By Sujit Sivasundaram
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Additional resources for Islanded: Britain, Sri Lanka, and the Bounds of an Indian Ocean Colony
Bang on time at the end of the next century, in 1799, a monk journeyed to Burma with five novices to gain higher ordination there, this time to the British territories on the coast. 18 Religious reformation also underpinned Kandy’s connections with Siam. There were two failed attempts to reformulate the island’s Buddhist sangha by contact with Siam during the reign of Sri Viyaja Rajasimha (r. 1739–47); these were followed by two successful attempts in the reign of his successor Kirti Sri Rajasimha (r.
Medical practice was pivotal to the making of the island state. The British saw diseases such as smallpox and cholera as having a maritime history, and the carriers of disease were said to be migrants. Often “Malabars” and Muslims, and merchant families and wandering holy men, were suspects in the hunt for the sources of disease. This tracing of disease pathways set the context for discourses of class and race. Measures of surveillance were not only directed outward to arrivals from India and elsewhere, but also inward, most visibly in the layout of the capital of Colombo.
1739–47); these were followed by two successful attempts in the reign of his successor Kirti Sri Rajasimha (r. 1747–82). Twenty-five monks from 14. ’ 15. W. , Culavamsa, Being the Most Recent Part of the Mahavamsa, 2:76, line 56. 16. ” 17. For the passage of monks back and forth, see Malalgoda, Buddhism in Sinhalese Society, 1750–1900: A Study of Religious Revival and Change, 56–57, 97–98. 18. For the argument about successful importation, see Anne M. 20 The Narendra Caritavalokana Pradipikava, a historical chronicle on palm leaf, which was allegedly written at the invitation of Governor Edward Barnes, nineteen years after the fall of Kandy, notes the following about how Kirti Sri established and then celebrated the reintroduction of higher ordination from Siam: As there was not a single monk with higher ordination in Lanka, the king knowing that the Sasana was on the path of decline, having decided “I must support the sublime and wonderful Buddha Sasana,” having prepared a great deal of royal gifts and objects as offerings, having treated well the Sinhala Ministers and the Dutch ministers, handed over the gifts and royal messages to them, and sent them away to Siam by ship.