How did Britain rule Sri Lanka. Apart from the Great Rebellion, in which the British Empire brutally repressed the Kandy kingdom, there isn't a lot of info on how life was really like under foreign rule, especially during the early half of the 20th century. So what was it really like to be Ceylonese in the pre-war? How did British rule compare with life prior to the Empire?

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    This question seems to contain more than a hint of hyperbole, especially in the first sentence. What evidence do you have to support the genocide tag?
    – Steve Bird
    Feb 18 '16 at 13:28
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    Considering you've already decided it was genocide, I don't know what kind of answers you expect for this "question".
    – Semaphore
    Feb 18 '16 at 13:33
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    I'd recommend that you (1) edit the question to some semblance of scholarly detachment and (2) refine what you want in the answer. "how bad was..." is likely to invite opinion answers. What is it you're really looking for.
    – MCW
    Feb 18 '16 at 13:54
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    I think the question might be closed on the grounds that a reasonable person would find accusations of genocide to be rude or offensive. (unless supported by evidence).
    – MCW
    Feb 18 '16 at 13:55
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    @SteveBird - The Great Rebellion was a delightful affair. The British murdered every adult male in Uva and systematically dismantled their irrigation systems to impoverish, starve and displace the rest. Lots of evidence from this one colonial war alone. Feb 18 '16 at 19:36


British administration was beneficial for the Indian economy. After the British left, the Indian economy declined very significantly. In 1900, India was ranked the #36 country in the world by GDP per capita. Today, it is ranked #135, right below Nigeria.

To put that in perspective: if India were #36 today, it would be comparable to Israel (#35) and Spain (#33).

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    British Raj also did the highly important job of unifying the sub-continent into a nation. Pre-Raj it was a mix of largely feudal princely states. Health outcomes also improved substantially under the raj, despite the few famines which have been skewed and politicized. Feb 18 '16 at 15:39
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    @RI Swamp Yankee: To be fair, the famines (and wars, terrorizing of populations, &c) under British rule should be compared to those before and after the British.
    – jamesqf
    Feb 18 '16 at 18:48
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    @jamesqf - This is pretty well covered under the Bengali Famine wiki page. The British outlawed "hoarding" rice and other staples ("harding" defined as storing it for lean years in case of famine, as had been the custom for centuries, because the British demanded a bigger cut of the harvest and its profits) and what arable land there was during the drought had their food crops ripped up and devoted to opium production. So, yes, let's do compare. Feb 18 '16 at 19:16
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    @RI Swamp Yankee: So where is the comparison to conditions before and after the British? Was your example worse than say the 1971 Bangladesh "genocide"? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971_Bangladesh_genocide
    – jamesqf
    Feb 19 '16 at 6:01
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    @jamesqf YUP! Almost 11 million dead in the Bengali Famine alone, between 300k and 2 million dead in the Bangladesh War of Independence. Feb 19 '16 at 12:04

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