This website collates the history, genealogy, profiles and information relevant to the 'Corea' family, that for generations was prominently associated with Chilaw, Sri Lanka.
The family which settled in Chilaw, consists of the descendants of Dominicus Corea (or Edirilla Rala), who had in the 16th century waged war on the Portuguese colonists of the time, for which he was ultimately executed in a bid to make him an 'example to all natives'. His grandfather Edirilla Aratchi had been baptized as 'Emanuel Corea' on religious conversion to Roman Catholicism and thus became the first ascendant to adopt the surname. The surname has since been retained by his descendents. The family's history however, extends further beyond, details of which may be read on this site.
Sri Lanka, described as the 'Pearl of the Indian Ocean', 'hangs' like a tear drop off the Southern coast of the Indian Sub-continent. Located on the sea routes between West Asia and South-East Asia, once an important stop on the Silk Road, the island was and still is of strategic naval importance. Known by many names, to India as Lanka and Sinhale, to the Greeks Tabrobane, to the Arabs Serendib and to the Portuguese it was Ceilao which the British translated as Ceylon. The country has a documented history of more than three thousand years, the first recorded reference appearing in the 'Ramayana', the Indian Epic.
Chilaw is a town 80km north of Colombo on the western coastline and has been described as being reputed for its three C's - Corea's, Crabs and Coconuts. The Corea's however, are not natives of Chilaw, but a Sinhalese family that settled in Chilaw during the Kotte Period. The family's origins track further back, to the central hills of Gampola.
The family traces its lineage to Ranamuka Bandara, a descendant of Buveneka Bahu Epa who was the son of Buveneka Bahu-IV, King of Gampola. Ranamuka Bandara's son Edirilla Aratchi became the first 'Corea' ancestor, when he converted to Christianity and was baptized as Emanuel Corea. His son Jeronimo Corea had two sons, Dominicus and Simon. The 'Chilaw Coreas' are the descendants of Dominicus Corea and his son, Lewis Corea.
Dominicus Corea was the Commander-in-Chief of the Sinhalese Army of Kotte and his exploits are recorded in the Mahavansa, Rajaveliya and the writings of reputed historians of that era, such as De Queyroz, Ribeiro and De Couto. Dominicus Corea is credited with conveying the `Sacred Tooth Relic' from a temple in Delgamuwa Kuruwita, to his boyhood friend Wimaladharmasuriya-I (Konnapu Bandara), the King of Kandy. The coronation of Dominicus Corea as King of Kotte and Sitawaka, with a detailed description of his wedding to the daughter of Edirimanasuriya Vidiya Bandara of the Seven Korales, is the only such event at the Kandy Maligawa recorded in the annals of history. At this ceremony Dominicus took the name Edirimanasuriya. Thus it is that the family union is called the 'Edirimana Corea Family Union'. During his rebellion against King Dharmapala of Kotte and the Portuguese, Dominicus Corea fought many battles and was wounded. Finally betrayed and captured, he was executed on the 14th of July 1596 at the age of 31 years.
Dominicus Corea is but a milestone in the Corea lineage. The Corea's as a family are on record in history, as having served the Nation as warriors and freedom fighters. Members of the family have over time diversified their talents to represent and give leadership in many professions and vocations. In the process, they have played notable roles in the freedom struggle against Western Colonists and significantly served the people of Sri Lanka in diverse spheres. Amongst the family members, have been land-owners and agriculturists, politicians, civil servants, doctors, lawyers, economists, peace officers, clergymen, accountants and personalities in the field of entertainment www.tvawatch.me and showbiz, to name a few. Several have been or are national and international figures. A cosmopolitan family in today's context, the Corea's have been enriched by the inclusion of many other families through marriage.
In terms of vocation, the Corea's have for the most part, been professionals and not businessmen. The family association, Edirimana Corea Family Union (ECFU), encourages felicitation of the highest values of culture, decorum, ethic, integrity, and true public and social service, recognizing and promoting such characteristics as reflection of true 'respectability' that is both relevant and needed in the present age.