Truth about changing Muslim name …
Akbar Town’ — Sinhala ‘Enderamulla’
It was revealed by some social websites through a certain piece of news which which tantamounted to a provocative piece of news and some protest was in the offing. It was about a Sinhala town being changed into a Muslim name according to a gazette notice. It was explained thereby that under cover of reconciliation a minority group of people were reaping benefits from this
The cause for this hulabaloo was that the town called ‘Enderamulla’ belonging to Mahara domain was changed to ‘Akbar Town’. It nevertheless is true that such a change has occured. But the manner in which it has been interpreted of course has some blemish involved in it. The area known as Akbar Town is the town adjacent to Enderamulla. Sinhala people as well as Muslim people both live close to these two towns and are mixed together, more or less.
Areas were determined recently based on provincial council elections and were publicised after demarcating borders or limits of towns and villages; subjecting those for necessary amendments. As its results, borders of old historical towns were changed and there were instances where inhabitants in those areas were not pleased with such changes effected in certain regions. It was through this procedure that Enderamulla – Akbar Town had been taken together. In this context the Enderamulla domain was separated in two sections as East and South and the area of Akbar Town too was amalgamated in the process. Together with this procedure, steps had been taken to give it the name Akbar Town.
The name Enderamulla began to come in force for that city because of shepherds who looked after cattle of King Kelanitissa when the latter reigned at that time. The cattle had gone to bathe and to have their food to the area known as Gopangithota lying closeby. The name Akbar in fact was given in memory of a Muslim who lived in that area. People of Enderamulla have said that he was a notable wealthy individual who lived there and that he had maintained cordial relationships with all communities in that locality.
Though townsmen of Enderamulla displayed some uneasiness some days ago about Akbar Town being named, after matters were explained, relevant authorities had agreed to take measures to rectify previously-quoted conditions in future and this issue was finally brought to a settlement; as such, since the problem was amicably brought to a close, all members of the public there now live in peace.
About 7000 families who live in Enderamulla are Sinhala, Muslim and Catholic devotees and all lived in co-operation. A certain inhabitant in Enderamulla who expressed his opinion in this respect to the media said: “Now public maintain the same co-operation they had before. If that was not to be … there could have been a big problem. About this change of name … not only the Sinhala folk, the majority of Muslim people living in Enderamulla too were against it. We know that most Muslim folk too are against mentioning the name Akbar Town. It’s because a lot of people living in Akbar Town are addicted to drugs. When outsiders hear that name … they look at it from a wrong angle. Therefore, nobody likes that name being used. People got agitated. It’s justified. Authorities should understand it. There were unanticipated problems that began to emerge then. There wasn’t any problem like this before. In the year 1989 the northern division of Enderamulla was made Akbar Town. What is stated in the gazette of 2015 is Pinnawala West and East. Enderamulla East, West and Akbar Town were amalgamated. These three divisions were joined and were named as a separate division. Since there are three Enderamulla divisions, one area was called Enderamulla. As I see, the blunder has occured there. This situation arose when that separation took place across the demarcation commision. At the beginning we also got the jitters thinking that this change was effected because of the influence of somebody. But no such thing happened. This wasn’t an issue which sprung up among communities as such. Some people tried to create such a situation. We have come to know that the Minister concerned has made a promise in this respect … that this condition would be changed”.