ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 20
Front Page Funday Times - Mahavamsa

Prince Kasub

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

The people of Ruhuna were very national-minded. Those who came down from Anuradhapura were very well treated by them. They were given all the comforts. They hated the Cholas and refused to pay taxes, to the Sinhala officers who came to collect taxes. The officers who came were ridiculed. These tax officers complained to the Chola leaders. They sent armies to threaten the Sinhala people of the south. But the people of Ruhuna were not at all afraid.

They lay in ambush and attacked the Cholas who came. The food and water that was supplied to their camps were poisoned. So the Cholas had to give up and return. Time passed. The people began to realize the fate of not having a king of their own. The chiefs and leaders of Ruhuna and Malayarata met together and decided on getting a king appointed. After a lot of discussion, they decided to appoint Prince Kasub as their king.

This prince is the son of King Mahinda V. The prince, who was living in Ruhuna at the time, was only about 12 years old. Everybody loved the prince. They respected and obeyed him. The chiefs and all the leaders went and met the prince. They informed him of their decision and the prince accepted the crown and royal regalia. They were taken away by the Cholas. So everything had to be made anew.

But the prince did not like to wear any of these. He said he would not like to wear a crown until he fights the enemy and establishes his power in the country. All agreed. The people were delighted that they had a king now. They began to work their fields with more enthusiasm. Scarcities came to an end. Yet oppression in the North (Pihiti-Rata) still continued. There, the Cholas carried on a very stern form of administration.

The news of appointing a king from Ruhuna, reached Polonnaruwa. The Cholas were infuriated. A Chola army with about 500 warriors came to the south. They ruined the villages and killed even the animals. They did a lot of damage to property and life. The people of Ruhuna who observed this, started adopting guerilla warfare. They even set up traps and killed as many Chola soldiers as they could. But the enemy was more powerful, as their numbers were large.

The war tactics adopted by the people of Ruhuna upset the Cholas. It made them more fierce. They set fire to granaries and ruined the entire area. Even small children were not spared. At this time, there were two village chiefs named Makuhagama Keerti and Maradalagama Buddha. They happened to be ministers too. They were real warriors who were well-versed in all war tactics. They had their own armies. At this point, the two leaders joined.

They came and met Prince Kasub, to discuss ways and means of protecting Ruhuna from the enemy. They realized that there was no solution but war.

The two ministers led the attack. Even the army of the prince, joined them. They came up to Pahana and set up camp there. The Cholas got to know about this. They quickly assembled their army and came to attack the ministers. Just as the Cholas left their camp, the ministers heard of their movements.

They got well-armed and waited to receive the enemy. They had set up a number of devices to trap them. The Cholas who did not know of these strategies came crashing in. Quite a lot were trapped. Guerilla tactics were followed by the Sinhala army. A number of Chola soldiers lost their lives in this struggle.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.