Personal Information
Born:1565
Died:14th July 1596
Nationality:
Education:
Occupation:Military Leader (crowned King of Kotte & Sitawaka)
Title:
Spouse:Subadra Devi who was also identified by some historians as Tikiri Biso Bandara, Maha Tikiri Biso and Menik Biso Bandara
Parents:
 
 
DOMINICUS COREA (EDIRIMANASURIYA EDIRILLA RALA OR EDIRILLA BANDARA)

Dominicus Corea was the son of Jeronimo Corea the `Interpreter and Colombo Aratchi’ to the King of Kotte, Don Juan Dharmapala. His mother was Anna Devi and he had one brother, Simon and a sister who married Belthazar Monis. Historical records also refer to him as Edirimanasuriya Edirilla Rala or Edirilla Bandara and Goliade.

King Parakramabahu-VI was the last great King of Sri Lanka to rule the entire country. When Sri Rahula Thera wrote the `Selalihina Sandesaya’, it is said that he prayed that Ulukudaya Devi the daughter of King Parakramabahu-VI be given a son. That son was Jayabahu-II, whose daughter Abarawathi married Ranamuka Bandara. Ranamuka Bandara was a descendant of Buvenaka Bahu Epa, the son of Buvenaka Bahu-IV King of Gampola. Buvenaka Bahu Epa having accompanied Alakeswara in his campaigns finally settled in Kotte.

Ranamuka Bandara and Abarawathie were blessed with two sons, Ranamuka Aratchi and Edirilla Aratchi, officers in the Sinhala Army. Edirilla Aratchi converted to Christianity and was baptized as Emanuel Corea. Thus, was the surname 'Corea' adopted by a Sinhala Govigama family, a branch of whose descendents (i.e. the lineage of his grandson, Dominicus) much later became known as being associated with Chilaw after a prominent presence and role there. However, the family's known history precedes its time in Chilaw. Edirilla Aratchi's son Jeronimo Corea married Anna Devi, the second daughter of King Bhuvenaika Bahu-VII. Anna Devi’s elder sister married Vidiya Bandara and their offspring was King Dharmapala of Kotte.

Born in Colombo in 1565 AD, Dominicus and his brother Simon grew up in the precincts of the palace, by virtue of the position held by their father Jeronimo Corea, who was assassinated by Rajasinghe, the son of Mayadunna King of Sitawaka. The brothers Dominicus and Simon were sent to Colombo for their safety and grew up with the young prince Konnapu Bandara, who later ruled the Kandyan Kingdom as King Wimaladharmasuriya-I.  Dominicus excelled in sports and martial arts, especially as a swordsman.

John M. Seneviratne, writing of Edirille Bandara a.k.a. Domingos Corea begins thus: Of the Sinhalese `Mudaliyars of renown bred in war’, in the service of Don Juan Dharmapala of Kotte, especially during the closing years of that ill-fated sovereign’s rule, there was scarcely anyone more distinguished for valour, and certainly non more remarkable for good looks and a fine presence than the youthful Domingo Corea. De Queyroz the great Portuguese historian says of him that ‘He was able to read and write like a well-bred man’. Joao de Barros and Diogo De Couto writing of Dominicus Corea referred to him as a gigantic Sinhala Mudaliyar.

Handsome and with his winning ways, he soon found favour in the sight of the King and the Portuguese, who were then in Kotte. Visiting Sitawaka on a mission of espionage and dressed as a Hindu priestess, he found favour with King Rajasinghe and had the run of the palace, especially the harem. Padma Wanisapperuma from Attygalle near Hanwella was reportedly the loveliest lady in the Kingdom. She was the grand-daughter of a chieftain who died by the side of Vidiya Bandara in Jaffna in 1556 and was the King’s favourite. She was to be elevated to the rank of junior queen. The late historian Mudaliyar Bulathsinghala wrote, “that the pseudo priestess saved the lady from a rabid dog when all others fled the harem in fear. Dominicus revealed himself to her that night and leaves for Colombo the following day, still garbed as a priestess”.

According to John M. Seneviratne: his love for a lady, Padma Wanissaperuma, the most entrancingly beautiful in King Rajasinghe’s harem, made him practically ‘Desert’ to Sitawaka. He joined the army of King Rajasingha of Sitawaka, but soon fell foul of the King when he expressed his aspirations. Rajasinghe it is written, ‘roused to furious anger by the presumption of the lovelorn youth, ordered his death'. Fleeing the kingdom, he was caught by Rajasinghe’s men, who cut his throat and left him for dead. Nursed back to health by a Mukkuwa woman, his neck was slightly crooked, earning him the nickname of `Mal Degolado’ or `The Ill Beheaded’. Returning to Kotte a much sober and changed man, he served under King Don Juan Dharmapala. His bravery, stratagem and ruthlessness on the battlefield, paved the way for him to be appointed a General or `Vickramasinha’. He was by then known as Edirilla Mudiyanse, Edirilla Rala or Edirilla Bandara.

Entrusted with the subduing of the territory from Colombo to Chilaw, he fought three battles against Akaranga Bandara, winning all. A remarkable occurrence (it is written), saved his life at the height of the second battle. King Dharmapala had gifted to Dominicus a big black dog given to him by the Captain General of Goa. The dog named `Kaluwa’ by Dominicus, is said to have entered the battlefield in search of his master and seeing him in peril had sprung on Akaranga Bandara to hold him by the neck. Kaluwa was dislodged suffering a bad sword-cut. Akaranga Bandara although wounded by Dominicus escaped. Captured after a subsequent battle he was thrown to the elephants.

Joao de Barros and Diogo De Couto wrote thus of him in the  'History of Ceylon from the earliest times to 1600 A.D.' (Journal R.A.S. (Cey) No. 60-1908); “One of the most formidable antagonists that Dom Jeronimo had to contend with was a gigantic Sinhala Mudaliyar who had recently revolted against the Portuguese because of injustice done to him. This man known to the Portuguese as Domingos Corea and to the Sinhalese as Edirille Rala gained a large following and for a time successfully checked this.

Dominicus Corea is credited with recovering the `Tooth Relic’, which was hidden under a grinding stone at Delgamuwa in Kuruwita and of conveying it to his boyhood friend Wimaladharmasuriya (Konnapu Bandara) King of Kandy, who enshrined the sacred relic in the `Dalada Maligawa’. This episode is related by the late Nissanke Wijeratne who was the Minister of Justice, in an article written by him titled `The Esala Perehera’ (Sunday Observer - 10th August 1980) when he was the Diyawadana Nilame (Custodian of the Tooth Relic).

Says John M. Seneviratne, `Apart from any personal regard or admiration which he may have honestly felt, Vimala Dharma was too shrewd a man not to realize that the security of his own kingdom depended in great measure upon the continuance, in health and power, of a man of the capacity of Dominicus Corea to fight the hated Portuguese. Queroz, Vol-3 – page 509 states, `that as long as he (Dominigo Corea) lived and continued the war, his own kingdom would be safe’.

Dominicus was given as his bride, the daughter of Vidiya Bandara King of the Sath Korale and Suriya Devi, the daughter of Mayadunna King of Sitawaka. This is the only wedding recorded in the annals of history, as having been held in the Kandy Maligawa with much pomp and pageantry. At his coronation and wedding, Dominicus Corea was proclaimed King of Kotte and Sitawaka by King Wimaladharmasuriya-I, and Dominicus took the name Edirimanasuriya. De Queroz writes in ‘The Conquest of Ceylon  Vol-3 – page 509’, to describe the wedding thus: “There was in Candea a daughter of Videa Bandar, Prince of the Seven-Corlas, as gifted with natural graces as she was unfortunate in these espousals. Her he gave as wife to Domingos Corea, who became still more vain, thenceforth called himself ldri-mana Suria Bandar; which means ‘King who defied the kings of the earth and even the Sun himself’. A proclamation was made throughout the city that on the following day would be celebrated the marriage and coronation of Edirimana Suria Bandar, that all the Grandees of the kingdom should be present gala dress. It was scarcely morning when the elephants appeared at the gates of the palace, harnessed and covered with ornaments of gold and silver and a rich palanquin inlaid with ivory and gold. In this the unhappy Princess took her seat; the new made King on the middle elephant with a crown of gold: on the two side elephants two influential chiefs and the oldest Modelriares of the Court, one with a white shield which he held above him, and the other with a large fan which he refreshed him and drove away the flies and mosquitos, the inseparable companions of the elephants; and thus he marched in triumph, the Princess going before, attended by the ladies and the principal Maids of Honour. In this way they proceeded through the City with dancing and music and noisy instruments playing; and thence they went to the Pagoda, where the Chief Changatar with great pomp and Majesty and sacrifices, and other nonsensical and impure pagan rites married them in a bond less firm than arbitrary. If any modern critic finds these details strange, let him bethink himself of what took place in the great Court of Nebuchadnezzar and of ‘Sic honorbitur quem Rex voluerit honorare’. Phillipus Baldaeus (Chapter Six - Page 30), writes that Dominicus Corea was also known as Goliade, a bold and celebrated warrior and “In the course of the installation of Dominicus Corre (whose name was now changed to Idel Soriya Bandaar) it happened that a large tree burst spontaneously into fragments. This incident was viewed by the inhabitants as a bad omen”.

According to John M. Seneviratne, `coolness, skill, strategy in the planning and conduct of warlike operations, allied to personal bravery and daring, bordering sometimes on recklessness in the midst of battle, these brought him to the front ranks of the Sinhalese Captains of War of his time. John M. Seneviratne writes that `on the 17th of November 1595, not being at the time more than thirty years of age, in the presence of 7,000 troops and a large gathering he raised the standard of revolt against King Dharmapala and assuming the title of Ederille Bandara, had himself solemnly crowned the King of Kotte. Turning against the Portuguese and their puppet King, Dominicus then carried out a vicious campaign when even churches were destroyed. Felled by a bullet in a subsequent battle at Uruwela, he was carried unconscious from the field of battle. `Conquest of Ceylon’, Queroz – Pages 505 & 508. Paul E Peiris CCS {Journal R.A.S. (Ceylon) VolXX11}, wrote of this incident (page 180), “A cry was raised among the Sinhalese that Correa was dead, and they all withdrew back in their anxiety for their leader. He was not indeed dead, but was grievously wounded by a bullet, and was hastily carried away from the scene of the battle to a place of greater security, while the pursuit was stopped”.

John M. Seneviratne writes that 'his enemies make him out as a man of overweening ambition and wicked disposition' while De Queyroz described him as 'inclined to evil and cruel by character'. De Queyroz writes of the reprisal he took on Portuguese prisoners for the killing of his cousin Iddagoda Naide. He writes, `He not only cut off their noses, as others did before him, but also their right hands, a cruelty equal to that of Diocletian and others he threw to the elephants, which either hurled them in the air with their trunks or crushed them with their feet’. This type of brutality was common to the period.

The Portuguese had a `love hate’ relationship that soured after Dominicus Corea changed his allegiance, to attack them. According to De Queyroz, he accomplished so many and such arduous enterprises which are not specified on account of the number, with extraordinary success. John M. Seneviratne states`If there was one man in the Kingdom who had no reasonable cause or excuse to rebel against his King or to turn against the Portuguese who sought to uphold the authority of that King, that man was the Vickremesinghe, Dominigos Corea Mudiyanse.'

In his final battle at Uduwara, it is said that a mistaken signal caused Dominicus Corea to be isolated from his men. Fatigued beyond endurance and famished, he sought refuge in the house of an old woman, who once he was asleep, betrayed him to Samarakoon Fernando Mudaliyar. Brought to Colombo in chains, he was tortured and interrogated for forty days, mainly to recover his treasure. He addressed the gathering before his execution, on the 14th of July 1596. Bento Da Silva a soldier and Magistrate of De Azvedo’s time records that before his execution, Dominicus Corea prayed to the Lord Jesus a poignant prayer for mercy saying at the end, `If in hell there is room for sinners, in Heaven also there is room for penitents’. Writes John M. Seneviratne, it was true he never expressed one word of regret for taking up arms against the Portuguese. On the contrary he gloried in his rebellion. But in respect of his misdeeds against Catholicism a religion which he re-embraced with fervour in these days, he was undoubtedly genuinely sorry.

He prayed to God thus: "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, for, because of my enormous sins, I am not worthy to obtain it. Extend to me Thy superabundant clemency.  For I confess that I have sinned against Thee, my father and my God; for now I am not worthy to be called Thy son, nor to raise my eyes to heaven because of the number and gravity of my sins whereby I have made myself unworthy of being supported by the earth, for with such licentiousness did I provoke Thy wrath.

'But since I have cost Thee so much, I beg of Thee, my God, not to cast me away from Thy presence, nor to spurn me; because the ship of my heart, without the pilot of grace and without helm, dreads to run into the abyss. And unless Thou receivest me into Thy bosom, mitigating with clemency the raging waves of Thy wrath, I justly fear the perdition I have deserved.

'Withhold, O Lord, Thy hands.  for, though hitherto I have been abhorred, yet, after my repentance, because of what Thou art and because of what I fear, I still merit being loved, because Faith teaches me that Thy merits can obtain everything, and that the greatest sinner may hope for everything from Thy great mercy; for, being infinite, it covers the gravity of all sins.

'And now that Thou has restored to me the knowledge of Thyself, O Lord, let Thy pardon fall on me, since Thy infinite mercy is not better known in anything than in pardoning a Dismas (the traditional name of the good thief) on the Cross and a Dominicus Corea on the gallows.  If in Hell there is room for sinners, in Heaven also there is room for penitents".

Sentenced to death, at last the day came when he was to be publicly executed, the 14th of July 1596. They set up a theater, in the `most public place in the City, with mourning suited to his dignity’. Corea mounted it with calm mien and firm tread, and, facing the thousands who had assembled to see him die, delivered the following address: "Benign and clement Judge, Catholic and venerable people. So great is the enormity of my sins that, if I had a hundred lives, with them all I would not be able to pay for the least of my sins. And as I know the abundant cause I have given you to abhor your obscure and ungrateful country-man, I beg a general pardon from all for all my wickedness. In this last point and bitter transit to which my ambitious will has brought me. Because when I was free and rich, I gave myself entirely to sensuality, and within my heart, there formed a contagious and perverse habit, which increased, and dragged me from vice to vice, to the state in which you see me, where, when my body has paid for the wicked deeds I have committed, I shall be to you a horrible spectacle, and to posterity a memorable example".

Both hands were first cut off and then his head after which the body was quartered and the parts placed in four prominent places in the city. He was 31 years at the time of his death. The Portuguese took his head and suspended it on pole at Atulugama, where he was first crowned King of Kotte, for the urchins to make sport of. It is written that the Portuguese do so, out of a spirit of vindictiveness. A lascorin who fought under Dominicus Corea rescued the head and buried it. As recorded in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon) [Vol- XXII. No 64-1911] another hypothesis submitted at that time was that Dominicus Corea was sent by Vimala Dharma Suriya as his emissary under a ‘safe conduct’ to parley with the Portuguese, when he was captured. Vimala Dharma Suriya had at the time in custody over a hundred Portuguese prisoners. In his anger at this betrayal, four out of every five of these prisoners were blinded in both eyes and had both hands cut off. Every fifth man had one eye and one hand spared him to lead his less fortunate comrades to Colombo, to tell the Portuguese General that this was the way in which his perfidy was dealt with. This, it was claimed, was the reason for the mutiny against Azavedo and not the reasons given by Father Queiroz.

Sir Paul Peiris wrote that 'With the disappearance of Dominicus Corea, came a short lull in military operations of which the Portuguese officials availed themselves to give free rein to that rapacity which so frequently disgraced their careers in the East'. Dominicus Corea was the first Disawe of the Sat Korale during the Portuguese era and according to De Queyroz (page 516); “The City of Urune Rengali (Kurunegala) which within the short period of his kingship, Domingos Corea had built like a robber among rugged and inaccessible mountains”. The palace of Domingos Corea is believed to have been located in what was then in the 1960’s, the garden of Mr. Munasinghe of ‘City Service Kurunegala’, where rock columns and remains of old ruins were said to be found. Domingos Corea according to folklore was, fond of bathing at a spout behind the Government Agent’s Residence at the base of `Ibbagala’ or ‘Tortoise Rock’, so called because of its shape. On his death in 1596, his brother Simao Corea succeeded him as the Disave of Sat Korale and is said to have built the Kurunegala lake (‘Tribune’ of September 1961). Dominicus Corea had a posthumous son, Lewis Corea who became the Dissawe of Uva. This is confirmed by Queroz on page 611, wherein he states, `He sent Simon Corea with his nephew Don Lewis’.

Dominicus Corea or Edirille Bandara was a warrior who impacted the history of Ceylon during the Portuguese era, when battle was waged to rid the country of the foreign presence. Portuguese writers highlighted his re-conversion to Christianity on capture not so much to cast him in the role of the 'Prodigal Son', as to have him rejected by his own people, understanding well the general Sinhala-Buddhist psyche. This was a subtle revenge, against a person who to the Portuguese, was a traitor and a scourge. Thus, his exploits in battle against the Portuguese, his conveying of the sacred tooth relic to Kandy (which possibly saved it from destruction) and his execution, all came to be downplayed, as it remains to-date.

 

   

THE DOMINICUS COREA COMMEMORATIVE PILLAR AT KOTTE

It was on the 16th of March 1982, that a memorandum by the Edirimana Corea Family Union, signed by Wimala Corea, Kumar Corea, Sri Sangabo Corea, Chas. A. Ernest Corea and Henri Corea, was addressed to the country's first Executive President J. R. Jayewardene, requesting that the Kotte-Mirihana Road be named `Corea Mawatha’ in consideration of the long association of more than three centuries the family had with Kotte and the historically recorded exploits of Dominicus Corea in the service of his country.

The Corea family’s association with Kotte was explained thus by the committee: That Jeronimo Corea great-great-grandson of King Jayabahu-II of Gampola who was the Interpreter to King Don Juan Dharmapala, resided close to the Kotte Road and Raja-mahaviharaya Road, as did his father Emanuel Corea, grandfather Edirilla Aratchi and great grandfather Ranmuke Aratchi. The land on which the family soldiers and retainers were then quartered, almost at the junction of Kotte Road and Nugegoda Road, is known today as Edirigoda Place. This property now belongs to the descendants of Mudaliyar Bulathsinhala, whose family received it as dowry when an ancestor married a daughter of Simon Corea. History books written on the Portuguese era, by accepted historians, document the exploits of the two brothers Dominicus and Simon. The Corea/s came to own more property in Kotte during the period of the Dutch, when Christofel Corea was appointed Pandicare Mohandiram and purveyor to the Kandyan Embassy by the Dutch Governor Van De Graf on the 20th of March 1788.  He was gifted all the fields extending from Kotte to Borella and the use of certain trees between St. Sebastian in the Pettah and Kotte.

The Government of President Jayewardene was taken up with the idea, to capture the imagination of the public and as a means of reflecting the lost grandeur of Kotte, now Sri Jayewardenepura the Capital of Sri Lanka. The Government decided that rather than naming a road, a fitting monument be erected in memory of Dominicus Corea. A Cabinet Sub-Committee in June 1983, identified the Kotte Road–State Drive Junction as the most suitable site and instructed the Urban Development Authority to take action with regard to the location. The Archaeological Department was instructed to design the monument. A statue could not be erected as there was no record of what Dominicus Corea looked like. President Jayewardene entrusted the task of erecting the memorial, to Anandatissa de Alwis, Minister of State and MP for Kotte. The Minister then contacted Sri Sangabo Corea a personal friend, to liaise with the family committee, to make it a joint project.

The Department of Archaeology had no funds to commence work on the Commemorative Pillar and the family agreed to help collect the required funding. Minister Anandatissa de Alwis wrote to the members of the Corea family requesting them to contribute to make the project a reality, extolling the feats of Dominicus Corea. A sum of Rs.85,000/-, donated by family members, friends and well-wishers was handed to the Commissioner of Archaeology.

The foundation stone was laid on the 10th of July 1985 by Anandatissa de Alwis, then Minister of State, who said,` There is no History Book whether written by a  Portuguese, Dutchman an Englishman, or a Sihalese regarding the Kotte period sans several pages  describing the youth, the martial exploits the marriage, the appointment as King of Kotte and Sitawaka  and finally the terrible death that Dominicus Corea had at the hands of his Portuguese captors. Due to his fierce fighting to defend and free his country from foreign domination. Trained from boyhood to warlike pursuits, Dominicus Corea was skilled in arms and was dreaded as one of the most expert swordsman of his day. As the General of the Sinhalese Army, Dominicus Corea was referred to as the scourge of the Portuguese. He was such a threat to the Portuguese that ultimately when he was captured, his body was quartered and exhibited in the City as a warning to the Sinhalese people”. (`Island’ – by Suresh Mohamed)

It was proposed that the unveiling of the Kotte Pillar be linked to the Ceremonial Opening of Parliament. The Sri Lankan Army, Navy and Airforce were to play a prominent role, with a march-past and guard-of-honour. Invitees to the opening ceremony were to include parliamentarians, members of the diplomatic corps, religious dignitaries and the Service Commanders, as special invitees. It was proposed that a 21-Gun Salute would enhance the ceremony with a helicopter showering jasmine flowers as soon as the Pillar was unveiled. President J. R. Jayewardene was to deliver the key-note address with live coverage by the print and electronic media. A booklet titled `A National Hero from Kotte’ was published by the Department of Information and printed at the Government Press to be distributed among school children.

As news of this project came to light, the Buddhist Clergy, the Kotte Urban Council, one Almon Pieris and one Douglas Ranasinghe of Kotte, raised objections on the grounds that Dominicus Corea was not the hero he was made out to be. A resolution submitted by the Leader of the Opposition in the Kotte Urban Council, one Morris Rajapakse, called upon the Government to stop the construction of a memorial dedicated to a person who had no links at all to Kotte, or was never mentioned in the History of Ceylon. The monthly sittings were chaired by Chandra D. Perumpuli and the motion was passed unanimously by both sides of the House. During the debate, Perumpuli stated that this block of land had been requested for, to construct a statue of the Buddha, but approval was refused.  This was a localized issue with a few articles written, for and against the project. It was apparent that many including journalists were not aware of the historically documented facts pertaining to Dominicus Corea, or that it was he who collected the sacred Tooth Relic from a temple in Delgamuwa and conveyed it to his boyhood friend Konnapu Bandara, then Wimaladharmasuriya-I, the King of Kandy. The Tooth Relic was at the time, hidden at the Delgamuwa temple by the Buddhist clergy to protect it from the Portuguese and King Dharmapala of Kotte who had become a Catholic.

On the 9th of December 1985, Anandatissa de Alwis, Minister of State informed Henri Corea in writing, that “There has been a strong protest from the members of the Maha Sangha in Kotte and Bellanwila pertaining to the erection of a memorial for Edirille Rala” and I am enclosing a photocopy of a note sent to me by the Ven. Dr. Bellanwila Wimalaratana, on Edirille Rala. It would not be prudent to go ahead with this project in the face of such opposition”. Thereafter, on the 6th of January 1986, he informed Henri Corea by a letter that the Cabinet of Ministers had rescinded their decision to have the memorial named after Dominicus Corea and in the alternative, his name could be included in list commencing with Bhuvenekabahu.

At a subsequent meeting held on the 17th of February 1986 at the Bellanwila Temple and chaired by Minister Anandatissa de Alwis, the Corea family was represented by Henri Corea, Danny De Alwis and Sri Sangabo Corea. An agreement was reached after Henri Corea quoting historical chapter and verse, refuted the arguments that Dominicus Corea did not deserve to be felicitated as a hero. It was then agreed that the names of Parakrama Bahu-V, Alakeswara, Bhuvenaka Bahu-VI (Sapumal Kumaraya) and Dominicus Corea would be reflected on the plaque. On the 9th of October 1986, the office of the District Minister of Colombo returned the Rs. 85,000/- that was collected by the Corea family to construct the Pillar.

Sometime later, the family was informed that a decision was taken to name the Pillar in memory of `All Heroes of Kotte’. Finally, consequent to a change of Government, the land adjoining the memorial was declared open as a children’s playground. Later, then Minister Mangala Samaraweera unveiled a Plaque on the Pillar that referred to the “Heroes of Kotte”.

In a series of episodes presented by Jackson Anthony, based on the history of Ceylon and aired over the `Swarnavahini' television station titled `Mahavansa Kathawa’, the Ven. Medananda Ellawela Thero, speaking on the Kotte era, described Dominicus Corea as a true hero of Ceylon, who turned against the Portuguese and his King, because he could not bear to see what was being done to his people. The panel, comprising Ven. Medananda Ellawela Thero, J. R. P. Sooriyaperuma and several other reputed historians, were unanimously of the opinion that Dominicus Corea was a true patriot and hero of Sri Lanka.

Dominicus Corea or Edirille Bandara was a strong personality who figured in the history of Ceylon. He was raised as a Roman Catholic and later renounced the faith when he revolted against the Portuguese. The fact that he re-converted to Christianity in the face of death was deliberately highlighted and exploited by the Portuguese, who understanding the general Sinhala Buddhist psyche well, knew that he would be rejected for it. It was a subtle revenge against a person who was described as a scourge to the Portuguese. Despite the fact that as observed by John M. Seneviratne, he never expressed any regrets for taking arms against the Portuguese to the very end, the exploits of Dominicus Corea to rid the country of the Portuguese, conveying of the sacred tooth relic to Kandy which possibly saved it from destruction and that he paid the ultimate price for his rebellion, were downplayed then and continues to be so, even today. The Pillar constructed to be dedicated as a memorial to Dominicus Corea is now a Buddhist Shrine.

CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS AND THE COREA FAMILY ARE IN THE POSSESSION OF THE EDIRIMANA COREA FAMILY UNION

 



See Also  

The History of Ceylon from Earliest Times to 1815 by Philalethes A. M., Oxon (London: Printed for Joseph Mawman, Ludgate Street, by J. F. Dove, St. John's Square, 1817) - Chapter VI, Page 73:

States that Dominicus Corea, who went over to Don Juan after experiencing the great barbarity of the Portuguese was welcomed warmly, given the title of a Prince and appointed head of an army sent to Galle to take on the Portuguese. After he was routed in battle, Dominicus was perfidiously executed by the Portugese. It also states that Don Juan, on hearing of the execution, ordered several Portuguese captives to be trampelled to death by elephants in revenge, and sent others to Colombo after cutting off their noses, ears and members in mutilated condition, with a message to release all Sinhalese prisoners, failing which the Portuguese were to be inflicted with like revenge.

The book can be accessed at: http://lankapura.com/books/

 

 
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