15 June, 2021

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Do The Jaffna Tamils Have A Culture?

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

H. L. D. Mahindapala

H. L. D. Mahindapala

The Tamils have a great culture. One of the best. But that is not found in Jaffna – the so-called heartland of the indigenous Tamils. Though they crow about their culture loudly and interminably, there is no significant evidence of great cultural achievements in Jaffna because they have been, at all times, merely mediocre imitators of S. Indian culture. To find the great Tamil culture one has to go across the Palk Straits to Tamil Nadu – the one and only homeland of all Tamils. The original and rich treasures of Tamil history and culture were forged in the creative anvil of Tamil Nadu. The Jaffna Tamils lacked the innovative genius to make their history shine with the splendour of any remarkable cultural icons to get anywhere near the magnificent achievements of Tamil Nadu in the north, or the Sinhala-Buddhist culture in the south. Unable to produce anything great, they were quite content to bask in the reflected glory of S. Indian culture. Focusing on the failure of the Sri Lankan Tamils to establish a cultural identity of their own, Prof. Sinnappah Arasaratnam, the Tamil historian, wrote: “No original artistic tradition grew in Tamil Ceylon. Culturally, the Tamils looked upon their arts as part of the Dravidian tradition of south India. When any major work was to be undertaken, craftsmen would be brought from Tamil Nadu. Geographic proximity and political relations made this possible.” (p.115 – CEYLON, S. Arasaratnam, Prenctice Hall Inc., New Jersey, USA).

As the nearest outpost of Tamil Nadu – the motherland of all Tamils wherever they may be — the Sri Lankan Tamils continued to use Tamil Nadu as their spiritual, geographical and historical homeland. That is one advantages that the other Tamils spread out in far-flung domains do not have. To be next door to the motherland instilled in the Sri Lankans an affinity which was missing in, for instance, the Tamils of Malaysia, S. Africa or the Caribbean. Their nearness made accessibility so easy that they did not even feel the need to establish a permanent settlement in Sri Lanka. After all, in the pre-TV era, it was the common practice among the Velvettiturai Tamils, to dash across to the other shore, see a post-prandial Tamil film and come back to have a good night’s rest. There was no necessity for them to establish another homeland in Sri Lanka when they had the genuine and only homeland just next door. How many homelands do the Tamils need to prove that they are Tamils? Or that they are somebodies and not nobodies?

The northern coastal belt of Sri Lanka was only a temporary base for their fishing or trading expeditions, mainly. Though they claim to have been inhabiting the island before anyone else they evinced no interest in making Sri Lanka their permanent home. It was nothing more than a transit point in the Indian Ocean. It took a long time for them to settle down in Sri Lanka as their new home. It is true that they came as brides, priests, traders, mercenaries, craftsmen, fishermen, invaders and marauders but not as permanent settlers initially. It took a long while for them to settle down as permanent stake holders in Sri Lanka. “What we can say with certainty is that by 1325 the Tamil kingdom had come onto the historical scene,” says Prof. Sinnappah Arasaratnam, (p.104 – Ibid).

Unlike the Sinhalese they neither acquired nor developed a sense of belonging to the land. The Sinhalese severed their connections with India and went their own way to develop a new identity of their own. The Jaffna Tamils, on the contrary, never cut off their umbilical cord. They remained tied to S. India with the primordial urge to go back into the womb. Their comfort zone was S. India and not an alien patch which was divorced from their motherland. With Tamil Nadu near at hand, there was no necessity either for them to uproot themselves from their homeland and transplant themselves in some alien land. Without sending their roots deep into Sri Lankan soil, they opted to live on the surface, as it were, as they derived their cultural/spiritual sustenance from the rich sources in S. India. This is natural. They were justifiably proud of their Tamil culture and it was there for them to claim without having to work for it.

There is no evidence of the Tamil culture rising to great heights outside Tamil Nadu either. Besides, being overwhelmed by the greatness of the S. Indian Tamil culture anything that the Jaffna Tamil could produce would have a been nothing more than a second-rate imitation. So Jaffna, which was held aloft as the heartland of the Tamils, remained as a pale imitation of the S. Indian culture without any notable achievements. But with the typical Jaffna Tamil predisposition to pose as being superior to everyone else, they had the brass to claim that their culture was of a higher grade, and therefore, superior to that of even Tamil Nadu simply because “(S)ome archaic forms that are lost on the mainland have been retained in Jaffna.” (p. 115 – Ibid). Example : “Om” (yes) is used in Jaffna for “Aaam” (yes) in Tamil Nadu. And they take great pride in this speech pattern to claim superiority over the Tamil Nadu Tamil. Their pride reached the peak when the purists of Jaffna pleaded with Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, when she was Prime Minister, to ban the import of Tamil pop culture from Tamil Nadu, particularly its cheap magazines, to save the superior quality / purity of the Tamil language in Jaffna.

Undoubtedly, one way of judging a culture is by the calibre of its icons. For instance, Shakespeare stands out as the unchallenged icon of the English culture/ language. He had the genius to borrow heavily from other sources and enrich his own culture. All cultures achieve their greatness by interacting with other. It is the openness of the Sinhala culture that let other cultures come in and mingle that made it great. The Jaffna Tamil culture was more like a billabong – a stagnant pond where no new waters flowed in. It was a closed society that was not open to fertilising forces from outside. Like the Aborigines of Australia, for instance, a closed society stagnates while an open society flourishes with the new and invigorating input of outsiders.

Consider, for instance, the great cultural icons of Jaffna. There are only two noteworthy figures recognised by the Tamils : Arumuka Navalar and C. W. Thamotherampillai. They are elevated to the highest rank because they are considered to be “revivalists” of the Tamil language. Note the word “revivalist”. It does not mean creative innovators. Both are known not for producing any original or classical works of art of their own but only for digging up the buried Tamil literature in S. India and reviving them. Thamotherampillai is known for going round houses in Madras, as it was known then, and virtually begging to get hold of the old texts buried in boxes. Arumuka Navalar brought the first printing press and introduced the text unknown to the wider Tamil public. This then is the extent of the great Tamil revivalist movement of Jaffna. None produced any original or outstanding works that could add to the glory of Tamil culture. The narrow field in which they worked too reveal the failure of the Jaffna to produce a worthy culture of their own.

The history of the Sinhalese and the Tamil began to diverge from the time the original settlers began to discover Sri Lanka. The critical point in the Sinhala settlers came when they severed the links to their land of origin. The tyranny of distance made sure that there was no going back to their homeland. Historical and geographical circumstances did not give the Sinhalese any option. They had either to make it in their new homeland or perish. Severing of the umbilical cord made all the difference. They had no fall back position like the Tamil settlers. Their was no neighbouring motherland to run to. This made all the difference to the two settlers. The Sinhalese were forced to toil on every grain of sand and channel every drop of water not only to survive but to turn it into a glorious civilisation. Above all, they fertilised the soil with their blood. This is why the bonds of the Sinhala people to the land are far more stronger than the latter-day claims to a homeland of the Tamils.

With or without the Mahavamsa the Sinhala-Buddhists had a rightful and historical claim to the land because it was they who made both the history and the land. History and the land belongs to those who make it and not to those who come to destroy it. The Mahavamsa is the literary embodiment of the spirit and the soul of the people who created the monumental history recorded in it. It has been a bonding agent, no doubt. It affirms that the destiny of the land and history is inextricably intertwined with that of the Sinhala-Buddhists who are its traditional and anointed caretakers. Eminent scholars read/study it with respect it deserves. Frustrated female canines who have no other way of letting off their pent up Freudian steam – and their male counterpart — bark at it like the way they bark at the moon that sheds benign light on all living beings. It records how the Sinhalese, driven by their creative energy, gave the world a new culture and a new civilisation.

On the contrary, the Tamils who migrated to the north were floating in an out of the island without a fixed permanent abode. The irony is that the Tamils whose claim to the land is based on the questionable assertion that they came here first never bothered to make it their home. If they came here first and if they were committed to make this their homeland why did they allow the Sinhalese to take over the island? They could have done it then quite easily without Chelvanayakam leading the Tamils to their death in Nandikadal! The tragedy is that each time they tried to take over it was not only late but beaten by the superior forces of the Sinhalese. This is not a triumphalist proclamation but only a simple clarification of known history.

Besides, what were their Mahalingams, Panchalingams, Pothalingams and all the others endowed with lingams doing to overcome the demographic dominance of the Sinhalese? Since they claim to have come first they had all the opportunities to flood the island with Tamils. But when the time came to go to bed they ran to S. India. It was quite late by the time they woke up to the fact that there was a land called Sri Lanka. “By the sixteenth century, the Tamils were established as a people of the island,” says Prof. Arasaratnam. “They had ceased looking to the original homeland except for cultural inspiration,” he added. (p.115 – Ibid). Clearly, they found it superfluous to create anything new of their own because everything that had to be made was already there in S. India. They were quite content to be second-rate imitators wearing the borrowed clothes handmade in S. India.

At one point Prof. Arasaratnam argues that the Tamils could not create a grand civilisation on the scale of the Sinhala-Buddhists because they lacked the natural resources gifted to the Sinhalese. But this is puerile argument for an historian. Had he not heard of the great Pharaohnic civilisation built on the burning sands of arid Sahara desert?

Influenced by third-rate imitators Jaffna bred a shallow Tamil psyche that took pride in illusions of grandeur and superiority. The Tamil Tiger flag is a typical product of the imitative and debased culture of Jaffna. Running parallel to the illusions of grandeur that haunt the Jaffna psyche (example: Radhika Coomaraswamy talks of Sir Muthu Coomaraswamy, one of her ancestors, parading as a prince of Ceylon in St. James Court in colonial London) is a more grim aspect to the Jaffna culture. It is a beastly culture that made Jaffna the darkest and bloodiest chapter in Sri Lankan history. Details can be read in the next article.

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Latest comments

  • 22
    3

    As a sinhalaya but not having lived in the country – I raise the same question that we the sinahalya in the south are cultured.

    If they are cultured – do they respect MR and his violent devious rascal culture at all ?

    Where he can, he makes every effort to appear and destroy it – that is the nature of MR et al. Born culprits of the kind will see no any rehab therapiesif we analyse this with the professionals.
    Man was tamed by low level astrologists to HOLD THE last Election – that is where one can raise the quesiton, the man – the magicians for easy targets possessed learding qualities.
    Doing something totally but preaching like gods were the nature of MR et al.
    Now being unable to see it REALLY HAPPENING – they behave as if crabs are kept in boiling water.

    Smashing coconut goining inthe ame path of the astrolgers led belief.
    Joining WK commomaration to please the many that he would even attend any past leaders events.. even if he had been away from all such events inthe might 10 years.

    • 19
      5

      PLEASE CT;
      WHY do youallow HATE SPEECHes- or the like that can divide the communities further ?

      This I thought against you guide lines.

      Mostly H. L. D. Mahindapala –adds his kind of hatreds through his articles. If we need to strengthen the work being done pro – reconciliation, why to add the kind of articles to this platform.

      Secondly, looking at the comments added by the many, most seem to be against Mahinda palas articles – sine they do spread more hatreds than we thought before.

      • 6
        0

        Well said, Solomen Jayaratne. Well said, and Bravo for your stand you BRAVE man!

        I join you in this line of thinking. Colombo Telegraph – in allowing Mahinda Pala unlimited space – is fast becoming a webpage promoting racist inclined discussions.

        This should be decried by all right thinking men and women.

    • 11
      3

      I would like to ask Mahinda’s Stooge another Question.

      What is your definition of ‘Culture’?

      Do you have a ‘Culture’, or does a Pot of Yoghurt have more of it?

    • 12
      3

      Before all these points,

      Is MA HI NDA PALA a cultured person?

      In Australia he considered as a “Political refugee”. In other words MA HI NDA PALA was person without a nationality.

      Now he travells on passport in the name borrowed nationality.

      Such a person talks about others culture.

      If he is an educated person or an academic, we consider his writing.

      He writings are purely based on racisim. So only BBS, Wimal Wirawansa and others belong to this group read his crap.

      He tries to be in good books of Sinhala racist groups in Australia and other countries. THIS IS AN OLD AGE PROBLEM.

      Excuser him.

    • 7
      1

      H. L. D. Mahindapala

      RE: Do The Jaffna Tamils Have A Culture?

      “The Tamils have a great culture. One of the best. But that is not found in Jaffna – the so-called heartland of the indigenous Tamils. Though they crow about their culture loudly and interminably, there is no significant evidence of great cultural achievements in Jaffna because they have been, at all times, merely mediocre imitators of S. Indian culture. To find the great Tamil culture one has to go across the Palk Straits to Tamil Nadu – the one and only homeland of all Tamils. “

      My Culture is Great Culture, says everybody.

      So, Tamils, Sinhala, Muslims, Portuguese, Dutch and English all have great cultures.

      “As the nearest outpost of Tamil Nadu – the motherland of all Tamils wherever they may be — the Sri Lankan Tamils continued to use Tamil Nadu as their spiritual, geographical and historical homeland. That is one advantages that the other Tamils spread out in far-flung domains do not have. To be next door to the motherland instilled in the Sri Lankans an affinity which was missing in, for instance, the Tamils of Malaysia, S. Africa or the Caribbean.”

      What is your opinion of Izeth Hussein claiming that the Tamil Phobia against the Sri Lankan Muslims, they supported the Sinhala State against the Tamils and Justified LTTE VP Ethnic Cleansing.

    • 37
      2

      And what culture do the Sinhalese have? Its all a hodge podge with Portuguese surnames, Christian antecedents and a completely mixed race. There is no Sinhalese classical music. There is no Sinhalese classical dance. There is no Sinhalese literature before the 1300s. Its all South Indian be it the new year, the so-called Kandyan traditions, the bride jewelry, the brass lamp etc etc.

      If you care so much about your race, why don’t you return to Sri Lanka. You are a stupid imbecile.

      • 0
        2

        ha ha hurt so much

    • 4
      0

      COLOMBO TELEGRAPH should seriously think of banning this man MahindaPala form its pages in the future.

      He just incites racism and serves as manna from heaven to those Sinhalese who are racists.

      Racism should be treated as an ugly word, and in the new sri lanka there cannot be any place for it.

      Just read the posts of some below, to know how deep is the resentment. Should not there be a genuine effort by CT to decry racism?

    • 2
      0

      This man is the Donald Trump of Colombo Telegraph. Obtuse, irreverent, uninformed, narcissistic, cherry picking evidence to support an inane argument. The ability to string a few words of English together doesn’t make an opinion maker. It is regrettable that this type of article manages to get pass the editor.

  • 26
    5

    Why is Colombo Telegraph posting hate-speech? I am waiting for that new law banning hate speech. For if everyone started writing back in kind, we will end up again in another 30 years of war.

    • 2
      1

      [Edited out]

    • 14
      2

      Why are people commenting on this rubbish?

      Mahinda’s Stooge,(Mahindapala) is just trying to overtake the number of comments that Sharmini got!

      • 2
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        Yes You are right. Please do not comment. That is what he wants us to do.

    • 3
      3

      Because CT has to be ‘unbiased’. Why grudge this one to hundred allocation of space, mister

      • 5
        2

        somass

        Are you one of HLD M’s new sidekicks?

      • 0
        0

        On the other hand why should we stop. The race is between two of our enemy race, no?

    • 3
      1

      Disgusted

      “Why is Colombo Telegraph posting hate-speech? “

      Is it hate speech or an Alternate Viewpoint?

      If Nicklaus Copernicus wrote in 1543 it is the Earth that moves around the Sun and rotates on its own axis, it would have been classified as hate speech by the Church, and burned at the stake.

      Fortunately, he died before that.

  • 23
    5

    I am not worried about what His Excellency intellectual Professor Mahindapala says. After all, if you take a spoonful from a sh*t pot, we all know what to expect.

    But, my concern is about the brains behind Colombo Telegraph, which happily let these ‘well researched articles’ out here.

    I am sure, everyone here knows that Mahindapala’s main interest is to get a huge gross thumps up and and thumps down. He knows also that unless some of his mates come around, he will score a solid super century of *net* thumps down.

    I don’t want to try to respond to his ‘points’ here. He is a [Edited out], and I am not going to fall in that trap.

    It is all good to say about freedom of expression. But, I wish to ask a question from CT moderators. Would you allow a similar article on the Muslim culture and Sinhala culture with the same venomous tone?

    Very disapointing performance by CT.

    • 1
      1

      Would you allow a similar article on the Muslim culture and Sinhala culture with the same venomous tone// you dont read CT that much?

      • 1
        1

        Most of the butthurt We Thamizh here seem to be the same ones who howl in ecstasy whenever CT serves up a batch of steaming anti Sinhalam punnakku :D Cry baby cry :D

        • 1
          1

          @ Siva Sankaran Sarma

          Cool story/comment bro :D

          BTW, can you please tell us from which TN tribal area your Dalit ancestors were brought to the south of SL as coolie slaves to grow cinnamon who later got converted to Sinhala-Buddhists?

  • 4
    3

    [Edited out]

    • 8
      14

      I commend HLDM for this/….well written

      • 12
        4

        ballah,

        You are not just a Muslim hater but a Tamil hater too! There is nothing to be surprised about is there? You are a complete bigot!

        • 6
          15

          burning issue, i hate any minority if they demand undue things and when they try to act like the majority. i even hate sinhalese who try to whitewas muslim and tamil terrorists and their terrorist activities. i don’t hate muslims who eats pork, who don’t wear trash bags, who don’t put their stupid religion on everything, who don’t try to spread extremism and intimidation on majority, who expose the malicious side of islam, who are not involved in cultural invasion….etc

          i don’t hate tamils who don’t demand separate state, who don’t support TNA or wigi, who don’t commemorate tamil terrorists..etc.

          I’m not a bigot but a sinhalese buddhist patriot

          • 5
            3

            Now with gold medal winner of the hate speakers – Ghanasara being in the custody for no further notice – all others in the same line should rightly be focused.
            The day varied forms of haters are burned down BY LAW to the very same manner collected ivories were made – nothing would be successful towards the civlized SOCIETY building containing respect and dignity more than hatred and deviousness.

            These men that support hatreds should be cornered by the law prevailing and reformed laws getting its ground in the days to come.
            Latter can be made if all forces would work collectively focusing on the last goal.

            Schools and other religious institutes could and should work along with civil society groups consisting professionals if wantin to to turn the wrong intoxications about Rajaapkshes – this can only be achieved if even low IQ inherited people are fed with a langauge their skulls will receive it.

            Politicians are there to accelerate the processes mentioned above – not to block them. JVPrs have been supporting, while virulent MR supporters have been standing on the way. Latter is the ground reality.. But jana balaya, people s power (health people s power) can achieve a lot as became evident on the 8th Jan 2015.

            • 4
              5

              08th of jan 2015 is the day country was betrayed over the hopper conspiracy. it’s marked as a black day in the history of SL where minority racists got on to power defeating sinhalese buddhists nationalism betraying war heros.
              since then terrorists go free and war heros and budhhist monks are jailed

          • 7
            4

            If you are soooo brave and sooo dedicated to the motherland (well, the MOTHERland of Sinhala people are Pandya Kingdom, according to Mahavamsa) and Buddhism (contributed heavily by Tamil monks), why don’t you come open and write with your real name? Chicken!!!

            • 4
              6

              your sickness won’t be cured by medicine, tamil racist

          • 6
            3

            balla: have you got your anti-rabies shot this year?

      • 13
        3

        That is the nature of Ballah…. they only sit with them.. tolerating the ticks problem.

        We get this on the TV these days -whereever MR is roaming all dogs are waging their tails and strolling behind. Is nt that so ? What more example we need to have ?

        • 2
          11

          sirimal, i was looking for a joker to comment and there you are

          • 6
            3

            Are u sure about being a real sinhalese buddhist patriot ? Or you are an another MR like patriot ?

            MR Nature: Telling the palatable-but knowing the nature and tradition of the majority masses- if the messages are passed through temples – the outcome of outreach had been so successful- having being in the lanken politics for the last 45 years, MR was well conversant in the langauge the people comprehend. The latter is not the case with JVPers, since they though work are not known the real nature of lanken masses. Actually academics would work the way JVPers would do – still not the most appropriate if anything to be implemented in SL.

            if you are real partiot, you ought not to ridicule out when talking about alarming issues. We are all against any kind of extremists in the country, be them tamils, BBS dogs or other sinhala groups – the law shold be equal to all.

            Gone are the days we just exchange only on the ethnic issue – we have to react. Each of us is an unit to work on the PEACE. Just waiting poliicians only to react- cant bring it at all, since the situation in the society as we clearly notice is akin to a metastasized cancer but with few options to heal the malignancy.

            • 5
              5

              sirimal, you call BBS dogs and very lean on tamil terrorists and forgot to mention muslim extremists. i can see where you are going. you are also a knuckle head just like our politicians who think reconciliation is only about curbing sinhalese buddhists and kneeling down to minority atrocities. shame on you and you won’t bring peace this way. If MR had your mindset, we would still be fighting the war

              • 4
                2

                Had your leaders worked by considering Shame- we would have the chance to do so -but SHAMELESS Rajaakshes looted to the core- now their appearances on the TV – are the visits being made to investigation departments – the frequency has become more than the man goes to his bathroom. Had the former leader sensed it in compliance with the norms and standards, respecting his lawful advicers, nothing would have marched to this levels.

                Sadly the langague you and the ilk supporting to Rajaakshe is not for me. Nor for the masses that long for sustainble peace in this country. We are all srilankens, regardless of our race origin or whatever other parameters, we should all be regarded as srilankens.

                Some by birth cant them while others tend to get caught by tricy politicans easily – and some do it for money as pross do – may be you have to live with that. What matters is the majoratarian views – but healthy views… that is towards peace lead civilized society.

              • 2
                3

                ballah,

                “sirimal, you call BBS dogs and very lean on tamil terrorists and forgot to mention muslim extremists.”

                It is obvious that one does not need to lean on Tamil terrorists to call the BBS as dogs! It is not your fault as you are not that bright upstairs to understand must things let alone communal relationships! An alcoholic or a drug addict does not accept that he has a problem. The first step to cure the problem is to admit that he has a problem. You are a bigot and you do not admit that you have an issue; therefore, no cure can be foreseen in the near future for you!

                • 1
                  2

                  sirimal, problem with you is that you are a sinhalese buddhist basher and trying to sympathize every damn think minority terrorists carry out. world will see that you are suffering but you don’t feel it because of the benefits you get from minority terrorists

                  • 0
                    0

                    For me if you call minorities as terrorists, most terrorists for me are the sinhala extremists, basta. See how Buruwanse and Gonmanpila behave today. What do they want ? Do we need this nation to be further divided. Did nt we fight a 30 year old war ? was that not enough? Why to divide us further ? The kind of extremists are not what we need right at the moment. We need to realize that we are all the same – we all deserve to be srilankens regardless of the race, reglion and any other factors.

  • 16
    3

    This man [Edited out] and with very strange name like Don Mahindapala is spreading venom against fellow Lankan Tamil countrymen. I read only the heading and couple of lines. I guess this guy got angered by the NE CM Wigneshwaren’s foolish and unnecessary comment saying Sinhalese were not even a ethnically identifiable tribe…(may he referred to this Kawalam Don)
    MahindaPala, [Edited out]

  • 15
    3

    HLD Mahindapala is a disgrace to the sinhalese community and the tamils should not get offended by reading an article written by a communal minded guy well known for his bootlicking of MR

  • 14
    3

    I did not read this piece. I never read Don Mahindapala’s “articles”. Don’t write any comments, either. Ignoring this man is the best lesson we can teach him. So, keep your silence, skip his article, and never make a comment.

    • 10
      4

      But, why does CT provide him a platform?

      • 6
        3

        Rohan your question is so focused. Great.

        I understand that some readers wnt to read balanced views. But Don Mahindapala would not fit any of the models. He is beyond any common journos that spread hatred, extremism or the kind disharmonies in lanken society. May be the man enjoying the dole (social funds in Aus) have nothing better to do. Why not return and join Rajapakshe dissidents ? is my next question. In that way he could better do something good to the other reasonable asylum seekers coming from legible countries such as Syria. I am fully against srilankens bein offered asylum either in europe or australia in today s context.

    • 3
      2

      ken , yet you have commented.

  • 6
    3

    Moving with all different ethnic and religious groups in Sri Lanka we know they each have a distinctive culture. So I cant understand what Mr Mahindpala is writing about.

    Seems he has a grudge against the Tamils. As his name suggests he is MahindaPala. Whatever MR says or does is OK for him.

    • 6
      2

      This guy is married to a Tamil. Love to meet this woman.

      • 2
        1

        To me it looks like that his wife dislikes him, does not cook for him, etc. When a man walks around with so much negativity about him, who would want to associate with him. Thus this article I think.

      • 4
        1

        Then she should be one another unlucky person on this earth since MAHINDAPALA has been so malicious. All what he brings on this platform are malicious and catalyzing further communal hatred. That will have no end. Give us any good examples that the bugger brings with. Nothing. Being isolated as an another asylum seeker in Australia- he may have nothing better to do. I do know there are MBBS holders that drive taxis in Australia rather not having a job of their choice down there. Mahindapala, I advise you it is still not tool late you and your buddy to Dayan Silva Jayathilaka to start working on Reconciliation. That will only be a plus for the sustainable peace on this war torn country.

  • 10
    5

    Dear CT do you have any editorial standards or do you align with this racist Mahindapala.

  • 12
    4

    A rubbish article written by an uncultured racist.

    • 3
      1

      Rajash

      What is happening to you?

      Don’t reflect your anger on the CT editor.

      I have asked you to improve your writing standard. But you are not listening.

      You must thank CT for publishing your all kinds of ?????? comments.

      I am also getting bored with you.

      I must find a way to invigorate myself.

  • 5
    2

    CT provides HLDM with a platform just as it provides Usha Sri Skandarajah, Brian Senewiratne and MR with a platform. It does not publish just the articles we approve of.

  • 6
    0

    Hey Mr Pala,
    why not write similarity between both languages and cultures? starting with AMMA and traditional new year, Vesak / Buddha purinima etc? in which both the brothers will be able to live together forever?

    These kind of articles will help Prabakaran & his ideologist to march towards separation which arm manufactures and dealers will be ultimate beneficiaries. I am sure you will not benefit from this article unless if you are a partner of above

    • 1
      2

      you cant live like that with tribal tamil racists who live in a bubble of their superiority

  • 6
    3

    Did anyone request this person to analyse the Tamil culture? Just the first line is enough to know what a non-entity like him thinks.

    There are just a handful like this one, Dayan etc. they are the scum of this island nation. CT let them write so that we all know what is going on in the minds of such like ones. Not sure if they are even respected in their own households. As for me, it is just entertainment. Imagine someone stripping naked in public and bringing shame to himself. That.

  • 4
    2

    Just remembered, where is Kandiah? If he responds to this article, would be great entertainment.

  • 8
    3

    One has to be cultured enough to discover and appreciate another personstory culture.

    • 6
      3

      Excellent Jude

    • 6
      1

      Solid gold, Jude. Thanks!!!

      Australian Billionaire Warren Buffet said:

      “Honesty is very expensive gift, don’t expect it from cheap people”.

      Hear hear….

      • 3
        1

        Hey there Negombo Roshan,

        What did he say that offended you so much?

        • 2
          2

          The truth I’m guessing, that always seems to rub We Thamizh the wrong way :D

    • 2
      0

      Well said Jude !!!

    • 1
      1

      Actually he is appreciating Tamil culture.isnt he? He is just making fun of the immitators who think they are superior to everyone else, especially sinhalese

  • 7
    3

    Looks like Pala and CT have become mercenaries to sabotage post-war reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

  • 17
    2

    “DO THE JAFFNA TAMILS HAVE A CULTURE ?”

    Does he mean, after the burning of the Jaffna library ?

    • 16
      1

      Thanks. The library maintained by the Jaffna Kings in NallurNallur was on an earlier occasion burnt by the Portuguese! What Mahindapala and his kind say is like stripping a woman of her garments and then accusing her of being nude in public!
      Culture is not however books, libraries, statues, buildings, clothing, food and religion. It is a way of life that refines the mind, morals and tastes of most individuals in a society and makes them cultured. This reflects on the society they are part of.

      Dr.RN

      • 4
        8

        Dr. RN,

        You talk about morals etc and same breath try to con everyone!

        The library maintained by the Jaffna Kings in NallurNallur was on an earlier occasion burnt by the Portuguese!

        I know the Portuguese era very well. That is the first time I have heard of this.

        Can you provide the source of your information please? When I mean source, I mean someone other than your grand uncle.

        • 5
          1

          Vibhushana

          Can you please tell us from which TN tribal area your Dalit ancestors were brought to the south of SL as coolie slaves to grow cinnamon who later got converted to Sinhala-Buddhists?

        • 5
          2

          Vibushan “I know the Portuguese era very well.”

          Vibushana you have your version of the world’s history going back to big bang and you are trying hard to impose it upon CT readers.

          I am surprised you have not yet claimed that you were a creation as a first human being since the big bang and you know all the history of the world since then.

        • 5
          0

          ” I know the Portuguese era very well”.

          This claim and your ignorance of what the Portuguese did in Jaffna, shows how little you know and your unwillingness to learn.

          Valuable Ola manuscripts and copper plate inscriptions were burnt along with the structure of the Saraswathi Mahal! You have much to learn!

          Dr.RN

          • 2
            2

            Dr. RN,

            Thats fine, unless you were there you must have learnt it somehow.

            What/where and which research by whom do you refer when you made such an observation?

            The source is needed so that I can dive in there and learn for myself.

            • 4
              0

              Vibhushana,

              If you have the inclination, dive into Google and you will find plenty. For more, I remember you have access to the Dutch and British archives.

              Dr.RN

              • 2
                3

                This rajasingham fellow speaks as if he is some authority on history..but when you ask any sources…he will vanish or say something totally irrelevant..

        • 5
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          “Portuguese Colonial Period (1505 CE – 1645 CE)

          Between 1560 and 1621, the Portuguese Captain Major and Governor of Ceylon, Filipe de Oliveriya was responsible for the demolition of over 500 Hindu temples. In 1575, the Chilapam Muneswaram Kovil in Chillaw was destroyed. This was followed in 1588 by the demolition of the Vishnu Kovil in Devinuwera, and the Mathoddam Tirukethieswaram Kovil in Matota. The capture of Jaffna in 1619 changed the nature of Portuguese control over the Tamil kingdom. No longer did the Portuguese exert control through a subject but sovereign royal family. Control was now direct. As a consequence, the spread of Christianity accelerated, as did the destruction of temples. The Nallur Kandasamy Kovil was demolished under orders given by de Oliveriya on 2 February 1621, the day he assumed office as the senior Portuguese official in Jaffna. In 1622, the last great Ariya Chakravarti temple, the Thirukonamalai Tiru Konesar Kovil in Trincomalee was also torn down. In both Jaffna and Trincomalee, temple masonry was used to enhance the fortifications being built by the new colonial masters to withstand assault by modern weaponry. In Jaffna and in other towns, the destroyed temples were provided the building blocks for churches.
          Perhaps the greatest crime was de Oliveriya’s destruction of the Saraswati Mahal, which held the Ola leaf and copper-plate inscriptions containing the history of the oldest written language in the world. This ancient museum and library, the repository of all the lore and history of the Tamil people, was destroyed without a trace.
          The main Portuguese objective in Lanka was the exploitation of trade. As a consequence, once coastal areas were controlled (and therefore denied to a rival trade power), the Portuguese were content to limit their incursions into the interior. No effort was made to develop any infrastructure or trade in the Jaffna area. Early evangelism was encouraged however, and many Tamils who had experienced faith conversions through the proselytising efforts of Christian missionaries in the century since the Portuguese arrival, were joined by those converted by the sword, or through commercial expediency.
          On 21 June 1658, the Dutch captured Jaffna, bringing to an end the thirty-seven and a half years of Portuguese occupation.”

          ^ “Portuguese Colonial Period (1505–645 CE)”. Rohan Titus. Retrieved 2007-12-07.

          Dr.RN

      • 1
        2

        . It is a way of life that refines the mind, morals and tastes of most individuals in a society and makes them cultured. This reflects on the society they are part of.///well then the last thirty years with Prabha showed you have non of it :)

  • 7
    6

    Sinhala culture is sending mothers..wives..sisters ..daughters to Arabs to do sex service…correct?

    another is Sunday Sill Monday Kill…

    What is the culture of your Tamil wife?

    Rajaratna..Ilangaratna….Hema Basanayaka …now this joker Mahindapala …fanning racial flames

    Cheers

    • 6
      1

      ‘Sinhala culture is sending mothers..wives..sisters ..daughters to Arabs to do sex service…correct? another is Sunday Sill Monday Kill…’

      Shame on you Colon. Don’t lower yourself to others standards. Write politely and effectively like Dr RN. Whether one agrees with him or not he is always polite. I don’t think there is anyone who does not appreciate his comments.

  • 7
    14

    Well, when a European explorer asked a person from the present day Tamil Nadu region his identity, he would reply “I am a Malabar”.

    When the European surveyors drew their maps they identified the area with names like “Malabar coast” and “Madras”.

    The consciousness of most South Indians were “Malabar”. There were also groups calling themselves as Bedagaz and Vaduka etc. The identity called “Tamil” did not exist even as an idea. The identity would appear in European maps if it did.

    Pre-Malabar the consciousness of South Indians were Feudal consciousness. They identified themselves as belonging to the Chola, Palawa and Chera clan etc.

    The identity “Tamil” only seem to became vogue after Bishop Caldwell coined it referring to the the Mahavamsa. The “Damila” reference in the Mahavamsa did not represent day Tamils only however. The Sinhala people referred to all south Indians as Damila.

    Tamils only were endowed with a label and identity thanks to the Mahavamsa and the Sinhala people. If not they will still be known as Malabar.

    So the notion of “Tamil Culture” is an oxymoron. You need to have an identifiable and distinct identity with a long history to have a distinguished culture.

    • 7
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      Vibushan by any chance is the author Mahindapala your dad?

      • 2
        1

        [Edited out]

        • 1
          1

          Rohan [Edited out] what were you trying to say

    • 3
      3

      @Vibushana

      The word MALABAR was first used by Europeans….in the recent history..

      When Romans and Greeks visited..traded with Tamil Sera..Chola ..Pandiya Kingdoms they called these inhabitants in today South India as Tamils

      Do you know Tamil words like KATTUMARAM…PARIAH are in almost all language dictionaries clearly mentioned as Tamil words…Probably went to Europe during Roman and Greek periods..

      Who are you first?

      Do you know your ancestors came from todays Kerala once a great Tamil Kingdom…and you are talking
      about Tamils he he he

      Sinhalese invented a word for TV only Television -(Rupavahini still a Sanskrit word ) was introduced in this cursed Island..this is the quality of your culture and heritage.

      Sinhalese copied the April New Year and Kandy Perahara from Tamils and now jump too much ..

      Dont parade your stupidity here.

      Cheers

      • 1
        2

        tamil identity is a very recent one. It seems you dont understand what Identity means

    • 4
      0

      Also. A Sinhala villager , when asked,” Kohede tanned?” replied, “Malle Pol”.

      Dr.RN

      • 1
        0

        Correction: Koheda Yanne

        Dr.RN

    • 1
      2

      yes, tamil is a very recent identity..it can be argued that it is based on the Damils mentioned in Mahavamsa

  • 7
    3

    Talk about your culture.
    Do not talk about others culture if you are not in their community.

    If you do that you are showing your foolishness and emptiness.

    • 5
      9

      good advise for sharmini serasinghe and the other non-buddhist writers in CT

  • 4
    4

    If I were to ask to explain as to the meaning of the word “cheap”, I will struggle to explain in a real sense. It is because, a quality item at a lower price can be regarded as cheap. But on the other hand, a demeaning disposition or bad behaviour can be classed as cheap too. On the later point, HLDM is the embodiment of Cheap in terms of low quality of human being; this is crystal clear!

    The Sinhala Buddhist chauvinists at the dawn of the independence, started to work on the programme to relegate the Tamils to a second class status. They first started attacking the so-called privileged position of the Tamils. They said that, the Tamils colluded with British to keep the Sinhala uneducated! They said that, Tamils exercised nepotism and filled the civil services with their kith and kin! They said that the rich Tamils routinely enslaved the poor Sinhala folks.

    Now that, they had systemically and holistically rendered the Tamils to the Second-class citizens, they attack their culture and question their legitimacy to Sri Lanka as their home! They claim that they built a great civilisation! When one analysis every aspect of the Sinhala language and culture, one sees authentic indian flavours! Edifices and irrigation systems that they brag about have roots in South India. The Sinhala language has dravidian grammar at it’s base; it has over 4,000 tamil words in usage. Mahavamsa did not refer to the Sinhala as a people nor the Sinhala language existed at the time it was penned. What the hell is HLDM is on about? It looks as if he has lost his marbles!

    • 1
      2

      ha ha if a tamil or a anti-sinhala sinhalese came up with any write up like this..oh this man has enough words to appreciate that…but when it is the opposite…lol

      Mahindapala is a fellow who has correctly understood the tamil psyche in SL.

      There is a reason why every Tamil hides when I question about any significant cultural thing in SL or the lack of it.

  • 4
    2

    No one question about Tamils culture !! No Tamils want some one like mahidabala to accept they are cultured !! But we are cultured !! Tamils culture and Hindu culture no difference !! We are cultured enough to accept others !! Our Hindu culture is given birth and accepted many other faith and belives !! Like Sikhism !! Bhddisam !! Jainism !! And many other !! And nothing wrong to bring down or learn where ever there is good things !! Is it be in India !! Or anywhere else !!

  • 4
    3

    This is pathetic.
    This unfortunate ignoramus must be referred to the classic by T. S. Eliot: “Notes Towards the Definition of Culture”.In it Eliot says,” Culture may even be described simply as that which makes life worth living”. And asserts that the development of culture must be organic and cannot be consciously guided. Culture is one thing that one cannot aim at. Bensen

  • 8
    3

    All ethnicities have clear origins and linear historical paths that they traversed to be known for what they are now. Take for example, the Tamils, they belong to the Dravidian origin of India. Their habituations have been clearly in the south of India. That is also one reason that countries that have been historically parts of South Indian Plate such as Maldives consist of Dravidians who now call themselves Maldivians who during the course of evolution have changed their religion and thus their names, but however agree and never forget that they belong to the Dravidian platelet. The same goes with Jaffna Tamils, who are almost 90% of Dravidian culture with the 20% evolution culture that has made them speak Tamil in their own different accent, manner and traits. Now take the Sinhalese, who believe they are Aryans (Persian & European platelet) however cannot logically state why their physical structure, color and resemblance is Dravidian. It is almost like a Chinese (mongloid) claiming he is of African (Negroid) origin. Then what the hell is the origin of the Sinhalese? Why haven’t the Sinhalese never ever wanted to trace their actual origins using international transparent archaeologists and historians to trace their actual origin? Is it because they are scared of the truth? The name bastard is used in many forms, very often to slander and hurt a person, but not for the purpose for what it actually means. However, if one was state that the Sinhalese race is ethnically a result of bastardisation, it is indeed a sad truth. How did a Sinhalese obtain names such as Wijeratne (Dravidian Wijeratnam), Mahindapala (Dravidian Mahindapalan), Weerasinghe (Weerasingham), Fernando (Portuguese), De Silva (Spain), Padmakumara (Dravidian Padmakumaran), Jayasundera (Dravidian Jayasunderam), Pattali (Dravidian Pattali), Gamanpilla (Dravidian Gammanpillayan)? Why the fuck do they celebrate a day called Sinhalese New Year which is historically the Hindu Dravidian New Year observed by Tamils? Why is the national dress of a Sinhalese woman the sari whose origin is Dravidian if they were so clever to device their own traditional costume? Isn’t that regalia worn by Sinhalese men for their weddings the dress worn by the last king Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe who is also a Dravidian? When they eat Rice & Curry, Kottu, String Hoppers, Pittu, Halape, Manioc boiled, Batala and what not, does it not convey to their stupid brains that all these are not Aryan food (bread, cheese, pizza, sausages, cream, poached eggs) and are pure Dravidian origin food? When they carry flowers and go to the temple to carry out a pooja, isn’t that a purely Dravidian ritual? Has one analyzed the words and letters in Sinhalese are a mix of Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and this Sinhalese language is a result of the bastardisation of these languages. Oh that historical reddai hettai claimed to be pure Sinhalese, where have we seen the origin of this before, Kerala? After all this, does one believe that Sinhalese had the ability to create historical water tanks and irrigation systems or was all these done by Dravidian and other mercenaries who traversed this land and screwed the local women to create bastards with their names with a N or M missing? What if Sangamitta Thera never arrived and bought the message of Lord Buddha? What would these bastards call as their religion? Surely Mahinda Rajapakse’s prick? Now take Mahindapalan, he has a name of Dravidian origin, face of a fucking Portuguese and writes like an arse hole and in all aspects is a product of the massive bastardisation that took place in this island. Thus the reason that Sinhalese are a majority (of bastards) with a minority complex (due to the inability to focally identify and trace their origins).

  • 5
    3

    Mahindapal has a problem! A cancer like superiority complex which Mahinda (MaRa)and his fellow racists goons including Gnansara think that they are all and above law. [Edited out]

    • 5
      2

      //Mahindapal has a problem! A cancer like superiority complex which Mahinda (MaRa)and his fellow racists goons including Gnansara think that they are all and above law. [Edited out] //

      Absolutely disagree!

      I am not sure about Mahendra Percy Rajapakse and Gnanasara. But, Mahindapala is certainly inferiority complex, and he knows it. Not knowing that everyone is spitting on his face, he would count the number of comments, thinking that he is stirring the excreta pot well.

      You will make so many people watching you if you run nude along the Melbourne streets.

    • 1
      2

      No he has correctly understood the SL tamil psyche which lives inside a balloon of superiority

  • 9
    2

    Colombo Telegraph,

    Enough is enough. It’s quite disgraceful
    that such overt racism is continually given a platform.

  • 24
    1

    Mr.Mahindapala,

    Culture is not only literature, handicrafts, folk dance, music and art- the external manifestations. Culture is a refinement of the mind, morals and taste. Jaffna had this in plenty and much more than Tamil Nadu. The Jaffna man had the ability to know what was right and what was wrong. He also knew what was needed and what was not. He knew how to spend his hard earned money and get the most value out of it. He shed his sweat to give his children the best in terms of values and work ethic. He taught his children the merits of hard work, abstinence and frugality. He fashioned men of high thinking and minimum flash.

    The Tamils in Jaffna were looked upto in Tamil Nadu. The fact is that the Jaffna Tamil man who adopted the best in Tamil Nadu, also looked down on most in Tamil Nadu. The Jaffna Tamil man spoke the most beautiful Tamil in terms of antiquity and quality. He practiced the Saivaism of the purest philosophical manifestation. He was the very epitome of a ‘Tamil’ in many ways.

    Agriculture is also an aspect of the external manifestation of culture. The Jaffna man transformed what was essentially a semi-desert into productive land and managed his meager water resources in a masterly manner. Even today most of peninsula is as green as it could be elsewhere in Sri Lanka. The Jaffna man fought against nature to survive and prosper. He had to spend all his time on this endeavor and succeeded spectacularly. He had very little time for song, dance, painting and handicrafts. He instead rebuilt the soil very creatively and ingeniously. He was an artist and scientist par-excellence. He was a practical man who knew on which side his bread was buttered. He was not a ‘ Lotus Eater’ (I am sure you know what I mean).

    It is State driven mismanagement and its consequences that have shaken the very foundations of the Jaffna Tamil culture and the void is being filled by the rot from South India.

    In your rush to deny co-ownership of this island to the Tamils, please do not expose your intellectual dishonesty. Give credit where it is due.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 7
      15

      Well apart from usual mud slinging and accusation of racism, I do not see any solid proof to disprove Mahindapala,
      One cannot make a demand for 1/3 of the country by maintaining a colony of TamilNadu in Jaffna?

      • 9
        3

        You bear the name Gunaratne, can you decipher the meaning of it? Whereas I can as a Tamil literarily!

        • 4
          2

          Sinnathamby Gunaratnam?

      • 5
        1

        No worries, current leaders would not even ask for autonomies. They would be satisfied, if all is done to get them treated as a citizen. Regardless of the race, religion and other factors- we are all citizen. Just because you live on the west- you ought not to interpret this in favour of Rajano principles. If Colombo can work for their agendas, there is wrong them in Jaffna to see their stances- so long no extremism woudl be given a chance again…. it is a free country under the RULE OF CURRENT DUO. See MY3 led delegation is given all honour today in Germany- tomorrow in other parts of the world – if there is no interdependence – countries like our will get cornered – then inner tension will set to be like the way North korea is formed ot this way.
        Believe me – if the breakaway was not he case on the 9th Jan 2015- how far blind uneducated man Mahinda would have gone to this date ? All forces would have formed trade embargos against the contry- affecting all the poor and their lives even worst.

      • 5
        2

        srinath.gunaratne

        “One cannot make a demand for 1/3 of the country by maintaining a colony of TamilNadu in Jaffna?”

        Similarly one cannot allow the entire island to be turned into a Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto.

        Since you are so desperate we make an exception. You could have Hambantotta, and have your Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto built there and you clan chief crowned as the first and the last king of you much cherished kingdom.

        Does size matter?

        • 3
          0

          Please don’t get offended. But I am curious to know why you call yourself a Native Veddah? Are there any non Native Veddahs too?

          • 4
            1

            Thiruvathavoorar Lakshminarayan

            “Are there any non Native Veddahs too?”

            It is simple.

            I just want to emphasize the difference between my people and the pretenders to the throne.

        • 1
          2

          this country is THE legitimate Sinhala buddhist ghetto..problem with it? get out of it

          • 3
            0

            Sach

            “this country is THE legitimate Sinhala buddhist ghetto”

            Can you prove your above statement?

            Did your grandmother say this to you for bedtime to put you to sleep?LOL!

    • 9
      4

      The truth very well put across without malice or hatred.

    • 6
      1

      Please find the link to what I wrote a few years back on Tamil Culture in this country, largely citing quotes from a book by M.D. Raghvan. Some comments that followed helped provide greater clarity. Current genetics studies have confirmed that the Sinhalese and Tamils are closer to each other than any other peoples around us.

      http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/6238

      It is only those who are in denial of common sense and history, and have to gain politically from accentuating current differences, do not want to consider the Tamils as also an ancient people of Sri Lanka who too have the right to have a place and status within Sri Lanka.

      Dr.RN

  • 5
    3

    “Do The Jaffna Tamils Have A Culture?”

    Certainly they don’t have a culture like you to work for Rs, $, £,

    Before you say about Jaffna,

    Can you tell the readers why you ran away from your loving Mother Lanka during Premadasa’s presidency?

    Do you still consider you as faithful Lankan or patriot?

    Be shame of you.

    Your attitude, behavious, corrupt mentality, hypocrisy is much far away from people of Jaffna.

  • 5
    1

    Burning Issue.

    You have raised a fundamental Question!

    What the hell is HLDM is on about?
    It looks as if he has lost his marbles!

    Even a cursory reading of his essays will show that he never had any marbles to lose!

    • 4
      2

      Plato

      “Even a cursory reading of his essays will show that he never had any marbles to lose!”

      Beg your pardon, are you saying these symptoms have nothing to do with his cognitive decline but are permanent features that he has exhibited since his birth?

      You may be right.

  • 9
    1

    There is a condition that follows alienation from your Motherland. You want to make amends for breaking those bonds. You start hallucinating. You dream fanciful dreams of a ‘glorious civilisation’ that gave birth to your ‘culture’ – the culture you painfully abandoned. You fantasise. You search history books for snippets that you could knead into YOUR revision. You write. You ignore fact and reality. Why let these get in the way of a good scribble. Then the inexorable descent into madness. Then you die. Then, sweet samsara. You are reborn. Please God, don’t let even my worst enemy be reborn as a Mahindapala.

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