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7 JUNE

BRITISH BURN HOMES, DESTROY RICE STORES AND SHOOT CATTLE TO PUNISH REBEL VILLAGES

[ 7 June 1818 ]

On this day in 1818, a short newspaper article in the Windsor and Eton Gazette carried an opinion piece on the latest reports from Ceylon, which denounced the brutality of the British authorities in their use of extreme methods of collective punishment against rebels in the interior of the country.

“Conciliation,” it explained, “does not appear to be among the means adopted in Ceylon for bringing the natives to subjection… Their villages are burnt… their cattle are slaughtered, their stores of rice are destroyed, as if it were a British object to starve and render desperate these miserable dependents on our power.”[1]

FOOTNOTES

  1. “Foreign Intelligence,” The Windsor and Eton Express, 7 June 1818 p2.

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