The government has taken a momentous decision for revoking the Gazette Notification issued by Sri Robert Brownrigg, to condemn all those who rebelled against the British Rule in Sri Lanka in 1818 for the liberation of the country from the British Imperialist Rule.
Several governments after the independence of Sri Lanka in the past, although they wanted to revoke this ignominious Gazette Notification, could not take action in this regard.
Under the said Gazette Notification all those who participated in the uprising were not only condemned as “Traitors” their properties were also confiscated by the government.
Records relating to this uprising known in the Sri Lankan history as the “1818 Uva-Wellassa Uprising” states that it was the very first struggle launched in Sri Lanka to gain independence from the British, and it was launched by the Keppitipola Disawe, who was assisted by many regional leaders in providing men and material from various regions. President Mahinda Rajaspaksa’s great grandfather Mr. Vaniga Chinthamani Mohotti Don Davith Hendrick Appuhamy had been the leader of the Ruhuna (Hambantota – Ambilipitiya area) who had provided men and material in this manner.
History records also say the government led by British not only confiscated the properties of the people involved in the uprising, but soaked the Sri Lankan soil with an unprecedented blood bath by massacring all male population above 18 years of age, destroyed all cattle and other animals, and burnt all paddy fields in the area of uprising which was known as Wellassa, denoting “One hundred thousand paddy fields”.
Under the proposed plans, those participated in the uprising will aptly be given recognition as “National Heroes” erasing the dark image placed on them and a National Declaration will be awarded on their behalf to the children/grand children of their families. This function is scheduled to be held on 22nd May, which is the Republic Day of Sri Lanka.
On the instruction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Gazette Notification issued by Governor Brownrigg has already been brought to Sri Lanka. Minister of Cultural Affairs Mr. T.B.Ekanayake said that this ignominious gazette notification will be submitted to the Parliament and it will be revoked with the signature of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. (Asian Tribune)