Do we thank the Portuguese and Catholicism for saving Sri Lanka from Islamisation? – a response to Daily News article 3 Dec 2012
Posted on December 5th, 2012

Shenali Waduge 

The article titled “Heritage Catholic Churches of the Kalpitiya peninsula” written by Wiruma based on Sagara Jayasinghe’s book “Santhanadeepaya” may include a collection of historical and architectural heritage of Catholic Churches in the Kalpitiya peninsula, but it also attempts to promote the theory that if not for the Portuguese and in particular Catholicism Sri Lanka would have been turned into an Islamic state. If the book attempts to suggest that allegations against the Church have been as a result of private agenda, it behoves a response in that very few historical accounts have praised the Portuguese or any European ruler for invading nations out of goodwill.

While this response does not in any way attempt to question the architecture of the Churches in Kalpitiya what is important is that the present and future generations do not forget the manner that the Europeans invaded Asian and African nations and the brutality with which they treated the natives.

The nations that Europeans invaded were already civilized, natives had their own agricultural systems, they followed their own cultures and customs but the vandalism, murder, destruction and crimes that these natives were subject to by European rulers is not worthy of being termed “glorious”. How can vandalism, murder, destruction  profess to offer the gratitude of Sri Lankans on the grounds of architectural designs of its Churches which stand erect having destroyed Buddhist temples and by building Churches over these same sites?

There is little to the imagination when a Pope (Alexander VI) declares the Christian conquest of the world and gives Catholic rulers permission to “invade, search out, capture, vanquish and subdue all Saracens and pagans”¦to take their possessions and”¦ reduce their persons to perpetual slavery” “”…” 4 May 1493. If we accept Sagara Jayasinghe’s version that the “arrival of the Portuguese was a remarkable event” “”…” why is there thousands of local and international studies, research and findings that cover European colonial rule as those of brutality and human crimes! Colonial treacheries are far too many to brand them as Saints or Angels when they did not spare even infants!

Therefore, Sagara Jayasinghe, Wiruma or any other espousing the theory that Sri Lanka should be grateful to the colonialists needs to first negate the accounts of brutality attributed to their rule in not just Sri Lanka but all other nations they invaded!

 It was in 1542 that Father Bartoleme de Las Casas estimated 15m natives had been killed in Caribbean and Mexico, when Vasco de Gama landed in India in 1498 he forced Indian Christians to pay allegiance to Rome or die, 40,000 Jews in India were destroyed and the Pope apologized to Israel in 2000. The crimes are far too many to list.

The simple fact is that Europeans arrived in Asia not to shake any Asian hands. They came with 2 intentions “”…” to explore trade and exploit natural resources and to convert natives to Christianity/Catholicism. This was a State objective not just the desires of the explorer traders.  To Christianize non-Christian Asia, European rulers had to suppress and destroy the religions being practiced so Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam became targets.

Sir James Emerson Tennent describes the conduct of the Portuguese in Sri Lanka as “gloomy and repulsive”¦”¦”¦”¦.. we are ill-prepared to hear of the rapacity, bigotry and cruelty which characterised every stage of their progress in the East. They appeared in the Indian seas in the three-fold character of merchants, missionaries and pirates. Their ostensible motto was amity, commerce and religion. Their expeditions consisted of soldiers as well as adventurers, and included friars and chaplain majors. Their instructions were to begin by preaching, but, that failing, to proceed to the decision of the sword.” Are these the people we have to be grateful for?

Historian Paul E Peiris says that the Portuguese “succeeded in producing nothing but chaos” while G P Malalasekera says that Portuguese rule was “marked by a rapacity, bigotry, cruelty and inhumanity unparalleled in the annals of any other European colonial power”¦..their inhuman barbarities were accompanied by callousness which knew no distinction between man, woman and child”¦.”¦people were “¦ mashed to pulp between millstones, while their mothers were compelled to witness the pitiful sight before they themselves were tortured to death. Men were thrown over bridges for the amusement of the troops to feed the crocodiles in the river”. Is this what the Sinhalese need to now be grateful for?

It was at the behest of the Roman Catholic Emperor of Portugal, his Viceroy at Goa and the Roman Catholic priests in Sri Lanka that resulted in the systematic campaign to burn and destroy all Buddhist temples, kovils and mosques. Natives were forced into converting. In 1567 it was declared that all religions other than orthodox Roman Catholicism were wrong and that converting to Christianity must be by force. The Portuguese declared that all non-Christian clergy, teachers and holy men had to be expelled, their sacred texts seized and destroyed. Buddhists and Hindus were prohibited from visiting their respective temples and even non-Christian weddings and events were forbidden. When present day Europeans promote equality, respect and tolerance of other religions “”…” did the Portuguese show such to the natives of nations they invaded?

Buddhist temples, hindu kovils, mosques were all systematically destroyed by the Portuguese and in its place Roman Catholic churches were built “”…” that was how the architectural structures of the Churches in Sri Lanka and elsewhere emerged using the income from the lands belonging to non-Catholics! They introduced the principle that Ruler and the Ruled must belong to the same faith which meant the need to convert the Kings to force their subjects to follow them. The result of this was the grandson of King Bhuvanekabahu renouncing Buddhism and adopting Roman Catholicism and baptized as Don Juan Periya Bandara while his Queen became Dona Catherina in 1557.

While Buddhism propagates reverence for all forms of life, Christianity and Islam are of the view that animals are created by God for human consumption. This is why along the coastal belts where fishing is a livelihood many Sinhalese were quick to fall prey to Christian missionary conversion tactics.

The Church used deceitful methods to convert Hindus “”…” Catholic priests pretended to be of superior caste and took Hindu names, they wore orange colored robes to resemble the Saniasses, they put a spot of sandalwood powder on their foreheads and began doing poojas, fasts, prayers for the dead “”…” all with the final objective to enlist non-Catholics to convert.

While Santhanadeepaya boasts of the cultural and architectural heritage of the Portuguese, it was because of the Portuguese that we cannot find Buddhist temples over 150 years old in the areas Portuguese ruled! The author may like to offer an explanation as to why the Portuguese would destroy and plunder temples and kovils in Devundara, Trincomalee, Saman Devale, Sunethra Devi Pirivena (kotte), Vidagama Pirivena (Raigama), Wijebahu privena (Totagamuwe), Nawagamuwa, Kelaniya, Mapitigama and Wattala. The Kelaniya temple was destroyed in 1575. The author may also like to explain why we should be grateful to the Portuguese who not only destroyed temples and kovils but used the materials from these sites to build churches on the same sites (ex:Roman Catholic churches in Kalutara, Keragala, Wattala, Totagamuwa etc) something even the South Indian invaders did not opt to do? Some 500 such temples are said to have been destroyed by the Portuguese.

So here were invaders completely taking over a nation, humiliating the natives who had been practicing their religion, customs and traditions peacefully and thereafter forcing natives to convert and completely turning their pious living to that of slaughtering animals, consuming liquor and instilling a totally abhorrent new culture. So what is there to be grateful to the Portuguese given these facts? Are we to presume that slaughtering and eating meat, consuming liquor is to belong to a high class or refined class of people? There are many who believe that it was because of the European invaders that natives became “refined” totally ignoring the manner in which these Europeans destroyed life, carried out mass murder, sexual abuse of women, cultural genocide, slavery, religious and ethnic cleansing, mass expulsions all of which would by virtue of modern definition rule crimes against humanity.

So if Pope John Paul can apologize to China, Ukraine and Greece in 2001 for colonial misadventures and ask forgiveness in 2000 from Israel for the wrongs done to the Jews “”…” it is time the Roman Catholic Church apologize to both India and Sri Lanka for these same crimes. Had it not been for the Sinhalese Buddhists who braved the massacres and killings and stood against the European invaders using their stones and sticks, Sri Lanka would have been turned into Philippines where the indigenous peoples traditional religion and culture were annihilated. It may be interesting to observe that while Christian missionaries converted non-Christians all over the world by persuasion, Muslim conquerors converted people of other faiths to Islam, at the point of the sword.

Arabs came to Ceylon in the 15th century not as conquerors or missionaries but as traders and they did not come to Ceylon in their thousands and therefore the Arab factor would not have altered the ethnic or demographic pattern of the Tamil Muslims from Tamil Nadu in the 14th century to warrant the fear of Islamization of Sri Lanka. If this were so India would have been the first victim.

Having said that it is important to again reiterate that one of the two objectives of European colonial rulers was to convert natives to Christianity. Ironically, in China where there are 12m Catholics whilst conversions do take place no person is allowed to have allegiance above its State Government “”…” even the Catholics in China whose Vatican is the only religion to have a State must at all times show allegiance to China and only China –  can this be said of Catholics in other nations and if not may we know why China’s case is different?

While this response is not to question anyone’s faith, it goes without saying that the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British arrived and conquered nations not for any love for these nations but to plunder their wealth, to convert the natives and to use them as slaves in order to systematically tap into every resource that would fill their coffers while in Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese Buddhists offered whatever opposition thereby accounting for hundreds of thousands of their deaths as a result of the desire to save their nation from colonial treacheries “”…” has the situation changed since, one wonders!

Those that quote the handful of instances like how the colonists developed road infrastructure may like to note that these were built not to facilitate the natives but to facilitate the transport of what the colonials were plundering out of these nations including Sri Lanka!

It is left for the readers to decide if Sri Lanka should be grateful to the Portuguese or any other European ruler given their history and the manner our ancestors suffered and the sacrifices they made.

32 Responses to “Do we thank the Portuguese and Catholicism for saving Sri Lanka from Islamisation? – a response to Daily News article 3 Dec 2012”

  1. mjaya Says:

    To put it in the simplest terms,

    The enemy of your enemy does not automatically become your friend!!

    Both Colonialism and Wahabism have the same agenda – world conquest……..

  2. herman Says:

    Shenali,

    The European invaders were not only monstrous and outrageous to Asian and African nations but also elsewhere in the Americas, Australia, the Pacific regions and where they set foot. The common theme to be found in history of these European invaders were that all natives were grossly ill treated and the violation of basic human rights were totally ignored. Ironically, today the same ‘European invaders’ are brainwashing the sons and daughters of these victims!

  3. Geeth Says:

    Dear Lorenzo,
    As an enthusiastic regular reader of your comments almost every day in every article, I really expected to see your opinion on this article as well. If you opted not to comment, your credibility may be tainted. That’s bad. We do not want to see it. Do you know why? Because we like you. So please, just say something.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    To an extent, YES.

    It is like a person suffering from rheumatism, so he avoids getting killed from a broken rope doing bunji jumping!!

  5. Geeth Says:

    Dear Lorenzo,
    Wonderful answer. I had to gulp a half of “GAL” on the rock to analyze it.

  6. Voice123 Says:

    Geeth, abstain from the Parangi Gal.

    Shenali, mere words of apology from the Pope isn’t enough. Sri Lanka must join with other ex colonial victims and claim reparations from the EU. 500 years later, all the European exploiters have joined force as the super bro colonialist EU. White privilege with a respectable face. This is the correct successor to the medieval perpetrators, hiding behind religious garb to plunder! Britain, the mother of all colonialists, must also be held to account. First there must be an impartial public inquiry with the whole world hearing the facts. No point us just repeating it to ourselves!

    Portuguese empire is long defunct. Islamists on the other hand have resumed their activities. End game is the same as for the Portuguese, 100 percent conversion. Medieval Portuguese are militaristic from the beginning. Islamist strategy is different. Fool the unbeleivers and infidels until Muslims become 50 percent, then wage war of Jihad. Study history.

  7. Fazara Says:

    Muslims originally came to our country as traders, not as conquerors. And Wahhabism is a recent (21st century?) concoction of some extreme extremists. And Jihad means “struggle”… our daily living is a jihad. The word is not correctly applied, by many.

  8. aloy Says:

    According to a BBC report ( I do not believe them 100%) which i watched yesterday from an asean country, internet is a very good medium to radicalise people by telling the untruth. It seems muslim preachers are successfully doing it in US and UK even todaty. I think Shenali too does it to a certain extent. In another article published only a few days ago in this Website she wrote that ltte terrorists are mostly Catholics and it was up to Lorenzo, the king of Lankaweb to show how wrong she was.
    What is her mission?. Catholics/Christians constitute about 7% of Sri lanka’s population (same as muslims), this cannot be changed overnight. They also fought agaist the terrorist to liberate this ountry and sacrified their lives. So they too have a right live as respectable citizens.
    Please do not try to radicalise Sinhalas and create troubles like in the middle east

  9. Voice123 Says:

    Is Shenali saying Sri Lankan Christians are the enemy, the Catholic Church in general or dead Portuguese colonialists 500 years ago? Might be good to clarify. And one wonders why some foreigners think we are a nation of religious bigots!

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    Shenali brings out all the skeletons out of the old closets for which many thanks. She is bringing out the old stuff because NEW FEARS arise in Sri Lanka at various intervals, currently the Hultsdorf events. It is up to us all to air our historical facts in the glaring light of truth & knowledge now available, and put it all to rest and allay all our fears.

    I shall attempt to analyse our present plight and fears. Please feel free to correct any of my assumptions below.

    Now that we know the past, we are now in a position to keep ONLY the useful items left behind by Colonists and throw out the untruths and things not useful to Sri Lanka, along with our pain over past events. Will ex-Colonists ever apologise or compensate ? I doubt it. It’s the ‘man with the gun’/Ego thing, you know. Best let all know that NO MORE GAMES will be tolerated here. In all Democracies, we all have to be watchful of our Democratic institutions. If Sri Lanka is to remain truly Democratic and intact as a Nation, we will ALL have to be extra watchful and careful and report all matters not right by the People.

    Currently, we have to further expose the Tamil Caste/Poverty issues blowing in the winds from Tamil Nadu, which problems are piggy backing on some ex-Colonists here and other foreign sources, for power & Land Grabs. Take these problems to the Source, i.e. Tamil Nadu. We think the UN should now take over the problem with India & TN. The UN should have the spine to do that and donate a modern sanitary system to TN in lieu of creating ‘Caste Free Zones’ in TN and make other new arrangements too to erase Caste Discrimination in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu can then lead the way out of caste based discrimination and earn all the Brownie Points for that. It’s a win-win situation for TN which we hope they will take on with UN collaboration.

    Some other salient points :

    (1) It was during the CBK/Ranil tenure in office that Fr. Reyappu Joseph teamed up with Norway to ‘solve’ the so called Tamil Problem. CBK/Ranil team gave a free hand to Norway & the Catholic church to ‘solve’ the so called ‘Tamil Problem’ in the North, and hey presto ! a de facto Tamil Eelam was born with Tamil illegal migrants pouring into Sri Lanka. This is why the Army estimated 100,000 or so in ltte “Human Shield” when actually it was 300,000 plus !. During this time, about 100 Catholic churches sprang up in the North – to convert the Tamil illegal migrants ?
    Lessons Learnt for future GoSLs : “Nareenta kukul kudu baara denna eppa” (trans : do not leave Foxes in charge of the chicken coops). General conclusion we can come to is that when minorities (religions, ethnicities) are asked to help Lanka big time, they actually end up helping themselves ! – unless checked with various balancing factors which now & future GoSLs must hold themselves responsible.

    (2) Also air the fact that ordinary Tamils brought in from Tamil Nadu by Colonists Dutch (& British later) become ‘Vellalas’ with land ownership : This had started with the British ousting the Dutch from Sri Lanka. When the tobacco plantations up North were vacated by the Dutch, Tamil workers of these plantations grabbed the land. Free Education & Health Care offered later by GoSLs consolidated the needs area to ask for Separatism first via Federalism > Eelam. To this day, Tamil leaders from the North aspire toward Separatism, egged on by Tamil Nadu politicos and various groups with vested interests seen here as mainly founded on ex-Colonial traditions with leanings out of Lanka interests.

    (3) The Muslim factor has to be carefully observed too. Oil in Mannar, and the fact that the Maldives are going under sea water (Pres. Nasheed says so), and Maldivians have to find another place to live, and lately Wahabism, are important factors to be considered. Mannar and the East must be ALWAYS be multi-cultural.

    ——–

    Most of Lorenzo’s witty/spicey write ups are spot on for which we thank him.
    Lorenzo, come back to the columns here – we miss you ! I even mentioned the fact of these lately missing writer(s) to my family. People like Lorenzo must keep on “bungi jumping” even with some “rheumatism” ! The concerned reading public of Sri Lanka should put out that Safety Net for Lorenzo et al to land safely.

  11. Lorenzo Says:

    Thank you gentlemen.

    My interest in this GREAT website and other SL websites has reduced temporarily because we are encircling on the same spot without any outcomes.

    This is very disappointing. But even the best batsman’s wicket goes. So time may resolve the issue.

    One positive of the article is the Christian & Jews verses Islam confrontation which is INEVITABLE. Others will benefit.

  12. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Don’t be disheartened about not having quick returns for efforts. Most of the problems we face here and in India (our neighbor with Tamil Nadu as physically closest), are due to Ignorance of our real nature, ancient beliefs & religion based, and have to be worked out slowly and carefully, with harm to none, yet progressive.

    Watch and wait. Knowledge is Power. Knowledge and reasoning are out and available now. Through all that, Power will be restored to the People, who all seek a sense of Security, Wellbeing & Happiness. How can we lose ?

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Your fighting spirit is invaluable for Lanka ! Stay on course.

  14. Naram Says:

    Shenali,

    It is important to realise that even in Europe ‘Monothiesm’ of the priesthood was not universally accepted from 13th century or so. Many folks questioned why marriage shold be made sacrosanct in a church, why the GOd’sword should be in Latin etc. Henry VIII rode the wave many held given more authority by Martin Luther etc, when he wanted the divorce and a male heir.

    His successor Queen Mary, daughter by French prncess, Katherine of Aragon was a Catholic and brought more executions, tortures in England. These are recorded in the Book of Martyrs John FOxe and available in the internet.

    Folks were burnt alive for reading the bible in their own language in the 16th and 17th centuries in Swittzerland, Holland and low countries. Philippinnes is names after one of the Spansh Kings who was very active in inquisitions. Even folks who ate Olives were suspected of heresy in the 14th century Portugal and Spain.

    THis is in contrast to other civilizations like India where say in Buddh’s time discussions with Jains etc were civilised and open.

  15. Geeth Says:

    @voice 123
    “Parangi gal” m…m… let me think.
    I am a married man voice123, and an honest husband. So even they are plentiful in the open market, I don’t even look at them.

    As far as our national drink “GAL’ is concerned, I’ll take your advice very seriously, and from now on, I’ll switch into ‘POL.’ How’s that?

  16. Lorenzo Says:

    Thanks Fran.

    I will do my best.

    I heard that the case against TNA has been DISMISSED by a supreme court judge by the name Shi(t)rani. So we have another shi(t)rani!!!

    One day she will be the CJ.

    I’m losing hope on SL authorities. Nothing happens in SL. How long this SB thing going on? Can’t they just sack her and appoint someone else. The longer it takes, the more ridiculous it becomes.

  17. Lorenzo Says:

    Geeth,

    Gal is also SL (I think). Isn’t it from the GREAT Gal Oya valley?

    But POL is SL ICONIC!

    A little sip once in a while is good for health too. :))

  18. Geeth Says:

    Lorenzo, you right Gal and Pol both SL iconic. SL can last another one hundred years without a government, but not without Gal and Pol. After lunch break, the entire country, especially the government sector and the judiciary including Police department function under the influence of Gal and Pol. I think our people think that the word ‘Politic’ is also derived from ‘pol.’

    Look what happened at Hulftsdorp. After having Gal and Pol, the lawyers smashed pol on gal in support of CJ. Pol and Gal have become more political than anything in SL. I think our only way out is to have a Pol-Gal revolution in SL. When a society is gradually rotting within, it seeks solace of alcoholism. That was the case in USSR before the Perestroika.

  19. Voice123 Says:

    Geeth, I am talking about liquor. Both pol and gal and wine and other liquors were introduced to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese. Before that we had no booze and no drunkards. Theres some good nutritious drinks from the Indian-Sinhalese culture, eg mango lassi, faluda, moru etc. There are good drinks from our very own indigenous Yakka culture like pol Kiri kenda, thambili juice, diyul etc. Try these instead of the Parangi arrak.

  20. Voice123 Says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, please don’t sit around chattering and endlessly chanting slogans and nursing grudges only. I believe there is a website called British Reparations starting to gather force. Let’s join forces with others who have been through similar problems with colonialism, and learn about them as well.

  21. Geeth Says:

    Voice 123,
    I was just joking. I don’t drink, and if I do, it’s very rarely in a friendly gathering. I completely agree with you about the colonial enterprise that turned SL society into boozing bunch of stupids. Robert Knox says that the common drink of pre-colonial Ceylonese was just water. Colonialists made Ceylonese to consume alcohol and smoke tobacco for their exploitative agenda. Today all our post-colonial administrations continue the same policy and make profit out of the misery of the masses.

    Didn’t we expect a Perestroika from Rajapakse administration instead of kneeling down before the Colombians? Didn’t we expect a change in the prevailing pattern when we supported 18th amendment? Wasn’t that trust based on his village upbringing? But he continued the JR’s legacy. This unnecessary SB issue is a classic example of boomeranging ill-politics of the current administration.

    Instead of revolution we expected, all the well-known corrupt politicos and officials were given positions to enjoy a slice of the pie. Aren’t we live in denial of realities guys?
    As Lorenzo says, I’m also losing hope on SL authorities. Nothing happens in SL. We all are just day dreamers, they only playing survival politics. Expecting a storm in a tea cup is the most ridiculous hope one can have.

  22. Fran Diaz Says:

    Successive Sri Lanka govts are pushed into mere Survival Mode when pushed into corners re the so called Tamil Problem. Sri Lanka govts. (whatever govts. now or future) are pushed into ‘solving’ the Tamil Problem (Caste/poverty issue) by various churches and vested interests. How can this be done by Sri Lanka GoSLs when the Tamil Problem is grown in Tamil Nadu and has existed there for over 3,000 yrs ?

    Sri Lanka gives her Tamil people all the benefits that the others have.

    Some suggestions :

    (1) The so called Tamil Problem is a 3,000 yr old Tamil Caste Problem.
    Address the problem at the Source, Tamil Nadu. As a starting point, push the UN & the European countries to donate a modern sanitary system to Tamil Nadu. This will be a good start as it will release some 94,000 caste bound occupation of TN state employed ‘nigh soil’ carriers. Europeans can make some business deal out of it and it would be a win-win situation for Tamil Nadu and business starved Europe. As Tamil Nadu conditions improve, then the so called Tamil Problem of Sri Lanka will wane away.

    The Catholic church and other churches can take their Help Tamils operations elsewhere.

    At any rate, the focus has to shift from Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu, if the so called Tamil Problem is to be solved once and for all.

    (2) Join the British Reparations Movement as Voice 123 suggests. At least there will be some moral support for Sri Lanka even though actual reparations may not materialize.

    (3) Have govt. sponsored movements of others to the North.

    (4) Identify and Deport all Illegal Migrants from Tamil Nadu and elsewhere.

    Geeth: If we give in, that is exactly what the Tamil leaders want. One of them said earlier that the Sinhalese ‘will tire out and give us what we want’. That is, Tamil Eelam. I think it was Shenali who warned in a previous article that Tamil Eelam will be armed to the teeth and will be another Israel. Do we want that ? Why should Sri Lanka pay for the problems of Tamil Nadu ?

  23. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Thanks for info. Welcome back !
    Let’s stay together till a feeling of mostly Security, Wellbeing & Happiness comes to Sri Lanka for all to enjoy !

  24. mjaya Says:

    I think we should all remember one simple fact.

    We may come from diverse backgrounds and often have divergent views but we have one precious thing in common, the unconditional love for our motherland. Lankaweb unites us all!

    I think the CJ’s fall from the top of the murunga tree will happen soon…….

  25. Ratanapala Says:

    We must thank Shenali for bringing this subject up. Shenali is not trying to initiate a witch hunt. She is simply narrating history and the truth. If anybody is hurt by her words, please try to address the specifics. What Shenali has brought up is the unsaid story of Sri Lanka of the last 500 years; the story that commenced with the advent of despicable colonial power – the Catholic Portuguese. She is certainly not trying to radicalize the Sinhala population. (Even if she does It is simply not possible to radicalise Sinhala Buddhists! )The dark deeds of the Catholic and other Christian Churches need no qualification. They can stand on their own as the most dastardly crimes in history.

    In more recent times during thet thirty year long war on Terrorism in Sri Lanka, let somebody tell us of one Christian / Catholic organization which said anything against Tamil Terrorism in Sri Lanka. They all sided with the terrorists and sympathized with them. They found enough excuses to justify Tamil Terrorism feigning discrimination against Tamils in Sri Lanka by the majority Buddhists.

    In Sri Lanka and abroad the funding for terrorism was mainly carried out in the Chirsitan Churches. The Church authorities either looked the other way or clearly aided and abetted in this dastardly crime. This happened in right royal fashion in all the Western Christian countries – the main perpetrator being Canada. Was there a single instance when a Christians organized as a organized Christian entity protested against this dastardly act of collecting funds and sending to Sri Lanka to wage war against the legally constituted government and kill innocent men women and children who are non combatants. There may have been a few individual Christians who may have had a pang of love for Sri Lanka, its heritage and for being Sinhala. They were just a drop in an ocean of Anti-Buddhist, Anti-Sinahla acts of traitorous acts by the vast majority of Christians – be they Catholic, other Christians or otherwise, be they Chickeras or Oswald Gomises, or Thisaranees or (with a very Buddhist Sounding name) or Carlo Fonsekas or even Jehan Pereras they all conformed to the separatist agenda in a multitude of guises.

    Every time this subject is raised there are many show hurt and feign rightful indignation- a feeling of being wrongly accused. None of these dear ‘god fearing Christian friends’ – none of them had the balls to stand against their Church and say the Church’s actions during the last 30 years was wrong and traitorous. They did sweet nothing to stop the LTTE juggernaut from receiving funding, intelligence and the all important moral support from the Western Christian Countries.

    Christians may be just 7% of Sri Lanka’s population, but they carry a bigger clout and an asymmetric influence than their population ratio portends. By and large they constitute the Elite, they control the economic heartland and above all they control the so called Free Press in Sri Lanka! Ever since the despicable Catholic Portuguese entered the body politic of Sri Lanka more than 500 years ago, they have still have a foot inside things that matter in the body politic of Sri Lanka. Even today the Catholic wife of the President has her ears close to what happens and matters in Sri Lanka.

    The Christian Church be it the Catholic Church or other, they are the unseen hands that provide funding, intelligence, the armaments and guide the terrorist hands – “Palu Gedera walang bindinne aya”. You are the ones who run with the hares and hunt with the hounds –The simple truth is their unmitigated aversion to Buddhism and everything connected with it.

    Millennia of wrongs and atrocities committed by the Christian Church, in the name of Christianiy are not easily forgotten. As President Kennedy once said – Forgive your enemies, but remember their names!

    However if at least the Sri Lankan Christians need redemption for the sins of siding with the Tamil Tiger Terrorists and their agenda for the dismemberment and eventual balkanization of Sri Lanka into regions of ethnic and religious enclaves, then they have to find that redemption within their hearts first. Then they must confront their Church as an organized entity for all the wrongs done in the name of their faith. They cannot undo the blood drenched past, but certainly they can make a start to fashion the future!

    This is what Lorenzo said in early 2012. So he too agrees with the LTTE – Catholic Church nexus.

    The Catholic Church as the backbone of the international LTTE resurgence.
    Posted on January 11th, 2012
    By Mario Perera, Kadawata

    1. Lorenzo Says: 
January 11th, 2012 at 3:25 pm 
1. “the entire Tamil clergy of the country supported the LTTE” And still support Tamil racism.
Agree.
2. Sinhala Catholic and Christian clergy PLUS VERY INFLUENTIAL EVANGELICAL FANATIC politicians including Sajith, Iran, Rosy, Ravi, etc. and of course the newphew of two bishops Ranil ALSO support Tamil racism.
#2 s are MORE dangerous than #1 s because they are an enemy within.
But a backlash against the ENTIRE church is totally unacceptable. That is like 1983. The good, bad and the ugly within the church must be handled seperately.




Rating: +3 (from 7 votes)




    For information:

    Prabhakaran’s parents may be Hindu, but he himself is a convert to Catholicism.
    His main mentor and author of the Tiger ideology is Anton Balasingham – a Roman Catholic. ( Father Hindu – mother Roman Catholic)
    S.P. Tamil Selvam – Christian
    Balraj (Balasegaram Kandiah) – Christian
    Pottu Amman (Christian)
    Prabhakaran’s son Charles Anthony – Christian
    Soosai (Thillaiyampalam Sivanesan) – Christian
    Thenmozhi Rajaratnam (nickname Dhanu), Rajiv Gandhi’s suicide bomber assassin – Christian

  26. aloy Says:

    Lorenzo,
    Could you please explain # 2 of you comment quoted above. Please note I am not defending Catholic church, I know they are for the rich and powerful only.
    BTW, do you know who Shenali is ?. Is she a journalist, a researcher or a free lance writer. I see her write ups appearing in this site almost every other day.

  27. Ratanapala Says:

    There is no need to go after Shenali. Whether she is a journalist, a researcher or a free lance writer does not matter. What is required for the readership to discern are the issues she raises and the inferences she makes. If one elects to differ on any issue raised or any inferences she has made, we welcome the reader to bring counter arguments and facts on this forum. There is certainly no necessity for any witch hunts. These were famously done by the Catholic Church and her adherents over the last two millennia. Fortunately we now live in much more enlightened times.

  28. Ananda-USA Says:

    Bravo, Shenali …. you said it like it is! The European invasions of Sri Lanka, the Portuguese in particular, were an unmitigated calamity for the indigenous people of Sri Lanka.

    HOWEVER, I take exception to the following quote from your article “It may be interesting to observe that while Christian missionaries converted non-Christians all over the world by persuasion, Muslim conquerors converted people of other faiths to Islam, at the point of the sword.”

    FIRST, you say “Christian missionaries converted non-Christians all over the world by persuasion (ie, not by the “sword”). ON THE CONTRARY, we KNOW VERY WELL that Catholic Missionaries were the LEFT HAND of the TWO-HANDED Conquest & Enslavement of native peoples used by Christian Europeans all over the world: an approach pithily described as “sword in one hand, bible in the other”. They worked hand-in-hand to conquer, kill, or expel natives who would not convert, and to brainwash and permanently enslave those who remained within their grasp as converted captives. They stole their wealth, harnessed their bodies to the plough, scourged their minds free of their indigenous beliefs, and permanently yoked their minds to the hems of the priests who intruded into the most private aspects of their lives to maintain that control over the slaves in the service of their masters.

    In Sri Lanka, the indigenous people living in lands surrounding foreign military “forts” who could not flee in time for protection to the Sinhala “Kings Country” in the interior, were either killed outright as part of the conquest, or were forced to convert, or die if they resisted conversion. Those who converted became indentured slaves of the conquerors compelled into forced labor in spice plantations.

    For example, Fort (“Kotuwa”) and Pettah (“Pita Kotuwa”) of Colombo represent the SWORD while “Slave Island”, and the prestigious Cinnamon Gardens (“Kurundu Watta”) representin the SLAVERY are vivid reminders of the not too gentle art of conquest and enslavement practiced by the Portuguese. Those are the direct remnants of the vicious form of slavery the Portuguese practiced in Sri Lanka … much more diabolical than the slavery of the tobacco plantations in the Southern States of the United States by the Pilgrims and those who follwed them into North America. These plantations were stocked to the brim with the surviving negroes shipped like sardines in cans across the Atlantic, to be bought and sold like cattle, parents and children of the present and the future, abused and whipped at will, and forced to work for the benefit of the owners while pious preachers hurried among them to “save their souls” and condition them to accept their lot in life, just as they did in Sri Lanka. MAKE NO MISTAKE, the Catholic missionaries, empowered by the Catholic Church to play their part in this macabre scam, were an integral part of the two-faced soft-hard team who expertly practiced gentle arts of “persuasion”. They were the “soft” men partnering the “hard” soldiers in this reduction of innocents to docile slaves, all to “reduce the cost” of permanent enslavement of the labor force and economic exploitation of their stolen land by getting the formerly free, now conquered, people of Sri Lanka to docilely accept their predicament: the total enslavement of both their mind and their body.

    This enslavement of mind and body reached its zenith in Sri Lanka when the son of Weediya Bandara and Sunethra Devi was hoisted upon the people of the Kingdom of Kotte as Dom Joao Dharmapala Peria Bandara (1541 – May 27, 1597), commonly known as Don Juan Dharmapala, the only catholic king in Sri Lankan history, and vassal to the Portuguese king. The story of his imprisonment, humiliation and hounding to death parallels that of the Aztec King Montezuma by that awful Spaniard Conquistador Cortes .and his avaricious crew … all in the name of unbounded greed for the greater glory of Spain and, of course, the Christian God!

    Only Konappu Bandara, the future King WimalaDharmaSuriya (1591-1604), who founded the Kingdom of Kanda Uda Rata (Kandy) was able to learn and come to detest these gentle arts of “persuasion” of the Portuguese. He served in the Portuguese forces as a Mudaliyar, learning first hand their military strategies, their strengths and weaknesses, escaped from their grasp, and turned tables upon them, permanently embedding into the Sri Lankan military lore new ways of confronting and defending against European invaders. These new military strategies, a far cry from those deployed in open fields of battle by previous conventional Sri Lankan armies, helped preserve the independence of the “Kings Country” for 400 years … a feat unmatched by any other indigenous people confronting European colonialists …. until that inglorious day of March 15, 1815 when the Light of Independent Lanka was extinguished for 150 years.

    SECOND, Shenali, you say that in contrast to Christians, “Muslim conquerors converted people of other faiths to Islam, at the point of the sword.” In the early days of Islam, when Islam spread quickly in Middle Eastern countries and in North Africa … this was TRUE.

    However, as soon as that initial phase passed and Islamic countries became widespread in Spain and Portugal, in Turkey and Balkan countries, South Eastern Europe to the gates of Vienna, in the Caucasus region now inhabited by Turkic peoples, and eastwards across Iran to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India … it moderated …. primarily because Empires want to exploit wealth; not kill those who generate that wealth. We see that in action even in Genghis Khan’s genocidal conquest across much of Asia and Eastern Europe: after the first submit or die conquest, tolerance intervened in the interest of profitability. When Kubilai Khan, Genghis Khan’s grandson, who became the renowned emperor of China, that transformation of the Mongol ethic of eliminating the conquered peoples was complete.

    Moorish Spain, was a haven of religious tolerance and progress while most of Europe remained mired in feudalism. When the Catholics reconquered Spain several hundred years later during the reign of Isbella and Ferdinand, Catholic extremism returned: all Moslems were killed or forced out, Jews were expelled with nowhere to go until the Moslem Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire invited them to settle in Turkey and gave them jobs and aid to restart their lives. Most christian subjects of the Ottomans preferred to live under Ottoman rule rather than under Christian kings, because they were spared the abuses of the feudal system. Christians paid additional taxes in lieu of military service the Moslems were subjected to in the Ottoman Empire.

    In India, we hear of the religious tolerance under several Mughal emperors, who were Muslims, and direct descendants of Genghis Khan through Chagatai Khan and Timur. In particular under Akbar the Great (1556-1605) religious tolerance was the law of the land. Incidentally, this is the unique and enlightened ruler who rode a horse overnight to rescue a Hindu princess from committing “sutti” on the burning pyre of her dead husband. During the Crusades, various parts of Palestine, Lebanon and Syria changed hands between Chistian and Moslem forces. While there is NO RECORD of brutality by Moslem forces, many atrocities, including killing of all Moslem people, combatants and non-combatants, in captured cities and lands by Christian European forces is in the historical record. Indeed, there is even an instance of CANNIBALISM by Christian forces mentioned in the book “The Crusades” by Harold Lamb.

    On the whole, my understanding of world history compels me to believe that other religions have been tolerated better in Islamic societies than in Christian societies.

    LASTLY, I want to address a topic you did not mention in your article. I want to CONFRONT and DEMOLISH the flawed notion that European colonialists BENEFITED the people of the colonized countries in that they brought them economic and social progress, albeit they imposed their religion upon them.

    1. TELL that to the North American Indians who were not given even the opportunity to convert: they were killed wherever they could be found, dispossessed wholesale of their lands, herded on foot across thousands of miles to far-off reservations (eg. the Trail of Tears in which 4000 died on the forced march). Indian removal was a 19th century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river. The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 26, 1830. Arguably, the worst crimes were committed in California where Indians were shot on sight, bounties offered for their scalps, and the Indian population almost completely eradicated.

    2. TELL that to the Hawaiians, whose land was stolen fair and square by the very missionaries who married into the royal family and transformed themselves into plantation owners, by engineering a military coup-de-etat by plantation owners and US marines. The subsequent annexation by the US, despite the opposition of a majority of Native Hawaiians, came in 1898. The following history of that crime, mainly perpetrated by land-hungry wolves hiding under missionary sheepskins is from Wikipedia.org. The APOLOGY from President Clinton in 1993 for that crime does not begin to compensate the once sovereign native Hawaiians of today who form a permanent poverty stricken economic underclass in their own land, trotted out only for performing hula-dances for tourists. I have visited Hawaii and discovered in great detail the sad history of its people; a history that we Sri Lankans should take care not to repeat.

    Hawaii was consolidated into one country by King Kamehameha the Great in 1810. He established the House of Kamehameha, a dynasty that ruled the kingdom until 1893. After Kamehameha II inherited the throne in 1819, American Protestant missionaries to Hawaii converted many Hawaiians to Christianity. Their influence ended many ancient practices, and Kamehameha III was the first Christian king. One prominent Protestant missionary, Hiram Bingham I, was a trusted adviser to the monarchy during this period. Other missionaries and their descendants became active in commercial and political affairs, leading to future conflicts between the monarchy and its restive American subjects. Missionaries from other Christian denominations (such as Catholics, Mormons, and Episcopalians) were active, but never converted more than a minority of the Native Hawaiian population. Ezra T. Benson appeared to have been the earliest Mormon missionary to the islands.

    In 1887, Kalākaua was forced to sign the 1887 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii, which stripped the king of much of his authority. There was a property qualification for voting, which disenfranchised most Hawaiians and immigrant laborers, and favored the wealthier white community. Resident whites were allowed to vote, but resident Asians were excluded. Because the 1887 Constitution was signed under threat of violence, it is known as the “Bayonet Constitution”. King Kalākaua, reduced to a figurehead, reigned until his death in 1891. His sister, Liliʻuokalani, succeeded him on the throne.

    In 1893, Queen Liliʻuokalani announced plans for a new constitution. On January 14, 1893, a group of mostly Euro-American business leaders and residents formed a Committee of Safety to overthrow the Kingdom and seek annexation by the United States. United States Government Minister John L. Stevens, responding to a request from the Committee of Safety, summoned a company of U.S. Marines. As one historian noted, the presence of these troops effectively made it impossible for the monarchy to protect itself.

    In 1993, a joint Apology Resolution regarding the overthrow was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton, apologizing for the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. It is the first time in American history that the United States government has apologized for overthrowing the government of a sovereign nation.

    3. FINALLY, I would like to present Japan as a COUNTEREXAMPLE of a country that has successfully resisted the SWORD & BIBLE approach to Colonization by Europeans, principally the Portuguese. Japan was NEVER COLONIZED by any European nation, but nevertheless was able to become an ECONOMIC SUPERPOWER through its own native wit and effort.

    We Sri Lankans should study the methods used by the Japanese Patriots during the Meiji Restoration period to transform Japan from a feudal nation when Commodore Perry threatened Japan in 1853 to the newly industrialized Japan that annihilated the Russian Fleet in the Tsushima Strait in 1905 , 52 years later.

    The Japanese take what is useful and important from others, refine and adapt it exquisitely for their own use and that of others, preserving their unique culture and principles intact. Slavish aping of all of the advances and foibles of the West without discrimination, without regard for intrinsic value, benefit in the long term, and preservation of their culture is not for them.

    Furthermore, the Japanese shoguns, who had ended internecine warfare between Japanese warlords and unified the country under ca military dictatorship of sorts, totally eradicated Christianity from Japan, and closed Japan to Europeans, IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST, because they were interfering in the internal politics of the country, creating military forces under their control, dividing the people into warring camps, and separating the people from the majority Japanese community …. all of which were INIMICAL to the welfare of Japan as a whole. Before that POLICY DECISION was taken, Christian Daimyos and their military forces supported by Portuguese naval forces, were a strong factor threatening the stability, integrity and sovereignty of Japan as a whole … just as it was in Sri Lanka. Never again would Japanese rulers allow a foreign combined SWORD & BIBLE entity to take root in Japan.
    The following supporting information is culled from Wikipedia.org

    The first permanent capital was founded at Nara in 710, which became a center of Buddhist art, religion and culture. The current imperial family emerged about 700, but until 1868 (with few exceptions) had high prestige but little power. By 1550 or so political power was subdivided into several hundred local units, or “domains” controlled by local “daimyō” (lords), each with his own force of samurai warriors. Tokugawa Ieyasu came to power in 1600, gave land to his supporters, set up his “bakufu” ( feudal government) at Edo (modern Tokyo). The “Tokugawa period” was prosperous and peaceful and Japan terminated the Christian missions and cut off almost all contact with the outside world.

    Catholic Jesuit missionaries led by Francis Xavier (1506–1552) arrived in 1549 and were welcomed in Kyoto. Their proselytizing was most successful in Kyushu, with about 100,000 to 200,000 converts, including many daimyo. In 1587, Hideyoshi reversed course and decided the Christian presence was divisive and might present the Europeans with an opportunity to disrupt Japan. The Christians missionaries were seen as a threat; the Portuguese merchants were allowed to continue their operations. The edict was not immediately enforced but restrictions grew tighter in the next three decades until a full-scale government persecution destroyed the Christian community by the 1620s. The Jesuits were expelled, churches and schools were torn down, and the daimyo were forbidden to become Christians. Converts who did not reject Christianity were killed. Many Christians went underground, becoming hidden Christians, but their communities died out. Not until the 1870s was Christianity re-established in Japan.

    In the 1860s the Meiji period began, and the new national leadership systematically ended feudalism and transformed an isolated, underdeveloped island country into a world power that closely followed Western models.
    The policy of isolation lasted for more than 200 years. In 1844, William II of the Netherlands sent a message urging Japan to open its doors which was rejected by the Japanese. On July 8, 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States Navy with four warships—the Mississippi, Plymouth, Saratoga, and Susquehanna—steamed into the bay in Yokohama and displayed the threatening power of his ships’ cannons during a Christian burial which the Japanese observed. He requested that Japan open to trade with the West. These ships became known as the kurofune, the Black Ships.

    The following year at the Convention of Kanagawa on March 31, 1854, Perry returned with seven ships and demanded that the shōgun sign the Treaty of Peace and Amity, establishing formal diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States. Within five years, Japan had signed similar treaties with other Western countries. The Harris Treaty was signed with the United States on July 29, 1858. These treaties were unequal, having been forced on Japan through gunboat diplomacy, and were interpreted by the Japanese as a sign of Western imperialism taking hold of the rest of the Asian continent. Among other measures, they gave the Western nations unequivocal control of tariffs on imports and the right of extraterritoriality to all of their visiting nationals. They would remain a sticking point in Japan’s relations with the West up to around the start of the 20th century.

    After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the Meiji government embarked on an endeavor to assimilate Western ideas, technological advances and customs. By the late 19th century, Japan had emerged from isolation and transformed itself into a modernized industrial state in less than half a century. The Japanese wanted to preserve their sovereignty and be recognized as an equal with the Western powers.

    Renewed contact with the West precipitated a profound alteration of Japanese society. Importantly, within the context of Japan’s subsequent aggressive militarism, the signing of the treaties was viewed as profoundly humiliating and a source of national shame. The Tokugawa shōgun was forced to resign, and soon after the Boshin War of 1868, the emperor was restored to power, beginning a period of fierce nationalism and intense socio-economic restructuring known as the Meiji Restoration. The Tokugawa shogunate system was abolished, the military was modernized, and numerous Western institutions were adopted–including a Western legal system and quasi-parliamentary constitutional government as outlined in the Meiji Constitution. This constitution was modeled on the constitution of the German Empire. While many aspects of the Meiji Restoration were adopted directly from Western institutions, others, such as the dissolution of the feudal system and removal of the shogunate, were processes that had begun long before the arrival of Perry. Nonetheless, Perry’s intervention is widely viewed as a pivotal moment in Japanese history.

    ……………………..
    King Dharmapala becomes Don Juan
    SundayTimes.lk
    July 24, 2011

    This article is part of a continuing series on the ‘Mahavamsa,’ the recorded chronicle of Sri Lankan history
    By Halaliye Karunathilake, Edited and translated by Kamala Silva, Illustrated by Saman Kalubowila

    The queen gave her consent to the king’s idea of changing his religion. When the king informed the Nilames of the palace about this wish, they too had nothing to say against it. It soon became known in the country that King Dharmapala was going to be a Catholic. The Catholic priests were of course very happy over this.

    This was something they were hoping to accomplish for quite some time. The Portuguese gave this good news to the King of Portugal. King Dharmapala, who by heredity was a Buddhist, changed his religion. The queen too followed suit.

    The King of Kotte and his queen were baptized. Following the tradition of the day, they adopted the names of the Portuguese king and queen. Accordingly, the king became Don Juan and the queen became Dona Catherina.

    Thereafter, they were referred to by these new names. Though the countrymen were not happy over this change, a lot of leaders of Kotte were happy.

    They too followed the king and converted to Catholicism. They were duly baptized. Twelve churches of the Franciscan priests were built. Majority of the subjects were against this. They were angered so much that they began to protest against the king. As the king treated them harshly, these people went to Sitawaka.

    King Mayadunne of Sitawaka welcomed them. He became the saviour of the Buddhists. He went on insisting that the King of Kotte also should have been Buddhist. He almost hinted that he was the real claimant to the throne of Kotte too. To achieve this end, he requested the support of the people of Kotte, who were mainly Buddhists. All the Buddhist leaders and the Buddhist people of Kotte liked him and began to support him.

    The Portuguese were offended at this turn of events. They did not even consult the king, Don Juan.
    They began to punish and kill a lot of Buddhist leaders. Some fled the city to escape from their cruelties. All of them went to Sitawaka. In the meantime, the Viceroy thought of protecting Kotte. He dispatched a huge army under Alfonso Pereira de Laserda. By this time revolts had begun and a few areas had been
    conquered by the King of Sitawaka.

    The city of Kotte was fortified, expecting a Portuguese invasion. The King of Sitawaka too planned to conquer Kotte.

    The Sitawaka army was divided into three groups and each was placed under the leadership of Pannipitiye Mudali, Prince Rajasinghe and King Mayadunne respectively. They besieged the city of Kotte. The King of Kotte was worried and he sought Portuguese help.

    The city was guarded by the troops led by Tammita Suriya and the Portuguese leaders. Sitawaka armies attacked Kotte but their attempts proved unsuccessful.

    The armies stationed in Kotte were able to guard the city. But they had to face an acute problem of obtaining food. More contingents of soldiers came from India and they too attacked Sitawaka.

    A serious battle ensued. Both Prince Rajasinghe and King Mayadunne fled to Kaduwela. Pannipitiye Mudali died in the battle. The fighting did not stop there. A troop of soldiers under George Melo went in search of Mayadunne. The father and son, King Mayadunne and Prince Mayadunne faced this army. They fought well and the Portuguese had to suffer a lot of losses. They were defeated. So they went back to Colombo.

    …………….
    King Wimaladharmasuriya I (1591-1604)
    By Kamalika Pieris
    Island.lk
    July 2, 2011

    Wimaladharmasuriya I (1591-1604) was originally known as Konappu Bandara, son of Wirasundara Bandara. Wirasundara was left in charge of Udarata when Rajasinha conquered Udarata in 1582. But he rebelled and was killed by Rajasinha. Konnapu Bandara escaped to the Portuguese and was baptised as Dom Joao of Austria. Konappu joined the Portuguese army and rose to the rank of Mudaliyar. In the 1587 siege of Kotte Konappu was on the side of the Portuguese attacking from inside the fort. He was once banished to Goa for breaking the law. He acquired a reputation for bravery and military skill both at Goa and Kotte.

    When the Udarata revolted against Rajasinha in 1590, Konappu went up with the Portuguese expedition that placed the Portuguese nominee, Dom Felipe on the throne. Dom Felipe died suddenly. Konnapu took control, expelled Felipe’s infant son, renounced Christianity, reverted to Buddhism and taking the name of Wimaladharmasuriya proclaimed himself king of Udarata.

    The Portuguese sent an army to eject him and place Dona Catherina on the throne. She was the daughter of Karaliyadde, ruler of Udarata from 1552 to 1582. Wimaladharmasuriya cut down the entire Portuguese force at Danture (1594) captured Catherina and married her. This legitimised his claim to the throne. Udarata accepted Wimaladharmasuriya as their king and stood firmly behind him. When Dharmapala died (1597) the Sinhalese in Kotte also treated Wimaladharmasuriya as their king. They turned to him for support against the Portuguese. He was the only Sinhala king left.

    The Portuguese saw Wimaladharmasuriya as a usurper and were determined to get rid of him. Wimaladharmasuriya was ready for them. He had fortified the approach to Udarata. There were fortified posts at Budassagoda, Alutnuwara and Ganetenna with forts at Mottappuliya, Kirivallapitiya and Talampitiya in close proximity to the Portuguese forts. When the Portuguese invaded Udarata in 1603, Wimaladharmasuriya defeated them at Balana. This was a positive victory for him. He got the lascarins to desert and simultaneously launched a diversionary attack at Talampitiya in Satara korale.

    Wimaladharmasuriya was a formidable opponent to the Portuguese. He had fought with the Portuguese so he had an intimate knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses. He could confront them effectively. He was an excellent swordsman, and a good general. He led from the front and actively participated in battle. When the Portuguese moved into the sath and satara korales, Wimaladharmasuriya took personal command since the Portuguese were within striking distance of the Udarata frontier. Portuguese soldiers taken prisoner had their wounds treated, then put to work on building projects.

    Wimaladharmasuriya determined the pattern of war. The main theatre of war was the sath and satara korales, but he instructed the Denawake and Uva chiefs to raid Sabaragamuwa and Matara to create diversions. When Portuguese went to subdue Sabaragamuwa, Wimaladharmasuriya attacked at Batugedera.

    Wimaladharmasuriya kept the Portuguese occupied in their own territory and out of the Udarata. He kept them on the hop. When the Portuguese went to Matale, Wimaladharmasuriya built a fort a Katuvana. When they took Attanagalla and moved into Botale, Wimaladharmasuriya fortified Dedigama. When the Portuguese were building a fort at Mottappuliya, Wimaladharmasuriya himself appeared with his army ‘on the mountain above’. In 1603 he stationed himself at Deraniyagala to control the low country. He sued for peace three times, each time at the height of a crisis for the Portuguese. He supported rebels in the Portuguese camp, because they helped to bring the Portuguese to the negotiating table.

    Wimaladharmasuriya was the first Sinhala king to initiate discussions with the Dutch. In 1602, two Dutch ships under Joris van Spilbergen came in at Batticaloa. Spilbergen was taken to meet the king. He was fed wine made from local grapes. The discussions went on for several days. Wimaladharmasuriya wanted to know all about the Netherlands. Wimaladharmasuriya was next visited by Dutch vice-admiral de Weert. De Weert was given a secret audience where he was asked whether the Dutch would help Wimaladharmasuriya get rid of the Portuguese. Wimaladharmasuriya, in his enthusiasm, had given de Weert a hug which nearly cracked his ribs.

    Wimaladharmasuriya’s court was very westernized. .Dona Catherina and her children wore Portuguese costume to receive guests. They ate European food. Portuguese names were fashionable among the courtiers. Wimaladharmasuriya spoke fluent Portuguese. Spilbergen says Wimaladharmasuriya had furnished his palace in Senkadagala in Portuguese style. He had developed an eye for Portuguese architecture during his period of exile in Goa. Spilbergen’s visit ended with a banquet where everything was arranged in European fashion. The chairs were in Spanish style.

    Wimaladharmasuriya developed the Udarata. He constructed the main road between Kotmale and Uva and made ample provision for its repair. He renovated ambalamas throughout the Udarata. He made Senkadagala secure by building eighteen watch towers with high and thick ramparts. He established iron foundries at Uva, Ruhuna, Dumbara, and Sabaragamuwa. He revived paddy cultivation. He is said to have brought under the plough land in Anuradhapura, Ruhuna and Kataragama. He started gem mining in untapped lands and encouraged cotton growing. He had anticipated the Portuguese embargo on Indian textiles.

    Wimaladharmasuriya personally visited the chief shrines in his kingdom. He repaired the temples at Lankatilaka, Gadaladeniya and Attanagalla. He gave land to Devanagala vihare whose chief monk had helped Wimaladharmasuriya to come to the throne. He got the Tooth relic brought to Senkadagala from Delgamuwa where it had been hidden, and placed it in a specially built temple. The upasampada had died out and Wimaladharmasuriya got down monks from Thailand and housed them at Malwatte vihara. The first ordination was at Getambe in 1597, the second at Dambulla five years later. Senkadagala became a centre of great Buddhist activity.

    Portuguese sources described Wimaladharmasuriya as tall, well built, proud, of keen intellect, of great military skill and courageous, fairly learned, prudent and sagacious. He never lost his self control or evenness of mind. Abeyasinghe says that the legend that cremation fires failed to burn Wimaladharmasuriya‘s valiant heart shows the extent to which he had caught the imagination of the people. However, Abeyasinghe observes that popular opinion in Sri Lanka has never given Wimaladharmasuriya the same recognition it gave to Rajasinha I.

    The writings of T. B. H. Abeyasinghe, Julius de Lanerolle, C. R. de Silva, J. M. Flores, Shihan Jayasuriya, C. Gaston Perera and P. E. Pieris were used for this essay.

  29. Lorenzo Says:

    Aloy,

    “Sinhala Catholic and Christian clergy PLUS VERY INFLUENTIAL EVANGELICAL FANATIC politicians including Sajith, Iran, Rosy, Ravi, etc. and of course the newphew of two bishops Ranil ALSO support Tamil racism.”

    ABSOLUTELY!!

    “VERY INFLUENTIAL EVANGELICAL FANATIC politicians including Sajith, Iran, Rosy, Ravi, etc. and of course the newphew of two bishops Ranil ALSO support Tamil racism.”

    This bit need no explanation as it is well known. Yes, it includes Sajith. Don’t be fooled by his “pussycat” approach.

    “Sinhala Catholic and Christian clergy support Tamil racism.”

    1. They never took any disciplinary action against Kasippu Joseph, etc. By OMISSION they have committed a crime.

    2. They make anti-SL and pro-Tamil statements from time to time.

    3. They tolerate TAMIL-ONLY racism mentality in churches in the north and the east but follow multiculturalism in the south – TYPICAL of Tamil racism.

    4. Why haven’t they STILL condemned FJ Emmanuel?

  30. Lorenzo Says:

    Ratanapala,

    Prabhakaran’s parents may be Hindu, but he himself is a convert to Catholicism. – NO. He didn’t. They is no evidence of it.

    His main mentor and author of the Tiger ideology is Anton Balasingham – a Roman Catholic. ( Father Hindu – mother Roman Catholic) – He was NOT his mentor. Anton Balla came to the picture more than 11 years after VP started his crap.

    S.P. Tamil Selvam – Christian – NO.

    Pottu Amman (Christian) – NO.

    Prabhakaran’s son Charles Anthony – Christian – NO. He was only given a Christian name to “honor” a terrorist who sacrificed his ass to save VP’s ass.

    90% LTTE Diaspora, 95% Tamil Nadu, 80% India and ALL other INFLUENTIAL guides of LTTE are HINDUS, not Christians. This is why HINDUSTAN always (even now) support Tamil Elam and LTTE.

  31. Lorenzo Says:

    If you look closely, the tiger in the LTTE and Tamil Elam flags wear “vibhuthi” ash stripes on its forehead!!!

    ONLY Hindus wear “vibhuthi” ash stripes.

    That means BY DEFINITION, LTTE and Tamil Elam are Hindu. No sign of Buddhist, Christian or Islam in these objects.

    Please have a close look. These 3 ash stripes are their way of matching the 4 Bo leaves on our flag.

    No wonder Hindustan LOVES them ALWAYS.

  32. aloy Says:

    Lorenzo,
    Thanks very much. If the head of Catholic church refuse to excommunicate the northern priests who were actually invovlved in terrorism he should not be allowed to act as the head of that church. As for Ravi, the fellow has received money from LTTE doner and he was speaking against the army. He should be investigated immeadiately without dragging the feet and imprisoned if found guilty.
    Nations throw morality and religion to the wind when it come to stragetic planning. Hiters Christian Germany did it by killing millions of Jews and others (it seems he did not harm the Sinhalese who happened to be there), Buddhist Japan killed tens of thousands of youths and annihilated the whole generation in a certain ASEAN country just to grab oil in that country, India did it agaist us. Perhaps the west will do it again to change the world order ( which they themselves created) to end the suffering of unemployed people. This time they are getting ready to do it together with Germans.
    Past is past, let us not bother about all this. What we want to do is reach our destination safely. I have seen at least four cricketers in our national team ( at different times) making the sign of cross either before starting to bowl or bat. When they take a wicket or hit a six the whole nation is thrilled, Nobody is worried about that action. Let us stay that way.

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