Much of the contemporary journalistic and academic contributions on the Kandyan Kingdom exhibit a great deal of misunderstanding about the political and social institutions of the Kandyan state. It is taken for granted that it was a Centralized state with an almost homogeneous Sinhalese population . The belief that the Kandyan monarch was the custodian exclusively of Buddhism and its institutions has gainedground partly owingtothe laboursofsome mediocre historians who cannot extricate themselves from their service to the Volk. There is a general tendency, as evident from contemporary writings, to project the Kandyan Kingdom as a Sinhala Buddhist nation state, worse still are the attempts made to defend the arguments in support of the unitary state with selected facts of Kandyan history.
By nature and orientation the Kandyan Kingdom during the time of its existence was an anti colonial alliance of the patriotic forces of both Tamils and Sinhalese and depended considerably on the Nayaker power that prevailed in South India. The tendency to over exploit the rights of the Kandyan
As it prevailed during the period ofJaffna, the aspiration to become the overlord of the whole island existed among the Kandvan Kings as well and the Tamils were aware of it. The reduction of the Kandyan Kingdom into a Sinhala Buddhist Kingdom, that would justify Sinhalese claims of today, exists only in the conspiracy which miserably failed leading to the end of the Kandyan Kingdom and it becoming a British colony instead of its emergence into a Sinhala Buddhist Kingdom as hoped for.
The beginning of the Kandyan12 Kingdom is traced to 1474 when Vikramabahu asserted his independence from the king of Kotte13. During this time there were two competing kingdoms in the island namely Jaffna and Kotte.
The Kandyan Kingdom, like any other kingdom, rose by specific political conditions that facilitated the rise of smaller principalities into kingdoms. This in the case of Kandyan Kingdom undoubtedly was the arrival of the Portuguese, who sooner brought on considerable pressure to extinguish the freedom and independence of the native rule in the maritime kingdoms of Kotte and Jaffna.
Under normal circumstances these tsso Kingdoms Would hase competed to take control of the principalities, known as Kanda Uda Pas Ratta (the five counties on the mountain top) that came together as the Kandyan Kingdom. The arrival of the Portuguese changed all this. The oppressive condition the Portuguese created in the littoral areas effectively shifted the centre of native power from the maritime kingdoms to the central high lands and Kandy soon emerged as the bastion of native zeal of all Sri Lankans.
Kandy had its share of troubles during the initial period when the Kingdorm of Kotte in league faith Portugal and Sitawaka attempted to take control of the Kandyan Kingdom. These attempts had only a limited success.
Before the emergence of Kandy as a bullvark of native power, the role was effectively filled byJaffna and subsequently by Sitavaka during the time of Rajasingha I (1581 1593). This also saznT the rise of fanatical Saivaism in Sitavaka and banishment of Buddhism and the monks from Sri Lanka.
Kandy attempted to thwart a Sitavaka take over by aligning with Portuguese power in Kotte leading to a Kandy Portuguese alliance between 15661581. This ended When Rajasingha successfully defeated the Kandyan Kingdom and annexed it in 1581 lvhen the Kandyan king fled to the Portuguese held territory. This also saw the decline of Buddhism in the Kandyan Kingdom. When Konappu Bandara became the king, he managed to forsake the Portuguese and Sitawaka and reestablish the independence of the Kandyan Kingdom.
Commenting on the missed opportunity in taking over the Kandyan Kingdom by the Portuguese, historian Queroz writes,
Finally leaving other errors of minor import which can be easily understood from this history, the principal mistake ofthis conquest was its delay; because if we had set about it with the needed forces which were not lacking at that time it would have been achieved even in the times of Kings of Cota or immediately after the death of D.Joao it could have been done with greater ease for good reasons. Because the people of Kandy at that time were not accustomed to the fire lock and musket. Secondly in the time ofthe King of Cota every thing outside the hills was subject to them and the people were more ready to follow the fortunes oftheir native King than a stranger and a rebel, and if the Portuguese forces had been added, the King of Kandy could not have secured himself within a diameter of nine leagues of which alone thatKingdom of the hills consisted and wither we had entered with less forces.
The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon, Father Femao de (2ueyroz, page 1066.
During these early times of the Kandyan Kingdorm there 0sTas little opportunity for the Kandyan Kingdom to expand beyond the territory of Kanda Uda Pas Ratta Which •sTas a land locked area above mountains.
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With the closing of the Western littoral by the Portuguese) the outlet of the Kandyan kingdom was by the long root through Jaffna from where also came weapons and other imports from South India. The Portuguese were desperate to close this root and this subsequently became a reason for their subsequent expeditions against3affna.
The death of Rajasingha I brought about the demise of the Kingdom of Sitawaka which was subsequently annexed by the Portuguese with Kotte. With the slow and steady decline of the Kingdom of Jaffna as a result of open war and hostility with the Portuguese, the time was ripe for the emergence of the Kingdom of Kandy as a bastion of independent native power.
Opening a route through the East became vital as the Kandyan Kingdom did not have even a right of passage through these areas which were Tamil principalities under independent chieftains having their own problems with the Portuguese. So the Kandyan kings decided to use the Portuguese for opening a pathway through Trincomalee and Batticaloa.
The relationship of the Eastern principalities with the Kandyan kingdom during this period could be best described as two friendly neighbouring principalities. The Eastern principalities had their ambassadors in the Kandyan kingdom writes the missionaries who visited the Kandyan Kingdom during this period.
"For the King of Batticalou and Triqunamalee have ambassadors here (in Kandy) who wish to become Christians."
The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka, Portuguese period Vol. 1, 1505 to 1565. V. Penliola, Letterof De Sousa to Joao De Castro f rom Kandy. 2 7 May 1546, page 154.
To the kingdom of Jaffna these Southern principalities were the many Tamil N;annimai or autonomous principalities neighbouring each other that stretched through the mainland linked by a common identity of language, religion and culture and also in the nature of governence. Portuguese missionarv De Coimba writing on the nature of political relationship of the Eastern principalities with the Kandyan Kingdom notes.
"On this same coast there are two other Kingdoms; one called Jala, which adjoins the Kingdom of Madune on one side. The other in Batecalou, which borders on Jala and Triquinomalle. The Kingdom of Jala belongs to the Prince of Batecalou, for he is the nephew of the queen of Jala and, according to their customs, he is the heir to Batecalou since he is the son of the King.
I happened to go to this kingdom of Batecalou when I was coming to India, in order to take ship there for Sam Tome, as Batecalou is a sea port, and as its kingis friendlywith the KingofCamde, and the two Kingdoms adjoin each other. "
The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka, Portuguese period Vol. I, 1505 to 1565. V. Perniola, Letter of De Coimba to Joao 111, page 211.
Jawaweera Bandara who found no other way but to use the Portuguese to open him a pathway through Batticaloa, sent Ictter to the Governor Don de Castroa through Franciscans in 1:)47 that he is willing to become a Catholic and he would eed some Portuguese soldiers to protect him from any trouble and these soldiers should come to Kandy through Batticaloa . He also sent guides who would lead the Portuguese thrc)tlgll Batticaloa and marched to Kandy. The whole exercise ended as a night mare to the Portuguese, and Britto, the Portuguese captain, Who led the expedition finally managing to escape to Sitavaka.
The Kandyan King offered monev to the Portuguese to open the port of Trincomalee for him which also required a safe passage to be established between Kandy to Trincomalee.
"He agreed to give 3000 pardaos, which he had offered to whoever shall open the port ofTriqunarnalle tohirn."
The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka, Portuguese Period Vol. 1, 1505 to 1565. V. Penziola, Letter by Anthonio Padram to Joao de Castro, KandA, June 1546, Paged 69.
N.A.Periera and Andre de Sousa who led the expedition demanded the money saving the offer was far too short of the expenses incurred.
The experience of the Portuguese on this expedition is described byPeriera.
At Triquanamalle however I found only 13 or 14 Portuguese. Hence the inhabitants of the place being themselves free from fear caused great fear among my men by the information they gave. This was near to causing me an unfortunate disaster.
On Good Friday, I was left without a single man, with the exception of my four servants. No body has so far attacked us . But word reached us that they were coming to attack us. Since the place we were was four leagues away from the inhabited districts ofthis King, they were anxious to withdraw in time.
Letter of N . A. Pereira to Joao De Castro, Kandy 29th May 1546. The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka V.Pemiola, The Portuguese Period. Vol.l page 161.
The expedition led by Maguell Fernandez inJune met with disaster. They were beaten and driven back to Nagapatnam by the Vanniah of Trincomalee. The Poutuguese were at a loss to know what was happening.
Then, though I had done them no harm, they began to harass us. Hence we disembarked, andtherewe found more than 500 men with swords and daggers. Our Lord was pleased thatwe shouldbeat them, and we were saved only by a miracle. The struggle was such that a friar who was going with me, had to come to the rescue and it fell to his share to kill three persons. As I had beenwounded by three men, and as food was running short, and I had received no message, though I had waited many days at this port, nor could I expect any message on account ofthe confusion of the situation, I set sail and made my way to Nagapatam.
At Nagapatnam I found Christavao d'Qurrea as captain. I reported to him the need in which the King of Cande stood and informed him that the King was now a Christian. I mentioned the presence of Portuguese there from whom I had received no message. I requested him to give me more men to go there with those who were with me. With them I would go backtothe port ofTriquinamale to get some information about the Portuguese and to bring help to the king, since at the moment any assistance was of great importance. Iassuredhimthat lessthanone hundred men were enough to go to Cande by way ofthe port of Triquanamale in spite of the opposition of the prince of the region.
Letter of Miguel Femandes to Joao De Castro. The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka, V.Perniola, The Portuguese Period, Volume 1, page 177
In explaining these events, the Portuguese historians exhibit a remarkable innocence and the Franciscan friars anxious at conversions, were forgetting the political realities and misleading the Portuguese rulers and causing great losses to the Portuguese state. The Portuguese were used by the Sinhalese aspirants to undermine the sovereign rights of Tamil principalities and faced bitter experience in the hands of Tamil rulers.
However, the Kandyans were given the right of passage as long as this would not hinder the peaceful life in the pnnclpalltles.
The Kandyans now faced a new danger of becoming encircled. The Portuguese, after the defeat of the Kingdom of Jaffna were able to build Forts in Trincomalee (1623) and Batticaloa (1628).
The two important factors led to the transmogrification of the Kandvan Kingdom into an anti colonial alliance against the Portuguese, with a renewed claim to littoral areas as a native power. These are the demise of the independent Kingdom of Jaffna and the establishment of.Nayaker power in Kandy. The littoral territories at this juncture Were slowly slipping into the hands of the Portuguese.
Tile historical context and the beginning of the Vijavanagar influence in Kand,v, now expanded with Madurai as its Sentry has been kept as a mysterv by the Sinhalese and British historians in an attempt to down play the extent of Sovereign pourer thev held in Kandy. These historians have rposefully refused to investigate the origins of the Nayaker influence in Kandy and were content to attribute it to the matrimonial relationship during a much later period.
The name Gopala Muthaliyar14 appears as a regent ne¢,otiatirag on behalf of the Kandyan Kingdom with the Dutch during much earlier time.
These chiefs and Gopala Muthaliyar in particular, seem to have done their job very well so well in fact that the Dutch believed that Gopala Muthaliyar and the others were their good friends, and that so long as they were Raja Singha's advisers, he would not follow an anti Dutch policy.
Dutch Polver in Ceylon 1658 1687 S.A rasaratnum, page. 54.
The name first appears in the name of Vijava Gopala Navakkar who was left behind as the Viceroy in Kandy, by Krishllappa Navakkar after his expedition to Ceylon in which the Kandyan king was killed. The year the expedition is said to have taken place is 1561. The name has survived as a title name adopted by the Nayaker viceroys in subsequent period.
The emergence of Nayaker influence radically changed the political equations of the Kandyan kingdom. The Kandyan kings who were bending over their back to become Catholics to obtain Portuguese support, now gained strength to wage full scale war against the Portuguese15 .
The conflicts and the dissension that arose among the chieftains of the Tamil principalities of the North East against the attempts to claim the remnants of the Kingdom of Jaffna by the Kandyan Kingdom did not arise from any opposition to Sinhala Buddhism16, which was a long way away before its appearance and raising its ugly head, but based on resistance to the Vishnavite Brahmin dominance which the Nayaker rule svas bent to impose over the Sivaite traditions prevalent in Jaffna and its principalities17 .
The ease with the Nayakers seems to have integrated as one with the Sinhalese has to be explained in terms of the Andrah origins of the earlier Buddhist culture.
The Vishnavite Hinduism of the Nayakers considers Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu. The Sinhalese script too originated from Andrah
Rajasingha's knife was a Tamil. She was also the mother of Rajasingha's son who ascended to the throne with the name of Vimala Dahrmasuriya II (1687 1707) after the death of Rajasingha18. The claim of the Kandyan king to Jaffna on the basis of matrimonial relationship which the Portuguese tried to prevent from taking place and refuted by the Dutch can be understood only in terms of the origins of Rajasingha's wife to the Royal household of the Kingdom of Jaffna and and not to the Coast of Coromandel. But this could have taken place after their taking refuge in Madurai.
The new found strength of the Kandyan Kingdom came to be further consolidated under the the able and crafty leadership of Rajasingha II who entered into an alliance with the Dutch to drive the Portuguese out.
Rajasingha's rule is distinguished by its plural character and its resulting effectiveness. Religious tolerance reigned supreme. The Kingdom provided refuge even to the Portuguese Catholics, known for their religious bigotry, at the time when they came to be persecuted by the Calvinism of the Dutch in the maritime areas. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity existed side by side. Tamils and Muslims served in high positions in the administration and were envoys of the King in important negotiations with the foreign powers.
During the period of Rajasingha II the Kandyan Kingdom emerged and expanded drawing to itself all the native disposition of power. The monarchy cannot be linked to any single faith but the principle of government was more Hindu in character.
The constitution was outstanding. Its constitution is one of the earliest constitutions recorded in the East. Based on the union of autonomous principalities, the norms and customs were strictly adhered to. There were Tamil and Sinhalese principalities within the Kandyan Kingdom and the the sovereign powers of these were carefully upheld.
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Robert Knox has left behind valuable account of the constitution and culture of Kandyan kingdom during this period. Writing on the Tamil principality of Anuradapura which he reached in 1676 on the way of his escape,
To Anuradapura therefore we came, which is not so much a particular single town as a territory. It is a vast great plain, the like I never saw in all that island; in the midst whereofis a lake, which may be a mile over, not natural, but made by art, as other ponds in the country, to serve them to water their corn grounds.
This plain is encompassed round with woods and small towns among them on every side, inhabited by Malabars19, a distinct people from the Sinhalese. But these towns we could not see till we came in among them.
Being come out through the woods into this plain, we stood looking and staring round about us, but knew not where nor which way to go. At length we heard a cock crow, which was a sure sign to us that there was a town hard by; into which we were resolved to enter. For standing thus amazed, was the ready way to be taken up for suspicious persons, especially because white men never came down so low.
Being entered into this town, we sat ourselves under a tree and proclaimed our wares, for we feared to rush into their yards, as we used to do in other places, least we should scare them
The people stood amazed as soon as they saw us, being originally Malabars, though subjects of Kandy.
Nor could they understand the Sinhalese language in which we spake to them.
And we stood looking one upon another until there came one that could speak the Sinhalese tongue: who asked us. from whence we came? We told, him from Kandy. But they believed us not, supposing that we came up from the Dutch from Mannar.
So they brought us before their Governor. He not speaking Sinhalese spake to us by an interpreter.
And to know the truth, whether we came from the place we pretended, he inquired about news at Court; demanded, who were Governors of such and such countries? and what was become of some certain noblemen, whom the king had lately cut off? and also what the common people were employed about at Court, for it is seldom that they are idle.
To all which we gave satisfactory answers. Then we inquire of us, who gave us leave to come down so low? We told him, that privilege was given to us by the King himself full fifteen years since at his palace at Nilanbe Nuvara, when he caused it to the declared unto us, thatwe were no longer prisoners, and (which indeed was our own addition) that we were free to enjoy the benefit of trade in all his dominions.
To prove and confirm the truth of which, we alleged the distance ofthe way that we were now come from home, being near an hundred miles, passingthrough several countries, where we met several Governors and officers in their respective jurisdictions; who had they not been well sensible of these privileges granted us, would not have allowed through their countries."
Robert Knox in the Kand) an Kingdom, Ed. E.EC.Ludolyk, p 50.
It is apparent from Robert Knok's observations that the principality of Anuradapura was peopled by Tamils at the time of his escape in 1679 and the Tamil principalities of the Kandyan Kingdom enjoyed a substantial degree of autonomy. In terms of sovereign rights of the king over these principalities, there was little left and the Kandvan King himself was careful not to violate the norms which by custom the King upheld.
The Robert KIIOX map of Ceylon, based on political dixisiolls that existed during the time of his stay in the Kandvan Kingdom is the earliest map showing the three major political divisions and the boundaries of the Tamil Homeland. The map tlSO shows the internal divisions of Tamil Homeland.
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It is saddening that the alliance of the Tamil principalities with the Kandyan Kingdom, could have been made a basis for Sinllalese territorial claims in subsequent years on the basis any territory that had anything to do with Kandyan Kingdom had belonged to the Sinhalese.
The Tamils who have lived in the North Central and North Western provinces over centuries have undergone considerable hardship in recent times and sought refuge in the North East. As a result of the creation of the North Central and North Western provinces, the Tamils in these provinces have been reduced to a meagre number and placed at great disadvantage politically and turned into Sinhalese by force and threats. A considerable number of village names in the North Western and North Central provinces have Tamil origins. Their conversion into Sinhalese forms have accompanied a systematic take over and assimilation of these Tamil villages by the Sinhalese Villages.
No doubt the claims of ancient Kingdom of Anuradapura greatlv excited the British . This came in handy for the Sinhalese schemers who were in collusion with the British in dethroning the Tamil Royalty of Kandy. This greatly helped realisation of claims for these areas as Sinhalese areas as they were the part of Kandyan Kingdom.
The idea that an Aryan speaking colonisation brought cisilisation to Sri Lanka and the Tamils were nothing more than Dravidian invaders destroying the great Aryan civilisation, ilnmensely conditioned the British rulers in making ajudgment regarding political realities in Ceylon. The fact is the British rulers came to Ceylon nearly 300 years after the arrival of the Portuguese with whom the Tamils were at war for nearly 100 years and during which time the present North East province as well as the sovereign rights the Tamils held by the Kingdom of Jaffna and the other principalities underwent considerable change leading to de population of these areas .
When the Kingdom of Jaffna and other principalities were subdued and their civil life distroyed, these political entities became so disfigured so much so that the flourishing principalities became overgrown with jungle. By the time the British arrived, much of their demarcation were unidentifiable. This entailed the Sinhalese gains of today, and the difficulties the Tamil people are facing in establishing their historical rights.
The alliance which the Sinhalese sought with the foreigners at the expense of the sovereign rights of Tamils offering these territories to foreign powers without the knowledge and consent of the Tamil people and taking advantage of their ignorance has helped the realisation of dubious claims for territory20.
After the decline of the Kingdom of Jaffna, the nature of diplomacy that the Eastern principalities have to adopt in dealing faith, on one side the Kandyan Kingdom and on the other side, the Portuguese, the Dutch admiral CesTbalt De Mteert who arrived in Batticaloa in 1602 says the chief of the district ssThom he describes as a king is "secretly a friend of the Portuguese, though kept in check with the fear of war with the King of Kandy''.21
And in trotting to assert authority over the eastern principalities, the Kandyan King had the habit of carrying away the local chiefs22. The Dutch to whom the Kandyan Kings offered the East without the consent or knowledge of the people replaced the Portuguese in the maritime areas. Soon after taking these areas from the Portuguese, the Dutch realised the nature of the offer of the Kandyan Kings and their Nayaker proteges were making.
In 1639 Trincomalee was taken by the Dutch and an year after that, they have taken Batticaloa. The Tamil principalities were put into extreme difficulty in the East by the high handed act of the Kandyan King .
As the Dutch were more interested in cinnamon and when the.} found there was no cinnamon in the East, exchanged these areas with the Kandyan Kingdom for Galle where Cinnamon grew. This temporarily brought an extension of the authority of the Kandyan King over these areas. It w as during this time 1660 Robert Knox showed up in Trincomalee With his ship and was arrested by Kandvan forces.
The Kandyan kings have no historz, of having maintained ally garrison in the Eastern principalities or have any history of having defended these areas from foreign incursions but only nlade attempts to take control of these areas using foreigners and in which enterprise they never succeeded.
The initial experience of the Dutcll would have clearly indicated to them the nature of claims the Kandyans were snaking.
The garrison at Batticaloa was authorized to demand from the inhabitants of the district whatever they might require. As for the cinnamon the King promised them in the Eastern Province, they went and demanded from the Muthaliyar of Sammanthurai and the Muthaliyar explained to C,aen, the Dutch Commander that it is not found in the Eastern Principality but has to be obtained from elsewhere.
The King not only could not supply provisions to the Dutch garrisons according to the agreement, he couldn't provision his ossn troops whenever he took them into the Tamil principalities to protect his convoys to the sea ports.
When the King demanded the Forts, the Dutch who were more interested in the cinnamon producing areas of the south after initial hesitations handed over the Port of Trincomalee foil the payment of 10 elephants and the Fort was dismantled as it stood on the premises of the Sivan Koxil.
Soon the true intentions of the Dutch" Not only lve intend to maintain our present rights in Ceylon but we hope to secure the entire possession of the island of Ceylon" put Rajasingha into difficulties for he could hardly pay the bills as agreed and the Dutch never handed over what they took afterwards.23
Trincomalee was retaken by the Dutch in 1666 follolved by Batticaloa.
Robert Knox came and landed in this period in 1659 when the King of Kandy had a nominal control over Trincomalee as a result of his agreement with the Dutch. Knox and his father travelled into Trincomalee for trade in arecanuts and clothes which has been a usual happening, and stayed on for the repair of their ship. After receiving information of their undue stay, the King becoming suspicious, the soldiers the King sent had to travel all the way from Kandy as there were no Kandyan soldiers in Trincomalee.
However, credit goes to the Kandyan Kings for securing the passage and use of ports and expelling the Portuguese, whose marauding rule brought so much misery to the people of this County by entering into an alliance with the Dutch. The Dutch rule differed from the Portuguese in many ways.
S. Arasaratnam commenting on this achievement of the Kandyan King says,
The ports of Chilaw and Kalpitiya on the West cost and of Trincomalee and Batticaloa in the East coast were, at least for the present, open for his trade as was not the case in the Portuguese period.
The Dutch Power in Ceylon. 1658 1687 S. A rasaratnatn, page 2.
Further commenting on the high handedness of the Dutch and the consequences of the dubious claims of Raja Singha, Arasaratnam says,
"Some other intering f acts throw more light on this whole enterprise. Inthe preamble tothe ola granted by the Dutch to the Chiefs, it was stated that the occupationofthe lands was done with deference to Raja Singha's request to the Dutch to annex Batticaloa and all its dependencies and the lands of Kottiyar and to rule them in Company's name. This was a calculated lie, and a reference to Rajasingah's letterof 5thJanuaxy 1665 showsthatthisDutch claim was a deliberate falsification. It would appear, therefore, that this story was concocted by the Dutch purely to convey the impression to the native chiefs and people that they acting on behalf, and with their consent, of their lawful King. If the Dutch had to put across this piece of deception in the course of this enterprise, it would show that they were making a definite attempt to win over the people. In this case, it casts doubt on the Dutch contention that they found the lands unoccupied and marched in responding to the pleas ofthepeople.
Other circumstantial evidence that came up later confirms the above suspicion. Within few months ofthis transfer of sovereignty, the entire East coast from the North to the South rose up against the Dutch and inflicted heavy losses on them. The Dutch could never subdue these districts completely, in spite of littering the coastline with numerous fortifications and military watch posts garrisoned by Dutch and native soldiers. Unrest in the land, the result of Dutch expansion, which so far had only been confined to the West and the South of the island, now spread to the East too, Dutch attempt to penetrate this area and Raja Singha's efforts to curb these attempts made these Eastern lands too the theatre of warfare, bringing in their train the familiar devastation that had so often been seen in the Western lands. The formertrade and commerce, the buying and selling, the frequentation of the people declined. Consuming every year a large number of soldiers by sickness and death, not producing the expected economic advantages, these Eastern acquisitions were a'running sore' in the finances ofthe Dutch Company till they decided to get rid of them."
Dutch Power in Ceylon 1658 1687, S. A raSaratMam, page 43.
S.Arasaratnam, whose thesis on this Dutch period emphasised the nature of the conflict that existed between King RajasintsWha and the Dutch, and who justifiably takes the side of his native king in this conflict and attempts to underplay the nature of the dubious claims the Kandyan King was making to the East which was strongly resented by the Eastern principalities. However commenting on the nature of relationship that existed between the King and these principalities which was not the subject of the book says,
The Western lands were populated by the Sinhalese professing the Buddhist faith, and had belonged traditionally to Sinhalese Royal families of which Raja Sinha was the only remaining representative in the island. Thus there was a sentimental value attached to the possession ofthese lands, and the prestige of a Sinhalese monarch governing over Sinhalese subjects.
The Eastern lands were of a totally different type. Predominantly Tamil in population and Hindus by faith, with a fair concentration of Muslims, these lands had been governed for some time by semi independent chieftains owing a feeble allegiance to the lord ofthe land. But, in some respect, these lands were even more valuable to Raja Sinha than were those on the West. Their economic importance was very great.
Dutch Power in Ceylon 1658 1687, S A rasaratnam, page 53.
The Dutch who were now well entrenched and familiar with local traditions now looked to renegotiating the basis of their relationship with the Kandyan Kingdom. They took the following stance with the Kandyans,
1st. that the lands of Mature, Galle, Columbo, Negumbo, Chilau and Calpatyn with their dependencies, be held by us in lease with full power to raise forts wherever these may be deemed necessarybyus, until such time as the Eng shall have paid his debts.
2nd . that the Domain of Jaffnapatnam, the Province of the Wannis, Mannar and the neighbouring districts be placed under the absolute control of the company. This part of Ceylon in former ages, before the landing ofthe Portuguese, was governed by a king of the gentiles, and neither Raja Sinha nor any of his predecessors ever held sovereignty over it.
3rd.thatthesubjects andtheresidents ofthe Ki ngdom of Jaf anapatam and those of the lands held on lease, shall live in peace and amity with eachother, andthatthe Emperor oranyofhis representatives be forbidden tocarryawayany ofthe inhabitantsunderwhateverpretext.
4th. that all the country roads and rivers of both Domains will be free and open to the travellers from all parts of Ceylon and no one will be obstructed in his progress.
5th. that the ports of Trincomalee and Batacalao shall be open ports f or the Empemr but that those of Chilau and Calpentin and some others, ifnecessarv, shall be exElusivelyreserved for us.
6th. that the entire inlet ofthe Sea, generally called the BayofTutecorin, iendirEfrnm Cape Comorin along the coast of Madura, past the idlands afRsmeswaIam,AdamAg,6snnarand then alongthe coast of Ceylon and the island of Calpetin as far as Columbo, shall remain under theexclusisre ruleofthe Company andnoone be allowed to frequent these waters without ourpasses.
7th. thatifthe Emperorwishesit, we shall send in a yearly balance sheet of credit and debit.
8th. thatwe will always showduerespect and deference to the King and his son, the Prince.
9 th. that we shall protect the leased lands against the enemies from outside and duly inform His Majesty when the necessity for such measures arises.
Letter of Dutch Commissary Ryckloof Van Goens to The Governor General dated 24th July, 1658. Jaffnapatnam.
Pieris,P.E, Ceylon and the Hollanders, 1658 1796, page 252.
In another instant the Dutch concerns were expressed in the following terms.
It is perfectly clear that Raja Singa's pretensions to Jafanapatam and the island of Manar are invalid. I shall order some ofthe Mudaliyars and magnates of Jafanapatam to draw up a statement ofthejust rights ofthe former Kings of Jafanapatam who were descendants ofthe KingofTanjore.They never intermarried with anyofthe relatives ofthe Kings of Jaffnapatnam, and therefore Raja Singha's claim cannot be considered. As soon as it comes to war we shall send him fee document and ajusffication of our act ion.
Van Goens Letter to Governor general in Bataviya 4th Feb 1659. Pieris,P.E, Ceylon and the Hollanders, 1658 1796, page 270.
Now that the scheme to take over the North East with the elp of Dutch has failed, the Kandyan king offered these areas to the French. The French came and occupied Trincomalee in l 672. But the expedition miserably failed because the Kandyan King had no way of supplying provisions to the French and the Dutch managed to get them away. Then the English were tried but knowing the pitfalls the English turned down the offer.
The Dutch no more dependent on the goodwill of the Kandyans, brought military pressure to bear on the relationship and during the time of Kirthi Sri ( l 747 l 782 ), the Kandyans gave up their claim for the North East. Though the Kandyans offered a strip ten miles from the cost, the Dutch totally ignored this and used the traditional boundaries of the Tamil principalities to draw out the boundary between them and Kandyan kingdom and there was no objections from the Kandyans. This treaty that came into force in 1766, made the Kandyan Kingdom a landlocked country dependent on the Dutch for external trade and salt.
* See PLATE I for the territorial demarcation between Dutch and the Kandyan Kingdom as agreed on the treaty of l 766.
During the time of the Dutch much of the Tamil principalities reasserted their autonomy. The Dutch unlike the Portuguese respected the autonomy of the principalities . Their Obligation under the Dutch rested on providing their annual tribute of elephants and land rents.
The reassertion of the political authority of the Vanniahs was a source of irritation for the Dutch and some maintained a relationship between the Kandyan king as well as the Dutch.
Commenting on the nature of relationship the Tamil principalities had with the Dutch and the Kandyan kings! C.Navaratnam writes,
According to the Dutch Governor the Vanni rulers were standing with one foot on the Company's land and the other one on the king's territory.
They were a constant source of irritation to the Dutch as they had been to the Portuguese. The chiefs would not often pay their annual tribute oftheir elephants and their land rents and some even would not appear at the annual durbar when they were summoned by the governors. This was especially the case with Kailaya Vanniyan of Pannangamam who failed to appear before the Dutch Govemor for twelve consecutive years.
Vanni and the VannEyas, C.Navaratnam, page.25.
The dethroning of the Kandyan Royalty by the British in 1815 with the help of few traitors, based on communal lines that the Royalty is Tamil and Hindu and it should be removed so as to turn the Kandyan territories into a Sinhala Buddhist Kingdom, effectively brought an end to the Kandyan
Kingdom and made it part of the British colony of Ceylon as is evident from the fallowing sections of the proclamation:
Proclamation of 2nd March 1815 of the convention between the British Crown and Kandyan Chiefs.
1. That the cruelties and oppressions ofthe Malabar ruler, in the arbitrary and unjust infliction of bodily tortures and the pains of death without trial, and sometimes without an accusationorthe possibilityofacrime,andinthe general contemptand contravention of allcivil rights, have become flagrant, enormous and intolerable; the acts and maxims of his government being equally and entirely devoid ofthatjustice which should secure the safety of his subjects, andofthatgoodfaith which might obtain a beneficial intercourse with the neighbounng settlements.
2. Thatthe RajaSriWickremeRaja Singhe, by the habitual violation ofthe chiefand most sacred duties of a sovereign, has forfeited all claims to the title, or the powers annexed to the same; and is declared fallen and deposed from the office of ldng, his family and relatives, whether in the ascending, descending, or collateral line, andwhetherby affinity orby blood, are also for ever excluded from the throne; and all claims or title ofthe Malabar race to the dominion ofthe Kandyan provinces is abolished and extinguished.
3. That all male persons, being or pretending to be relations ofthe late Raja Sri Wickrema Raja Singhe, either by nffinity or by blood and whether in ascending, descending or collateral line, are hereby declared enemies to the government ofthe Kandyan provinces, and excluded and prohibited from entering those provinces on any pretense whatever, withouta written permission forthatpurpose by the authority ofthe British Government, under the pains and penalties of martial law, which is hereby declared to be in force for that purpose; and all male persons of the Malabar caste, now expelled from the said provinces, are under the same penalties, prohibited from returning, except with the permission before mentioned.
4. The dominion of the Kandyan provinces is vested in the Sovereign ofthe BritishEmpire, andtobeexercisedthrough the governors or lieutenant governors of Ceylon forthe time being, andtheiraccredited agents; serving to the Adigars, Dessaves, Mohottales, Coraals, Vidaanas, and all other chief and subordinate native headman lawfully appointed by authority of the British Government, the rights, privileges, and powers of their respective offices; and to all classes of the people the safety of their persons and property, with their civil rights and immunities, acoordingto the laws, institutions, and customs established and in force amongst them.
5. The religion of Budhoo, professed by the chiefs and inhabitants of these provinces, is declared inviolable, and its rights, ministers and places of worship are to be maintained and protected.
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The expulsion and exclusion of Tamils from the Kandyan Kingdom which the traitors demanded as a price for their collaboration also brought about a dissolution of the allegiance of the Tamil principalities with Kanda Uda Pas Ratta and these territories of Tamil principalities including Thammankaduwa and Anuradapura became part of the Northern and Eastern Prosinces in subsequent demarcation and in the Proclamation of 1833 creating the five provinces. The Sinhalese claims could be made only to those territories that were Sinhalese.
The British connivance with the traitors and agreeing to expel the Tamils from the Kandyan Kingdom as given in the article of the Proclamation officially enthroned Communalism and religious despotism as the ideology of Government of Kandyan territories effectively replacing and ending the plural foundations of the Kandyan Kingdom.
The denial of the rights of the Tamil people and the exclusion of Tamils from the process of government which started with the Kandyan Conspiracy, proposed by the traitors and seconded by the British, subsequently has been further carried through under the guise of parliamentary democracy and extended to the whole island by the collaborator layers of the Sinhala society, in whose hands the British left behind the reigns of power and their decadent idea of the unitary state.