The Gallows Tree in Hambantota


The gallows tree in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, is a historical site with a grim past. It was constructed to hang local rebels who were captured during the Uva Wellassa Rebellion in 1817. The rebellion, also known as the 1817–1818 Uva–Wellassa Rebellion or the Third Kandyan War, was a significant anti-colonial uprising against British colonial rule in Sri Lanka.

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Mr. Leonard Sidney Wolfe, who served as the agent of the Hambantota government at the time, noted in his diary that he witnessed the hanging of seven individuals. These individuals were reportedly involved in murders and kidnappings, and they were sentenced to death by Mr Wolfe in his official capacity. The gallows tree served as the execution site for these rebels and was a symbol of British colonial authority and the suppression of local uprisings during this period.
The Uva Wellassa Rebellion was a brutal and devastating chapter in Sri Lankan history, characterized by widespread violence and suffering. It is remembered as a significant event in the struggle for independence from British colonial rule in Sri Lanka. The gallows tree in Hambantota serves as a reminder of the historical events and the hardships faced by the region's people during this rebellion.


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