16 April, 2024

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Caste Is Alive & Well In Jaffna: Nayanmarkattu Hospital Perspective

By Samson Gnanaharan Ponnuthurai

Samson Gnanaharan Ponnuthurai

Background: Caste in Jaffna

Caste is integral to the social fabric of Jaffna society. Vellalas at the apex and in control of narratives deny it because its very existence shames Hindu society. Others below Vellalas and educated enough to fight caste join the Vellalas in denying its existence today because they hope one day to pass off as Vellalas and have no interest in identifying their caste and diminishing their status in society. So, the caste system is protected, intact and in good health.

The purpose of this article is to gain insight into caste examining the caste battles in Nayanmarkattu which is east of King Changiliyan’s palace, a part of a neighbourhood where every street was reserved for a caste. The main Vellala Street was Chemmany Road running East-West through our home and hospital. The name Chemmany, derives from red sand, chem-munn, where the King  killed and spilt the blood of his son and nephew for converting to Christianity. Our house and our hospital at the centre of this story, are on Chemmany Road.

True, today the nexus between caste and profession is gone as many of diminished caste enter the university and the professions. Where those of higher caste go west, it is to countries like the US and Canada where they buy houses and settle down, tying up their salaries in mortgages. When the lower castes move west, it is to countries like Germany, France and Switzerland where instead of investing in houses in their new homes they do in the community they abandoned. They save and send their money to smuggle in relations and invest in land in Jaffna where they build concrete houses, usurping properties reserved for Vellalas.

Nayanmarkattu Ayurvedic Hospital: The First Encroachment

There is evidence that the Nayanmarkattu Ayurvedic Hospital is the oldest hospital in this island. It has been in existence from the time of our kings. The Jaffna kings have backed and supported this hospital. The physicians, my ancestors, were the physicians of the kings. An appellate court judgement says, “One of the Tamil Rulers of Jaffna, King Pararajasekaram, was so much interested in the development of the Indigenous System of Medicine that he constituted a Vaidya-Sangam. This Sangam had as its members very eminent medical men, from both South India and Ceylon.”

According to the same judgement, the founder of the Nayamarkattu hospital was Mr. Vettivelpillai in 1838. He was succeeded by Mailvagana Pandit to 1875 who erected the hospital in stone.

A landmark was when Sivasubramania Pandit, my great-grandfather took over in 1911 with land donated by his brother Mailvagana Pandit for himself and his heirs and was appointed the Trustee and Hospital Superintendent. 

Sivasubramania Pandit took the hospital to great heights  as both physician and surgeon and was recognized a Vaidyapathi and subsequently as Vaidyaboopathi by the Tamil Vaidya Sangam of Madras. The court noted in admiration his knowledge of both Eastern and Western Systems of Medicine.

In 1911 the two brothers Subramaniam Pandit and his brother Mailvagana Pandit converted this 4 acre land on Chemmany Road into a trust property. Their sole intention was that this hospital should provide free medicine for the poor community. 

Those were different times with different mores. My Greatgrandfather’s Trust deed dated 1915 specified that only Vellalar can be in the administration of the Hospital and that Pallar could only be labourers at the hospital. Members of  other castes like Paraiyahs, Nalavahs and Karaiyahs were prohibited any form of work at the hospital.  The Trust deed also said the administrator ought to be a person who was twice-born, effectively one who had undergone the Saivite rite of theetchai; effectively a Vellala.

According to the trust deed, the Nallur Kovil Mudalali, the Sattanathar Kovil Mudalai, the Sivan Kovil Mudalali and the Veerakali Kovil Mudalali are some of the trustees. Dr. Ramanathan was a trustee of these Temples.  The Sivan Kovil and its adjoining lands belong to the hospital trust.

Dr. V.S. Ramanathan (13 Nov. 1904 – 28 Oct. 1948) who was educated at St. John’s College Jaffna died prematurely at the age of 45, unfortunately of cirrhosis from his prematurely at the age of 45, unfortunately of cirrhosis from his habit of drinking at Bastian Restaurant with his Johnian classmates. He had married my grandmother, Dr. Kamala Ramanathan (DoB 12 Dec. 1907) while studying in India. She was a Christian, a matter that would play a significant role in this Saga.

After the early death of my grandfather, my grandmother tried to run the hospital. Ramanathan’s step cousin  (Mylvaganam’s son through his mistress, Ehambaram by name),  was living on hospital premises. Ehambaram and his brother issued death threats to my grandmother. I have a copy of her complaint to the police about this and requesting that her late husband’s gun licence be transferred to her.  On 23 Feb. 1952 while her children including my mother were at school, my grandmother was found murdered. With her untimely tragic death of my grandmother Dr. Kamala Ramanathan, the hospital went into the hands of unqualified people. They looted the hospital as well as the house of my grandparents Dr. and Dr. Mrs. Ramanathan.

Sivasubramaniam Pandit

The looting of our house reminds me of what people say even today of the dispossessed castes  looting King Changiliyans palace after he was defeated by the Portuguese. It s said that most of those living on the king’s lands today have no deed even to this day. However, the owners without deeds are so important in society that they ensure that the lands go to the government and nothing is done to excavate the palace grounds which surely are a repository of our rich heritage.

The people who encroached on land after the death of Dr. & Dr. Mrs. Ramanathan successfully filed a case claiming the hospital but the appeal was dismissed by our Supreme Court in 1978 saying this is a private trust property as distinct from a public trust issue. The family says the case was argued by Arunachalam Mahadeva at one stage. Since Sir Aunachalam Mahadeva died in 1946, the lawyer was perhaps his son.

Resurgence of Caste: Low Caste Assertion

During and after the war, taking over lands belonging to others is common in the North because owners had gone abroad. Many lawyers are helping with such fraud. It is interesting to note that the Pallas of Nayanmarkattu became immensely powerful because during the LTTE era when the dreaded Pottu Amman, the Head of Prabhakaran’s intelligence Unit, was a Nayanmarkattu Pallan. 

Even today Pottu Amman’s people have threatened a man of their tribe who drives a trishaw for a Vellala of Nayanmarkattu. His trishaw was stoned and damaged. Finally the army forced the St. James’ Church rowdies who had earlier scratched my new motor bike to repair the damaged trishaw. Similarly, when a Palla started an affair with a Paraiyah girl,  there was a stone throwing battle between the castes in 2004 as to which caste was higher. At St. James’ Church Nallur, when a dominant Paraiyah caste Warden (elected Elder) filmed a girl of the church while she bathed in 2011, the parish initially refused to discipline the Warden and was finally forced to. The church rowdies vote en mass at the AGM to defeat those who ask for discipline.  On the day of the AGM, those who rarely come to church, come and are able to outvote qualified others in favour of illiterate low-caste candidates. A person caught cooking up bills at the YMCA and was terminated, likewise became a St. James’ warden. Caste is alive and well, especially in church.

Resurgence of Palla Power: Second Attempt at Takeover

I am writing this article based on today’s (30 July 2023)  opening of the Bharathy Community Centre next door to me on land belonging to a trust established by my family but illegally taken over in defiance of court orders. As the lower castes, now in majority especially at Christian institutions,  take over Vellala rights seeking upward mobility, they seek the help of others for endorsement. 

Jaffna Vellalas will not help. So they seek the assistance of other in-between castes such as the Karaiya (fishing caste) whose status is ambivalent as they are ritually inferior but not financially dependent on the Vellalas and ofen equally powerful. The other group prepared to help are politicians who are desperate for votes, especially lower caste votes. The best for this purpose are people from the Karaiya i.e. coastal or fishing caste.  

The people dominating our area are the Pallas, who are labourers working for Vellalas. They are now powerful as many of them smuggled themselves abroad to countries especially those in Europe and sent home large sums of money to buy land once owned exclusively by Vellalas and have built concrete houses. The tension is evident in a Vellala selling her land next to her to another Vellala at a reduced price telling the buyer that a Palla from France is offering big money and it should not be sold to him.

Therefore when the Pallas of Nayanmarkattu made their second attempt at taking over our land declared as my family’s by the Supreme Court, it was to marginalized leaders that they turned. Two persons are acknowledged by the Palla leadership as helping them take over the trust land breaking the law. They are C.V.K. Sivagnanam (former Municipal Commissioner from the LTTE times) whose claimed status of good caste as a Kaikula is not accepted by Vellalas. He is a strange bedfellow of former Mayor Emmanuel Arnold. Sivagnanam according to Federal Party Sources objected to Arnold being Mayor because he is a Karaiya Catholic and for the same reason he also objected to Cyril a Member of the Jaffna Municipal who is a close in-law of Arnold’s. Another person is said to be former Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. 

The foundation stone of this newly constructed library building on our land building was laid by former mayor E. Arnold on 21.01.2019. Former MP Saravanabavan granted 2 million rupees under GAMBERILIYA scheme for this illigal construction. I believe he was surely targeting the vote base for the elections even though he lost. Even in his speech at the opening ceremony on 30.07.223, Mr. Sarvanaabavan concluded , that if he is elected to parliament again he would do many wonders for the Palla people. That sounded like desperation for re-election from a Vellala.

Given these sorry circumstances, those billed for the opening of the new library building with foreign money were Governor Ms. P.S.M. Charles from Batticaloa as Chief Guest. She I am afraid is unaware of all dimensions of the social fabric of Jaffna. Then there was former Mayor Emmanuel Arnold hoping to fare better at the next elections, the Ven. Parimala Selvan (the Anglican Archdeacon of Jaffna) who is a priest at St. James’ and as a Karaiya is trying hard to muster favour with the lower castes even trying to rename Chemmany Road as Nayanmarkattu Road. There was also Municipal Commissioner Jeyaseelan now resettled in Vadadamarachy with little known identity. But that does not escape the people of Nallur because in the days of government blackout his home was in Sellar Veethy a Pallar Domain in Nallur from where he came to study at St. James’ Church which provided lanterns to the local children  without lights. Besides them, everyone on stage was a member of the local Pallar community. 

Mrs. P.S.M Charles who was expected as Chief Guest after being alerted to the fact that this newly constructed building is an illegal construction and she was being used to legitimize the illegal construction, stayed away from attending this opening ceremony. I believe she also instructed the Commissioner too not to attend even though he was eager to help his Pallar Community. 

From the day this new construction began, I kept writing to the mayor, the Commissioner, the director of UDA, the GA , and the District Secretary requesting information under the RTI Act, to figure out how permission was granted to this illegal construction. The Municipality & the UDA are utterly corrupted. The people who are holding office are politically appointed. When a poor man wants to construct a building on his own land, many questions ared and finally his request is turned down, because you need to bribe the people at the municipality to obtain approval. But here the land belongs to a public trust  and yet the approval was easily granted. 

The officer who is in charge of the community centres at the municipality, who was also one of the special guests in today’s function, Mrs.Malarmagal Thayaparan, said in her speech, that she is in charge of the lands of the community centre and if anyone encroaches on a land for more than 10 years the said land belongs to that person. She does not seem to know the law. May be she too is a politically appointed person.

It was also interesting to listen, the Archdeacon of Jaffna (Colombo Diocese of the Church of Ceylon) shouting “Ohm Shanthi, Ohm Shanthi” in his speech. I wonder what kind of theology he was taught by the Anglican Church, and I feel sorry for the students for whom he is teaching theology in Pilimatalawa. When God visits heart attacks on church leaders, is it for the sin of appointing blasphemous leaders like this Archdeacon?

Worst was one official Mr. Umashankar who in his speech promised to get rid of anyone complaining against the building. It was a shameless and lawless public threat not to complain of the building or else!

Reversal of Caste Hierarchy

How did the entire government machinery save Goversor Charles collapse in the face of Palla attempts to make their illegal construction lawful? Why did the UDA give permits to this illegal construction when it is so strict with legitimate buildings> Did anyobe pressure the UDA? Was it their compatriot Why did failed politicians come forward to make the building look legal? Why did the Anglican church also fall in line to make it legal?

Is caste coming back with a reversal of hierarchy?

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Latest comments

  • 7
    3

    A fascinating read. It is sad though, that caste barriers still exist in a part of Sri Lanka that has such a glorious history and has produced such outstanding men and women.

    • 8
      2

      Pundit,
      Caste barriers still exist in many parts of Sri Lanka, India and even in the western countries where they migrated from these countries. This is not only among Jaffna Tamils but also from Sinhalese as well in different scales. It is easy to describe in an article but it is very difficult to handle when it comes to individuals. For example, if you are a well educated boy from a rich family fall in love with a girl and when it comes to marriage if the parents and his relatives threaten to suicide what can the young boy do? It is easy to say go with the girl but is it ok to him loose their parents?
      Even if the law say it is a crime to discriminate but even the law can’t interfere in personal matters or money can change the implementation of law.

  • 6
    1

    Caste Is Alive & Well In Jaffna: Nayanmarkattu Hospital Perspective

    In an emergency, all look for blood nothing else, God ( all are equal ) has linked people with the blood but people have separated. The caste system is not just a social evil, spreads inequality and social injustice

  • 7
    16

    Any one still in favour of more devolution to the North (or even beyond that) after reading this article?

    • 15
      5

      LJ,
      Did you read this article below in CT? Are you saying that after this article you will not think of development of this country? Devolution of Power is necessary to save all the North East Tamils from Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism. Tamil Nadu which has more caste problem than the caste problem in North Sri Lanka is a devolved state in India.
      It looks like you want to keep Tamils as a second class citizens Under Sinhalese rule?

      “The Caste Based Culture Is Still The Key Obstacle For Development In Sri Lanka“.

      • 3
        13

        Ajith:
        While there is a caste issue in the South, isn’t what you have in the North of an entirely different magnitude and scale?

        • 15
          5

          LJ,
          Do you know when the North East was ruled by LTTE (Prabhaharan, Poddu Amman), there was no caste problem? Almost all of the Tamils accepted LTTE leader Prabhaharan as their national leader. Still Sinhalese are not prepared to accept Sajith Premadasa because of his caste. It is the high caste Buddhist Sinhala are a barrier for system change, not the Tamils.

          • 5
            8

            Ajith,

            ‘Do you know when the North East was ruled by LTTE (Prabhaharan, Poddu Amman), there was no caste problem? ‘
            .
            Nonsense. There was no casteless intermarriage during that time, caste differences were still there but nobody dared to show them in public. The official LTTE line was that there was no caste but caste is not that easy to erase. Did you know that it even seeps into Christianity? The South Indian Bishops have always been Brahmins and some S Indian cemeteries have separate areas for the burial of low castes.

            • 4
              4

              Probably, REFRACTED vision of the Vikings!!!

            • 3
              5

              S
              You are much closer to the truth than A who likes to glorify the LTTE whenever he sees a chance.
              Caste was alive and well under the LTTE. “Private temples” in several villages practiced exclusion by caste. The LTTE did nothing.
              The LTTE had to tolerate the ‘untouchables’ as there were essential for fighting the civil war. Given their number their representation in the leadership was pathetically low.

          • 3
            10

            Ajith: “Still Sinhalese are not prepared to accept Sajith Premadasa because of his caste.”

            I am a Sinhalese and this is the first time I am hearing this. Do you forget that Ranil (Govigama caste) lost to Sajith in the last general election and the latter is now the opposition leader? Do you also forget that his father, who was of a lower caste, wore the national dress and wasn’t good in English, defeated Mrs. B., an aristocratic Kandyan, in a Presidential election? In contrast, Sajith wears western dress, speaks good English and is far more educated than his father. If people reject Sajith at future elections, that won’t be because of his caste.

            This false assertion is a figment of your imagination.

            • 6
              2

              LJ,
              How to get attracted to our people with near-zero political literacy:

              You don’t need to study rocket science, if you’ve been steeped in that political culture for long enough, you’ll be familiar with them (Mahinda Rajapakshe is the best example to that)

              1) No matter what caste you are born in, if you wear rope-sized pirita string or other showpieces around the wrist. And pretending that you love Sinhala-Buddhism above your family, you should be able to wear rings, finger rings, wristbands etc. to show that you are more superstitious than other leaders. “Samantha Badda” style large chairs should be selected to stand out and sit in your body language.

              2) Whether you are a contract killer (eg Mahinda Rajapaksa) or anyone else, wearing white is very prominent in Sri Lankan culture. As Hirunika Premachandra once clearly stated, women should cover up more and wear sarees.

              3) You should be able to have dirtier terms in your vocabulary that are used for famous stories that can go viral, like top chart landing songs and song lyrics.

            • 5
              1

              LJ
              Caste based resentment of Premadasa was there among the likes of Lalith and Gamini who had been personally offensive to him.
              But the public was more welcoming of the man. The mass following of the UNP owed much to Premadasa. There was a time when he was closer than JRJ to Dudley.
              Sajith despite his education is not a patch on his father for political skill.
              Incidenally, Premadasa’s victory over Mrs B was assisted by the JVP which threatened people against voting in crucial districts where the UNP was unpopular.
              A Jaffna Tamil Vellala person may turn a blind eye to the caste of a Sinhalese, but not of a fellow Tamil.

        • 10
          3

          We all know that you are a Chingkalla Christian racist, ironically with a family name commonly found in Kerala, which was Thamizh a few centuries ago and parts of Thamizh Nadu. Proving really from where your family actually originated from a few centuries ago. Just like the other one, Thambi Mudaliyar with the same family name as yours. You and the dearly departed one with the same family now beating the anti Thamizh drum. Maybe you are both related too, after all he came from a Christian family too. Instead of being concerned with caste practice of certain individual Thamizh both low and high caste and using that as a feeble. excuse to justify and perpetrate the discrimination of island’s Thamizh by the racist Chingkallams, the Chingkalla Sri Lankan state, the armed forces, and the establishment, why don’t you concentrate on elimination caste differences amongst the Chingkallams which is even worse. In my opinion the Chingkallams whilst pretending to be not caste conscious are the biggest discriminators when it comes to caste.

          • 11
            3

            Thamizh people do not have religious order based on caste like all the Chingkalla Buddhist orders are. All caste based. No low country high born or low caste will ever be elected to be the Mahanayake of the Malwatte or Asgiriya chapter or even as one of the trustees, or Diyawadane Nilame. Remember how the Mahanayake’s protested and demanded only a Kandyan upper caste should be the governor of Central province and the government meekly obliged to this horrible request, from so called Buddhist monks. Thamizh do not make such stupid request, not that any of their requests will ever be listened to. Chingkallams elect leaders and MPS on the basis of caste and no low caste Chingkallam or a Christian Chingkallam can ever aspire to be a leader. Premadasa was an exception, and he was soon bumped off to the other world and the blame as usual conveniently laid on the LTTE. Thamizh people will elect and select leaders not based on caste, religion or even ethnicity but on their ability to serve and lead them. No Thamizh leader belonging to a minority religion, is forced to convert to Hinduism in order to lead the Thamizh. Chellanayagam, Naganathan Sumanthiran were /are all Christians, and this is not an issue. Prapakaran did not belong the Vellalar or Brahmin caste but from a ritually lower caste the Karaiyar.

            • 11
              2

              MGR one of the most beloved leaders in Thamizh Nadu was a Malayali and not a Thamizh and yet the people loved him for who he was. Look at the Thamizh cinema, TV and other industries, it is full of non Thamizh, yet Thamizh people allow them to thrive as they recognise their talents and abilities.

              Similarly, Thamizh, especially many of their women have dominated the Bollywood Industry and other fields in north India and other states. Look at all the marriage columns and you can see Chingkalla parents only demanding spouses for their offspring either from their own caste or higher and if they say caste immaterial it means in 90% of the time, they are not being liberal minded but cannot afford to be choosy as there is a scandal somewhere. Thamizh also do this but they, then do not pretend they do not and after the LTTE and in the western diaspora caste factor is fast breaking. First go and correct your own home before coming to preach to others and justify their discrimination and oppression by the Sri Lankan state because of caste discrimination. Then Chingkallams also do not deserve anything or all Indians and south Asians as they all practice caste discrimination, including in Islamic Pakistan and Bangladesh.

              • 5
                10

                Rubbish PK. Caste, bank balance, fair skin, professional, dowry – all these are of great importance to Tamils both Hindu and Christian. This applies to the Sinhalese too but it has been softened by the gentle effect of Buddhism. For hardcore casteism look no further than the Tamil.

                • 9
                  1

                  Svenson

                  Read this from a matrimonial advert:
                  “Academically / professionally qualified in Accounting or Finance. Kind well mannered daughter below 27 years not taller than 5’4″ is sought by Sinhala Catholic/Buddhist Govi parents for their 27 years old, 5’4″ son in a prominent European country, (BA in Accounting and Finance, UK, MSc in International Accounting and Finance, UK) Currently an Accountant in a European Trans National Company. Inherits assets in Europe. Religion and cast immaterial.”

                  What does this advert say about Sinhala/Buddhism?

            • 7
              1

              PK,
              “Remember how the Mahanayake’s protested and demanded only a Kandyan upper caste should be the governor of Central province and the government meekly obliged to this horrible request, from so called Buddhist monks”
              My take is, “that was a GRAND PLOT” by Master Strategist Trinity Rugger Scrum-half par excellence, Tikiri Marambe to become Governor of CPC, his much loved home state!!!??? Nothing wrong and most suited person!?
              Not action of Saffronite Army!!?

            • 5
              4

              “Thamizh people do not have religious order based on caste “
              That is a jolly good one
              Tell us another one
              just like the other one, you!

        • 6
          9

          LJ,

          ‘While there is a caste issue in the South, isn’t what you have in the North of an entirely different magnitude and scale?’
          .
          Absolutely true but they will never admit to it.

          • 4
            1

            S
            Much of the caste structure is related to production relations.
            Colonial rule altered production relations more significantly in the coastal region than in central high lands, and much more than in Jaffna.
            Govi domination was reduced by the impact of an assertive Karawe elite. Then the Salagama and Durawa castes rose in urban societies. (But the Bathgama were held back and so were other service castes like Bera.)
            Nothing to match happened in Jaffna. The grip of the Vellala on society outlasted independence.

    • 14
      2

      Samson Gnanaharan Ponnuthurai.

      I can’t understand. You mention so many names and castes that is impossible to distinguish between them. It is also impossible to understand your assertions : You are against caste, but seem to want to preserve the lands and trusts that your Vellala ancestors possessed, and are upset that hard-working lower castes are buying them up.

      But isn’t that a good thing in modern democratic society? I would say that if these people do buy up these lands and trusts, won’t it even-out the caste system and remove it altogether so Tamils as a race can have some dignity and greater unity?

      If Vellalas are caught up in the West, establishing themselves into the Western financial system, and therefore have no money left to give to Jaffna and its people, why deny the other hardworking castes the right to lands belonging to their ancestors and race?

      • 7
        2

        It’s like that older guy who wrote about the Tamil politicians hoodwinking the Tamils people for political gain when working with Sinhalese politicians.

        On one hand he wants greater help from the Tamils themselves, for his Tamil people. Yet when one is in full agreement with him, he immediately starts a caste narrative about the Vellalars being on par with Sinhalese with Bengali blood, with the other non-Vellalar casts not having this.

        Isn’t he proud of being Tamil? I would have though 100% Tamil blood was the benchmark for Tamil pride. Guess he want the high-casts of both races to lord over the “lower” castes. That’s his idea of Island unity.

        Trouble is, this does not cut well with our Sinhalese who do not have much of these concepts in them. If they do, it is because they can’t help but be affected by this constant Tamil obsession- but it is still a lesser issue for them.

        Very strange, demeaning, and detrimental set of circumstances for the Tamils. If our Tamils are serious about their autonomy, they have to remove out of their heads, the psyche and memory their old people’s notions.

        • 5
          4

          Trouble is, this does not cut well with our Sinhalese who do not have much of these concepts in them. If they do, it is because they can’t help but be affected by this constant Tamil obsession- but it is still a lesser issue for them.

          Grandma, are you saying that the Tamils’ obsession for Tamil Language is much more superior or elevated to the Sinhala Catholics’ inclination for “Radala Sinhala Buddhist obsession”? Then that something interesting! Take care!

      • 10
        1

        Ramona,
        “You are against caste, but seem to want to preserve the lands and trusts that your Vellala ancestors possessed, and are upset that hard-working lower castes are buying them up.”
        We are on the same page for once. Even I wondered what the complaint was.

        • 4
          1

          “We are on the same page for once.”

          Great minds think alike!!!

    • 7
      4

      Leonard Jayawardena,

      Isn’t for that(to bring out that question) Basil started this caste series in the middle of Economic Crime for investigation is registered in Geneva, under the code of Resolution 50/1. You proved it is worth for the candles the old gentleman wasted in the time of power cuts.
      Jeyawewa Lankawe Mahata!

  • 5
    2

    What is the “CORE” problem ‘ESSENCE’ with this transaction? IF AT ALL, THERE ARE MANY??
    The very basic point, which was discerned (or ‘MY TAKE IS’) from this discourse by the Author is,
    1. Arbitrary and illegal/illegitimate ‘permission’ granted by UDA – build on the site – ‘TRUST PROPERTY’ – according to the article, permission NOT SOUGHT or GRANTED by ‘TRUST’!?
    2. Therefore the Building is illegal and should never have been built, in ‘FIRST INSTANCE’!!??
    3. That CONCISELY is a VIOLATION of the LEGAL STATUTE of this country!!!???
    4. Whether, the Building was ANOINTED with the ‘BLESSINGS’ of the Arch Deacon of St. James is of no consequence!!!???
    5. It’s Irrelevant, Pallar, Pariah, Nalavar, Karaiyar, Vellala attended – NO CONSEQUENCE!!!???
    6. Gist that remains to be dealt with is whether, NP and Jaffna Peninsula, which has been long INSULATED from the SUPERIOR mental Rationality benefitting the CORRUPT ATTITUDE coupled to ILLEGITMACY and ACTIONS befitting of ‘THIEVING’ LEGITIMATE PROPERTY by DWELLERS OR CITIZENS “who are not the rightful owners of the Property” as in the SOUTH!!!???
    7. Has this malpractice which is RAMPANT IN THE SOUTH Sri Lanka, finally PERVADED, become now the ‘STANDARD PRACTICE’ of the Northern Sri Lanka too??
    (TBC)

  • 4
    2

    (Page II)
    8. There isn’t need to bring caste issue, as CRUX of Issue/Matter is LEGITMACY OF BUILDING!!?
    9. This practice of Legitimising an Illegitimate “OCCUPATION” is RAMPANT in the SOUTH SL, alongwith ‘Casteism’, (Matrimony Advertisement) which proclaim the existence, ‘LOUDLY’!?
    10. In similar but different scenario in Politics, there was a
    a. Religious celebrity, who was ‘anointed’ – meaning RECOMMENDED – by then POLITICAL HEAD of “Nation State” presumably at a PAPAL AUDIENCE – combined visit, as a consequence elevated to a higher position as the ‘Head of the Flock’!!!??
    b. The Religious Head was totally misinformed and misled, consequent to an ILL-FATED NATIONAL MISHAP/DISASTER, to validate/enable sibling of this Political Head to be elected to Top Office – 2019!!
    c. The Religious head implored his ‘Flock’ to vote for the political head and his sibling, seeking re-election!!
    d. The flock did adhere ‘EN MASSE’, elected sibling as requested, who relinquished office prematurely!!!
    e. After the sibling vacated office, the religious head came to know or REALISED as many in the flock as to the Misdemeanour committed by the Political Head and his sibling to attain No1 position!!?
    f. Then this religious Head, started a CHAGRIN of “former ‘beloved’ POLITICAL HEAD”!!!???
    (TBC)

  • 2
    2

    (Page III)
    Why first of all the religious resorted to obtain favours, is not definitely know!!! Be that as it may!!?
    So in these salubrious day, religious heads (Dime – A – Dozen) is irrelevant and equally low caste and high caste attendance!!! Sure the building erected didn’t collapse or ‘come down’, because of their attendance, or exclusive High caste attendance didn’t Occasion!!!???
    My take is that Political and Religious Heads and officials, must strictly mind their respective ‘Business’ SECTORS than entering/engaging others territory – disastrous results – Country!!!???
    To maintain each one of their own integrity, Honesty and Trust, rather than meddling in each other’s captive areas!!!
    Presumably OPERATION was “A VOTE CATCHING EXERCISE” for future/impending POLLS and maximise potential exploiting CASTEISM, as much as RACE EXPLOITATION (SINHALA and TAMIL) for Votes in the South with Calamitous effect in the long run pre and post-Independence IN SL POLITICS – which should be ABHORED AND OBLITTERED AT EVERY JUNCTURE!!!?? Hopefully in the immediate future, SOONER than LATER!!!???

  • 16
    1

    I am utterly surprised that this valiant newspaper had found it fit to print this haphazardly written piece of work by a totally disgruntled descendant of a trustee. It has zero value for the public except that the deed is required to be rectified to determine if the building has been duly erected.

    It is sad that Samson has an issue with some of his brethren merely because of their accident of birth. I didn’t know that his faith didn’t help him to understand his brothers. This piece of work blows such an ill-wind and ideally it should be removed from the website to preserve peace in that neighbourhood. And this request is from an ordained Vellala, if that will help.

    • 9
      1

      Fmo
      I am inclined to agree with you.
      The narrative is no rejection of the caste system, but an elaboration of a personal grudge.
      The CT could be wise in its choices.
      But this is not the first time that people use it for pouring out their personal grievances or to glorify themselves.

    • 6
      2

      Poor Samson guy. Guess he’s in a helluva lot of trouble now. Forgive him,- he looks quite young. He is merely echoing the thoughts of the average Jaffna person on what sits normal for them.

      It’s not easy seeing what belonged to your family for many generations, and with much hard work, going to strangers. He is only trying to get his people- the Vellala group of families to invest in Jaffna. But those people are investing in Port City and Galleon and things…the idea of taking over all of Lanka! Not working too well, is it, with beady-eyed Sinhalese running the show?

      And those non-Vellalas are an uncouth lot, aren’t they? Certainly haven’t the poetic expression, baratha natayam, and closely guarded eugenics of the Vellalas. Still, they possess the mental acumen and alacrity of dynamic societies, and not the stagnancy of eugenized ones. Hardly accidents of birth. More like the salt of the earth ; the grand intellect and connectivity of the Tamil race! Yes, they are an excellent opportunity to build up the North.

  • 1
    2

    RTF
    Great fan of your style of writing .

  • 3
    2

    I tried to read ……. but I don’t understand.

    All this caste business is too complex for me to grasp.

  • 3
    2

    I will leave author’s caste rant to the readers.

    The author acknowledges that the property was for providing traditional medical service, nurtured by King Pararaja Sekaram.

    So, it was Kingdom’s property for public service.

    How come it ended up in author’s ancestral generations?

    Essentially, author’s ancestral generation had usurped the property by converting to Christianity in Portuguese colonial rule.

    There are 2 vernacular version of stories that King killed his son. None of them relate to Chemmani.

    One version is that the son was killed in Mannar (by whom it is unclear) and Portuguese version is that the King beheaded his son.

    The other version of the story is that the King beheaded his where current St Mary’s church is (near St Patrick’s college).

    The name Chemmani has origin from the supposed paddy harvest that yielded nice, bead shaped rice.

    Chemmani is NOT red sanded either as opposed to the area called Chempaadu (செம்பாடு) (has to know local geography).

    About Sellar Veethy, (which the author does not know), was the back boundary of Royal court’s garden and part of original Nallur Koyil, adjacent and adjoining to Yamunari (is still there), which was the Kerni of original Nallur (Nelloor) Koyil.

    Traditionally, it is not the people who author refers as low lived in Sellar Veethy.

  • 3
    2

    Chemmani was the name derived from the king killing his own son & splitting the blood on the sand. It is said that the king killed his son at the place where the Christian church is today at chemmany road.. Which earned the name of chemman….not the name derived from the harvest. Also the palace boundary wall was in existence in the department of education. Wonder how the department of education managed to destroy it. It wasn’t in sellar veethy. Also the jammuna eari/pond is where the queen takes bath. That was with in the kings boundary. It wasnt a kerni of the nallur temple.

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