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National Hero who Awakened a Nation launched

A writer with SLEDB has authored the first bio on the young folk hero whose swift execution in July 1915 triggered Ceylon's three decade-long independence struggle culminating in the 1948 independence -and eager Lankan readers were seen queuing for a copy of new historic bio at the launch of 08 July. “Henri Pedris’ death was proof that Sri Lanka’s struggle for independence was not a ‘bloodless battle’ as widely speculated. Long before the independence struggles were brewing in our neighbouring countries Lankan freedom fighters such were already staging rebellions by 1794” revealed Upul Galappaththi (Author-Sinhala language version of ‘Edward Henry Pedris – National Hero who Awakened a Nation’ on 08 July.


Galappaththi was addressing the launch event of the Sinhala and English versions of the book ‘Edward Henry Pedris – National Hero who Awakened a Nation’ at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on 8 July under the auspices of HE the President Maithripala Sirisena. Upul Galappaththi, the author of the first comprehensive Sinhala version of Capt. Sinhala version’s author Galappaththi is a Press Officer with the Export Development Board. The English version was authored by the commissioned veteran journalist, Charnika Imbulana. Many eager readers were seen queuing and snapping up copies of the new bio at the launch event of 08 July.
The first Sinhalese person ever to be executed in the name of Sri Lanka's national independence struggle, Capt. Edward Henri Pedris, a Captain in charge of City Protection Army who rebelled against the British rule, was suspected for spying (on the British administration) for Germans during World War I but never proven. He was executed on 7 July 1915 on trumped up charges of shooting at a crowd. His execution -and the display of his blood soaked chair to then imprisoned leaders of the freedom fight such as F.R. Se­nanayaka-was said to be the 'trigger event' of a three decade long Ceylonese independent struggle that would finally culminate in the 1948 independence for Ceylon.

“Henri Pedris’ death was proof that Sri Lanka’s struggle for independence was not a bloodless effort as widely believed” said author Upul Galappaththi, and added: “Long before the independence struggles were brewing in neighbouring countries around 1800s, Sri Lankan freedom fighters such as Sinno Appu were already staging rebellions by 1794. The last in the series of local heroes to be executed was Henri Pedris and this execution led to the start of freedom struggle that led to the 1948 independence. In fact, Pedris’ story was the guiding light even for Sir John Kotalawala, the 3rd Prime Minister of Ceylon.”
"Everyone says that Ceylon easily won its independence in 1948 without shedding a drop of blood. This is a myopic view" said Charnika Imbulana, the writer of the English bio, and added: "The Ceylonese under British subjugation fought for over a century through rebellions that met with only failure and a sea of blood. At the turn of the century emerged a young educated brood, offspring of eminent families –our hero Pedris.”
Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, the prominent Buddhist monk, also addressed the 08 July book launch event.

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