Posted by: lrrp | May 31, 2008

Portuguese invasion

It would be the climax of lunacy to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Portuguese as invaders of this country. Worse still they were the most despicable of the European invaders. Worldwide, all other countries take pride in the repulsion of invaders and celebrate the victory gained. An extension of this folly would be to forget Prabakarans vile deed of massacring monks, pilgrims, Police officers and Muslims at prayer and to celebrate his attack in the North!

If an event of the Portuguese era is to be celebrated, I suggest, as a suitable event for celebrating ,the granting of refuge to the Catholics by the king of Kandy when the Portugues were severely oppressed by the conquering Dutch. Ignoring the atrocities of the Portuguese, a few of who is mentioned in Mr. Thilak Wijewardena’s letter from Australia (The Island October 17) the king permitted Catholic Churches like Madu and Wahakotte to be in his kingdom. And they are safely there till today. Apart from this, Rev. Fr. Joseph Vas travelled freely in the Kandyan areas paving the way for Sainthood.

Much more of the Prabakaran like atrocities of the Portuguese period are likely to surface from recorded history if the intended ceremony is held and this may stir up the mud of forgotten history, and provoke religious disharmony. So, it is best to let sleeping dogs lie!
Vijith Samasekera
Colombo 5

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