By Dilesh Jayanntha
This is often the 1st certain comparative research of electorates in Sri Lanka when you consider that 1947. Dilesh Jayanntha examines electoral allegiance in 3 contrasting constituencies--Sandville, Mirville and Jung Town--and demonstrates how patronage networks established at the start on wealth and afterward entry to and keep watch over of country associations made up our minds electoral allegiance. frequently the patronage community was once congruent with caste. yet, as Jayanntha exhibits, the place the patron-client tie lower around the caste tie it was once the previous which proved decisive in determining electoral allegiance.
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The large size of these estates relative to others in the area was, then, one factor in the magnitude of their influence. The second factor lay in the types of crops grown: tea and rubber. First, these were highly labour intensive. Whereas one can operate a fifty-acre coconut holding with about three men, a tea or rubber estate of this size would require seventy-five to 100. Thus a large estate like Green Acre, devoted to tea and rubber, generated considerably more employment, and so potential votes, than holdings of a similar size in say Greenville, devoted to coconut.
In 1947, the Korale-Mudaliyar tried to use this headman to establish contacts with the villagers of Joland and to campaign for his nominee, Joo. But this attempt failed dismally when he was driven out of the area. The incident reveals the way in which one faction, the Korale-Muda/iyar's, attempted, albeit unsuccessfully, to penetrate a locality dominated by its opponent using a bridgehead (the village headman), which it had there. We have seen how in this early period (1947-59), when most of the estates owned by the Doctor's family fell outside the then Bluville electorate, he relied heavily on the land-based patronage networks of his in-laws.
This creation and sustaining of followings at the village level will be more closely examined in the next section. 15 See GOC (1922) and GOC (1935) for the wide range of powers of, and influence wielded by, the lesser headmen. Bluville 1947-1959 39 The lesser headman's power and following in his locality We shall first focus on the means by which lesser headmen harassed their enemies and thus cowed opposition, in particular on the forms of intimidation, both explicit and threatened, which were resorted to.
Electoral Allegiance in Sri Lanka by Dilesh Jayanntha