19 November, 2018

Blog

Heritage & Nationalism: A Bane Of Sri Lanka

By Jude Fernando

Jude Fernando

Jude Fernando

Those who control the past control the future. Those who control the present control the past” -George Orwell

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there”- L.P. Hartley.

The current practices of archeology and their complicity with rebranding of archaeological heritage as national heritage have contributed to the ethnic tensions, civil war, injustice, inequality, and violence in the Sri Lankan society. The pretense that archaeology is an apolitical profession is a form of complicity with these social ills. In many societies, archaeological knowledge was the historical basis for nation builders and their antagonists (e.g. separatists/sub nationalists), who reclaimed or plundered their antiquity, and reshaped it to support discriminatory social, economic and political practices. Sri Lanka is no exception.

Nation building and archeology are intimately related. According to Randall McGuire “nationalists muster archaeology both to prove their myths dispassionately and to reveal and reconstruct an “authentic” objectified heritage.” In most societies archeology evolves and becomes institutionalized within the political and cultural parameters set by the nation-building priorities set by the state. Under these circumstances archeology is politics by other means. Denying the political nature of archeology is a form of self-deception.

Good governance (Yaha Palanaya), as a political response to pernicious social and political consequences of nation building, will elude us unless we are prepared to radically change the current mindset about the relationship between country’s archaeological heritage and culturally distinct collective identities and landscape. People’s entitlement for freedom, equality and justice should be the driving force behind the reasons for our search for archeological knowledge and how we chose to act upon it. Archeology fails to make a positive contribution to the society while it is a prisoner of the ethnonationalist politics of the state. Under such circumstances archeology becomes complicit with political and cultural practices that use archeology not “necessarily always to better understand the past, but to use the past to legitimize the present.” The point here is not that the past “literally speaks to the present,” but rather, “when the past is used to legitimize the present, we insist that it is saying what we want to hear, even if the thoughts we are imputing to the past may have been alien to it.”[1]

Establishing connections between the past and present is a deeply political and cultural process that assigns contemporary meaning and roles to present-day ethnic, racial, and religious identities and the associated systems of governance, through archeological history. When archaeologists fail to be a critical voice against the pernicious consequences of these political and cultural practices, they become complicit with the forces that hinder the emancipatory struggles of the society. Multiculturalism, advocated here, aspires to reorient archeology as an ally-in-solidarity with these struggles.

Archeological Heritage and National Heritage

The knowledge of Sri Lanka’s past that we can glean from its unique archeological heritage seems limitless. So do the possibilities of archaeology’s fostering a multicultural society free of prejudice, domination, and violence. The Sri Lankan state has forced a marriage between its ethno-nationalist policies and archeology through the rediscovery/rebranding of archeological heritage as national heritage. This marriage has suppressed objective discovery of the richness and diversity of the country’s archeology and the positive role it could play in society.

Formerly a Tamil village known as Kokachankulam located in Vavunia North has been renamed as Nandimitragama

Formerly a Tamil village known as Kokachankulam located in Vavunia North has been renamed as Nandimitragama

National heritage that we celebrate today is a processed cultural and political product that the state has invented “through ideology, nationalism, local pride, romantic ideas, or just plain marketing into a commodity.”[2]   The political and cultural rationale behind the elaborate measures to restore the country’s archaeological heritage and promote heritage tourism, particularly since the J.R. Jayewardene government and the aftermath of the war, has been to keep the Sinhala Buddhist identity of the nation alive as the primary source to legitimize the social, economic and security policies of the state. Defending the nation’s Sinhala Buddhist identity and the Sinhala-Buddhist national spirit’s invincibility entails glorifying heroic defense of country’s archaeological heritage. The same engagement with the archaeological heritage has been used to legitimize the policies that sought to transform the economy according to a capitalist rationality by representing these policies as a continuation of the ancient Sinhala Buddhist civilization.

The fundamental issue is not with the country’s Sinhala Buddhist archaeological heritage or the Sinhala Buddhists’ affinity with it. But rather with the function of Sinhala Buddhist heritage as the dominant national identity of the state that renders those who do not belong to that heritage as second class citizens, and as a source that legitimize the discriminatory social and economic practices. This exclusive national identity has contributed to the defensive nationalism and xenophobia that censor and suppress people’s ability to think critically about the social, economic and political issues and their imagination to seek alternatives. Under these circumstances, the hegemonic national culture and capitalist economy transforms national heritage-nation building nexus as a source of prejudice, biases, inequalities, injustices, and violence resulting from the hegemonic national culture and the capitalist economy. [3]

The state proactively keeps this nexus alive and uses it to suppress, neutralize, and punish interpretations that do not conform to its cultural and economic ideology and practices. The nexus then functions as a political and cultural ideology that contributes to popular legitimacy for exclusive ethnoreligious nationalism, authoritarianism, militarization, and neoliberal policies and suppression of resistance against them. When these functions are aided by the way archeologists’ produce organize and disseminate the knowledge about the past, arguably, they become allies of the ethnonationalist politics of the state. Then the culture of the archeological practices and the culture of the state are more or less the same and they reinforce each other. Their respective roles in defining and asserting national identity—and national sovereignty and rights of citizens –are indistinguishable and they complement each other. It is rare that archeologists have been proactively self-critical of the political nature of their own practices and their complicity with the social, economic, and political consequences of the state’s role in transforming antiquity into national heritage.

In order to finds ways out of these social ills, Sri Lanka needs to cultivate a new mindset and institutional framework to liberate practice of archeology and the knowledge it produce from these ideological functions so that it could imagine humane ways of forging connections between archeology, and, national identity, nation building and national policies.

Multicultural Approach to Archeology

To this end, the fourth goal of the Ministry of Inclusion and Diversity (MID), proposed in this seven part series of articles, is to facilitate a socially responsible relationship between archeology, heritage, and nation building that would be articulated around the notion of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism, advocated here does not suggest a romantic celebration of diversity or a move toward the integration and assimilation of different communities, but a view of Sri Lankan society as a diverse cultural mosaic that creates an equal opportunity for each culture to celebrate its uniqueness, that would otherwise be undermined by the cultural and political manipulation of archeological heritage. It directly engages with the, knowledge, social and political power generated by knowledge about antiquity and how it could contribute towards a humane society.

Multiculturalism does not undermine the efforts of professional archaeologists and historians to establish authenticity in the meaning and cultural histories of the country’s archaeological heritage. Rather, it creates a space for socially responsible archeology that is free and flexible to pursue the meaning of this heritage (and its uses and abuses) through critical inquiry. This would also help society to develop a sense of tolerance in the face of challenges to cherished ideas about the continuity of culture between the past and the present, the meaning of citizenship, the state’s identity, ethnic conflict, and justice and equality in a multicultural society.

We must recognize that creating a multicultural mindset of archeology in the society is a battle against unprofessional archeologists and historians, educators, journalists, politicians, and demagogues who provide ‘final certainty’ and ‘completeness’ to uncertain and incomplete meanings in archaeological knowledge and who make those meanings available for exploitation by racist nationalist projects. They play a leading role in educating the public on the meaning and relevance of the country’s archaeological heritage to ensure that citizens remain passive consumers of archaeological narratives that are completely subservient to the state’s nationalist project. Their narratives reinforce the Tamils’ fear of Sinhala Buddhist expansion into their cultural and geographical space and the Sinhalese desire to control that space, which morphed into the xenophobic patriotism that provided legitimacy to the war and continues to obstruct meaningful reconciliation.

Arguably, creating a multicultural mindset of archeology is also a battle against the professional archeologists who were complicit with the racism and chauvinism associated with these projects or who never took the opportunity to speak out against them. Multiculturalism seeks to reconstitute archeology as a political practice infused with ethical and moral responsibility that would contribute towards a humane world, as Randall McGuire noted we must have, “control over the knowledge that archaeologists create, a praxis that guides our knowledge toward human emancipation rather than alienation.

Prior to venturing into such effort, we must first examine reasons for the current institutional, cultural and political framings of archeological practices and their consequences.

Professional and Institutional Biases

After independence, national heritage became an obsession of both nationalists and the archeologists. There has been no critical dialogue on the national heritage between the professional archeologists gradually and interests of nation builders. Research into archeology, particularly that made available to the public, was organized into ethnic and racial categories that became institutionalized during the colonial and postcolonial state. They are mostly concerned with authenticating the antiquity and legitimizing and sanctioning the borrowed categories.

The Sinhala archeologist occupied a privileged position in the national discourse of archeology compared to those of Tamil origins. Instances of their solidarity against the abuse of archeology by nationalists and their opponents are rare. Evidently, nationalism and racism have not been popular topics of concern in the mainstream archaeological discourse as it is in other countries. Particularly after the civil war began the critical voices against mainstream archeology that existed at the margins of the society has disappeared or succumbed to defensive nationalism.

For example, many scholars, including Gananath Obeyesekere, have refuted Paranavitana’s claim that the Vijaya is an Aryan, and that Sinhalese came from the Western region of Arayata (land of the Aryans), a claim Sinhala nationalists used to establish a “bloodline with” the Aryan race. Gananath Obeyesekere, in the New York Times, dismissed Paranavitana’s claim as “racist nonsense [that] is part of the mythology of the Sinhala-middle class.” He added that the Aryan identity is “no longer acceptable to serious historians” and most likely is an invented linguistic category that translated into an ethnic identity to serve middle-class interests in nation building.[4]Paranavitana’s and Palipana’s readings of the Vallipuram inscription, regardless of the surrounding controversies about its interpretations, point to the use of archeology to develop notions of racial purity and legitimize the Sinhala Buddhist nationalist claims, and also the denial of demands for power sharing and national unification, in many ways similar to those invented in Europe in their pursuit of nation building (Ondaatje), where myth often becomes “historical reality and history myth.”[5]

It would be preposterous, on my part, even to suggest that all archeologists are racists or ethonationalists. There are many archeologists who pursue their profession with a great deal of objectivity. By identifying (often selectively) certain markers in archeological objects, even these archeologists have made erroneous moral claims about multiculturalism and peaceful coexistence among different ethnic communities in the past. These markers tell us anything about the conflict, biases, and prejudices within and between these communities. Markers of coexistence are not evidence of justice and equality in the past. Nor do they indicate that ethnicity and religion have performed the same social roles in the past as they do today (Kohl, P. 1998). Successive governments since independence have used the same archeological evidence to legitimize the deprivation of people’s entitlement for freedom, equality and justice. Cumulative impacts such government actions over time have contributed to substantiate anti-colonial and anti-Western arguments, tainted with exclusive ethnoreligious nationalism that the Rajapaksa regime used to legitimize its power and escape the international scrutiny of human rights abuses during and aftermath of the war.

Nationalisms’ hold power over archeological practices by creating a culture of fear and stigma anyone who challenges the established national myths and identity and archeology’s dependence on state patronage prevented archeologists from critical engagement with the links between archeological knowledge and ethnic riots that spanned over decades, 30 years of civil war, lack of progress in devolution of political power, militarization, and social and economic inequalities of the neoliberal economic policies. Defensive nationalism of the archeologists’ and their complicity with the state’s exploit of their profession has thus prevented them from exploring alternative ways of practicing archeology (e.g., the community archeology, post-colonial archeology, and feminist archeology. [6]

Uneven and Racialized Patronage

The state’s patronage of archaeological endeavors continues to be unevenly distributed between the Sinhala- and Tamil-speaking areas. This trend coevolved with the state’s ethnonationalist and neoliberal economic policies, particularly since 1977. For example, take the critical analyses of the cultural triangle (CT), sponsored by the UNESCO-Sri Lanka Team, by Nira Wickramasinghe, Matthew Lieberman et al. The very notion of a CT was political, deeply interwoven with the post-independent nationalist ideology, as its boundaries were inventions of the modern state and excluded the predominantly Tamil-speaking areas. The focus fell on the three ancient capitals. Kandy was included in the project in 1978.   Why did the Tamil-speaking areas were not CT, particularly in the light of the tensions between Sinhala and Tamil communities. CT excluded or marginalized the Excavations in Polonnaruwa. It is likely that excavations during Polonnaruwa period would reveal the Hindu (e.g. Saiviate) and Buddhist cultures coexisting alongside with each other and having equal status in terms of their relationship with the society. Could the reason for not to excavate Polonnaruwa have been to avoid challenges to the purity of the Sinhala Buddhist narrative or the economic imperatives of the state?

Tamil archeologists and historians were less prominent or rarely involved in the CT project. Knowledge of the CT, particularly that is made available to the public, rarely emphasized the syncretic nature of the Sinhala and Tamil cultures. Rare is the evidence of an open dialogue between the Sinhala and Tamil speaking archeologist in relation to the implications of their respective interpretations of archaeological artefacts for the contemporary issues of nation building. The CT was a sophisticated project promoted under the guise of protecting national heritage and promoting heritage tourism to incorporate diverse cultures into the Sinhala Buddhist narrative and legitimize its role as the guardian of the Sinhala Buddhist culture. [7]

According to historian Nira Wickramasinghe, the post-1977 government’s interest in the restoration of archaeological heritage was closely interwoven with the government’s mutually reinforcing ethnonationalist and neoliberal projects. Evidently, state investments in heritage protection focused primarily only the areas that could be used to legitimize purity of Sinhala Buddhist narrative and attractive to global heritage tourists’ interests. UNESCO, which funded the CT as a part of its efforts to protect world heritage, “belong[s] to a world system and world economy which are in no way at odds with the way nation states exhibit and promote a populist interpretation of the past.

CT project was a project that was implemented within the ethnonationalist framing of meaning of the sovereignty of the Sri Lankan state. Hence it lacked sensitivity to the how that meaning impacted the objectivity of efforts to pursue to protect the archeological heritage and the politics of the CT project.   In that sense international organizations such as UNESCO facilitate the marginalization of certain histories and the dominance of ideological and cultural appropriation by centers of political and economic power. [8] The global capitalist and security interests after the post-Cold War period needed a strong state in Sri Lanka legitimized by its own culture and traditions in order to provide stability and security for global capital and its geopolitical interests.

The state used the “national heritage” to provided legitimacy for the state to represent the investments in mega agriculture and irrigation development projects (e.g., the Mahaweli Development Project) as evidence of the state’s commitment to protect and to ensure the continuity of the Sinhala Buddhist civilization. Neoliberal institutions that funded CT compelled the government to invest in the and culture according to the interest (e.g. profit, political stability) of the markets, without any regard for how these investments could impact the entitlement of peoples freedom, equality and justice.

The commodification and racialization of archeological heritage (i.e., capitalism and racist nationalism) are two sides of the same nation-building process. Consequently, the racialization of archaeological knowledge/national heritage that contributed to the civil war in the country continues to undermine the political stability required for the progress of the capitalist economy. Creating stability and suppressing of dissent against inequalities and injustices inevitably leads to militarization that in turn invokes a racialized national heritage as a source of its popular legitimacy. Then the society’s uncompromising devotion to this heritage undermines solidarity between different ethnic groups against those inequalities and injustices.

Destruction and Neglect

During the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) period, the Jaffna Museum, which housed the collections of the Jaffna Archaeological Society, was destroyed. Valuable historical material indispensable to understanding the archeology of the entire country was lost when the Jaffna Public Library was burnt down, in 1982, during the United National Party’s rule. Since the end of the war, the management of archeological sites has become further centralized, and government investments in the development of institutional infrastructure have been unevenly distributed between north and south. Fewer Tamil professionals were involved in the Department of Archeology, national museums, and national archives. Allegations of the government’s distorting the appearance, meaning, and histories of sites that exclusively represent the culture and histories of minorities and/or Sri Lanka’s multicultural past (the shared heritage of Sinhala and Tamil communities) abound.

The selective investment in restoration of archaeological sites under the Rajapaksa regime excluded those sites that, perhaps, could have challenged the claims about the purity and historical continuity of the exclusively Sinhala-Buddhist state identity, and those claims that draw transhistorical relations between the Buddhism, Sinhala language and Sinhala ethnicity in the political sovereignty of the Sri Lankan state. For example, the settlements of culturally similar early populations of ancient Sri Lankan and ancient Tamil Nadu in India and megalithic burial sites at Pomparippu on the west coast and in Kathiraveli on the east coast of the island, are evidence of the Early Pandyan Kingdom established between the 5th century BCE and 2nd century CE. Excluded from the excavation reports are the detailed information of skeletal remains of an Early Iron Age chief in Anaicoddai, Jaffna district, potsherds with early Tamil writing from the 2nd century BCE found in Poonagari, Kilinochchi district to the south in Tissamaharama. Archeological objects discovered in Annaikodai, Karainagar, and the Velanai, Vallipuram, Kaliamallari sites, and Manimekalai and Kundalakesi are not a part of the Sinhala public discourse of Sri Lanka’s archeological heritage. [9] Sinhala heritage tourists rarely visit the neglected and undervalued sites nor do these sites figure into popular media stories.

The travel route for Sinhala heritage tourist and pilgrims, some of whom travel north in buses carrying banners claiming ‘this is my Buddhist Kingdom,’ is carefully mapped. From Tellippalai, they go to Keerimalai, to the Buddhist temple in Tiruvannamalai in Maathakal where the Sanghamitta statue is enshrined, and then to Nagadeepa, and they don’t have an opportunity to hear the narratives of the history depicted in those sites they avoid. This regulated tourism is another ironic example of purging the Tamil identity and culture in the practice of Buddhism so that Buddhism becomes exclusively associated with the Sinhala identity and culture. Tourists are unaware of the tension among the local populations, military, and the archeology department due to the alleged appropriation of large tracts of land for excavation purposes and the constructing new Buddhist temples in historically significant sites occupied by Buddhist monks. Does the state or the Department of Archeology follow consistent land appropriation policy throughout the country, and allows the construction of new Buddhist Temples in lands classified as archeological heritage?

Such neglect, and the selective exposure of tourists to heritage sites, adds credibility to the Tamils’ perception of invasion and the control of their cultural landscape by the Sri Lankan state and the Sinhala perception of the need to protect their Buddhist heritage from the Tamil/foreign invaders. The claim that victory against the LTTE helped the people to reclaim the archeological sites from the LTTE’s control reinforce the xenophobic mindset of tourists that provides legitimacy for the expansion of the national security apparatus in the north and east and the expanded role of restoration and safeguarding of archeological sites is further reinforced. Such military involvement provides further credibility to the Tamil community’s apprehensions about the links between national heritage and militarization in the north east. For tourists to think outside of their nationalistic mindset about national heritage is made difficult by their memories of the LTTE attacks at sacred Buddhist heritage sites (e.g., the attack at Sri Maha Bodhi in 1989, the Bombing of Dalada Maligawa in 1992, and the destruction of an ancient Buddhist statue at Nagadeepa in 1958). These acts of terror added to the Sinhala community’s fear of losing their archeological treasures and contributed to the perpetuation of prejudice, xenophobia, and the ethnic tensions.

Distortions and Deceptions

The state’s control of heritage tourism is an important contributor to the polarization of Sri Lankan society along the lines of ethnicity and religion. Visitors to Anuradhapura only see the stupas built by King Dutugemunu, not the tombstone of Tamil King Elara who was killed by Dutugemunu. This reinforces highly distorted understandings of the war between Elara and Dutugemunu, which is an important part of the state’s nationalist identity.

The Hindu religious and cultural ideals depicted in many of the archeological sites scattered throughout Anuradhapura escape visitors’ attention and their tour guides do not care to draw attention to them. The Koneswaram Temple, a site of Hindu worship, reflects Hindu architecture of the Pandayan period, and the stalls closer to the Koneswaram Temple “owned by Sinhalese traders – that sell Buddha statues and post cards carrying pictures of Viharas that decorate either side of the road that leads to the temple” say nothing about the temple’s Hindu heritage. “Until visitors reach the summit of the rock upon which the temple sites, they do not feel as though they are journeying towards a Hindu temple that boasts more than 2500 years of history.” [10]

After math of the war the rationale behind restoration of historical sites has been to assert the purity of Buddhism and dominance of Buddhism over minority religions, and make connections between the Buddhism and the rulers of the present day and their political and cultural agendas. There are two statues of Sangamitta, who brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka, in Muhamalai, one erected during and the other after the war. The description of the statute gives more prominence to former President Rajapaksa’s wife’s name than Sangamitta’s. The new complex built after the war in the same place, beautifully maintained by the Sri Lankan Navy, is an important Sinhala tourist destination. The Hindu Kovil about 100 meters away from the complex remains in need of rehabilitation and the Christian church remains in ruins. The complex is physically isolated from the surrounding Tamil community and their culture. The layout of the complex does not give equal prominence to Buddhism and Hinduism. In the minds of the tourist the complex is a testimony to the Sinhala Buddhist nationalist space liberated by the Rajapakas regime, and it reinforces the narrative of Tamil nationalism.

After the war Kandarodai, situated in the West of Chunnakam village, was renamed Kadurugoda. It was placed under high security zone and it soon became a famous attraction of the heritage tourists from the South. The curator of the site is a Sinhala Monk. About 10 dome shaped Dagobas situated at the site served as a monastery for Tamil monks and their burial sites. The excavations of this site by the Jaffna University in 1984 found Tamil Brahmi script in coins during early Pandyan and Chera dynasties of 300 BCE, and recent excavations of Sivagnanam found evidence of Hindu worship in the site. The archeological findings on Kandarodai are evidence of practice of Tamil Buddhism, integration of Buddhism with Megalithism, a hallmark of Tamil Buddhism, and transoceanic maritime relations between Tamils and world kingdoms in the prehistoric period.   The heritage tour guides at Kandarodai refer only to the stupas as evidence of Buddhism in the north, not as evidence of Buddhism among Tamils. They completely ignore the other artefacts (e.g. coins) that provide evidence of Tamil language or Hindu worship found at the same site. In their attempt present the purity of Buddhism they also ignore the evidence of Buddhist and Hindu religious syncretism found at the site.

The rebranding of Kandarodai as a national heritage after the war is yet another example of the deliberate steps taken by the Rajapaksa regime to conceal the Tamil identity and culture in the practice of Buddhism from the Sinhala public and equate Buddhist identity exclusively with Sinhala identity. The neglect of syncretism in the practices of Buddhism and Hinduism renders these practices monolithic, ahistorical, and unchanging, making them the exclusive monopoly of one race or linguistic group. Further misinforming the public about the fundamental differences in the roles that religion played in the past, thus reinforcing post-war claims about the continuity of the island’s Sinhala Buddhist political and territorial identity. Nimal Dewasiri noted that “the first is the Sinhala-Buddhist attempts to spatialize its imagined territory in the North and East based on historical claims to this territory. This spatializing trend is explored in relation to the politico-ideological meaning of North-bound pilgrimage-cum-tourism by Sinhala-Buddhists from the South, and what I term the archaeologising of the North and East in popular Sinhala-Buddhist archaeology.”(Nimal Ranjith Dewasiri, 2013)

Rethinking National Heritage-Archeology Nexus

The challenge of good governance in Sri Lanka requires radical rethinking of the current relationship between archeology and national heritage, and its repercussions for domestic politics. Our focus should be on the claims of national heritage that are founded on the false premise that the ethnic and religious identities of the past and their role in state formations during and through historic, prehistoric, and modern times remained unchanged. The broad generalizations about the connection between present and past are based on identifying certain markers in archeological artifacts. Often, these markers do not reveal the complete meaning of an artifact because they may not exist in a complete form, as they are often disfigured over time. Markers of objects that appear to be indicative of the sole identity of one culture could in reality have been produced through the interaction between diverse cultures over a period of time (Kohl, P. 1998; Abdi, K. 2011; Brown, CD 2008). Therefore, they do not suffice for forming broad generalizations about the purity of a given culture.

Even if archeology can establish reasonably accurate characteristics of social formations and their behaviors, their meaning and the role in the society in the past and present may not be the same. It is intellectually dishonest to use these makers of Buddhism or Hinduism evident in archeological objects to legitimize claims about the purity and continuity of the Sinhala-Buddhist majoritarian identity and Tamil minority identity, from the past to the present. Such attempts provide an oversimplified, belligerent, and deterministic view of the relation between religion, race, territory and conflict. Even if some sort of continuity is established between the past and the present, that does not provide moral justification to use archaeological evidence to legitimize present inequalities and injustices. Critical reassessment of these arbitrary continuities established by political and cultural acts of rebranding archeological heritage as national heritage is indispensable to achieve Sri Lanka’s desire for good governance. This requires archeologists’ to be open to self-criticism of the political and cultural framing of their practices and to alternative practices as well as a political will of the state to facilitate such practices.


Notes:

[1] Thapar, Romila, 2014

[2] Schouten, F, 1995

[3]Randall McGuire; Eric Hobsbawm; Anderson1991; Diaz-Andreu2007; Diaz-Andreu and Champion1996; Graves-Brown1996; Kane2003; Jones1997; Kohl and Fawcett 1995; Meskell 1998). Trigger, Nira Wickramasinghe, 2010)

[4]Obeyesekere, G,1984, op cit, Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek 2005;S. Thambia, 1994; Gunawardana, R.L.H; 1990; Kemper, D. 1990.

[5]Kepferer B, 1989.

[6] Tigger, Bruce 1984

[7] Lieberman, Matthew

[8]K. Askew, 2010, op. cit, Nira Wickramasinghe 2010; Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, 2005; Bruce Kapferer, 2011.

[9] Mahadevan, Iravatham (2003); Indrapala, K. (2007); Bopearachchi, Osmund (2004); Pushparatnam, P. (1984); Bastin, Rohan (December 2002); S. Krishnarajah (2004)

[10] Hoole, Elijah (2014)

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Latest comments

  • 15
    2

    Would not a pan island genetic test reaveal the mixed up nature of the islands populous and wean them a way from swollowing thier grand mothers tales of ethnosised history?

    Also important to educate grand mother that pure mono genetic heritage is not only fictionsl but harmful.

    • 3
      2

      Jude Fernando –

      RE: Heritage & Nationalism: A Bane Of Sri Lanka

      Sri Lanka heritage is Para- Heritage from South India. The Languages and Religions are Para Religions from India.

      The proof is in their bodies and DNA.

      If the National Anthem is to be sung in ONE Language, then it should be in the Language of the Native Veddah Aethho, not in Para-Sinhala, Para-Tamil, Para-English or any other Para-Language.

      The Vedda Tribe

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

      The above message should be widely distributed.

      The National Language should be sung in a language so that the inhabitants can understand and feel for the land as to where they belong.

      After all, the Paras in the world are born somewhere on Earth, so far until space travel outside our planet becomes a practical reality.

      • 5
        11

        .
        Dear Jude Fernando,

        Where did the Sinhalese come from?

        The answer to that question would explain some of the confusion that I see in your narrative.

        The Sinhalese did not come from India. There is no evidence of any Sinhala civilisation in India.

        The Sinhalese are not a PURE race. They are a hybrid population of Indian stock and Indigenous stock from Lanka. Thus they have evolved in Lanka. This is confirmed by the fact that they are not found as indegenes anywhere else in the world.

        Thus the early immigrants to Lanka, who are a parental population for the Sinhalese will be Indian. Thus finding early Indian artifacts are to be expected. If they came from South India, from Tamil Nadu, they would be Dravida and hence finding utensils etc of Dravida origin is to be expected.

        If they were from the Bengal area then finding artifacts of Bengal origin is to be expected. Similarly if they were from North India, then finding artifacts of North Indian origin is to be expected.

        Thus if artifacts of Dravida origin of a very early period is found it indicates that the Sinhala had Dravidians within their Parental population but it does not automatically prove that the present Lanka Tamils are direct descendants of the early Dravida immigrants.

        There are two physical factors that indicate the present day Lanka Tamils are not direct descendants of early Dravida immigrants.

        1. The Sinhala population is about 5 times the Lanka Tamil population. Given similar natural increases this cannot be explained.

        2. The Lanka Tamils populate the arid Jaffna peninsular instead of the wet zone. It is natural for the first immigrants to seek the best areas for living with plentiful water.

        Thus what you say about the artifacts only provides evidence of a Sinhala heritage. Your confusion arises when you deny the possible South Indian Sinhala heritage (why I say this will be clear later).

        This is from the latest scientific study on the subject. It was published on the Internet on 7 November 2013. Unfortunately you have to pay to access it now.

        Rent: $4.99, Purchase: $9.99

        The report is accessible online at http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/full/jhg2013112a.html
        .
        Mitochondrial DNA history of Sri Lankan ethnic people: their relations within the island and with the Indian subcontinental populations.

        By Lanka Ranaweera, Supannee Kaewsutthi, Aung Win Tun, Hathaichanoke Boonyarit, Samerchai Poolsuwan and Patcharee Lertrit

        1. Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
        2. Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology, Thammasat University, PraChan, Bangkok, Thailand

        Quote
        The PCA is extended further to include various other ethnic populations from the Indian subcontinent (Supplementary Table S2) Figure 4. The result shown in Figure 5 accounted for 52.59% of the total variation. All the Sinhalese and Tamil subgroups intermingle well with the majority of the Indian subcontinental populations, forming a large genetic matrix.
        Unquote

        PCA = “Principal component analysis”

        Quote
        However, Indian Tamils were separated from the rest of the Sri Lankan subgroups, except SU-Bam and SL-Ban, on the first PC axis. This is further strengthening of the hypothesis that Indian Tamils are genetically distinct from the rest of the Sri Lankan ethnic groups.
        Unquote

        (SU – Bam is Sinhalese from Bambarabedda, SL – Ban is Sinhalese from Bandaraduwa)

        Thus the following scientific inferences can be made

        1. Indian Tamils of Lanka, Lanka Tamils and the Sinhalese have genetic connections to those from the Indian Subcontinent.

        2. Indian Tamils of Lanka do not have a Genetic connection to Lanka Tamils.

        This is surprising because we know for certain that the Indian Origin Tamils of Lanka are from South India (or Tamil Nadu) and the Lanka Tamils claim that they too come from Tamil Nadu. Then why is a genetic connection absent?

        Where does the Lanka Tamils come from if they are not from Tamil Nadu? Science says they are not from Tamil Nadu.

        Lanka Tamils could not have originated from South India. South Indian Tamils are not the Parent population of the Lanka Tamils.

        3. Sinhalese intermarry with Indian Tamils of Lanka

        4. Lanka Tamils SHUN intermarriage with Indian Tamils of Lanka

        Quote
        “Interestingly, highest number of haplotype sharing was found between Vedda with Up-country Sinhalese and with Low-country Sinhalese. On the other hand, there was no haplotype sharing between the Vedda people with any of the Tamils”
        Unquote

        It must be noted that due to the isolation of the Veddha community, sampling done today will yield only a small percentage of Veddha genetic material within the Sinhalese.

        These inferences follow

        5. Neither the Lanka Tamils nor the Indian Origin Tamils have any direct genetic connection with the Veddha.

        6. The Sinhalese have a direct genetic connection with the Veddha.

        Thus we can see that the Veddha is ONE of the parent populations of the Sinhalese.

        There is an older study done in 1995, twenty years ago, by Dr Kshatriya. It’s available in the wiki.

        Dr Kshatriya says

        The Bengalis, the Tamils, and the Veddahs are considered parental populations for the Sinhalese. The Bengali contribution is 25.41%, the Tamil (India) contribution is 69.86%, and the Veddah contribution is only 4.73%. Thus the Sinhalese have a predominantly Tamil (India) contribution followed by the Bengalis and the Veddahs.

        By studying the Sri Lankan Tamils, one can see that the Sinhalese, the Bengalis, and the Indian Tamils can be considered ancestral populations. The contribution of the Sinhalese to the Sri Lankan Tamils is 55.20%. Similarly, the Bengali contribution is 28.17% and that of the Indian Tamils is 16.63%. The results indicate a predominant influence of the Sinhalese (who already have a high contribution from the Indian Tamils) and the Bengalis to a lesser extent.

        Thus the Lanka Tamils may well be descendants of the Sinhalese who over time has adopted the Tamil Language due to the close contact with South Indian Tamils.

        Re “Their narratives reinforce the Tamils’ fear of Sinhala Buddhist expansion into their cultural and geographical space and the Sinhalese desire to control that space,”

        Where is this Geographical space?

        Here is a quote from Dr Pradeep Jeganathan, a Tamil gentleman of repute.

        “Not every legitimate ruler of southern Lanka was a Buddhist in early modern times. Yet also it is not historically accurate to say that the Kings of Jaffna ruled the east, certainly even a cursory glance at Dutch records and the doings of Rajasinha the 2nd will tell you, that the Kings of the Kanda Uda Pas Rate, (the five countries on top of the mountains) were also the overlords of Batticoloa and Trincomalee”.

        Here is PRIMARY evidence of the BORDER between the Tamil Kingdom and the Kandyan Kingdom of the Sinhalese.

        The link below gives access to a Dutch document in the Dutch National Archives that states the following,

        1. During the 17th century the Company was engaged in a war of attrition with the king of Kandy.

        2. There was a narrow tongue of land at Elephant Pass a fort was built to guard the border with the king’s territory.

        (http://www.atlasofmutualheritage.nl/en/location/?id=813)

        To the reader:- Here is a satellite view of Elephant Pass which is the narrow strip of land (an Isthmus) connecting Peninsular Jaffna and the Mainland of Lanka. The A9 Road runs through it.

        https://www.google.lk/maps/@9.5168625,80.4040496,3167m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

        Zoom out till you have a good view of the Peninsular.

        It is also on record that the Kandyan King Senerat, domiciled Muslims who were persecuted by the Portuguese in the East.

        The Indian Tamils were Aliens and they were domiciled in the Sinhala Hinterland by the British who used Draconian Laws to dispossess the Sinhala of their Land

        (Google for Crown Land Enforcement Ordinance of 1840, Waste Land Ordinance Act of 1897, Land Settlement Ordinance of 1889 or read my comment here for details https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/revolutionizing-sovereignty-to-secure-permanent-peace-in-sri-lanka/comment-page-1/#comment-1796930).
        .
        Even today, of the 839,504 Indian Origin Tamil population only 11,940 live in the North and East. The balance live on Sinhala Land that was wrested from them by the British.

        There are over a million Landless Sinhala peasants as a result.

        The plight of the Sinhala who got displaced (as at 1946), just before independence, can be seen from the following.

        “According to the 1946 census on population in the agricultural sector of the island, 40% of the agricultural peasant families found in the former Kandyan Kingdom were landless while there were 26% landless agricultural families recorded in the wet zone” (Herath 1995: 79).

        It is not possible to evict the Indian Origin Tamils to give back the land to the original occupants.

        The govt addressed the issue in 1949 by developing UNINHABITED FORREST LAND under the Gal Oya Development Scheme.

        The Gal Oya scheme opened up Uninhabited Forrest Land and 40 million acres of land became available for settlement of the Landless.

        Veddhas, Moors, Tamils and the Landless Sinhala described above were selected for settlement.

        Then came the racist cry of “this is Tamil Land” the Sinhala has no place in it. What started then evolved into a conflagration of unimagined proportions.

        The Tamil United Liberation Front upped the ante, in their election manifesto of July 1977 by claiming, it was “EXCLUSIVELY Tamil Land”.

        Land is the source of life and sustenance. Eighty percent of Lanka is PUBLIC land. It is the Birthright of ALL of us. No single entity has the right to deprive the others of that Birthright.

        The Eastern Province is the 2nd Largest Province of Lanka. The North and the East put together is almost 40% of Lanka’s Land Mass. More than half of that is uninhabited.

        What could be done is to excise unpopulated areas from the NP, EP and NCP to create a Territory governed by the Central Govt. There are such territories in India and the USA. There may be more in other countries.

        This central govt territory can then can be used for development and if that development involves a scheme like Gal Oya then the irrigated Land so opened up should be used to settle the Landless.

        This will leave a NP with a Tamil majority and an EP with a Muslim Majority who will be in control of their own destinies politically and economically. And the Rest of Lanka will not feel Cheated as is the case now.

        For background information, please read

        Regional Powers and Small State Security: India and Sri Lanka, 1977-1990 By K. M. De Silva pages 90 – 94 to get an understanding of the Eastern Province.

        Would appreciate your criticism.

        Kind Regards,
        OTC

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          Dear OTC,

          The Tamils who claim and feel that they have lived in Lanka for millennia, feel they are differvent people from the Tamils in South India, although they share the language and some aspects of culture and religion. This translates into a superiority complex most times. They have struggled to preserve their distinctiveness until the travails and consequences of war. The Tamil Nadu film and TV industry have blurred the distinction considerably in recent times. The perceived distinct identity is also confirmed by the mitochondrial DNA study you quote.

          Further, the Anuradhapura and Polonaruwa based Kingdoms thrived in the dry zone and their achievements yet are marvels. Thus, the wet zone argument you present may not be quite valid.

          However, it is possible that proto-Sinhala & Tamil people became Tamil and Sinhalese with time. With the advent of Budhism in Sri Lanka and its promotion by the royalty, probably resulted in many Hindu-Tamils becoming Sinhala-Buddhists. The Hindu-Tamils who were determined to preserve their distinctiveness may have concentrated themselves with time in the north and east.

          The shared words in both languages, the aspects of shared cultures, the shared beliefs in the religions and shared myths, symbols, foolishness, rituals and beliefs also point to common origins. Migrations from India and elsewhere have added to our variety and diversity.

          The process of transformation- voluntary and a State induced-of Tamils into Sinhalese is yet unfolding around the western coast from Watala to Puttalam.

          Further, many castes among the Sinhalese are of recent South Indian Tamil origin. Similarly, historical writings
          indicate that the Koviya caste in Jaffna is of Sinhala origin-Sinhala prisoners of war who became Tamils with time.

          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        • 8
          1

          Dear Off the Cuff,

          “The Sinhalese did not come from India. There is no evidence of any Sinhala civilisation in India.”

          As per the ancient history of Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese are supposed to have come from North India. References to Simhala are found in various notable ancient Indian Sanskrit works such as the Mahabaratha, Kathasaritsagara, Arthasastra, etc. The Mahabaratha talks of Simhala/Sinhala as one of the many tribes. It can be one of the many lost civilisations or tribes of India. However they might have survived in Sri Lanka. For evidence, there should be enough research but nobody in India has done any extensive research on these areas. Therefore, we cannot make assumptions or come to definite conclusions that the Sinhalese did not come from India.
          On the other hand, finding artefacts is not a clear evidence that people came and settled from that particular area. For example, if you find Chinese pottery or Roman coins (they have found), that does not mean that the people came from China or Rome.

          “The Lanka Tamils populate the arid Jaffna peninsular instead of the wet zone. It is natural for the first immigrants to seek the best areas for living with plentiful water.”

          We all know that during the ancient period the civilization started/existed in the North-central (Rajarata) parts of Sri Lanka which was neither a wet zone nor a dry zone and most of the population/settlements were around this area. It was only after the long Chola rule (10th century) and later the collapse of the Anuradapura kingdom, the people moved and settled in the North (Tamils) and South (Sinhalese). The reason for the Tamils moving to the North may be because it is closer to the Tamil Chola kingdom of South India.

          “The Sinhala population is about 5 times the Lanka Tamil population. Given similar natural increases this cannot be explained.”

          You are analysing what happened during the early period based on today’s context. None of our history books or inscriptions talk about the population ratios in the island and we do not have any such records from the early period. There is evidence that the island population (especially in the South) increased exponentially after the arrival of the European colonials. If you read the reports/articles of colonial writers, a large number of South Indians from Coramandal and Malabar coasts were settled in the South of Sri Lanka for Cinnamon plantation, Coconut plantation, fishing, etc., and there decedents got naturalised (Sinhalised) which is a natural process. Even before the colonials, the Sri Lankan kings brought many soldiers and other skilled workers from time to time from South India and settled in the areas surrounding the kingdom who would have definitely integrated with the local population. This process of assimilation of settlers took place throughout history.
          If you talk about organic growth (natural increases), then the Veddas (aboriginals) who lived in the island for many thousands of years would have been the majority but they seem to be one of the lowest (minorities). Therefore, without analysing the historical events that took place in the early days, it is incorrect to come to any such conclusions.

          “The Sinhalese have a direct genetic connection with the Veddha. The Veddah contribution is only 4.73%. Thus we can see that the Veddha is ONE of the parent populations of the Sinhalese.”

          Veddha is ONE of the parent populations of the Sinhalese is another incorrect assumption. It is well known that a large part of the Vedda community assimilated into the Sinhala ethnic group by inter-marriages. This amalgamation may be the main reason for the little admixture (only 4.73%) and the reason for some Sinhalese to have a small percentage of Vedda’s genetic traits.

          I am sorry, I only have a limited time so I picked some important points only. Regret if I am unable to continue this.

          • 8
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            Dr RN, Lakmal Nissanka

            Gentlemen, you are wasting time trying to argue with this commentator ‘OTC’. In my opinion he/she is not amenable to reason or logic. He will either digress from a point, falsify evidence to support his views or interpret the facts in contrary to common sense.

            It does not matter whether one is either sinhalese or tamil nationalist. I think aim of our discussion should focus on unity among diversity. Unfortunately crooks are dismembering this fragile unity.

            I really liked the comment by sinhalese buddhist. “the most beautiful sites are in Polonnaruwa where a synthesis of hindu sensuousness, Theravada-asceticism and Mahayana supernaturality has created some of the most beautiful religious iconography in the world”.

            If one has the opportunity to visit the british museum in london one could see this magnificent cultural unity among diversity very clearly.

            ken robert

            • 6
              3

              ken Robert

              Good to hear from you.

              OTC is a liar and a plagiarist. He is not alone in this forum who shamelessly lie and distort facts and history.

              Dayan wrote about Pon Arunachalam which was completely wrong and he never apologized for it.

              OTC constantly quote Jane Russell and distort what she had written.

              • 2
                3

                .
                Dear Tamil impersonating a Vedda,

                Re “OTC is a liar and a plagiarist. He is not alone in this forum who shamelessly lie and distort facts and history.”

                Ha ha haa the wisecracking idiot is at it again.

                Perhaps the comment at this link will help the reader to understand who parades the CT forum, stark naked!
                .
                https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/govt-releases-425-acres-of-former-hsz-jaffna-lands-to-its-rightful-owners/comment-page-1/#comment-1801985
                .
                Re “Dayan wrote about Pon Arunachalam which was completely wrong and he never apologized for it”

                If he was wrong why didn’t you challenge him? SCARED???

                You wrote the following on March 24, 2015 at 7:49 pm under article “Govt Releases 425 Acres Of Former HSZ Jaffna Lands To Its Rightful Owners”

                Jazz

                “Thank you! I learnt so much from your comment.”

                OTC is a proven plagiarist and a liar.

                I have already forwarded a scanned copy of SPEECHES and WRITINGS OF SIR PONNAMBALAM ARUNACHALAM Kt to CT.

                Obtain a copy from CT, read it and re read it.

                Arunachalam had never said anything about Thamil Eelam

                Unquote

                I must say that you are an EXPERT at making a fool of yourself, ha ha haa.

                Before writing the above, you posted the complete speech of Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam at this link https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/two-nation-claim-by-chief-minister-wigneswaran/comment-page-1/#comment-1784824
                .

                “…………..It has far higher aims in view, namely to keep alive and propagate these precious ideals throughout Ceylon, Southern India and the Tamil Colonies, to promote the union and solidarity of Tamilakam, the Tamil Land. We should keep alive and propagate these ideals throughout Ceylon and promote the union and solidarity of what we have been proud to call Tamil Eelam”

                Does anyone need anymore proof of how idiotic you really is?

                Not only did Sir. P. Arunachelem talk about Eelam he spoke of a Pan Tamil Kingdom as well.

                Sir PA was not happy living with a Sinhala Majority, he wanted a Kingdom with an overwhelming Tamil majority and an insignificant Sinhala population.

                This was the Majoritarian and Superiority complex of the Tamil leaders of the past.

                CT Readers, Every time this cunning, devious, wisecracking, Tamil idiot tried to wriggle out of his Lies he got well and truly bruised and muddied. This time is no different.

                Re “OTC constantly quote Jane Russell and distort what she had written”

                Ha ha haa, don’t you have the GUTS to challenge them and provide the “UNDISTORTED” version to the CT readership?

                Here is the link to Jane Russell’s book
                http://www.noolaham.net/project/37/3675/3675.pdf

                Next time please correct me whenever I misquote. I will show my appreciation and thank you for correcting me.

                Kind Regards,
                OTC

                • 2
                  2

                  Nadiwe Bedda is stripped of his amudey in public again. Please OTC, no one wants to be exposed to what’s underneath :D

            • 2
              4

              Dear Ken Robert,

              Thank you Ken for your observations but let’s see how that stand up to critical analysis.

              I do hope that you will reply to me directly instead of avoiding a reply or hiding behind other people like you did the last time.

              I believe that you are a medical man because of the following statement.

              quote, “From the outset, I was not prepared to engage in discussing the finding of either Kshatriya report/ study or Lanka Ranaweera study for obvious reasons of confusing the non medical readers” unquote

              That was your excuse after challenging me on what I wrote using the Kshatriya report and you are here writing about LOGIC.

              At that point of time I had no knowledge of the new report by Lanka Ranaweera that you quoted from (and avoided making the link public). I found the link and posted it on CT for the use of others.

              After I responded to your challenge of April 17, 2014 at 6:19 am under the article “There Aren’t Two Equal Nations (Or More) In Sri Lanka: Rejoinder To Laksiri Fernando”, you decided to avoid a direct reply but took the cowards’ route of making snide remarks hiding behind others. Unfortunately, you have repeated your cowardice in this thread too.

              You are not alone in that endeavor, as the Wise cracking Tamil who incessantly tries to hide his ethnicity by pretending to be a Veddha uses the same cowardly strategy. He too has been badly bruised EVERY TIME he tried to directly address me with his wisecracking comments. See the link for info.
              .
              (https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/govt-releases-425-acres-of-former-hsz-jaffna-lands-to-its-rightful-owners/comment-page-1/#comment-1801985)
              .
              Five days later (April 21, 2014 at 3:57 am) responding apologetically, you said “My frustration was vented at you for your lack of understanding how these genetic studies are conducted and your poor knowledge on human genetics.

              Kshatriya report/ study was based on measuring the genetic distance of certain autosomal chromosomes of different ethnic communities in Srilanka by using complex mathematical formula called ‘Nei`s standard genetic distances’. The use of autosomal (non sex) chromosomes in studying the genetic diversity has resulted in variable results, However studying the mitochondrial inheritance has lead to relatively reliable conclusions in constructing human ancestry.

              From the outset, I was not prepared to engage in discussing the finding of either Kshatriya report/ study or Lanka Ranaweera study for obvious reasons of confusing the non medical readers.

              Let me also make it clear that,the study of human genetics is not rocket science and I greatly valued the intelligence of your or any other commentator. However your interpretations of the genealogy showed serious flaws in your understanding of human genetics as well your assertions on both studies. Therefore your uttering in this columns have been challenged either directly or indirectly to prevent miscommunication (April 21, 2014 at 3:57 am)

              I responded to you as follows.

              First let me thank you for addressing me directly.

              You said “My frustration was vented at you for your lack of understanding how these genetic studies are conducted and your poor knowledge on human genetics”

              I addressed my comment to Dr RN, a man who has earned my respect for his truthfulness and a man I have defended when he was hounded by separatists such as Dev. We have a relationship of mutual respect. In my comment I agreed with him on two matters

              1. That the Sinhalese are not a pure race.
              2. The unquestionable right of Tamils to be a part of the Sri Lankan Nation.

              I did not agree however, with Dr RN’s statement

              “I argue the Veddhas and Tamils should have priority status to nationhood over the Sinhalese” which I contested.

              In contesting that I used the Kshatriya report.

              I stated that Apparently the Sinhalese are Genetically 400% more Tamil than the Lanka Tamils. According to Kshatriya, genetically Sinhalese are 69.86% Indian Tamil and Lanka Tamils are 16.63% Indian Tamil. (69.86/16.63) x 100 = 420% My claim of 400% was conservative and based on Kshatriya.

              I also stated the Sinhalese have a direct genetic link with the Veddha. That was based on the fact that Kshatriya chose the Veddha as a Parental population for the Sinhalese and found a 4.73% contribution.

              Please correct me if I am wrong, the Parental population is based on a genetic distance study of all groups included in the study. That is why I challenged you to disprove me using the Kshatriya report as what I wrote using it was factual.

              If there is anything wrong in the above please explain and I will accept what you say if your argument is logical.

              I strive to be factual in my comments and give references whenever I can. I do not make spurious claims. I am aware that I can be wrong and welcome gentlemanly debates. I apologize when proved wrong and never repeat what is proved wrong. However I cannot be cowed down by ungentlemanly, rude or thuggish comments as I have the capacity to take the rowdies and the thugs on. I call a person an idiot only after it is proved by that persons comments and I tell them why I do so. Respect and civility shown will be returned, in equal measure.
              .
              https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/there-arent-two-equal-nations-or-more-in-sri-lanka-rejoinder-to-laksiri-fernando/comment-page-2/#comment-958300
              .
              You did not venture to show me where I was wrong in the past, even after I requested you to do so, as you had no leg to stand on. And here you are again making spurious accusations that you have no ability to prove.

              You were foxed by my interpretation of Kshatriya as I did not show the Arithmetic that underscored my argument. I did not show it as I thought a rational adult would be able to easily understand what I have written without my making explicit 5th grade arithmetic calculations within my comment.

              I am not a Geneticist nor am I a medical person but Science is not a stranger to me and I am not overwhelmed by jargon.

              My policy in writing comments have never changed. I strive to be factual at all times.

              If you have the facts and the intellect to make an argument please do so. If you are not so equipped please don’t display your cowardice by disparaging remarks hiding behind others.


              There is this child who has your Genes.
              The Child also has your Father’s Genes.
              The mother of course is your wife.
              How do you know for certain, who the Father is?
              Is it you or your father?

              Kind Regards,
              OTC

          • 2
            2

            .
            Dear Lakmal Nissanka,

            Thank you for your observations and argument. However it would have helped the discussion if you gave references for your statements.

            The main thrust of my comment is to expose the FALLACY that Jude uses to build his argument. So far Jude has not responded, though it is a week since I posted my observations.

            Re “As per the ancient history of Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese are supposed to have come from North India.”

            It is unfortunate that you did not notice that my comment was based on scientific evidence and not on SUPPOSITIONS.

            The Mahabaratha refers to the Sinhalas as NATIVES of LANKA.

            Krishna addressing Yudhishththira says that he saw the Rulers of the Sinhalas at the Rajusya Sacrifice where he Identifies the Sinhalas as the Natives of Lanka.

            That was over 3000 years ago!

            Thus if we go by the Mahabaratha The Sinhalese ARE the NATIVES of Lanka and have a history dating back over 3 millenniums. More than 500 years BEFORE Vijaya’s supposed arrival !!!

            Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 51,
            Vasudeva Krishna to Yudhisthira

            All kings, even those of the Vangas and Angas and Paundras and Odras and Cholas and Dravidas and Andhakas, and the chiefs of many islands and countries on the seaboard as also of frontier states, including the rulers of the Sinhalas, the barbarous mlecchas, the natives of Lanka (wiki)

            Please note that the Cholas, Dravidas, Naga’s, Rakshasas, Veddas etc are not mentioned as inhabiting Lanka. Only the Sinhalas are mentioned as the Natives, Inhabitants and Rulers of Lanka by the Mahabaratha.

            Re “Regret if I am unable to continue this”

            Your arguments have many holes like the one I stated above.

            Writing a reply to you was of low priority since you were not prepared to discuss what you wrote. But it was necessary due to idiotic comments by Ken Roberts and wisecracking Tamil desperately trying to be what he is not by impersonating a Vedda. It will be a waste of my time to analyze what you have written any further.

            If you change your mind and want to do so, please feel free to go ahead.

            Kind Regards,
            OTC

    • 8
      1

      Simon,
      The genetic soup mix of the Bandaranaikes and many other families show genes from many races and countries.

      http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~lkawgw/gen1001.html

      There are no “pure” races in sri lanka.

    • 3
      0

      Simon,
      It is not the Grandmothers and ancestors, but the Rajapakse brainwashed youth of today, who perpetuate the Myth of a ‘pure mono genetic heritage’!

      Agree with you about the necessity of ‘a pan island genetic test’ to put this myth to rest, once and for all time.

  • 8
    6

    Those who advocate the singing of Sinhala national anthem in Tamil read this article and the bitter truth of what is happening in the island.

    Don’t be Tamil Rip Van Winkles!

    • 8
      3

      We can start identifying the honest Sinhalese intellectuals with integrity who stand for genuine reconciliation between the Sinhalese and Tamils on the basis of truth and justice:

      I can identify a handful and we must get this group growing to educate the Sinhala masses subverted by the Sinhalese politicians, Buddhist hierarchy, academics and others with falsified history, archeology, etc.;

      1 Dr Brian Seniveratne,
      2 Shamini Serasinghe,
      3 Jude Fernando,
      4 Wickramabahu Karunaratne,

      and I am sure CT readers can add a few more names to the list.

      Truth has become a casualty of the Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism and it must be countered to establish the truth first, and justice to follow.

      • 2
        5

        I am adding a few names:

        Kumari Jayawardena
        Surya Wickramasinghe
        Kumudini samuel
        Sepali Kottegoda
        There are many more

        • 8
          3

          maali karunaratne

          Why have you left out Darshanie Ratnawalli, Shenali Waduge, Kamalika Pieris, Champika, Nalin de Silva, Udaya Gammanpila, Bandu de Silva, …. Mahanama, …. ?

          Be serious.

          • 3
            4

            Native Vedda

            “Why have you left out Darshanie Ratnawalli, Shenali Waduge, Kamalika Pieris, Champika, Nalin de Silva, Udaya Gammanpila, Bandu de Silva, …. Mahanama, …. ?”

            Are they all para too from South India , Dravida Desh, as per DNA in their bodies? They all look alike, anyway.

            Just curious.

            Science tells the truth, as it is.

          • 0
            0

            NV,
            I noticed that thiru said the Deputy PM of Singapore is a Jaffna Tamil.
            This is not true he is of Nadu stock and that was on his wiki profile but recently it seems a JT has changed that.

            Thiru, Anpu and you the regular trolls. You folk say Hindia, and you support Muslim against BBS.
            Why don’t you give Thiru and Anpu in marriage to muslims because they speak the same language?? Problem solved and if you like it may be you can have another one too under muslim law.

            The reason is India will never forgive JT’s because even a nuclear power has not killed a Hindu PM. JT’s bit the hand of the son that fed them.

            When Gujarati’s came to UK from Uganda and Kenya most had British passports and purchased corner shops from the the whites. These in turn were sold to J>T refugees. When I go to Asia night club spot London my Gujarati & Rajasthani friends show me JT’s sitting and drinking with their people like at Lanka and don’t mix just only business purchase from Gujarati wholesalers.
            The riches man of UK lives next to Prince Charles and is not a refugee but Indian national.
            By promoting India is a murderer and cheat are you folk getting anywhere??
            No you just extend life of trolling and eventually promote terror.

            Rahul will play politics and see that LTTE and JT’s stay proscribed- he had to study and pass exams in an American cubical because of LTTE terror.
            Federica Mogherini EU foreign minister is a fascist who would be there for 10 years like her predecessor- LTTE would be banned and the west wont go easy on them with India on their back for insulting them.
            JT’s are not the only folk who get hurt- especially interfering in Indian politics. India sees it the way it wants to see it and not the way the west wants it to see. No Italian can threaten India.
            They have been clear with Israel and are supporting them not Arab or palestine- message is you convert NE then take them away, but now they are stopping it because they were used as mercenaries in the front lines of the middle east war. The same message goes to American preachers – take them away don’t keep them here and create religious wars- american preacher cant even get a visa for his converts to US because there is a cultural immigration issue there.
            Even Hillary was a liar about press freedom and a Bugger of telephones.

            • 3
              6

              Refreshing change. Congrats.

              • 0
                1

                “Refreshing change. Congrats. “
                Your predecessor got the boot lock stock & barrel.
                Stop grunting from your sty-scraper.

        • 1
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          Dear maali karunaratne,

          The Sinhala and the Tamils are cousins.
          We share a very large common genetic pool.

          Consider the following situation.

          Your Great Grand father is one of 6 siblings. Thus there are 5 other branches of your family tree whose common parents were the father and mother of your Great grand father.

          Do you know anyone from the other 5 branches?

          If on average one’s parent dies when one is 50 years, you are removed from your common parent (your great grand father’s father) by 200 years and from the siblings of your great grand father by only 150 years. Yet the chances of you knowing any of your relations of that family tree is very remote.

          Please read my comment addressed to Jude on March 31, 2015 at 2:59 am.

          I would appreciate your criticism.

          Kind Regards,
          OTC

      • 3
        5

        Dear Thiru,

        Re “Truth has become a casualty of the Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism and it must be countered to establish the truth first, and justice to follow”

        What you say can be countered very easily by pointing to Tamil Ruling Class Hypocrisy and the RECORDED history of centuries of OPPRESSION that you subjected your own people to, the Tamil Majority.

        As Bryan Pfaffenberger observes in his book, ‘Caste in Tamil Culture’ Accusing the Sinhala is a RUSE to cover the OPPRESSION that went on in the North amongst the Tamils.

        I have dealt with Jude’s article in my comment addressed to Jude on March 31, 2015 at 2:59 am, above.

        Appreciate your criticism.

  • 8
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    Hello Jude,

    When Ceylon came under the St. George cross and when it celebrated the crusades of Richard the lion heart et al, your grand ma felt “second class” too.

    She however adapted to the situation. She became a Christian and even managed to make a few shillings as a dog do shoveller at the Negombo Victorian Kennel club.

    [Edited out]

    • 11
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      This article has wound you up hasn’t it. Truth hurts I guess.

      • 1
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        Dear Robert,

        Truth does not hurt IF you are prepared to accept it.

        Appreciate your criticism of my comment above, addressed to Jude, on March 31, 2015 at 2:59 am.

    • 8
      2

      One can always expect Vibushana to produce a banal and inane comment in these pages.Here he is again, faced with a scholarly essay, comes up with an irrelevant comment on Fernando’s ancestry.
      And for an ardent Sinhala nationalist he has chosen a hilariously inappropriate pseudonym! Vibushana was Ravana’s younger brother who betrayed his brother’s cause and joined Rama when he invaded Lanka!Will this Vibushana too support India — or Tamil Nadu–if and when they invade Lanka as many Sinhala nationalists (see the recent writings of Dayan Jayatilleke) fear?I suppose one has to wait and see.

    • 3
      3

      [Edited out] He doe snot know that part of the Sri lankan history.

    • 4
      3

      Imbecile Vibhushana,

      The likes of you endeavoured to destroy the Tamil history in Sri Lanka. It is conspicuous that many information have disappeared from various websites in last 5 years or so. All Tamil related Colonial records and archaeological artefacts that were handed over to the Sri Lanka for record keeping are no more! The burning down the Jaffna library was no accident; it was a calculated act to destroy evidences. No matter how much you try, there is no use; there are people like Jude Fernando who will be a thorn to your endeavours!

      • 9
        3

        Burning Issue

        Please leave Vibhushana alone.

        He hears voices in his head, many voices all at the same time.

    • 8
      3

      Dear Vibushuana

      Thank you very much for providing valuable information about my grand ma. I am glad that she was able to find work outside her home, at a time when women were not allowed to work outside of their homes. For your information here is some historical information about the Kennel Club.

      http://www.ceylonkennelclub.com/index.php/our-history

      Cheers
      Jude

      • 4
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        Jude,

        Your understanding of Jaffna is completely wrong. Check here.

        http://jaffnahistory.com/Northern_Province/Sinhala_Villages_of_Jaffna_1695.html

        • 8
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          Jude,
          You are an intelligent man. You may find this interesting.

          “I have culled out all the above words, together with their definitions, from the Ancient Irrigation Works, by R.L.Brohier. At least they reveal one fact, viz, that they are ultimately Tamil derivatives. My presumption, therefore, is that those, who built tanks and constructed large irrigation works in the past, possessed all the knowledge necessary for the purpose and were Tamil-speaking people “
          http://www.sangam.org/2011/08/Aryan_Theory.php?uid=4446

          • 6
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            Anpu

            Thank you very much. Looks very interesting book. Will read it when I find some time. It would be nice to have a chat about it after I read. Find me and contact me, if you wish.

            Cheers
            Jude

  • 8
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    In the last 5yrs alone many Tamil/Hindu sitesof archaeological sites have been Sinhala/Buddhistcised, eg Kinniys Wells.

    Last week some families were allowed to go back to their lands and properties in Valigamam HSZ. In the village of Myliddy owners have found out that their houses are no more there. Even a school built more than 200 yrs ago is also no more there.

    • 2
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      Dear Punitham,

      Re “Last week some families were allowed to go back to their lands and properties in Valigamam HSZ. In the village of Myliddy owners have found out that their houses are no more there. Even a school built more than 200 yrs ago is also no more there.”

      That area was under the Terrorists and the IPKF till end 1995.

      There was a war there, what do you expect?

  • 9
    2

    ‘’In Sri Lanka, as in most states which are signatories of international conventions, ‘’heritage’’, in its multifarious guises, is endorsed simultaneously by a global bureaucratic apparatus the UNESCO, a global tourist industry and national governments”. UNESCO’s rhetoric appears to be progressive in that it purports to protect world cultures by means of protocols, declarations and inventories. But World Heritage projects belong to a world system and world economy which is in no way contesting the way nation states exhibit and promote a certain version of the past. The power structures of the nation state and their endorsement of populist versions of the past are not challenged by international institutions. In that sense they protect the key instruments that perpetuate marginalisation of certain histories and dominance of the sphere of ideology and cultural symbolisation’’ – Producing the Present: History as Heritage in Post-War Patriotic Sri Lanka, Nira Wickramasinghe, Economic & Political Weekly, 26 October 2013, vol xlviII no 43, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Producing_the_Present.pdf

  • 14
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    The inconvenient truth (for the extremists of either side) is that in this island people created a Buddhist-hindu hybrid culture. It shared much in common with Tamils across the bay, including Tamil Buddhist art forms. It also borrowed/adapted cultural aspects from other areas of India including Kerala, and the northern states.

    There have been Sinhala and Tamil Buddhists on this island for several millennia, even after the reconquest of south India by the resurgent hindu movement – especially the bhakti movement.

    Additionally there has been competition between the 2 Buddhist schools, Mahayana and Theravada, on this island (not unsimilar to issues in south-east Asians kingdoms such as thai/Angkor etc.) I think the dominant school, Theravada, that prevailed came to be increasingly fearful of its survival and thus wittingly or unwittingly strengthened the idea that this island is the “home” of theravadins to the exclusion of other schools and even other religions. Thus works such as Mahawansa are tainted by biased views of the dominant theravadins.

    The bottom line for a contemporary Sri Lankan – of any ethnicity- is to decide once and for all whether it’s worth their while to continue to fight the battles of their racist forebears or learn to live in peace amongst those different from you. It they decide the latter, then they should learn the art of compromise and direct communication with each other, rather than depend on interlocutors -who have their own agendas that will eventually defeat the purpose of achieving peace.

    In my opinion, having travelled to most of our cultural sites as a tour leader, the most beautiful sites are in Polonnaruwa where a synthesis of hindu sensuousness, Theravada-asceticism and Mahayana super-naturality has created some of the most beautiful religious iconography in the world.

    • 8
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      Sinhala Budhhist:
      Very true.I hope you keep up the good work.One should keep hammering these historical truths again and again so that they will penetrate finally into the closed minds of the Sinhala Nationalists.

    • 9
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      Thank you. The probability what you said is true, is very high.

      Dr.RN

    • 9
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      Very thought full comment. Thank you. What you say is important for us to move forward and develop a sense of tolerance. Your comment on Polonnaruwa is a good one and it could be developed further. Your brief analysis will make people more appreciative of the richness of Sri Lanka’s past. What we really need is to develop a different mind sent about country’s past.

      Cheers
      Jude

  • 4
    1

    Sinhalese is a cultural entity, not a genetic entity. It is a language/Buddhism/culture co-evolving to form distinct ethnic group, follow the evolution of the language and you will trace evolution of the so called race.

    for simplicity here is a pictorial representation
    http://www.theguardian.com/education/gallery/2015/jan/23/a-language-family-tree-in-pictures

    • 7
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      InconvenientTruth

      “Sinhalese is a cultural entity”

      What is this Sinhalese cultural entity? Could you define and explain how this entity is arrive at?

      If it is a unique entity different from other such entities what do you think makes it unique?

  • 12
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    Absolutely true. History, archaeology, linguistics ,place names and demography have been deliberately distorted to propagate a pernicious political agenda. Historians, scientists, linguists, academics and journalists have been rendered charlatence by pernicious politicians. It is shame that we have been rendered a people who do do not know our past at least to the extent that it can be truthfully determined. Objectivity has been slaughtered at the altar of this pernicious and nauseating political agenda. There is no doubt the Tamils have been the main victims of this process and have paid a very heavy price.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 7
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      Correction: charlatans.

      Dr.r.RN

      • 3
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        Dear Dr. Rajasingham Narendran,

        Re There is no doubt the Tamils have been the main victims of this process and have paid a very heavy price”

        That depends on what you choose to recognize and to Ignore.

        Quote

        “The situation prevailing in Uva and Wellassa was so precarious that the English set fire to villages, houses, livestock, and whatever they could burn.

        The British confiscated the properties of the people involved in the uprising, they killed all cattle and other animals, burnt homes, property and even the salt in their possession during the repression. Paddy fields in the area of Wellassa were all destroyed. The irrigation systems of the duchies of Uva and Wellassa, hitherto the rice-bowl of Sri Lanka were systematically destroyed.

        The British also massacred the male population of Uva above the age of 18 years.

        In the ‘Journal of Uva,’ Herbert White, a British Government Agent in Badulla after the rebellion minuted:

        It is a pity that there is no evidence left behind to show the exact situation in Uva in terms of population or agriculture development after the rebellion. The new rulers are unable to come up to any conclusion on the exact situation of Uva before the rebellion as there is no trace of evidence left behind to come to such conclusions. If thousands died in the battle they were all fearless and clever fighters. If one considers the remaining population of 4/5 after the battle to be children, women and the aged, the havoc caused is unlimited. In short the people have lost their lives and all other valuable belongings. It is doubtful whether Uva has at least now recovered from the catastrophe.” (source wiki)
        Unquote

        British used Draconian Laws to dispossess the Sinhala of their Land and convert them to cash crop plantations and to domicile their indentured labour. The Indian Tamils were Aliens and their numbers were so massive that it exceeded the Indigenous Lanka Tamil population.

        They were domiciled in the Sinhala Hinterland on Land dispossessed from the Sinhalese.

        (Google for Crown Land Enforcement Ordinance of 1840, Waste Land Ordinance Act of 1897, Land Settlement Ordinance of 1889 or read my comment here for details https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/revolutionizing-sovereignty-to-secure-permanent-peace-in-sri-lanka/comment-page-1/#comment-1796930).
        .
        Even today, of the 839,504 Indian Origin Tamil population only 11,940 live in the North and East. The balance live on Sinhala Land that was wrested from them by the British.

        There are over a million Landless Sinhala peasants as a result.

        The plight of the Sinhala who got displaced (as at 1946), just before independence, can be seen from the following.

        “According to the 1946 census on population in the agricultural sector of the island, 40% of the agricultural peasant families found in the former Kandyan Kingdom were landless while there were 26% landless agricultural families recorded in the wet zone” (Herath 1995: 79).

        It is not possible to evict the Indian Origin Tamils to give back the land to the original occupants.

        The govt addressed the issue in 1949 by developing UNINHABITED FORREST LAND under the Gal Oya Development Scheme.

        The Gal Oya scheme opened up Uninhabited Forrest Land and 40 million acres of land became available for settlement of the Landless.

        Veddhas, Moors, Tamils and the Landless Sinhala described above were selected for settlement.

        Then came the racist cry of “this is Tamil Land” the Sinhala has no place in it. What started then evolved into a conflagration of unimagined proportions.

        The Tamil United Liberation Front upped the ante, in their election manifesto of July 1977 by claiming, it was “EXCLUSIVELY Tamil Land”.

        Land is the source of life and sustenance. Eighty percent of Lanka is PUBLIC land. It is the Birthright of ALL of us. No single entity has the right to deprive the others of that Birthright.

        We should stop looking at ourselves as separate entities because we are not. You and I are related (please see my comment to Jude). The day we can do that all these problems will disappear. From what I see in these forums, the end of the tunnel is still in total darkness.

        Kind Regards,
        OTC

        • 8
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          Dear OTC,

          I was only referring to our post-independence history. The events to refer, however abhorrent they may have been, were under colonial rule and under different norms and circumstances. The post-second world war standards and post-colonial values did not justify what was orchestrated in Sri Lanka. This ought to be condemned outright without reservations.

          Dr.RN

          • 2
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            Dear Dr RN,

            Please see my comment to you of April 2, 2015 at 4:07 am. It is a response to this comment of yours as well.

            OTC

        • 8
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          Dear OTC,
          Part of my response to you has been accidentally misplaced above.

          Further, the story the Gal Oya scheme is much more than land settlement and agricultural development, not withstanding the fact that Tamils were reluctant to take up land allotted to them. The key to understanding the devious aspects of this scheme was naming Kallaru (Tamil), as Gal Oya (Sinhala). Why could it not have been Kallaru Development Scheme? It was no different from Manal Aru being named Weli Oya decades later . Gal Oya in 1958 became the spring board for what transpired in the East during the riots. Similarly, Padavikkulam that became the Padawiya scheme was used as the launching pad for the planned attack on Vavuniya led by C.P.De Silva in 1958.

          Lofty ideals projected by our politicians have always had darker intents. This is the reason for abiding suspicions on the question of land.

          Dr.RN

          • 3
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            Dear Dr. Rajasingham Narendran,

            Yes I knew you were referring to the post Independence history but doing so presents a different picture of the problem that will be used by separatists to advance their views.

            I am aware that you are a honest man and has suffered immensely from the ethnic riots. I have also noted the change in your writings and I attribute it to disillusionment with the govt subsequent to the war victory. I have the utmost respect for you as a human being.

            The ethnic problem cannot be taken in isolation as the core issue is about Land. Everything else is just noise which is made use of to hide the core issue.

            The Tamil Kallaru that goes to the sea at Oluvil begins further inland in Moneragala. Thus the river (and the tributaries) will have Sinhala names at it’s origin.

            The issue about the name is insignificant in a Macro view of the problem. I am aware that “Kallaru” and “Gal Oya” means the same thing except perhaps the word “Aru” means river and “Oya” a smaller stream (please correct me if I am wrong).

            Re “… not withstanding the fact that Tamils were reluctant to take up land allotted to them”

            That reminds me of the folk tale about the Dog in the Manger. Was the Malaria infestation during the early days the reason?

            My focus is on the Kandyan Peasants who were rendered Landless by the British and whose habitat demography Completely and Irrevocably changed.

            No Tamil person discusses this Human tragedy.

            Any attempt to discuss it is swiftly and summarily dismissed.

            Why did the Tamil Politicians object to settling the above people who have been wronged and made to suffer for centuries? When every ethnic group was given land from the scheme.

            It cannot be justified by claiming the minorities will lose their political power to administer themselves as there is Land in abundance, the majority uninhabited. The Eastern Province is the 2nd Largest Province of Lanka and the major part is uninhabited.

            At least a part of that uninhabited land can be shed to create another province for the Landless. Thus the existing population will not get diluted and will retain the Demography that existed in the province. Thus the Political Power will remain UNCHANGED.

            Whatever way you look at it, objections cannot be justified in any way.

            This was Uninhabited Forrest Land. Developed as agricultural land using public funds, the major component of which comes from indirect taxation, the major contributor of which are the Sinhalese as indirect tax contribution directly correlates to the National ethnic ratio. Even public debt burden is carried according to the National Ethnic Ratio

            Kind Regards,
            OTC

            • 5
              3

              OTC,

              Thank you Dr RN. DR RN is saying something and you are, as usual, twisting.

              TNA is not asking for separation.

              “This was Uninhabited Forrest Land. Developed as agricultural land using public funds, the major component of which comes from indirect taxation, the major contributor of which are the Sinhalese as indirect tax contribution directly correlates to the National ethnic ratio. Even public debt burden is carried according to the National Ethnic Ratio “

              Public fund???

              Major component of the economy at that time came from the Tea industries. Who worked in the Tea industries. DSS made them stateless.

              • 3
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                Dear Anpu,

                Re “Major component of the economy at that time came from the Tea industries”

                Yes you are partly right.

                The major component of the economy at that time was revenue from cash crops (Tea, Rubber, coconut and spices) and substantial part of that was spent on imports (essentials like food, medicine, fuel etc for all and non essentials to keep the rich in comfort).

                The population was poor and were given food subsidies.
                Indirect taxes were used to bridge the shortfall even then. It was low then (wages and salaries were also low) and is very high now.

                Re “Who worked in the Tea industries”

                Indians.

                The indentured Low Cast labour from South India who amongst the Lanka Tamils were nothing but a drum to be beaten (the women and the Panchamar “are all born to get beaten”) and amongst the British Plantation owners’ chattel to be exploited but who amongst the Sinhala found kindness and acceptance.

                “When I moved to Hatton and later to Colombo, I found a very different world. It was a transforming experience for me and my wife to find that our workmates, mostly Sinhalese would actually sit with us and share a cup of tea. We found that we could go to night school and study without being threatened, beaten up, or go and borrow books, and do things that would bring swift retribution ‘back in the North’; our dwellings would have been torched and our women raped with impunity” Sebastian Rasalingam who is a Low Cast Jaffna Tamil married to an Indian origin Tamil lady from Hatton.

                The above is an extract from what Sebastian Rasalingam, a Jaffna Low Cast Tamil wrote on 28 November 2012. on DBS Jayaraj’s blog http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/12770

                Note what he says about the Sinhalese, it is in stark contrast to what he says about his own, the Northerners which includes you.

                Re “DSS made them stateless”

                No he did not.

                They were Indians to begin with. Non of them relinquished Indian Citizenship when they came here to slave for the British. They slaved for the Brits, earned money they could not earn in India (though under inhuman conditions which were still better in comparison to India) to make King George richer and went back regularly to India to live with their families.

                Just like the poor Lankans do today by going to the Middle East, Korea, Singapore, Italy etc.

                Do these Lankans qualify for citizenship in the countries they go to? No Anpu they don’t even if they slave for decades.

                SOME of the Indians failed to meet the conditions of Ceylon Citizenship. The only way they can become stateless is if India disowned them.

                Kind Regards,
                OTC

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              Dear OTC,

              I was convinced decades back that the battle was for real estate. All other issues were secondary. Even today the main issue is land. There was land stealing by the State island-wide and more so in the North and East, until recently. With the example set by the State, land stealing has also become a fine art island wide and on a wider scale in the North -and East by crooks, both Sinhalese and Tamils.

              When private individuals steal the lands of others, it is to profit illegally. The government machinery at the Kachchery and land registry levels, back this effort with the connivance of crooked lawyers. When the State does it for so-called altruistic reasons, it is given a veneer of national need, while the methods are yet criminal.
              The land grab by the State in the North and East, may be explained as being altruistic, but in fact have ways had the intent of making the Tamils a minority in the provinces where they live as majorities yet!

              Land was an issue, is an issue and will be an issue until the Tamils are convinced that they are treated fairly and squarely in this country that is ours too. The LTTE too fought for real estate and if studied in depth, not for the Tamils! They were prepared to sacrifice Tamil and Tamil lives to hold on to the lands in the north and east. They too stole lands,

              I do not think the instinct of the Tamils to tenaciously hold on to their private owned lands and State lands in the northern and eastern provinces, can be erased for centuries to come. Such are the extent of their fears and insecurity! The land provides them a distinct identity. Without the lands, they fear their distinct and collective identity will be lost, They may live abroad and be citizens of other countries. However, as long as they own even a square meter of land in the north and east this island belongs to them too. This is fact, although I may sound jingoistic for stating the fact categorically.
              Dr.RN

              • 2
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                Dear Dr Rajasigham Narendran,

                Re “However, as long as they own even a square meter of land in the north and east this island belongs to them too”

                Even if they don’t own even a square inch of land but hold a Sri Lankan Passport this Island is unquestionably theirs too.

                I am happy to note that you too have identified LAND as the CORE issue in the Ethnic Conflict and that all the other issues raised are secondary.

                Land was the main reason in the Past.
                Land is the main reason Today.
                Land will remain the main reason Tomorrow.

                Unless the CORE issue is resolved with fairness to All, this conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese will continue unabated.

                Re “I do not think the instinct of the Tamils to tenaciously hold on to their private owned lands and State lands in the northern and eastern provinces, can be erased for centuries to come”

                There is no dispute of ownership of Private Lands with the general public, hence that does not come into the picture at all.

                State Lands is another matter altogether as it is the Birthright of the Sri Lankan Citizenship. The Tamil claim to State Land cannot supersede NON Tamil claims to State Land.

                Sri Lanka has only ONE natural boundary and that is the sea.
                The current Provincial boundaries are man made and have no currency historically or by ethnic habitation or by Ethnic Sovereignty.

                If Ethnic claims to Land is based on precolonial ETHNIC Sovereignty, then Sinhala Sovereignty existed for millennia over the whole of the natural border except for TWO interim periods totaling less than four centuries. (Human habitation of Lanka dates back to the distant past. Today’s paper reports the discovery of a complete skeleton of a young woman from Bulathsinhala which the Oxford University says is 10,000 year old)

                If Ethnic sovereignty is claimed on historical Kingdoms then we had two Kingdoms one Tamil and the other Sinhalese. The Sinhala Kingdom encompassed the whole mainland except for a small part to the North West. The Tamil Kingdom was limited to the Jaffna Peninsular and a small part of the North West mainland and Excluded the whole of the Eastern seaboard South of Elephant Pass.

                But NON of those arguments are valid in the modern day as we cannot exclude the Moors, Plantation Tamils of Indian origin, Malays, Kaffirs, Veddhas, Eurasians etc who are equal stake holders to this Land that we call Sri Lanka.

                Thus what you say about Tamil ownership of “State lands in the northern and eastern provinces” persisting for Centuries in to the future boils down to Tamil Intransigence and inability to share the Birthright of the Lankan Citizenship as equal stake holders.

                It does not bode well for Peace as that intransigence will be met by an equal or greater intransigence by the Non Tamil Citizens.

                Kind Regards,
                OTC

                • 3
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                  Dear OTC,

                  T is definitely not intransigence. It is a reflex reaction to what has transpired in this country for a very long time.
                  Dr.RN

                  • 2
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                    Dear Dr. Rajasingham Narendran,

                    Judging by what happened at Gal Oya, it is definitely intransigence.

                    Re “It is a reflex reaction to what has transpired in this country for a very long time”

                    That is a chicken and an egg story and will not solve anything.

                    What does the Tamils want?

                    If it is territory within which they can chart their own Political and economic destiny they have it in abundance and much more than the population living within it justifies.

                    Lanka Tamil population in the N Province 988,186
                    National % of population = 4.85%

                    Territory 8,884 sq km.
                    National percent of Land = 13.67% (this is even greater than the National Lanka Tamil population of 11.146%)

                    Thus the Land resource in the NP is almost TRIPLE the Tamil population living within it.

                    As shown in my previous comment No claim can be made on the East which historically fell within the Kandyan Kingdom of the Sinhalese. The Muslims were given refuge in the East when the Portuguese were exterminating them.

                    Eastern Province
                    Lanka Tamils 610,033. Nat percent 3.00%
                    Moors 574,327. Nat percent 2.82%
                    Sinhalese 360,738. Nat percent 1.77%
                    Territory 9,996 sq km. Nat percent 15.38%

                    This is 5 times the Lanka Tamil population or 5.5 times the Muslim population or 2.6 times the combined Tamil and Muslim population.

                    The Nationally funded largest irrigation project of Lanka, the Gal Oya development scheme which opened up 40,000,000 acres of uninhabited Forrest land is situated in this province.

                    Please note that almost the entirety of the Indian Tamils and more than the Lanka Tamil population of the East, lives amongst the Sinhalese in the South.

                    When there are over a million Sinhala peasants who were rendered Landless by the British and on whose Lands nearly a million Indian Tamils are resident, causing an unprecedented and hitherto unparalleled change of demography in the Central Province of the Kandyan kingdom, preventing them being given land in a Nationally funded irrigation project within that self same Kandyan Kingdom, citing demography change cannot be fair or just or tenable.

                    Demography can be maintained by excising UNINHABITED land from the NP, EP and NCP and creating a new province or centrally governed territory that will accommodate the landless of EVERY ethnicity.

                    Kind Regards,
                    OTC

                    • 2
                      2

                      Correction

                      Gal Oya development scheme which opened up 40,000,000 acres of uninhabited Forrest land.

                      The extent of land is 40,000 Hectares or 98,850 acres not 40,000,000 acres.

                      The error is regretted

                      OTC

                    • 1
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                      Dear OTC,

                      The story did not end with Gal Oya. It has continued into the recent Agbopura and Namalgama, among many others in the Vanni and the East. Although, shrouded in the mists of time, I fear a similar process had unfolded in the distant past too. The inborn fear and suspicions of the Tamils may have a long deep rooted history.

                      I can only say that I wish it was otherwise and we could have been swimming in a common pond. But reality dictates otherwise. We have to have a ‘ Baby’ pool, along side the Olympic size pool, to swim and survive, until such time we are confident and trusting enough to try the bigger pool and share it with the big fish.

                      As I have pointed out earlier that altruistic considerations and mathematical equations do not have a place yet in a lunatic anspd suicidal Sri Lanka. The rules of the lunatic asylum, have to exist for long time here.

                      Best regards,

                      Dr.RN

  • 4
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    Christianity and Islam are recent religion both in the world and also in Asia.

    Now christians and Muslims establish their heritage and talk about multi-every thing countries.

    Jude you are talking about middle eastern and European culture. Sinhala buddhist people talk about the culture the indian sub continent.

    • 5
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      Jim,

      Please have a drink on me and get back into your shell; this article is too much for your to digest!

  • 6
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    Will DJ , HLDM, Rohan and the likes endorse or approve this kind of analysis written by learned Jude Fernando and the likes ?

  • 0
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    What the hell is going on here? Have the Sri Lankans all gone crazy. May be not surprising after 30 years of terrorist attacks. Calm down people. Don’t be so idiotic trying to stir up racism. There is only one race in this world – human race. It is plain stupid to think otherwise, calling each other names, dissecting and interpreting each and every act the government does as having a racial dimension to it. Most of the countries in the world value their ancient architectural finds and they have educational value. If someone doesn’t like the country he is living in or its people, you can always migrate to another country of your preference. Problem solved!

    • 7
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      mel

      ” If someone doesn’t like the country he is living in or its people, you can always migrate to another country of your preference. Problem solved!”

      It means problem is being exported to another land as happened when Vijaya of Sinhapura was exciled luck would have it landed here on the shores of this island with his 700 hoodlums.

      The troubles really started then.

      It is not a good idea.

      Do you think one should just accept what is given to them as history and should not question the veracity of such stories just because the majority is conditioned to believe in them?

      “May be not surprising after 30 years of terrorist attacks.”

      Good that you mentioned terrorist attacks. Actually terrorist attacks started on 5th April 1971, (2009 – 1971 = 38 years).

      Can we now agree on this recent history?

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        Mel

        Thank you for your comment. Yes, we need to get to the point of appreciating diversity of heritage as it is. The issue is how to get to that point? First we need to create a cosmopolitant and tolerant mindset. This is where the education matters. In fact, that is the purpose of the idea of multiculturalism. I agree that needs to be further developed. There may be other ways to do this as well.

        Cheers
        Jude

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