We are good at bragging about our glorious past, while conveniently omitting to mention our inglorious, grey periods.
According to the Mahavamsa, our first king, Vijaya, a rebel deported from India, arrived with 700 followers at Thambapani, where he met the Yakshini, Kuveni.
This island was then Yakka-terrain, and known as Sirisavattu. The island was seized from the Yakkas with Kuveni’s help, and Kuveni was handed over to her tribal chief.
We boast of our unique irrigation system and our paddy lands, but never mention the six famines the country experienced. These hard times forced all our Mahavihara monks to go to India.
Because of weak or corrupt kings, the country was subject to repeat “Damila” invasions, resulting in widespread destruction of our Buddhist shrines and dagobas. These things are never mentioned. We only talk of the three foreign invasions of the previous 500 years, and blame these occupying forces for all our problems, without mentioning the benefits they left behind.
If the Arahant Mahinda had not blessed this country with his visit, we would still be worshipping tree gods and dead spirits.