‘Nobodies to Somebodies – The Rise of the Colonial Bourgeoisie in Sri Lanka’

‘Nobodies to Somebodies – The Rise of the Colonial Bourgeoisie in Sri Lanka’ 
Kumari Jayawardena, 2000, Social Scientists’ Association and Sanjiva Books.  ISBN 955-9102-26-5


This book gives a detail account of the rise of the Karava during the vast economic changes of the 19th and the early part of the 20th century, and traces the rise of the enterprising karava through the economic gains made in the liquor industry, rents and plantations etc. The de Fonseka & D’Andrado families did not get involved in the arrack trade, and initially looked down on the the ‘New Rich’ Karave who did that, and mostly got married to each other’s families as indicated in the genealogy chart. (This might explain the high presence of eccentrics in our families). However this was to change in the later years, with marriages taking place between these families.

Page 149

Other large rubber owners of over 1000 acres, included men and women of all castes and ethnicities – namely Fred Abeysundera, E.C. De Fonseka, A.E.de Silva Sr., Daniel Fernando, E.L Ibrahim Lebbe Marikar, Alice Kotelawela, A.J. Vanderpoorten and E.G. Adamaly.  

Page 284

Among the new-rich Karava, marriages  were sometimes designed to set up connections with older established clans traditionally commanding higher status within the caste such as the de Fonseka, Lowe, de Rowel and Mendis Jayawardena families ( Roberts 1995:278).

Page 342

Some of the new faces in the 1931 State Council belonged to well known families. They were G.C.S Corea (Chilaw), Susantha De Fonseka (Panadura) son-in-law of Mathes Salgado (arrack renter and founder of a chain of bakeries), John L Kotelawela (Kurunegala), grandson of D.C.G Attygalle (Landowner), Henry W Amarasuriya (Udugama), and most notably S.W.R.D Bandaranaike (Veyangoda).

( More details about Sir. Susantha De Fonseka could be found in the Surname Section – The Panadura De Fonseka Families.)