Madduma Bandara – This child hero in Sri Lanka is known as a National Hero for his bravery! He showed his heroism to the world at the young age of nine. His brave words and his heroic act gave our nation a cause to be proud, proud of their ‘Sinha’ blood.
Madduma Bandara was the second son of Ehelapola, who was Minister to Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, the last king of Ceylon [Now known as Sri Lanka]. The king suspected Ehelapola of scheming to usurp the crown, which was a serious allegation. Ehelapola fled to the English to seek refuge. The king in his anger, sought revenge, by ordering the Ehelapola family to be killed. The order was executed on May 17, 1814.
The King ordered that the wife of Ehelepola, her children and a brother of Ehelepola and his wife to be beheaded. The Ehelapola family had 2 sons, the eldest being Loku Bandara & the youngest being Madduma Bandara.
They were brought to Bogambara by the King’s men. It was Madduma Bandara’s elder brother who had to face death first. But he dared not to come forward instead ran to the mother and hung on to her Saree. Seeing Loku Bandara’s fear, Madduma Bandara came forward and said,
“Aiyandi [Brother Dear], do not be afraid. I will show you how to die.”
He imperiously ordered the executioner to cut off his head saying,
“I am ready, cut my neck in one attempt.”
The moment his head touched the ground, a national hero was born; A hero who will live in history for centuries to come. Later, after several deaths and riots, the King was slaughtered by the British [English] & Senkadagala [The Place where the King ruled] was captured in January 1815.