Sri Vikrama Rajasinha (1780 – January 30, 1832, born Kannasamy Nayaka) was the last of four Kings, to rule the last Sinhalesemonarchy of the Kingdom of Kandy in Sri Lanka. The Nayak Kings were Telugu nominal Buddhists who practiced Hinduism. It is claimed that they spoke Tamil. The King was eventually deposed by the British under the terms of the Kandyan Convention, in 1815, ending over 2300 years of Sinhalese monarchy on the island. The island was incorporated into the British Empire, and Sri Vikrama Rajasinha was succeeded by George III, as monarch of British Ceylon.
Prior to his coronation in 1798, Sri Vikrama Rajasinha was known as Prince Kannasamy. He was a member of the Madurai royal family and the nephew of Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha. He succeed his uncle as the King of Kandy in 1798 at the age of eighteen.
There was a rival claimant to succeed Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha, the brother of Queen Upendrama, who had a stronger claim. However, Pilimatalauwa, the first Adigar (Prime Minister) chose Prince Kannasamy, reportedly with deep seated plans to usurp the throne to set up a dynasty of his own. Sri Vikrama Rajasinha was faced with numerous conspiracies to overthrow him and reigned through one of the most turbulent periods in Sri Lanka's history.
During his time, the British who had succeeded the Dutch in the Maritime Provinces had not interfered in the politics of the Kandy. But Pilimatalauwa, the first Adigar of the King, started covert operations with the British to provoke the King into acts of aggression, which would give the British an excuse to seize the Kingdom. The Adigar manipulated the King into beginning a military conflict with the British, who had gained a strong position in the coastal provinces. War was declared and on March 22, 1803 the British entered Kandy with no resistance, Sri Vikrama Rajasinha having fled. The adigar massacred the British garrison in Kandy in June and restored the King to the throne. Pilimitalava plotted to overthrow the King and seize the crown for himself, but his plot was discovered, and, having been pardoned on two previous occasions, he was executed.
The disgraced adigar was replaced by his nephew, Ehelepola Nilame, who soon came under suspicion of following his uncle in plotting the overthrow of Sri Vikrama Rajasinha. A rebellion instigated by Ehalepola was suppressed, after which he then fled to Colombo and joined the British. After failing to surrender (after 3 weeks of notice), the exasperated King dismissed Ehelepola, confiscated his lands, and ordered the imprisonment and execution of his wife and children. A propagandised account of the execution was widely circulated by sympathisers.
Ehelepola fled to British-controlled territory, where he persuaded the British that Sri Vikrama Rajasinha's tyranny deserved a military intervention. The pretext was provided by the seizure of a number of British merchants, who were detained on suspicion of spying and were tortured, killing several of them. An invasion was duly mounted and advanced to Kandy without resistance, reaching the city on February 10, 1815. On March 2, the Kingdom was ceded to the British under a treaty called the Kandyan Convention.
Regarding the King's reign, the historian Louis Edmund Blaze states that "He was not as ardent a patriot as his immediate successors; nor did he show those mental and moral qualities which enabled former Kings to hold their own against rebellion and invasion. To say he was cruel does not mean much, for cruel Kings and nobles were not rare in those days; and it is questionable whether all the cruel deeds attributed to Sri Vickrema Rajasinghe were of his own devising or done by his authority. It might be more fair to regard him as a weak tool in the hands of designing chiefs than as the monster of cruelty, which it is an idle fashion with some writers to call him. He did a lot to beautify his capital. The lake and the Octagon in Kandy have always been considered the work of the King."
On March 2, 1815 the Kingdom was ceded to the British and Sri Vikrama Rajasinha was deposed and taken as a royal prisoner by the British to Vellore Fort in southern India. He lived on a small allowance given to him with his two queens by the British Government. He died of dropsy on January 30, 1832, aged 52 years.
His death anniversary is celebrated as Guru Pooja by his direct descendant Ashok Raja Family at Mutu Madabam, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
The current Flag of Sri Lanka incorporates Sri Vikrama Rajasinha's Royal Standard. In September 1945 it was proposed in an address to the State Council that the flag be adopted as Sri Lanka's national flag:
"This House is of opinion that the Royal Standard of King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha depicting a yellow lion passant holding a sword in its right paw on a red background, which was removed to England after the Convention of 1815, should once again be adopted as the official flag of Free Lanka."
Kandy Lake, an artificial lake overlooking the palace in Kandy was commissioned by Sri Vikrama Rajasinha.
During Sri Vikrama Rajasinha's time as a royal prisoner in Vellore Fort he received a privy purse, which his descendants continued to receive from the Government of Ceylon until 1965. Muthu Mandapam is a memorial built around the tombstone of Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, the last south Indian origin ruler of Kandy. Situated on the bank Palar River, it is just one km north of Vellore town.
During Sri Vikrama Rajasinha's reign, Tamil was used as one of the court languages in Kandy - a historical fact with implications for the present-day politics of Sri Lanka.
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- The Last King
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|Madduma Bandara Ehelapola|
Statue of Ehelepola Madduma Bandara in front of Temple of the ToothKandy
|Born||Ehelapola Wijesundara Wickremasinghe Chandrasekara Amarakoon Wasala Mudiyanse Madduma Bandara|
Kandy, Sri Lanka
|Died||17 May 1814(1814-05-17) (aged 7–8)|
Kandy, Sri Lanka
|Cause of death||Executed by beheading|
|Resting place||Sri Lanka|
|Residence||Kandy, Sri Lanka|
|Other names||Madduma Bandara|
As a child hero inSri Lanka who faced death fearlessly.
|Parent(s)||Ehelapola Maha Adikaram (Father),Ehelapola Kumarihamy (Mother)|
|Relatives||Loku Bandara (Brother), Tikiri Manike (Sister) and Dingiri Menike(Sister)|
Madduma Bandara Ehelapola mostly known as Madduma Bandara was the second son of Ehelepola Maha Disawe the Dissava of Sabaragamuwa under the King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha of Kandy Sri Lanka. Madduma Bandara and his family were executed in 1814 by the King for treachery. The bravery shown by Madduma Bandara at the time of his execution made him a legendary child hero in Sri Lanka.
Family of Madduma Bandara
Madduma Bandara was born on 1806 in Kandy to the parents Ehelepola Maha Disawe and Ehelepola Kumarihamy. He had an elder brother(Loku Bandara) and two sisters(Tikiri Menike and Dingiri Menike). His uncle was Keppetipola Disawe one of the prominent Kandyan leaders who signed the 'Udarata Treaty’ at Kandy on 2 March 1815.
It was known at that time to king Sri Wickremarajasinha that Ehelapola, while being the Disawe of Sabaragamuwa, was aiding the flames of the rebellion against British rule. While Ehelapola was away from Kandy, the King ordered to arrest the Ehelapola Family.The king could not arrest Ehelapola, as he was in the custody of the British in Colombo. The king arrested Ehelapola’s wife and children.On 17 May 1814, his sons were beheaded. Ehelapola’s wife Kumarihamy and daughters were forcibly drowned in the Bogambara Lake by tying huge stones around their necks. While Madduma Bandara's brother was frighten to face the death, he stepped forward asking the executioner to behead him at the first strike.
Kingdom of Kandy