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 Post subject: 1761 War against the Dutch by Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 3:33 pm 
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War against the Dutch by Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe (1748-1782)

@ Source: A.V. Marambe

In the year 1761 the king of the Kandyan kingdom Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe (1748-1782) waged a war against the Dutch who were occupying the maritime provinces of the country. The war was successfully carried out by the Kandyan army commanded by the "Adigar" Galagoda who was also the Dissawa of Sabaragamuwa.

This army was able to capture the Dutch forts of Matara, Katuwana, Hanwella and several important watch posts. The people and the chieftains of the Kandyan province of the Sabaragamuwa had played an important part in this war. A large number of chieftains of the province of Sabaragamuwa have received land grants during this period, which their decedents enjoy up to this day.

Before long the king was facing difficulties. Apart from the forts captured a vast area of Dutch territory came under the king's control. Defense and the administration of the captured territory created a big problem to the king. The Dutch who got holed up in the Colombo and Galle forts carried out attacks on the territory taken over by the king.

In his own kingdom the king found that paddy cultivation has been neglected owing to the people going to the war. The production of paddy, the chief source of income for the king fell to such a level that it gave a crippling blow to the economy of his kingdom. Apart from the paddy production falling the stocks of paddy in the "Gabadagamas" became depleted owing to it being drained off to feed the soldiers in the war front.

It was at this stage that the Dutch came forward with a settlement plan, that is the king to give the Dutch, a distance of eight "Gauwas" from the sea coast to the interior right round the country.

The king had no choice but to agree to the settlement in spite of the king standing to lose the Puttalam harbour the only harbour he had.

When the measurements were taken from the southwestern part of the Kandyan kingdom it ended on the western slopes of Hewainne Kandhe mountain range.

This mountain range extended from Kaluandura in the north up to Nambapana on the southern side. Right round the newly demarcated boundaries between the Kandyan kingdoms and the low country the king erected watch posts these watch posts were manned by "Wahampura" and "Bathgama" caste people. These watch posts were supervised by the Korale Mahatthya of each Korale and commanded by the "Atapattuwa Mohottale" of the province (chieftains of the frontier guard and guard services of the province), who took up residence on the eastern side of this mountain range.

Thus we see the families that held the post of Atapattuwa Mohottale of Sabaragamuwa Marambe, Iddamalgoda, Kiriporuwa and Jayasundhara of Kiriella taking up residence facing this mountain range on the eastern side.

This mountain range which is about thousand feet above sea level was the first line of defense for the Kandyan kingdom on this side of the kingdom, against sudden attacks by the Dutch and later by the British from the forts of Colombo and Hanwelle.

The descendants of those who manned these watch posts are yet living on this mountain range while the descendants of the afore-mentioned Attapattuwe Mohotalles are yet to be found on the eastern side of this mountain range except the Iddamalgoda family which is extinct.The Marambe family, the Attapattuwe Mohottalle and his brother Korale Mahatthya of Kuruwite Korale who were living together built their residences on the eastern end of the frontier village of Deiyagala which came to be known as Marambe Walauwwa, the area around the Walauwwa came to be known as Marambe.


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