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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 81

Coming to terms with Sri Lanka’s colonial past:

[b]Coming to terms with Sri Lanka’s colonial past: Call for justice after 500 years [/b]

By Janaka Perera – Asian Tribune

[b]Colombo, 25 December, ([/b] December 19 next year marks the 45th anniversary of the liberation of Goa, South Asia’s last Portuguese Colonial stronghold, following a lightening attack by the military forces of our immediate neighbor India. This operation also exposed then as now the West’s utter hypocrisy towards Asia’s developing nations. Western Governments, which did not raise a finger to pressure Portugal (then under a Fascist dictatorship) to quit Indian Territory, suddenly began pontificating on the values of non-violence, reminding the Nehru Government of Gandhian principles and condemned India’s use of armed force to kick the enemy out.

Goa figures prominently in the life of the great Sri Lankan monarch, King Vimaladharmasuriya I (1591-1604) alias Konappu Bandara who had combat training there under the Portuguese until the opportunity dawned on his return to Sri Lanka to rise against the enemy in Danture, in the Kandyan hills in 1594. His victory prevented in the nick of time from Sri Lanka becoming another Asian aberration like the Philippines. The Portuguese called him the "Traitor of Kandy."

But Sri Lanka’s real traitor was Portuguese puppet King Don Juan Dharmapala whose prime objective to make this country a vassal state of Lisbon. Luckily for our nation at the time Dharmapala bequeathed his Kotte kingdom to the King of Portugal in 1580, he had virtually ceased to rule his kingdom. The forces of King Rajasinghe I of Sitawaka had not only chased him away to Portuguese-controlled Colombo Fort, but also besieged the city itself.

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