King Parakramabahu VI’s descendant found in Taiwan
Posted on May 16th, 2015

By Sandarasi Sudusinghe Courtesy Ceylon Today

Irrespective of how hard she tries to hide them from us, History ultimately yields her secrets to us …and thankfully, very many of them add wings to our imaginations and take us on fantastic astral trips to forgotten islands and idyllic times. Some of the flights of fancy are however take us to hard historical facts and even international relations. Call it the romance of history if you must.

Recently we met an individual who amazed us with some amazing historical facts. But he is not a professional historian but a physician. His interests are not limited to treating patients but also to discovering the mysteries of history. Paediatrician Ajith Amarasinghe is a member of the Sri Lanka branch of the Royal Asiatic Society who has researched ties between this island nation of ours and China.

He started his study as an inquisitive schoolboy who read the story of a Chinese Army contingent abducting a Sinhala king in the past. He was directed to other academic interests in the medical realm but retained his love for adventure.
One of his friends told him that descendants of the Lankan king who was taken to China had lived there and came to Sri Lanka sometime ago. The doctor’s instincts were roused with this news. He spent sleepless nights browsing the web until he finally hit on a link to a family that had lived in Shangua of Taiwan which was a part of China in the past. They descended from King Parakramabahu VI. His dogged research paid dividends.

Dr. Ajith Amarasinghe got the opportunity to participate in an international conference on Allergies in the Asia Pacific region, held in Taiwan. He had participated in another medical seminar in Thailand where he had met the organizers of the Taiwan conference. He expressed his interest in history and sought their assistance to trace the whereabouts of the family descended from a Sinhala king living in Shangua. One of the organizers provided him with the address and the telephone number of that family the very next day.

Dr. Ajith Amarasinghe called that number when he returned to Sri Lanka. When he said he was from Sri Lanka, to his amazement he heard an echo in the background. Dr. Ajith asked if they could speak in English. A man answering said he could speak a little Sinhala. To communicate in Sinhala was difficult. He asked for his email address and continued his conversation. Dr. Ajith expressed his willingness to meet the family when he visited Taipei for the conference. They warmly invited him.
On November 23 of 2013, Dr. Ajith Amarasinghe was welcomed by Mr and Mrs Chucha-chi and their four year old son at Shangua railway station.

Their house was in suburban Huatan. The front of the house was covered with glass shuttered windows and Dr. Ajith was amazed to see the souvenirs from Sri Lanka and the photographs taken with religious leaders and the elite of Sri Lanka.
The owner of the house was Shi-lai-fa, the father of Chucha-chi. Niece of Shi-lai-fa was fluent in English and she acted as the translator for them.

“I asked Shi-lai-fa the year their great grandfather arrived in China. He opened the generation book of the family and said it was 1459 AD,” Dr. Ajith Amarasinghe said. “It was the exact year several Sri Lankan representatives arrived in the court of China, according to the records of Chinese empire Min-shu-lu. I asked if Shi-lai-fa was aware of those historical records but he said he was unaware of them but seemed to think about it.

“I asked if he was sure that his ancestor from Sri Lanka was a prince. He said that as mentioned in the family record, he was a son of a king. I pointed out to him that King Parakramabahu VI had only a daughter but he had three adopted sons. Princes Sapumal and Ambulugala were two of them but the information about the third prince was not found. We can guess that this prince migrated to China in 1459 as a representative of King Parakramabahu VI.

Prince Sapumal who became king as Buwanekabahu VI of Kotte mentioned in Dedigama inscriptions that his father was Parakramabahu VI. Likewise Prince Ambulugala who became king as Jayaweera Parakramabahu of Kotte also mentioned in Kumbumirissa inscription that his father was the same king. The third prince might also have considered King Parakramabadu VI his father.
“Shi-lai-fa said that the great-grandfather who migrated from Sri Lanka was Ba-le-na. Although the name accented Chinese, it was similar to the generation name of King Parakramabahu VI. He was named as Jaya Maha Lena.

“As Shi-lai-fa said she was given an honourable name by a Chinese emperor. ‘Shi’ means Lanka. The prince from Sri Lanka was attracted by the natural beauty of the Fugian region of China and settled down there. He later married a woman of Arabic-Persian origin. He might not have returned to Sri Lanka since the death of his father in 1466 and the power struggle in the aftermath. The family members are almost like Chinese people. But Shi-lai-fa says his nose and teeth are like those of Sri Lankans.
“They migrated to Taiwan since the 15th or 16th member of the generation was in fear of the emperor. He served the emperor but some goods belonging to the emperor were stolen whilst in transit. The man was afraid of punishment and thus fled to the island of Taiwan.

“Shi-lai-fa’s sisters live in China. When I informed them that their ancestor Ba-le-na hailed from the generation related to Arahat Mahinda Thera who brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka in 308 BC, they were very happy. They are Buddhists and consider Sri Lanka as their motherland.

“They took me to lunch and invited me to stay with them. But I had to leave since I had to attend the conference. They still keep in touch with me,” Dr. Amarasinghe said.
The world is develop-ing rapidly and interesting facts about our ancestral roots are being revealed. We warmly greet our relations who live far away in Taiwan.

2 Responses to “King Parakramabahu VI’s descendant found in Taiwan”

  1. Nimal Says:

    Who cares?

  2. LANKAPUTHRA Says:

    Sudusinghe, you dumb clown do you think your last name make you Chinese? This era is over. Dis-information you put out is very visible and Sinhala will not believe it. THIS IS WHAT PARAKRAMABAHU means: KUMBA IN Italian is Brother-in-law. Para means; another brother-in-law. Royal Asiatic Society, Sri Lanka in an anti Sinhala Buddhist organization based in LONDON, near Kensington Palace. Dr. Amerasinghe is paid anti MR person. We know all about him and his family.

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