Punishment for embracing Christianity
By Gunasinghe Herath
An academic said yesterday that the mass grave of Mannar was the result of a massacre committed by King Pararajasekaran who ruled over the Jaffna kingdom.
Sri Jayewardenepura University’s professor of history and archaeology Prof. T.G. Kulatunga told our sister paper Lankadeepa that Portuguese historical records made mention of this mass massacre.
Prof. Kulatunga said people of all age groups had been massacred in this manner. He said it could be ascertained that this barbarity had been committed in 1550s, according to Portuguese, English and Tamil records of history.
The skeletal samples obtained from this mass grave were earlier sent to the Beta Analytic Centre in America for carbon dating. According to the tests, the skeletal remains dated back to between 1404-1719 AD.
The report of the test was put in the public domain following an order given by Mannar Magistrate T. Saravanarajan.
The coastal belt of the country fell under Portuguese rule during the period between 1505 and 1658.
He said historical evidence accounts in Portuguese records. Referring to a book titled ‘Early Christianity in Ceylon- A 17th Century Narrative’, he said there was mention about the atrocities faced by the Portuguese in their attempt to convert people to Christianity.
He said it had been recorded in the pages 176 to 179 that 600 persons who embraced Christianity were massacred by Jaffna King Pararajasekaran.