Cankili I

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Cekaracacekaran VII
Cankili I
King of the Jaffna Kingdom
Jaffna Royal family 280x190.jpg
First from the right is Cankili I
Reign 1519–1561
Predecessor Singai Pararasasegaram (Pararacacekaran VI)
Successor Puviraja Pandaram (Pararacacekaran VII)
Born Nallur
Died 1565 (1566)
Burial Nallur
Issue Puviraja Pandaram (Pararacacekaran VII)
Full name
Cankilian Sekarasasekaran
Tamil சங்கிலியன்
House Aryacakravarti dynasty
Father Singai Pararasasegaram (Pararacacekaran VI)
Mother Mangathammal

Cankili I (Tamil: சங்கிலியன்) (died 1565), also known as Segarasasekaram, is the most remembered Jaffna kingdom king in the Sri Lankan Tamil history. He was very active in resisting Portuguese colonial inroads into Sri Lanka. He also inherited his throne via palace intrigues in which number of heir apparent’s died under mysterious circumstances. At the end, he was removed from power by a local uprising that led to his son Puviraja Pandaram taking nominal power from him.


Cankilian Thoppu - Facade of the palace belonging to the last king Cankili II.[1]

His father, Singai Pararasasegaram, had two principal wives and a number of concubines. His first wife, Rajalaksmi, had two sons, Singhabahu and Pandaram. Singai Pararasasegaram second wife was Valliammal, she bore him Paranirupasingham. Cankili's mother had Cankili and a daughter named Paravai. As part of palace intrigues, Cankili was able to ascend the throne.


Cankili I resisted all contacts with the Portuguese and even massacred 600 – 700 Parava Catholics in the island of Mannar who were brought from India to Mannar by the Portuguese to take over the lucrative pearl fisheries from the Jaffna kings. He was removed from power due to a local uprising that led his son Puviraja Pandaram take nominal power. He wielded real power behind the throne until his death in 1565.[2][3]


  1. ^ Kunarasa, K The Jaffna Dynasty, P4
  2. ^ Kunarasa, K The Jaffna Dynasty, p.82-84
  3. ^ Gnanaprakasar, S A critical history of Jaffna, p.113-117


Preceded by
Singai Pararasasegaram
Jaffna Kingdom
Succeeded by
Puviraja Pandaram