Funday Times - Our History

The commanders who fled to the North

By Halaliye Karunathilake, Edited and translated by Kamala Silva, Illustrated by Saman Kalubowila

King Mayadunne was greatly angered over the fact that the Sitawaka army had to retreat. Prince Tikiri Bandara, was almost mad and he found fault with all the commanders in charge of different
battalions. Once more, Prince Tikiri Bandara succeeded in getting a huge army organized.

He left for battle swearing that Veediya Bandara should be finished. They marched towards the Seven Korales and started attacking all the fortresses of Commander Veediya Bandara.Bringing them under their control, they marched forward.

They did not take any rest. Prince Tikiri Bandara was one born for war. Under his leadership, the armies were taken as far as the town of Mudukondapala. However clever and skilled a warrior Veediya Bandara was, he was unable to face such a huge army. The main disadvantage was in the numbers. He just didn’t have such a massive army.

So he began to contemplate. If he continued fighting, the only result would be loss of life. It will be definitely impossible to win. He thought to himself, “Why should I attempt the impossible?” So he took the box containing the gold coins and a few ola-leaf books and his most treasured possession– the Tooth Relic. He paid obeisance to the Relic and took the golden casket containing the Relic and left for the North, in the dead of the night.

He selected three to four loyal friends to accompany him. They were Velayude Arachchi, Bangai Rala, Boraja Palihawardana Perumal of Gira Imbula and Warusaperuma Arachchi of Hewagam Korale. On the way, this crowd heard some bad news that Tikiri Bandara had got to know they were secretly
fleeing. Commander Veediya Bandara was very vigilant and he asked the others too to be very careful.

By this time an army had been following them. Veediya Bandara addressed his companions and suggested that they change the route. They agreed. They hid in the forest. He thought the army would be deceived by this action. But he was proved wrong. The commanders who were following them knew that Veediya Bandara would go towards Puttalam, through the forest.

So they turned their armies towards Puttalam. Commander Veediya Bandara got to know this. So he told his men, “Let us put an end to this. Let us attack them.” But his companions did not agree to this. They knew it was a very difficult task. You could not under estimate their power. They were a huge army. So they told him that if they were to attack, that would be their end and they were just inviting death.

“Then what are we to do?” asked Veediya Bandara. They suggested that they should hide in the
forest till the enemy went to Puttalam. Veediya Bandara too thought that was a wise course of action. So they disguised themselves as normal citizens and tried to survive on the food they got from the villagers. That food did not agree with them. But they had no alternative. They partook of the food thinking it was better than dying of hunger.

Veediya Bandara and the other commanders had to suffer in this way to survive somehow. Time passed and one day, they got some good news. It was about the Sinhala prince who had fled from the country and lived abroad for sometime. This prince had entered the priesthood and lived as a priest in the country named Arakani. He had arrived in Jaffna lately.

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