The historic Danture battle, the last encounter of the Sinhalese with a powerful European nation completes four hundred and twenty five years this year. This article is an attempt to present the background of the Senkadagala Kingdom then known as Kanda Udarata Kingdom to the present day generation through historic ancient documents in Hauge archives and other Portuguese and Dutch records. Our country then known as Lanka faced invasions from Chola or Soli, the modern Madras, Kalinga- modern Orissa the South Indian States.
The Portuguese who landed here in 1505 A.D. gradually established their trading in the coastal areas and the Southern regions to influence governing those areas. Our capital was in Kotte and a United Kingdom established by Sri Parakramabahu or Parakrama Bahu VI. Vijayabahu Kollaya divided the main kingdom to sub kingdoms as Seethawaka and Raigama. By 1589 the Portuguese began to use their influence and identify our kings in various Portuguese terms. Jayaweera III or Karalliyadde Bandara was known as Senkadagala John. His chief queen was Galagama Maha Adasin named as Dona Magarita (Dutch Governor Van Goyan 1876 (Junior) Memorandum on some Sinhala Royal families page 25) Seethawaka Rajasinghe or Jayaweera Maha Asthana was succeeded after his death by Siyandara Maha Biso Bandara a niece of Rajasinghe but she joined the Portuguese and fled to Goa (Dutch records Hague Archives). She was succeeded by Yamasingha Bandara nephew of Jayaweera III but he also was Baptized as Don Philip Jao and fled to Goa. The Danture siege was in a background where the Royal Sinhala families were extinct paving the way for the Portuguese to achieve the ruling power of this land. Weerasundara Bandara or Wijesundara Bandara whom the Portuguese dreaded named as Maha Kaluparakrama was already put to death by Rajasinghe I putting him in a pit. His two sons Konappu Bandara, Salappu Bandara (K.B. and S.B. in todays usage fled to Goa and got trained in the use of weapons, warfare, combat and martial arts, etc in the hope of taking revenge from Rajasinghe for killing their father. Konappu became the best wrestler and swordsman in South East Asia at the time and Salappu died in a combat.
The Portuguese who landed here in 1505 A.D. gradually established their trading in the coastal areas and the Southern regions to influence governing those areas. Our capital was in Kotte and a United Kingdom established by Sri Parakramabahu or Parakrama Bahu VI
It was in such a background that the Portuguese sent Kusumasana Devi heir to Senkadagala throne who was in Mannar at the time headed by a Portuguese captain Lopez de Souza to take over Senkadagala throne. Simultaneously another batch from Seethawaka Kingdom headed by Arittakivendu Perumal alias Jayaweera joined the battle to reinforce the troops from Mannar. All these forces together entered through Balana fortress Danwatura (now Danture) Yakdure Wel yaya on 6th October 1594 where the last battle of Sinhale against most powerful European nation started four hundred and twenty five years from today. The plan of the Portuguese was to get Kusumasana Devi married to a Portuguese Prince so that they get the kingdom to the Portuguese Empire. But she joined Konappu Bandara who was in the battle field and later crowned as Wimaladharmasuriya 1. This Royal couple produced a royal clan up to 1739 ending with Wimaladarmasuriya II. Had Kusumasana Devi accepted perks from Portuguese and joined them as already done by others who had a claim to the Udarata Kingdom, the Sinhale would have been a Portuguese Colony from then.
Together the couple brought the Dalada which was hidden under a grinding stone in Oelgamu Vihara to Senkadagala and placed the sacred object in a Maligawa, the building which is a world heritage today. There are several events organised for 6th October to commemorate the four hundred and twenty fifth anniversary of Danture battle by the Wimaladarmasuriya Maha Raja Kusumasana Devi Foundation. These include distribution of four hundred and twenty five spectacles to the needy in Danture Raja Maha Viharaya, Danture Kathikawatha Seminar, etc by Dambagoda Seneviratne Secretary of the Committee. Anyone who wish to help this organisation and event may contact Danture Raja Maha Viharaya or Sri Gunawardanaramaya or the Pradeshiya Lekam (A.G.A.) Yatinuwara.
This story is now shown in TV Derana.