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155th Veera Puran Appu Commemoration Ceremony :

'Dedication, sacrifice of Veera Puran Appu made British Govt. more favourable to the public'

We have a legendary history that stretches back to more than ten thousand years and a recorded history of 2500 years. We had an unbroken chain of monarchy epoch of two thousand years. The number of gallant worriers, who gave lead and sacrificed their lives for the sake of Nation, is numerous. Among them Veera Puran Appu holds a prominent place due to his boundless service to the Nation.

Whatever the intention would be it is not possible to delete From the Sri Lanka history, the name "Puran Appu" Being mandated, he most willingly led the battle To wipeout white men from our motherland .....

Born on November 07th, 1813 at Uyana, Moratuwa Puran Appu was Christianized as Veerahennadige Francisco Fernando. Kalistoru Fernando, a businessman and Madam Helena were his parents.

Francisco Fernando who inherited a valiant handsome figure from his young age was a brave personality who withstood unjust. He fled from his village at age 13 and later became renowned as Puran Appu. In early 1847 he married Bandaramenike and had a daughter. He first moved to Ratnapura and later on to Badulla.

At a time people were seeking for a king, being fed up with the unjust administration of British Rulers and the intolerable levies imposed by them, the first ever people's uprising against the British Rulers originated at the temple of Dambulla under the direction of Rev. Kudapola Thera. Puran Appu was selected to the leadership. Thereafter thousands of youths flocked around him. Weapons needed in the struggle were manufactured at each and every house.

The group that started revolt against British government and was led by Veera Puran and Gongale Godabanda, had rushed to Matale and seized the fortress Mackdole there.

However, being unable to confront with the war strategies of Governor Torrington the heroic worriers had lost the second phase of battle in their attempt to take over the city Kandy. Being informed by a Sinhalese, Veera Puran Appu was later captured by British officials. He was prosecuted at the Court Martial and was sentenced to death. Unshaken on his fate brave Puran Appu stated, "If my mother had half a dozen sons like myself the country could have been freed from Britishers".

Having witnessed by desperate Sinhalese Veera Puran Appu was shot dead at 2.30 p.m. on August 8, 1848 at the Bogambara grounds, Kandy. Subsequent to assassination of Puran Appu British rulers had taken measures to grant several concessions to people.

The cruel dictatorship of the English rulers gradually changed to a government more favourable to the public. The change was due to dedication and sacrifice of Veera Puran Appu. That is why the name of Veera Puran Appu, a heroic son of Mother Sri Lanka is enduring to this date. The entire Nation salutes Veera Puran Appu.

This is a summary of the essay written by the winner of 155th Veera Puran Appu Memorial Essay Competition, Retiyalage Janaka Sampath, a student of Horana Thakshila Central College.

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