Funday Times - Our History

The death of King Rajasinghe of Sitawaka

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

Don Juan of Austria caused unrest in the country, over the agreement signed and handed over to the Portuguese by Don Phillip and his son. He was also involved in secretly enrolling men, who were supportive of him and forming an army. When things were going on like this, suddenly, Don Phillip died. It is said that his death was highly suspicious. Elsewhere it says that he died after an illness.

Don Phillip’s son was also named Don Juan. The Portuguese made him king. This made Don Juan of Austria furious. He came along with his secretly assembled army, attacked and wrested power. The Portuguese then left the fortress in Gannoruwa and retreated to Mannar. Prince Don Juan of Austria saw to it that they were beaten, even when they were on their retreat march. The Portuguese in Mannar were unable to help the Portuguese army in any manner.

The captain who was in Mannar was able only to protect the new king, the ladies who were in the palace and the Franciscan priests, from the enemy. Prince Don Juan who was chased out of power was only 12 years old then.

When he went to Mannar, the Portuguese sent him to Goa. There he attended a royal school where he received further education. From there, he proceeded to Portugal and became a priest.

This new priest conferred all his possessions in the motherland to the Portuguese. In return, the King of Portugal, spent a vast amount of money on his maintenance.

The new priest enjoyed luxuries which his faith did not permit and he lived in a small city in Lisbon, named ‘Tel Heiras’. He passed away in 1642 AD.

Meanwhile, Konnappu Bandara, who was named Don Juan of Austria, ascended the throne of Kandy. King Rajasinghe sent an army against him. That army could not go even as far as Balana. Konnappu Bandara’s armies attacked them. Sitawaka forces were defeated and had to retreat. Though King Rajasinghe sent supplementary armies, they too faced the same fate.

Once again King Rajasinghe assembled his army and marched to attack Kandy. Much against his hopes, this time too, he was defeated. He was disgusted after these repeated losses and was really sad. He took his army and went back to Sitawaka. On his return, at a place named Pethangoda, his foot was wounded as a result of the pricking of a bamboo shoot. This was not properly treated and on his return journey, he died.

One of the warrior kings of Sri Lanka, King Rajasinghe had to face this sudden death. It was a tragic end to the life of such a brave man. The people of the country faced many difficulties, as a result of his repeated battles. But he was not at all concerned. He never tried to limit his battles. It is believed that he killed his own father for power. So it is certain, that he killed everybody who went against him.

Most of his sieges were unsuccessful. Rajasinghe was one who could not bear defeat. He could not bear to see the forts within his limits, falling into the hands of the enemy. The entrance of Don Phillip and Don Juan of Austria, to the city of Kandy enraged him. That is why he tried to ruin them.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Other Funday Articles
The death of King Rajasinghe of Sitawaka
Rules for Logarithms -- Maths
Storm in the black forest -- Poem for the week
Earth Watch
Internet in the Family
Ankara -- World History
Kids' World
Tales from the Wild


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