Ban lifted on ’Angampora’: Wellessa heroes honoured
Posted on March 6th, 2019

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The Cabinet decided today to lift the ban imposed by the British rulers in 1818 on the indigenous marshal art called ‘Angampora’.

Housing Construction and Cultural Affairs Minister Sajith Premadasa submitted the cabinet paper in this regard, and it was approved even with the support of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Earlier, Air Force Commander Kapila Jayampathy also said at the ceremony that he requested the President to lift the ban. A gazette notification will be issued later in consequent to this approval lifting the ban. On October 6, 1818, English Governor Robert Brownrigg banned the ‘Angampora’ tradition after the Wellassa uprising.

President Maithripala Sirisena, in December, 2016, cancelled Gazette No: 851 issued by English Governor Brownrigg in January 10, 1818 that listed 19 Kandyan leaders, including Keppetipola Disawe, as traitors.

The President declared the 19 leaders who fought for the freedom of the country to be national heroes on that occasion. In a tweet, the President said at that time, After 198 years, I cleared the names of the Wellassa heroes, including Monarawila Keppetipola.”

Those who received the national hero’ status on the special order issued by President Sirisena on December 8, 2016 are Keppetipola Disawe, Kiwlegedara Mohottale, Godagedara Rate Adikaram, Ketakala Mohottaale, Maha Bethmaraale, Kuda Bethmaraale, Polgolla Mohottaale, Watte Kale Mohottaale, Polgahagedara Rehenaraale, Posrewatta Vidane, Yalagombe Mohottaale, Udumadure Mohottaale, Kohukumbure Rateraale, Kohukumbure Walawwe Mohottaale, Butuwe Rateraale, Baginigahawela Rateraala, Mahabadulle Gammane Rateraale, Bulupitiye Mohottaale and Palle Melheyaye Gamethiraale. These are the 19 Kandyan leaders who were branded traitors by the British Government for spearheading the Uva Wellassa riot in 1818. (Kelum Bandara)

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