The Dutch administrative system retained the political divisions of earlier times and the British inherited the Dutch territorial possessions and divisions intact including the boundary that was agreed between the Dutch and the Kandyan Kingdom. The title names of Mahamudaliyar, Muthaliyars, Muhandirams, Maniyagar, Arachies and Kanganies24 were retained and all the title names of local chiefs of principalities and other minor divisions adopted by the Portuguese and subsequently retained were continued.
The British inheritance of the Dutch possessions of Ceylon which was mainly an incident of political exigencies that took place in Europe and the transfer of power was more of a political process than military conquest. In the beginning the EnglishX like the Dutch before them, adopted a friendly attitude to the Kandyan Kingdom. The military operation of the British forces to take over the Dutch possessions of the North East started on the 18th August 1795 by taking Trincomalee, followed by Batticaloa, Point Pedro, Jaffna and Mannar, and was complete by the end of the year.
The initial administration of the maritime areas by the officials from Madras administration, marred by administrative ignominy and corruption, soon brought the Maritime areas into a state of revolt.
The Madras administration came to an end and the Maritime areas became a crown colony to be ruled from London in 1802 and a Governor was appointed by the British Crown. The Governor reverted to the system adopted by the Dutch which was closely aligned to the native authority structures and divisions of earlier times.
The maritime divisions now called collectorates as in India, were divided into Colombo. Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Magampattu, Chilow, Batticoloa, Trincomalee, Vanni,Jaffna and Mannar.25
Soon a slow evolutionary programme was set in motion based on the ingenuity of the British officers who took great interest in local conditions.
Subsequently collectorates were abolished, and were divided into 13 Provinces including those of Jaffna, Mullaitisu, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Mannar.
Since the decision of the British to fuse the political divisions of the Island into a unitary state under the British Crown, the British colonial rulers have attempted to recognise the existence of the earlier political divisions in various ways. The recognition and accommodation of the existing political divisions has remained important in determining the unit of administration at lower levels since such divisions are distinguished by factors of uniformity that permits rationalization and effectiveness in government.
The British, since the initial failure in 1803, succeeded in conquering the Kandyan Kingdom in 1815, after which the whole island was reorganised into territorial, administrative and Judicial divisions merging earlier divisions and the five cardinal Provinces were established through the Proclamation of 30thSeptember 1833. It is well apparent from the proclamation that the the new territorial divisions of the five cardinal provinces come about by the merger of already existing political divisions.
*See Appendix I for the proclamation which is the official proclamation of the constitution of a unitary Sri Lanka for the first tiime in history.
In constituting the five provinces, the breakdown of the Kandyan Kingdom came up along the lines of principalities that existed earlier known as Kandyan Provinces whose union was the Kandyan Kingdom.
When the proclamation regarding the establishment of the five provinces came up in 1833, the British have gained sufficient knowledge of the rights and claims of the Kandyan Kingdom as well as other political divisions that existed through the length and breadth of the countr,v. The provinces did not come into existence by arbitrary drawing any line or territor,v. Though administrative considerations were an important factor, the provinces came about by effecting mergers of existing divisions of principalities and these were not arbitrary demarcation of areas made from the consideration of physical conveniences of the British officers as it is often claimed.
To put an end to the claims and confusion caused by the Tamil Sinhala divide that had now set in after the Kandyan conspiracy and with a view of further rationalizing the boundaries of the division of five provinces so as to improve the effectiveness of the administration of the island, the British embarked on a laborious survey and investigation which took considerable energy of the British administration before arriving at the present boundaries of the nine provinces. The first change to the boundaries came about in 1837, and the final change in 1910 giving rise to the nine provinces from the original five. The extensive stretch of boundaries were surveyed and claims gone through in detail as regards the historical boundaries. The period between 1880 and 1910 saw the survey of every piece of boundary of the 9 provinces.
The cardinal five provinces were Western, Central, Northern, Southern and Eastern.
The Western province as constituted in 1833 comprised the Maritime portion of what is now known as North Western Province, the Districts of Ratnapura and Kegalle as well as what is now the Western Province. The Central Province included its present area and a major part of the present province of Uva.
The Northern Province included Nuwarakalaviya, now part of the North Central Province and the areas included within the presentNorthernProvince.
The Southern Province included its present area, the Alupotha District of Badulla comprising Wellassa and Kandukara.
The Eastern Province included Thambankaduwa of the present North Central Province and Bintenne of the Badulla District and all land which presently consist the Eastern Province In 1837, Bintenne which was part of the Eastern province was ceded to the Badulla District in the Central Province.
In 1845, the 6th province, the North Western, with the capital at Puttalam was constituted by annexations from the Western and Central Provinces.
In 1873, a 7th province was created by the name of North Central Province by bringing together Nuwarakalaviya of the Northern Province and Thambankaduwa of the Eastern Province and Demala Hatpattu of the North Western Province. In 1875, Demala Hatpattu was reattached to the North Western Province.
In 1886, the 8th Province Uva was formed by the detaching of the District of Badulla from the Central Province.
In 1889, the Districts of Kegalle and Ratnapura were severed from the Western Province and the Province of Sabragamuwa was constituted.
In 1870, the capital of the Eastern Province was transferred from Trincomalee to Batticaloa. The Vavuniya District was constituted in 1881 as a separate assistant agency and subsequently absorbed as such in 1900 and remained part of Mullaitivu District.
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This evolution was made necessary not only from the stand point of administrative convenience and effectiveness, but there were serious political compulsions in creating nine provinces. This was effected by merging and demerging traditional divisions where the natural alliance stood. Nevertheless the demarcations were influenced by the political strategy and motivation of divide and rule policy and affected the impartiality of decisions and left behind permanent antagonism between various divisions as the boundaries were drawn improperly because the traditional boundaries could not be traced. But to a verv great extent, wherever these boundaries svere distinguishable, the boundaries of the provinces went along the boundaries of the earlier principalities .
It is noteworthy that there were serious differences within the Sinhala provinces with regard to historical and traditional Maims. The Provincial boundaries came about after consideration of various representations made regarding the historical boundaries.
The extent to which the British went in delimiting the boundaries when disputes arose is seen in the Bell's memorandum on the dispute over Thammankaduwa
Boundary between Tamankaduwa and the Eastern Province.
The "bone of contention" is the Egoda Pattuwa, or the Eastern most division of Tamankaduwa on the further side (Egoda) of the Mahaveliganga. The question has been argued;
(i) historically, (ii) ethnologically, (iii) on administrative grounds (Fiscal, judicial and Registration), (iv) from the point ofthe desire and convenience ofthe inhabitants; and (v) as regards "natural boundary.''
* See Appendix II for the Bell's'memorandum.
Serious differences arose regarding the claims over Adams Peak between Sabragamuwa and the Central Province. After protracted deliberations, the territory was left with Sabragamuwa and the boundary was accordingly proclaimed in 1915.
When going through these records, one understands the difficulties and virtual impossibility of merging the Sinhalese provinces, such is the nature of claims and antagonism that existed on either sides of the boundaries, one would never dare to propose a merger between the Sinhala provinces though rationality and effective governance would dictate otherwise.
* See Appendix III for the history of territorial and administrative divisions.
However, the British, after conceding all claims of the Sinhalese from the earlier Northern and Eastern Provinces have left behind the two provinces as Tamil Provinces.
The name Tamil Province being used to indicate the two provinces of the North & East are apparent from the paragraph found in the Ceylon Manuel :
With the other Tamil Province (Northern Province), the Eastern Province shares the honour of being the richest timber producing portion ofthe Island.
Ceylon Manuel 1910: Page 313.
The recognition that the territory of these two provinces w ere Tamil is further evident from the paragraph of the Ceylon Manuel :
The Sinhalese & the Tamil districts Ceylon is also divided into the Sinhalese district and the Tamil district. The former comprises the Western, Southem, Central, North Westetn arsd North Central Provinces, with Uva and Sabragarnuwa and the latter the Northern and Eastern Provinces. In the former the Sinhalese raceandlanguage predominate,arldinthelatter theTamil.
Ceylon Manual 1908 Page 34.
The initial territorial boundaries of the Northern and Eastern provinces were determined by considering Jaffna and Trincomalee as their administrative capitals, taking into consideration the influence that these two centres of economic and political activitv had over the respective areas. Subsequently, the boundaries of the Northern and Eastern provinces were re demarcated ceding considerable territory to the Sinhalese. Some of these were based on dubious historical claims and substantial part of territory ceded was recognised Veddas territory Sinhalese resorted to annexation of territories by settlement only after exhausting all possibilities of territorial annexation based on historical claims.
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Trincomalee was part of the Kingdom of Jaffna and at times an independent principality. Its importance as a centre of religious and political activity emanates from the existence of the natural harbour as well as the great religious centre of Noneswaram. The villages in the Trincomalee District are linked to the temple of Koneswaram through their servitude.
Writing on the history of the present boundaries of the northern and Eastern Provinces; Mr. R.L. Brohier states:
(c) The Northern Province
This Province included according to the 1833 Proclamation, the maritime territory known as the "Provinces" of Jaffna, Mannar, the Vanni and the Island including Delft, together with the Kandyan territory known originally as the Disavany of Nuwarakalaviya.
The Province assumed its present limits by the exclusion of Nuwarakalaviya in 1873. The survey of a section ofthe boundary, from the point on the coast near Kokkilai, the South of Mullaithivu, was undertaken in 1890. The survey was to fulfil two objects: the first, to settle a disputed forest tract ofthe boundary, andthe second,toobtsin moreinformationthan was at the time available regarding the surrounding of the famous abandoned tank called Padavia, the bund of which had for long been accepted as a feature which fell on the Province boundary.
When the survey was eventually plotted, and the boundary was defined, Padavia tank was found actually to be several miles south of the proclaimed limits ofthe Province.
The Province boundary West ofthe North road was not taken up for survey until 1897. The section from Boragasveva which crossed the Mannar Madavachiya road near the 44th mile post and contacts the Malvatu Oya, was surveyed by A.J. Whacker and the remaining section to the Moderagam Aru, by J.E.M. Ridout. The surveyofthe latteris supplemented by a specially well documented report describing every feature along the boundary. The historical boundary" between the Vanni and the Sinhalese territory lay in this belt of country. Consequently place, name andEeatures acquired both a Sinhalese and a Tamil rendering. Ridouthas entered both versions in his report, writing them in the respective vernacular scripts of which he seems to have had a good knowledge. This survey completed the definition ofthe boundary ofthe Northern Province.
(d) The Eastern Province
The Eastern Province consisted in 1833, of the maritime belt known as the "provinces" of Trincomalee and Batticaloa, together with the Kandyan territory called Tamankaduva and parts ofthe Bintanna extending South into what is today the Uva Province. The Uva Bintanna was transferred to the Central Province in 1837 and Tamankaduva was exercised and included in the North Central Province in 1873. The province was consequently in its present form when Boundary Surveys were initiated in 1897 proved to be, in the words of the Surveyor General; "The most interesting ofthe Province Boundary Surveytaken up." It followed the Yan Oya for a considerable distance.
Three years later another section starting from the point where the boundaries ofthree provinces meet at the Mahaveli Ganga, and terminating at the starting point ofthe section described earlier, was surveyed and defined. These two boundary surveys incidentally completed the definition ofthe boundaries of the North Central Province.
The survey and definition of the boundary abutting on the Disavany of Uva was done in 1894 96, and is discussed in the description of limits ofthe Province of Uva".
* See Appendix III for details of boundary surveys of the nine provinces.
Though the British took the initiative to fuse the political divisions of the island into a unitary State, the British Colonial rulers attempted to placate the existence of the political divisionS in various ways to reduce the tensions and apprehensions that arose in the process of assimilation. Competing claims for territory have existed not only between the two communities but also among the Sinhalese divisions from time immemorial.
However the boundarv that divides the IN'orthern and Eastern Provinces do not represent ansr political divisions. The strip which have become weakened as a result of misappropriation of territorial area of Padavil Kulam to the North Central Prorince, do not have any serious difference or antagonism on either side of territory If the division would have been carried out along any historical boundary it would have been the boundary between two principalities under the Padavil Kulam which do not justify a division between them.
Mullaitisrl was part of the Trincomalee district during the earlier division of Eastern province as well as during the Dutch period. Trincomalee was part of Jaffna during earlier times. These principalities ruled by Vannias on either side of the boundaries have maintained close political and economic and religious relationship.
The failure of the British Administrators to retain the boundaries over the Padavil Kulam has caused immense difficulties to the Tamils. The argument whether Pathasiya, as it is now called, was part of Jaffna or not, came up during the Dutch period. In deciding the territory between Kandyan Kingdom and Dutch, the Kandyan claim to Padaviya lvas rejected. The Dutch who were now versed in the schemes of the Kandyan Kingdom called in the Chiefs of Jaffna. The Padasbil Kulam bund which was historical land mark in the southern boundary of the territories of the Kingdom of Jaffna was left as part of the Northern territory.
As revealed in Du Peron's map the boundaries of the arious principalities under the Padavil Kulam such as Melpattu, klrikattumoolai, Thennamaravadi initiated and radiated from the build of the Patha~til Tank. However the present boundarv of the Northern Proxince cuts these principalities in half, violating the traditional norms and historical boundaries.
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One has to look to reasons other than the petty claims of the Sinhalese, for British failing to reinstate the traditional boulldary even after it was known that it has been misappropriated.
On the western side, the historical boundaries between Tamil and Sinhalese territory in reality went along the boundaries of Demala Hatpattuwa which is IIOW in the North ventral Province. However, this too was ignored and the boundam was made to start from Moderagam Aru.
Considerable debate and representations took place regarding Thamban Kadavai (Thamankaduwa) East which is also known as Egodapattu and was inhabited by Tamils from ancient times. According to the Portuguese, Thamban Kadavai was peopled by Tamils who were converted to Christianity. The historical boundaries went along the Mahaweli river. (See PLATE I) The earlier Dutch map of boundaries of principalities shorsrs Thamban Kadavai to be entirelv on the Eastern part of Mahaweli river.
* See PLATE II for the boundary between Thamankadurva and the Kandyan Kingdom going along the NIahaweli river.
Bell's memorandum on Thammankaduwa reveals the issues that were considered in deciding the boundary between Eastern and North Western Province. The British have also adopted the straight line boundary separating Thamban Kadavai from the East, a principle not known in Sri Lanka, revealing the boundary as not the historical boundary of any principality or political division based on traditional boundaries.
One can clearly see that the British went out of the way in annexing these two areas of Padavil Kulam and Thamban Kadavai to the Sinhalese territories. Apart from the fact that they have attempted to please the majority Sinhalese in carsing out these areas from the North East Province, there is no doubt that the British have narrowed the linkage that existed between the districts of Trincomalee with Jaffna and Batticaloa as they had their own designs on Trincomalee.
Added to this is the refusal of the British to develop linkages through these land strips such as roads etc. that kept the Trincomalee district away from the Tamils of Jaffna and Batticaloa. It is also seen in shifting the capital of the Eastern Province from Trincomalee to Batticaloa in 1870.
There is also another reason why the British have gone out of the way in demarcating traditional Tamil areas as Kandval1 and Sinhalese areas. That was the need to indemnify the appropriation of Kandyan Royal Lands after the expulsion of the Kandyan Royaltv to Vellore in India and the banishment of Tamils from the Kandyan Kingdom, which was to be used for their plantation economy.
Appropriation of such large tracts of land encompassing the North Central and North Western Provinces over which the Kandyan Kingdom had a feeble control for a short period also enabled the British to demarcate an area for the plantation Tamils on the hill country. This area seas thick impregnable jungle during the time of Kandyan Kings.
It is important to note that when the boundaries become untraceable, the principle that was adopted to mark the boundaries of the Tamil province was by identifying the Tamil names of villages. The boundaries were drawn leavillg, on one side the Tamil villages and on the other side, the Sinhalese villages that had Sinhalese rendering . The middle path along which the boundar,v lvent lvas found by linking villages which had names in both languages where people were in some form of cultural, linguistic flux, subject to social, political and economic influences from both sides.
The adoption of this principle is relevant today when serious disputes have arisen faith regard to claims of territories and an attempt is made to carve out more territory using the Sinhalese zvho have been recently settled. This also explains whv the Sinhalese are desperate to introduce Sinhalese names of villages in Tamil areas and attempt to twist the ancient Tamil names in to Sinhalese sounding names.26
The prevalence of this tradition of identifying whether a \ illage is Tamil or Sinhalese from the name also explains why the Sinhalese are so desperate to create Sinhalese sounding X illage names in the North East.
The demarcation of areas based on a much looser idea of Counting the heads of various people larhich make demarcation of contiguous territory impossible was neither accepted nor has ever been practised earlier.
The traditional right of the Tamil people over the North East emanates from the traditional right of the Tamil villages that have existed in the North East for a considerable period of time. The customary rights of these villages have been in practice as long as these villages have been in existence and were recognised by the sovereign powers.
There are Sinhalese villages and Muslim villages in the North East which have equally enjoyed the respect of their customary rights. The mutual recognition of these rights greatly facilitated the harmonious life that existed among these villages.
* See Appendix IV for the villages that existed in the North East Province as recorded in 1926, which was compiled under the orders of the Government.
These are the only villages that are known to have held customary rights in the North East Province.
A substantial territory of the Eastern Province known as Bintenna was ceded to the Singalese when the North Western Prosince and Uva Province were created. A part of the Vedda principalities of Wewagam Pattu and Bintenne Pattu were left with the Eastern Province. This was mainly due to the fact that the Veddahs who lived in these areas maintained close economic cultural and religious relationships with the Tamil principalities and at many times paid tributes to the chieftains at these prmclpalltles.
Today as a result of the Sinhalese schemes. the claims of the Veddas of Bintenne whose territorial right over Bintenne was reccognised during the Kandyan period, have completely disappeared. Only Sinhalese fugitives were banished to these areas during the Kandyan times.
Much of the area that has been developed under the Wlahavali Project was the Veddas principality of Bintenne. Considerable area of the Amparai district was Veddas territory shich had close links to the Tamil principalities of the East.
The Veddas of the Eastern Province have suffered onsiderably as a result of Sinhalese settlements.
The Veddas live off theJungles like the fisherman live off he seas. The natural endowment of the jungle provide them vith livelihood. The marauding Portuguese could hardly ecognise them. The interior jungles kept them away from the Dutch and the British. But before the arrival of these nterlopers, the Veddas led a life as a recognised community. She Veddahs are not used to a settled village life, as their migratory habit is very essential for their livelihood, without which heir survival is not possible. The villages of the surrounding areas depend on the Veddas for the cultivation of the Jungle Produce. Before the arrival of the Europeans there existed a 7erv useful and complementary economic relationship between he Tamil principalities and the Vedda principalities.
Today the Volk has completely swallowed up the Veddas tnd their way of life and most of the Veddas have taken refuge 11 the Tamil villages of the East and have become Tamils. another section has also been assimiliated as Sinhalese.
Commenting on the extent of the Vedda territory (l Seligmann who did extensive research about the Veddas luring the early part of this century says;
The Veddah country at the present day is limited to a roughly triangular tract lying between the eastern slopes of the central mountain massive and the sea. This area of about 2400 square miles is bounded on the west by the Mahaweli Ganga, from the point where, abandoning its eastern course through the mountains ofthe Central Province, the river sweeps northwards tothesea.Alinefromthis great bend passing eastwards through Bibile village (on the Badulla Batticaloa road) to the coast will define the southern limits of the Veddah country with sufficient accuracy, while its eastern limit is the coast.
So defined it includes the greater part of the Eastern Province, about a fifth of Uva and a small portion ofthat part ofthe North Central Province known as Tamankaduwa, and is traversed by a single high road capable of taking wheeled traffic. This runs from Badulla, the Capital of Uva, lying at the foot ofthe central mountain mass ofthe island, to the coast a few miles to the north of Batticaloa, the capital ofthe Eastern Province.
Here flows the Mahaweli Ganga, soon to be hidden in the great sea of forest clad lowland stretching away to the north, from which rise Kogkalle and other hills, the traditional homes the Veddas, like rocky islands in the distance. To the east tower the Uva mountains, stretching onwards in a diminish series towards the uplands of Nilgala. In Bintenne, including in this term parts of both Uva and the Eastern Province, the jungle consists of a forest of great trees without much undergrowth, occasionally interrupted by open spaces, covered with coarse grass, which, however, does not grow much higher than the knee. These open patches are more numerous in the Eastern province than they are in Uva Bintenne (which is traversed by many small streams) and it is generally supposed that there are sites of ancient cultivation; there are comparatively few streams in this country though swamps and small water holes containing stagnant water are common.
Northward in Tamankaduwa (a division of the North Central Province) the great trees give place to poorer growth and scrubby jungle is found. On the east ofthe Badulla Batticaloa road lie the Nilgala hills, the best of the Veddas domain and the most pleasing country in Ceylon. Here, broad valleys lie between jungle clad ranges of much weathered gneiss, among whose rocky crags and rounded domes, bambara, the rock bee (Apis indica), builds its combs.
The coastal zone north of Batticaloa inhabited by the coast Veddas is flat and sandy, and the vegetation though dense is often less tall and less abundant than in otherparts ofthe country.
Formally the Veddas country is known to have embraced the whole ofthe Uva, and much of the Central and North Central Provinces, while there is no reason to suppose that their territory did not extend beyond these limits. Indeed there is no reasonable doubt that the Veddas are identical with the 'Takkas" ofthe Mahavamsa and other native chronicles.
The Veddas. C.G.Sligmann & Brenda Z.Seligmann, page 1-4
The \teddas have become part of the Tamil sillages and have risen to important positions among the Tamil community. Lately the Vedda youth have joined the ranks of Tamil militant groups and are often cause for raid into Sinllalese settlements in the East.
Historically, there are five types of villages that have Sinhalese sounding names in the East.
These are the so called Sinhala settlements in the Eastern Prosince which have become the basis for carning out new territory by the Sinhalese today The Sinhalese settlements were known by the name kudies and were an integral part of the socio political structures of the Tamil principalities.
The earlier record of Sinhala settlements in the East, is found in the historical work known as Nadu Kadu Kalvettu which describes a group of Sinhalese from noble families, who could not bear the presence and influence of the Moors in the Kingdom of Kotte, came in a group of singing "Kaviya" and playing raban27 and were allowed to settle in a sillage in the Batticaloa district.
The record reveals that the tradition of migration and seeking refuge existed Within the various principalities of Sri Lanka The mention of coming singing "Kaviya" is indicative of tlle fact that they have not come claiming any territorv but Seeking refuge. From this record it is also admitted that there was no predominantly Muslim presence during this period in the East which is dated to the 15th century. (See Tabrobanian, Ed Hugh Neville. 1888 for English translation)
Due to the persecution of the Muslims by the Portuguese and Dutch in cinnamon producing areas of the South, and decline of Muslims influence in trade and commerce, a considerable number of Muslim villages appeared in the East. Added to this was the Kandyan habit of not allowing the Muslim to take refuge in the Kandyan territory but allowing them to go and settle in villages of the East some of which had become depopulated as a result of Portuguese and Dutch repressive measures.
There is no history of any Muslim principality or a territory over which the Muslim held political authority in the East. In subsequent days during the Dutch period smaller divisions such as Sammanthurai Pattu were recognised as Muslim divisions .
When the territorial demarcation of various communities appeared along with the division of principal nationalities during the early part of this century the maps do not show any Muslim division in the East. The fact that these maps appear as official documents shows that this demarcation was not an accidental event. A territory is demarcated and shown as Muslim territory only in the Puttalam district of North Western Province even though the Muslim population is only thirty percent.
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This territorial demarcation of the Muslims in the North Western Province has come about as a result of the existence of historical rights of the Muslim community for the territory and it is not affected whether the Muslims are a minority there or few in number. The Muslims out of fear of the Sinhalese have given up their historical right over these territory which has now been swallowed up by the Volk. By making territorial claims in the Tamil Homeland the Muslims have been a useful tool in the hand of the Volk in its schemes. Having lived among Tamils as minorities amicably and seeking the goodwill of the Tamil people, the Muslims are now looked upon with suspicion within the North East.
The British civil Servant Mr Hugh Neville Esq. who took great pains to record the socio political conditions of the East between 1860 and 1880 records nearly 21 Muslim Kudies in the Batticaloa District28 of which Kathan Kudy and Usanchavi Kudy are prominent.
The Muslims taking the name Kudy or Clan is indicative of them accepting the political norms that were prevalent in the Tamil principalities of the East where they have come to take refuge and settle down. Added to this is the cultural and literary interaction that has existed as a result of sharing a Common heritage of language and culture. There is no doubt that considerable number inter marriages took place betlveen Tamils and Muslims in the East, sshose origin is traced to South India.
Until recent times the Muslims and Tamils have lived side by side and shared the economic life of the East. Only after the rise of fundamentalism in Muslim political life there arose discord among the Tamil and Muslim communities in the East. Even today there are Muslim youth in the ranks of militant groups.
The division of Kudy (clans) is fundamental to the social organisation of Batticaloa.. The historical work Thruppadai Pataathi which is a work included in the Maddakalappu Manmiyam, giving an account of the history of the Temple of Thanthonrieswarar at Kokaddicholai in the Batticoloa district which traces the history of Batticaloa from the ancient period to the beginning of the Dutch period.
The names of Kudies or the Clans of Batticaloa during the the beginning of the British period was given as follows:
1. Mukkuvak Kudi
2. Ceddi Kudi
3. Vellalar - not in service of the temple
4. Vellalar - in service of the Temple
5. Sinhala Kudi
6. Maravar Kudi
7. Karava Kudi
8. Seerpatha Kudi
9. Pandarapillai Kudi
10. Kammalar Kudi
The Hindu Temples of Ceylon (Tamil) Ed Professor: C. Pathmanathan p 47.
Not only the list includes the various Sinhalese Kudies that were living in Batticaloa but also places them on list in the ladder of social stratification.
The further recognition of the merged Northeast as Tamil Homeland appears in the Ceylon Manual as division of the Principal Nationalities showing the three territorial divisions of the Principal Nationalities namely those of Kandyan Sinhalese, Low Country Sinhalese and Tamils.
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The basic difference in the classification of a community as a nationality rather than a minority lies in the existence of a history of having lived on a defined territory and held power distinguished by its congruent authority structures apart from the common identity factors such as language, religion, culture and race. A minority community, though is distinguished by a common language, religion and culture, for its survival, it depends on another community as a dependent community. Minorities are not distinguished by a history of their territory and political authority structures and a history of self government.
In identifying the the principal nationalities and minorities during the early days of the formation of the Ceylonese nation, which can be seen in the demarcation of territories of principal nationalities, and ethnological maps, the all important historical and political considerations were taken into account.
Further recognition by the British that these two provinces of North and East constituted one political Unit of Tamil Homeland, came in the Durbar held for the merged Prosinces of North East during the early period of this century.
The Governors address to the Legislative on the August 26 1908 had this vital reference indicating the political foundations of the Durbars.
There is one other point I should like you to discuss before you dissolve, as to the desirability and as to the advisability of carrying out an idea which has occurred to me an idea which, I believe is not new in this Colony, although it has not been carried into effect for a large number of years. That is, to have before long a Durbar29 of Native Chiefs of the principal ruling headmen of the country in order to discuss with them subjects of interest to ourselves and Government and also of interest to themselves, and to learn personally from them their ideas in a Durbar.
Time did not admit ofthe subject being discussed at the Conference, but after consultation by letter with the Government Agents I eventually decided hold three Durbars, one at Kandy for Kandyans, one at Colombo for Low country Sinhalese, and later on one probably at Jaffna for Tamil headman. This course is, I think, preferable to holding one big durbar, which, though it would undoubtedly be more picturesque and imposing, would probably result in less practical discussion, whileitwould simultaneously denude all parts ofthe Island of important links in the chain of supervision for several days at a time.
TV he first two durbars have already been held, the first at Kandy in May and the second at Colombo in July. At both meetings the Government Agents of the Provinces concerned attended, in addition to representative chiefs from each Province. Among the subjects discussed at Kandy, where the experiment proved especially successful, were the illicit sale of arrack and toddy Sinhalese labour for eststes,stray cattle on roads, and protection of fresh water fish.Of these, the first three were also discussed in Colombo. At the latter durbar I also sought to ascertain the views of the Mudaliyars as to whether there was any feasible plan for mitigating the perennial evils arising from the infinitesimal subdivision of undivided shares in land.tI he subject was freely discussed and various suggestions made, but I regret to say that the only result was to prove beyond doubt that the matter is not ripe for any action at present"
The merger of the provinces into territories of principal nationalities has come to signify the existence of uniformity of authority structures provided by the kingdoms ofJaffna, Kotte and Kandv. The most striking anomaly in the whole exercise is the bifurcation of the North Western Province into Kandyan and LOW Country areas and the respective chiefs taking part in the Durbar of Kandyan Chiefs and the Durbar of the Low Country Chiefs. North Central Province being a coastal province this could have gone as a LOW Country Province.
The Kandyan claims to a part of the North Western Prorince which was not ceded to the Dutch was upheld and dulls this territory was made part of the Kandyan territory and the Native Chiefs of these areas were allowed to take part in the Kandyan Durbar.
It is also evident from this event that if the Kandyans would have had any claim to any part of Eastern Province this too would have come up for deliberation and these areas too would have been brought under the Kandyan territory. However such a demand was non existent during this period.
The Durbars were held between l908 and 1912 . The Durbars of North East were held In Colombo in 1908, Jaffna in 1910 and Batticaloa in 1912.
The Durbars of the territory of the LOW Country Sinhalese Rvere held in Colombo and the Durbars of the Kandvan Territory were held in Kandy.
The Durbars were chaired by the Governor, His Excellency Sir Henry Edward McCallum, GCMG, attended by the Respective Government Agents and Native Chiefs. In the Durbars held in Colombo, the Colonial Secretary Mr. Hugh Cilifford and Controller of Revenue also participated.
The Officials and Native Chiefs who participated in the Durbars of the merged North East Tamil territory held in Jaffna on August 17 and 18,1910 are,
His Excellency Sir Henry Edward Mc Callum, G.C.M.G, Governor; Mr.H.R.Freeman, Government Agent, Northern Province; MrJ.O'K.Murty, Acting Government Agent, Eastern Province; and the following native representatives:
Mr.M.Thampapillai, Gate Mudaliyar, Retired Maniagar of Jaffna Division; Mr.C.K.Arumugam, Maniagar of Jaffna Division; Mr.M.Muthukumarasami, Maniagar of Tenmaradchi Division al in theJaffna District; MrJ.W.Sandresegara, Maniagar of Delft; Mr.K.U.Tampayah, District Mudaliyar,Maritime Pattus, Mullaittivu; Mr.V.Vraspillai, District Adigar of Musalai, Mannar; Mr.S.W.A.Kanagasabai, Vanniah of Manmunai North; Mr. C. Konamalai, Vanniah of Manmunai South ; Mr.W.C.R.Allegacone, Vanniah of Eruvil
The Officials and Natlve Chiefs who participated in the Durbar of the merged North East Tamil territory held in Batticaloa onJuly 1912 are
His Excellency Sir Henry Edward MaCallum, G.C.M.G., Governor; Mr. H R. FreemanS Government Agent, Northern Province; Mr.C.S.N;aughann Government Agent, Eastern Province; and the following native representatives:
Mr D.Durayappa, Vanniah of Koddiyar Pattu, in the District of Trincomalee; Mr.G.H.Canagasabey,Vanniah Mudaliyar of Panama Pattu; Mr.A.K.Kariapper, Vanniah of Eravur and Koralai Pattus; Mr.S.W.Sinnathamby, Vanniah of Karavaku Pattu, Mr.A.L.Kariapper,Vanniah of Sammanthurai Pattu. Mr.M.Thampapillai, Adigar, Retired Maniagar of l;lffna Division; Mr.V.Vraspillai, District Adigar of Mussalai, Mannar &c; Mr.C.K.Arumugam, Maniager of Jaffna Division; MrJ.N.Sandarasegera, Maniagar of Delft; Mr.K.U.Thampayah, District Mudaliyar, Maritime Pattus, Mullaitivu.
The event of these Durbars are of great significance today as an exercise providing a basis for a stable foundation for a United Sri Lanka. Any regional council established for the merged Northeast would be a continuation of this recognition of the traditional right of the Tamil people over the Northeast as their homealnd which came to be well established during the beginning of this century.
The Council of Durbars seems to have come to an end with the departure of Governor McCallum, who has exhibited unprecedented vision not found in any other British Governor in initiating and conducting the Durbars. The trend set bv Governor McCallum was not pursued by the Tamil leadership which •vas more interested in promoting the idea of Ceylonese Nation, and the event was soon overshadowed by a chase of wild goose in the search for a stable constitution which has not come to an end even after 80 years. With the advent of Donoughmore Commission, in the thirties Sri Lanka was turned into a guinea pig for British constitutional experiments.
The realistic foundation laid by Governor McCullum came to be buried in the over growth of the cancerous Volkist phenomena and the duly recorded and printed Proceedings of the Durbars are not available even in the Archives of Sri Lanka.
A Native Chief, Maha Mudaliyar Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike too was in attendance during the proceedings the Durbars of Low Country Chiefs and the Kandyan Chiefs. It is highly probable that the Governor McCullum would have been guided by the Mahamuthaliyar in his endeavour.