1800-1859 | Burning towns and cities | Collective punishments | Punitive operations | Sri Lanka

1,100 houses torched – unknown number burned alive at Ruwanwella

[ 13 September 1803 ] On 14 September 1803, Captain W. Pollock of the 51st Regiment of Foot, commanding a punitive military column targeting rebel held areas of Ceylon, reported to Major General Macdowal that the previous day, having found “the enemy had retreated into the interior of their territory, I ordered the Palace and…

1800-1859 | Burning villages | Livestock targeted | Punitive operations | Sri Lanka

British troops burn homes and destroy rice stores in Ceylonese villages

[ 7 June 1818 ] On 7 June 1818, a short newspaper article in the Windsor and Eton Gazette carried an opinion piece on the latest reports from the British colony of Ceylon. It denounced the brutality of the British authorities, including their use of extreme methods of collective punishment against areas believed sympathetic to the rebels…