Kuveni’s curse still potent

The legend chronicled in the Mahavamsa says that Prince Vijaya landed in Lanka on the Vesak day that the Buddha died – generally accepted as the full moon day of the year 503 BC. Vijaya was treated extremely well by Kuveni who reigned in the area he landed – Thambapanni, near the present day Chilaw.

She saw to it that his 700 accompanying men were given food, shelter and clothing. She is said to have presented herself as a very beautiful young girl, the craft of witches known by her. This cat does not accept that bit of fluff. Kuveni must have been attractive and a Cleopatra and Mark Antony romance would have blossomed.

Crafty Vijaya knew he had to win her to win a home for himself and his men. Extending her hospitality, she invited Vijaya who was now her consort to reign her region inhabited by the gothra clan – the Rakshayas - one of the three that held rights over parts of the island. This clan were the metal smiths of the time, while the Devas were administrators, and Naagas carried out tasks delegated to them.

The Rakshayas were angered by Kuveni, so fearing them, she had Vijaya’s men destroy many of her clan. After a while, tables were turned. As is the case with men, Vijaya tired of his aging woman. Wanting an Indian princess to start his dynasty, he banished Kuveni from her home and so she went into hiding in the jungle taking her two children with her.

She cursed Vijaya that no child of his would ascend the throne. She most probably cursed the land too. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! She was not welcomed by her people and her end is not definite. She is said to have been killed by her clansmen, while another sad ending is that she committed suicide by throwing herself off a rock. A story told when Menika was very young and easy to frighten was that the ghost of Kuveni haunted the Vanni and would be found crying while seated on a boulder of considerable size along the road from Anamaduwa to Puttalam in Thonigala, which she traversed while holidaying in Anamaduwa, long, long ago. Many were the nights when after dinner with her elder relative’s friends in Puttalam, the journey to Anamaduwa was negotiated in pitch darkness with the car headlights marking elephants and deer on the road; no ghost atop a rock, however.

The above narration is because more than one bana preaching Menika gave ear to on Vesak day mentioned that with the threefold significance of the full moon day of May in the life of the Buddha, it also marked the beginning of the Sinhala race. That is a bit farfetched since Vijaya had no children by his Indian wife and the two children he did have with Kuveni were lost in the jungles of Sabaragamuwa. It was the son of Vijaya’s twin brother Sumitta who came to Lanka and reigned as Panduvas Deva and the line passed onto his grandson Pandukabhaya who ruled for 70 years (437-367 BC) and moved the capital to Anuradhapura and was grandfather to Devanampiya Tissa.

The curse causes new trouble

Another relevance to this cat is that the curse of Kuveni still seems to actively reverberate in this Island home of ours. The curse seems extra virulent on the yahapalanaya crowd - poor Blues and Greens. Otherwise, how explain the floods last year, the terrible drought this year, the pestilent JO shouting here and the JVP vociferously nitpicking over there. In addition, the almost daily protests coming close to violence and the cursed strikes.

Curse of strongmen

The latest curse is the curse of security personnel. This curse is manifested now by our ex Prez, MR. He had a hundred plus security persons around him, not counting the numerous vehicles that accompanied him. Forty men were withdrawn. Shouts, protests and brickbats lugged at yahapalanaya. Fifty more were withdrawn. Before the JO shouts could reach a crescendo, they were apparently reinstated. By whose orders people ask. Why had a sensible order to be cancelled? Why admit wrong by doing this? We the people can only shrug our shoulders and intone: What to do? But, we smell a traitorous, treacherous rat.

We cheered on 3 May when forty and then fifty were reduced because MR certainly does not need a hundred and more officers in his security posse. The simple reason why we were glad of the reduction is that if he is so popular and loved by ordinary citizens, the masses including us, as he and his purplish sychophants say, he could go anywhere in the island unescorted and still be safe and sound.

The fear is an LTTEr will do him in. But, how can such an assassin pass through the entire ecstatic throng of doting admirers that gather around MR when he appears in public? They will tear such an intruder with evil intent to bits. Also, the number of security never saved a VIP destined to die by bullet or knife

Now this security reduction was manna to a starving JO left with nothing to shout about, except of course SAITM – a whipped-to-the bone issue. So Wimal Wee waxed extra eloquent on the disrespect, disregard and revenge shown by the yahapalana bods to an ex Prez. The rest huffed and puffed and pontificated. Then the shouting ceased. The withdrawn security was reinstated. Looks very much as if one of the yahapalanaya's biggest bigwigs seems to have a rahas understanding with MR.

Only in this false paradise do such inane happenings occur. What this cat says is: reduce MR’s security and let those released carry out more needed civic duties to benefit all. If there is a mole loyal to MR in the yahapalanaya fold, (because of self loyalty and self preservation in politics) – expose him/her and let those who voted for a change in government from oppression and fear to freedom and democracy know who is betraying them. What people who wanted a change voted for is not forthcoming like catching the thieving rats and punishing them. The present government has done good, no denying that, but it looks as if one mole is scuttling the ship and not keeping promises. A government high-up by day and a borukaraya by night!?

We’d like to know, or better, there should be no traitorous shenanigans.

- Menika 

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