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Gongale goda Banda - Sri Wickrama Siddapi
Born 13 March 1809
Died 1 December 1849
Title(s) King of Kandy
Throne(s) claimed Kingdom of Kandy
Pretend from 1848
Monarchy abolished 1815
Last monarch Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe
Father Wansapurna Dewage Sinchia Fernando

Wansapurna Dewage David alias Gongale Goda Banda (aka Peliyagoda David) (13 March 1809 - 1 December 1849 ) was the leader of the 1848 Rebellion, pretender to the throne of Kandy and a national hero of Sri Lanka.

Early life[edit]

Born on 13 March 1809 in Peliyagoda (Wanawasala) as the second son of Wansapurna Dewage Sinchia Fernando, he had been employed by the police and was engaged in transport work on the Kandy road and came to reside at Gongalegoda, Udunuwara where he became a popular figure among the Kandyans. At the age of 35 he married the daughter of Gongalegoda Menik Rala, he was 5 feet 6 inches in height.

1848 Rebellion[edit]

He was seen at the Dalada Maligawa just before the 1848 Rebellion broke out. Gongalegoda Banda led the protest march regarding unjustifiable taxes which was held on 6 July 1848 near the Kandy Kachchery. The rebellion was the first major uprising against the British since the Uva Rebellion in 1818. The anti-colonial movement on the island in 1848 was led by leaders such as Gongalegoda Banda, Puran Appu, Dingi Rala who were supported by many of the local people.

Proclamation of the king[edit]

On 26 July 1848, the leaders and the supporters entered the historic Dambulla Vihara and there Gongalegoda Banda was crowned by the head priest of Dambulla, Ven. Giranegama Thera. According to the head priest of Dambulla, Gongalegoda Banda was called 'Sri Wickrama Siddapi' and spoke fluently in his own language, Sinhala. He asked the people, "whether you are on the side of the Buddhist? or British?" On this historic day Dines, his brother was declared the sub-king and Dingirala as the prince of Sath Korale. Puran Appu was appointed as the prime minister or the sword bearer to Gongalegoda Banda. Puran Appu attended the consecration ceremony of Gongalegoda Banda with 400 others.

After the proclamation of the king, he left Dambulla with his army via Matale to capture Kandy from the British. On 28 July 1848 they raided Fort MacDowall in Matale causing much loss to the British amidst well fortified resistance. They attacked government buildings specially the Matale Kachcheri and destroyed the tax records. Simultaneously, Dingirirala instigated attacks in Kurunegala, where eight people were shot dead by the British army. The British Governor, Lord Torrington declared Martial Law on 29 July 1848 and 31 July in Kandy and Kurunegala respectively.

The Rebellion fails[edit]

The rebellion was aborted after several Korale Mahattayas betrayed the rebels for rewards from the British, resulting in the arrest of Puran Appu on 29 July 1848 at Wariyapola. Gongalegoda Banda and his elder brother Dines escaped and went into hiding. The Governor issued a warrant on Gongalegoda Banda for his arrest and a reward of 150 pounds to be given to anyone who gave information of his whereabouts.

Trial and exile[edit]

On 21 September 1848, Gongalegoda Banda was arrested by the Malay soldiers at Elkaduwa and was brought to Kandy. The trial of Gongalegoda Banda commenced on 27 November at the Supreme Court sessions in Kandy. He was charged of high treason for claiming he himself as the King of Kandy, declaring as a descendent of the Kandy Kings, ongoing and waging war against the British. He bravely declared that he was guilty of all the above charges. The judgement of the Supreme Court was that he would be hanged on 1 January 1849. However, on an appeal made by Gongalegoda Banda to the Governor, a proclamation was issued on 29 December 1848 to amend the death sentence to flogging 100 times and exile.

On 1 January 1849, Gongalegoda Banda was flogged 100 times in Kandy before a large gathering of people and sent into exile in Malacca (now Malaysia). Governor Lord Torrington writing a dispatch to the Secretary of State informed that deportation for life was more severe than death penalty. By deporting Gongalegoda Banda, Governor instilled a permanent fear among the inhabitants for future rebellion against the British rule. Gongalegoda Banda who was exiled to Malacca arrived there on 3 May 1849. He died on 1 December 1849 in Malacca, which was reported by Tikiri Banda Dunuwila who was also exiled there.[1]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gongalegoda_Banda — Please support Wikipedia.
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16 news items


Tue, 03 Feb 2015 19:27:14 -0800

The struggle against the colonial power, began in 1817 with the Uva Rebellion, In 1848 the abortive Matale Rebellion led by Puran Appu and Gongalegoda Banda was the first transitional step towards independence. Many struggles followed thereafter that ...
The Official Government News Portal of Sri Lanka
Tue, 03 Feb 2015 18:15:00 -0800

The patriotic feelings and commitments of native heroes who led the struggle for independence such as Ven. Wariyapola Sri Sumangala, Ven. S. Mahinda, Puran Appu, Gongalegoda Banda and Keppetipola are clearly visible in our history. We should note ...

The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

The Sunday Times Sri Lanka
Sat, 07 Feb 2015 12:11:43 -0800

The Museum has a series of display boards depicting the names, images and information of the political leaders, clergy and the lay patriots who were at the centre of this national struggle such as,Veera Puran Appu, Gongalegoda Banda, Monerawila ...


Sun, 18 Aug 2013 04:37:30 -0700

Gongalegoda Banda was arrested while in hiding and was sentenced to death by hanging. Later this was commuted to 100 lashes and being deported to Malaysia. For the first time, in the Kandyan provinces, the leadership of the rebellion passed into the ...
Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:48:31 -0700

Britain has yet to account for 60,000 Sinhala deaths massacred by British troops in 1818 (leaders Veera Keppetipola, Veerapuran Appu and Veera Gongalegoda Banda). The Government of Sri Lanka cannot shy from bringing up these murders when Britain is ...

Hiru News

Hiru News
Mon, 25 Nov 2013 23:33:23 -0800

Meanwhile Cultural Affairs Minister T.B. Ekanayake told our news team that another national hero Gongalegoda Banda was banished to Malakka after the freedom struggle in 1848. The Minister said that the relatives of Gongalegoda Banda will receive a ...
Sunday Times.lk
Sat, 14 Jan 2012 12:48:21 -0800

It was these nationalistic village heroes who revolted against British rule in the 1818 Rebellion with Keppitipola Nilame, and also in the 1848 uprising with Gongalegoda Banda, which resulted in their losing their lands and properties, and being ...
Sat, 25 Aug 2012 15:56:34 -0700

A 100 years before, on July 29, 1848 British Governor Lord Torrington declared Martial Law to brutally crush the Matale uprising (July-August 1848) sparked off by oppressive taxes which included a road-tax, a shop-tax, a gun-tax, and a dog-tax. The ...

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