Home > Famous Person, General Knowledge, History > 340/365 – Pandara Vannian

340/365 – Pandara Vannian

Pandara Vanniyan (or Vannian or Vanni Bandara in sinhala) was a rebel Tamil chief from the Vanni region who was known as one of last native chiefs to challenge British rule in the Island nation of Sri Lanka.


Kulasegaram Vairamuthu Pandaravanniyan was the last king of Vanni. He is known as Wanni Bandara among sinhalese Some of the history books say that he had a sister and two brothers but the truth is he only had 2 younger brothers called “Kaylaa vanniyan” and “Periya Meynaar”. Kumarasinghe Mahavanniya’s family of Nuwarawewa was related by marriage to Pandara Vanniyan.

Conflict with the Colonial rule  

With the capture of the Jaffna kingdom by the Portuguese in 1621, the Vanni was under their nominal control and ‘Parangichetticulam’ of the Vanni may have been the fort of the Portuguese.

With the arrival of the Dutch colonials on the scene they were only able to exact yearly tribute of 42 elephants. About the year 1782 the continued conflicts came to an end when the Dutch once and for all defeated the Vanniyars.

All these similarities had led to more recent comparison of the LTTE leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran,to him by present day Tamil nationalists, Karunanidhi the current Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in his book, Payum Puli Pandara Vanniyan, and Nedumaran.

Pandara Vanniyan is valorized as an epic hero. He was declared a national hero by the prime minister and a statue of him was opened with much fanfare in Vavuniya at the main junction where the A-9 Highway between Jaffna and Kandy (& Colombo) meets the road to Mannar (and further down the road to Trincomalee).

The end  

The victory of the Vanniyars was short lived. Three detachments from Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee were dispatched and the Vanniyars were defeated in the Mannar district.

Although Pandara Vanniyan was active again his grandiose scheme to rule the Vanni faded away after 1811. The tomstone of Pandaara vanniyar defeat is still in Vanni.

Not only the Tamils, Sinhalese in the present day North Central and North Western provinces that were part of the kingdom of Vanniars consider Pandara Vannian as a god.

They transfer merrit to great Vanni Bandara deiyo to watch over when they pass through jungles. The memorial day of Pandara Vannian falls on 25th of August.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandara_Vannian

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