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Veera Puran Appu
Born Veerahennedige Francisco Fernando
(1812-11-07)November 7, 1812[1]
Uyana, Moratuwa, Western Province, Kingdom of Kandy[2]
Died August 8, 1848(1848-08-08) (aged 35)[1]
Bogambara grounds, Kandy, Central Province, British Ceylon[2]
Cause of death
Executed by the British by firing squad
Residence Ratnapura, Sabaragamuwa Province
Nationality Sri Lankan
Other names Puran Appu
Francisco Fernando
Ethnicity Sinhalese
Occupation Political, Economic and Social revolutionary
Known for A leader in the Rebellion of 1848
Home town Moratuwa, Western Province, Sri Lanka
Height 5ft 7½ inches
Spouse(s) Bandaramenike (1847)[3]
Children One daughter[3]
Parents Kalistoru Fernando (Father)
Madam Helena (Mother)[2]
Relatives Marcellenus Fernando (Uncle)
Gunnepana Arachchi (Father in Law)

Weerahennadige Francisco Fernando alias Puran Appu (Sinhala:පුරන් අප්පු) is one of the notable personalities in Sri Lanka's history. He was born on November 1812 in the coastal town of Moratuwa. He left Moratuwa at the age of 13 and stayed in Ratnapura with his uncle, who was the first Sinhalese proctor, and moved to the Uva province. In early 1847, he met and married Bandara Menike, the daughter of Gunnepana Arachchi in Kandy. He was captured by the British after the failure of Matale Rebellion along with Gongalegoda Banda and Ven. Kudapola Thera. He was executed by a firing squad on August 8, 1848. His body barred in Matale.

The Hero[edit]

He is the only personality to emerge from Sri Lanka's history, clad in the garb of folk hero. He rose from among the common people And he dared to challenge the mightof British Imperialism at its peak of power and glory during the Victorian era[4] On 28.07.48 Puran Appu led an attack on Matale. This was successful. However, the other leaders who attacked Kurunegala and Wariyapola failed. Governor Torrinton in a letter to Earl Grey, the Colonial Secretary in London dated October 9, 1849 “I remind you of the last words of Puranappu. He held up his hands and said if there had been half a dozen such men as me to lead, there would not be a white man living in the Kandyan Province. This is true. If there had been such leaders without doubt for a time we should have lost the country.”[5]

His Legacy[edit]

Francisco (veera puran appu) attended the Wesleyan school in Moratuwa and was a very mischievous boy. After a fight and thrashing the village headman named Lakshapathiya, he fled from Moratuwa in 1825 at the age of 13.[3] He traveled about the country, mostly the hill country – Haldummulla to Badulla and other places. his uncle W. Marcellenus Franciscu Fernando,was the first Sinhala Proctor who had a flourishing practice at Ratnapura and in 1840 Francisco stayed with him[6]

It was at this stage of his career that he headed a band of outlaws and initiated a reign of terror against European planters and officials in Uva, much to the delight of the people. His daring exploits against the white men soon made him a legendary hero in the tradition of Robin Hood.[7]

He was now convinced of the necessity of driving away the British from the country in order to emancipate the people from the hardships and humiliations they suffered under the foreign yoke.[1]

With this end in view, he conferred with the Sangha of Mahiyangana and Muthiyangana who pledged him their support. This was in 1845. About this time he encountered romance and lost his heart to a highland lass, Bandara Menike of Harispattuwa whom he married in 1847. She bore him a daughter. Francisco was now called Purancisco or Puran Appo. (Puran Appu). He broke into House of Magistrate Dawson of Badulla and was imprisoned and then broke prison. He cursed Major Rodgers who brought a false charge against him and Major Rodgers was struck by lightning in Nuwara Eliya.

The Gazette notification by the Colonial Secretary, Sir Emmerson Tennent on January 1, 1847, offered 10 pounds for his apprehension and described him as follows

“Perangappo originally of Morette, lately of Kandy, trade – unknown, caste – fisher, aged 34 years, height 5ft 71/2 inches, hair – long and black, eyes – light hazel, complexion – light, well looking, make – well made, stout, marks of punishment on the back and 4 vaccination marks.[8]

James Alwis writing in 1876 of the events of 1848 in the “Ceylon overland Examiner” states that Puranappu or Veerahennedige Franciscu Fernando was of the Karawa caste “in whom a bold and daring disposition was combined with a strong and healthy constitution.”[9]

After three weeks of preparation in the early hours of July 28, 1848, a crowd of eight to ten thousand men under Puranappu’s leadership armed with guns, spears and knives set off for Kandy from Dambulla.

The plan was for Puranappu, Gongalagoda Banda and Dingirala to go in three different directions then meet at Katugastota and attack Kandy on Sunday, 30 July.[10]

Puranappu’s army first attacked Fort McDowl in Matale. Government buildings and property were ransacked – kachcheries, jails, rest houses and court house records. The coffee stores of Lieutenant General Herbert Maddock, a key adviser to the Government in Kandy was set on fire. Puran Appu was successful in capturing Matale for a while and the people in another demonstration of popular fervor, proclaimed him King of Kandy.[11]

The memorial monument built for sri lankan hero puran appu.jpg

His success, however, was short-lived. An ill-trained army, equipped with primitive weapons was no match for the superior arms and organisation of the British Half-way between Matale and Kandy, the Sinhala forces, depleted by desertions and their movements betrayed by traitors, were intercepted by British troops and Puran Appu himself was captured and taken to Kandy. With his capture, the Rebellion fizzled out.

Brought to trial before a Court Martial, he was found guilty of having waged war against H.M. Queen Victoria and condemned to be shot.[12]

On August 8, 1848, on the banks of the Bogambara Wewa, Veera Puran Appu was executed.

See also[edit]



Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puran_Appu — Please support Wikipedia.
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60 news items


Fri, 19 Dec 2014 02:50:50 -0800

That's not how it works! jacke. That's funny Stef. Stef Papenfuss. Imagine if Appu sledged Homer :). WestIndianblogger. I hope you don't mean Puran Appu. The ONLY noted personality from SL obviously, apart from the Rajapaksa brothers. WestIndianblogger.

Colombo Gazette

Colombo Gazette
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 23:52:17 -0800

MR Mahinda President Mahinda Rajapaksa has offered reassurances that his government will peacefully hand over power in the event of a possible defeat in tightly fought upcoming elections in January, as he seeks an unprecedented third term in office.
Daily Mirror
Wed, 08 Oct 2014 18:42:41 -0700

We are not judging Sri Lanka; our attempt is to evaluate the extent of Sri Lanka's compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), said UN Human Rights Committee chairman Sir Nigel Rodley yesterday, when concluding the ...
Sunday Leader
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 12:47:36 -0700

Following our last week's expose on how Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) continues to give railway track reconstruction tenders to foreign companies for a higher price when SLR workers have the potential and the expert knowledge to construct the same work for ...

The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

The Sunday Times Sri Lanka
Sat, 07 Jun 2014 13:07:38 -0700

Moratuwa Arts Forum (MAF) together with the Mayor of Moratuwa Municipal Council, Samanlal Fernando will present 'Poson Bekthi Gee Saraniya' on June 12th, Poson Poya day. The event will be staged at the Weera Puran Appu Sqaure which is directly ...
The Island.lk (subscription)
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 12:52:30 -0700

The Kandyan Kingdom went under British rule in 1815 and by 1816 they wanted to return to Sinhala rule. From 1816 to 1848 there were at least a dozen attempts to get rid of British rule. These are well reported in the British documents. There was open ...
the Diplomat
Tue, 25 Mar 2014 00:59:29 -0700

They will go into our history books along with Valagamba, Gamunu, Devanapiya Tissa, Veediya bandara, Keppetipola , Puran Appu and many others whose blood we share. You say Rajapaksas are Stupid, hey, who died in the black lagoon. That was your ...
Sri Lanka Guardian
Sat, 17 May 2014 11:47:31 -0700

As much as the great kings such as Mayadunne, Rajasingha I and Vimaladharmasuriya, it is necessary to also recall the great heroes such as Keppettipola and Puran Appu who fought with such valour against imperialism. In looking at this unconquerable ...

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