Glory days of Gazette Heroes
Posted on February 17th, 2017

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake Courtesy The Island

Has the price of rice come down in the market?

Why what makes you think it will come down?

Why…because the prices have been gazetted, that’s why.

You had better think a lot more about the power or impact of the gazette.

Then what will happen to the National Heroes Declaration that will be gazetted soon?

Nothing much, it will remain in the gazette…that’s all.

But what about Veera Keppetipola – Monaravila Keppetipola Dissawe – will he not be recognized as a true National Hero?

C’mon, what makes you think there is the need for a Gazette to declare him a National Hero?

Well, that is the plan, isn’t it?

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That may be the plan of those who are trying to get glory for themselves through the bravery and heroism of others. But just remember this. Who began the Gazette?

Well, the British, who else?

That’s right…the British colonial rulers. Keppetipola Dissawe was gazetted as a traitor by the British 199 years ago. Do you think that gazette made us think of him as a traitor?

No, no. He has always been our Veera Keppetipola.

There you are.  Has he become a bigger hero after that gazette notice was recently rescinded by our President?

No, he remains Veera Keppetipola, as he always was.

Well, do you think he will become a much bigger hero – Jathika Maha Veera Keppetipola, with the new National Heroes Declaration to be announced soon?

Not likely. We will continue to remember him as Veera Keppetipola, and that’s how he will always be in our hearts and minds.

Talking of gazettes and other official declarations and notifications, it looks like we will soon have many more national heroes to honour and remember.

What makes you think so?

Don’t you know? The families of all the 16 others whose names were in that “traitor gazette’ by the British in 1818, since rescinded, are also calling for recognition.

You mean we will soon have new families and generations of national heroes?

Looks like it… it could be even more than that…many more descendants of those who fought in the Uva Rebellion are calling for recognition.

Do you think we will soon have an Uva Hall of Glory?

Quite possible the way things are moving – but there will also be a call for a Kandyan Hall of Glory, too.  Surely you can’t leave the glory to Uva alone, although the big battles were fought there…could you?

Shall we do a turn…and talk of all those who were the victims of the British brutality following the Uva Rebellion.

Well, why not…

I have read one writer who says that “most writers, who write to commemorate the Uva Rebellion, forget the ordinary commoners who joined the aristocrat in the rebellion. To be fair to their descendants, who live to-date, mentioned must be made to those heroes as well. They were Madulle Aruma, Nindegama Dinga and Paliya Maha Duraya, Badulla Kiri Naida and Ganitha, Diyakele Pinhele and Helegiri Menikrala etc…”

There you are that’s many more heroes to remember.

But there is even more. Here’s what Herbert White, a British Government Agent wrote after the rebellion in the Compendium of the Uva Journal…”If thousands died in the battlefield, they were all brave fighters… If 4/5 of the remaining population after the rebellion is considered as children and the old, the damage done is unlimited. Not only the lives of people, but all their belongings have been devastated. I doubt when Uva can recover from this catastrophe”.

C’mon… you must not get so serious … that was nearly two centuries ago.

Do you think the new Declaration of National Heroes will consider all these people who were killed, and suffered in the rebellion?

Well, why not. It is so simple… Issue a Gazette Notification, stating that the descendants of all those fighters and victims of battle or British brutality will be recognized as National Heroes. It is so simple.  Don’t forget. We are living in the Age of the Gazette.

There is another angle to this too.

Well, what is that?

Will there be another gazette notification declaring all those prominent persons in the then Kandyan Kingdom, who bent down and supported the British rulers as traitors, unlike Keppetipola and several others such as Madugalle and Pilimatalawe, would be declared traitors with retrospective effect?

The problem is that we may run short of paper for the gazettes.

2 Responses to “Glory days of Gazette Heroes”

  1. Christie Says:

    Uwa is part of the Malaynadu. Wii be part of the Second Tamil State of the Indian Union.

  2. Christie Says:

    අද ඌව මලේනාඩු වල ලොටසකි. එය ඉන්දියානු දෙවන දෙමල ප්‍රාන්තයේ කොටසකි.

    ඌව කැරැලේදී සින්හලයන් මරාදමා දේපල විනාස කර දැම්මේ සුද්දා සමග ආ ඉන්දියානු දෙමල හා මරාටි ඇම්බට්ටයන්ය.

    The Uwa rebellion was put down by killing and destroying the Sinhalese by the Indian Sepoys. If not for the Indian Sepoys, Peopns and Coolies British could not have been able to build such an Empire. Look what is left from the British Empire an Indian Empire from Fiji to Guyana.

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