Author Archive for Kamalika Pieris

VEN. ELLAWALA MEDHANANDA Part 10

Sunday, June 28th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Ven. Ellawala Medhananda has spent decades exploring the forgotten temples and monasteries in the Eastern province. His explorations have shown that there was an extensive spread of Buddhist monasteries and forest hermitages in the east in the ancient and medieval periods.  Medhananda discovered hitherto unknown monasteries, forest hermitages, temples, caves, and inscriptions. The […]

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VEN. ELLAWALA MEDHANANDA Part 9

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS REVISED 20.6.20 Ven. Ellawala Medhananda has drawn attention to the damage done by ‘non-Buddhists’ (Hindus and Muslims), to the Buddhist monasteries, hermitages and ancient ruins in the north and east. Medhananda says that more than five hundred sites with ancient Buddhist ruins are either destroyed or are being destroyed in the north and […]

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VEN. ELLAWALA MEDHANANDA Part 8C

Thursday, June 18th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Ven. Ellawala Medhananda has explored the Buddhist ruins in  the North Western  Province. The North western Province consists of two districts, Puttalam and Kurunegala. Puttalam which is a coastal  district, contains Wilpattu and Pomparippu. Medhananda   has visited both places. Medhananda found a large monastery complex at Pomparippu, in ruins. This area is now […]

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VEN. ELLAWALA MEDHANANDA Part 8A

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Ven. Ellawala Medhananda paid special attention to the Buddhist archaeological remains in the North and east. He explored as much as he could in these two provinces, using his own resources He found that the north and east had many Buddhist ruins and many explorations were needed, before they could be fully examined […]

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VEN. ELLAWALA MEDHANANDA Part 8B

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Revised  20.6.20 Medhananda also went on exploration to the Northern Province and wrote his findings in his book Pacina passsa, uttara passa, nagenahira palata ha uturu palate Sinhala Bauddha Urumaya”. Ven. Ellawala Medhananda was not able to explore the North as much as he would have liked, due to LTTE control. The Northern […]

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VEN. ELLAWALA MEDHANANDA Part 7C

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Revised 21.6.20 Historians agree that between the rule of King Devanam Piyatissa (247-207 BC) and king Dutugemunu, (161-137) there was a separate kingdom in Ruhuna. The founder of this Ruhuna kingdom was king Mahanaga, brother of Devanampiyatissa. Mahanaga left Anuradhapura after a disagreement with his brother and set up a separate kingdom in […]

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VEN. ELLAWALA MEDHANANDA Part 6

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS REVISED 21.6.20 Medhananda has shown, through his explorations and his writings, that the Eastern Province had a vibrant Buddhist civilization in the ancient and medieval period.  He has also shown that it had special features, such as hillside monastic complexes and a series of ‘Muhudu Maha vihara’. Monastic complexes Medhananda found evidence of […]

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VEN. ELLAWALA MEDHANANDA Part 7A

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Revised 27.6.20 Ven. Ellawala Medhananda made a special effort to find and record stone inscriptions from the archaeological sites he explored. Medhananda had been very successful in this venture. He says he has found over 500 ‘new’ inscriptions. This can be accepted as Medhananda has been engaged in archaeological explorations for over 35 years. […]

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VEN. ELLAWALA MEDHANANDA Part 7B

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Revised . 27.6.20 The inscriptions found by Medhananda have helped to confirm known historical facts and also advance our knowledge of the Sinhala Buddhist civilization of ancient and medieval Sri Lanka.     The inscriptions Medhananda   found refer to a wide range of Sinhala kings. This indicates the extent of Medhananda‘s explorations. Here is […]

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VEN. RAMBUKWELLE SIDDHARTHA

Monday, June 8th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Revised 7.6.20 Ven. Rambukwelle Siddhartha has played a significant role in the preservation of indigenous culture in Sri Lanka. But his contribution has not been recognized and not much is known about him. I searched the literature for references to Ven. Siddhartha, and also asked a friend in Kandy, to find out something […]

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VEN. ELLAWALA MEDHANANDA Part 5

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Revised 22.6.20 Medhananda told his biographer that he had thought, when listening to lectures at Vidyodaya, as a student, that it would-be good to investigate some of the things   mentioned in the Mahavamsa. He had joined a Vidyodaya archaeological trip to look at Neelagiri seya. Ven.  Handupelpola Punnaratana, who was teaching at Vidyodaya, […]

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VEN. ELLAWALA MEDHANANDA Part 4

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS REVISED 26.6.20 Medhananda did not hold back his archaeological findings, hoping some day to put it all into one magnificent book. He wanted to communicate his findings to the public as soon as possible.  Therefore he wrote up his archaeological findings in newspapers and periodicals as soon as he could. For each exploration […]

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VEN. RAMBUKWELLE SIDDARTHA

Sunday, May 31st, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Ven. Rambukwelle Siddhartha has played a significant role in the preservation of indigenous culture in Sri Lanka. But his contribution has not been recognized and not much is known about him. I searched the literature for references to Ven. Siddhartha, and also asked a friend in Kandy, to find out something about Ven. […]

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VEN. ELLAWALA MEDHANANDA Part 3

Sunday, May 24th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Ven. Ellawala Medhananda was very active politically. He took an active part in settling Sinhalese in Maduru Oya, in the 1980s, when Accelerated Mahaweli” started, Gamini Dissanayake; Minister for Mahaweli had asked Ven. Medhananda to do a study of the history of the Mahaweli region. While engaged in this, Medhananda had met Ven.  […]

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VEN. ELLAWALA MEDHANANDA Part 2

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS After ordination, Ven. Medhananda continued to live at Sri Sumangalaramaya, Napawela, Getahatta.  That remains his permanent address today. When Medhananda first went there,   the temple was very new. It had an image house but no image. Loku Hamuduruwo, Ven. Soratha got a stone mason down from India and   had a Buddha statue made. […]

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VEN. ELLAWALA MEDHANANDA Part 1

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Revised 27.6.20 Ven. Ellawala Medhananda was born on 28th January 1937. He was named Piyaratne. His father was Ellawala Imiyahami Punchi Mahatthaya and his mother was Hapurugama Kiri Ethana. Father was a person of some standing in the village. He owned considerable land.   He was a building contractor and had 12 or so […]

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BUDDHIST NIKAYAS IN SRI LANKA Part 3

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Revised 6.5.20 The third nikaya to emerge in Sri Lanka was the Ramanna Nikaya.  Ramanna nikaya was started byAmbagahawatte Saranankara. (b. 1832) He had received the Kalyani Upasampada of the Siyam Nikaya from Benthara Atthadassi,   but later found that this ordination was suspect. Instead of joining Amarapura nikaya, Ambahawatte Saranankara decided to go […]

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BUDDHIST NIKAYAS IN SRI LANKA Part 2

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS The first clash within the Sangha was between the Udarata Siyam and Pahata rata Siyam. Udarata monks ridiculed the Pahata rata monks. I think they saw them as ‘polluted’ since the Pahata rata was under Dutch rule. Pahata rata monks were not crushed by this. They in turn, watched the sima debate between […]

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BUDDHIST NIKAYAS IN SRI LANKA Part 1

Saturday, May 2nd, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Buddhism arrived in Sri Lanka during the time of the Buddha in the 6th century BC. The Maha Sangha however, was established 300 years later, when by prior arrangement, Arhat Mahinda brought in the Upasampada to the island. Arhat Mahinda was directly linked to Arhat Upali who had presided over the first Buddhist […]

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THE TOOTH RELIC OF SRI LANKA

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS There are three categories of objects which are venerated by Buddhists, said historian Lorna Dewaraja. Firstly, the charred bodily remains of the Buddha which were collected and distributed after his cremation.   Secondly, objects which came in touch with the Buddha in his life time, such as the Alms Bowl and the Bodhi tree. […]

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THE GENERAL ELECTION OF 1956 Part 4

Saturday, April 25th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS This essay contains the work done by Philip Gunawardana and P.H.William Silva during the MEP government of 1956. In the MEP government of 1956, Philip Gunawardena was given the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The portfolio included the plantation sector as well as animal husbandry. Philip had got down to work immediately, after […]

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THE GENERAL ELECTION OF 1956 Part 2

Sunday, April 19th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS  In 1956, SWRD formed his last ‘party’ the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP). The MEP consisted of Sri Lanka Freedom Party led by SWRD, Viplavakari Lanka Sama Samaja Party (VLSSP) led by Philip Gunawardene,   the Samastha Lanka Sinhala Bhasha Peramuna led by W. Dahanayake and an ‘Independent Group.’ These were the four constituent parties […]

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THE GENERAL ELECTION OF 1956 Part 1

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS The General Election of 1956 is associated with the name of SWRD Bandaranaike. SWRD came from a long line of native administrators appointed by the British administration. SWRD’s two paternal great-grandfathers   held the positions of ‘Mudaliyar of Siyane Korale East’ and ‘Mohandiram of the Governor’s Gate.’ Their names were Don Solomon Dias Bandaranayake […]

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MEDIEVAL SRI LANKA AND THERAVADA BUDDHISM IN SOUTHEAST ASIA Pt 1

Monday, April 13th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS This essay provides additional information on Sri Lanka’s role in establishing Theravada Buddhism in South East Asia. It is a supplementary essay to the earlier essays on    subject. Historians agree that the major impact of Sinhala Buddhist culture was on South East Asia, on Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the Yunnan province […]

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MEDIEVAL SRI LANKA AND THERAVADA BUDDHISM IN SOUTHEAST ASIA Part 2

Monday, April 13th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS THAILAND Thailand had received Sinhala Buddhism by the   6th century at least. A Mon inscription dated 550-650 AD found in Narai cave in Saraburi province spoke of a group of Anuradhapura persons who had settled in Dvaravati.  However, Gunawardana says, the earliest Sinhala Buddhist influence  found in Thailand, was  at Nagara Sri Dhammaraja,   […]

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UDA KENDAWALA SIRI SARANANKARA

Friday, April 10th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Ven. Udakendawala Siri Saranankara ( January 7, 1902 – November 13, 1966) was an outstanding political bhikkhu of Sri Lanka. He is forgotten today. However, his name should not be erased completely from history. He was continuously active under a hostile British administration, and unlike most activists of the time, he was very […]

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SOME OBSERVATIONS ON ELARA AND ELARA’S TOMB

Saturday, April 4th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS According to the Mahavamsa, Anuradhapura was ruled by a foreign king, Elara in the period immediately before Dutugemunu. Elara’s origins are not known. Dipawamsa said Elara was Uju jatiko’, meaning hailing from the ‘Uju’ tribe or from the land by that name.  Mahavamsa said Elara, was a ruler of foreign origin, ‘a prince’ […]

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ERASING THE EELAM VICTORY Part 15B

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS REVISED  26.6.2020 Before the Eelam wars started there was great competition among senor students in schools to join the army as officer cadets, said Kamal Gunaratne. Those who joined the army as officers during this period were from upper middle class backgrounds. Even the soldiers were from very good family backgrounds and had […]

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ERASING THE EELAM VICTORY Part 15A

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Part 15 of this series looks at the plight of the soldiers in the Sri Lanka Army during the Eelam wars. Soldiers had a miserable time in Eelam War II and III. The Sri Lanka army had been trained in the British style, to fight using traditional maneuvers. Improvisations to suit the Sri […]

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ERASING THE EELAM VICTORY Part 14 F

Monday, March 30th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS Examination of war history should focus on the transformation of the Navy and the Air Force with the former achieving 100 percent success by destroying LTTE’s floating arsenals in international waters while the Air Force achieved strategic bombing that caused massive losses on the enemy, including prized Tigers killed in their hidden lairs, […]

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