The Sunday Leader

The Chootivamsa

Crew of painters touching up the Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka in preparation for the Vesak Poya festival. Photo by Kamerakata

If there’s a document that explains Sri Lanka today, it’s not the Constitution, it’s the Mahavamsa. Perhaps the chronicle of this era will be called the Chootivamsa.
The Rajapaksa dynasty emerged in the 21st century, unifying the island of Lanka.

Competing noble families ended with weak female or homosexual heirs while the Rajapaksas produced three strong brothers. They seized control of the country and defeated northern rebels who had foolishly angered the Indian dynasty that once occupied the island. The southern Rajapaksa family produced two generations of plentiful male heirs. They held the title of ‘President’, roughly equivalent to king.

This saw the resumption of ancient history, briefly interrupted. This history began with the Mahavamsa in 500 BC, the Culavamsa in 500 AD and the Chootivamsa in 2000 AD. Barring a 500 year colonial interruption, this history of Lanka has thus been rewritten every thousand years, including right now.

Indian invasion has been constant in this history. In the Chootivamsa, internal rebellion was fomented by the Indian Nehru dynasty until that ended with the death of their last male heir. The regency of an Italian female provided a respite during which Mahinda Rajapaksa took power. The power of the South Indian kingdom was contained within a Northern dominated Indian Empire. Left with only internal rebellion, Mahinda and his brothers conquered those rebels with support from the Chinese Empire.

In 1435 the Chinese Ming Dynasty burnt all its shipyards and retreated inward, beginning the inevitable colonial interruption. After experiencing a brief, violent paroxysm (like India and Lanka) China resumed stable dynastic rule around 2000 AD. They supported Mahinda with weapons and funds while the Indian regent remained on the sidelines.

Lanka then emerged as a stable kingdom balanced between the powerful empires in India and China, all of which emerged out of their colonial interruptions around the same time. South Asia resumed the broader strokes of history after 500 years in the European history books. All retained European technology, including elements of democracy.

The dramatic structure of the Mahavamsa, however, continued as if it had never stopped. The King remained all powerful, though in this case he was called the President. Mahinda V lost the stable Anuradhapura kingdom around 1000 AD and Mahinda won the stable Sri Lankan state around 2000 AD.

Power resumed its family/caste structure and male heirs remained vitally important. Mahinda V became Mahinda. Andaré (the jester) became Mervyn Silva. Feudal lords became ministers. Ministers gave tribute in the form of votes. While the language of democracy remained, much was lost in translation. This kingdom was for all intents Sinhala though Tamil and Muslim ministers received similar resources.

The era from 2000-3000 AD was effectively the age of hybrid democracies, more Singapore than Classical Athens (500 BC). These stable authoritarian states retained the technology of democracy but less of its spirit. They were, however, deeply integrated into global finance. This technology provided predictable checks and balances without threatening older dynastic trends. This global order — including media and technology — provided rising standards of living for all. Beneath the personal technology, however, was an ancient social order.

Rulers were not necessarily dynastic, but they usually were. This is dynastic in the sense of stable, internal transfers of power. Private property was less powerful than intellectual property, enabling party-based dynasty. While party brands were strong, family brands were often stronger. Under more and more technocratic rule, India effectively became a constitutional monarchy headed by the Nehru family, like the United Kingdom. A vital democracy brewed within its constituent states. Chinese communist rulers became a third and fourth generation elite.

In Lanka, Mahinda VI had enough male heirs to produce two generations of stable prosperity. Situated on the titanic fault line between India and China, however, things eventually began to move.

37 Comments for “The Chootivamsa”

  1. Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Is this guy the best columnist of his generation in Sri Lanka or what?

  2. Truth!

    Well spun story!!

  3. I should have written this! ;)

  4. CheeLanka

    Trust a little choo kolla of a columnist to come up with a yarn like this! Having said it (sorry, couldn’t resist that jibe), I like it very much.

  5. Ranbanda

    Good one. A minor correction; there are four Rajapakse brothers, not three, even if Chamal Aiya is low, don’t underestimate his clout.

    • Dictator

      Actually there are around 9 siblings in the whole family, these are the only four that decided to get involved in politics.

  6. Ranbanda

    Chamal aiya is low-key I meant to say.

  7. HoraBoru Silva

    Very soon , I wonder if people will even consider these Horapakses as worthy leaders…forget about everything else..They are blatantly robbing and killing in this country…hiding behind their power and greed…Shameful Choo-pakses,

    • HIran Kulatilake

      Your name suits you! Not that you dont understand but you refuse to understand the real state of affairs of the other countries!

    • kaju

      True! the way the king and the family including his majestys great ministers like Hora Nimal siripala, Sajin vaas rob the country sooner entire GDP of this country will be theirs. What a King! Unfortunately for the king he may not know the people of this country are far ahead of him! and consider him and his fellow aids as jokers and thieves!

  8. Bruz

    Very interesting indeed.Lovely collection of thoughts. Only a few get ideas like this.
    Bravo Indi.S !

  9. izzy

    By the way where is Andare (Merv the Perv) ? He was reinstated by the King recently, but keeping a low profile these days! Maybe, it is part of the big drama??

    • kaju

      Andare did a joke but the King thought it was real. In the end the king understood this and played the joker himself!

  10. Sri Lankan

    Why is “m” used, not just here, but by the so called “elites” when writing these book names? I.e. “mahawamsa” instead of “mahavansa” as we normally pronounce it in Sinhala?

    Not blaming Indi here because this is a very common practice. Just wondering what its origins are.

  11. Names are not paten right & Mr.Premadasa onward we know your act.

  12. Anupriya

    this is gold!LMFAO.

  13. Suwimal

    Isn’t there an influence of Arab on mahinda dynasty? like Ali “Baba and Horu hathaliha”

  14. Dilshan

    Can’t help but get the feeling that the writer is slightly jealous or (irritated) that the
    hambantota godayas keep coming up with the goods… eh?? like,,,,”How dare they do so well what my uncles could’nt do” or is it just my imagination running wild??

    • there is a degree of that, even subconciously

      • Dilshan

        appreciate your honesty, for some of us who cannot leave the country or dont want to, this is my country, this is my president elected by majority of “my” country men, regardless whether I voted for him or not, its problems are my problems and I keep hoping for the best.

  15. In this story was the astrological predictions also taken into account???

    • kaju

      Yes.Because the country is governed not by law and order but by Astrological advice! And astrologers are having a great time like in the old days! thanks to our beloved King!

  16. Ram

    Srilanka belongs to Rajapaksa, his family, friends and his servants.

    If anyone is not happy to serve the Monarchy as slaves then they will be punished by torture and then will be killed and buried in a mass grave. This also helps us to control the Srilankan population and help to rapidly develop the country.

  17. Robert

    Congratulations to the author! Nothing like humour to put things in perspective. I like this. Hopefully one day we can buy the “Chootivamsa” at Vijitha Yapa?

  18. MR

    Mouthpiece of c. fundamentalists entertaining t. & LTTE terrorists.
    MR

  19. garawi

    Whoever the writer is do not belittle respected books like Mahavansa and Chulavansa. This guy has no respect to Sri Lankan history.

    • Ruwan Ferdinandez

      Just take it easy, he’s got a job and he has to write something to entertain his ‘cheap-fun’ fan base.

  20. Anslem De Kretzer

    Indeed, Mahinda is fit enough to be a king. He unified this god forsaken country amid all odds from all fronts. I would kindly request all you pervs to draw your memory back not longer than 02 – 03 years, the time when any body walked out of the house there was only a 50% chance of him / her coming back home alive. Thanks to Mahinda & the security forces we are a free nation today. It is quite pathetic that all you losers are forgetting all this and trying to score points by slinging mud at the government. I do not blame anybody for taking a tough stance against traitors such as Lasantha, the Maharajahs and the homosexual outfit of Ranil, Mangala, Lal Weerasinghe and so on….. Long live my president and your family…….the majority of the country is with you.!!! down with the rest of the trecherous individuals……..The writer included

    • I Hussein

      Anslem, All peace lovers in this country are indebted to MR, SF and the security forces – no doubt. MR did a wonderful job as the leader which others couldnt do. That doesnt mean that MR is given 007 license to do anything he likes.
      You sound vulnurable and so defensive. How dare you insult the opposition leader and late Lasantha with such ‘titles’
      You say that you dont balme anybody with ‘tough stance’ against Lasantha, so you confirm that ‘anybody’ murdered him?

    • Lasantha Perera

      I love you Anslem. A true Sri Lankan spirit.

    • kaju

      Yes the great king pardoned one time enemies like Karuna and KP and gave them ministries. But the “General” who fought the war was not pardoned! What to do? Kings wish. We believe the great king will relieve us from poverty and injustice. When he come from UN raoring like a lion with his “small” deligation he will make steps for that! Long live the king!
      p.s. 50% chance is bit aggravated! besides the war could have finished erlier if leadership was there! MR only provided that. That doesn’t mean he should be the president forever or rob the public money as he wish!

      • Karuna was not only pardoned, but was issued a forged passport in another Govt. official’s name and sent to UK to see his family, who were living as refugees.
        UK authorities caught him and sent to prison there.
        Shame on SL govt.

  21. Hope

    A very nice and true piece…. But we all hope that there are brave enough people to start the fight back and win a democratic war to save Sri Lanka from these goons!

  22. SLFOOL

    This is the best peice of comedy I’ve read in a long time!

  23. pappamamma

    Chootivamsa? What an insult to Buddhism. Where is DM Jayaratne, sleeping? Wake him up and tell him to take the matter up like he did with the buddha restaurant.

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