Funday Times - Our History

Veediya Bandara seeks refuge

This article is part of a continuing series on the ‘Mahavamsa,’ the recorded chronicle of Sri Lankan history
By Halaliye Karunathilake, Edited and translated by Kamala Silva, Illustrated by Saman Kalubowila

A few days passed. The armies of the Kandyan kingdom marked time for a while and then left for Sitawaka, under the leadership of Commander Veediya Bandara. They took the road that went through Elpitiya. They set up camp in Galboda Korale. The armies of Tikiri Bandara too marched on to face them. When both armies met, the fighting began. A lot of soldiers died in this battle.

Veediya Bandara was defeated here and historians think, that it was the dawn of a bad period for him. After suffering this defeat, he went back to Kandy. King Karaliyadde Bandara, who was not quite bothered about what happened in the fight, welcomed Veediya Bandara, with all respect. So, Veediya Bandara began to spend his days in the Kandyan Kingdom.

Not many days elapsed. A suggestion of a peace-treaty, came from Sitawaka to the Kandyan king. King Karaliyadde agreed to it. But in this treaty, there was a request, to which the Kandyan king could not accede. That was to chase Veediya Bandara from Kandy. King Karaliyadde notified that he just could not do so.

He gave the following reason. “Commander Veediya Bandara came to me in search of help. So I helped him. He has not done any wrong to me. So how can I ask him to go?” This reply was not accepted by Sitawaka Rajasinghe – who was none other than Prince Tikiri Kumara. He insisted that it should be done. When Commander Veediya Bandara got to know this, he thought to himself. “I am undergoing a real bad period. I came here when I was helpless.

However, this friend extended help to me without any hesitation. He attended on me respectfully and gave me lodging in the palace itself. The best of food was served to me. Now he has fallen into trouble because of me. To take revenge on me, the King of Sitawaka has asked him to chase me from the Kandyan Kingdom. My good friend is in trouble as he is unable to do it. Why should I be a burden to him? I must leave this place immediately.”

He immediately met King Karaliyadde. He praised him immensely, for treating him so well and for being respectful. But he had to say, it was time for him to leave. He made arrangements to go. King Karaliyadde was feeling sad to part from this clever warrior. Yet, he did not ask him to stay back. Veediya Bandara, along with his faithful companions, left Kandy.

He went and stopped at the Seven Korale. By this time, the ruler there was a war hero. He was Edirimanne Suriya, better known as Edirille Rala. He had made Mudukondapala, a place close to Kurunegala, his capital city. When he saw Commander Veediya Bandara, he was delighted and welcomed him with all love and respect. He was well treated. Then both of them broke into

This leader Edirille Rala, just like Veediya Bandara, was an erstwhile enemy of the Portuguese. As such, this meeting of theirs was extra special. Both of them were enemies of the King of Sitawaka as well. This
common feature was something to be happy about. The main aim of Veediya Bandara too, was chasing away the Portuguese from Sri Lanka.

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