Category Archives: History of kataragama
Historically, Kataragama has always maintained a low profile. While this may strike some as a rationalization fir the near-absence of Kataragama from history books, it should also be borne in mind that, in principle, the hero or god-king of Kataragama is one who achieves his aim through subterfuge, disguise, and stratagem.
With the landing of European forces in Ceylon in the sixteenth century, this contrast of east and west began to play itself out in dramatic fashion. As the most unabashed of western conquers, the Portuguese had come to the east for the professed intention of saving the souls of the heathen and relieving them of excess wealth.
The English, unaware of the nature of the struggle they were engaged in, undertook a deliberate policy of scorched earth tactics-especially in hard-hit Uva province – and state-sponsored terrorism directed against the village population who supported the guerillas.
The fact that the cote myth of Kataragama may be framed in a variety of ways is of particular relevance to historian, for this is precisely the dilemma of historians of every age: how to interpret the histories that have already been told, and how to share with others the understanding acquired.
If Sri Lanka may be seen as a paradigm of the rest of Asia, then the legend of Kataragama may be said to fairly encapsulate the story of all Sri Lanka, even up to the present day. Such id the esteem that Sri Lankans of all backgrounds hold for Kataragama – the symbolic capital of Ruhunu as well as the spirit or protector of the place—that even the noted historian P.E. Pieris was moved to write of Kataragama that: