Sunday, July 25, 2010
The grave of Ehelepola at St. Andre Forest, Mauritius.
The following text is from an article by Durand Appuhamy (Negombo)/The Island)
and with extracts from his book,
The Rebels, Outlaws & Enemies to the British by M.A. Durand Appuhamy.
"Ehelapola died on the 4th of April 1829 "in consequence of an attack of dysentery after an illness of six days during which he was attended by the Medical Officer of Mauritius" (CO 54/105). He was aware of his approaching end and made a disposition of his property by will on the 2nd of April.
By his Will, he gave Dingiriya, his slave servant his freedom, all the goods and money which belonged to him and were at Mauritius. To Kedagamuwe Nileme and Dawgan-deniya Arachchy one hundred Spanish Dollars each and implored the British government to pardon them both and set them free. To Pilimatalawe he gave all his property and money which were in the custody of the Kandy Kachchery. To Don Bastian he gave 3555 Pagodas, his Sinhalese watch and carriage and the large ring set with diamonds. He also bestowed on Don Bastian all his landed property after the death of his sister. All the linen which were his wearing apparel were to be handed over to the Maligawa in Kandy.
He was cremated at St. Andre forest a quarter of a mile distance from the Powder Mills where the other Kandyan prisoners were imprisoned.
There is a square white monument in his honour. In the centre, there is a white granite block with the inscription which reads" sacred to the memory of Ehelapola Wijesoondra Wickramasinghe Chandrasekra Amerakoon Wahalanodianse, late First Adikar or Prime Minister to the King of Kandy, who died 4 April 1829, aged 57 years".
From the many stubs of burnt out candles on the spot, it is apparent that even today someone lights a candle there in memory of a man whose life was only so full of promise, but devoid of any achievement, and futile to the point that he lost his kith and kin, and died in exile an untried and unconvicted state prisoner, ennobled unto eternity in this monument in a foreign land. Who today will dare suggest that his ashes be brought back to this country and interred with the appropriate honours due to him? I do."