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Yong-le: Year 9, Month 6, Day 16

6 Jul 1411

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The eunuch Zheng He and others, who had been sent as envoys to the various countries in the Western Ocean, returned and presented Ya-lie Ku-nai-er, the captured king of the country of Sri Lanka, and his family members. Previously, He and the others had been sent as envoys to the various fan countries. However, when they reached Sri Lanka, Ya-lie Ku-nai-er was insulting and disrespectful. He wished to harm He, but He came to know of this and left. Ya-lie Ku-nai-er also acted in an unfriendly way to neighbouring countries and repeatedly intercepted and robbed their envoys. All the fan countries suffered from his actions. When He returned, he again passed Sri Lanka and the king enticed him to the country. The king then had his son Na-yan demand gold, silver and precious objects, but He would not give these to him. The king then secretly despatched over 50,000 fan troops to rob He's ships. They also felled trees to create obstructions and impede He's route of return, so that he could not render assistance. He and the others found out about this and they gathered their force and set off back to their ships. However, the route had already been blocked. He thus spoke to his subordinates, saying: "The majority of the troops have already been despatched. The middle of the country will be empty." He also said: "Our merchants and troops are isolated and nervous and will be unable to act. If they are attacked by surprise, the attackers will achieve their purpose." Thus, he secretly ordered persons to go to the ships by another route with orders that the government troops were to fight to the death in opposing the attackers. He then personally led 2,000 of his troops through a by-path and attacked the royal city by surprise. They took the city and captured alive Ya-lie Ku-nai-er, his family members and chieftains. The fan army returned and surrounded the city and several battles were fought, but He greatly defeated them. He and the others subsequently returned to the Court. The assembled ministers requested that the king be executed. The Emperor pitied the king for his stupidity and ignorance and leniently ordered that he and the others be released and given food and clothing. The Ministry of Rites was ordered to deliberate on and select a worthy member of the family to be established as the country's king in order to handle the country's sacrifices.

Tai-zong: juan 116.2a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 12, page 1477/78

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Preferred form of citation for this entry:

Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, Singapore: Asia Research Institute and the Singapore E-Press, National University of Singapore, http://www.epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/reign/yong-le/year-9-month-6-day-16, accessed November 18, 2017