The First War of Unification in Sri Lanka: A Critical Analysis
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The war fought between King Duttagamini and King Elara in the 1st Century BC was commonly known as the first war of unification in Sri Lanka. Until then, the country has not been referred to by the historians as a single sovereign administrative unit. There were many power pockets operating from various parts of Sri Lanka. However, Mahavamsa -the chronical which was written a few centuries after the war of unification- attaches favorable prominence to the victory of Duttagamini against Elara. This historical episode has been interpreted by several historians for diverse objectives in the passage of Sri Lankan history. Moreover, this war of unification has been misconstrued by many as an ethnic conflict which escalated between the Sinhala and Tamil races. After a thorough perusal of facts and figures relating to this research, it is evident that this military offensive was solely prosecuted with the motive of unifying this island. The aim of this compilation is to justify the fact that this venture was to be treated as war of unification and not as an ethnic conflict while critically analyzing each stage of the Elara-Duttagamini war. This paper is compiled with employing secondary data. Books, research papers, journal articles and e-articles are used as secondary data.