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Th concept of "devolution" did not exist as there was no written constitution, as is the case even today in Britain.
The vicedroys were subject to the King of the whole Island who also was gradually recognized as the protector of Buddhism, and guardian of the tooth relic of the Buddha.
With the rise of British power in the 18 to 19th century, the Dutch were replaced by the British as the colonial masters of the Dutch possessions, and finally the whole of Ceylon in 1815.
The fall of the King of Kandy was due to intrigues among the ministers against a king who had become a harsh and suspicious ruler, as well as due to the actions of British envoys like O'Doyle who fanned the intrigues.
This is further clarified by noting that eighteen countries are mentioned in early Tamil literature, clearly distinguishing "cinkalam" from "Tamlaak(h)am", viz., cimkaḷam, conaakam, cā vakam, cīṉam, tuḷuvam, kutakam, konkanam, kanna-tam, kollam, telin(g)kam, kalin(g)kam, vaṅkam, kaṅ- kam, makatam, kaṭāram, kavuṭam, koklam, tamilakam; சிங்களம், சோனகம், சாவகம், சீனம், துளுவம், குடகம், கொங் ;கணம், கன்னடம், கொல்லம், தெலிங்கம், கலிங்கம், ;வ ங்கம், கங்கம், மகதம், கடாரம், கவுடம், கோசலம், தமிழகம்.
The early Pali writings of Sri Lanka also mention similar names for kingdoms located in the subcontinent.
However, when ever the King of Lanka was weak, the three "kingdoms" functioned as quasi-independent units fighting each other for hegemony, often allying with Indian regional princes in the Chola, Pandyan or Northern India.
The Hill country, or Malaya rata, and large parts of the wet zone effectively remained inaccessible to the ancients until they acquired steel implements circa 10-12 century and even began to make high quality steel.
The Portuguese Captain Major Philippe de Oliveira had captured the Northern peninsula (Jaffnapatuna) and its ruler Sankilli-II ( Cankili Kumaran) in 1619 CE.
The Jaffna Peninsula was finally recaptured in 1921 from Sinhalese rule by the Portuguese General Constantino de Sa de Noronha.
Although Denmark had signed a treaty with the King of Kandy for building a fort in Batticaloa, the Dutch overcame them.
Sinhala Prakrit itself became known as "Elu", or "Hela-basa" හෙලබස.
Similarly, the name Lanka → Ilankai was adapted during the Cankam period into Dravidian languages, giving its Tamil form Ilankai, .