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

1. The king was engaged in a long conversation with the youth, who had come from Matuvelanga. It was a very friendly discussion and as such, the king was not given proper recognition. He felt a little insulted and asked them whether they knew who he was. One of them said, “No. We had no necessity to find out about you. We had complete faith in Rev. Maha-Tissa and because he requested us, we came to you for training. Nevertheless, we are ready to obey you”.

2. The king watched them silently for a while and said, “You are right. He is virtuous and very trustworthy. He loves the country. But I think it is high time you get to know who I am. I am your king, who ruled over the land once before. I am king Valagamba, who fled from the city of Anuradhapura, some time ago”. All of them were taken by surprise. They at once, got up from their seats, bowed and showed their respect to the king.

3. The king then requested thus. “Do not panic. This is an hour that I need all your assistance. Help me to save the country, the nation and our religion from the enemy”. They then vowed that they would support him even at the risk of their lives. They promised to tell the people about the king and they dispersed. On their way back, they went on announcing, “Our great king is alive. He is getting ready to fight the enemy. Those who love the country and its people should now rally round him”. Many of the youth who heard this announcement, came armed and reported to the king. They were ready to get organized as an army.

4. The youth kept getting enrolled daily. The people too helped in whatever way they could. As days passed, the king had more men than he needed. Then, organizing an army single handed became a problem for him. For this, he appointed eight commanders, Uttiya, Chula, Saliya, Parvata, Kapisiya, Deva and Uttara by name. These eight commanders were in control of the units they maintained.

5. The king took much trouble to train these troops well. Each commander trained a thousand and ten soldiers. They became skilled in warfare. As a result there were eight thousand and eighty soldiers who were well-versed in the art of fighting. Meanwhile, the soldiers who were trained at Matuvelanga, provided security to the king and his party.

6. There was special security provided for the king. In the forest, the making of weapons continued. Spears, arrows and swords were made on a large scale. All this was done very secretly. King Dathiya was unaware of all these happenings. As everything necessary for the final battle was being prepared, the king and the queen went to the temple of Valasgala.

7. There was a big ceremony in the temple that day. It was held under the patronage of Rev. Maha-Tissa. All the organization was done by the commanders of the king. Commander Kapisiya was in charge of cleaning the temple premises. The king and Queen Anula were climbing up the steps of the temple. Kapisiya was coming down the steps. He turned to a side, leaving room for the king and queen to pass, not paying enough respect to the king. This made the king furious. Royal pride overtook him. He drew his sword.

8. Within a split second, Kapisiya’s head was cut off. The onlookers were shocked. They were disgusted over the king’s hasty action. The other commanders were very angry and worried. As this was done by the king of the country, none of them wanted to comment. Knowing it was a real crime to have slain the commander, they kept quiet. They left the king and fled to the forest. The king realized his mistake later.

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

Back to Top  Back to Mirror Magazine  

| Front Page | | News | | Editorial | | Columns | | Sports | | Plus | | Financial Times |
| Mirror Magazine | | TV Times |
| Funday Times |

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.