‘Ira Handa Negi Rata,’ by the late Sinhala scholar Arisen Ahubudu,
“LANKANS ORIGINATED IN AFRICA” Research will prove it, says Prof. Deraniyagala!
Sri Lankans had originated from a group of Africans who had migrated
to Asia some 13 million years ago PROF. SHIRAN DERANIYAGALA
More archaeological research would be conducted this year to verify
the origin of the Sri Lankans, who are now believed to have arrived
from Africa, said the former commissioner general of archaeology Prof.
Speaking yesterday during the launch of the book ‘Ira Handa Negi
Rata,’ by the late Sinhala scholar Arisen Ahubudu, which is about the
history of Sri Lanka, Provincial Minister of Health Udaya Gammanpila
presents the first copy of the book ‘Ira Handa Negi Rata’ to Mrs.
Sanda Ahubudu during the book launch. he said that Sri Lankans had originatedfrom a group of Africans who had migrated to Asia some 13 million
He said the one group had migrated to Europe while another had come to
South Asia and eventually to Sri Lanka which had been attached to
India at that time. He said Beli Lena in Kitulgala and the Fa Hien
Cave were physical evidence of these and that the history of this
country went back further than that recorded in the Mahawansa.
Prof. Deraniyagala said Anuradhapura had been in existence long before
the days of Prince Anuradha who is said to have founded the ancient
city. Recalling the research done during his days at the Depar tment
of Archaeology, the former commissioner general said evidence of an
ancient city had been found during the excavations done at that time.
He said that Anuradhapura must have been a trade hub even before the
arrival of Vijaya.
He said future research would uncover more interesting points and
would take the world by surprise.
The hypothesis that the Sinhalese race did not originate from the
Aryans would be proved before long said Power and Energy Minister
Patali Champika Ranawaka speaking during the launch of ‘Ira Handa Negi
Rata.’ He said the theories posited by great scholars like Mr. Ahubudu
would be proved soon.
He explained that several excavations that had been made in locations
such as Wilpattu some years ago had uncovered physical evidence that
the history of the country went back to before the time of Prince
Vijaya and Kuveni.
However, he said, the story of Vijaya may have been true as the
location where Vijaya is said to have landed in Wilpattu is close to
Anuradhapura. “Vijaya could have observed Anuradhapura from a hill in
Wilpattu,’ he said.
He said that flying machines had existed in Sri Lanka even before the
Wright brothers flew their machine which was said to be the world’s
first airplane. He said the plane which the Wright brothers built was
not technologically advanced.
Referring to the flying machine “Dandu Monara” that is referred to in
the Ramayana he said that it was possible that a magnetic vor tex was
used to operate this machine. “If the Wright brothers used a simple
device as a flying machine couldn’t it have been possible for the
ancient Sri Lankans to have used magnetic vor tices for their flying
machines?” he asked.
Provincial Agriculture Minister Udaya Gammanpila said ‘Ira Handa Negi
Rata’ was written to fill a great void. He said there was no Sri
Lankan version of the Ramayana though the story is par t of the
history of this country and Ahubudu had filled the void by writing
He said he had once asked Mr. Ahubudu why there was no Sri Lankan
version of the Ramayana and Ahubudu had assured him that a book would
Threnody for Arisen Ahubudu
Threnody for Arisen Ahubudu
By Kalakeerthi EDWIN ARIYADASA
Ahubudu's policy was not to shine personally but to pave the way for others to shine.
He would fain be the stone that sharpened the wisdom of others.
- Prof. Nandadasa Kodagoda
Arisen Ahubudu's words were lyrical. In his behaviour and subdued demeanour, he was a living poem.
His presence was as appealing as a sonnet. His politeness and humility together - were an echoing song.
His total being was a reverberating ode to the land, to the language and to the nation. Given such a background, Arisen Ahubudu's passing, calls for a profound threnody.
To, those who knew Arisen Ahubudu intimately, he was a rare human product. To many who had only a public view of this person, he was material of legend. Arisen Ahubudu went about in his business of living, like a docile lion, ever ready to roar, if and when needed.
Of those living today, I must be the only individual who knew him over the longest period of time.
Circumstances made this possible.
He was born just a couple of years before I did. His birth place, Mudillagahawatta, in Koggala, Malalagama, is just a couple of kilometres away from my own home Unawatuna.
Strangely enough, it was at Unawatuna, he had the office of his Hela Havula organisation, which earned name and fame for Arisen Ahubudu. This is not all. Arisen Ahubudu and I were both co-teachers at Mahinda College Galle, for a brief while.
The super-force that totally transformed Arisen Ahubudu, was the pervasive influence of the language revolution, ushered in by the personality and the philosophy of Munidasa Cumaratunga. Early in life, Arisen Ahubudu was involved with the thinking of the spell-binding guru Munidasa Cumaratunga.
Everywhere in human society, the rebellious streak is an irreducible component of the youth-mind.
The youthful revolutionary ardour, can travel many paths.
In Sri Lanka, in the youthful days of Arisen Ahubudu, this revolutionary fervour manifested itself in the form of a frenzied dedication to language reform.
In the cult of Hela Basa, (Pure Language) the High priest was Munidasa Cumaratunga. In the proliferating swarms of Cumaratunga's disciples, creativity flourished at an astonishing rate. Their output was massive.
In the early forties, the Hela Havula office in Unawatuna, was a veritable “Temple of language and culture.” Arisen Ahubudu resided there. It housed the family printing press as well. Young people were drawn to it. With all the objectivity I can master, I must aver, that, the widest spread Language Reform Movement in Sri Lanka, was unleashed by this Hela campaign.
The total dedication of the Hela enthusiasts to this revolution of language and culture, was borne out by the zeal with which the followers of the movement discarded their names and adopted new versions.
Under the direction of guru Munidasa Cumaratunga, the youthful disciple altered his name who Arisen Ahubudu, from the original form Ariyasena Ashubodha. As I see it, this zest for name-change, was symbolic of a re-incarnation.
Of all the disciples of guru Munidasa Cumaratunga, the most prolific, was of course Arisen Ahubudu. He said his say in a vast variety of formats - plays, poems (epic and otherwise) short-stories, children's tales, controversies, message poems. Even at a simple domestic get-together, he would express his sentiments in a stanza or two. Poems, he has written for me, at personal meetings and at book-launches are numerous.
What is endlessly surprising is the quality of composition of even the simplest lines he penned. Impressive imagery came to him as a matter of course.
It is apt, at this point, to ramify into a personal note. When his Hela Havula flourished in the close vicinity of my home, many friends of mine came under its spell. Anadapiya Kudathihi (George Kudachchi in pre-Hela days) Reggie Weeraman are two among them.
From early on, I held the view that altering language usage artificially was not the right thing to do. The aura of associations that accumulate around words, over long years of use, acquires a sacred quality. Harming that sanctity, by introducing neologisms arbitrarily to my mind, was a cultural and linguistic violence.
Though I was not part of the main Hela Movement, due to that entrenched conviction within me, I benefited vastly from Arisen Ahubudu's Hela presume in Unawatuna. I studied notes by guru Cumaratunga, even more profoundly than his devoted disciples, as I was keen to be properly equipped for the youthful polemical encounters we constantly held, on issues of language and culture. In later years I came to admire Arisen Ahubudu, for his unswerving loyalty to the Hela cause. While others deserted the movement, he remained as firm as ever. His contribution to Sinhala literature, is of mythical proportions.
With the passage of time, Arisen Ahubudu developed a passion for all that is indigenous. He held the view that most linguistic usages and age-old cultural practices originated in Sri Lanka, and spread abroad, through a process of cultural diffusion, which he strongly believed in.
Arisen Ahubudu survives in Sri Lanka, in yet another unparalleled manner. He has named more than 10,000 persons and a large number of institutions and enterprises.
These will contribute vastly towards this perpetuate of his memory.
The Arisen Ahubudu Foundation must set about the task of bringing out a comprehensive collection of his works.
It will proclaim the legendary quality of this gentle human being.
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