2015 Bicentennial of the ‘Kandyan Convention’ A Time to expose British Duplicity and Atrocities in Sri Lanka
Posted on March 20th, 2014

MEDIA RELEASE – March 2014 SPUR (Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka Inc) PO Box 4066, Mulgrave, VIC 3170, Australia

The neo-colonial arrogance of the British political and media establishment is becoming increasingly apparent during the past few months.

Prior to the recent CHOGM event in Sri Lanka, British Prime Minister Cameron signalled to the Tamil Tiger (LTTE) fronts in the UK that he would convey a ‘tough message’ to Sri Lanka. Under the fa§ade of independent observation, he and his media lap-dogs went about their pre-determined strategy of denigrating Sri Lanka at every opportunity.

The British Labour party, which has a number of MPs with a strongly anti Sri Lankan agenda, took Cameron to task for attending the CHOGM and being too soft on Sri Lanka. Nothing different could be expected from the Labour Leader Ed Miliband, whose brother David attempted a last ditch intervention that would have saved the LTTE and its leadership in 2009, but was unceremoniously rebuffed by the Government of Sri Lanka.

For years, the law enforcement authorities in Britain have identified that the country’s LTTE network is a source terrorist funding. However, their political masters turned a blind eye, allowing the Tiger Diaspora to operate freely in spite of a token ban under UN Security Council Resolution 1373. Thus, British Tamil hooligans carrying LTTE flags were allowed to disrupt London traffic, invade international cricket matches and assault Sri Lankan fans. In December 2010, the British establishment, which preaches freedom of expression to the third world, utterly failed to meet its own yardstick when it forced the Oxford Union to cancel an address by the President of Sri Lanka
due to Tamil Tiger pressure.

Not surprisingly, WikiLeaks revealed that a May 2009 cable from the US embassy in London had quoted a Foreign Office team leader as having said that “ministerial attention to Sri Lanka is due to the ‘very vocal’ Tamil diaspora in the UK, numbering over 300,000” and that “with UK elections on the horizon and many Tamils living in Labour constituencies with slim majorities, the government is paying particular attention to Sri Lanka”. The then Foreign Secretary David Miliband was quoted
as saying that he was spending 60% of his time on Sri Lanka.

Britain was also a country that continued to harbour key LTTE leaders. Former Tamil Tiger spokesman Anton Balasingham operated freely from England. His wife Adele, who as a leader of the LTTE women’s wing trained and indoctrinated conscripted Tamil girls to become ruthless killers and suicide bombers, now lives freely in Surrey instead of facing war crimes charges.

It is debatable whether some British politicians have become captives of the Tamil Tiger diaspora or indeed Britain is using trumped-up allegations of ‘Tamil Human Rights violations’ as a trigger for regime change in Sri Lanka, a former colony which dared to assert its right to protect its own territorial integrity. However, what is not in doubt is the cosy relationship between the Tamil Tiger separatist and sections of the British political establishment and media.

Given this background, the world must now focus on the duplicity of the British and their horrendous past that included subjugation, plunder and atrocities committed on the people of numerous nations.

The worst British war crimes include their ‘scorched earth policy’ during the Boer wars of 1899 to 1901 which killed nearly 30,000 women and children in South Africa and the merciless firebombing of the German city of Dresden in 1945.

The British government orchestrated ‘Bengal famine’ in India killed several million people in 1943 while the brutal suppression of the Mau Mau revolt in Kenya in the 1950s led to the slaughter of 100,000 people. Between 1968 and 1973, the British carried out the genocidal expulsion of the entire 2,000 strong Chagossian population of Diego Garcia to create a military base on the island.

What is more, the British steadfastly continue to deny justice to the vast majority of their victims. It is only recently that their official guilt in the ‘Bloody Sunday’ massacre of unarmed Irish civilians in Belfast has been acknowledged. To this day, British interference and manipulation of other countries continues through chaotic attempts at Regime Change under the fa§ade of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ which has brought untold misery to the people of Africa and Asia.

With the approaching 2015 Bicentennial of the infamous ‘Kandyan Convention’ imposed on the people of Sri Lanka, it is time for the country to seriously examine the damage done by British Colonial rule and seek justice and reparations.

Though not an exhaustive list, some of the British war crimes and atrocities in Sri Lanka are:

· The Madulla Massacre (9 December 1817) – where twenty Sinhala Buddhist Kandyan civilians including a woman and a child were shot and killed in cold blood by British troops,.

· The Uva-Wellassa Rebellion (1817) – in which the Sinhala rebels were brutally massacred by the British, who confiscated the properties of those involved in the uprising under a Gazette Notification, killed cattle and other animals, burnt homes, property and. Paddy fields in the Wellassa area (rice-bowl of Sri Lanka) were systematically  destroyed. The British also massacred the male population above the age of 18 years.

· The reign of terror under Torrington (1848) – the slaughter and execution under martial law of Sinhala people in the Matale, Kurunegala, Dambulla and Digamadulla regions for rebelling against new and unfair taxes imposed on them to support colonial rule.

· The execution in 1915 of Captain Duenuge Edward Henry Pedris, the first Sinhalese officer of the Colombo Town Guard, by British officials based on treason charges which were later proven to be false. What was meant to be a warning to Sri Lankan Independence leaders backfired on the British and galvanised the nation in its determination to liberate themselves from the colonial oppressor.

· The transportation of several hundred thousand impoverished Indian Tamils under unimaginably harsh conditions, marching them on foot from the coast of Mannar to Coffee and Tea plantations in the highlands of Sri Lanka and confining them as slave labour in ‘line rooms’ without medical, educational and sanitation facilities.

· The large scale misappropriation of Kandyan Sinhala lands under the infamous ‘Wastelands Ordinance’ and the expulsion of Sinhala people from their traditional villages and farmlands for the purpose of setting up British owned plantations. The ‘Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance’ of 1889 was also used to weaken Buddhism and misappropriate temple lands for other uses.

· The desecration of Buddhist and Hindu temples and the stealing of precious Sri Lankan artefacts, some of which were taken away to be housed in English Museums. The plunder of the Matale Aluviharaya and the Saman Devale in Sabaragamuwa are well known examples.

The duplicity of the British Government in calling for accountability in Sri Lanka is exposed by its own handling of the ‘Chilcot Inquiry’ into the decisions taken by the UK government and military in relation to the invasion of Iraq. It ran from November 2009 until February 2011 and cost approximately £7.5 million but the word report is being withheld from the UK public and the world.

In conclusion, SPUR calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to immediately appoint a commission to investigate British atrocities, seek evidence from the public and then launch appropriate legal action on behalf of the people of Sri Lanka to seek reparations from the government of Britain for the damage caused to the country, along with an unconditional apology that is long overdue.

Ranjith Soysa

6 Responses to “2015 Bicentennial of the ‘Kandyan Convention’ A Time to expose British Duplicity and Atrocities in Sri Lanka”

  1. gdesilva Says:

    “SPUR calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to immediately appoint a commission to investigate British atrocities…”

    No it should not be just the Government of Sri Lanka, but an Independent International Enquiry into systematic crimes and massacres of the British nation conducted (and still being conducted) in Sri Lanka and so many other nations around the world. Perhaps, Pillay will help us here since she loves Independent International Equiries these days.

    Sri Lanka should consult Kenya to learn about the case for Mau Mau victims. See http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/01/13722339-colonial-sins-return-to-haunt-former-world-powers?lite

  2. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    In view of the rising tensions between Russia and the US/NATO where the US is threatening more sanctions against Russia, and taking into consideration that the US has just exited Syria by closing down her Embassy and consulates in that nation which is a de facto victory to Russia (Times of India 3/18/14). Since Great Britain is a member of NATO and an antagonist to Colombo, Sri Lanka can kill two birds with one stone by inviting the British Ambassador to leave Sri Lanka and close the Sri Lankan Embassy and consulates in Great Britain.
    This would boost the Sri Lankan – Russian relationship and put an end to Great Britain’s political presence in Sri Lanka. As for tourism though Great Britain contributes to the inflow of tourists China has stepped in with a rising number of Chinese tourists. In the greater game of geopolitics it is time to put the former Colonial master in her place and gain points with Russia and China. It would also put the US on alert that Colombo will not stand for this charade of lies passed off as facts to back up their politically motivated Human Rights charges.

  3. Lorenzo Says:


    “Since Great Britain is a member of NATO and an antagonist to Colombo, Sri Lanka can kill two birds with one stone by inviting the British Ambassador to leave Sri Lanka and close the Sri Lankan Embassy and consulates in Great Britain.”


    Lets not take EXTREME measures. After PUNISHING one British HC they have behaved better (than Americans, Endians and Norwegians).

    We should investigate their crimes in SL FIRST. COMPENSATION next. IF NOT we can take tough action.

    I think SL should team with Carribean countries, African countries, Argentina, Fiji, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Red Indians, aboriginals from colonies, etc. to sue Britain.

  4. Christie Says:

    Let us sue Indian Imperialists first for forming, training, arming, managing and providing strategic and political support local and international for the Indian terrorist arm branded Tamil Tigers.

  5. Christie Says:

    Ranjith having lived in the West including UK I dont think this kind of releases will help us. This will only upset the few Westerners who support the non-Indians and the government of the island nation.o You do not see the Indian Sepoys who helped and took part with the British. If not for the Indian sepoys and Indian colonial parasites we would have been better off like us under the Portugese and Dutch. The Problem was with the British-Indian Empire now the Indian Empire. It is the Indians, Indian colonial parasites, vermin and the Western Socialists who are behind the actions against the non-Indians of the island nation. The Indian coolies who came on the back of the British were not slaves. They had and still have better living conditions than the the people whose land these parasites enjoy.
    Please leave my comment.

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    This Tamil RACIST woman has a BIG GRUDGE against SL.

    “The United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillai, has equated the government of Sri Lanka with that of North Korea during a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister, Yun Byung-se at the onset of the ongoing 25th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

    Well informed sources told The Island that Pillay had demonstrated her hostility towards Sri Lanka when the top level South Korean delegation met her during the high level segment. Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister, Prof. G. L. Peiris, too, had been in Geneva during the high level segment of the session. Sources alleged that it was a calculated move to influence South Korean government to throw its weight behind the US-led resolution against Sri Lanka scheduled to be taken up next Thursday (March 27).

    South Korea is a member of the UNHRC comprising 47 countries divided into five regional groups.

    Alleging that Pillay had been campaigning openly in support of the US resolution, government sources said the former South African official was pursuing an agenda of her own.

    Responding to a query, sources recalled the circumstances under which Pillay compared the human rights situation in Sri Lanka with that of Russia. She declared spending more time on Sri Lanka than Russia due to deteriorating situation here.

    Ms. Pillay’s offensive meant that she was prejudiced and therefore Sri Lanka couldn’t accept her office playing any role in an external investigation into atrocities allegedly committed during the conflict here, a high ranking Sri Lankan government official said.

    External Affairs Ministry official said that Sri Lanka had never faced an attempt to compare Sri Lanka with North Korea even at the height of the northern war.”


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