President Maithripala Sirisena rescinded a colonial-era British order naming 19 nationals as “traitors” for leading a rebellion nearly 200 years ago.
The President cancelled a gazette issued by English Governor Robert Brownrig on January 10, 1818, listing the 19 leaders, including Keppetipola Disawe, as traitors.
Keppetipola, more widely known as Keppetipola Disawe, was a high-ranking official under the rule of King Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe and later under the British Administration in Ceylon. He was a prominent leader of the Uva rebellion of 1818. The rebellion was defeated by the British, and Keppetipola Disawe along with several other leaders were found guilty of high treason and sentenced to death by execution. Weera Keppetipola was beheaded in front of the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. His skull was taken to Edinburgh, but was returned to Sri Lanka in 1954 and entombed at the Keppetipola memorial.
Painting by Prasanna Weerakkody