The Anuradhapura Kingdom, named for its capital city, was the first established kingdom in ancient Sri Lanka and Sinhalese people. Nonetheless, the king of Anuradhapura was seen as the ruler of the country throughout the Anuradhapura period. Buddhism played a role in the Anuradhapura period, influencing its culture, laws. Invasions from South India were a constant threat throughout the Anuradhapura period, rulers such as Dutthagamani and Dhatusena are noted for defeating the South Indians and regaining control of the kingdom. Other rulers who are notable for military achievements include Gajabahu I, who launched an invasion against the invaders, and Sena II, who sent his armies to assist a Pandyan prince. Several kings, most notably Vasabha and Mahasena, built reservoirs and canals. These constructions are an indication of the technical and engineering skills used to create them. In 543 BC, prince Vijaya arrived in Sri Lanka, having been banished from his homeland in India and he eventually brought the island under his control and established himself as king.
After this, his retinue established villages and colonies throughout the country, one of these was established by Anuradha, a minister of King Vijaya, on the banks of a stream called Kolon and was named Anuradhagama. In 377 BC, King Pandukabhaya made it his capital and developed it into a prosperous city, Anuradhapura was named after the minister who first established the village and after a grandfather of Pandukabhaya who lived there. The name was derived from the citys establishment on the auspicious asterism called Anura. Anuradhapura was the capital of all the monarchs who ruled the country during in the Anuradhapura Kingdom, with the exception of Kashyapa I, the city is marked on Ptolemys world map. King Pandukabhaya, the founder and first ruler of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, fixed village boundaries in the country and he constructed hermitages, houses for the poor and irrigation tanks. He brought a portion of the country under the control of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. However, it was not until the reign of Dutthagamani that the country was unified under the Anuradhapura Kingdom.
He defeated 32 rulers in different parts of the country before he killed Elara, the South Indian ruler who was occupying Anuradhapura, the chronicle Mahavamsa describes his reign with much praise, and devotes 11 chapters out of 37 for his reign. He is described as both a king and a devout Buddhist. After unifying the country, he helped establish Buddhism on a firm and secure base, another notable king of the Anuradhapura Kingdom is Valagamba, known as Vatthagamani Abhaya, who was overthrown by five invaders from South India
History of Sri Lanka
The earliest human remains found on the island of Sri Lanka date to about 35,000 years ago. The proto-historical period begins roughly in the 3rd century, based on chronicles like the Mahavamsa, Silappatikaram, the earliest documents of settlement in the Island are found in these chronicles. These chronicles cover the period since the establishment of the Kingdom of Tambapanni in the 6th century BCE, the first Sri Lankan ruler of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, Pandukabhaya, is recorded for the 4th century BCE. Buddhism was introduced in the 3rd century BCE by Arhath Mahinda, the first Tamil ruler of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, Elara, an invader, is recorded for the 2nd century BCE. The island was divided into numerous kingdoms over the following centuries, Sri Lanka was ruled by 181 monarchs from the Anuradhapura to Kandy periods. From the 16th century, some areas of the country were controlled by the Portuguese, Dutch. Between 1597 and 1658, a part of the island was under Portuguese rule. The Portuguese lost their possessions in Ceylon due to Dutch intervention in the Eighty Years War, following the Kandyan Wars, the island was united under British rule in 1815.
Armed uprisings against the British took place in the 1818 Uva Rebellion, independence was finally granted in 1948 but the country remained a Dominion of the British Empire until 1972. In 1972 Sri Lanka assumed the status of a Republic, a constitution was introduced in 1978 which made the Executive President the head of state. The Sri Lankan Civil War began in 1983, including an armed uprising in 1987–1989. Evidence of human colonization in Sri Lanka appears at the site of Balangoda, Balangoda Man arrived on the island about 34,000 years ago and have been identified as Mesolithic hunter gatherers who lived in caves. Several of these caves, including the well known Batadombalena and the Fa-Hien Rock cave, have yielded artifacts from these people who are currently the first known inhabitants of the island. Balangoda Man probably created Horton Plains, in the central hills, the discovery of oats and barley on the plains at about 15,000 BCE suggests that agriculture had already developed at this early date.
Several minute granite tools, remnants of charred timber, human remains dating to 6000 BCE have been discovered during recent excavations around a cave at Varana Raja Maha vihara and in the Kalatuwawa area. Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka and has found in Ancient Egypt as early as 1500 BCE. It is possible that Biblical Tarshish was located on the island, james Emerson Tennent identified Tarshish with Galle. The protohistoric Early Iron Age appears to have established itself in South India by at least as early as 1200 BCE, the earliest manifestation of this in Sri Lanka is radiocarbon-dated to c
Dutch Ceylon was a governorate established in present-day Sri Lanka by the Dutch East India Company. It existed from 1640 until 1796, in the early 17th century, Sri Lanka was partly ruled by the Portuguese and Sri Lankan kingdoms, who were constantly battling each other. Although the Portuguese were not winning the war, their rule was burdensome to the people of those areas controlled by them. While the Dutch were engaged in a war of independence from Spanish rule. The Dutch interest in Ceylon was to have a battle front against the Iberians at that time. The Dutch were invited by the Sri Lankans to liberate the country from the Portuguese and they signed the Kandyan Treaty of 1638 with Rajasinghe II and soon embarked on a war against their common enemy. As such the Dutch were appointed as a protector of the country, however, Rajasinghe II approached the French and offered them the Trincomalee fort as a check against Dutch power. The Dutch captured Trinco from the French and controlled all the provinces of the island.
Rajasinghe and the Dutch were both playing a game trying to outwit each other, and the treaty of 1638 was never implemented. The Dutch ruled all the Tamil provinces and brought Tanjore Tamil slaves to work in the Cinnamon gardens in the Western Province, the capital of Dutch Coromandel was in Pulicat and they brought needed manpower from the Indian colonies. Portuguese rule was always in the provinces and the people whom they converted were the coastal folk. They were the backbone of their power, many of the Princes they converted had either died or were no longer Catholic. The rest of the Ceylon remained in the Buddhist-Hindu religion, the Dutch were used by the Sinhala king to take revenge on the Portuguese who wanted to expand their rule. The war with Portugal was against their ruler the King of Spain, once Portugal obtained its freedom from Spain the Netherlands settled for peace with Portugal. Then they divided the areas of Ceylon amicably under a treaty signed in Goa. Slowly, the Dutch became the rulers of coastal and outer areas of Ceylon and Indonesia, and the Portuguese were left with smaller pieces of territory than those of the Dutch and the English.
In the east, Portugal held territories not only in Ceylon but in India, in the Persian Gulf, from 1580 to 1640, the throne of Portugal was held by the Habsburg kings of Spain resulting in the biggest colonial empire until then. The Azores were the last part of Portugal to resist Philips reign over Portugal, the Netherlands meanwhile were in open revolt against their Habsburg overlord and declared themselves a Republic in 1581
Kingdom of Sitawaka
The Kingdom of Sitawaka was a kingdom located in south-central Sri Lanka. It emerged from the division of the kingdom of Kotte following the Spoiling of Vijayabahu in 1521, Sitawaka offered fierce resistance to the Portuguese, who had arrived on the island in 1505. Sitawaka disintegrated soon after the death of its last king Rajasimha I in 1593, by 1467, the Jaffna Kingdom to the north had asserted its independence. In 1505 the first Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka, by 1518 a large fleet of Portuguese ships had landed at Colombo, to the east, the client kingdom of Kandy was by this time operating with a considerable degree of independence as well. The kingdom of Kandy was effectively outside of the control of any of three successor states. The kingdom of Sitawaka initially covered a small area including Kosgama, Yatiyanthota, Padukka, Kuruwita. The terrain was hilly, bordered to the east by Kandy, the capital city—modern Avissawella—was situated on a steep hill at the base of bluff hills rising around 1,000 feet above the surrounding jungle cover.
Soon after his ascent to the throne, Bhuvanekabahu began to strengthen his ties with the Portuguese in order to secure his throne from any challenge from Sitawaka. Two further invasions of Kotte followed in the five years. The first, beginning in 1539, failed following resistance organised by the new Portuguese Captain-General in Colombo, Portuguese involvement in the internal politics of Kotte increased with the arrival in 1550 of viceroy Afonso de Noronha and a contingent of some 500 Portuguese soldiers. The Portuguese sacked Sitawaka that year, but failed to retain the city, once the invaders had left the capital, the kings forces would harass them along the route down to the Kelani river. In 1551 Bhuvanekabahu was assassinated and succeeded by Dharmapala, who relied heavily on his European allies to maintain his hold over the kingdom. A new Portuguese fortress was constructed in Colombo in 1554, King Dharmapala himself converted to Catholicism in 1557 and adopted the name Dom João Pereira Bandara.
Large numbers of Buddhist clergy and commoners fled the kingdom fearing persecution amidst rumours of forced conversions, Portuguese claims to have burnt the relic further inflamed the resentment of the populace. A Sitawakan invasion that year was repulsed by Captain-General Dom Afonso Pereira de Lacerda, Kotte counter-attacked in 1562, with Lacerda leading a substantial force from Colombo along the banks of the river Kelani. The victory was a psychological boost for the Sitawakans, reflected in Tikiri Bandas acquisition of the moniker Rajasinha—king of the lions. Pressing their advantage and Tikiri Bandara launched an attack on Kotte in 1564. Portuguese forces were forced to retreat from Kotte with Dharmapala, leaving Sitawaka in control of much of the kingdom, major Sitawakan garrisons were established at Wattala and Mapane
State Council of Ceylon
The State Council of Ceylon was the unicameral legislature for Ceylon, established in 1931 by the Donoughmore Constitution. The State Council gave universal adult franchise to the people of the colony for the first time and it replaced the Legislative Council of Ceylon, the colonys original legislative body. There were only two State Councils, the First, elected in 1931, and the Second, elected in 1936, due to Ceylonese demands for constitutional reform, a royal commission was established by the British authorities under the chairmanship of the Earl of Donoughmore. The Donoughmore Commission arrived in the colony in 1927, before returning to the United Kingdom where it issued its report, the structure and working of the State Council was experimental, and was based in part on the United Kingdoms London County Council. The State Council functioned in both an executive and legislative capacity, with seven committees performing executive duties, each committee consisted of designated members of the State Council, and was chaired by an elected Ceylonese who was addressed as minister.
The Ceylonese ministers formed a board of ministers with three British officials of rank who handled defence, external affairs and judicial matters. Based on the report by the Soulbury Commission, a new constitution was created, by which the State Council was replaced by a Parliament, negotiations with Ceylons newly elected government resulted in the British granting Ceylon independence as a dominion in 1948. The State Council consisted of 58 members, of whom 50 would be elected by universal suffrage, G. N. Farquhar, MC, CCS V. Coomaraswamy, CCS E. W. Kannangara, CCS D. C. R. Gunawardana, CCS R. St. L. P. Deraniyagala, CBE Rajasingham, K. T, chapter 6, Donoughmore – Tamils no more. Chapter 7, State Councils – elections and boycotts, chapter 8, Pan Sinhalese board of ministers – A Sinhalese ploy
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth, known as Albert until his accession, George VI was born in the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria, and was named after his great-grandfather Albert, Prince Consort. As the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne and spent his life in the shadow of his elder brother. He attended naval college as a teenager, and served in the Royal Navy, in 1920, he was made Duke of York. He married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923 and they had two daughters and Margaret, in the mid-1920s, he had speech therapy for a stammer, which he never fully overcame. Georges elder brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII upon the death of their father in 1936, that year Edward revealed his desire to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin advised Edward that for political and religious reasons he could not marry a divorced woman, Edward abdicated in order to marry, and George ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor.
During Georges reign, the break-up of the British Empire and its transition into the Commonwealth of Nations accelerated, the parliament of the Irish Free State removed direct mention of the monarch from the countrys constitution on the day of his accession. The following year, a new Irish constitution changed the name of the state to Ireland, from 1939, the Empire and Commonwealth – except Ireland – was at war with Nazi Germany. War with Italy and Japan followed in 1940 and 1941, though Britain and its allies were ultimately victorious in 1945, the United States and the Soviet Union rose as pre-eminent world powers and the British Empire declined. After the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, George remained king of countries, but relinquished the title of Emperor of India in June 1948. Ireland formally declared itself a republic and left the Commonwealth in 1949, George adopted the new title of Head of the Commonwealth. He was beset by problems in the years of his reign. He was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Elizabeth II, George was born at York Cottage, on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, during the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
His father was Prince George, Duke of York, the second and eldest-surviving son of the Prince and his mother was the Duchess of York, the eldest child and only daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Teck. His birthday was the 34th anniversary of the death of his great-grandfather, uncertain of how the Prince Consorts widow, Queen Victoria, would take the news of the birth, the Prince of Wales wrote to the Duke of York that the Queen had been rather distressed. Two days later, he again, I really think it would gratify her if you yourself proposed the name Albert to her. Consequently, he was baptised Albert Frederick Arthur George at St. Mary Magdalenes Church near Sandringham three months later, within the family, he was known informally as Bertie
Kingdom of Kotte
The Kingdom of Kotte, centered on Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, was a kingdom that flourished in Sri Lanka during the 15th century. The term Kotte is said to have derived from the Malayalam word Kōttei which means fortress. The word Kotte was introduced by Nissankamalla Alagakkonara and they were believed to be from the city of Vanchi, identified with Kanchipuram of Tamil Nadu. The Alagakkonara family have identified to be of Malayali ancestry. It was well protected by the swamp which surrounded the area. Parakramabahu VI first became the king of Raigama in 1412, in 1415 he made Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte his capital, the King upgraded the existing citadel and built a new royal palace. Parakramabahu VI waited until ties between the Vijayanagara Empire and Jaffna kingdom were severed, first he captured the Vanni and made its leaders loyal to him. Prince Sapumal was the commander of the Kotte army at the time, in 1450, Parakramabahu VI had, with his conquest of the Jaffna kingdom in northern Sri Lanka, unified all of Sri Lanka.
At its height, the Kingdom oversaw one of greatest eras of the Sinhalese literature, notable poets at the time were Buddhist monks such as Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera, Weedagama Maihree thero, and Karagala Wanarathana thero. By 1477, however,10 years after the death of Parakramabahu VI, most notably a new Kingdom was founded in central hill-country of the island by Senasammatha Wickremabahu who successfully led a rebellion against the Kotte Kingdom in 1469. Parakramabahu IX of Kotte moved the capital to Kelaniya in 1509, the Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka in 1505, landing in Galle Harbour. Once they learnt that they had arrived in Sri Lanka, they sailed to Colombo and they were taken by a tortuous route to the capital, which was actually quite close by. This was done in order to create the impression that the kingdom was too far inland to make invasion from the harbour feasible. This plan was, spoilt by the fact that the Portuguese who remained with the ship fired the ships cannon repeatedly, which sound was heard by the Portuguese party being taken to Kotte.
This incident gave rise to the local saying Parangiya Kotte Giya Vage, during this meeting Portuguese managed to secure a trade agreement with the Kotte king. Kotte Kingdoms downfall began with an event in 1521 which became known as the Wijayaba Kollaya, the Kotte king Vijayabahu VIIs three sons mutinied and killed their father dividing the kingdom among themselves. This gave rise to three kingdoms, Kotte and Principality of Raigama. The divided Kingdom of Sitawaka became more powerful with local popular support, the king of Kotte after Wijayabe Kollaya, Buvenekabahu VII, got assistance from the Portuguese in order to defeat his brother, Mayadunne. He allowed his daughters son, Prince Dharmapala, to be baptized as a Catholic by the Portuguese, after Buvenekabahu had named Dharmapala as his heir, he was shot - supposedly by accident - by a Portuguese soldier
Dominion of Ceylon
In 1948, the British Colony of Ceylon was granted independence as Ceylon. In 1972, the became a republic within the Commonwealth. It is a country in South Asia, located about 31 kilometres off the southern coast of India. The country was a centre of the Buddhist religion and culture from ancient times as well as having a strong Hindu presence, during World War II, Ceylon served as an important base for the Allied forces in the fight against the Japanese Empire. Following World War II, public pressure for independence increased, the British Colony of Ceylon achieved independence on 4 February 1948, with an amended constitution taking effect on the same date. Independence was granted under the Ceylon Independence Act 1947, military treaties with the United Kingdom preserved intact British air and sea bases in the country, British officers continued to fill most of the upper ranks of the Army. Don Senanayake became the first Prime Minister of Ceylon, in 1948, when Ceylon applied for United Nations membership, the Soviet Union vetoed the application.
In 1949, with the concurrence of the leaders of the Sri Lankan Tamils, in 1950, Ceylon became one of the original members of the Colombo Plan, and remains a member as Sri Lanka. Don Senanayake died in 1952 after a stroke and he was succeeded by his son Dudley, however, in 1953 – following a massive general strike or Hartal by the leftist parties against the UNP – Dudley Senanayake resigned. He was followed by John Kotelawala, a politician and an uncle of Dudley. Kotelawala did not have the prestige or the political acumen of D. S. Senanayake. He brought to the fore the issue of national languages that D. S. Senanayake had suspended, the Queen of Ceylon, Elizabeth II, toured the island in 1954 from 10–21 April. Bandaranaike was a politician who had fostered the Sinhala nationalist lobby since the 1930s and he replaced English with Sinhalese as the official language. He was the chief Sinhalese spokesmen who attempted to counter the communal politics unleashed by G. G. Ponnambalam, the bill was known as the Sinhala Only Bill, and made Sinhalese the language taught in schools and universities.
This caused Tamil riots, as they spoke the Tamil language and these riots culminated in the assassination of the prime minister, Bandaranaike. His widow, succeeded her husband as leader of the SLFP and was elected as the worlds first female prime minister, in 1957 British bases were removed and Sri Lanka officially became a non-aligned country. The Paddy Lands Act, the brainchild of Philip Gunawardena, was passed, elections in July saw Sirimavo Bandaranaike become the worlds first elected female head of government. Her government avoided further confrontations with the Tamils, but the anti-communist policies of the United States Government led to a cut-off of United States aid and a growing economic crisis
The Kandyan Convention was an agreement signed on 10 March 1815 between the British and the Chiefs of the Kandyan Kingdom, in Sri Lanka for the deposition of rule King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha. The king who was of South Indian ancestry faced powerful opposition from the Sinhalese chieftains who sought to reduce his power, a successful coup was organized by the Sinhala chieftains in which they accepted the British crown as their new king. This ended the line of the Kingdom of Kandy and King Rajasinha was taken as a prisoner, by 2 March 1815 the islands sovereignty was under that of the British Empire. This unique treaty was not signed by the deposed King but by members of his court, because the king was hiding from the British, he was captured and banished to Vellore in south India. Before the signing of the convention, a British soldier took down the Kandyan flag, wariyapola Sri Sumangala Thero, saw what had happened and quickly replaced the British flag with the Kandyan one. The soldier got angry but before he could do anything, Sir John DOyly who was nearby, robert Brownrigg - Quartermaster-General and in 1813 Governor of Ceylon John DOyly - Chief Translator to the Government Jas.
The king is declared fallen and deposed and the claim of his dynasty. All his male relatives are banished from the island, the religion of Buddhism is declared inviolable and its rights to be maintained and protected. All forms of torture and mutilations are abolished. The governor alone can sentence a person to death and all capital publishments to take place in the presence of accredited agents of the government, other non-Kandyans position to remain according to British law. The proclamation annexing the Three and Four Korales and Sabaragamuwa is repealed, the dues and revenues to be collected for the King of England as well as for the maintenance of internal establishments in the island. The Governor alone can facilitate trade and commerce, herath The 1815 Kandyan Convention at the Audience Hall The signing of the Kandyan Convention Kandyan Convention of 1815 Kandyan Convention of 1815 by Dr. K. D. G
Territorial evolution of the British Empire
The territorial evolution of the British Empire is considered to have begun with the foundation of the English colonial empire in the late 16th century. Since then, many territories around the world have been under the control of the British Empire or its predecessor states. When the Kingdom of Great Britain was formed in 1707 by the union of the Kingdom of Scotland with the Kingdom of England, the latter countrys colonial possessions passed to the new state. Similarly, when Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801 to form the United Kingdom, these territories are referred to as the British Empire. Upon much of Ireland gaining independence in 1922 as the Irish Free State, from 1714 to 1837 the British throne was held by a series of kings who were the rulers of the German state of Hanover. However, this was purely a personal union, with Hanover maintaining its political independence otherwise, the nature of the territories ruled as part of the British Empire varied enormously.
No uniform system of government was ever applied to any of these, a number of countries within the British Empire gained independence in stages during the earlier part of the 20th century. Many of the territories of the British Empire are members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Fifteen of these retain the British monarch as Head of State, the British monarch is Head of the Commonwealth, but this is a purely symbolic and personal title, members of the Commonwealth are fully sovereign states. The British Empire refers to the possessions and territories under the control of the Crown. Although the Crown claimed absolute sovereignty over them, they were never part of the United Kingdom. The natures of the administration of the Empire changed both by time and place, and there was no system of government in the Empire. Colonies were territories that were intended to be places of permanent settlement, the Crown claimed absolute sovereignty over them, although they were not formally part of the United Kingdom itself.
Generally their law was the law of England together with whatever British Acts of Parliament were applied to them. Over time, a number of colonies were granted responsible government, a Crown colony, was a type of colonial administration of the English and the British Empire, which were directly controlled by the Crown. Crown colonies were ruled by an appointed by the monarch. By the middle of the 19th century, the sovereign appointed royal governors on the advice of the Secretary of State for the Colonies and this became the main method of creating and governing colonies. There existed lower houses which were usually named Legislative Assembly or House of Assembly, the lower house was usually elected, but suffrage was restricted to free white men only, usually with property ownership restrictions