Posted by: lrrp | May 31, 2008

Why oppose commemoration of Portuguese arrival?

It is very timely that Sri Lanka is to commemorate the arrival of the Portuguese in the country. Commemoration events are scheduled to take place in Colombo in 2005 according to The Island of September 26.

The commemoration, however, should not be confined to Colombo. There are other places of interest which are equally or more important historically. Two such sites near Colombo are Hanwella where Azevedo threw Sinhala babies to Kelani river to be devoured by crocodiles, and Mulleriyawa where the Portuguese suffered the worst defeat in Asia.

In Kandy District, Gannoruwa can be the venue and in Uva, Randeniwela ,both places where Portuguese suffered ignominious defeats at the hands of the Sinhalese.

South should not be left behind and Dondra where the Portuguese demolished the famous devale and desecrated the place by slaughtering cattle at the site could be selected.

Jaffna can be another venue where Portuguese took the ruler Sankili prisoner and sent him to Goa to be executed.

The commemorations could be spread out over the year and culminate in Colombo where Rajasingha I compelled the invaders to live on dead rats! To remind the role played by Don Juan Dharmapala a replica of his statue could be taken round the country and at the end sent to Portugal as was done earlier.

The commemoration events could be concluded with a musical show with an all night baila contest!

Long live Sri Lanka Portuguese friendship!
Rohana Vithanage,

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