Don Juan Kumarakulasinghe Mudaliyar
Name - Don Juan Kumarakulasinghe Mudaliyar
Date Of Birth - Circa 1730
Date Of Death - Not Available



Irumarapuntuuya (qualification bestowed on him by the Dutch government)

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Don Juan Kumarakulasinghe Mudaliyar  was a prominent chieftain who lived during Dutch times. He was a large land owner and had extensive holdings in and around the village of Tellipallai. His seat was named “Mudi  Valavu”  which literally meant “Crown Manor”.

The Portuguese period in Sri Lanka was one of social and religious turmoil. Some of the actions of the Portuguese  not only disrupted time honoured traditions, but also the rigid social structure  that had existed in Jaffna under its native rulers.

The missionary zeal of the Portuguese resulted in many conversions to Christianity, from Prince Paranirupasinghe  the puppet king and his court, right down to humble peasants and fisher folk. Even Sankilli the usurper who was deposed by them for persecuting the new converts, had, according to tradition, received baptism prior to his execution 

The Dutch, who succeeded the Portuguese, in an attempt to rectify the damage done by the Portuguese, and thereby pacify the natives, introduced  measures to recognize some of the old feudal families. In an attempt to  re-establish the old order, they conferred the title of  Irumarupuntuyya  on Don Juan Kumarakulasinghe  Mudaliyar in 1756  “ in recognition of his position as the only representative, both through the paternal and maternal lines, of the last legitimate  king of Jaffna, whose family was allied by marriage to the contemporary  Singhalese dynasties”.  A copy of this Dutch “Order in Council” reflecting this honour was available in the National archives, while another document by Percival Ackland Dyke is in family archives.

There are many references to this Thomboo in various publications. Two of them are worth of note.

The Golden Book of India and Ceylon by Sir Roper Lethbridge, published in 1900 has a reference to the late  Gate Mudaliyar Kanaganayagam  Charles Barr Kumarakulasinghe, a descendant of  Don Juan Kumarakulasinghe, which reads as follows:




“Kanaganayagam  Charles  Barr Kumarakulasinghe Mudaliyar of the Governor’s Gate, born February 2nd 1862,  belongs to the Kumarakulasinghe family of Jaffna. One of his ancestors received the title “Irumarupuntuyya  Kumarakulasinghe  Mudaliyar” from the  Dutch Government in 1756, in recognition of his position as a direct descendent of the ancient kings of Jaffna”.


The other publication is The Chieftains of Ceylon by J.C. Van Sanden, published in 1936, which has a reference to Mudaliyar Richard Rasanayagam  Barr Kumarakulasinghe, Maniagar Valigaman, another descendent which states the following:

   ‘…..held the office of Maniagar for 25 years, and on his retirement was made Justice of the Peace in recognition of his meritorious services. His father was a well known scholar  and writer of Tamil verse and is mentioned in Arnold’s “Galaxy of Tamil Poets”.  The family is old and distinguished, tracing descent from an ancient Jaffna King, in acknowledgement ofwhich social position, the Dutch Government in 1756 conferred on an ancestor of the Maniagar, the title of “Irumarupuntuyya”.’

In the preface of the book the author categorically states the following:

“But I must also state that I have not permitted any persons to influence the facts-and opinions if any, in this publication. I have also had to contend against obstruction from a small coterie of Chief Headsman whose claims to aristocratic descent and distinguished antecedents I have not been prepared to concede. In this connection, my difficulty has been not so much as to how much to publish, but as to how much to leave out of a book which claims to be impartial and accurate”. 

The book is dedicated to King Edward the VIII, and the then Governor of Ceylon Sir Reginald Stubbs.  The foreword is written by Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike, the Sinhala Mahamudliya of the time.
It should be stressed that both these publications are authoritative works published in the hayday of the British Raj, and hence, whatever information contained therein must be accepted as reliable.
It was a period during which the socio-feudal structure of the country was intact and unlike present times no false claims would have gone unchallenged.
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