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Inland Exploitation: The Discovery Of The Periphery

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Chapter Summary

The rebellion in Matara is an example of how colonial intervention led to a clash of mentality between the Dutch and the native population that was not easily overcome. This was even more the case in regions where contact between the natives and the Company had been rare, like in the Vanni, Trincomalee, and Batticaloa. This chapter discusses these new encounters and colonial interventions in the periphery, through an analysis of the reports and memoranda written by Jacques Fabrice van Senden, Thomas Nagel, and Jacob Burnand on their operations in these districts. The “discovery” of the periphery led to new encounters between the native population and the Dutch officials. The diary of the exploratory journey that Van Senden, head of Trincomalee, undertook in the spring of 1786, gives insight into this interaction and how both the Dutch and the natives experienced this new encounter.

Keywords: Batticaloa; colonial intervention; Dutch officials; Jacob Burnand; Jacques Fabrice van Senden; Matara; native population; Thomas Nagel; Trincomalee; Vanni



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