Monday, September 1, 2014

Quiz with Chamara Sumanapala. Part 15: The British Conquest of Kandy

After taking control of Dutch Ceylon, the British tried to conquer Kandy, Sri Lanka’s last independent kingdom. Their army was defeated in 1803. Then the British turned to political intrigue, creating and nurturing differences between local chieftains. This ultimately led to infighting and a drastic fall of the popularity of the king. When the British forces once again invaded Kandy in February 1815, it was not a fight, but a pathetic surrender of a proud nation, which just willingly subjugated itself to a foreign power.
The memorial at the place where the last king of Kandy was captured

1. The British forces entered the city of Senkadagalapura (Kandy) unmolested on February 14, 1815. Four days later, the last king of the Kandyan Kingdom, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, was captured by a Sinhalese group from Sabaragamuwa led by Eknaligoda Nilame. He killed Udupitiye Arachchi, who had protected the king by hiding him in his house and mistreated the king and the queens. Today, there is a memorial at the place the king was captured. What is this village?

2. The British had taken over Dutch Ceylon in a temporary basis, after The Netherlands had been captured by the French. It was feared that France would capture former Dutch colonies. So, the Dutch Prince William V signed an agreement with the British and transferred the control of the colonies to the British temporarily. However, under an international treaty signed in 1802, Dutch Ceylon was permanently transferred to Britain. It was after that the British tried to capture Kandy in 1803. What was the treaty which assured British rule in the former Dutch Ceylon?

3. After the initial setback in 1803, the British used political intrigue to undermine the authority of the King of Kandy. This project was basically in the hands of an Englishman who had arrived in Ceylon in 1801. He held numerous secret discussions with the Kandyan Chieftains, soliciting the support of some of them against the king. One could name him as the ‘master spy’ responsible for the British conquest of Kandy. He was involved in the drafting of the Kandyan Convention and was the first British Resident, or the official agent of the British government in Kandy. Born in 1774, he died in Kandy in May 1824 due to high fever. Who is he?

4. The Kandyan Convention, which was the agreement by which the Kandyan Chieftains agreed to surrender the kingdom to the British, was published on March 02, 1815. Several Chiefs signed it on March 10, and Ahalepola Maha Adikaram was the last Sinhalese Chief who signed on March 18. In total, how many Kandyan Chieftains signed the Convention?

5. After the king was captured, the British took him to Colombo and held him at a temporary room until he was transferred to India. He was held in a large house inside a fort in today’s Tamil Nadu. It was in this house that Tipu Sultan’s family had been living after he was killed in the last battle with the British in 1799. Therefore, the house had been named as the Haider Mahal or Tipu Mahal. It was changed to Kandy Mahal after Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe and his family came to live there. It was here that the king died in 1832. What is the name of this fort?

Answers to Quiz 14: International Mother Languages Day

1. 1952
2. Arabic
3. South Africa
4. Papua New Guinea
5. Vanuatu

No comments:

Post a Comment