Edmund Hewavitarne

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Edmund Hewavitharana.

Edmund Hewavitarne (1873–1915) was a Ceylonese (Sri Lankan) businessman and reservist. Member of Ceylon Defence Force he was court-martialed for treason and died in prison, he was given posthumous pardon. He was the younger brother of Anagarika Dharmapala.[1]

Born to the rich Hewavitarne family, his father was Don Carolis Hewavitharana and Mallika Dharmagunawardhana (the daughter of Andiris Perera Dharmagunawardhana) was his mother. His brothers were Don David Hewavitarne and Charles Alwis Hewavitharana.

During the 1915 riots he was arrested on trumped up charges and court marshaled for treason and shop-breaking. Sentenced to penal servitude for life after a three-day trial he was detained in the Welikada Prison and was transferred to the Jaffna Prison. There he died after five months due to lack of medical treatment.[2]

Philip Morrell raised the matter of the death of Hewavitarne in the House of Commons. However, Walter Long, the Secretary of State for the Colonies refused to allow an impartial Inquiry into cases of miscarriage of justice in the courts-martial and into the general administration of martial law during and after the Ceylon disturbances.[3]


  1. ^ Patriot not traitor
  2. ^ People’s sovereignty comes under siege
  3. ^ 'Written Answers', Hansard, 20 November 1917

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