Kandyan Convention

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Kandyan Convention
The Kandyan Convention of 1815.jpg
First (left) and final (right) pages of the convention
Drafted 1815
Signed 10 March 1815
Location Temple of the Tooth, Kandy, Kingdom of Kandy
Parties 2
  • English
  • Sinhala
Kandyan Convention at Wikisource
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History of Kandy
Temple of the Tooth, Kandy
Kingdom of Kandy (1469–1815)
Colonial Kandy (1815–1948)
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The Kandyan Convention (Sinhala: උඩරට ගිවිසුම Udarata Giwisuma) was an agreement signed on 10 March 1815 between the British and the Chiefs of the Kandyan Kingdom, British Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) for the deposition of King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha and ceding of the Kingdom's territory to British rule. The king, of South Indian ancestry, faced powerful opposition from the Sinhalese chieftains who sought to limit his power. A successful coup was organized by the chieftains, marking the end of 2358 years of self-rule on the island and resulting in the imprisonment of the King in Vellore.[1] The treaty is quite unique in that it was not signed by the monarch on the throne but by members of his court and other dignitaries of the kingdom.

The convention gained a degree of infamy when Wariyapola Sri Sumangala, a Buddhist monk of the kingdom, seized and trampled a Union Jack hoisted by the British, demanding the flag of Kandy be left flying until the Convention was signed.[2]




Part of the Kandyan contingent to the Convention

Key points of the convention[edit]

  1. 'Sri Wickrema Rajasinha', the 'Malabari' king, [is] to forfeit all claims to the throne of Kandy.
  2. The king is declared fallen and deposed and the hereditary claim of his dynasty, abolished and extinguished.
  3. All his male relatives are banished from the island.
  4. The dominion is vested in the sovereign of the British Empire, to be exercised through colonial governors, except in the case of the Adikarams, Disavas, Mohottalas, Korales, Vidanes and other subordinate officers reserving the rights, privileges and powers within their respective ranks.
  5. The religion of Buddhism is declared inviolable and its rights to be maintained and protected.
  6. All forms of physical torture and mutilations are abolished.
  7. The governor alone can sentence a person to death and all capital punishments to take place in the presence of accredited agents of the government.
  8. All civil and criminal justice over Kandyan to be administered according to the established norms and customs of the country, the government reserving to itself the rights of interposition when and where necessary.
  9. Other non-Kandyan's position [is] to remain [as privileged as previously] according to British law.
  10. The proclamation annexing the Three and Four Korales and Sabaragamuwa is repealed.
  11. The dues and revenues to be collected for the King of England as well as for the maintenance of internal establishments in the island.
  12. The Governor alone can facilitate trade and commerce.

The document[edit]

The Archives of the Government of Sri Lanka possesses the original copy of the Convention.

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kandyan Convention from Divaina
  2. ^ Karunaratna, Nihal (1999). Kandy, past and present, 1474-1998 A.D. Kandy: Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs. p. 116. ISBN 9556131213. 

External links[edit]