Funday Times - Our History

Portuguese power in Jaffna

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

The present king Periyapulle alias Vegarajasekeram, had a son. He was a young prince, but he had been sentenced to death. This prince had been saved by a person named Simon Sinnyo. A painting
depicting this incident had been discovered in the Maha Saman Devale in the Sabaragamuwa
district. The painting is done on stone. King Pararajasekeram, who tried to flee, through fear of the Portuguese army, was captured by the Portuguese. He was beheaded.

Quite a number of people, who were serving in positions connected to the palace of this king, were captured and imprisoned. At this juncture, the Portuguese got the opportunity to claim money, jewellery and even valuable utensils of the king. The commander-in-chief, Andro de Mandoza then advised the people of this area to conduct their day-to day affairs well. He summoned the chiefs
of Jaffna and held a discussion. After that he issued an order.

Later on, he got the chiefs to promise that they would protect the law of the country and uphold their customs and manners. He requested them to accept the king of Portugal as their king too. These conditions were accepted by both parties. They swore to abide by them. Therefore the commander-in-chief acting on the advice of his counselors brought the prince, who was saved by Simon Sinnyo and made him king.

This prince, the son of Periyapulle alias Vegarajasekaram was named Hendarmanasinghe. He was crowned under the name, Pararajasekara. The Portuguese gave this king a platoon of soldiers and a mercenary army to see to his safety. This king was ever grateful to the Portuguese for saving his life and gaining the throne for him. He saw to it that he ruled Jaffna until his death, forever remaining faithful to the Portuguese.

It was between 1591 AD – 1615AD that King Pararajasekera ruled Jaffna. There were a few important people who opposed him. A plot was hatched by King Wimaladharmasuriya and the king of Tanjore to bring another prince to the throne of Jaffna. An army was sent from Tanjore, to help the rebels. But as this army was caught by the enemy, when they were on their way, the plan had to be abandoned.

The king gave permission to the Franciscan priests to build churches in Jaffna. They somehow suspected that the king of Jaffna had some connection with the king of Kandy. Meanwhile as Sitawaka Rajasinghe had no son to succeed him, the kingdom had no king for sometime. Trouble arose regarding kingship. During this time, the most important person in the island was Aritta Kivendu.

He was a ‘Sannasi’ who came from India. He somehow won the heart of King Rajasinghe and obtained an important post in the army as a powerful commander. He got his name changed to Manampperuma Mohottala. He was planning to grab the throne of Sitawaka. By this time, the people had made a grandson of King Rajasinghe, the king of Sitawaka. He was Rajasuriya by name.

With the connivance of Manamperruma, Rajasuriya was put to death. Thereafter, a sister of King Rajasinghe, Princess Maha Biso Bandara, took the power into her hands. She was the widow of Commander Veediya Bandara. She was also named Princess Suriya.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Other Funday Articles
Portuguese power in Jaffna
Fun Maths and Science -- Maths & Science
Cricket -- Poem for the week
Earth Watch
Hummana – The Blow Hole
Dublin -- Geography
Kids' World
Ruwala Nature & Adventure Park, Kalpitiya


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 1996 - 2012 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved | Site best viewed in IE ver 8.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution