Kandyan Convention of 1815 – A Convention violated and dishonoured
Posted on November 29th, 2021

By Senaka Weeraratna BY SPUR WEB TEAM · MARCH 18, 2019

(This is an edited version of a paper read out at a Public Seminar on the ‘ Kandyan Convention of 1815’ held at the University of Peradeniya, Arts Theatre, on March 09, 2019)

The Kandyan Convention (‘Ingrisy – Sinhale Givisuma’) must be examined in the context of British colonial policy seeking British supremacy all over world. The British developed ingenious ways of grabbing other people’s lands under various pretexts. The Kandyan Convention is a classic example of this ploy. In India, under its policy of Subsidiary Alliance the British used Treaties to make Indian States, subordinate to British Colonial administration. The British agenda under the Kandyan Convention, whatever the wording in the provisions was not very different.

Kingdom of Kandy was never conquered. It was ceded to the British retaining several provisions favourable to the Kandyan Sinhalese. Articles 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the Kandyan Convention were meant to protect the Kandyan Sinhalese and allow them to govern the Kingdom as they did under their deposed King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. Nevertheless, once the British had obtained full control of the land they began to interpret the provisions in an insincere self – serving manner that was highly prejudicial to the interests of the Kandyans, who had foolishly trusted the British.


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