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'The Guns, Thank God, The Guns,' Needing 'a Good Guy With Gun, To Stop A Bad Guy, With A Gun'

Colombo Telegraph

22 January 2013

Relevant contents

…Relevance to Sri Lanka

How is this relevant to us in Sri Lanka? Readers may not realise, but our country is a flood with weapons of all types. At the bottom of the pyramid are the country-made pistols – the 'galkatas'.

Made in the smithys in our villages – the traditional 'Kammalaya' by the 'Kammal-karaya,' the baas of the smithy and his 'golayas,' apprentices. This single shot weapon is a direct descendant of the 'Gingal,' a weapon the Kandyan irregulars used against the European invaders into the Kandyan Provinces, also a product of the Kandyan Kings Royal Armoury.
Geoffrey Powell of the Green Howards Regiment of the British Army, in his well-researched book the 'Kandyan Wars,' records the ambushes mounted by the Kandyan irregulars using Gingals, on the soldiers of the Howards and other regiments, on the jungle tracks on which the soldiers had to move single file through dense forests, in their many abortive invasions of the Kandyan Kingdom.

The Kammala also produces the deadly trap gun, which is illegal, placed on animal tracks in forests, which a trip wires which fires the weapon. I have seen people's legs shattered and blown off by this deadly weapon, which unfortunately remains the weapon of choice of the average Sri Lanka poacher. Innocent people collecting firewood or bees' honey in the forest have to have their legs amputated, due to a poacher placing a trap gun on the track…

ID: N685

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