The Lascoreen Guard of Padikara Muhandiram Arthur Silva Wijeyasinghe Siriwardena

Muhandiram (Sinhalese: මුහන්දිරම්) was a post in the native headmen system in the lower-country (coastal districts) of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) during the colonial era. It was awarded as a title of honor until suspension of Celonese honors in 1956.


The post originated from the Portuguese colonial administration in the 17th century by enlisting natives of different castes form the coastal areas. The post continued throughout the Dutch East India Company administration and the British colonial administration until the abolition of the native department in the 1930s.[1] It was awarded as a title of honor until the suspension of Celonese honors in 1956.

During the British administration official and titular appointments were made by the government agent of the district to a korale which was a revenue district; a muhandiram had several vidane arachchies that may come under his supervision. He would report to the mudaliyar of the korale or atapattu (district) and was subordinate to the assistant government agents and other civil servants. Appointments were non-transferable and usually hereditary, made to locals, usually from wealthy influential families loyal to the British Crown. This was an influential post, as the holder had much control over the populace of a korale and had limited policing powers since he was responsible for keeping the peace, carrying out revenue collection and assisting in judicial functions.[2][3][4][5]

Their uniform was similar to that of the mudaliyars, with a long black tunic buttoned up to the neck with golden loops and buttons, a gold lave sword belt and decorated sword.[1]

Ranks of the British Muhandirams

Muhandirams had several classes:[1]

Awarded as an honor (titular)
Ex-offico posts attached to other public departments or ceremonial roles
Singular appointments

List of prominent muhandirams

Awarded as an honor (titular)

See also


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