Cankili II

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Cekaracacekaran IX
Cankili II
King of Jaffna
Jaffna coat of armst.jpeg
Jaffna coat of arms
Reign 1617–1619
Tamil சங்கிலி குமாரன்
Sinhala සංකිලි
Died 1623 (1624)
Predecessor Ethirimana Cinkam (Parasasekaran VIII)
Successor Portuguese conquest
Royal house Aryacakravarti dynasty
King Sankiyan's Statue in Jaffna

Cankili II (Tamil: சங்கிலி குமாரன்) (died 1623) was the self-proclaimed last king of the Jaffna kingdom and was a usurper who came to throne with a palace massacre of the royal princess and the regent Arasakesari in 1617. His regency was rejected by the Portuguese colonials in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He precipitated the end of the Jaffna kingdom by inviting military forces from Thanjavur Nayaks and Malabari Corsairs. He was defeated by the Portuguese in 1619 and was taken to Goa and hanged. With his death the Aryacakravarti line of Kings who had ruled the kingdom for over 300 years came to an end.[citation needed]

Precipitous actions[edit]

With the death of Ethirimana Cinkam in 1617, there were three claimants to the throne. One was Cankili II, a nephew of the king. The other the claimants were the king’s young son and a group of pro-Portuguese Mudaliyars. Eventually Cankili II became the king under the name Segarasasekaran VIII (1617–1619) through a palace massacre. As he was not able to get the Portuguese authorities in Mannar or Colombo to agree to his over rule and regency due to opposition for him from the pro Portuguese Mudaliars, he invited the Thanjavur Nayaks to send military help. He also allowed corsairs from Malabar to use a base in Neduntivu that posed a threat to Portuguese shipping through Palk Straight.


By June 1619, there were two expeditions; one naval that was defeated by the Malabari corsairs but the land expedition by Phillippe de Oliveira with 5,000 men was able to defeat Cankili II and his troops. Cankili was captured and taken to Goa where he was executed and all troops include sinhala officer, Attapattu, were beheaded by Portuguese . Every surviving direct royal family member was taken to Goa and most were "encouraged" to become monks and nuns in various holy orders and most obliged. This was to avoid any further claimants to the Jaffna throne.[1][2]


  1. ^ Abeysinghe, T Jaffna Under the Portuguese, p.58-63
  2. ^ Gnanaprakasar, S A critical history of Jaffna, p.153-172


Preceded by
Ethirimana Cinkam
Jaffna Kingdom
Royal Flag of the Jaffna Kingdom.svg

Succeeded by
Phelipe de Oliveira