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The Colonial Project Completed: The Fall Of The Kandyan Kingdom

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Chapter Summary

The literature generally fails to connect the breakdown of the Kingdom of Kandy with other long-term political developments on the island. This chapter attempts to fill this gap and presents a fresh view on this episode of Sri Lankan political history. It first deals with official and unofficial policies towards the Kingdom adhered to by British governors and their superiors. In this analysis both external, “global” factors and local factors that affected the policy are taken into account. The chapter then deals with the “Kandyan factor”: how relations between the Kandyan courtiers and the British government were conducted, to understand the effects of Kandyan internal developments on British policy. Finally, it shows how closely Dutch and British colonial policy were intertwined with Kandyan political developments, and how a complicated set of developments led to the fall of the Kingdom.

Keywords: British governors; Dutch colonial policy; Kandyan courtiers; Kandyan political developments; Sri Lankan political history; unofficial policies



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