Ordinance Nos,
4 of 1892
[21st November
, 1818
Short title.

1.The chiefs and people of the Kandyan nation, no longer able to endure the cruelties and oppressions which the late King Sri Wikreme Rajah Sinha tyrannically practised towards them, prayed the assistance of the British Government for their relief, and by a solemn act declared the late king deposed, and himself and all persons descending from or in any manner related to his family incapable of claiming or exercising royal authority within the Kandyan provinces, which were by the same solemn act ceded to the dominion of the British Sovereign.

2. The exercise of power by the representatives of His Britannic Majesty from the date of that Convention, the’2nd March, 1815, till the hour that insurrection broke out in the month of October, 1817, was marked by the greatest mildness and forbearance towards all classes, the strictest attention to the protection and maintenance of the rites, ministers, and places of worship of the religion of Budhoo, and a general deference to the opinions of the chiefs, who were considered as the persons best able from their rank and knowledge to aid the Government in ensuring the happiness of the mass of its new subjects: In exacting either taxes or services for the State an extraordinary and unprecedented laxity was allowed to take place, in order that the entry might with:’ more ease recover from any effects sustained by the contrary practice of the king: In assessing punishments for offences, where a plot to subvert the Government was proved, the spirit which always characterizes the British rule was strongly to be contrasted with the ancient and frequent rence, of capital executions, preceded by the most cruel and barbarous tortures.

3, Under this mild administration on the part of the British Government the country appeared to rest in peace; cultivation was increased, and Divine Providence blessed the exertions of the laborers and rewarded them by plenteous crops; yet all this time there were factious and intriguing spirits at work, seeking for an opportunity to subvert the Government, for no purpose but to assume to themselves absolute power over the lives and properties of the general mass of subjects, which by the equal justice of British authority were protected from their avarice or malicious cruelty.

4. These plotters against the State were found among, the very persons who had been restored to honors and; security by the sole intervention of British power, and the opportunity of raising disturbance was” chosen when, rely the merited gratitude of orders of the Kandyan nation, the Government diminished the number of troops ; and the insurgent leaders, unconscious or forgetful of the extensive resources of the British Empire, thought, in setting up the standard of rebellion, as easily to effect their purpose of expelling the English from the country, as the people had been deluded to prostrate before the phantom whose pretensions they espoused merely to cover their own ambitious views of subjecting theft-nation to their arbitrary will.

5. After more than a year of conflict, which has created misery and brought destruction on many, the efforts of the British Government and the bravery his Majesty’s troops have made manifest to the Kandyans the folly of resistance, and that in the Government alone resides the power of protecting them in the enjoyment of happiness ; the flimsy veil which the rebel chiefs threw over their ambitious designs was torn aside by themselves, and the pageant whom the people were called to recognize as the descendant of the gods exposed as the offspring of a poor Cingalese empiric.

6. After such, a display to the public of depraved artifice and injurious and unfeeling deception, the Government might reasonably hope that a sense of the misery brought on them by delusion should prevent the great body of the people from listening to anyone who should attempt in future to seduce them into rebellion against its beneficent rule ; but it is also incumbent on it, from a consideration of the circumstances which have passed and the evisequences which have ensued on the blind obedience which the people have thought due to their chiefs instead of to the Sovereign of the country, to reform by its inherent right, such parts of the practice of administration as, by occasioning the subject to lose sight of the majesty of the Royal Government, made him feel wholly dependent on the power of the various chiefs, which to be legal could only be derived to them by delegation from the sovereign authority of the country.

Declaration of British supremacy. Equal rights of every kandyan subject.

7, His Excellency the Governor therefore now calls to the mind of every person and of every class within these settlements that the sovereign majesty of the King of Great Britain and Ireland, exercised by his representative the Governor of Ceylon and his Agents in the Kandyan provinces, is alone the source from which all power emanates, and to which obedience is due; that no chief who is not vested with authority or rank from this sovereign source is entitled to obedience or respect; and that without powers derived from Go amend no one can exercise jurisdiction any kir or inflict the slightest punishment; finally that every Kandyan, be he of the highest lowest class, is secured in his life, liberty, and property from encroachment of any kind or by person, and is only subject to the laws, which will administered according to the ancient and established usages of the country, and in such manner and by authorities and persons as in the name and on of His Majesty is hereinafter declared.

Form of appointment to office.

10. No person shall be considered entitled.: execute office, either of the higher or lower class headmen, unless thereto appointed by a written instrument signed, in respect to superior chiefs by His Excel legacy the Governor, and for inferior headmen by Honorable the Resident, or provisionally by Agent of Government thereto duly authorizing in certain villages or departments which will allotted for personal services to the Dessaves, in the Dessave shall as before have the sole privilege making appointments.(*Sections 8 and 9 and 11 to 15 omitted.)

Religion.Erection of places of worship.

16. As well the priest as all the ceremonies and processions cessions of the Budhoo religion shall receive the rest which in former times was shown them; at the time it is in nowise to be understood that the protection of Government is to be denied to the peaceable exercise by all other persons of the religion which they respectively profess, or to the erection under due licence from His Excellency of places of worship in proper situations.

Temple lands exempted from taxation.

21. The Governor, desirous of showing adherence of Government to its stipulation in favour the religion of the people, exempts all lands which are the property of temples from all taxation ever.(* Sections 17 to 20 repealed by Ordinance No. 4 of 1892.)

Lands belonging to certain loyal chief exempted from tax.

22. All lands also now belonging to the following chiefs whose loyalty and adherence to the lawful Government merits favour, viz.: ” Mollegodde Maha Nileme, Mollegodde Nileme, Ratwatte Nileme, Kadoogamoone Nileme, Dehigamme Nileme, Mulligamme Nileme, lately Dessave of Welasse, Eknillegodde Nileme, Mahawalatene Nileme, Doloswalle Nileme, Eheyleyagodde Nileme, Katugaha the elder, Katugaha the younger, Damboolane Nileme, Godeagedere Nileme, Gonegodde Nileme, formerly Adikaram of Bintenne, shall be free of duty during their lives, and that their heirs shall enjoy the same free of duty, excepting with regard to such as paid pingo duty, which shall now and hereafter pay one-tenth to the Government of the annual produce, unless when exempted under the next clause.

Lands of chiefs holding office exempted,

23. All lands belonging to chiefs holding offices either of the superior or inferior class, and of inferior head- men, shall during the time they are in office be free of duty.

All present prohibited Provisions British officers, troops or other servants of Government travelling, be furnished for payment

24 and 25 omitted.)

Remuneration for service of superior chiefs.

28. * The services of the Adigars, Dessaves, and of superior chiefs to Government shall be compel by fixed monthly salaries in addition to the exempt of their lands from taxation.

Remuneration to inferior chiefs.

29, The services of the inferior chiefs shall be compensated as above by exemption from taxation, that they also receive one twentieth part of ‘ revenue paddy which they shall collect from people under them, to be allotted in such portion the Board of Commissioners shall under the authority of Government regulate.

Reservation of powers of making further provisions.General obedience enjoined.

56. In All matters not provided for by this Proclamation or other Proclamations heretofore promulgated by the authority of the British Government,’ Excellency reserves to himself and his successors power of reforming abuses and making such provision as is necessary, beneficial, or desirable; he reserves full power to alter the present provisions may appear hereafter necessary and expedient, he requires in His Majesty’s name all officers, civil and military, all Adigars, Dessaves, and other duels and all other His Majesty’s subjects to be assisting and assisting in the execution of these or other his orders, as they shall answer the contrary at their peril. (* Section 27 and sections 30 to 55 omitted.)

Chapter 638