Skip to Content

Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2964

19 Sinhalese declared ‘Traitors ‘ by British Raj, today declared ‘Heroes’

Colombo, 09 December, (

President Maithripala Sirisena has declared 19 former Kandyan riot leaders ‘Heroes’, by rescinding the Gazette Notification No: 851, issued by English Governor Robert Brownrigg in January 10, 1818, listing those Kandyan leaders including Keppetipola Disawe as ‘Traitors.’

The President declared the 19 leaders who fought for the freedom of the country to be ‘National Heroes’.

In a tweet, the President said, “After 198 years, I cleared the names of the Wellassa Heroes including Monarawila Keppetipola,”

The Great Rebellion of 1817–1818, also known as the 1818 Uva–Wellassa uprising was the third of the Kandyan Wars against British colonial forces and the 19 Kandyan leaders were branded traitors by the British Government .

The uprising was led by Keppetipola Disawe and included several other regional leaders: Wilbawe II, Pilima Talauve Adikaram, Kohu Kumbure Rate Rala, Dimbulana Disave, Kivulegedara Mohottala, Madugalle Disave, Butewe Rate Rala, Galagoda family members, Galagedara Mohottala, Meegahapitiya Rate Rala, Dambawinna Disave and Gode Gedara Adikaram, Kurundukumbure Mohottala, Madugalle Basnayake Nilame and Ellepola Adikaram among these.

To quell the rebellion, the British issued a gazette notification [No. 6 of 1817] awarding a reward of two thousand Rix dollars to the head of each rebel leader, set fire to villages and livestock and finally brought in troops from India. The leaders were branded traitors and beheaded or exiled.

- Asian Tribune -

Statue of Monerawila Keppettipola, one of the leading figures of the 1818 rebellion against British rule in Uva Province.
diconary view
Share this