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.
"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.