Posted by: lrrp | June 13, 2006

Are atrocities of Portuguese to be celebrated? by Padma Sri Samaranayake

We normally write articles to commemorate and appreciate great events. In this instance we are compelled, as a great nation to condemn Portuguese invasion of Sri Lanka. They were infested with a disease called Leprosy. Local name to leprosy is “Parangi” and the name “Parangi” is used to identify the Portuguese.

Those plunderers of Portugal invaded our paradise like country in the year 1505 and some where in November. 18th of November 2005 complete 500 years after their invasion. This foreign invasion did tremendous harm, damage and irreparable loss to our nation. At the invasion they pretended to our king that they had come for trade. However they cheated the king and settled down on the land with the permission of the then Singhalese king. Gradually and cunningly they extended the area of settlement and finally they started conquering the coastal belt.

Once Portuguese established their control over the coastal areas they started to loot the wealth of the natives and the wealth of the Buddhist temples and Hindu Devalas. These barbaric men arrived in Sri Lanka with guns, swards and spikes in their hands. Gradually they brought down even heavy artillery. This type of weaponry was not at all necessary for genuine trade. They had pre-arranged plans to meet with. When they established satisfactorily they didn’t want to bother about the Singhalese king. The Portuguese worriers were so cruel that most of the natives fled away to the interior. After having had looted they were in the habit of burning down the buildings either temples or Devalas or even royal Palaces. Statues of Buddha and idols of other gods were demolished and they took away the gold, jewels and ivory. They raped our women and the jewelry worn by them were snatched tearing their ears. Buddha statues and the Hindu statues were melted down to make payments to their people.

They had the bible in their hands to convert the Buddhist and the Hindus to Catholics. They forced the natives to accept the God’s Message and to become Catholics. They did this under the threat of the gun and the spear. Their mission was so inhuman and cruel, if the natives failed to accept they had to face tragic deaths. Such people were inquisioned under the supervision of catholic priests. Those who refuse to accept God’s Message were given mental agony by pounding the infants in to mash in presence of the mothers. Finally those mothers too were killed by cuttings their limbs and other organs.

The Portuguese bastard invaded Sri Lanka during the dark ages of the world. Sri Lanka was not the only country, which had to face this calamitous fate. The countries like Philippines had to suffer the same fate.

Those genocides were done under the direction and permission of the Pope Alexander VI in 1494. Just 11 years before the Portuguese invasion. In view of the direction of the Pope the Portuguese and Spaniards had the freedom to kill and rape innocent people and to plunder them at mass-scale. When they arrived in Sri Lanka we had a great civilization, which was over 2000 years old. Agriculturally, economically and culturally our civilization was unsurpassable. Our civilization was a hydro-civilization and not a war civilization. If not for the invasion of our country by those Portuguese barbarians our country would have taken a different turn. Those invaders alongwith the subsequent invaders retarded the development of Sri Lanka. They destroyed not only our temples and the natives but the leadership of the nation too was destroyed.

The Portuguese killed two of our kings in kelaniya. In 1551 they killed Buwanekabahu the VII. He was living in a five-storied palace. Dharmapala the grand son of king Buwanekabahu was christened as Don Juan Darmapala. Even today we can distinguishably see Don Juan Darmapalas and Dona Catherinas who are resembling those figures of the past.

The Portuguese captain Diogo De Melo carried out the demolition operation of king Buwanekabahu’s five storied Royal palace and the seven storied palace called Kithsimewanpaya built by Dambadeniya king. The people who opposed to this operation were thrown in to the Kelani River and drowned them as food for crocodiles. The three-storied Daladamaligawa of Kotte was pull down to the ground. When they demolish palaces and temples the material were used to build catholic churches.

The Vishnu temple at Devinuwara, which was worshipped and prayed, by Buddhist and Hindu devotees was plundered and destroyed too. Further Thotagamuwe Pirivena, Weedagama Privena in Raigam Korala, Sunethradevi Pirivena of Kotte were burnt and destroyed. The student bikkhus who failed to escape had to die inside. The valuable books of the temple were destroyed too. The lands, which held temples or Pirivenas, were confiscated and taken as church lands. Gokanna Viharaya at Trinkomalee was toppled down to the sea. Rathnapura Samandewalaya was destroyed too. Today an evangelist priest lives there.

Colombo fort was constructed with the stones of Kelaniya temple. The Church called St.Bartholomew Church was built on the foundation of the five story royal palace of Kelaniya. Weedagama temple and Pirivena had 400 acres of land prior to the barbaric act of Portuguese. Now Weedagama temple has been constructed on a small land of about 2 acres. The great Poet monk Weedagama Maithree Thero who wrote Lowedasangarawa and Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula were living in that temple. Portuguese turned a portion of temple land to a graveyard and some portion to a church.

After doing all the destruction, plundering and mass genocide in Sri Lanka since 1505 until Dutch invaded Sri Lanka, by the Portuguese the wealth was carried to Goa and Vatican City. Present day Portuguese nationals of Goa may be feeling ashamed of what their forefathers did to a Civilized Great Nation when they visit the museums in Lisbon. Not only them even the Sri Lankan Christians of all sects may feel same when they go through the history after 1505 CE.

The writer has quoted above information of the history in terms of the recorded history and with the intention of making the reader aware of the related facts.

The Buddhist Times of October 2003 reported that UNP Presidential candidate Mr.Ranil Wicramasinha had announced in New York that there would be joint celebrations in Lisbon & Colombo in 2005 to commemorate the Portuguese connection. By 18th November 2005 five hundred years have been passed after the invasion of Sri Lanka by Portuguese. If Sri Lanka arranges a celebration to this effect, it is a celebration of our own destruction. If anyone thinks of such a celebration, he should get himself checked for his mental health. We must make 18th November 2005 to condemn the barbaric acts the Portuguese committed in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka government should ask for compensation from the responsible parties. The stolen valuable property and the items of archeological value should be returned to Sri Lanka alongwith the dead body of Ven. Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula carried away to Goa during the Portuguese period. The Portuguese may abstain from worshiping a dead body of a Buddhist monk.

Apart from that, the time has come to elect a new President on 17th November 2005 who can lead our nation while protecting the cultural values and the Unitary State condition of our motherland. Therefore, it is our duty to reject the people with foreign affiliated thinking and specifically Portuguese’s puppets at the forthcoming presidential election.

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