Funday Times - Our History

The end of Edirille Rala

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

Commander Veediya Bandara’s next aim was to defeat King Mayadunne of Sitawaka. As such, being in
conversation with King Edirille Rala, Veediya Bandara made a request to supply him with a good army to attack Sitawaka. Later on, to chase the Portuguese, as well. Edirille Rala agreed to grant his request and put maximum effort to fulfill it.

Furthermore, King Edirille Rala requested Commander Veediya Bandara, to take up residence in the palace itself, till such time as things were ready. He presented the village of Nanegama to Veediya Bandara. A few days passed. Then quite the unexpected happened. Though the exact cause could not be identified, there arose a rift between the two. It ended in great disaster.

One day, after dinner, there arose a little argument between these two, regarding the armies of Veediya Bandara and Edirille Rala. This developed into a big fight and the two sides went on fighting. Finally, a dagger hit Edirille Rala and he was badly wounded. He succumbed to these injuries. Some believed that particular dagger was from Veediya Bandara.

According to some others, that dagger was from Velayuda Arachchi. However, after the death
of Edirille Rala, the kingship fell vacant. There were no claimants to the throne. As a result, Commander Veediya Bandara accepted the kingship of Seven Korale. Though the majority of the people liked this
appointment, there was a crowd who opposed it too. Those who were in favour of him got the people ready for an army.

Those who opposed were also a powerful group. They obstructed the administration and started
creating trouble. Meanwhile, Sitawaka, hearing that Veediya Bandara was preparing for war, was deeply disturbed. King Mayadunne acted fast. He collected an army and also sent a message to the Fort in Colombo. The Captain of Colombo at this time was a person named Rodrigus de Bulhao.

This Portuguese leader too was afraid of Commander Veediya Bandara and treated him like an erstwhile enemy. As such, he was very willing to assist King Mayadunne. He sent some Portuguese troops to Sitawaka, under an able commander named Jevaro Fernandus. They went and joined the armies of Sitawaka. The leader of the combined army was Prince Tikiri Bandara.

This great army reached the ford at Elle. Commander Veediya Bandara too was hurriedly getting
organized for the fight. He also organized an army. But this army was not well trained like the forces of Sitawaka. His soldiers were mostly novices who had just joined the army, without any proper
training. But this valiant warrior, Veediya Bandara was not at all afraid. He tried to face the trained army of Sitawaka.

He tried his best to encourage the new soldiers and gave them a lot of moral support. So they too left for war and marched a considerable distance. Then both armies met and the fight began. There were a lot of casualties on both sides. So they had to abandon that fight in a drawn battle.

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