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200 Rupees 1998. 50th Independence Anniversary, Sri Lanka

in Krause book Number: 114a
Years of issue: 04.02.1998
Edition: 20 559 000 (100 000 in folders)
Signatures: Finance Minister: C. B. Kumaratunga, CBSL Governor: A. S. Jayawardena
Serie: Commemorative issue
Specimen of: 1998
Material: Polymer
Size (mm): 146 x 74
Printer: Note Printing Australia, Craigieburn, Melbourne

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

200 Rupees 1998. 50th Independence Anniversary




In top right corner is The Sri Lanka Lion (Panthera leo sinhaleyus), with sword (from coat of arms) and denomination 200. Across all field of banknote are inscriptions: 200 Rup Bank of Sri-Lanka.

Panthera leo sinhaleyus

In top right corner - The Sri Lanka Lion (Panthera leo sinhaleyus), with sword (from coat of arms). About the lion, please, read, description of watermark here!


200 Rupees 1998. 50th Independence Anniversary

Commemorative issue to Commemorative issue to 50th Independence Anniversary.

Progress during 50 years of Independence.

Independence Memorial Hall

Main image - Independence Memorial Hall in Colombo.

Independence Memorial Hall (also Independence Commemoration Hall) is a national monument in Sri Lanka built for commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka from the British rule with the restoration of full governing responsibility to a Ceylonese-elected legislature on February 4, 1948. It is located in Independence Square (formerly Torrington Square) in the Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo. It also houses the Independence Memorial Museum.

The monument was built at the location where the formal ceremony marking the start of self-rule, with the opening of the first parliament by the HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester occurred at a special podium February 4, 1948.

Located at the head of the monument is the statue of the first prime minister of the country Rt. Hon. Don Stephen Senanayake "The Father of the Nation". Most of the annual National Independence Day celebrations have been held here. Apart from a monument it served as the ceremonial assembly hall for the Senate of Ceylon and the House of Representatives of Ceylon until the parliament was moved to the new parliament complex. Currently it is the venue for religious events and annual national day celebrations.

The formal ceremony marking the start of self-rule, with the opening of the first parliament at the special podium at the present Independence Square, Colombo.

The building was designed by a group of eight notable architects led by Tom Neville Wynne-Jones CBE, and included F.H. Billimoria, Shirley de Alwis, Oliver Weerasinghe, Homi Billimoria, Justin Samarasekera and M. B. Morina. The design of the building is based on the Magul Maduwa (Celebration Hall), the Royal audience hall of the Kingdom of Kandy the last native kingdom of the island, where on 5 March 1815 the Kandyan Convention was signed between the British and the Kandyian Chieftains (Radalas) ending the Kingdom of Kandy.

From left to right along a panel at lower third of note:

1) Free education and health services.

Gal Oya

2) Gal Oya development project.

Gal Oya National Park in Sri Lanka was established in 1954 and serves as the main catchment area for Senanayake Samudraya, the largest reservoir in Sri Lanka. Senanayake Samudraya was built under the Gal Oya development project by damming the Gal Oya at Inginiyagala in 1950. An important feature of the Gal Oya National Park is its elephant herd that can be seen throughout the year. Three important herbs of the Ayurveda medicine, triphala: Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica and Emblica officinalis are amongst the notable flora of the forest. From 1954 to 1965 the park was administrated by the Gal Oya Development Board until the Department of Wildlife Conservation took over administration. The national park is situated 314 km. (195 mi.) from Colombo.

The Gal Oya Development Board established several protected areas to protect the catchment areas of Senanayake Samudraya and several other reservoirs. This also helped to prevent the soil erosion caused by burning of the Thalawa grassland by the villagers. The protected areas established in 1954 are Gal Oya National Park, Senanayake Samudraya Sanctuary, Gal Oya valley north-east Sanctuary, and Gal Oya valley south-east Sanctuary. Together these four reserves accounts for 63,000 ha of land. Administration and protection of the four protected areas, reducing human-elephant clashes and enforcing the flora and fauna ordinance are amongst the duties of the department. Rangers are stationed in four sites: Inginiyagala, Mullegama, Nilgala and Baduluwela. Additionally in 1974 the Buddhangala Sanctuary was also designated.[2] Buddhangala is a monastery with ruins of a stupa and other buildings in the nearby Malwattai area.

3) Electricity development.

Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall

4) Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall.

The laconic building of the conference center has perpetuated the memory of Solomon Bandaranaike, who became Prime Minister of Sri Lanka in 1956 and who died tragically in 1959.

This original octagonal building became a kind of gift from the Chinese government in honor of the memory of Bandaranaike. Its construction was completed in 1975, and currently this hall is the most significant building of its kind in Colombo. The conference center can accommodate more than 1,500 people.

There is a small memorial museum dedicated to Bandaranaika. It is open from 9 to 16, the entrance fee is symbolic. Concerts and other official events are also held here.

Opposite the conference center is the largest city Buddha statue - an exact copy of the V century statue. Aukana Buddha from Anuradhapura. ( .rus)

5) The Mahaweli Development Project.

The Mahaweli Development Program (මහවැලි සංවර්ධන වැඩසටහන) is known as the largest multi-purpose national development program in the history of Sri Lanka and is also considered the cornerstone of the state development program, which was launched in 1961.

The main objectives of the program were generating hydroelectricity, creating irrigation facilities for the dry zone, relocating landless and unemployed families by creating and developing the physical and social infrastructure necessary for people to live using the waters of the Mahaweli River, increasing local agricultural production and creating new jobs for people .

Bandaranaike International Airport

6) Bandaranaike International Airport.

Bandaranaike International Airport (commonly known as Colombo International Airport, Colombo-Bandaranaike and locally as Katunayake Airport) (IATA: CMB, ICAO: VCBI) is the main international airport serving Sri Lanka. It is named after former Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and is located in a suburb of Negombo, 20 miles (32.5 km.) north of the nation's longstanding capital and commercial center, Colombo. It is administered by Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd and serves as the hub of SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, and domestic carrier Cinnamon Air. The other airport serving the city of Colombo is the Ratmalana Airport, primarily serving domestic destinations.

7) Telecommunications development.

8) Investment Promotion Zone.

9) New parliament complex of Sri Jayewardenepura  in Kotte.

10) Industrial development.

11) Development of the Colombo city and the port.

12) Unity and peace.

Bottom right in single line with same font size නිදහස in Sinhala, சுதந்திரம் in Thamil and Independence 1948-1998 in English.

Numeric 200 in Upper right with to it's left value in 3 horizontal lines of same font size. රුපියල් දෙසියයි in Sinhala, இருநூறு ரூபாய் in Thamil and TWO HUNDRED RUPEES in English.

Watermark window to upper left with to it's right Issue's name in 3 tilted vertical lines of decreasing font size. ශ්‍රී ලංකා මහ බැංකුව in Sinhala இலங்கை மத்திய வங்கி in Thamil and CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA in English.

Legality Legend in 3 lines, under watermark window, in top left corner:

"ශ්‍රී ලංකාණ්ඩුව වෙනුවෙන් නිකුත් කරන ලද මේ

මුදල් නෝට්ටුව ශ්‍රී ලංකාව ඈතුළත ඕනෑම මුදල් ගණනක්

ගෙවිම සඳහා නිතියෙන් වලංගුය"

In English: "Issued on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka

Banknote legally valid for payment in Sri Lanka".


200 Rupees 1998. 50th Independence Anniversary

The National Heritage.

200 Rupees 1998 200 Rupees 1998

On banknote is The Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) - more concrete - Patthirippua (Octagonal prison tower, built in 1803).

Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a World Heritage Site mainly due to the temple.

Bhikkhus of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times daily: at dawn, at noon and in the evenings. On Wednesdays there is a symbolic bathing of the relic with an herbal preparation made from scented water and fragrant flowers called Nanumura Mangallaya. This holy water is believed to contain healing powers and is distributed among those present.

The temple sustained damage from bombings by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 1998 but was fully restored each time.

After the parinirvana of Gautama Buddha, the tooth relic was preserved in Kalinga and smuggled to the island by Princess Hemamali and her husband, Prince Dantha on the instructions of her father King Guhasiva. They landed in the island in Lankapattana during the reign of Sirimeghavanna of Anuradhapura (301-328) and handed over the tooth relic. The king enshrined it Meghagiri Vihara (present day Isurumuniya) in Anuradhapura. Safeguard of the relic was a responsibility of the monarch, therefore over the years the custodianship of relic became to symbolize the right to rule. Therefore, reigning monarchs built the tooth relic temples quite close to their royal residences, as was the case during the times of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, Kingdom of Polonnaruwa, and Kingdom of Dambadeniya. During the era of the Kingdom of Gampola, the relic was housed in Niyamgampaya Vihara. It is reported in the messenger poems such as Hamsa, Gira, and Selalihini that the temple of tooth relic was situated within the city of Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte when the Kingdom of Kotte was established there.

During the reign of Dharmapala of Kotte, the relic was kept hidden in Delgamuwa Vihara, Ratnapura, in a grinding stone. It was brought to Kandy by Hiripitiye Diyawadana Rala and Devanagala Rathnalankara Thera. King Vimaladharmasuriya I built a two-storey building to deposit the tooth relic and the building is now gone. In 1603 when the Portuguese invaded Kandy, it was carried to Meda Mahanuwara in Dumbara. It was recovered in the time of Rajasinha II and it has been reported that he reinstate the original building or has built a new temple. The present day temple of the tooth was built by Vira Narendra Sinha. The octagonal Patthirippuwa and moat was added during the reign of Sri Vikrama Rajasinha. Famous Kandyan architect Devandra Mulacharin is credited with building the Patthirippuwa. Originally it was used by the kings for recreational activities and later it was offered to the tooth relic. Now it is a library. It was attacked on two occasions, the 1998 Temple of the Tooth attack by the militant organization Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the 1989 Temple of the Tooth attack by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna.

200 Rupees 1998

Outwardly, the buildings of the Temple of the Tooth are unremarkable and even modest. The interior decoration of the rooms impresses visitors with luxury, precious decoration, inlaid with silver, rubies, emeralds and ivory. Thousands of figurines depicting the Buddha look at you from every corner of the numerous rooms resembling the Kremlin Golden Chambers. Vintage fanciful frescoes decorate the ceilings.

Every day and year-round foreigners and local religious pilgrims are admitted to the temple. But none of them can see the unique "tooth".

From left to right along a panel at lower third of note:

1) Advent of Prince Vijaya (V Century BCE).

Prince Vijaya (Sinhala: විජය කුමරු) was the traditional first Sinhalese king of Sri Lanka, mentioned in the Pali chronicles, including Mahavamsa. According to these chronicles, he is the first recorded King of Sri Lanka. His reign is traditionally dated to 543-505 BCE. According to the legends, he and several hundred of his followers came to Lanka after being expelled from an Indian kingdom. In Lanka, they displaced the island's original inhabitants (Yakkhas), established a kingdom and became ancestors of the modern Sinhalese people.

2) Arrival of Arahant Mahinda and introduction of Buddhism during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa (248 BCE).

If we review Arahant Mahinda’s mission today, in the absence of the Sangha, would the Buddha Dhamma have lasted for over 2000 years?

History has records of upheavals in the Sangha Saasana and there had been controversial roles played by some factions as it is happening today. But history reveals that by and large, the dedication of the Sangha to protect and preserve the teachings of the Buddha and the renaissance they brought about, moulding society in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha, kept the light of the Dhamma aflame for over two millennia.

According to ancient chronicles, from the very beginnings of the arrival of Arahant Mahinda, large numbers of people flocked to his Aramaya to listen to his sermons. Most of those who grasped the Dhamma and sought emancipation, took to robes. These were people, who till then, had lived at a time described as the dark period of the island following tribal and ritualistic practices. There may have been traces of Jainism, Brahminism, Hinduism and even Buddhism present, because Sri Lanka could not have escaped the religious and cultural winds that blew across from neighbouring India. There are however, no records of the presence of the Sangha in Sri Lanka before the arrival of Arahant Mahinda.

The streamlined and disciplined Sangha Saasana, which was guided by a strict code of ethics as laid down by the Buddha became a vital component of the Buddhist Doctrine Arahant Mahinda introduced. His first ordination of a monk in Sri Lanka however was a member of his own delegation of missionaries to Sri Lanka. The delegation included two of his relatives – his nephew – Sumana Saamanera who was Sanghamitta Theri’s son. The other was his mother’s sister’s grandson Bhanduka whom Arahant Mahinda chose to ordain in the full glare of a Lankan audience – probably to show how an ordination is done and as an incentive to draw Lankans to the Sangha Saasana. According to records, the first Sri Lankan to enter the Sangha Saasana was King Devanampiyatissa’s Prime Minister – Mahaaritta. The greatness of the numbers of those who entered the Saasana as recorded in the chronicles, is evidence of the effectiveness of Arahant Mahinda as a missionary.

The first monastery-complex was built by King Devanampiyatissa in the Mahamevna Uyana for Arahant Mahinda and his delegates which later became the Mahavihara and which had to be expanded to accommodate the rapidly increasing numbers of the Sangha. This commenced the monastic- tradition in Sri Lanka. There had been some however, who from these early years, had opted to live in caves in the forest.

With the arrival of Sanghamitta Theri six months later, Upasika Viharaya – the first monastery for Bhikkunis was built on a serene park in Anuradhapura. Queen Anula Devi, the sister-in-law of King Devanampiyatissa who had attained the higher spiritual realms of Sothapana having listened to the sermons of the great communicator Arahant Mahinda, had requested that she be ordained a Bhikkuni which led Sanghamitta Theri to arrive in Sri Lanka.

According to records, 500 upasikas from all levels of society, joined the Bhikkuni Order along with Queen Anula.

With monasteries coming up in Anuradhapura, what followed was a tremendous religious and scholarly upsurge. The Mahavihara developed into a renowned place of learning akin to a modern University and attracted religious scholars, dignitaries and emissaries especially from the Indian subcontinent to follow scholastic dhamma studies. Discussions and debates on the Buddhist Dhamma resulted in participation and interaction of Bhikkus and Bhikkunis.

Although there were members of the Royalty and those from higher families who took to robes, many may have been ordinary civilians who had been engaged in their respective occupations till they entered the Saasana. One could imagine the plight of these people, not literate but having a deep interest to understand the Dhamma. Being yet the era which practised the oral tradition, the Dhamma was expressed in the Pali language and the Bhikkus and the Bhikkhunis, in their quest to learn the Dhamma, proceeded as a result to learn Pali. Arahant Mahinda however preached in Sinhala but the rest of the senior clergy, including Sanghamitta Theri, delivered sermons in Pali.

Therefore, the monasteries turned into study-centres where the Dhamma was taught in Pali to a generation completely alien to any kind of learning which led them to literacy and even made some of them Pali scholars. Sermons however, were delivered by these monks to the laymen in Sinhala.

The planting of the Jaya Siri Maha Bodhiya in Mahamevuna Uyana, described as the grandest religious ceremony in the annals of Lanka, took place hardly six months into their new status as monks. Emperor Asoka had sent artisans from 18 clans to attend to varied services which had to be solemnly performed to the sacred Bodhiya – an act which triggered waves of activity that had to be carried and overseen by this first generation of the Sangha.

King Devanampiyatissa in the meantime, invited all regional leaders to participate in the sacred planting ceremony when he gifted each of them the first Bo Sapling that had sprung from the Jaya Siri Maha Bodhiya in Anuradhapura. This resulted in all regions in the island being covered – an act done in order to involve them actively in the observation of Buddhist traditions. Buddhist temples as a result, sprang up in all regional locations with the Bo Sapling planted, symbolizing the presence of the Buddha.

This led the Sangha, who were congregated in the capital city of Anuradhapura, to spread out which helped the preservation of the Buddha Dhamma throughout the island. (

3) King Dutugemunu unites Sri Lanka and pays respect to the enemy King Elara and builds the Maha Seva (II Century BCE).

Ruvanvelisaya - also called Mahatupa, Shvarnamali Chaiti, Suvarnamali Mahaseti and Ratnamali Dagaba - a stupa, considered an architectural miracle and revered by Buddhists. It was built by King Dutugemun, who defeated and expelled King Elaru from the island.

Dutugemunu began work on the holy day of Wesak - the celebration of the birth, enlightenment and departure of Gautama Buddha to the parinirvana. On this day, revered by Buddhists, the king removed the column of the ruler Devanampius Tissa, leveled the platform and deepened it by seven cubits; then the soldiers distributed round stones in the recess, which they then split with hammers and crushed elephants under their feet. The clay brought from the Himalayas was poured onto the crumb stone, and bricks were laid on the clay, plastered them, a layer of quartz, a layer of iron, a layer of fragrant clay, a layer of white stones, a layer of rock crystal stones and a layer of plates were laid. Then the king mixed the mercury, the resin of the apple tree and the excellent clay and distributed the mixture on the plates, so that then they lay on it bronze sheets of twenty centimeters thick. A mixture of sesame oil and arsenic was placed on them and silver sheets of ten centimeters wide were laid.

When Dutugemunu completed the foundation, he announced that the first stone would be laid on the full moon day of next month.

As the king desired and prayed, the construction of the stupa was completed quickly and calmly, and ended with solemn consecration: the arhat Shittasena placed a piece of fragrant resin in the eastern part, above the boundary line around the Great Stupa. Arhat Jayasena sprinkled tar with fragrant water, and then, when the constellation Uttarasekh appeared, the steward placed golden bricks over the fragrant water with generous offerings.

They say that then the earth, all two hundred and seventy thousand yojanas, roared and trembled during the consecration.

With the help of his sons, King Dutugemunu placed golden bricks on the other seven sides of the Great Stupa. Then the king and the people present gifted the Arhats sitting in four parts of the world, and sat nearby to listen to the holy speech that was given to them by the arhat Pyadassi that day.

The attraction of Kotmale is the stupa (dagoba) of the Mahaweli Maha Seya, built in honor of all the Kathmale temples flooded by the waters of the reservoir (about 18 temples were flooded as part of the Kotmalsky reservoir project). The construction of this huge stupa was started on March 23, 1983, but stopped in 1992. Then it resumed again in 2000 and ended on June 20, 2016. Mahaweli Maha Seya is a hollow stupa, almost 90 meters high. This is the second highest stupa of Sri Lanka, after the Ruvanaveli stupa of Maha Seyi stupa in Anuradhapura.

4) King Kasyapa builds his palace at the Sigiriya rock fortress and decorates it with frescoes (VI Century CE).

Sigiriya or Sinhagiri (Lion Rock Sinhala: සීගිරිය, Tamil: சிகிரியா, pronounced see-gi-ri-yə) is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters (660 ft.) high.[citation needed]

According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477–495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure — Sīnhāgiri, the Lion Rock (an etymology similar to Siṃhapura, the Sanskrit name of Singapore, the Lion City).

The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king's death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the XIV century. Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site.It is also declared by UNESCO as the eighth wonder of the world. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning.

Legendary past.

Lal Srinivas and Mirando Obesekara described Sigiriya as a post-historical archeology turning point of Ravana. According to them, Sigiriya may be the Alakamandava (City of the Gods) that was built up before 50 centuries ago by King Kubera who was the half-brother of Ravana (Ravan) as described in the Ramayanaya.

According to the Palm Leaf Book (Puskola Potha) of Ravana Watha (about Ravana) the architect of the Sigiriya was a Danava called Maya Danava. He built up Sigiriya on the instructions given by King Visthavasa (Vishravasamuni) the father of Ravana. During that period the Sigiriya was called Alakamandava and during the period of King Kuwera it was called Cithranakuta. After the death of Ravana, Vibeeshana became the king and he shifted the kingdom to Kelaniya. As per this book, Chiththaraja had used Alakamandava as his residence. Chiththaraja was a relation of Vibeeshana and a Patrician of Yakka. It was also stated that Chiththaraja was one of the individuals who helped Prince Pandukabhaya to get the kingship. Parents of Pandukabhaya were descended from the tribe of Chiththaraja.

In addition, Ravana Watha was also described that Prince Kassapa who was the son of King Daathusena has selected the Chithrakuta as his residence due to the fact that her mother was a follower of Yakka belief and also she descended from them. King Kassapa was the only king who did reconstruction and maintained the Chiththakuta as done by the king Ravana. The famous wall paintings in the Chiththakuta (Later Sigiriya) can be treated as displaying about the Sinhala Land i.e. Sri Lanka. The Ravana Watha explains that the picture of blue coloured lady represents the Yakka Tribe and other ladies represent the Tribes of Nāga (Serpentine), Deva (Divine) and Gandabhbha (Celestial Musicians) and the beautiful flowers show the unity of the country.

Historical past.

The environment around the Sigiriya may have been inhabited since prehistoric times. There is clear evidence that the many rock shelters and caves in the vicinity were occupied by Buddhist monks and ascetics from as early as the 3rd century BCE. The earliest evidence of human habitation at Sigiriya is the Aligala rock shelter to the east of Sigiriya rock, indicating that the area was occupied nearly five thousand years ago during the Mesolithic Period.

Buddhist monastic settlements were established during the 3rd century BCE in the western and northern slopes of the boulder-strewn hills surrounding the Sigiriya rock. Several rock shelters or caves were created during this period. These shelters were made under large boulders, with carved drip ledges around the cave mouths. Rock inscriptions are carved near the drip ledges on many of the shelters, recording the donation of the shelters to the Buddhist monastic order as residences. These were made in the period between the 3rd century BCE and the 1st century CE.

In 477 CE, Kashyapa I, the king’s son by a non-royal consort, seized the throne from King Dhatusena, following a coup assisted by Migara, the King’s nephew and army commander. The rightful heir, Moggallana, fearing for his life, fled to South India. Afraid of an attack by Moggallana, Kashyapa moved the capital and his residence from the traditional capital of Anuradhapura to the more secure Sigiriya. During King Kashyapa’s reign (477 to 495 CE), Sigiriya was developed into a complex city and fortress. Most of the elaborate constructions on the rock summit and around it, including defensive structures, palaces, and gardens, date from this period.

The Culavamsa describes King Kashyapa as the son of King Dhatusena. Kashyapa murdered his father by walling him up alive and then usurping the throne which rightfully belonged to his half-brother Moggallana, Dhatusena's son by the true queen. Moggallana fled to India to escape being assassinated by Kashyapa, but vowed revenge. In India he raised an army with the intention of returning and retaking the throne of Sri Lanka, which he considered to be rightfully his. Expecting the inevitable return of Moggallana, Kashyapa is said to have built his palace on the summit of Sigiriya as a fortress as well as a pleasure palace. Moggallana finally arrived, declared war, and defeated Kashyapa in 495 CE. During the battle Kashyapa's armies abandoned him and he committed suicide by falling on his sword.

The Culavamsa and folklore inform us that the battle-elephant on which Kashyapa was mounted changed course to take a strategic advantage, but the army misinterpreted the movement as the king's having opted to retreat, prompting the army to abandon him altogether. It is said that being too proud to surrender he took his dagger from his waistband, cut his throat, raised the dagger proudly, sheathed it, and fell dead. Moggallana returned the capital to Anuradhapura, converting Sigiriya into a Buddhist monastery complex, which survived until the XIII or XIV century. After this period, no records are found on Sigiriya until the XVI and XVII centuries, when it was used briefly as an outpost of the Kingdom of Kandy.

Alternative stories have the primary builder of Sigiriya as King Dhatusena, with Kashyapa finishing the work in honour of his father. Still other stories describe Kashyapa as a playboy king, with Sigiriya his pleasure palace. Even Kashyapa's eventual fate is uncertain. In some versions he is assassinated by poison administered by a concubine; in others he cuts his own throat when deserted in his final battle. Still further interpretations regard the site as the work of a Buddhist community, without a military function. This site may have been important in the competition between the Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist traditions in ancient Sri Lanka.

5) King Parakramabahu the Great constructs the Sea of Parakrama (XII Century CE).

Under the rule of King Parakramabahu the Great (1153–1186), Sri Lanka became known as one of the richest countries in the East. His philosophy was: not a single drop falling from heaven should fall into the sea without benefiting a person. The king sent tremendous manpower and resources to build a complex irrigation system in the arid region of the island, and the area became favorable for human life. To this day, an artificial lake, canals, pools have been preserved.

Parakrama Samudra, which is translated from Sinhala means “Sea of ​​Parakrama” or “Sea of ​​Parakramabahu”.

In fact, this is not the sea, but a huge lake. Surprisingly, it turned out to be man-made. And once upon a time, only an arid jungle and swamp covered this area. Even before the II century. BC e. hermit monks settled here, who began to cultivate the surrounding lands.

6) Invasion of Sri Lanka by the Portuguese (XVI Century CE), the Dutch (XVII Century CE) and conquest by the British (XIX Century CE).

The first Europeans to visit Ceylon in modern times were the Portuguese: Lourenço de Almeida arrived in 1505, finding the island divided into seven warring kingdoms and unable to fend off intruders. The Portuguese founded a fort at the port city of Colombo in 1517 and gradually extended their control over the coastal areas. In 1592 the Sinhalese moved their capital to the inland city of Kandy, a location more secure against attack from invaders. Intermittent warfare continued through the 16th century. Many lowland the Ceylonese were forced to convert to Christianity while the coastal Moors were religiously persecuted and forced to retreat to the Central highlands while some of them desired to leave the country. The Buddhist majority disliked Portuguese occupation and its influences and welcomed any power who might rescue them and defeat the Portuguese. In 1602, therefore, when the Dutch captain Joris van Spilbergen landed, the king of Kandy appealed to him for help.

It was in 1669 that the Dutch attacked in earnest but ended with an agreement (which was disrespected by both parties), and not until 1656 that Colombo fell. By 1660 the Dutch controlled the whole island except the kingdom of Kandy. The Dutch (who were Protestants) persecuted the Catholics (the left-over Portuguese settlers) but left the Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims alone. However, they taxed the people far more heavily than the Portuguese had done. A mixed Dutch-Sri Lankan people known as Burgher peoples are the legacy of Dutch rule.

In 1669, the British sea captain Robert Knox landed by chance on Ceylon and was captured by the king of Kandy. He escaped 19 years later and wrote an account of his stay. This helped to bring the island to the attention of the British.

During the Napoleonic Wars, Great Britain, fearing that French control of the Netherlands might deliver Ceylon to the French, occupied the coastal areas of the island with little difficulty in 1796. In 1802 by the Treaty of Amiens the Dutch part of the island was ceded to Britain, and became a crown colony. In 1803 the British invaded the Kingdom of Kandy in the 1st Kandyan War, but were bloodily repulsed. In 1815 Kandy was occupied in the 2nd Kandyan War, ending Ceylonese independence.

Following the bloody suppression of the Uva Rebellion, the Kandyan peasantry were stripped of their lands by the Wastelands Ordinance, a modern enclosure movement and reduced to penury. The British found that the uplands of Sri Lanka were very suited to coffee, tea and rubber cultivation, and by the mid XIX century Ceylon tea had become a staple of the British market, bringing great wealth to a small class of white tea planters. To work the estates, the planters imported large numbers of Tamil workers as indentured labourers from south India, who soon made up 10% of the island's population. These workers had to work in slave-like conditions and to live in line rooms, not very different from cattle sheds.

The British colonialists favoured the semi-European Burghers, certain high-caste Sinhalese and the Tamils who were mainly concentrated to the north of the country, exacerbating divisions and enmities which have survived ever since. Nevertheless, the British also introduced democratic elements to Sri Lanka for the first time in its history. The Burghers were given some degree of self-government as early as 1833. It was not until 1909 that constitutional development began with a partly elected assembly, and not until 1920 that elected members outnumbered official appointees. Universal suffrage was introduced in 1931, over the protests of the Sinhalese, Tamil and Burgher elite who objected to the common people being allowed to vote.

7) Wariyapola Sri Sumangala Thero hauling down the British Flag at the Kandyan convention (1815 CE).

Wariyapola Sri Sumangala (Sinhala:වාරියපොල ශ්‍රි සුමංගල) was a Buddhist monk who lived in the early 19th century in Sri Lanka (then known as Sinhale). He was an Anunayaka of the Asgiriya Chapter. Sri Sumangala is known for taking down the Union Jack and re-hoisting the Sinhalese lion flag, before the convention that handed over control of the island to the British in 1815. Later during the rebellion of 1818, he removed the Tooth Relic of the Buddha from the Temple of the Tooth, and handed it over to the leaders of the rebellion. He was arrested and convicted for treason the same year.

Numeric 200 in Upper left. Watermark window to upper right. Below in 3 horizontal lines of same font size. රුපියල් දෙසියයි in Sinhala, இருநூறு ரூபாய் in Thamil and TWO HUNDRED RUPEES in English.

To it's left Issue's name in 3 tilted vertical lines of decreasing font size, ශ්‍රී ලංකා මහ බැංකුව in Sinhala இலங்கை மத்திய வங்கி in Thamil and CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA in English.


The artwork of the note has been done by Mr Ananda Somathilake and Mr Gamini Mendis under the direction of Mr Albert Dharmasiri attached to the Institute of Aesthetic Studies, University of Kelaniya.

200 Rupees 1998 200 Rupees 1998

200 Rupees 1998 200 Rupees 1998

Commemorative issue to 50th Independence Anniversary in my collection.