Leader Essay

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A great leader's brave attempt to gain freedom By Amal Hewavissenti Monarawila Keppetipola Disawe | The hundred and ninety fourth death anniversary of Keppetipola Disawe fell on the twenty sixth of November. In fact, he was the great national leader who, imbued with the spirit of mass liberation movement against unfair and oppressive English regime, bravely stood up for the rights of people. Keppetipola (Monarawila) Disawe later defied the absolute power possessed by the English and his self-expression and rebellious individuality were the greatest weapons against their tyranny. Immediately after the signing of Kandyan convention, the British agents in Sri Lanka began to enjoy supreme power and privileges to the disadvantage of local people but they flagrantly ignored the local culture, ethics and people as a whole. In the convention, signed in 1815, the English pledged strong allegiance towards safeguarding the rights of Sinhala people and all aspects of culture and values to the expectations of provincial leaders and monks. But within a year after signing the convention, the provincial leaders and monks realised that their expectations were being betrayed and the people were undergoing severe harassment and suppression at the hands of the English administration. By this time, Keppetipola Disawe, who was also one of the signatories of the convention, became somewhat agitated with certain level of doubt and pain at the blatant violation of the convention that had otherwise promised prosperity to the country. Under these circumstances, people in Uva, at the climax of their dissatisfaction unleashed a violent reaction to the English administration in the form of a rebellion that is popularly known as the 'rebellion of Uva Wellassa'. This uprising was chiefly organised and encouraged by the disappointed provincial leaders and monks as they were the first to notice

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