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History of Keerawelle royal clan revealed

Colombo East group corr. - Daily News Wed Sep 24 2003

Once a high ranking public servant, now engaged in history research, David Geeganage addressing a public meeting convened by the Colombo Saviya Foundation at Pragnaloka Hall, Vijayaramaya, Wellawatte last Sunday revealed the hidden history of the Keerawelle Royal Clan and its connection with the Royal Dynasty of Kotte from King Parakramabahu VI and its link with the Kandyan Dynasty starting with king Senasammata Vickramabahu of Peradeniya and Kandy.

Geeganage said that the Keerawella royal clan or Keerawelle raja pelapata had descended from a Kalinga royal clan which had settled down in Satara Korale. Many kings of Kotte had espoused princesses from this royal family. The more notable among them were Parakramabahu VI and Vijayabahu VI. History by the University of Ceylon, 1960, page 671 states, "the consort of Parakramabahu VI is said to have been a lady from Kiraveli, but her name has not been recorded." An information picked up from Rajavaliya. Prof. Senarat Paranavitana had discovered King Parakramabahu VI's queen's name as Swarnamanikya or Ranmenika when recording the marriage of this king's daughter Chandrawathie, later Ulakudaya Devi to prince Sundara Pandya who was administering the Ambalantota region.

Princes Shri Rajasinghe and Sakarayudha, later Vijayabahu VI, both had as their consort princess Keeraweele Mahabiso Bandara whose personal name was Anula Kahatuda. After her death king Vijayabahu VI espoused another princess from the Keerawelle royal family by the name Devaraja.

Princesses Keerawelle Mahabiso Bandara or Anula Kahatuda was the sister of Keerawelle Maharalahamy who espoused a daughter of king Senasammata Vikramabahu of Peradeniya and Kandy. Keeraweele Maharalahamy's son was Obberiye Ralahamy or Gajasinghe Kodikara Mudiyansege Jayaweera who got Rajasinghe I's birth chart drawn up by the high priest of the Asgiriya Temple in Kandy. He also figured prominently in the battles against the Portuguese by kings Mayadunne and Rajasinghe I.

The three sons of king Vijayabahu VI and queen Keerawelle Mahabiso Bandara whose personal name was Anula Kahatuda were Buvenekabahu, Madduma Bandara and Mayadunne. After King Vijayabahu his eldest son ascended the Kotte throne as Buvenekabahu VII.

His daughter was Samudra Devi whose personal name was Samudra Salpadoru. She married prince Veediye Bandara, a grandson of regional king Taniyawalla of Madampe. Veediye Bandara ruled a part of Rayigama with Palenda as his capital. their son was Don Juan Dharmapala who ascended the Kotte throne in 1593 AC.

King Mayadunne established the Sitawaka kingdom. His chief queen was Satsiya Varigaye Botalege Sumana Devi. They had three sons, Maharaddura Bandara, Timbiripola Maharadduru Bandara and Santana Bandara and two daughters Maha Tikiri Biso Bandara and Kuda Tikiri Biso Bandara. Queen Satsiya Varigaye Botalage Sumana Devi later bore Tikiri Kumaraya by Petiyagoda Pattamestri Sinhala Keerthi Rajapakse Bhatiraja Vanniyar Mudiyanse, a kinsman of both queen Sumana Devi and King Mayadunne. Tikiri Kumaraya later ascended the Sitawaka throne as Rajasinghe I.

King Rajasinghe I's father was the son of Pattamestri Sinhala Keerti Rajapakse Bhatiraja Vanniyar Mudiyanse, a Vanni chieftain during king Veera Parakramabahu VIII's reign 1484 to 1505 AC, recorded in Niti Ratnawali, 1914, chapters 17 and 26 by Walpagampalage James Bastian Perera.