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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 mainy 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 with his army left Dambulla via Matale to capture Kandy from the British. In Matale they raided Fort MacDowall in Matale on 28 July 1848 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]

Rebellion was aborted after several Korale Mahattayas betrayed the rebels for rewards from the British, this resulted in the arrest of Puran Appu 29 July 1848 at Wariyapola and 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 to 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 exiled.

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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21 news items

nation.lk - The Nation Newspaper
Sat, 31 Jan 2015 10:33:45 -0800

Veera Keppetipola Dissawe, Gongalegoda Banda, Veera Puran Appu, Utuwankande Sura Saradiel, Anagarika Dharmapala, Walisinghe Harischandra, Ponnambalam Ramanathan, Ponnambalam Arunachalam are some of the prominent personalities who'll ...
Ceylon Daily News
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:52:30 -0800

This memorial is remembered by some as that of Gongalegoda Banda, the Chief personality who led the rebellion against the British. It has been built with granite and painted subsequently. The ancient and archaeological appearance has been lost due to ...
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 ...
Daily Mirror
Sat, 22 Mar 2014 02:37:48 -0700

India's MDMK party, led by Vaiko has promised in its manifesto released on Saturday that it would lift the ban on LTTE in India and would work for holding of a referendum on creation of Eelam in Sri Lanka for Lankan Tamils, if it takes part in ...

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, 10 May 2008 00:00:00 -0700

Among them were such charismatic leaders as Kudapola Unnanse or Kudapola Sri Rahula Thero, Puranappu, Gongalegoda Banda and Hanguranketha Dingi Rala. Many lesser known fighters were captured, tortured for intelligence and lynched on Watson's ...
Sri Express
Thu, 17 Oct 2013 07:32:37 -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 ...

Nation on Sunday

Nation on Sunday
Sat, 08 Jun 2013 13:42:15 -0700

Matale was also the site of a major battle in 1848 when the Matale Rebellion erupted and the British garrison in Fort Macdowall was placed under siege by the rebels led by Weera Puran Appu and Gongalegoda Banda, who are considered as national heroes ...

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