1915 Riot against Muslims, recalls an incident by Mohamed

1915 riot against Muslims in Ceylon, during the time of British Ruling and 1st world war. Bring to mind an episode by Mohamed, which was taken place in Colombo. This experience was narrated to him by his Grandpa.

My Grandparents were residing at Maradana Colombo, where they had Sinhalese and Muslim Neighbors. During the riot days my grandpa’s house was occupied with most of his Muslim neighbors and their servants (most of the servants were Sinhalese girls), as his house had enough space.  They have gathered there for shield.

His next door lived a Sinhalese family who were aware that crowd of other Muslim neighbors as well inside the house.

The next door Sinhalese family had assured him that they will look out every thing and asked to keep the Doors and Windows locked and to pretend there was no one in the house. 

Next day morning they heard turmoil out side the house that a group of rioters were trying to break the house. At once they heard a voice that was neighbors. Who’ve said “it’s a Sinhalese people’s house, they have gone out station and she is in charge of this house” then that group had left the place.

Later they have found that rioters were not from Colombo they were from Wanawasala.

When he gets a released from this shock, another problem had occurred. His wife was expecting and it was time for her Delivery. But there were no one in the house who was experienced in Midwife work.

He didn’t have any other options; he had left the house on searching for a Midwife. It was not a time to leave the house.

While he was walking along the Maradana Main road, he had seen that Henry Pedirick was leading a crowd on a horse back. And many Muslim dead bodies of Men and Women and he had witnessed group of rioters were looting the shops.

Suddenly some one had held his hand from behind and spoke to him in a surprised, why he was here at this time. He had asked “Mudalaaly, where are you going at this time, are you crazy to come out at the time like this” He was a Sinhalese person known to him. Then Grandpa had taken him to a corner and described the situation. Then he had told that it will be a difficult task to get a midwife at this hour, he had assured that he will try his level best. When they go on searching on the way they have found a woman who was capable of handling this work. At that time she was busy with looting.

This Sinhalese guy had gone near to her and asked her to attain the matter, and had assured that she’ll get a big sum. But she was not told that she was going to attend a Muslim family. 

At the same time the Sinhalese guy had told grandpa not to let her know that he is a Muslim till reach home. He thanked him and went with the Woman.

When she was entering she found that it was a Muslim house. She wanted to scream. Grandpa had taken a knife and threatens her not to fuss over, he had asked to attend the matter with good care, he’ll allow to go. She had attended the matter, a baby boy born.

After completing her work she wanted to leave the place, but Grandpa had not allowed her, as it will be very dangerous. She was asked to stay without any harm, till the situation calm down. 

The Riot had continued for three days without any law and order. British had to bring another troops to control the situation. This situation finally controlled with the help of a foreign troops.

After three days the woman was allowed to go without any harm and with a big sum.


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