Even India wouldn’t have got to know facts about its history if Mahawansa was not written, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today.
He made this remark when a copy of the latest volume of Mahawansa, the chronicle of Sri Lankan history was presented to him by its editorial team led by Professor Chandra Wickramage at Temple Trees last evening.
“ The ‘Asoka Chakra’ which is depicted in the Indian flag is sketched in the Mahawansa as no Indian document had been found with such facts while the situation is same with the Stupa at the Indian President’s House as the Mahawansa contains facts about that as well,” the Prime Minister said.
Coming up with more facts about the history in the region, he said the centre of Therawada Buddhism was one time located in Afghanistan. “I read about this recently,” he said while revealing that some inscriptions from this temple had been taken to China.
Also he said the era of Buddha which is stated in the Mahawansa had been proven correct and accurate through research.
Further, he said it is essential to record the facts about Sri Lanka’s colonial history as well. He said two Sri Lankan universities including Peradeniya and Colombo had done research about this but it is essential to record the entire history of Sri Lanka including the colonial history. “Sri Lanka should ask for the documents which are in Portugal, Netherlands and Britain so that it would be possible to record the complete history of Sri Lanka,” he said.
“Sri Lanka has a dearth of historians. There are only politicians to talk about history but they manipulate the history for their benefit,” he said while revealing that the government is planning to set up a National Institute of History.
Professor Wickramage who elaborated on the latest volume of the Mahawansa said it comprises facts from 6 BC to 1978. He said the errors of other volumes have been corrected in the latest one. Also it was highlighted that there is no such document called Chulawansa as it is also part of Mahawansa. “We have now rectified all these errors and had come with an accurate version of Mahawansa,” he said. The new volume had been compiled after an eight year research. (Yohan Perera)