Astonishing Fact Behind the 1000 Rupees Note
How many of us know that the elephant printed with a man wearing a
cap near it, appearing on the 1,000/- rupees notes, has an astonishing
story behind it?
Every one of us familiar with the Rupees 1000/- notes for its size,
colour and so on, will not know about the factual story of the elephant
and the man with the cap near it, printed on the 1000/- rupees notes
that are now in circulation in SriLanka.
Can anyone imagine that the elephant and the man wearing a cap near it
are from the eastern province, and the man is a Muslim? Yes, they are
from the eastern province. The man is Umar Lebbai Panicker from Eravur
in the Batticaloa district and the tusker in the note was caught in
1925 in the Eravur forest and reared by him.
It is said Umar Lebbai Panicker presented this tusker to Dalada
Maligawa and within a short period, it escaped from there, and went in
search of him to Eravur. He brought it back again and handed over to
the Dalada Maligawa.
His Excellency President late J.R. Jayawardene in order to honour the
long services of the tusker, had declared it as a national asset in
1984. This tusker named as Raja adored the Esala Perehera processions
in Kandy and thus became national fame and honoured nationally.
After this, the government in power then, decided to honour the person
who presented this elephant, to the Dalada Maligawa, by printing the picture of
him, with the tusker nearby, on the notes of rupees 1000/- and the
village Eravur was thus honoured by this action.
The tusker Raja that served in Dalada Maligawa and brought fame and
honour not only for itself, but also to the person who presented it, to the
Dalada Maligawa, and the village Eravur, finally died on July 15, 1988
after serving 50 years in the Maligawa.
"Panicker "is a name given to people who catch elephants in the
forest, rear them and sell to people involved in business,
transporting or carrying very heavy materials and things. Their
decedents are still identified as "Panicker Thaththi" or "Panicker
Kathara"in Eravur. There is a road in Eravur known as 'Panicker Veedy'
named after their name.
Taken from other web site