23 June, 2017

Deciphering The Vanniyas; A People Out Of The Box

By Darshanie Ratnawalli

Darshanie Ratnawalli

During the twilight of the Vanniyas, that is, the latter half of the 19th century, the last remaining representatives of that identity were found eking out a living in several villages of Nuvarakalaviya (North Central province) and Northern province (mainly around Vavuniya in Kurunthankulam and Nochcikulam or Chinna Cheddikulam). They were living, breathing fossils of a species of people that have entered case studies of modern historiography as exemplifiers of the incorporating drives of the pre-modern Lankan state. “Thus, in Sinhale on the one hand there existed an incorporative tolerance that a) permitted immigrant bodies to settle in the Vanni and the Eastern Province…”-(Michael Roberts, “Prejudice and Hate in Pluralist Settings: The Kingdom of Kandy”, 2000).

“The case presents a fascinating study of a people originating from different immigrant cultures who were compelled by circumstances and the office and responsibilities they accepted, to assimilate into another culture.”- (D. G. B de Silva, “New Light On Vanniyas And Their Chieftaincies Based On Folk Historical Tradition As Found In Palm-Leaf Mss. In The Hugh Nevill Collection[i])

To get back to these late 19th century representatives of the Vanniya twilight, certain signature features set them apart. They claimed themselves to be Sinhalese, but preserved a tradition of being “descendants of certain Tamils who came over from the continent in the time of Raja Sen, who granted to each extensive tracts of land[ii]”-(A. Brodie, J.R.A.S (C.B) Vol III, 1856). Theirs was a distinct caste the membership of which had dwindled in this twilight, to a few villages in the Northern and North Central provinces.  This was the “Wanni caste”, which was “not general over the Island and which is superior to that which is elsewhere considered the highest.”- (Brodie, op.cit). Nevertheless, they had “no money and cannot buy land” and was “entirely dependent on hunting and occasional chena cultivation”- (S. Fowler, Diary of 3rd May 1887). “They still use the primitive bow and arrow and are well acquainted with the most remote jungles through which they wander in search of honey and game. There are some peculiarities in their dialect, which with their mode of life, suggest relationship with the Veddah, but they altogether repudiate the idea”-(Fowler, op.cit).

This leaves a question however. The general tendency, which had been well underway in the Wanni by the time British administrators observed it in the 19th century was the Tamilisation of the Sinhalese of the Wanni. J.P Lewis (Manual of the Vanni Districts, p102) observed; “Living among Tamils, the Sinhalese of the Vanni had to some extent begun to copy their customs”. The effects the Wanni demography wrought on the Wanni Sinhalese were graphically described by an anonymous writer of the 19th century (The Vanni, MLR & NQC, II, No. 5, May 1894); “They have adopted the Tamil system of personal names, thus a man has his father’s name prefixed to his own and does not take his name from the village or family he belongs to or the land he owns, as is the common Sinhalese custom elsewhere. Many of their names, too, are Tamil in a Sinhalese shape. The older generation have taken to wearing earrings, but this practice has been discouraged by the present Sinhalese headmen. The Sinhalese villagers have as much faith in the Hindu god Pillaiyar (Ganesa) as have the Tamil villagers whose favourite god he is…As regards dress the Sinhalese keep generally to their own customs, but they often wear the Jaffna cloth (chayaveddi) and fasten the handkerchief on their heads after the Tamil manner.” Incidentally one can’t help noticing how similar these effects are in essence to those operating on the Sinhalese villagers of Kaddukulam Pattu West in the Trincomalee District in the 1890s (as observed in Lushington[iii], 1898, p.17).

Given that boundary crossing in the Wanni was observable in the 19th century occurring in a certain direction and this direction was from Sinhalese to Tamil, how came these Vanniyas to identify themselves as Sinhalese while preserving traditions of a Tamil descent? This was clearly going against the ethnologic tide of the common lot of the Wanni. Unless…the Vanniyas, as the ruling lineages, were above the common lot and followed a different trajectory. The ethnic identification of the ruling lineages of pre-modern Lanka presents some interesting features. The Nayakkars, those well known Telugu dynasts were represented as Sinhalese by their contemporary commenters. Although Leslie Gunawardana’s conceptualization of ‘Sinhalaness’ has been proven dodgy, he gives a surprisingly lucid summarization of this Sinhalization tendency in “Colonialism, Ethnicity and the Construction of the Past; The Changing ‘Ethnic Identity’ of the Last Four Kings of the Kandyan Kingdom”.

“In fact, writers from the period of the Kandyan kingdom simply see dynastic continuity between the Nayakkars and their predecessors; they had no reservations about referring to the Nayakkars as ‘Sinhala’ kings. In the Sri Lankan chronicle Culavamsa Kirtisri Rajasimha is referred to as ‘the Sinhala king’ (sihaladhipo), ‘the Sinhala lord of correct beliefs’ (sammaditthikasihaladhipati) and ‘our Sinhala king’ (amhakam sihalindo)…Seneviratne and Meyer have correctly drawn attention to the significance of the evidence in the Culavamsa. (Meyer 1991; Seneviratne[iv] 1978: 177-87). The manner in which the Nayakkar king is presented in the chronicle may suggest that these kings consciously sought to cultivate this identity. On the other hand, it would appear that the authors themselves did not hesitate to present them in this manner. What did the term ‘Sinhala king’ signify in this late medieval construction of the Sinhala identity? One possible interpretation is that the Nayakkars were called ‘Sinhala kings’ on account of their being ‘kings of the Sinhala people’, the underlying presumption being that the people of Kandy would not have accepted the Nayakkars as being Sinhala. On linguistic grounds it could be argued that terms such as sihaladhipa and sihaladhipati had been formed through the elision of the genitive plural ending of the term sihalanam, which would mean ‘of the Sihalas.’ In a poetic work such as the Culavamsa the needs of metrical construction could lead to instances of such elision. However, the term amhakam sihalindo meaning ‘our Sihala king,’ does not lend itself easily to such an explanation, and seems to suggest that the ruler himself was considered to be Sihala. One means of resolving this difficulty would be to examine how the Nayakkar rulers were described in prose works where special requirements of metrical construction did not operate. In this respect, the Narendra-caritavalokana-pradipika is a very important source, not only because it is a prose work but also because it is written in the Sinhala language. In this chronicle written after the fall of the Kandyan kingdom, a Buddhist monk from a rural setting is found referring to the Nayakkars as Sinhala rulers. Writing in 1834, Yatanvala Sirisunanda refers to Kirtisri as simhala maharajanan and to Srivikrama Rajasimha, the last king, as simhala maharajatuma, terms which literally mean ‘the great Sinhala king’…”

Still, it’s not certain if the tendencies that applied to kingly dynasts of the centre also operated over the princely dynasts of the peripheries like the Vanniyas. Also, calling a Nayakkar dynast Sinhala could have been a positioning device and an expression of an aspiration rather than a genuine ethnological descriptor. Positioning devices and expressions of aspirations however do become internalized into the language over time and get transformed into genuine descriptive terms. However the case may have been regarding the Vanniyas, Henry Parker, an irrigation engineer who was a sort of a Western Paranavitana on account of his vast knowledge of all periods of the history of Lanka had this to say about the matter; “So far as the language is concerned, it may be concluded that the Vanniyas are, as they state, Sinhalese taking into consideration that they are found only in or near the northern borders of the Kandyan kingdom, that they speak Tamil, and that some of them have Tamil names, and also remembering the peculiarities which I have given regarding their religion it may be further inferred that as their name would seem to indicate, they are remnants of the ancient Sinhalese inhabitants of what is now the Northern Province…”- (Taprobanian, Feb. 1887).

Parker failed to pick up the clue of the Vanniya tradition about the decent from continental Tamils who were given land by ‘Raja Sen’. But then Parker hadn’t the advantages of Hugh Nevill, who was at this time in the process of collecting a hoard of palm leaf manuscripts of Vittipot, Bandaravaliyas, Kadaimpot and other tracts containing the Sinhalese folk historical tradition relating to the origin, doings and dynasties of Vanniyas.  This Hugh Nevill collection now in the British Library remained a closed book to practically every scholar, who has so far commented on the Vanniyas, from Geiger to Paranavitana and from Pathmanathan to Indrapala until D. G. B de Silva came out[v] with his pioneering research article in 1996.

*The writer can be found at http://ratnawalli.blogspot.co.uk/and rathnawalli@gmail.com


[i] 1996: JRASSL, (New Series) Vol. XLI Special Number. (Published in 1998)

[ii] “It is significant that in the late thirteenth century some of the Sinhala kings appear to have induced a few immigrant chiefs to move across from southern India in order to re-settle specific districts that had been abandoned. The Malavara dignitaries, for instance, are described in one of the documents as having “cleared the jungle when there was no one else” (D G B de Silva 1996: 158, 172-73, 177). The Sinhala kings granted them land rights to these areas or, alternatively, responded to requests for land in this manner.12 Parakrama Bahu II (1236-70), in particular, pursued a programme of irrigation works and resettlement that attempted to recover the Nuvarakalaviya and Tamankaduva regions so that this migratory influx seems to have been linked with such policies. ”- (Sinhala consciousness in the Kandyan period, 1590s to 1815, Michael Roberts, 2004, p74)

Also “One should not forget that in the context of depopulation, the kings of Sinhale in the Kotte period actually brought in immigrants from Bengal and southern India to settle parts of their territory (C R de Silva 1972:93). Also see D G B de Silva 1996 and chapter 5 above.”—[Michael Roberts op.cit pg 234 (fn 20)]-

[iii] This is a report on the Trincomalee District of 1890s, which is partly quoted in “An appraisal of the concept of a traditional Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka” –(Gerald H. Peiris, Ethnic Studies Report, Vol.IX, No.1, January1991). A fuller quote is given below;

“Of this nature are matters concerning the group of Sinhalese villages in the north-west of the (Trincomalee) district lying in the western division of the Kaddukulam pattu.

This part of the district is inhabited by Sinhalese villagers of Kandyan descent forming an outlying community which is, I fear, rapidly dying out or becoming effaced. The district is most interesting, being dotted over by numerous village tanks, some of which are restored and others abandoned. The villagers retain many of the primitive customs of the Kandyans , but they are rapidly becoming Tamilized, which is a great pity. They intermarry with Tamils, and many of them speak Tamil as well as they speak Sinhalese. Even the Government schoolmaster is Tamil, and only that language is taught in the only school, and unfortunately in some cases the Sinhalese villages have been bought out by Tamils, who now own all the paddy lands of some villages. The Sinhalese have even given up their patronymics and have adopted the Tamil custom of prefixing the father’s name instead of the usual patronymic, and even the names of the villagers are assuming a Tamil dress. This is perhaps not to be wondered at when the interpreters of the court and the Kachcheri, the petition-drawers, and all through whom the villagers have access to government officials can speak nothing but Tamil. I must say I regard this as a great misfortune. I should like to see a strong Sinhalese headman acquainted with English appointed as Chief Headman of the district, and I should like to see the Tamil school abolished. However, the most important assistance which can, and ought to, be rendered to these villagers would be the restoration of their village tanks. This would render them independent of the Tamils, and make them less likely to abandon their villages or to sell their lands to Tamils”

[iv] H.L Seneviratne is meant here.

[v] This article is the published text of a memorial lecture on Hugh Nevill delivered by D.G.B de Silva in 1995-1996, the sesquicentennial of RAS(SL). Hugh Nevill was the Honorary Joint Secretary of the Society during 1868-1869.

 

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    Dont waste your time Darashanie…Gotabaya is rewritting the History of Ceylon. He is going to prove Parker, Nevill, Roberts all wrong.

    Waat are you talking about? There will be no trace of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

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      RajasH

      “Gotabaya is rewritting the History of Ceylon.”

      Rewriting this island’s history is not new and definitely it didn’t start with Gota and will never end with him.

      We are told time again Mahanama wrote a comprehensive and authentic bible Mahawamsa. He he started the first step in the process towards genocide of my people. Cleansing the island of my people in order to facilitate the arrival of thug Vijaya and his 700 hoodlums.

      Irathina Valli’s guru the eccentric old chap has been playing an important part in this business of rewriting history.

      This country is proud of its tradition of keeping records of history. However the people dare not question the intention of all these celebrated historians.

      Perhaps they are good at writing novels set in historical background.

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        ayyo this broad again.
        epa wenawa appa. CT – what aney, wasting your space
        for Irathina Val li.
        Female version of Lee la?
        How much does B.B.S. Nandasena Gotha pay you Irathina Val Li?

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          Wanathe SHxx broad.
          Jaraa goda Hirikithe behe ANEy.
          Bad smell with you. oh From WANATHE, that is why ????/.

          Did any body forced and ask you to read this article??????.
          If you do not want read, not necessary to ask C T.
          Just leave it.
          as This is a public forum given by the good intention of Colombo Telegraph to readers to give their Opinions and comments.

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            ‘This is a public forum’.
            If so, am I not entitle to comment what I feel.
            You are an other trash.

        • 0
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          Hehe Wanathe Shiromi,

          No, we are not paying Darshanie Ratnawalli. I can niether confirm or deny if she is being paid by GR.

          Secondly Darshanie is not a broad (is this jealousy talking). In fact she is slim. Just visit her website. Easily found. Lots of nice pics. I wish………

          We will start rewriting history in real ernest after this CHOGM tamasha is done and dusted. Wait and see.

          • 0
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            ‘We will start rewriting history in real ernest after this CHOGM tamasha is done and dusted’.

            Yes you can as long as Medamulane Adhiwasi’ rule is there. Once its over we will re-write again.

            Covering the real truth and history itself is nothing new to our people. We will make sure that anything connected to Medamulana clan is erased for good.

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        “Perhaps they are good at writing novels set in historical background”

        You mean His-story, Her-story and finally History fiction?

        Absolutely funny!

        This kind of abuse to a country’s history by every Tom, Dick and Harry (celebrated his-storians) is not allowed in most part of the world.

    • 0
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      Apologizes for jumping the queue,

      TO Miss Darshanie Ratnawalli;

      See what you have Done ?????. see this commenters.

      and I also got angry and did some bad comments.

      How these guys are fighting over what you wrote?? and said.
      some are objecting to CT, why you have given a space to write?.
      Some wants to get your surname to check that you are eligible to write anything from history?.
      some wants to find out who is paying you to write this,
      Did goththa give his consent? and pay you.
      as some wants to send you to bed.
      Some wants to kick you on the back.
      One BBS salesman is telling they will not drink RASAM but KIRIHODY.
      And SOME SAYs,
      Sinhalese=,+ Tamils=,+Sinhalese=,+ Tamils=,+Sinhalese=,+ Tamils=,+
      And one guy says Sinhalese and Tamils are stupid ,just Veddahs are brainy.
      But one guy, A Secretary to a ministry called JinSoththy [Roh Ferd]has said
      “Dharshanie Rathnawalli is a pretty beautiful very sinhala name even for a Tamil woman”.
      I do agree.
      but be careful, this guy has many coats with many colours and names.

      I DONT KNOW WHY???,
      MEHEMA UNEY AEYI??? .

      Any wayyyyyyyyyy,
      We all are HUMANS.
      ps
      Any way, I saw your white water rafting photos at kitulgala

  • 0
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    Child

    Not again

    Brush your teeth and go to bed.

    • 0
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      Not only Brush your teeth and go to bed, stupid women need more than that. Kick in the back must….

      • 0
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        J.Muthu

        “Not only Brush your teeth and go to bed, stupid women need more than that. Kick in the back must….”

        You are indeed a dirty old man.

        Mere rap on the knuckles is more than sufficient.

  • 0
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    What make a Sinhalese a Sinhalese and a Tamil a Tamil. It seems that there has been a great deal of cohabitation and mingling of people, customs and traditions. These days in Colombo it is difficult to differentiate between races by mere appearance. People come in all shapes, colours and sizes. The differences in race exist only the mind.

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      Recently I visited Jaffna for the very first time in my life. I was under the impression that when we pass Vavnya the appearance of the people (physical, complexion, etc) will be different from the South. To our surprise, there was hardly any difference, except some older men and women wearing ash & dot on the forehead, the people looked identical to the Sinhalese living in the South. Only when you get out of the vechile to ask for directions, you realize that they do not speak Sinhala.

    • 0
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      Mostly Linguistic .

  • 0
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    Oh! This messes up the ‘unique’ Sinhalaya identity no aney?

    • 0
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      Upul is a stupid demala who does not get it all.

      • 0
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        Jim Softly
        Sihalya Modaya Keum Kannaa Yodays,,,

  • 0
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    I believe that one of the main reasons for disunity in this country, unable to advance as a Nation with the rest of the world, is our inability to recognize the present day society as Humans and are looking for our roots, that separate society with theories like the Egg and the Chick story as to who came first, for one set to feel superior as the rightful heirs to the land, thus claiming the right to Govern. As long as this mind set remains there will be no meaningful development for the whole society to benefit, but help only the Corrupt in society to enjoy the perks of Governance at the expense of others being relegated as second class citizens and the rest, the Pseudo Nationalists, the Hurrah Gangs only to be appeased eating the crumbs from the table, while we the majority grin and bear.

    • 0
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      “…main reasons for disunity in this country..”

      its dam Politicians, Politicians & Politicans

  • 0
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    Very interesting articles. Need to read a few times in order to absorb it.

    • 0
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      Because You are sitting on your brain,
      Like KA SUMANA and Your Bosses.

      • 0
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        LMAO… nice swipe at Jim… he seem the need to READ softly too… on a side note… MOST people always add the last name with the given names… this woman seems ashamed to add her dad’s name….. ummmmm wonder why…

  • 0
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    Pop historian trying to Communalise things subtly with Michael Roberts inspiration i presume!

  • 0
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    Please also make sure that you prove that Wigneswaran and Sampathan were once Sinhalese according to Michael Roberts and Robert Knox. may be even Prabhakarana?

  • 0
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    It may not be proper to try to decipher the Vanniyas purely within the context of records pertaining to the island. One may even have to look outside the island,especially in the neighbourhood.

    To this day a community of people called Vanniyars live in the adjoining Tamilnadu. They claim to belong to the Kshatriyas clan, even claiming antiquity from the Tamil Sangam period which is circa 1st century BCE to 2nd century CE. Kshatriyas are a warrior clan and tradition has it that they used to hide their weapons in Vanni trees and hence the derivation of their community name. In fact today the Vanniyars are the single largest community in Tamilnadu.

    So history should not always be examined with tinted eyes!

    Sengodan. M

  • 0
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    A bit confusing. Are you saying that the Sinhalese are Tamils speaking Singhala ? or are you saying that the Tamils are actually Sinhalese speaking Tamil ?

    I thought according of the Mahavamsa the mother tong of the Sinhalese was Tamil ? even though tier grandfather was a Lion ? Please clarify. Also let us know if hey are part of special species that requires some form of protection ?

    • 0
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      Kiri Yakka

      Hang on, let Kautilya another protege of the eccentric old chap defend her and answer your questions.

      I think you should allow her to go to bed early.

    • 0
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      Tamils and Singhalaese are very similar, with slight differences. Both are essentially of Aboriginal Indian SubContinental stock.

      The biggest difference is that Singhalese speak a Eurassian tongue , which by the way is heavily influenced by Tamil and other Dravidian languages, while Tamils speak an Indigenous Indian language. An analogy would be Indegenous Mexicans speaking Spanish versus Indegenous Mexicans speaking Amerindian Languages.

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        PalmSquirrell,

        Tamils and Sinhalese are not similar. We are different lock, stock and barrell. The Tamils know it and we know it. That is why we have conflict going for thousands of years.

        Our languages are different. Our language scripts are different. The spoken word is different and has been so from inception. Sure over the years there have been some cross mingling of particular words. Sinhala is derived predominantly from Pali. Tamil from Sanskrit.

        Pali arose from a language group called Prakrit, originally widely spoken in the Kingdom of Magadha in north west India. There are some suggestions that the first time this language was written down was in Sri Lanka going back thousands of years.

        Sanskrit is a hotch potch language that developed in the Southern parts of India and was brought together as a single common language by ancient writers of vedic texts.

        There are suggestions that pali derived from sanskrit. But this is disputed by many scholars.

        I am no scholar of languages, so I will stop my explanation there.

        That is the language difference and how about the physical structure. The Sinhala people are slightly lighter skinned, muscular, and faces more rounded. The Tamils are predominantly wiry, darker in skin, and thinner in the face.

        I am sure Darshanie Ratnawalli can say more about this than me.

        • 0
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          BBS Rep

          “Tamils and Sinhalese are not similar.”

          No,

          they both are similar, closely related, share the common genetic structure, ……………

          Both Sinhala and Tamil are descendants of Kallathonies,

          you eat rice and curry, the Tamils too eat rice and curry,

          you pray to Hindu god, they had their Tamil Buddhists until you became Sinhala/Buddhists,

          most cultural intrusion came from South India,

          Sinhalese too came from South India,

          most early Sinhala films were made in South India………South Indians set up early Sinhala film industry in this island,

          When needed military support, your kings went to South India

          Some of the Buddhist commentaries were written by South Indian scolars

          Both are fond of land grabbing, particularly my ancestral land.

          Your people rage 24/7/52 so do the Tamils.

          Both are irredeemably stupid

          Both people are self destructive

          What more proof do you need?

          “Our languages are different”

          Are they?

          “Sinhala is derived predominantly from Pali. Tamil from Sanskrit.”

          Are they?

          “There are some suggestions that the first time this language was written down was in Sri Lanka going back thousands of years.”

          Could you give us evidence.

          “Sanskrit is a hotch potch language that developed in the Southern parts of India and was brought together as a single common language by ancient writers of vedic texts.”

          Are you sure?

          “I am no scholar of languages, so I will stop my explanation there.”

          Then why don’t you keep your discoveries to yourself?

          “The Sinhala people are slightly lighter skinned, muscular, and faces more rounded. The Tamils are predominantly wiry, darker in skin, and thinner in the face”

          We know Sinhalese are stupid just as their Tamil brethren. You don’t have to prove it again and again.

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            Native Vedda,

            If you did not notice, even our curries are different.

            We don’t drink rasam and we don’t generally eat sambar or drink it if any is left over. Just go and experience the Tamil version of cuisine in any of the Thosa Kade’s, that is, if you can handle the deafening Nagasalam music.

            The same with Tamil movies. Can you really sit through a Tamil movie without shutting your ears. The Sinhala movies are so much more pleasant to the eyes and ears.

            As for evidence I will not bother. There are more so called experts in the Tamil diaspora who will shout me down.

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              BBS Rep

              “We don’t drink rasam and we don’t generally eat sambar or drink it if any is left over.”

              It seems that you are not a Lanky but an alien from outer space as you do not seem to know the similarities among the food. Why do you want to remain ignorant?

              Have you ever been to Kerala? You should.

              “The Sinhala movies are so much more pleasant to the eyes and ears.”

              I know that for sure, we know that 600 million Chinese, 700 Million Hindians, all the South East Asians and half of rest of the world watch Sinhala movies regularly on multiplex cinemas through out the world.

              Congratulations.

        • 0
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          You may earnestly believe this or may be expounding it because of your ethnic prejudice but that doesn’t make it true.

          Your language is an Indo-Aryan Prakit BUT it is heavily influenced by Tamil and it was heavily influenced by Dravidian even before mixing with Tamils and before Singhala ethnogenesis.

          Indo-Aryan languages have retroflexion, something the other Indo-European languages including the closely related Avestan does not have. Dravidian has a lot of retroflexion. The earliest recorded history of Indo-Aryan has a Dravidian substratum, this emanates from a time when the Punjab(Indus Valley) was Dravidian speaking , in addition to Munda speaking. Linguists posit this is because Dravidian languages once were spoken across North India and the populace had a language shift, i.e. moving from speaking Dravidian to speaking Indo-Aryan.

          While you speak an Indo-Aryan prakit, Singhalese obviously aren’t racially Indo-Aryan as evident by the phenotypes of Singhala peopels. It simply is a case of Singhalese being Dravidian and Munda speakers adopting Indo-Aryan due to the latter’s linguistic hegemony, much the same way many Amerindians adopted Spanish. The big difference is that Spanish was not structurally changed by the natives but Indo-Aryan was.

          There is some slight difference with some Singhalese in phenotypes but the overall look is still very much non Aryan and distinct to the SubContinent. Not much different to how Amerindians can be fullblooded Natives or mixed with European and or Africans but those with significant Amerindian ancestry still show their East Asiatic phenotype.

          Your script is the same script with slight modification, it is similar to the South Indian version of the Brahmi script and not like the North Indian version.

          Genetic testing points to close similarity between the 2 communities. Even if most of your genetic ancestry is from Bengal area, the people in that area are Dravdian and Munda ; they just lost their mother tongues when Indo-Aryan imposed itself on much of the SubContinent.

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            PalmSquirrell

            I don’t think you should be doing BBS Rep’s home work on a regular basis. These lazy idiots have some stupid preconceived ideas about themselves and others and want to impose on rest of the people. And there are twenty millions of them ready and waiting to be conditioned by perverted history, this includes stupid Tamils as well.

            Give these stupids assignments in history and lets see if they are capable of reading, searching, thinking, analysing,…and come to some sort of meaningful and coherent conclusions.

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              The problem with soo many in the SubContinent is they shun rationalism, embrace superstition and are deceived by religious and political elites.

              BBS Rep may genuinely not know the history and thus not know the close similarity between the 2 (Singhalese and Tamils), or he knowsthe facts but for various reasons decides to paint a different narrative. Lots of educated Tamils know jack about the history of the SubCon because they have been bamboozled by religion .

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              Native Vedda

              “he knows the facts but for various reasons decides to paint a different narrative.”

              Agreed.

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            Palmsquirrel,

            Thank you for your lesson in linguistics and semantics.

            I reiterate I am no scholar. You may be right. However that is neither here nor there.

            I go on what I am now, on this day. When I walk on the street I can tell a Tamil a mile away. Unlike Native Vedda I can see a hundred and one differences between the Tamils, Us and for that matter the Muslims. That is all that matters. I and my folks are different and want to be that way in a motherland of my own. So much of my land has been hijacked and my culture, cuisine, and good looks diluted by the intermingling of kallathonis who arrived here from time immemorial.

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              You arrived on boats too and you exterminated the Veddah but you now have the temerity to paint yourself as the victim. It wasn’t “your” land , you are not native to SL.

              You are only different in a manufactured way; you are too pig headed to admit the historical facts because it likely is pshychologically traumatising to face the truth since you and yours have weaved this pseudo history that you are comfortably wrapped up in. Not to mention the BBS type Buddhist monks want to maintain their Monk hegemony so will sweep under the rug any historical facts that upsets their hegemonic goals.

              Your culture wasn’t hijacked, because it isn’t a totally unique culture. It burrowed and assimilated Dravidian culture. So Tamils should be claiming genocide by you Singhalese because there was no doubt many Tamils/Dravidians from millenia back who were Singhalised.

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              BBS rep,

              You are one of the TOP class jokers I ever found on CT. All what you have said above must be your own version and understanding (it is comedy for others).

              You are saying, When you walk on the street you can tell a Tamil a mile away.

              Man, where were you during the war? you would have been a very very important person (VVIP) for the SL military intelegence during the war time. You could have very easily identified the Tamil sucide bombers from a mile away and save thousands of lives. If you had such an inbuilt ability which 99% of the Sinhalese did not have, you could have done wonders. Shame on you, you did not use your talent to save thousands of your people.

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              The thing is when we look at you, we can’t see any difference between you and a Tamil, so if you see a difference that is your own prejudice, not reality.

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          BBS Rep says

          “The Sinhala people are slightly lighter skinned, muscular, and faces more rounded.”

          Like this chap?

          http://alaiwah.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/image001.jpg?w=468

          or this lightskinned,roundfaced chap

          http://alaiwah.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/image001.jpg?w=468

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          BBS says

          “The Tamils are predominantly wiry, darker in skin, and thinner in the face.”

          Dead right.Does this guy fit the bill

          http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/28/Ranasinghe_Premadasa.jpg

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        what is a eurassian tounge?

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    Dharshanie Ratnawalli what is your Surname and Wasagama? I will tell you from where your ancestry hail. If you do not have, then you have fallen from the skies like the rest in society without Surnames.

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      Gamini the Demalo:

      Dharshanie Rathnawalli is a pretty beautiful very sinhala name even for a Tamil woman.

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    Well researched article. Congratulations. Wish more strength to your pen.

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    This is one confused woman. Sigh

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    Native Vedda,

    Ratnawalli seems to be listing to you. She has not replied my question. She seems to have brushed her teeth and gone to bed as advised you.

    Before going to bed, I wish she had answered by question about Sinhalese pretenders. It is well known in developed academic communities that the concept of race – is an idiotic and dangerous one. Good enough only to feed the Hitler Velupillai and the Viravamsa & Malinda typology. But let us not ignore or condemn the native scholors like Ratnawalli.

    Because she is trying hard, to rectify an the awful global reputation of the Sinhalese. Because if the folks in Vanni as Sinhalese it is ok for the Sinhalese to mow them down. You cannot then accuse them of racism or genocide. It is like in Mahavamasa – it was ok to kill the Tamils because they were half lives (not taken the Buddhist pill).

    Ratnawalli is making valiant attempt to undo the damage that the Sighalese have done to themselves starting from the awful record of their misdeeds in Mahamvamsa. She needs our support.

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      Kiri Yakka

      For the time being I go along with your logic.

      However the more she writes the more exposure she gets as an ignorant.

      Let her spend time first searching, learning, thinking ………and then writing about it with new knowledge acquired in the process, I can live with that.

      Until such time I would like her to live a child’s life.

      However, the problem arises when she agrees to work as a hired gun to others established “historians”.

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      hehe Kiri Yakka,

      We did not go invading India and taking over Tamil Lands.

      The Tamils came to Sri Lanka, took over our land and now have the gall to say such and such land belongs to them. Just like the annexure of Palastinian lands by the Israilis.

      The concept of race may sound idiotic and dangerous. But it necessary for self preservation. If we did not keep on fighting the Tamil invasions our race would have benn wiped out a long time ago.

      Not only you but the Native Veddahs are also trying to usurp us now. We have no choice but to fight on all fronts.

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        Singhalese invaded, colonised and perpertrated genocide on the Veddah. Singhalese founders were from Bengal and Orissa region, and your own history says you colonised Sri Lanka and exterminated the Veddah.
        I don’t see how you can say Tamils invaded when there was no doubt some small Tamil fishing communities in Northern Sri Lanka before Vijaya and his followers arrives as Tamil and Dravidian was already established in South India before 2500 years ago, the time period Vijaya is supposed to have arrived in SL.

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          The problem is, when the British created a place called Tamil Nadu in South India, they forgot to create a place in East India (Bengal/Orissa) called Sinhala Nadu.

          Therefore, the Sinhalese always forget that they are from East India but they always remember that Tamils are from South India.

          The British made the mistake. Either, they should have created both Tamil Nadu and Sinhala Nadu in India or they should not have created any such Nadu.

          Now, the Poor Native Veddha is trying to send the Tamils to Tamil Nadu and the Sinhalese to Bengal/Orissa (Sinhala Nadu). He should have done this during the British time.

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            The British simply adopted what Indo-Aryans called Dramila (root word for Tamil ) country , which was the South parts of the SubCon.

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          Palm Squirrel and Native Veddah,

          You both make us Sinhalese look like the aggressors and usurpers here.

          No, friends, we are the aggrieved party – the Sinhalese. It is our community that is under siege. We are being pushed into ever diminishing enclaves by demarcating the surreptitiously expanding North SL and East SL as exclusively Tamil lands. We are the proverbial cornered tiger. You keep pushing the tiger too far and he will fight back.

          Native Veddah is an ungrateful mongrel. No, we never exterminated the Veddahs. They were assimilated by marriage and other serendipitous means into our folds. We have bent over backwards to leave his kith and kin alone. The Brits tried to gentrify the Veddah’s just like they did some of us(the British gentrified lot all belong to UNP now). When the Brits left we demarcated large tracts of the forests for the exclusive use of native Veddahs. They could hunt and preserve meat in dry gourds immersed in wild honey. No problem. They could carry the axe on their shoulders and do the Veddah dance. No issues. So you see we accommodate them in every which way and accept them as one of ours. Now native Veddah also want us out. So you see what an ungrateful mongrel native Veddah is.

          You and all other usurpers justify land claim on the basis of warped histories. History is history and be damned for all that I care. Like I said before, I am only concerned about now, who we are and the immediate threat to our existence.

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            BBS Rep

            You are irredeemable stupid man, please remain there making our dream possible.

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          Sinhalese didnt come from Bengal. The people who came from Bengal mixed with the local population and contributed to the sinhala nation. The same way the people who make up the sinhala nation has different origins in india.

          If there was a strong Tamil community how come a North indian prince with some friends come and conquer here? Imagine a north indian going to todays TN and trying to conquer!

          If Tamils were here why are they living in North. They must have been pushed inland when facing invasions and must be living in southern point and highlands and the late coming sinhalese must be living in North. But the situation is different in real world.

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        BBS Rep

        “We did not go invading India and taking over Tamil Lands.”

        You are right, you got point there. However don’t forget your Sinhapurian Kallthonies invaded my ancestral land and occupied it for many centuries.

        “The Tamils came to Sri Lanka, took over our land and now have the gall to say such and such land belongs to them. Just like the annexure of Palastinian lands by the Israilis.”

        You are right Tamils too came to my ancestral land on Kallathonies. You got another point in that.
        However your ancestors too came by Kallthonies which carried thug Vijaya and his hoodlum mates and now you have the audacity to claim the entire island belongs to Sinhala/Buddhists, as if they are the chosen people like the Jews.

        “The concept of race may sound idiotic and dangerous”

        No it is not, however it is very very very stupid idea and very, very very dangerous when 75% of your DNA points to your close affinity with South Indian Tamils.

        ” But it necessary for self preservation.”

        Not really, you need it for your own self destruction. If your so called self preservation necessary, keep it which I think would speed up my dream of having the entire island all to ourselves.

        “If we did not keep on fighting the Tamil invasions our race would have benn wiped out a long time ago”

        You don’t need Tamils from South India to wipe you out, you had already started the splendid process. Anyhow if DNA is anything to go by Sinhala speaking Tamils are fighting the Tamil speaking Tamils. I think it is a wonderful concept.

        “Not only you but the Native Veddahs are also trying to usurp us now. “

        What exactly did you mean?

        “We have no choice but to fight on all fronts.”

        It is also a novel idea. Go on. I will have my dream fulfilled sooner than I thought.

        Thanks for your idiosyncrasy.

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          Hello my friend Native Veddah,

          You are an ungrateful mongrel, sorry to say that because you and I are of the same heritage and belong to this land. I am not like my other countrymen who claim to be Tamils. I am a son of this land and not of Tamil Nadu. Nor am I like the Muslim brothers who are nothing but brothers unto themselves and to the Saudis.

          And Native Veddah, don’t try to usurp us from our land by historical mumbo jumbo.

          You are doing a favor to the Tamils by trying to evict us from our real motherland. History be damned. I am what I am now on this day. This is the only motherland I have and lay claim to no other land, Tamil Nadu or Saudi Arabia. We have a serendipitous attitude to you Veddahs and that will continue despite your wish to see all of us gone. Historical facts or fiction or the similarities in our genes in neither here nor there.

          SL is my homeland. Leave me be. Do not corner me into a ever diminishing enclave with a surreptitiously expanding North and East Sri Lanka that the Tamils claim is their own. I will fight back to claim what is my own and that of my kith and kin.

          If anyone wishes to be Sri Lankan that is fine by me. But if you want to be a Tamil Nadu or Saudi person, then go away and leave us alone. That is all I got to say, really.

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            BBS Rep

            “you and I are of the same heritage and belong to this land. “

            No you and I are different, lumping me with your Sinhala/Buddhists stupid people would the final insult to me and my people.

            You don’t belong to this land however I do. You are not a son of land but I am. You are the son of descendant of Kallthonies.

            ” You are doing a favor to the Tamils by trying to evict us from our real motherland. “

            No by evicting you and your stupid Tamil brethren I am only doing a huge favour to my people. In fact I feel least generous to stupid Sinhala/Buddhists and their Tamil brethren.

            ” I am what I am now on this day.”

            Yes you are what you are, a stupid Sinhala/Buddhist.

            “This is the only motherland I have and lay claim to no other land,”

            No you have other motherlands too?

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        “The Tamils came to Sri Lanka, took over our land and now have the gall to say such and such land belongs to them.”

        BBS,I thought that your mahawamsa says the sinhalese race started with vijaya who came from orissa.Then how can you say tamils took over your land.This land has to be shared by everyone who has come don’t you think.You are in the same boat as everybody else.

        History clearly shows it is a immigrant land like the US,canada,australia and NZ.The anglosaxons in those countries can’t say that others have taken over their land.The The first canadians and americans are the native indians and the first australians are the aborogines and the first new zealanders are the maoris and the first srilankans are the veddhas.

        None of those who came after them can say this is their land.You take the parts that suit you from the mahawamsa and discard those that do not suit you.Whether you were invaded or not is immaterial because you were not the original inhabitant.

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          Shankar Thambi,

          I really don’t care too much about history. Mahawamsa or Rigged Veda. I really don’t care too much about what part of India my ancestors came from. I don’t even care if my ancestry traces me to Tamil, Muslim or Veddah origins. I agree with many commenters here, history is rigged, biased or warped or a combination of all these.

          I care only about the situation as it is here and now. In this present day.

          There are those who say they are Tamils in Sri Lanka. They are welcome to that claim. With that claim comes the problem. Where do they belong? Not in Sri Lanka but Tamil Nadu. In every which way they look, they are more suited to Tamil Nadu heritage than Sri Lankan. So they will be so much better off moving en-masse to Tamil Nadu. We will be generous and help them with costs associated with passage and resettlement in South India.

          Likewise the Muslims of present day Sri Lanka, who fall over each other to present themselves as psuedo Saudi Arabians, sweltering in alien jellabas and ‘gonibilla’ dresses in the hot and humid Sri Lankan climate, would be so much more at home in Saudi than here in Sri Lanka. So we like to tell them, go there mate. We will not miss you.

          As it is today, I am a Sinhalese Sri Lankan, who is the true son of the land, who really identifies himself as a real bhumiputra of Sri Lanka. No identity confusion either with Tamil Nadu or Saudi Arabia.

          Ok, I will grudgingly accomodate the native Veddahs also despite our friend Native Veddah commenting here, who wants to see us gone.

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            The only true son of the soil are the Veddah, not you Singhalese.

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            BBS thamby

            “I really don’t care too much about history. Mahawamsa”

            Unfortunately history cares for you mate.Why don’t you ban the mahawamsa being taught in schools,since you are so good at banning everything that has anything to do with the minorities,ban also the one thing that you profess not to care so much about,the mahawamsa which states that you are immigrants from orissa.You have to share the land with other immigrants.

            I wonder whether you don’t care for your identity too?Identity can be verified by DNA analysis,and scientific studies done on the sinhalese have verified that their genes are preponderantly south indian with bengali and gujarati admixture too.

            Welcome to srilanka my dear dravidian blood brother BBS thamby.

            Now i wonder how you got that bengali,gujarati genes if the mahawamsa is rigged,biased or warped as you claim.

            Some statements in the mahawamsa may be genuine mistakes,like the lion theory,because probably vijaya’s father would have been a man who looked like a lion(hands like lion claws) and was regarded by the people as such.The mahawamsa states that the lion was wagging its tail,so the writer mahanama seemed to think it was a real lion not knowing at that time that scientifically it is impossible for a human egg to fertilise with a animal sperm.However the vijeya story seems to be plausible because how can you explain the bengali,gujarati admixture today.

            “I care only about the situation as it is here and now. In this present day.”

            Thank god for that.Then you will accept that the country does not belong only to the 75% sinhalese migrants,but also to the balance 25% migrants too.If you don’t want to accept that and are fussy to mix and live and treat the others equally,then you can give them 25% of the land to move into as a separate country and you can live peacefully in your 75% and not worry about pollution of your great culture and civilisation.What say you?

            “There are those who say they are Tamils in Sri Lanka. They are welcome to that claim. With that claim comes the problem. Where do they belong?”

            None of your business.They are not worried whether you belong to south india or orissa,why are you poking your nose into others.

            “In every which way they look, they are more suited to Tamil Nadu heritage than Sri Lankan.”

            Is that your light skin,dark skin full face,thin face theories?Anyway as i mentioned earlier,non of your business how they look.God created them,not you to worry about that.

            “they are more suited to Tamil Nadu heritage than Sri Lankan. So they will be so much better off moving en-masse to Tamil Nadu.”

            Why are you worried about their welfare?They are not your children and can make up their own minds and make decisions for themselves.Actually i have seen lot of similarities in looks,dress and food in sinhalese and malayalees.However i won’t ask the sinhalese to go en-masse to kerala because it is none of my business.Only if they ask me to go to tamilnadu,i will ask them also to go to kerala,tamilnadu,andrapradesh,orissa,gujarat.

            “sweltering in alien jellabas and ‘gonibilla’ dresses “

            What about the sinhalese who swelter in tie and suits?What about mahinda who wears the indian national dress?Anyway coming back to the main point,none of your business what they wear.

            “would be so much more at home in Saudi than here in Sri Lanka. So we like to tell them, go there mate. We will not miss you.”

            Again don’t worry about their welfare.Worry about your own sinhalese women who are being regularly sodomized by the arabs and have now started walking like ducks. A sinhalese friend of mine was holding his stomach and laughing when he saw them disembarking at our airport. Vijaya’s father had lionlike claws.Darwin said everything evolves,so since you worry about everybody,what about if the sinhalese evolve into ducks when these women give birth to arab children.

            So far this year alone 463 house maid bodies have been brought back without most of their internal organs.Aren’t you worried about that more than the tamils and muslims living in your country and minding their own business.

            “As it is today, I am a Sinhalese Sri Lankan, who is the true son of the land,”

            To be a true son of the land,the country should have given birth to your ancestors.Since they were born in india you don’t qualify.The veddhas do and are the true sons of the soil.

            “No identity confusion either with Tamil Nadu or Saudi Arabia.”

            Only DNA confusion with south india,orissa and gujarat.

            “Ok, I will grudgingly accomodate the native Veddahs”

            The problem is I don’t think they want to accommodate you in their country even grudgingly.I remember their chief saying that the next war will be in the forests.

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          it is not fair to say sinhalese came here from outside because sinhala nation was born here. Sinhala language was born here. The people who formed it may be immigrants but they formed a nation here.

          The same way africans in africa came and started a tamil nation in Tamil nadu.

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          it is not fair to say sinhalese came here from outside because sinhala nation was born here. Sinhala language was born here. The people who formed it may be immigrants but they formed a nation here.

          The same way africans in africa came and started a tamil nation in Tamil nadu.

          Also recent DNA analysis has shown considerable mixing od Veddha population and sinhala people which is not present in Tamils in SL

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        “The concept of race may sound idiotic and dangerous. But it necessary for self preservation. If we did not keep on fighting the Tamil invasions our race would have benn wiped out a long time ago.”

        The trouble with you BBS rep is that you people are still living in the past.This is the 21st century.Read about world history also when you read ours because you will find that every tribe in the world had the same problems of trying to stop being wiped out.A monarch could just get up from his bed one day and decide to invade the neighbouring monarch.No need to go too far,even recently you can see how the germans ,french and british butchered each other in the 20th century,but today they are one entity of EU taking on the rest of the world with their combined economic power.The world has changed.We have the UN now to stop people from getting up from their bed and deciding to attack others.Wake up and grow up and get rid of your paranoia.

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        “Not only you but the Native Veddahs are also trying to usurp us now. We have no choice but to fight on all fronts.”

        Less than 5000 veddhas are now a good excuse to feed your paranoia further.You sound like a great fighter,fighting on all fronts,but have you ever fought against superior numbers or vastly inferior numbers?A bully is also a coward they say.I remember when we were at primary school and playing in the playground the boys from the sinhala medium would come and try to disrupt our play and say the that part of the ground is theirs etc.Two or three tamil boys would clout about 10 of them and they would all run off.When they grow up of course they have their army and navy and airforce and can bully with impunity.

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    Interesting presentation of some valuable historical observations. Tamils have become Sinhalese and then become Tamils again, in parts of the Vanni. I am sure this to and fro waves of cultural assimilation and expression began in times of yore and is yet on-going to some extent. Tamils have become Sinhalese and Tamils have become Sinhalese over time.
    I know of a family in the south, where the father was Tamil and the mother Sinhalese. The children acknowledge their mixed origins, though publicly identifying themselves as Tamils. I know the father taught them Carnatic music and verses from the Gita. However since their father’s death, they have in fact adopted their mother’s ‘ Ge’ name. The third generation grudgingly admit to their grand father being a Tamil and are now 100% Sinhalese in every way. Their children will in all likelihood react violently if told in a future date that their great grand father was a Tamil. I know of fellow undergraduate at peradeniya, whose mother was Sinhalese and the father was Tamil. Since they lived in Jafnna and she schooled there, her identity was Tamil.

    This process has taken place in many combinations all over the island. The location where they live and the culture they are taught to live ultimately decides the communal identity they eventually assume.

    The late Cardinal Cooray understood this process and closed the Tamils schools in the Negombo-Chillaw-Puttalam belt. The result was many Tamil children had to go the Sinhala schools and each passing generation became more and more Sinhalized.

    Dr.Rajasingham narendran

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      Dr Narendran,

      To tell you the truth I too have friends and know of others who unfortunately are caught up in such identity dilemmas as you speak of. Well what we say is choose now if you wish to be identified as a Tamil or Sinhalese. If you choose to be in the latter group we will accept you without fuss, whatever your ancestry is.

      We are trying to create a single identity for the Sri Lankan people. This multiculturalism idea that Shankar describes above is good for other countries but will not work in Sri Lanka. The Tamils have a homeland – Tamilnadu. Sorry if this hurts you Dr RN but you and all your Tamil folks can go to Tamilnadu and live happily ever after. The Muslims who so dearly identify themselves, in dress habits and in all other cultural mannerisms, will be better off, if they mass migrated to Saudi Arabia or any other similar country.

      SL is our homeland. Let us live our life and not be pushed into ever diminishing enclaves by demarcating the surreptitiously expanding North SL and East SL as exclusively Tamil lands.

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        “We are trying to create a single identity for the Sri Lankan people. This multiculturalism idea that Shankar describes above is good for other countries but will not work in Sri Lanka.”

        Can you tell us why it will not work?Instead of being a frog in the well and living in srilanka only why don’t you go and live for at least a couple of years in the US,canada,australia and NZ and see how harmoniously people live together and work together side by side day in and day out.See also the standard of living and how well administrated those countries are.Why do you think srilankans including sinhalese are dying to go to those countries?It is mainly because of racists like you spoiling our country.Besides in US you can see a big mixed populationa including Obama and this has happened in only 200 years.Just imagine what it will be in 500 years and they will have a majority of mixed population like the mulatto in brazil.People were intermarrying nicely in srilanka too until guys likenyou started all the racial tensions and highlighted ethnicity.

        It is a joke for people like you to talk of one srilankan identity and then at the same time do the opposite of highlighting ethnic differences.In the countries that i have mentioned they will have one single country identity one day due to natural process of mixing of the races.A stronger hardiesr and resourcefull race of people will evolve in those countries.

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          Shankar Thambi,

          Veli ooruku powa kasi ille thambi.

          Not everyone can travel my friend. If not money problems it is having to beg, grovel and bending over backwards for the visa from these countries that you paint such a fanciful picture of. If you think there is no racism in those countries you are not well informed. Less than 10 years ago there was a race riot in Sydney, during the time of John Howard as Prime Minister. In almost all European countries the ‘Far Right’ political parties are making a great headway in elections.

          Why it will not work is because it has not worked for thousands of years. The history of Sri Lanka for eons has only been invasion and repulsion. Just prior to European conquest of Sri Lanka, we had the South Indian Nayakkars lording over us. The Brits leaving has now opened a path to repulse the usurpers once more. That is why cohabitation between Sinhalese and Tamils or for that matter Muslims will not work. You are welcome to label me as a racist, but this is a necessary evil, it ensures our existence.

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          I understand creating a Sri Lankan identity that can be accepeted b a sinhalese, tamil and a moor is important. But comparing this country with the countries like NZ, Aus and US is not correct. Because all these countries are NEW countries they do not carry the historical baggage that we in SL carry.

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        By the same token, you Singhalese also have a homeland, and it is called Bengal and Orissa. Why should you get all of Ceylon to yourself when you are colonists/invaders. If you were Veddah, I would agree that all of SL should be the Veddah homeland.

        Tamils in SL left South India over 1500 years ago. If Tamils go back then so should you.

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          Sinhalese have veddha blood in them. Sinhala nation was born here. It was us who built a civilization here.

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    The situation in the Vanni is much more complex than a few individual cases cited by Dr.R.N.I am a Sinhalese as things go but I too have close Tamil relatives from my wife’s side.The point is that in the Vanni, there is a mix up of the people of the Vanni and and the Vanni chieftains.Those who migrated to the island largely in the 15th to 16 centuries were Vanni chieftains. Some came with retinues, services castes like drummers and washermen. They were given land by the Sinhalese kings and allowed lordship over the local residents (rate-Atto).The chieftains came to be referred to as Vanniyas (Vanniyars) and they administered the local population according to local customs. John D’Oyle has left some records of this system in his Diaries. D.G.B de Silva has explained this in his paper in the RAS Journal using hitherto unused Sinhalese oral tradition, collected by Hugh Nevill. There is a collection of these compiled by former Civil servant C.E.L wickremesinghe, deposited in the RAS Library in Colombo. This is more comprehensive than Kapuruhamy’s account published by Codrigton ( see Dewaraja).
    The Governor (Sheriff) at Anuradhapura whom Robert Knox met was a descendant of one of these migrant Vanni chiefs.He spoke Malabari language and people around him too spoke that language. That was understandable.No big deal.This was the later Suriyakula Kumarsinghe family (later Nuwara wewa Mudiyanse /Bulankulama).
    The people (rate-atto) lived in their settlements around the wewas. What Ratnawalli has quoted from early British writers is the process of some of these local residents adopting Malabari customs and religious practices following their new chieftains. Hugh Nevill, Assistant Government Agent of Vavunikulam, Trincomalle (twice)observed that even the family of President of Hurulle followed Malayali customs. The late Prof. Suriakumara claimed himself to be a descendant of the old Suriyakumara family of Anuradhapura.The Sinhalese considered this family to be Sinhalese (or they did not bother about their ethnicity? but considered them to be their lords (MahaVanniya).Origin or language distinctions did not did not matter. Later, in the Sinhalese kingdom of Kandy, the Vaduga rulers were accepted as Sinhalese kings. One should read D.G.B.de Silva’s paper in RAS Journal (1956/1999)to understand these complications. He calls the Vanni situation a subculture.

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      No-ethnologist

      Good to hear from you as the Bandu’s ghost writer.

      How is he getting on with his life in his retirement? He is an eccentric old chap I like him very much. Sri Lanka doesn’t produce people like him anymore. Say hello to him for me.

      I wish him well.

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    BBS rep,

    All Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Veddhas have to leave this island and go to various parts of India, if your argument has any merit. If India does not want to take us in, we have to go back to East Africa- our original home!

    Why should Tamils become Sinhalese? The island belongs to us both and the others who are citizens. I can understand the need for us all to think of ourselves as Sri Lankans. Being a Sri Lankan should not in anyway negate our communal identity. It is a collective identity that
    provides an umbrella for all of us to stand under, while being different in noticeable ways- unity in diversity.

    Also, I have to remind you, despite my distaste for doing so, that from the advent of the British colonial interlude to a few years after independence, the Tamils were coming out of the north and east to make their life in the rest of the country. The series of events shortsightedly and maliciously set in motion by the governments of Sri Lanka, contributed to Tamils becoming conscious of their ‘Tamilness’ and their traditional places of residence in the north and east. The Tamils have not done anything surreptitious to expand their presence in the north and east. They of course permitted other Tamils from the hill country to come and live among them, when the latter were literally thrown to the wolves in the hill country. This was also a response to state-sponsored settlement of Sinhalese in parts of the north and east to create new demographic realities.

    The north and east were supposed to be the last enclaves where the Tamils could feel safe. Unfortunately the Tamil militancy made even this concept untenable! The Tamils may live in large numbers in the South today as a consequence of the prolonged war, but they are not a people who feel absolutely secure. The once bitten twice shy syndrome is at play. To them yet the north and east are their home.

    The recent activities of the BBS has increased this feeling of insecurity several fold. The words such as yours contribute to make it worse, negating the efforts of those like me to forge a national unity under a common Sri Lankan identity. I will describe myself as a ‘Tamil- English-Sinhala’-speaking ‘Tamil Sri Lankan’. I wonder what is conceivably wrong with this?

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      Addendum:

      The other alternative to all of us going back to India, is for Sri Lanka to become a part of India as Anagarika Dharmapala had once suggested. Th Sinhala will then become one more language spoken in India.

      I of course personally dislike the concept, as I am sure you do. I think of myself as very much a ‘Tamil Sri Lankan’- probably foolishly so, to accept the idea.

      Humanity is diverse and the life on earth is diverse. Let us accept diversity as natures way of ensuring our survival, rather than a calamity.

      Dr.RN

      Dr.RN

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        Daather Ayya,

        You hit it in the head. Diversity has been a calamity to Sri Lanka.

        I reiterate, history is irrelevant. What is relevant is what is on the ground today. We have irrevocably polarized communities never able to live together. We have been ripping each other apart from time immemorial. Today we are no closer to each other than we were at any time in history. I cannot see a day when we could drop all this cultural and language baggage to forge a united psyche. On the ground today there are two communities in Sri Lanka who identify themselves with Tamil Nadu and Saudi Arabia. The Sinhalese do not identify themselves with Orissa (Shankar Thambi take note) or whatever part of India most of our kith is supposed to have originated.

        Either we continue hanging on to this disjointed social fabric that ever so often scream for death and destruction, and carry on bloodletting till kingdom come, or ethnically cleanse ourselves here and now, once and for all.

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          The Tamils in the north and east do not identify themselves with Tamil Nadu. The hill country Tamils also do not do so. It is the likes of you who try to thrust the Tamil Nadu identity on the Tamils, to bolster your perverse convenience and sinister purpose.

          It is the likes of you who invented the Arya-Sinhala dress. It is the likes of you dressed and ate like the malayalees, in the days I yet remember. It is the likes of you who adopted Hindustani Music. It is likes of you who have introduced jaw-breaking North Indianised words into the Sinhala language. It is the likes of you who have tried to make the Sinhalese the kin of North Indians. We have been always Tamils, but the Tamils of Sri Lanka and not of India. We have a culture that is quite indigenous, which those like you fails to recognize. The Tamil we speak is original and is quite different from how it is spoken in South India. Our food and cultural practices are also quite different, though there is superficial similarity. We Tamils have not tried to mimic anyone in what is at the core of our culture and values.

          Dr.RN

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            Dr RN
            Do you think the sinhalese are still foolish not to know the difference between srilankan tamils and tamil nadu tamils after the war?
            Similarities between srilankan tamils and sinhalese with malayaalees can be striking. Prof Pathmanathan has done a lot of work on this association.

            I believe we live in an era when sinhalese can impose their views on minorities inspite of their tacit knowledge about chequered srilankan history.

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    Alas Native Veddha, you have put Darshanie baba to bed. He is fast a sleep and respond to the identity crisis she has caused. I guess you must have put a nasty “Sooniyang ” on her. How cruel of you uninvolved native.

    Be happy that the Sinhalese tolerate you and tourist take photographs of you. Because after what the Tourist have seen on Tell – they would not want to be photographed with the Sinhalese.

    I am surprised to see others calling you a mongrel – especial those from Orissa, with Lion Blood and well documented history of abuse (starting from their own historic records the Mahavamsa).

    We need to wake Baba up now. Please put that antidote Sooniyang on her.Only people like her can lead her race to cultural extinction. But then they may not need her help, as they are doing a jolly good job themselves.

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    A bunch of confused people talking meaningless drivel.

    There is a real concept called race in science (race = sub species). However as members of different sub-species are capable of sexual reproduction leading to viable offspring, there could be inter-mixing between overlapping races which is generally resolved by generations of exposure to selection pressures and factors such as random genetic drift etc. This is under natural conditions. But current human society is artificial and not subject to natural selection that much.

    For mixed human races, racial identity can only be resolved through genetic dilution (a kind of genetic Drift). If your ancestors kept marrying into another race for several generations then gradually your racial identitiy will shift until you become a fully fledged member of that particular race/group phenotypically, culturally and linguistically.

    Until that time you will remain a confused, mixed race member commonly known as a mutt.

    For instance, are mixed dutch burghers Sinhalese or Dutch ? If a burgher keeps marrying into sinhalese families for several generations he/she will gradually become more and more ‘Sinhalized’ and finally start to be Sinhalese both in appearance and customs. This is why you get burghers who look very much like Sinhalese ( I know one female who looks and acts very much like a sinhalese though she has burgher ancestry ).

    So while there are more ‘pure’ Sinhalese towards the south and more ‘pure’ Tamils in the North( Genetically , linguistically and culturally ), in areas like the north-central province etc., where there is much overlapping between Tamils and Sinahalese there maybe many individuals who are mixed but identify themselves as either Sinhala or Tamil depending on the amount of genetic and cultural dilution they have undergone.

    Ironically this is the sad situation of mixed race indivduals.

    Instead of talking shop here You guys should read Geneticists like Cavalii Sforza of Stanford ( the MAP OF THE HUMAN GENOME I believe his book was ).

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    American Mama,

    Well, you are even more confused, you added to the drivel.

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