Colebrooke–Cameron Commission

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The Colebrooke–Cameron Commission was appointed in 1833 as a Royal Commission of Eastern Inquiry by the British Colonial Office. According to Sir Charles Jeffries' book, Ceylon - The Path to Independence, "by the time the Commission got round to Ceylon, in 1829, most of the members had fallen by the wayside, and only one, Major (afterwards Sir William) Colebrooke was left." to assess the administration of the island of Ceylon and to make recommendations for administrative, financial, economic, and judicial reform.

The commission comprised William MacBean George Colebrooke and Charles Hay Cameron. Cameron was in charge of investigating the judicial system. The legal and economic proposals made by the commission in 1833 were innovative and radical.[according to whom?] Many of the proposals were adopted. They signified for Ceylon the first manifestation of constitutional government, the first steps toward modernising the traditional economic system, and the beginnings of a uniform system of justice, education, and civil administration.


  • Establishment of an Executive Council and Legislative Council [1]
  • The amalgamation of the Kandyan and Maritime provinces and their administration as a single unit of government by the Governor in Council.[2]
  • The admission of Ceylonese into the Ceylon Civil Service.
  • The abolition of 'rājākariya' – compulsory personal service in the Kandyan provinces.
  • A commission to manage education should be appointed
  • A principal public school on the British model should be established for English education and teacher training.[3]


See also[edit]