The Colonial Influence on Sri Lankan Society and on Hill Country


Chapter ONE:

1.0 Colonial ere and hill state.

1.1 The colonial influence and its impacts on Sri Lankan society.

The traditional Sri Lankan society was chiefly based on Buddhism as the faith, agribusiness as the chief tenancy and the caste oriented opinion system. The kingship pattern disposal system was dominated the land and throne was decidedly entitled to a Buddhist. The Buddhist monastic was really of import in the opinion system through the male monarch. Peoples chosen really simple and low life form and the society were chiefly disciplined by Buddhist doctrine. Basically, traditional Sri Lankan society was peaceable, generous and merely due to long term influence of Buddhism.

The basic and likely the lone economic activity of the common multitudes were paddy and other grain cultivation. Other than that they had merely really few demands due to their really simple life form and they were really easy to fulfill with really limited resources in the state. That type of life form can be identified as self-sufficing economical system.

Social construction had a strong order with the feudal system predominating in dominant mode. All the lands were chiefly belongs to the male monarch and the male monarch gave them harmonizing to his favour. The lands can be divided consequently to their ownership and the responsibility towards the male monarch. The basic types were as given below.

1. “ Ninda Gam ” – The lands donated by the male monarch to his authorities retainers. The crop belongs to the proprietors and can be changed the ownership harmonizing to the household.

2. “ Gabada Gam ” – The lands separated for male monarchs usage and the people who cultivate on those lands should give part to the castle. Besides people should make responsibilities to the male monarch and to the castle.

3. “ Vihara Gam ” – The lands given to the Buddhist temples by the male monarch and there people who had to cultivate on them and besides the crop should split in to two.

4. “ Devala Gam ” – The lands given to devala by the male monarch.

It is clear that the ownership of the lands goes to the male monarch and land was the foundation of the male monarch right to the service and part of the people and vise versa.

“ Although the Ceylon litoral had since the early sixteenth century been successfully by Portuguese, Dutch and British. The kandyan land maintained its independency under the male monarchs from Wimaladarmasuriya 1 ( reg-AD 1591-1604 ) to the temperament of Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe by British in 1815 ”

( Prof. Nimal De Silva- Architect journal-1990 )

The Kandyan period was rich with powerful male monarchs like Rajasinghe two who succeeded subverting the Lusitanian with the aid of the Dutch. The disposal system was really powerful that the influence of it on the common multitudes was really great.

As historiographers shows the Portuguese was the first Europeans who came to the Srilanka every bit early as 1505 and accordingly were succeeded by Dutch. Both of above encroachers were able to capture the maritime states of Sri Lanka and they were established their ain authoritiess. The Portuguese introduced Roman catholism and Dutch the adopted their judicial disposal system which is still remain in Srilanka as Roman-Dutch jurisprudence. The hill state subjected to important alterations during the British period. The huge influence of British disposal spread over the full society because they established their authorization allover the land. They were wholly succeeded in making a westernized value system. Catholism was treated as the province faith and the Buddhism was overpowered by the catholism. The Sinhalese were forced to encompass catholism by offering particular privileges to those who did so. English instruction spread through out the state and people were taught to believe as British and to esteem their values. The British were successfully created a class of Sinhalese in really facet of life built in skin color.

1.2 Colonial influence on architecture of hill state.

The colonial had really closed fond regard with hill state and people of hill state. It is because they identified the clime of the hill state was so familiar to the clime of their state. So they began to take hill state to pass their reposeful yearss and that created figure of personal businesss with local adult female on hill state. These types of closer fond regards causes to the important alterations in socio-cultural and economic background of the hill state.

1.2.1 Socio-culture and economic background of the colonial period in Hill state.

A societal difference had begun to originate between Sinhalese of low state and hill state. Kandyan had a sense of pride natured by the fact that they had retained their political independency and they begun to look at the low state Sinhalese who had fallen quarry of christianism and other western influences, with dubious oculus. That causes to split Sinhalese in to two culturally different classs. Harmonizing to the historiographers after the invading of the Kandyan land in 1815AD the British intentionally attempted to diminish the power of Sinhala headsmans ‘s, in order to destruct the forming power of Sinhalese. As a trap they identified the spread between up state and low state. Then the British were strengthened the spread and destroyed the harmoniousness of the Srilankan society. The British identified the demand of a reform in the bing disposal system in order to reconstruct and keep their jurisprudence and order over the Island on a long term. Two incidents that promoted these reforms where the 1797-98 rebellion in maritime States and 1817-18 rebellion of Kandyan state. Harmonizing to the history, more basic alterations took topographic point in the 1830s largely due to the reform initiated by the Colebrook Cameron committee which visited the state in 1829-30. They learn towards western signifiers of disposal based on money economic system and free endeavor, alternatively of the feudalist system that was predominating. After the recommendation of the Colebrook Cameron committee most of the authorities monopolies was given up and stairss were taken to sell the authoritiess lands known as ‘Gabada Gama ” . They were sold in auction and it permitted in persons to originate the procedure of land purchase. Freehold right of land extended significantly.

In the interim, rapid development took topographic point in the physical substructure of the state. The Colombo-Kandy main road was completed by 1832 and the route web became one of the most important and economically considerable characteristics. This web was sonly supplemented with the postal and telegraph services. Colombo-Kandy railroad was completed by the twelvemonth 1867 and later encompassed a milage of 713 by the twelvemonth 1924. Reasonably subsequently in 1880 the Colombo seaport was developed.

These reform and development provided a huge scope of economical and employment chances in Sri Lanka. Some of the of import capital investing and economic enterprisers used their wealth to give their kids a good English instruction in the best school of the state and higher instruction abroad. Srilankan who finished the school instruction were absorbed to the disposal system as clerks, civil retainers and etc: these Srilankans were really happy with these occupations because they provide them good populating criterion, socially acceptableness and secured hereafter. The new middle-classes of the Srilankan society emerged out of them. The freshly emerged categories consolidated their position with the aid of the British authorities. In that sense they were really grateful to British swayers. They were heartlessly condemned every thing covering with Srilankan traditional civilization. They chosen catholism to Buddhism as a more modern faith ; spoke merely in English and thirstily followed anything linked with British in order to foreground them egos as westernized quality of local over the traditional Srilankan society.

1.3 History of plantation industry.

The Arabs were introduced the java works to Srilankan and Southern India at first clip, subsequently Srilankans begun to grew the java widely in the gardens and was besides planted around the temples. During the Portuguese captured the Srilanka from 1505 to 1655 no effort was made to cultivate the works. As historiographers mentioned in their paperss the Dutch were started to cultivate certain harvests such as cinnamon and java at 1740. How of all time the first java plantation was unluckily started in the tropical low state about 10 stat mis off from the Galle, on land closer to Baddegamuwa on Gindura River.

Because of the tropical clime the first effort was unsuccessful. There after they came to the Kandy territory in hill state, as the clime looks more suited for the java cultivation. Harmonizing to the historiographers the first java works was placed by Sir Edward Banns in 1823 under the British authorities. Meanwhile the Ceylone became the universe ‘s largest java manufacturer.

There were some major grounds had identified as the grounds for the accomplishment of the java industry.

1. Coffee cultivation really popular among Europeans.

2. The sudden failure in java production in West Indies islands.

The java industry in Srilanka had reached its highest extremum in 1868 harmonizing to the history. Then there was a sudden autumn occurred in java industry because of the disease call “ hamileia vatatrix ” . As it spread through all over the Ceylon java plantations so started Rubber cultivation at Rathnapura, Galle and Kalutara territories.

There after the Rubber became the outstanding commercial harvest in ceylone at 1890. As a consequence of the industrial revolution the gum elastic industry became succeeded. Besides the traditional coconut cultivation was developed in good managed mode. Even though the java destroyed by the disease there were batch of plantation owners remain and they tried to replant the tea. Then the tea became a good manner of puting money lost in java cultivation. Many of the java plantation owners became tea plantation owners and by the mid 1890s the “ tea camelia was became outstanding harvest in Ceylon. Harmonizing to the history James Taylor was the first tea plantation owner land area of tea, by the seeds brought from Assam. The historiographers says that he was the first commercial graduated table tea plantation owner in Srilanka. Thus began the tea industry in Srilanka.


James Taylor

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Tea plantation

1.4 Climate conditions and output of tea.

The output potency of any harvest is set by the clime and its twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours fluctuation, which we call as conditions. The most of import characteristic in the conditions is as follows,

1. Annual rainfall

2. Temperature fluctuation

3. Wind speed

4. Humidity

Besides the nature of the dirt is another of import factor for any harvest.

1. Rainfall

The hill state receives more than 2500mm rainfall spread over the twelvemonth. Tea is grown on the hillsides of tropical and semitropical states. The harvest needs 2000mm-5400mm during the twelvemonth.


Annual rainfall

2. Temperature

The hill state has a cool brumous clime during the twelvemonth. This occurs because of the tallness above from the average sea degree. In this part the temperature varies from 15.6C lower limit to 27C upper limit. There is a line drive relationship between shoot extension rate and average temperature. This type of cold clime is favourable for tea cultivation.

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Annual temperature fluctuation

3. Soil status

When sing the dirt status in hill state we can see it is red-yellow podzolic and ruddy brown laterite which is suited for tea cultivation. Tea is turning in broad scope of dirt types and there for it does non intend is that there are certain dirt features which must be met by any peculiar dirt where tea is to be grown.

Soil status requires for tea cultivation

SOIL ( General chemical belongingss )

Ph dirt H2O

4 %

Organic affair

5.4 %

Entire N

0.33 %

CN ratio

9.63 %

Available P ( ppm )

24 %

Average one-year rainfall and lowest-highest average month temperature on tea turning countries of hill state.









Annual rainfall



Temperature scope ( C )



Average temperature