This Independence, it’s time to think and put our plans to action It’s a natural instinct to protect what’s ours. What is ‘ours’ is indeed, a whole different discussion of philosophy, the morality of our pure existence. From the beginning of time, we have fought to protect land, our perceptions of religion, our property, our [...]


What do we fight for?


This Independence, it’s time to think and put our plans to action

It’s a natural instinct to protect what’s ours. What is ‘ours’ is indeed, a whole different discussion of philosophy, the morality of our pure existence. From the beginning of time, we have fought to protect land, our perceptions of religion, our property, our political agendas anything and everything which we label like ours.

Not even for a fraction of a second would you have second thoughts on destroying another human to protect what is so-called ‘ours’.

The simple concept of ‘attachment’ creates issues in a family and on the bigger picture it even leads to war. We protect our race, our ethnicity, our country, our everything! But looking at the reality of the situation, neither does any of these ‘ours’ and neither are we labeled and divided into race, ethnicity or religion. The natural ways of basic existence were so simple that, there was no division in society.

At present, while we cannot immediately get rid of the concept of ‘protecting what’s ours’, simply because the world has expanded, evolved and is far more advanced than when Adam and Eve were born or any other belief of the first human ever created.

While we do fight to protect our land, territory, country, religion, and beliefs, it wouldn’t hurt anyone so much to consider taking the middle path of existence. Practicing, none other than love, kindness and most of all the well being of every human. As the saying goes “Your freedom ends where my nose begins”, which describes perfectly how to respect another person’s privacy, freedom, space, and thoughts.

Every time you force your belief, your religion, your perceptions of someone else, you are creating an unnecessary rift between each other. This eventually creates ripples and may go to extents unimaginable.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

–Thomas Jefferson

The Basic principle of human existence is to live. And to protect this, we need to establish a sense of understanding between other humans.

Freedom to practice your own religion, freedom of speech, freedom to exist and live without hindering the other persons’ perception or values and way of thought will go a long way.

There won’t be thirty year long wars, there won’t be invasions, colorizations, slavery and amounting to all this, there won’t be rebellion objecting to unfair terms of life. A simple gesture of reserving the thoughts uninvited and controlling anger at the root cause of an issue will stop millions of blood-shed.

While celebrating the 70th year of winning over a sovereign country after a brutal rule of British 152 years, let›s set an example of practicing compassion and empathy as a country and oppose the war.

What our brave rebels endured to gain freedom from the cruel rule of the white Masters was truly remarkable. If the Dutch, Portuguese and British, simply contemplated for one moment of the repercussions of invasion; the bloodshed, torture, mass destruction and the loss of precious lives, there would have never been rifts between our own Natives, laborers imported, foreign creoles.

As a Nation, we gained independence from the British. We had a 30-year war with the Tamils to protect our independence; we may in the future have another which even may be the mass destructive war between Nation all over the world; simply because of forcing another human to embrace what they dislike and intruding personal space and their own safe havens.

The take-home message on this week of independence celebration to ponder on while you walk, drive or relax would be to ask yourself; What is really ‘ours?’, Why do we force our perceptions on others?, Why create such a hullabaloo over petty matters and resort to violence?, Are we really independent from our own misdoings?

Let Humanity win its battle and Liberty be the Global medium of resort to peace and empathy.

Devuni Goonewardene

Invasions and colonization of Ceylon

Portuguese (1505 – 1656)

v   Arrives in 1505 A.D.

v   Originally came for spices and trade

v   Portuguese took over the island as they had been helping coastal Kingdoms fight against other Kingdoms on the island

v   They captured the coast of Ceylon but failed to invade the Central Highlands (Kandy Kingdom)

v   Portuguese forced Catholicism on Native Ceylonese, offering better living conditions and education for those who converted



What the Portuguese Left behind!

Roman Catholicism

Surnames and their Portuguese Form – Corea (Correia), Croos (Cruz), De Alwis (Alves), De Mel (Melo), De Silva (Da Silva), De Soysa or De Zoysa, Dias, Fonseka (Fonseca), Fernando (Fernandes), Gomes or Gomis, Mendis (Mendes), Perera (Pereira), Pieris or Peiris (Peres), Rodrigo (Rodrigues), Salgado and Vaas (Vaz)

Portuguese Creole

Sinhala words of Portuguese origin – Annasi (Pineapple), Nona (Lady), Pinturaya (Picture), Sapattuwa (shoe), Toppiya (Hat), Bonikka (doll)

Music and Dance


What the Dutch Left Behind!

Roman – Dutch Law (Land, Marriage)

Architecture (Churches)

Place Names – Leiden (Velanai island in Jaffna), Beira Lake

Personal Names – Johanna, Henrietta, Hendrick, Cornelis

Cuisine – Kokis, Lamprice


Dutch (1656 – 1796)

v   Dutch originally came to Sri Lanka to help the King of Kandy at the time Vimaladharmasuriya I to fight the Portuguese

v   The Dutch replaced the Portuguese in 1658

v   They took over the coastal areas of the island but the Central Highlands remained free

v   The Dutch were more interested in the prospects of trade the island had and turned Ceylon’s coast into Ports in their trade routes to China, India, Japan, and the Far East



British (1796 – 1948)

v   The British arrived on the island 1796, forcing the Dutch to leave

v   British were the first to have control over the whole island, including the Central Highlands of Kandy

v   They ruled for 152 years

v   British were in Ceylon to introduce and develop tea, coffee and rubber plantations

v   With the growth of the plantation industry, the British brought Tamil people from South India who would work for low wages than Native Sinhala people

v   Due to Tamil migration, the Native Sinhalese lost their land in the Central Highlands of Ceylon


What the British
Left Behind!

n Infrastructure (Railway, Hospitals, Schools, Roads)

n Education System

n plantation System
(Coffee, Tea, Rubber)

n Place Names – Barnes Place, Horton Place, Rosemead           Place, Torrington Square, Gregory’s Road)

n    Cricket

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