Funday Times - Our History

Trouble in the palace of Kotte
This article is part of a continuing series on the ‘Mahavamsa,’ the recorded chronicle of Sri Lankan history

1. King Buwanekabahu welcomed the envoy who came from Sitawaka and asked him what the
message was about. It was a letter from King Mayadunne asking for pardon, for whatever wrongs he had committed. The message added that he was agreeable to a peace treaty. King Buwanekabahu thought for a while and informed Migel Pereira of the contents of the letter. He did not agree. He protested vehemently. The intention of the Portuguese was to crush the power of Mayadunne.

2. The Portuguese treated him as a big trouble maker. But King Buwanekabahu showered brotherly love on Mayadunne and he being the younger brother, King Buwanekabahu always had a little soft corner for him.

Yet he was angry with him for his obstinate actions. But he pardoned him many a time. So the king requested Migel Pereira to stop the fighting and added that his brother's request should be considered.

3. At this juncture, the Portuguese were forced to listen to King Buwanekabahu. Migel Pereira stopped the attack. He made a request to King Mayadunne for a surety.

The surety happened to be, Prince Tikiri Bandara, the son of King Mayadunne. Two commanders-in-chief were also requested. As King Mayadunne had become weak and helpless by this time, he sent his son, accompanied by a lady. Migel Pereira was very happy about this.

4. If he were to stop the fighting completely, one more request had to be met. That was to hand over four Malabar commanders and four of their captains to Migel Pereira. King Mayadunne did not agree to this request. He rejected it outright. Migel Pereira was a stubborn officer and would not change a decision, once taken. So he said, if his last request was not met, he would start fighting again.

5. This made King Mayadunne helpless and he did not know what to do. Finally he had to comply with this request too. The Malabar commanders' who came to his help, were finally handed over to the Portuguese.

The lands which previously belonged to Kotte Kingdom, which were conquered by Mayadunne, had to be returned to Kotte. There were even harbours in these areas. Cash too had to be paid as compensation. Finally a peace agreement was signed. In the process, King Mayadunne lost a good friend who always came to his help.

6. It was the Zamorin of Calicut. He was deeply moved over the handing over of his commanders to the Portuguese. He immediately dispatched an envoy to Mayadunne, criticizing his actions. King Mayadunne explained the trouble he had to undergo and humbly begged pardon for his actions. He gave valuable gifts and sent the envoy back.

7. In the meantime, trouble was brewing in the palace of Kotte. It was involving Veediya Bandara and Samudradevi. Veediya Bandara had gone to a frontier province to suppress an uprising. During this time, a Portuguese commander named Diego-de-Aravjo, was in charge of the security of the palace in Kotte. He was a young officer, not quite disciplined. As such, he did not pay due respect to Samudradevi. He used to crack dirty jokes, in her presence.

8. Samudradevi was angry at this mean behaviour. She scolded him and chased him away. Prince Veediya Bandara who returned after suppressing the rebellion heard this. He questioned Samudradevi regarding the matter. She described everything that took place. Veediya Bandara was furious.

He went in search of this youthful Portuguese commander. He failed in his mission. So he had to return to the palace, mission un-accomplished.

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