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Ceylon (Sinhala: බ්‍රිතාන්‍ය ලංකාව, Britanya Lankava; Tamil: பிரித்தானிய இலங்கை, Birithaniya Ilangai) was a British Crown colony between 1815 and 1948. Initially the area it covered did not include the Kingdom of Kandy, which was a protectorate from 1815, but from 1817 to 1948 the British possessions included the whole island of Ceylon, now the nation of Sri Lanka.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Background 1.2 Kandyan Wars 1.3 Kandyan Convention 1.4 The Uva Rebellion 1.5 Development

2 Demographics 3 Government and military

3.1 British Governors of Ceylon 3.2 Armed forces

4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links

History[edit] Main article: History of British Ceylon Background[edit] Main article: Dutch Ceylon Before the beginning of the Dutch governance, the island of Ceylon was divided between the Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
and the Kingdom of Kandy, who were in the midst of a war for control of the island as a whole. The island attracted the attention of the newly formed Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
when they were invited by the Sinhalese King to fight the Portuguese. Dutch rule over much of the island was soon imposed. In the late 18th century the Dutch, weakened by their wars against Great Britain, were conquered by Napoleonic France, and their leaders became refugees in London. No longer able to govern their part of the island effectively, the Dutch transferred the rule of it to the British, although this was against the wishes of the Dutch residing there. Kandyan Wars[edit] Main article: Kandyan Wars As soon as Great Britain gained the European-controlled parts of Ceylon from the Dutch, they wanted to expand their new sphere of influence by making the native Kingdom of Kandy
Kingdom of Kandy
a protectorate, an offer initially refused by the King of Kandy. Although the previous Dutch administration had not been powerful enough to threaten the reign of the Kandyan Kings, the British were much more powerful. The Kandyan refusal to accept a protectorate led eventually to war, which ended with the capitulation of the Kandyans. Kandyan Convention[edit] Main article: Kandyan Convention The rule of the king Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe was not favoured by his chieftains. The king, who was of South Indian ancestry, faced powerful chieftains and sought cruel measures to repress their popularity with the people. A successful coup was organised by the Sinhala chiefs in which they accepted the British Crown as their new sovereign. This ended the line of the kingdom of Kandy and King Rajasinghe was taken as a prisoner, ending his hope that the British would allow him to retain power. The Kandyan treaty which was signed in 1815 was called the Kandyan Convention
Kandyan Convention
and stated the terms under which the Kandyans would live as a British protectorate. The Buddhist religion was to be given protection by the Crown, and Christianity would not be imposed on the population, as had happened during Portuguese and Dutch rule. The Kandyan Convention
Kandyan Convention
is an important legal document because it specifies the conditions which the British promised for the Kandyan territory. The Uva Rebellion[edit] Main article: Uva Rebellion It took the ruling families of Kandy less than two years to realise that the authority of the British government was a fundamentally different one to that of the (deposed) Nayakkar dynasty. Soon the Kandyans rebelled against the British and waged a guerrilla war. Discontent with British activities soon boiled over into open rebellion, commencing in the duchy of Uva in 1817, so called the Uva Rebellion, also known as the Third Kandyan War, when, according to a dissertation written by J. B. Müller, the British rulers killed everyone from the Uva-Wellassa region.[2][3] The main cause of the rebellion was the British authorities' failure to protect and uphold the customary Buddhist traditions, which were viewed by the islanders as an integral part of their lives. The rebellion, which soon developed into a guerrilla war of the kind the Kandyans had fought against European powers for centuries, was centred on the Kandyan nobility and their unhappiness with developments under British rule since 1815. However it was the last uprising of this kind and Britain's brutal response massacred the rebels, as a warning to the rest of the Sri Lankan community and annexed the Kingdom of Kandy
Kingdom of Kandy
to British Ceylon
British Ceylon
in 1817. Development[edit]

British Ceylon, ca 1914

Sivasundaram argues that the British used geographical knowledge to defeat the Kandyan holdouts in the mountainous and jungle areas in the center of Ceylon. They used local informants and British surveyors to map the island, then built a network of roads to open the central region. This made possible export production of plantation agriculture, as well as tighter military control.[4] The laying of the railway was carried out during the Governorship of Sir Henry Ward. The opening of coffee and tea plantations, road development schemes, establishment of hospitals and maternity homes throughout the island, were just some of the major works undertaken by the British who ruled Sri Lanka. Demographics[edit] Main article: Demographics of Sri Lanka See also: Burgher People

Historical population

Year Pop. ±%

1871 2,400,380 —    

1881 2,759,700 +15.0%

1891 3,007,800 +9.0%

1901 3,566,000 +18.6%

1911 4,106,400 +15.2%

1921 4,498,600 +9.6%

1931 5,306,000 +17.9%

1946 6,657,300 +25.5%

Source: Department of Census and Statistics Sri Lanka

The multiracial population of Ceylon was numerous enough to support the European colonists; the Portuguese and the Dutch offspring of the past 440 odd years of colonial history was large enough to run a stable government. Unlike the previous rulers, the British embarked on a plantation programme which initially brought coffee plantations to the island. These were later wiped out by coffee rust. Coffee plants were replaced by tea and rubber plantations. This made Ceylon one of the richest countries in Asia. The British also brought Tamils from British India and made them indentured labourers in the Hill Country. This was in addition to the several hundred thousand Tamils already living in the Maritime provinces and another 30,000 Tamil Muslims. The linguistically bipolar island needed a link language and English became universal in Ceylon.[5] Censuses in Ceylon began in 1871 and continued every ten years. The Censuses of 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 had shown Ceylon Tamils
Ceylon Tamils
and Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
grouped together. By 1911 Indian Tamils were shown as a separate category. The population statistics reveal that by 1911, Indian Tamils constituted 12.9%, whereas Sri Lankan Tamils formed 12.8% of the population of 4,106,400; in 1921, 13.4% and 11.5%; in 1931, 15.2% and 11.3%, and in 1946, 11.7% and 11.0% respectively. The censuses show that during a large period of time in the history of Ceylon, Indian Tamils outnumbered Ceylon Tamils
Ceylon Tamils
until between 1971 and 1981 where more than 50 per cent of the Indian Tamil population were repatriated as Indian citizens back to India. However, many Indian Tamils were also granted Sri Lankan citizenship where upon declared themselves as Sri Lankan Tamils.[6] Government and military[edit] British Governors of Ceylon[edit] Main articles: British governors of Ceylon
British governors of Ceylon
and Executive Council of Ceylon Between 1796 and 1948, Ceylon was a British Crown colony. Although the British monarch was the head of state, in practice his or her functions were exercised in the colony by the colonial Governor, who acted on instructions from the British government in London. Armed forces[edit] Main article: Ceylon Defence Force See also: Ceylon in World War II The Ceylon Defence Force (CDF) was the military of British Ceylon. Established in 1881 as the Ceylon Volunteers, as the military reserve in the British Crown colony of Ceylon, by 1910 it grew into the Ceylon Defence Force, a regular force responsible for the defence of Ceylon. The CDF was under the command of the General Officer Commanding, Ceylon, of the British Army
British Army
in Ceylon if mobilised. However mobilisation could be carried out only under orders from the Governor. The Ceylon Defence Force has seen action in a number of wars such as the Second Boer War
Second Boer War
and both World Wars. It is the predecessor to the Ceylon Army.[7] See also[edit]

British Empire
British Empire
portal Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
portal

Portuguese Ceylon Dutch period in Ceylon

References[edit]

^ "The British Empire
British Empire
in 1924". The British Empire. Retrieved 7 November 2017.  ^ Müller, J. B. (6 November 2010). "Anglophiles, Eurocentric arrogance and Reality". The Island.  ^ Keerthisinghe, Lakshman I. (2013). "The British duplicity in protecting human rights in Sri Lanka". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 21 October 2013.  ^ Sujit Sivasundaram, "Tales of the Land: British Geography and Kandyan Resistance in Sri Lanka, c. 1803–1850," Modern Asian Studies (2007) 41#5 pp 925–965. ^ "THE POPULATION I OF SRI LANKA" (PDF). CI.CR.É.D. Series. Retrieved 31 January 2012.  ^ SURYANARAYAN, V. "In search of a new identity". Frontline. Archived from the original on 29 May 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2012.  ^ van Langenberg, Cyril. "The Volunteer Force". The Ceylon Army Journal Volume. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: an account of economic developments in rural Ceylon under British rule

Arsecularatne, S. N, Sinhalese immigrants in Malaysia & Singapore, 1860–1990: History through recollections, Colombo, KVG de Silva & Sons, 1991 Mills, Lennox A. (1933). Ceylon Under British Rule, 1795–1932. Oxford U.P.  Malalgoda, Kitsiri (1976). Buddhism in Sinhalese Society, 1750–1900: A Study of Religious Revival and Change. U. of California Press.  Peebles, Patrick (2006). The History of Sri Lanka. Greenwood.  Peebles, Patrick (2001). The Plantation Tamils of Ceylon. Continuum International.  Schrikker. Alicia (2007). Dutch and British Colonial Intervention in Sri Lanka, 1780–1815: Expansion and Reform. Leiden: Brill.  Spencer, Jonathan (1990). Sri Lanka: History and the Roots of Conflict. Psychology Press.  Silva, K.M. de. History of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
(1982). pp. 239–488 complete text online free Sivasundaram, Sujit (2010). "Ethnicity, Indigeneity, and Migration in the Advent of British Rule to Sri Lanka". The American Historical Review. 115 (2): 428–52. doi:10.1086/ahr.115.2.428.  Sivasundaram, Sujit (2007). "Tales of the Land: British Geography and Kandyan Resistance in Sri Lanka, c. 1803-1850". Modern Asian Studies. Cambridge University Press. 41 (5): 925–65. doi:10.1017/S0026749X06002642. ISSN 1469-8099. JSTOR 4499807 – via JSTOR. (Registration required (help)).  Wenzlhuemer, Roland (2008). From Coffee to Tea Cultivation in Ceylon, 1880–1900: An Economic and Social History. Leiden: Brill.  Wenzlhuemer, Roland. "Indian Labour Immigration and British Labour Policy in Nineteenth‐Century Ceylon," Modern Asian Studies (2007) 41:575–602 Wickramasinghe, Nira (2006). Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
in the Modern Age: A History of Contested Indentities. University of Hawaii Press. 

External links[edit]

තුඩපත් මඟින් හෙළිවන සිංහල උරුමය

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Coordinates: 6°55′00″N 79°50′00″E / 6.9167°N 79.8333°E

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