Historic Images of Sri Lanka

Horse carriage on slave island (Kompanna Veediya) colombo

Horse carriage on slave island colombo

Horse carriage on slave island colombo c.1890 #0220

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The British gave the name Slave Island (Kompanna Veediya) to this locality due to a slave uprising in the Dutch era. Dutch brought about 400 African slaves to Colombo and slaves started a rebellion in the easrly 18th century following the murder of Vanderstraaten, a Dutch fiscal officer, and his wife by an African slave. Then Dutch crushed the uprising and imprisoned all the slaves within Colombo in this area which later bacame Slave Island.
Although the African descendants have not survived as a distinct community, they can be found in the areas of Puttalam, Trincomalee and Batticaloa.

by the Colombo Apothecaries Co. Ltd
Date: 1920’s

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1. Dennis Courthope Boas - February 3, 2010

Thank you so much for these wonderful photos.I am 74 this year and although I lived in India , I spent my holidays in Ceylon.
I was with Jack Ricketts in Trichy, the head of the Ceylon Labour Comission,when he committed suicide. A Great idea which ended so sadly.

2. Ashley de Vos - September 5, 2020

Island was real in the Beira lake. The lake was 50 times larger than to day. After the incident in the fort the slaves were brought out to the island for the night. This island was later called slave island. The Dutch banished the royal house of Batavia to Zeiland (Ceylon). They were housed at slave island. The Malay battalions of the British were stationed at slave island as well. The British filled most of the lake. they used material from the demolished dutch fort for the filling. Some of the member of the royal family went back after the Dutch left Indonesia.The rest intermarried and formed a rich community at slave island. This community has been dislocated and disbursed after the land was sold to Tata.

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