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IDIOT KINGS OF SRILANKA and..........A GRIM (GRIMM! GETIT?) FAIRYTALE .....SRILANKAN OF COURSE! Gyan Fernando's Revision of The Mahavamsa


No 1: King Yassalalaka Tissa 52- 60AD

King Yassalalaka Tissa was a notable idiot in Srilankan history, and particularly so since he was the King! One wonders about the intelligence of the proles that he ruled over!

Sometime into his reign it suddenly dawned upon him that he had a remarkable resemblance to the palace gatekeeper.....(probably a bastard half brother!). The idiot, i.e. The king , thought this was hilarious! Anyone else would have been worried about this but not our friend ! He decides to change places with the guard. Good fun!..(Ha!Ha!)...or so he thinks!...

Predictable results follow: Guard sitting on throne sees King (now the guard) laughing. Has his (the King's) head off . Guard continues to rule.....The populace accepts this!..... If you don't believe this read the Mahavamsa. Will fill you on the exact details in a later revision of this page.....

There seem to be a lot of gullible morons called Tissa in Srilankan history! If there is anybody called Tissa out there in Sydney, Australia who is not a moron please e mail us! Send testimonials!

No 2: King Sirisanghabodi 247AD-249AD

...a short reign but that is not surprising.... it did rain..get it? on!

This guy was no doubt a pious guy and a general decent bloke but he lost his head..literally!.... no big deal you say ..lots of Kings and Queens have lost their heads you say. Yes they have but this guy scored a spectacular own goal. Yes he did.. he cut his own head off and gave it to a guy who offered him food...The king was on the run at the time (which explains a lot!) and there was a price on his head ...get it? head! Get it!....He wanted the guy who gave him food to collect the bounty on his (here we go again) HEAD!

Incidentally, if you are going to decapitate yourself what is the point of eating beforehand?

On a previous occasion when there was a severe drought in the country the idiot king heard that peasants were dying. He lay down in front of the Great Stupa (temple) and resolved not to get up unless it rained so much that he could float in the water. Fortunately it rained..all over Lanka but not enough to float the King..His counsellors (sic) panicked and shut off all the rainwater sewers so that the idiot could float!....... He could have drowned!

He seems to have been an utter whimp: At the news " The rebels have risen.." "the king had the rebels brought before him but he released them again secretly". What a prat!

When a Yakka (demon) terrorised the country the King embarked on a hunger strike!

Finally the king's treasurer, a guy by the name of Gothhabahya, had had enough and rebeled against the King. The King ran away (predictable!) and offered his head to an unnamed bloke in return for a meal or meals . The unnamed bloke took the head and collected the bounty in gold. When the rebel Gothabhaya was presented with the head he was amazed (at this display of idiocy, no doubt) but paid up and gave the now headless king a decent funeral!

What a way to run a country!

No 3: er! that's all for the moment..but no doubt there will be one along in a minute.......


A Grim Fairy Tale......
Unmâda Chitra or Hot Nights and Grappling Irons....
This fairy tale has got all the essential ingredients for a fairy tale except fairies (they didn't tolerate no fairies those days!): A King, various busybodies, assorted nasties and a beautiful Princess and her lover! Oh, and there is blood! Plenty of it....and heads (decapitated, of course).
Remember Red Riding Hood and the Paedophile wolf. Both Red Riding Hood's grandmother and the wolf were slaughtered. Plenty of blood!..Grim!
This one is from the Mahavamsa and well before the Brothers Grimm. It is about an ancient king of Srilanka by the name of Panduvasudeva and his beautiful daughter Unmâda Chitra. The king had ten sons and a daughter (No family planning those days). The youngest was the daughter-Chitra. Busybody Brahamens foretold that "Chitra's first born son will kill his uncles". Good start this. Predictably, the brothers wanted Chitra killed. Nip it in the bud, they thought. The oldest brother was now an honorary king and running part of his dad's kingdom. He was presumably not too worried about this business and said no! As a precaution though, he had her locked up in a turret with the only entrance through the king's bedroom. As an added precaution he employed a hundred security guards.
The Face That Launched..
Chitra was a bit-of-an-allright and the pejorative Unmâda means Maddening (to look at). She was not going to stay in that turret and waste her life! Girls need a bit of fun. Her cousin, Dighayugamini heard about her beauty and that she was a bit-of-an-allright. So he got a job at the Royal Court. A bit of nepotism there. Chitra saw D. Gamini through the turret window and asked her maidservant who that tall handsome bloke was. Your cousin, she said. Wow! she said (Chitra,that is..)..! The two women plotted. In the middle of the night, more or less in Rapunzel style, D. Gamini threw a grappling iron through the window and with the help of the maidservant climbed in. He remained till dawn indulging in a bit of How's-Your-Father with Chitra. He became a regular visitor. Predictably, with all this nocturnal activity involving grappling irons Chitra got preggers and eventually the maidservant had to inform the Queen. All hell broke loose. The brothers wanted the baby killed if it was a son! Typical. Chitra plotted with the maidservant and arranged to swap babies with a local woman. It will cost you a bit Dahling! One thousand coins!? One Thousand, and up front please dear! No credit please dahling!

Babies are born. Chitra gets a boy, the other woman gets a girl. Babies are swapped. (How all this was done without the brothers finding out is not clear. Presumably, the brothers were utter thickos.) Brothers are happy! We've got a niece they said. Isn't she nice they said....
Where are the gory bits then?
In the next episode......CLICK HERE
The ninth chapter of the Mahavamsa ends here which I thought was a convenient break...

©Copyright Gyan Fernando 2000


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