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Kulasekera, Kulasekera Mudiyanselage Padmasiri (1984) British Administration in the Kandyan Provinces of Sri Lanka, 1815-1833, With Special Reference to Social Change. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The main theme of this study is an examination of the impact of political change on the Kandyan socio-economic and political system, with particular attention to the manner in which that system was subject to a gradual weakening under British rule from 1815 to 1833. For a better understanding of the main issues examined later, the first chapter analyses the nature of the traditional Kandyan socioeconomic and political system. Chapter two examines the cession of the Kandyan Kingdom to the British in 1815. The collaboration of the Kandyan nobility with the British ended in a rebellion in 1817-18, the suppression of which resulted in weakening the position of the nobles and established British power on firmer grounds. The corresponding administrative changes, which are examined in chapter three, created dual structures. However, the British administrative superstructure gradually penetrated the indigenous administrative system. Chapter four examines British economic policy. The regularization of the taxation system disturbed the traditional land tenure system and extensive utilization of raiakariya resulted in much oppression for the inhabitants. The opening of coffee plantations - a new phenomenon in the economic field - involved a dichotomous development in the Kandyan economy. The next chapter concentrates on British social policy. Although the British tended to protect many Kandyan social institutions on political grounds, the overall effect of their administration was to weaken them. The last chapter examines the manner in which the Colebrooke-Cameron reforms further promoted the developments and changes which were already taking place in the Kandyan society. In the conclusion, the changes that the Kandyan society underwent during this period are analysed in a more general context, particularly as one stage of a process of modernization under the impact of colonial rule.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:19

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