampola : In the morning the Sinhalese were seen attending to the wounded Muslims. Such was the Sinhala Buddhist way. After midnight, a Bullock cart full of Buddhist pilgrims were on their way back to Gampola from Kandy. It was ambushed within 120 yards of the infamous mosque by the Muslim thugs. A 16-year-old A. Rathnayaka who later became a rep of the upcountry council, was one who survived the assault by hiding by the roadside. He witnessed everything in detail. He saw the mob assaulting even the children. Thugs burnt the cart. Within hours, angry Sinhala youths surrounded the mosque that night. Shots were fired at them from inside the mosque. Sinhala youths stormed the mosque. But they were controlled and were stopped by the Sinhala elders. Colonial police arrived to establish order.
1915 Sinhalese make a human shield around Dalada Medura as Muslim extremists protected by British threaten to destroy Dalada 29th May- Taking the threats made by the Muslim thugs seriously, angry Sinhalese gathered around the Temple of the Tooth relic in Kandy to prevent any Muslim attacks on Dalada. They believed that the British who had then displayed total leniency to Muslims, would do nothing to safeguard the tooth relic. Many Sinhalese swore to die protecting the tooth relic.
1915 Kandy Sinhala-Muslim clash : 10 years of Muslim provocations cause riots 29th May- Clashes occurred between the Sinhalese pilgrims and the Muslim thugs in Kandy. At 11 am on Dalada Veediya, 200 meters from Dalada Maligawa, Muslim thugs isolated and stabbed a 17-year-old Sinhala youth until he was dead. Then they ripped the intestines out to generate fear among the Buddhist pilgrims. Police did not try to find the assassins. Instead, police tried to disperse the crowd of angry Sinhalese by force. Sinhala elite in Kandy joined the police, requesting people to go home. Angry people found one Muslim thug who had killed 3 Sinhalese, including a baby and an Upasaka( a Buddhist practising Dasa-sil, the 10 disciplines), and killed him. Several Muslim shops went up in flames in Kandy. Even some of the police got assaulted. One British soldier was thrown into the Kandy lake.
1915 Sinhala-Muslim riots -caused by the unpopular acts of the Moors that victimize Sinhalese; British take the side of the Moors & massacre many Sinhalese On the commemoration of the 100 years since the Kandyan convention, the burning rift between the Sinhala and the newly migrated Moors from the Malabar coast in India ( who practised giving credit at unreasonable high rates, and who were very unpopular because of their competing tactics with the low country Sinhalese) brought them into conflict. British took the side of the Moors. British, treating it as an organized conspiracy against the crown, used forces to mercilessly crush it, killing many Sinhalese. British introduced new rules that gave British officials the freedom to commit terrible crimes against Sinhala civilians.Years long attempts by the few patriotic Sinhalese elite, to bring the injustices to the attention of London never worked.
1915 31st May-Riots spread to Colombo as Muslim traders raise prices ; In the real Sinhala Buddhist way, temples become havens for displaced Muslims. In response to the riots, Muslim traders who had near monopoly on the retail business, doubled their prices. Arguments between them and Sinhalese led to further clashes. By noon clashes took place in Maradana, Slave island, and Kotahena. Unhappy with the competitiveness of the Muslims, Christians supported the Sinhalese. In Denagama and Kosgoda, two "notorious" racist British officials were killed. But Buddhist monks and genuine Sinhala leaders managed to stop every Sinhala reaction by the 1st June. Again, showing the real Sinhala Buddhist way, temples became havens for some displaced Sinhalese and Muslims alike. That was the good old Sinhalese way.
1915 Sinhala elderly request Sinhala young men to disperse On 31st May and 1st June, Sinhala young men gathered to protest in Colombo. But Sinhala elders got them to disperse. British closed both bridges at Kelaniya and Moratuwa to stop Sinhala crowds advancing on the capital city.
1915 A German battleship come close to Lanka- Frightened British arrest Lankans with German connections 2nd June - A German battleship came close to Ceylon. Frightened British began to crack down on Lankans with German connections. They arrested Albert Wijesekera, Brother-in-law of the British army officer Henry Pedris, whose family had many business contacts with Germany, including a showroom in Munich. In prison, he died of weakness caused by the lack of food.
1915 Martial law is declared after the riots are over to massacre the known Sinhalese patriots 2nd June - Calculating and devious British now moved in for the kill. Making maximum use of the opportunity, British used the Sinhala-Muslim clash as an excuse to assassinate all known genuine Sinhala patriots in the provincial towns and villages. ( The riots had ended by the 1st June) Using Marati, Punjab, Tamil, Malay, and collaborating Sinhala troops, they killed, at will, any one on tips given by the local Muslims, village chiefs, Burghers and Catholics. Muslims used this opportunity to get rid of their local business rivals. Even "Hiramanaya" in the kitchen was declared an illegal weapon, as a desperate excuse to kill many patriots. Many who had hiramanaya in the kitchen were killed for having weapons. Official records indicate that 4885 Sinhalese were arrested. Of them, only 3573 had been produced in courts. There is no record to show what happened to the balance 1312. Official British Army records showed 66 Sinhalese were killed. Secret British police claimed only 107 Sinhalese were killed. British Government claimed that only 39 Sinhalese were killed.
1915 Sinhala villagers lost their house and land if they couldn't pay compensation to Muslims British also recovered the compensation to be paid to the Muslims from the Sinhala villages. If the villager couldn't pay, he would lose the land and the house.
1915 A "14 year old Tibet monk" witness the brutality of the British 2nd July- British stormed Rathgama Aranya to arrest the Buddhist monks. Buddhist monk Gnanatilaka and four German tourists meditating in the Aranya, were arrested. A 14-year-old young Tibet monk watched that brutal treatment. He would grow up, trying his best all his life, to get Sinhalese back on the track. He would be known as S. Mahinda thero.
1915 Henry Pedris, and two more Sinhala soldiers ( one is known only as a Samarasinghe from Matara, and the second still unknown) who refused to shoot the Sinhala civilians, are arrested 2nd july -Valentine Jayawardana, Eden Wlfred Jayawardana, Junius Clintus Jayawardana, 3 officers ( "Bappas" of J.R.Jayawardana who will ironically, without shame, declared open Henry Pedris statue on 7th July 1978 on Isipatana Mawatha, Col-5 ) who were shooting the Sinhala crowd, arrested the Army officer Henry Pedris, son of a successful business family, and two more Sinhala soldiers for refusing to shoot at Sinhala civilians. British imprisoned him in a dark cell in Magazine prison. Same day, the British military court decided he must face the firing squad on the 8th. He listened to the verdict calmly, and asked for 5 requests. To see parents once, to offer an Ata-pirikara to a Bikku, to be shot by Punjab troops, to host a last-farewell party to the fellow officers in the armed forces, and finally to have his body buried in his family cemetery. British allowed him only the 2nd & the 4th requests, (to offer a Ata-pirikara to a Bikku and to host a last-farewell party to the fellow officers in the armed forces).
1915 4th july- Mother collapses seeing Henry Pedris in the cell Mother of Henry Pedris, visited her heroic son in the cell, with her husband and the daughter. She was shocked to see the dirty clothes and the sorry state of her son who was locked up in a dark cell like an animal.
1915 6th July- School children protest in the streets asking for the release of Henry Pedris Students of Royal college, St.Thomas, Ananda and many other schools were on the streets with black armbands.
1915 British conspiracy to assassinate Henry Pedris without waiting for the due date That night S.L. Doubgin ( the Police chief) visited Magazine prison and instructed the prison officers to kill Pedris following morning without waiting for another 24 hours. He said that it was too risky to wait till the 6th.
1915 "Shoot, I'm ready, shoot" -7.28am on 7th July- Killing of Henry Pedris and the other two Sinhala soldiers In the morning a prison official named Olnett opened the cell door, and grabbed Henry Pedris by the little beard and the chin and said " Lets go". He was marched through the other arrested patriots like John de Silva ( who had tears flowing down his cheeks ), F.R. Senanayake ( who had placed his face on John De Silva's shoulder and cried), A.E. Goonesinghe said "You are my hero" when Pedris passed him. 7.28am, he was seated on a chair in his army uniform. He refused to bind his eyes as did Puran Appu, and said " shoot, I'm ready, shoot". Hearing the gunshots, D.S. Senanayake placed his head on A.E. Gonesinghe's lap and cried for hours. D.S.Senanayaka would not speak to anyone for hours. F.R. Senanayake wept holding the chest. Prison official Olnett said " there your Pedris was shot" as he walked pass them with 2 more officials carrying the bloody chair, to John de Silva.
1915 Hero's body disappears from the prison As crowds gathered near the prison, the government refused to honour his last request and the body disappeared from the prison premises. Parents pleaded for the body. But they would not get the body. British refused to hand over the body. It is believed that the British secretly buried it somewhere in a cemetery using some faithful officials who remained tight-lipped about the location.
1915 9th July, R.A.Mirando, Sinhala Buddhist leader, is assassinated by the British officials He was the one who had replaced the vacuum left by Henry Olcott, giving leadership to Parama Vingnanarthaya. He had fought hard to establish and to protect Buddhist Schools. Police chief Doubgin badly wanted him. 8am in the morning, after his prayers at Fort Bo tree, he was walking to the office of Parama Vinganartha. A bullet fired by a Punjab soldier pierced his heart. Police chief Doubgin said that robbers shot him.
1915 Sinhala rep in the Council speaks against the Sinhalese while shocked Tamil rep and the European rep speak on behalf of the Sinhalese S.C.Obeysekera was the Sinhala rep in the council. He disliked any Sinhala uprising, and was relieved to see the crushing of the rising Buddhist power. He spoke against the Sinhalese, his own kind. This shocked the Tamil rep and the European rep. The Tamil rep, Ponnambalam Ramanathan and one of the respected European reps, Harry Creasy, were concerned with the possibility the same state violence being unleashed on their communities in the future. Both of them spoke on behalf of the Sinhalese and against the brutality of the British officials. They criticised the new rules, which gave British officials freedom to commit inhuman crimes against Sinhala civilians.
1915 "You may kill as many Sinhalese as you can now, but they will never forget this injustice " -Anagarika Darmapala Anagarika Darmapala writes from India where he is imprisoned by the British, " Sinhalese will rather die than living without Buddhism, You may kill as many Sinhalese as you can now, but they will never forget this injustice." Well, some Sinhalese, attracted by the carrot at the end of the British stick, forgot while some didn't.
1916 World War One : Inability to understand the effects of modern war machines, costs lives Though the World War One was fought with all the latest war machines like airplanes, machine guns, and tanks, the commanders waged the war as if it were a 19th century war. They marched their troop formations across open land only to be slaughtered by the enemy machine guns. The use of poison gas was added to the horrors of the war. Two Great Battles on the Western Front in 1916, the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Verdun, alone cost almost 2 million lives.
1917 End of World War One as America enters Angered by constant German submarine attacks on neutral shipping, Americans finally entered the war in 1917. Germany had already run out of resources needed to sustain the war. Within few months, German resistance collapsed. After claiming more than 20 million lives and a generation of young men, the Great War was over.
1917 End of Russian monarchy as Russia becomes a republic Russia under Tsar emperors, had entered World War One to win territories in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. But the cost of the war became unbearable. The war and the imperial rule became very unpopular among the Russian public. Demoralised Russian troops surrendered to the Germans in large groups. On 8th March, 1917, a street demonstration in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) turned into a massive riot. Even the Russian forces joined the rioters. With no one to defend the government, Tsar Nicholas II, abdicated. Russia became a republic as a provisional government was set up. Press freedom, replacement of imperial police by the popular public militias, and many other liberal reforms were introduced. Many political exiles returned to Russia. Among them were radical Communist Bolsheviks.
1917 Lenin's Bolsheviks are funded by the Germans to sabotage the Russian war effort But the new Government continued the war. The veteran Bolshevik, Vladimir Lenin returned from Switzerland with the help of the Germans who wanted to use him to weaken Russia militarily. Lenin’s Bolshevik propaganda, funded secretly by Germany, disintegrated the Russian army. Lenin's Bolsheviks infiltrated into workers unions and military units. In July, as his dealings with the Germans were exposed, he fled to Finland.
1917 “Storming of the Winter Palace” - Russian Defence minister brings Bolsheviks to power Kerensky, the prime minister from July, was threatened with a right-wing coup. Bolshevik Red Guards were the only alternative help he had. He made a deal with the Bolsheviks. The discipline of the Bolsheviks had finally won them power. The prime minister received the protection of 40,000-armed Bolsheviks in Petrograd. Lenin returned in October. In a well-planned conspiracy, on the night of November 6 (October 24 by the Julian calendar) Bolsheviks arrested the government ministers in the Winter Palace. The famous “storming of the Winter Palace” was actually a seizure of an unguarded building. Lenin and his Bolsheviks legitimised their coup by creating a Bolshevik-dominated Congress of Soviets.
1917 “It is true that liberty is precious. So precious that it must be rationed” - Lenin's Bolsheviks implements socialism Lenin held the elections proposed by the provisional government. In this November 1917 polls, Bolsheviks won less than 25% of the votes. The moderate socialists received 40 %. Lenin sent his Bolsheviks troops to close down the parliament the day after it convened. Russia entered into Leninist and Stalinist rule that was based on the Communist teachings of the German political philosopher Karl Marx. All private lands were confiscated. All banks in the country were merged into one general national bank. Justifying Communist rule, Lenin said “It is true that liberty is precious. So precious that it must be rationed”
1917 Why Communism failed in Russia by 1992 There were weaknesses in the Soviet Communism. Despite their claim for human equality, the Soviet Communist party had a party elite. This was ridiculed by a western critic named George Orwell as " a leadership more equal than others". Strict controls allowed no room for initiative. People were unable to give their best effort as producers and distributors of goods. A highly controlled press produced a public unaware of what was happening in other parts of the world.
1917 First idea of a Jewish state in Jerusalam It was a British idea. In 1917, after the British liberated the area from the Ottoman Empire, they thought of establishing a Christian state in the middle east. Jerusalem, with its religious importance, was the ideal choice. British Foreign Secretary James Balfour issued a proclamation of a Jewish state in Palestine. Then the Jews were invited to migrate to Palestine, while the British pushed for the approval from the League of Nations. That approval would come in five years time in 1922. That was the beginning of the Israel.
1917 Funny Family race between Bandaranayakes & Senanayakes adds Comedy to the otherwise tragic tale of the Sinhalese Having despised and suppressed their own people, the frustrations of the Sinhalese collaborator families began to increase. Though they had both the wealth and the power, they were driven by their own insecurity as to how they had achieved their success. These fears led them to act in funny ways, which obviously provided the wise British with some entertainment. While the capable patriots from the Sinhalese masses were struggling without opportunities, Bandaranayaka family and the Senanayaka family began a battle of competition. Bandaranayaka's claimed owning 11,723 acres and Senanayakas claimed having 6317 acres. The competition escalated as the children of Don Stept Senanayake entered St.Thomas college, Mt.Lavinia. Proud Bandaranayakas did not want their children to be educated at the same level. So they got their son withdrawn from St.Thomas college and brought down a tutor from Britain. This resident British tutor taught the young Bandaranayaka children at Horagolla Walawwa.
1917 Formation of Ceylon Reform Commission by Ponnambalam Arunachalam This will play a key role within the Ceylon National Congress, the Lankan counterpart of the Indian National Congress, pushing on nationalism. Both Sinhala and Tamil members accepted him as the best person to lead.
1918 Ceylon National Congress : British starts thinking about ways to destroy this new Sinhala-Tamil alliance This was a dream coming true for Ponnambalam Arunachalam. He envisaged national unity and racial harmony in a free Lanka. But he failed to see the different fractions with different objectives in it. Nationalists, Constitutionalists, radicals- all of them were having lines drawn on what they wanted. This weakness gave the British the chance to destroy it. British badly wanted to destroy this new Sinhala-Tamil alliance before it threatened them.
1919 Archaeologists begin work on Mohenjo-daro Harappa sites Since 1856 railway workers had been using the bricks from the Mohenjo-daro ruins, to build the Lahore-Multan railway in India. In 1919, archaeologists began work at Mohenjo-daro Harappa sites in the Indus Valley. They would slowly discover the fascinating story of the forgotten Indus valley civilization.
1919 Sinhala Mahajana Sabha by Ceylon National Congress - 1st opportunity for peasants to be part of the political activity Ceylon National congress set up a network of local Mahajana Sabhas involving farmers in rural areas, and connecting them with the ayurveda doctors, teachers, traders who could get the membership of the Sabha.
1919 First British tactic to weaken the Ceylon National Congress: British refuse to grant state funds or expertise to Minneriya Development Co. The National Congress, to develop agriculture in Polonnaruwa, formed Minneriya Development Co.. British refused to grant state funds and refused to provide the expertise. Though the Company was formed by a group of capitalists, without funds and expert skills, it failed. Sinhala Maha Sabha stepped in to salvage the operation. Again the lack of funds, technical skills, and management skills, halted the projects. The whole operation became unsuccessful. It was the first British tactic to weaken the Ceylon National Congress.
1920 European Governments enter the hunt for Arab oil Britain and France moved into the power vacuum in the middle east, created with the collapse of the Ottoman empire after the World War One. The European merchants already controlled oil fields throughout the region. The European governments targeted the exploitation of the Arab oil by the European merchants. Their political interests continue even today.
1920 Chinese request for end of European domination, is turned down China, who had allied with the British, requested an end to the domination by the European powers in China at the end of the World War One. Nobody in Europe listened to their request. It was ignored.
1920 Chinese students, like Mao-Se-Thung, form communist groups to free the country from the European rule As the Chinese request was denied, the May Fourth Movement grew out of a student uprising in China. The Russian Revolution impressed the leaders of this movement. They envisaged modernization through educational reforms. In 1920 these student leaders formed the Comintern (Communist International). A young man named Mao Tze Tung led one of these Communist groups. At the same time the Kuomintang, an organization formed by the Chinese Catholic Hero Sun Yat Sen's alliance, was established. Many Communist members joined that organisation. In 6 years this Kuomintang would grab power in China claiming to be Nationalists. Mao Tse Tung would grab power from them in 1952 ending the western influence on China. Chinese liked the Communism, as it opposed the Western imperialism.
1920 919 Govt schools and 2122 Christian schools in Lanka The number of Government schools in Lanka was only 919 when compared with the number of Christian schools, which was 2122. This showed the dangerous imbalance the Buddhists were systematically subjected to.
1920 Christian Church "corrects" their "mistake" : Joan of Arc is made a Saint In 1431 AD, 19-year-old French patriot Joan of Arc, known in history as "The Maid of Orleans", was brave enough to fight against the British invaders and the collaborators. The selfish corrupt French traitors captured her and sold her to the English. In a devious conspiracy, in a corrupt court of law, the Christian church branded her as a heretic and sentenced her to the death penalty. On 30th May 1431, she was burnt at the stake in Rouen. It is said that her heart didn't catch fire. Today patriotic French consider her as one of the great patriotic heroines of France. Almost 500 years later, in 1920 AD, the Christian Church reversed their mistake, and claimed her as a saint.
1920 Second British tactic to destroy the Ceylon National Congress : British wins the selfish and short-sighted Kandyans away from the Congress British decided that the Kandyans, with their high ego and the ignorance, were the best Sinhalese to be manipulated. Taking advantage on Kandyan fears that they were so far behind in every aspect, including trade, wealth, and civil service, than the low-country Sinhalese, and also using the Kandyan fears that constitutionalists, including the Tamils, would oneday threaten the traditional power of the Kandyan Chiefs, British Governer Sir William Manning managed to detach Kandyan support away from the National congress.
1920 Third British tactic to destroy the Ceylon National Congress : End of the One-to-One ratio in the council In a classic move to win the Sinhalese, British took a sudden U-turn to disappoint the Tamils who had been pushed into artificial heights. British increased the number of representative positions in the Legislative Council for Sinhalese to 13 and for the Tamils to 2, based on the ethnic population ratios. British had finally corrected an injustice. But the Tamil elite, blind with their artificial supreme position over the suppressed Sinhalese masses, failed to understand their true position.
1920 Third British tactic to destroy the Ceylon National Congress : Tamil elite fail to understand the real ratio But this shook the fantasy world of the Tamil elite, who had been enjoying an unfair share at the expense of the suppressed Sinhalese masses. Tamil elite with a superiority complex, couldn't understand this correction of the injustice to the Sinhalese, and were very unhappy. Tamil elite couldn't think beyond their 1-to-1 mentality. They demanded for the previous one-to-one ratio. The Sinhala members of the Ceylon National Congress decided not to support the Tamil demands for 1-to-1 ratio.
1920 Third British tactic to destroy the Ceylon National Congress : Selfish Tamil elite breaks away Selfish Tamils broke away from the congress. This included a reluctant Ponnambalam Arunachalam, who though not a racist, was pressurized by the Tamil elite as a leader, to pursue the Tamil minority cause separately. Suddenly he decided to speak against the constitutional reforms, fearing the transfer of power back to the Sinhalese.
1921 1921 Census : 8.8 % Christians receive over 70% of education grants British estimate Lanka Population to be 4.5 million. Of them, 8.8 % were Christians. They received over 70% of the British education grants. The other 91.2% of the population received less than 30% of the education grants. This was the secret why the Christian population increased from 1% in 1885 to 8.8% in 1921.
1921 Tamil settlements in the east are limited only to the coast Official British census reports indicated that almost all Tamil settlements on the east coast did not even spread more than 10 miles to the interior.
1921 Proof that Batticaloa was under Kandy and that the Sinhalese were the majority in the region S.G.Canagaratnam, chief Mudalier of Eastern Province wrote in the official memo that Batticaloa belonged to Kandy kingdom until the British grabbed the region by force. He noted with sadness the diminishing Sinhala population there. He said that once the Sinhalese flourished in populated villages. He mentioned the existence of many Sinhala ruins mainly in the West & South of the Batticaloa district.
1921 First University College -only the children of the top elite, are able to study In January, First University College was opened with 115 students, on Thurston road, Colombo amidst protests from the Roman Catholic Church and some members of the elite who disliked education opportunities being opened up. This University college allowed their students to study only 3 years in Lanka, and then they had to go to Britain to study the final year. That meant only the children of the top elite would be able to study. That was how the education was denied to the masses. The objections and the arguments against the proposed public university continued for 21 more years. Only on 1st July, 1942 Lankans would get their first public university.
1922 Israel is recognised by the League of Nations It was a British idea. In 1917, after the British liberated the area from the Ottoman Empire, they thought of establishing a Christian state in the middle east. Jerusalem, with its religious importance, was the ideal choice. British Foreign Secretary James Balfour issued a proclamation of a Jewish state in Palestine. Then the Jews were invited to migrate to Palestine, while the British pushed for the approval from the League of Nations. That approval would come in five years time in 1922. That was the beginning of the Israel.
1922 "At least he made the trains run on time" : Mussolini comes to power in Italy Mussolini came to power in Italy with the help of Blackshirts, a private army of thugs who beat up the rival political candidates. In 1922 he led a successful coup to become a dictator. His fascist rule provided some kind of order in Italian society as some commented "at least he made the trains run on time".
1922 Ireland gain freedom from Britain The free state of Ireland was created with the agreement between Sinn Fein and the British Prime Minister David Lloyd George. British gave Ireland separate status as a dominion, but kept six counties in Ulster under British rule.
1923 Fourth British tactic to destroy the Ceylon National Congress : British inspires Kandyan elite to think as a separate race. This also gives the Tamil elite ideas of a separate state. The Kandyan guerrilla wars against the British were the last military campaigns of the Sinhalese. They were planned and fought mainly by the people of Sinhala military ancestry. Due to their constant resistance against the invaders and the collaborators, they had run into fatal confrontations with British made village chiefs. Having lost to the superior power, they had ended up being poor and low-casted by the village chiefs. Some Kandyan elite made use of the heroism of these people to claim that the Kandyans were a superior race. They insisted that Kandyan race must be represented separately in the legislative assembly to safeguard their separate and distinct identity. It was only an attempt by the selfish elite to establish power over Kandyan people with gross disregard to the fate of the Sinhalese in other parts of the
country. It also gave Tamil elite to think about re-establishing the separate rebel kingdom in Jaffna.
1923 Fourth British tactic to destroy the Ceylon National Congress : Kandyans break away for a Kandyan National Assembly The British poisoned the egoistic mind of the Kandyan elite so much that the Kandyan elite would embark on such terrible selfish endeavors. The Kandyan chief's competition against the Karawe cast, who lived mainly in the low-country, was another reason to think separately. In order to represent "the Kandyan race" separately in the legislative assembly, and also to safeguard, and to separate the distinct identity, they established the Kandyan National Assembly.
1924 Beginning of the Legend of IBM American inventor Herman Hollerith, had invented the Calculating Machine, which used Punched Cards in 1889. It was used in 1890 to compute census data. His company merged with another company in 1924 taking the name International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
1926 9 Year Nationalist rule of Chine : Chiang Kai-Shek comes to power in China In 1926 the Kuomintang, led by Chiang Kai-Shek, began to overthrow Chinese warlords one by one. By 1928 their government controlled the entire China, starting the nine-year Nationalist era in Chinese history. Chiang was a Moscow-trained soldier. But he gradually and slowly broke away from his communist’s supporters. Communists were organised by Mao Tse Thung to take on the nationalists. In 11 years time, just when The Communists were about to challenge the nationalist government Kuomintang led by Chiang Kai-Shek, Japan invaded China forcing the communists to join the government to fight the common enemy.
1926 International Slavery Convention The International Slavery Convention in 1926 by the League of Nations, prohibited the slave trade and abolished the slavery in all forms. These definitions would be used to form the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948.
1926 "You rule there, We rule over here": Kandyan elite publicly claim they are relatives of the Jaffna elite T.Panabokke and A.Moonemalai, two members of the Kandyan elite claimed that the Kandyans were relatives of the Tamil elite in the north. Such foolish public statements further strengthened the dreams of " You rule there, We rule over here" that the Tamil elite who were fast losing their artificial position in Lankan society, were having.
1927 First sounds in Cinemas In the 1927 movie "Jazz Singer", the actor Al Jolson spoke a few lines. It was the first time the audiences heard an actor’s voice in a movie. The success of the film inspired more films to be made with sound.
1927 Land Commission - lending land to peasants to cultivate will generally fail ; But it was the first major colonial policy change on agriculture. Crown land ( The Lankan land that had been taken over by the British) was lent to farmers who were not authorised to sell or to lease them. They could pass the lease on to an heir, like their sons. But the insufficient support they had, specially in the infrastructure development in the dry zone, failed many such projects. It worked in some parts of the down south.
1927 A.E. Goonesinghe organises Colombo Harbour Strike & Colombo Tramways strike British government was forced to recognize the workers unions as the working class came to the streets of Colombo. Such legal protests led by some members of the elite, made British to feel that they could not hold on to Lanka forever.
1927 First request for a federal state : By who ? By the Kandyan elite ! Kandyan National Assembly, which was formed by the Kandyans who broke away from the Ceylon National Congress, officially asked for a separate federal state with regional autonomy at the Donoughmore commission. That was a certain confidence booster for the Tamil elite. They realised that there was nothing wrong in asking for a separate states.
1928 Most remarkable study on colonial affairs of the 20th century-Donoughmore Commission is opposed by the insecure minorities The Donoughmore report was opposed both by the Muslims and Tamils. Minorities argued that it could lead to future Sinhalese majority rule. No one dared to explain that the majority of a country naturally and usually has the major share in every thing, depending on the numbers. Only the Sinhalese in Lanka had shared everything with the minorities with unparallel patience, understanding and humanity. Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan campaigned both in Colombo and in London on behalf of the Tamils, and T.B.Jayah in Colombo for Muslims.
1928 Donoughmore Commission exposes the difference between the Sinhalese and the minorities The report exposed the artificial heights the minorities had been lifted at the expense of the Sinhalese masses. This also exposed the difference between the Sinhalese and the minorities in Lanka. While the Sinhalese shared, the minorities wanted either to keep the Sinhalese suppressed or to separate.
1929 Italian King finally recognizes the independence of the Vetican The Pope has become the facto ruler of the city of Rome and the suburbs by the 6th century AD. But in 754 AD, Pepin the Short, king of the Franks, officially handed over these areas to Pope Stephen II. These Italian lands under direct rule of the Pope were called Papal States, or States of the Church or Pontifical States. Pope, with the help of regional powers like the Franks, continued to annex more territories by gifts, purchases, and conquests until the Papal States included nearly the whole of central Italy. These areas reached their greatest extent in the 16th century. In 1797, Napoleon Bonaparte took much of the territory. In 1815, after the allied forces defeated Napoleon at Waterloo and restored Papal rule back in these areas under Austrian protection. But in 1870, Italian King Victor Emmanuel II annexed all Papal states including Rome and limited the Pope's jurisdiction to the Vatican. In protest, each Pope thereafter considered themselves as prisoners under Italian occupation. In 1929, in the Lateran Treaty, Italian king Victor Emmanuel III recognized the full independance of the Vatican City under Pope.
1929 Vatican State, ruled by the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church, is established Victor Emmanuel III ( King of Itlay ) signed a deal named Lateran treaty with the Pope, handing over Vatican as an indepenmdant state for the Roman Catholic Church. Vatican City is a 44 hectares (109 acres) state within Rome, under the absolute authority of the Pope who has absolute executive, legislative, and judicial powers. The executive powers have been delegated to a governor, who is reporting to the pope. Groups of Cardinals advise Pope on legislative powers. Tribunals have the judicial powers. With a population of 1000 people Vatican is the smallest independent country in the world.
1929 An attempt to destroy the sacred Bo-tree A mentally sick person tried to destroy the sacred Bo-tree on 30th July. To everyone's surprise, he cut down a branch. Then the pilgrims rushed to stop him.
1930 Number of British Govt schools is 2122 & Christian schools is 2502 Number of British Government schools in the country was 2122. They had been established for the children of the collaborating elite and taught no patriotism, the true history or Buddhism. But there were 2502 Christian schools run by Christian organisations. (There were less than 20 Buddhist Schools, out of which most were struggling to survive due to the lack of support.)
1930 Newstead college-Negombo asked a Sinhala student to change from Sinhala to Latin In the 1930s, Newstead College in Negombo wanted Wimala de Silva ( later, Dr. Wimala de Silva) to transfer from Sinhala to Latin. Her father, an ayurvedic physician, stated firmly that his daughter could study any subject she chose, but ‘Wimala must not give up Sinhala’. She went on to study English and Sinhala both in the university.
1930 Leadership of the Tamil elite goes to extremists ( They would produce more racist hardliners with their speeches ) Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, the fair Tamil leader respected by all Lankans, died in 1930. New hot blood like G.G.Ponnambalam ( who replaced Ponnambalam Ramanathan as the new Tamil leader ) impressed the Tamil crowd with radical hard line speeches. Such Tamils would get to the leadership of the Tamil community through attractive racist speeches. They could easily blame the Sinhalese for all the hardships in life in a third world country. The Moderate Tamils, who had a deep knowledge of the facts, had no say or any other Tamil leadership to gather under. Some of these Tamil hardliners like G.G.Ponnambalam ( Leader of the Tamil Congress) would accept the reality in 1945 and would be ready join the Sinhalese. But the more hardliners they had created with their hardline speeches, like SVJ Chelvenayagam, would refuse to do so and break away from the Tamil congress to form the Federal party in 1948.
1931 Lanka Population is 5.31 million ; Over-population in South West The migration to Colombo caused over-population in the south west, where over 30 % of the Lankan population ( 5.31 million ) was living by this time.
1931 First Asian country to enjoy universal Suffrage As recommended by the Donoughmore commission, both males & females over 21 became eligibility to vote.
1931 British offers freebees to Indian Tamil immigrants, refuse to offer the same to Lankan working class Free travel, medical facilities, housing, schools, and meals for the children were provided. When Sinhala politicians like D.S.Senanayaka asked for the same privileged for the Lankan working class, British refused. British said that it was the Indian government that forced them to do these at an unbearable cost.
1931 Jaffna Tamil extremists boycott State Council election in protest to Donoughmore commission Jaffna Youth League, comprising teachers and students, campaigned hard for a separate sub-kingdom in Jaffna. It was an ungrateful act. The so called rebel kingdoms in Jaffna between 796 AD and 1500 AD, were no more than a rule by provincial warlords, who took advantage of the situations when the South Indians invaded Lanka. The Tamil extremists decided to boycott the election at a meeting attended by South Indian politician Kamaladevi Chattopadhya. Tamil moderates were helpless to stand against them.
1931 Desperate British decides to recognize & looks after Buddhism to keep the Sinhalese happy British who were getting deeply worried about how long they could exploit Lanka, decided to recognise and to take over the supervision and the administration of Buddhist temples and monuments. It was such a cunning act. British had so far bluntly refused to implement these promises that they made in 1815 in the Kandyan Convention. This renewed promise by the British, alarmed the insecure Tamils further. As the reality and the truth dawned on a Tamil elite revealing their real position in the society, the Eelamists took advantage of the panic-stricken Tamil sentiments.
1931 "History Should NOT be taught in schools" says a Tamil "Sinhala people alone can boast of an uninterrupted sway over the island for some thousands of years. Since the South Indians living in Lanka had no such history, history should not be taught in schools as it could belittle and humiliate the South Indians." said a Tamil gentleman in the Morning Star of 9th October, 1931.
1932 Depression hits Lanka for 2 years : Result of Foreign-dependence This was a classic example to show how the total dependence on export income, crippled Lanka. As overseas consumer markets were hit with the depression in Europe, export revenue was reduced by half. The supporters of the European approach to life, should take good notice of how such foreign-dependant rule, subjected Lanka to misery. Over 9000 Lankans lost jobs. Over 100,000 Indian workers in hill country plantations, went back to India. Retrenchments in white-collar jobs increased. Things would be bad for 2-3 years until the exports started to make profit in the World market again.
1933 Great Royal Alms Hall is discovered Among the ruins in Anuradapura, covered by the jungle, British archaeologists identified the Royal alms-hall that fed over 8000 monks and many more poor civilians daily.
1934 The Long March : by Chinese Communists In 1934 the Chinese Communists who had established themselves in Shaanxi Province in several base camps, began the Long March to overthrow the nationalist government. Communists accused that the nationalist government was manipulated by the west. But when Japan invaded China in 1937, communists were forced to join the nationalists to fight the common enemy.
1935 Birth of the political organisation amongst the Indian Tamil Plantation Workers ; Natesa Iyer's trade union among the Indian Tamils In 1915, A.E. Goonesingha's Lankan Trade union had missed having any control on the leadership of these plantation workers within their union. Nadesa Iyer was a colleague of A.E. Goonesingha, who was also a member of the trade union. He learnt everything about the unions through his experience there. Then Nadesa Iyer opened a trade union among the Indian Tamil plantation workers. He became the leader of the plantations Indian workers. His ethnic union created a gap, a gap that was never bridged, between Lanka and the Indian plantation workers. Indian plantation workers would be manipulated on a path of ethnic political interests rather than on the path of patriotism and loyalty to Lanka. They have displayed some of the dirtiest selfish ethnic and political bargains in Lanka. These unfortunate people are controlled and are in the clutches of these extremist selfish leaders, even today. They still have their complaints about the living conditions and wages, which their leaders, who are busy bargaining for political power, hadn't solved.
1937 Japan invades China As Japan invaded northern China, the Sino-Japanese War started. Germany and Italy supported Japan, welcoming Japan into the Axis powers. Chinese government of the Kuomintang and the Communists, who were about to battle eachother, united to fight the invader. But even during the war, Mao Tse Thung developed his influence on the Chinese rural population. He believed that if he could control the countryside, the cities too would fall into his hands. “The people are like water, and the army is like fish”. In 1945, when Japan surrendered the communists and the Kuomintang commenced their civil war. By 1949 Taiwan became the last Nationalist stronghold. In 1950 Mao united China.
1938 670,000 Indian Tamils in Lanka Soulbury Commission report reveal that the Indian Tamil population is 670,000. That included the dependants such as wives and children, parents etc.
1938 G.G.Ponnambalam ask for 50-50 representation His unfair demand of representation in the council to be made 50-50, when the Lankan population was of 20% minorities and 80 % Buddhists, was rejected by the British. The British had by this time wanted to keep the Sinhalese elite happy. But they had done an irrecoverable damage by artificially advancing the minorities and suppressing the majority. The superiority feeling of the minorities was so strong that some even began to claim that they were NOT a monirity. They would be feeling severe pressure after 1948 when the suppressed Sinhalese masses began to come up in life, challenging everyone for the positions and creating competition.
1938 Bank of Ceylon Ceylon Banking Commission appointed in 1934, exposed the discrimination faced by the Sinhalese businessmen. The key burrowers of the bank loans were either Tamils or Chetties who dominated the trade, specially the import trade. The expatriate Europeans who ran the Banks had a link with them. This link barred Sinhalese businessmen, in a devious manner, from entering into these trade activities. This led to the formation of the first local bank. Unfortunately this new bank also limited its operations to the urban business environment and neglected the rural banking. As late as 1968, Bank of Ceylon only had 3.8% lending on agriculture, the key business of the Sinhalese. Even by 1972, 49 out of 61 branches were in municipal areas.
1939 End of Compulsory Christian classes for Buddhist Children In the Education Ordinance No.31 of 1939, British made it clear that no Buddhist child should attend Christian classes unless the parents have given their consent in writing. That was the end of the dilemma of the Buddhist children who for 126 years, from 1812 to 1938, had to undergo compulsory Christian classes in order to obtain the only available education.
1939 First colour film in history Gone with the Wind was made in 1939 with Technicolor, beginning the full-colour cinematography.
1939 World War-2 starts ; It will continue till 1945 Germany would take over Europe by lightening speed. But the Allied forces, with the help of the unlimited resources of the Americans, would fight back to end it in 1945.
1940 Ruwanvelimahaseya restoration completed: It has taken 47 years. Still it is smaller than the original. In 1898, a pious Buddhist monk named Naranvita Sumanasara, had started the reconstruction work with the local villagers. Later, Ratnamali ChaityaWardana society was established. Work finished in 47 years. But the lack of funding and resources, made it to be restored in a much smaller size than the original massive size of the monument. Restored Dagaba covered 5 acres but was still smaller in diameter which was 300feet ( original was 370 feet). Height was 350 feet, which was shorter than the original again. On 17th June, a 25 feet tall golden pinnacle and a crystal were placed on the Dagaba.
1941 Lanka becomes the main Rubber supplier to Allied forces in World War Two As Dutch East Indies and Malaysia was lost to the Japanese, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) became the main supplier of Rubber to the allied forces in the world war two. but Lanka did not get the full benefit as the British collected the profits.
1941 Giap starts to train VietMings In Vietnam, a 31-year-old history teacher named Von Nguyen Giap started training 40 patriots in guerrilla warfare. They are named as the VietMings. Equipped and trained by the Americans, they would fight the Japanese occupation in Vietnam. They would develop into a legendary fighting force. When the French took over Vietnam after the World War Two, and when America refused to help them with freedom, they would fight for liberation. They would defeat two European superpowers. They will also defeat the world's most powerful army, the Americans between 1964 and 1972, in the century's most controversial war.
1942 First University in Lanka - Colombo university After nearly 50 years of requests, arguments and blockades, Colombo university, the first university in Lanka, was established.
1943 Primitive use of computers in World War Two An American named Howard Aiken developed a primitive computer known as the Mark I. It had 3,304 on-off switches. It was used mainly to create ballistic tables needed for the naval artillery. The British also developed a primitive computer. They used vacuum tubes instead of switches. The vacuum tubes were an improvement over the electro-mechanical relays used as switches in these earlier computers. They used it mainly to decode German messages.
1943 British report reveals the discrimination on Sinhalese workers Official British survey of 1943 on labour conditions on Ceylon, Mauritius and Malaya, by Major G. Order Browne, revealed that in Lanka, welfare legislation was confined to the Indian immigrants only. He also noted the resentment of the Sinhalese at the discrimination. He strongly recommended that all these welfare benefits to be extended to the Sinhalese labour force as well.
1943 State Council decides to use Sinhala and Tamil equally ; Tamils get to work in own language, This adds on to the 50-50 mentality. State Council resolved that the business of State Council should be conducted in Sinhala and Tamil. They also decided that both Sinhalese and Tamil should be made compulsory subjects in all public examinations. While it gave Tamils, who were only 7% of Lankan population, their rights to work in their own language, it also gave Tamil extremists another boost to their 50-50 mentality.
1943 Sinhalese and Tamil are made the medium of all schools. In 1943, acting on the unanimous recommendation of the Special Committee on Education, State Council decided that Sinhalese and Tamil should be made the medium of in all schools. It reached the 8th standard in 1956, Ordinary Level in 1958, and Advanced Level in 1960. From 1961, University education was in these Swabhashas.
1944 All Ceylon Tamil Congress is formed by G.G.Ponnambalam
1945 More Indian Tamils than Lankan Tamils According to the Soulbury Commission Report of 1945, there were 900,000 Indian Tamils, and 700,000 Ceylon Tamils, living in Lanka. (That was why the Eelamists of the 20th century quickly got these people rallied around them, in order to project themselves as a larger community.)
1945 Nuwara Eliya has the Highest percentage of landless agricultural families The highest percentage of landless agricultural families, was reported from Nuwara Eliya. There 41.8% of the population ( except Indian Tamil plantation workers) were without a land. This was a result of the British Crown Land Encroachment Ordinance of 1840 and Waste Land Ordinance of 1897.
1945 Kandyan Peasantry Commission reveals the landlessness of the hill country Sinhalese In Kotmale 2723 out of 7500 Sinhalese families were completely landless. In Kegalle district, the population was confined into a small 7000 acres while they needed at least 60,000 acres for the population. Over 38% of the people in Matale district, and over 32% of the people in Ratnapura district were without a land. This was a result of the British Crown Land Encroachment Ordinance of 1840 and Waste Land Ordinance of 1897. As late as in 1987, the Land Commissioner to the area recorded that " the country has not recovered from the adverse impacts of the colonial land policy even today. It is doubtful whether it would be possible for a long time to come."
1945 World War-2 which started in 1939, ends in 1945 Germany and Italy had collapsed in 1943. Japan continued till America dropped the Atomic Bombs on Japan. As Japan surrendered in 1945, America emerged as the western superpower while Britain and France struggled to keep their status.
1946 World's first electronic, digital Computer - ENIAC Immediately after the world war two, Americans built the ENIAC, the most sophisticated computer at the time. It is also considered the world's first truly electronic digital computer. It had 17,468 vacuum tubes. (The vacuum tubes were an improvement over the electromechanical relays used as switches in these early computers). The ENIAC computer started service in 1946 at the University of Pennsylvania. But ENIAC didn't function smoothly. It functioned only in short bursts. It was so large it covered an area as large as 450 sq m (1,500 sq ft). Yet It's capacity was less than that of a modern laptop computer.
1946 Public exams call for a pass in Sinhala OR Tamil The Ceylon Civil Service examination, the General Clerical Examination, the Police Probationers exam, English Teachers Certificate exam and the Senior School Certificate exam, called for a pass in Sinhala OR Tamil. Yet Tamils were less than 8% of the population in Lanka. This was also a boost to the 50-50 mentality of the Tamil extremists.
1947 Discovery of the Transistor One of the most crucial inventions, which decided the way the modern technology, works, was the discovery of the Transistor. Bell Laboratories in USA invented it. The transistor replaced the Vacuum tube. Transistor was much faster, smaller, and cheaper than the vacuum tube. It helped to reduce the size of the computers dramatically. This reduction in size led the humans to the modern laptops and desktop computers and to the wide use of the computer.
10 April 1947 Mont Pelerin Society - The Begining The Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) was created on April 10, 1947 at a conference organized by Friedrich Hayek and convened at a Swiss mountain resort after which the society was named. 36 scholars, mostly economists, with some historians and philosophers, were invited by Professor Friedrich Hayek to discuss the state, and possible fate of classical liberalism. Invitees included Henry Simons (who would later train Milton Friedman, a subsequent president of the society, at the University of Chicago), the American Fabian socialist Walter Lippman, philosopher of science Karl Popper, Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises, Sir John Clapham (a senior official of the Bank of England who from 1940-46 was the president of the British Royal Society), Otto von Habsburg (heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne), and Max von Thurn und Taxis (Bavaria-based head of the Thurn und Taxis family).The Mont Pelerin Society has continued to meet on a regular basis, usually in September. It is an international organization composed of economists, intellectuals, business leaders, and others who favour economic liberalism named "neoliberalism".
10 April 1947 Mont Pelerin Society - Ideology MPS society advocates free market economic policies. The term Neoliberalism is a political-economic philosophy that had major implications for government policies beginning in the 1970s - and increasingly prominent since 1980 - that de-emphasizes or rejects positive government intervention in the economy, focusing instead on achieving progress and even social justice by encouraging free-market methods and less restricted operations of business and "development". It's supporters argue that the net gains for all under free trade and capitalism will outweigh the costs in all, or almost all, cases. It is criticized (in different ways) by socialist, liberal and conservative parties, intellectuals, and economists. Some portray neoliberalism as the imposition of "free markets from the top-down" since it has been promoted by international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank and by centralized state organizations such as the European Union and the U.S. government. Others identify neoliberalism with neo-corporatism, and political-economic domination by multinational corporations.
10 April 1947 Mont Pelerin Society - Policies 1. THE RULE OF THE MARKET - Liberating "free" enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers' rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say "an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone." It's like Reagan's "supply-side" and "trickle-down" economics -- but somehow the wealth didn't trickle down very much.
2. CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES- like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply- again in the name of reducing government's role. Of course, they don't oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.
3. DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminish profits, including protecting the environment and
safety on the job.
4. PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads,
toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is
often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more
for its needs.
5. ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF "THE PUBLIC GOOD" or "COMMUNITY" and replacing it with "individual responsibility."
Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves
-- then blaming them, if they fail, as "lazy."
10 April 1947 Mont Pelerin Society creates think-tanks MPS society has always been a focal point for the international capitalist think-tank movement. Prof. Hayek himself used it as a forum to encourage members such as Antony Fisher to pursue the think-tank route. Fisher went on the establish the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in London during 1971, the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. during 1973, and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in 1981. In turn the Atlas Foundation supports a wide network of think-tanks, including the Fraser Institute and the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy Research. Prominent MPS members who have advanced to policy positions include Chancellor Ludwig Erhard of West Germany, President Luigi Einaudi of Italy, Chairman Arthur Burns of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, and President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic. Eight MPS members, including F. A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and George Stigler, won Nobel prizes in economics. Of 76 economic advisers on Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign staff, 22 were MPS members.
1947 “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom”- Jawaharlal Nehru : 90 years after the Bloody rebellion, British gives up India The Indian struggle for independence, which started with the bloody Indian Mutiny in 1857, has turned into a well-organised peaceful campaign, which bargained for independence until the British were exhausted. The Indian nationalist movement named Indian National Congress, led by the highly motivated members of the Indian elite, carried it out. Mohandas Gandhi was the strategist of this non-violent struggle for independence. Even during the World War Two, a weakening Britain had seen the defiance of the Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army who took the Japanese side against the British. Faced with massive Indian protests through civil disobedience campaigns, British realised the need to leave. In 1942, in the middle of the World War Two, British government promised freedom to India in return for Indian cooperation in the war effort. In return, the Indian troops like Sikhs and Ghurkhas served British so well that their bravery became legendary. On 15th August, 1947, as India was granted freedom, Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of the new nation.
1947 Creation of Pakistan : India's Multi-cultural dilemma Like Sri Lanka, India would never recover from the legacy of the ethnic and religious tactics of the British rule. Although Ghandi, and nationalists such as Nehru, wanted to unite Hindu and Muslim Indians, the religious tensions erupted in bloody clashes. With that the demands by Muslim leaders such as Muhammad Ali Jinnah for a separate Muslim state gained strength. On 15th August itself, as India achieved freedom, the British created two new countries. The northwestern and northeastern parts of the subcontinent were separated off to as Pakistan. This partition led to terrible massacres of Hindus and Muslims who migrated to the new borders. Soon, it also led to the first Indo-Pakistan War, over the state of Kashmir.
1947 12% Muslims in India & 12% Tamils in Lanka Like the 12% total South Indian population in Sri Lanka, India too has a 12% Muslim population. Like the Tamils in Sri Lanka, Muslims in India were also business migrants and invaders. But India would never allow Muslims to have a separate state in India. They will ask such Muslims to move to Pakistan if they want their homeland.
1947 Comparison of India and Sri Lanka Many comparisons had been made between India and Sri Lanka in the propaganda campaigns launched by the sinister forces that are out there to destroy the heritage of Sri Lanka. Two of the most publicised claims are, that the India retained English language without forcing the language of the majority on the minorities. Next is that India became successful in Federal politics by having ruling power delegated to the local states. Both these claims, which are the work of the power-hungry minority elements, are simply NOT fair as you can see next.
1947 Myth 1 : India retained English language without forcing the language of the majority on the minorities. In India, there are over 1600 languages. Of them, only 18 are major ones. Of them, India officially recognised 16. All these languages are unique to local areas and are spoken by culturally, racially unique communities. In Sri Lanka, there are only 5 major languages ( Sinhalese, Tamil, English, Malay, Arabic). Of them, three are major ones ( Sinhalese, Tamil, English) and they are officially recognised. In India, there is no majority as such. Hindi language spoken ONLY BY 39% of the Indian population, has been made the ONLY official language of India. English is ONLY one of the associated languages for official purposes. In Sri Lanka, 78% are Sinhalese who are clearly the majority who had endeavoured real hard to maintain their native civilisation through thick and thin. In Sri Lanka, though Sinhala language is the mother tongue of the 78% of the population, BOTH Tamil AND English are used as officially recognised languages. ( If someone really wants to compare India and Sri Lanka, then the Sinhala should become the ONLY official language of Sri Lanka. But the Sinhalese had not done that ).
1947 Myth 2 : Sri Lanka Must have Federal politics by having ruling power delegated to the local states: India needs local rule India is a vast area consisting of a thousand different cultures and many religions that formed hundreds of separate kingdoms. (Even the smallest of these kingdoms were generally larger than Sri Lanka). Time to time, these kingdoms were brought together under one rule, by the military power of one of the kingdoms or the invaders. At all other times, these kingdoms would always be politically independent. When the British left, the Indian Central Government HAD TO recognise that fact in order to form the large country of India. That was why the Indian Central Govt was created with the 97 Most Important responsibilities of a country such as defence, foreign affairs, banking, customs, currency, and communication. Then the Local Governments which rule the 25 States divided into 7 territories has the 66 responsibilities such as limited armed police, education, agriculture, public health. 47 other important responsibilities such as economic, labour and social planning and economic controls are shared between the Local Govts and the Central Govt.
1947 Myth 2 : Sri Lanka Must have Federal politics by having ruling power delegated to the local states : Sri Lanka does NOT need Local rules Unlike India, Sri Lanka was a comparatively tiny, ONE SINGLE civilisation with a unique culture and a state religion. (Even today, after so many destructions, the Sinhalese are 78% of the population. Sinhalese have been chased away from the north and the east of Lanka in bloody ethnic cleansing since 1025 AD. These facts have been covered up by shrewd propaganda). It was only when the Lankan government was weak that the local chiefs such as the ones in the north and the south alike, became warlords and refused to PAY TAXES. Then these warlords, simply because they were NOT challenged, claimed to be KINGS in their tiny little fantasy TOWN KINGDOMS ( Such as the ones in several towns of Ruhuna, Kalutara, Colombo, and, how can we forget, Jaffna ). They thrived specially when Sri Lanka was under the invaders. While the Sinhalese patriots were busy fighting the powerful invaders, these selfish rebels had such a jolly good time that they even forgot that they were robbing the country of the unity. They were NOT states or local kingdoms with separate racial, political or cultural identities.
1947 G.G.Ponnambalam's Tamil congress joins the UNP - But Tamil hardliners will break away in one year to form the Tamil Federal Party. The Tamil elite liked the D.S.Senanayake's concerns for minorities and his vision of a mixed state of power and politics irrespective of race and religion. That was the reason why G.G.Ponnambalam's Tamil congress joined the UNP - United National Party, the strongest new political party of free Lanka. Unfortunately, within one year, the Tamil extremists would leave both this UNP and G.G.Ponnambalam's Tamil congress party and would form the more racist Tamil Federal party. But many minority political parties would continue to prefer UNP as a political party, either to exploit or to participate.
1948 Freedom to Sri Lanka D.S. Senanayake ( who impressed the British with his loyalty and full cooperation during the World War Two ) and Sir Oliver Goonetileke who handled all the negotiations in London, finally won their two-year campaign for independence. British announced fully responsible status for Lanka within the British Commonwealth. It has been argued that Lanka received independence simply because of India. But a closer analysis of the facts towards this era clearly shows that the British had no other option. It wasn't worthwhile to hold Lanka any further. The World War Two had crippled the British power so much that the British were not able to hold on to Lanka any further under a freedom struggle. Profits from Lanka had declined. The Lankan elite had applied tremendous pressure and at the same time had expressed their willingness to be loyal to the British. It was the time to transfer the ruling power to the native elite, to continue the rule almost the same way the British had ruled the country.
1948 British leaves after creating Israel in the middle of Arab states In 1948 Britain left middle east, leaving an independent Jewish state surrounded by hostile Arab neighbours. War began immediately, and ended with an uneasy truce in 1949. During the next 25 years Israel would fight three more wars, the Sinai campaign (1956), the Six-Day War (1967), and the Yom Kippur War (1973). Israel won all three wars and expanded further into Arab territory. The terrible chaos of the unsolvable crisis continues even today. Sri Lanka can learn a good lesson from their experience. Separation of Sri Lanka would also mean continuous and terrible future wars.
1948 22 Buddhist schools and 199 Christian schools in the country When independence arrived in 1948, there were 199 Christian schools in the country. But there were only 22 Buddhist schools. This showed the magnitude of discrimination the Sinhalese were subjected to. Sri Lanka is yet to recover from the consequences of that social injustice.
1948 9.9% Christians get 75.3% of the education grants Buddhists who were 80 % of the population were receiving only 18.2 % of the education grants. Christians who were only 9.9% of the population were receiving 75.3% of the education grants. This was the discrimination suffered by the Buddhists under the Christian invaders.
1948 Sept'48- Education bill is approved : Rural kids get access to education after 400 years Under the Education Bill, high school fees were abolished. The beginning of the state run schools created an avenue of advancement for the rural kids. But the social suppression by the ruling elite, deprived them of equality, freedom and justice. The ruling elite would continue to protect their circle, and creating another henchmen class, resulting in so much of blood shed and destruction.
1948 Tamil hardliners leave Tamil congress to form the more extremist Tamil Federal party - They will introduce the concept of separate state in 3 years In 1947, G.G.Ponnambalam's finally accepted the reality and was ready to co-operate with the Sinhalese. His Tamil congress joined the UNP because of his willingness to be fair to the Sinhalese. But a lot of Tamil members could not cope with the sudden pressure brought about by the ever-increasing Sinhalese masses. Having used to a superiority mentality, these Tamil extremists like Chelvanayagam, the deputy of the Tamil congress, found it too embarrassing to be challenged. Having enjoyed artificial positions under the British, they were NOT used to such severe competitions before. They took comfort in thoughts of separatism while some fair Tamils continued to work together with the rest of the Lankans. It was these Tamil extremists, led by SVJ Chelvanayagam, who left both G.G.Ponnambalam's Tamil congress and the UNP within one year and formed the Tamil Federal party. In 3 years time, it was this party that introduced the concept of a separate Tamil state and invented a bold mythical history of a Tami kingdom in Lanka.
1948 Myth of European help to Lanka Under the Portugese, the infrastructure of Lanka, rebuilt by the patriots, was destroyed in just a few days. This helped the argument that Sri Lanka was better off thanked to the European invasions, because they at least "received" an infrastructure from the British. This is such a distortion of history. When the Europeans arrived, Sri Lanka was a civilisation recovering from the destruction already caused by the traitors and invaders. Efforts to re-develop, was stopped immediately with the arrival of the Europeans. Lankan society was destabilised into different ethnic, religious, and social communities who would never again learn about eachother. The Dutch and the British built the infrastructure only to enable them to rule the country. Dutch introduced the law to control the corruption of mainly their own officials. British made roads, with the funds recovered from Lanka itself, using Lankan villagers in forced unpaid labour, to enable reinforcements to be sent quickly to crush freedom struggles and also to transport trade goods to Colombo.
1948 Bashing the Sinhalese culture Today, Sinhalese-bashing has become the favourite hobby for the armchair pundits who lost their artificial position in the Lankan society after the British left. They have developed many theories supporting the arguments that criticise and despise the true Sinhalese culture. The invaders created a Sinhalese collaborating class who deviated away from the original true Sinhalese philosophy and the original discipline. Due to the damage done to the Sinhalese culture by these corrupt Sinhalese who collaborated with the invaders, these critics have many opportunities to criticise. One of their favourite subjects is the Sinhalese discipline, which tolerated no nonsense or hypocrisy.
1948 European Laws & Sinhalese Discipline Unlike the Greeks, Sri Lankans developed a society based on pure Theravada Buddhism without worshipping Gods. They only believed in the discipline and philosophy introduced by Buddha. Therefore they could get along very well even without any laws as such. Whole society knew what was bad and what was good. But the many foreigners who lived in Lanka, didn't always respect this discipline. They tried to justify their wrongdoings with twisted words and arguments. They conspired to install bad kings in power so that they could exploit the resources of the country. Under European Laws, where many culprits could escape by twisted arguments and evidences, the effort is made to make the society disciplined by laws rather than by philosophy and by example. Under Sinhalese discipline, whole society, including the ruling class, is disciplined by philosophy and by example, rather by laws. Few would dare to be ill-discipline enough to commit a crime and even them could hardly get away with excuses.
1948 Why couldn't Lankans redevelop themselves after the British left ? Now, everybody MUST learn the history and about eachother, develop a National philosophy and develop the nation. When the Europeans arrived, efforts to re-develop the nation were stopped as Lankan society was destabilised into different ethnic, religious, and social communities who would never learn about eachother. If not for these differences of opinions, patriotic Lankans, like they had done so many times before, would have developed the nation again in a national plan. The worst thing that happened during the European times was that the traitors of Lanka, who had destroyed the peaceful Lankan civilisation so many times before, for their selfish gains, became stronger, and stronger while the patriots were crushed into poverty and misery. After 1948, the so-called Sinhalese politicians who ruled the country, mainly belonged to the notoriously selfish arrogant Sinhala elite brought up by the British. It is NOT surprising that they didn't develop the nation. Also, the leaders of the minorities were NOT saints either. They pursued their own interests and ethnic interests, scaring the Sinhalese.
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