Accountability of Mannar Mass grave in Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
Posted on April 12th, 2019

PBS Hemachandra Lieutenant Commander (retired) Sri Lanka Navy Courtesy The Island


Carbon dating of the bone samples collected from the Mannar Mass grave in Sri Lanka confirmed that bone samples belonged to the periods when Sri Lanka was ruled by European. Books written by Portuguese, Dutch and English historians recorded massacres of Singhalese people lived in these areas by Europeans. These Massacres fit into the time frame of mass graves. Links to read some books on the internet are indicated below. I have also tried to indicate relevant pages where ever possible for your easy reference to prove Singhalese people lived in these areas and were massacred during freedom fights to prevent invasions.

1. “The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon” written by world-famous Portuguese historian Father Fernao de Queyroz translated by AG. Perera. Internet link to read 4 volumes of this book is

2. “A True and Exact Description of the Great Island of Ceylon” written by the Dutch priest Phillipus Baldaeus translated by Pieter Brohier. His writings are considered eye witness accounts and internet link to read this book is

3. An Account of the Island of Ceylon’ (1805) by Captain Robert Percival Another eye witness account of an English army officer who served in Ceylon from 1796. internet link to read this book is

4. ‘Description of Ceylon’ by Reverend James Cordiner. Another eye witness account. Especially read the Kandyan Singhalese campaign in 1803 to free North and East from British Invaders. internet link to read this book is

5. The Private Correspondence of the Earl Grey & Viscount Torrington. Edited by K.M. de Silva

6. “The English in Ceylon” from The United States Magazine and Democratic reviews Vol XXXVIII No CLV -1851 May, Page 409 to 412 Publisher J & HG Langley, New York. Link to read is

7. An account of the interior of Ceylon, and of its inhabitants. by John Davy. The Internet link is

8. “An Historical Relation of the Island of Zeilon (Alias Ceylon) in the East Indies” 1817 Edition by “Robert Knox” Who was taken a prisoner by King of Kandy. Internet link to read this book is

9. “Fatal History of Portuguese in Ceylon” by George Davison Winius

10. “Yalpana Vaipava Malai.” translated by C. Broto

11. Report from Committees on Ceylon Volume 3 Part 1 1951 Internet link to read this volume is,+which+completed+our+tenure+of+the+whole+island,+in+the+year+1815.+That+is+35+years+ago,+and+within+that+period+there+have+been+six+treasonable+movements&source=bl&ots=f5GqwVMVgT&sig=ryTODkDr-fy5fXLR7hWqGQckVOI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjUzJSB3e7PAhVr4IMKHQziDYgQ6AEIHjAA#v=onepage&q&f=false,

The above references recorded pillage, burnings, confiscations, and genocide of Singhalese people lived in these areas by Portuguese, Dutch and British invaders. After heartless tyranny, exaction and confiscation of lands belonged to Singhalese and making a solitude of immense track of north and east of Ceylon especially by British governors Sir Robert Brownrigg and Viscount Torrington transported shiploads of Malabars with their headmen and priests from India and settled them in Lands confiscated. Despatches between Colonial Secretary Earl Grey by Governor of Ceylon Viscount Torrington prove these facts. Though it does not matter very much today these facts are presented just to prove that Singhalese people lived in these areas ruled by kings of Ceylon.

In the book “The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon” by Queyroz you can read how Singhalese (Chingalaz or Chingala) freedom fighters were killed when conquering Jaffna and Mannar. Further Queyroz and “Yalpana Vaipava Malai” give details of how a prince called Changali, ruler’s son from a Tamil concubine, became the ruler of Jaffna in 1519 after killing his father and how Changali massacred the Christians lived in Mannar and then massacred most of the Singhalese people lived there. According to Queyroz in 1627 the King of Kandy (Ceylon) sent an army of 10000 men commanded by General Atapata (Atapattu) to free Jaffna and Mannar from Portuguese. But they too were massacred by Portuguese. These are a few good examples fit to the time frame of the mass graves found in Mannar. A few pages for easy reference are 48 and 49 from book 1, pages 356 to 371 of book 2, page 469 of book 4 and page 464 to 466 of book 4 written by Queyroz. “An Account of the Island of Ceylon” (1805) by Captain Robert Percival confirmed in Pages 6,30,71,72,75,79,84,186,379 and 420 that Singhalese people living in Mannar and Jaffna. Further confirmation can be found in pages 2,47,68,79,95 and 316 in the book “A True and Exact Description of the Great Island of Ceylon”. In 1803 According to Pages 244 to 246,254 of Volume 2 of “Description of Ceylon” by Reverend James Cordiner, English army massacred all Kandyan Singhalese Campaigned to free Jaffna, Mannar, and East of Ceylon. Doctor John Davey’s writings confirm many more massacres in 1818 and 1848. On the orders of the governor Sir Robert Brownrigg, British soldiers killed all the Sinhalese aged between 18 – 35 and raped all Sinhalese women, destroyed all fruit trees, paddy fields, and reservoirs. Lieutenant. Mclane was infamously known for having breakfast watching Sinhalese men being hanged and Colonel Hook ordered Sinhalese to be hanged without trial thereby reducing the number of Singhalese living in North and east in population statistics in 1800s.

PBS Hemachandra

Lieutenant Commander (retired)

Sri Lanka Navy

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