24 November, 2020

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Inter-Ethnic Goodwill Must Be Built Upon

By Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

Sri Lanka has entered into a period of conflict transformation. The theory of conflict transformation states that conflict changes the parties, their relationships and issues over time. There is a new relationship and the issues at hand can be addressed at a different level. This offers the chance to resolve the problem in a new way. The defeat of the LTTE on the battlefield and the Rajapaksa government in elections has created a big change in the environment. The way that the government handles inter-ethnic relations today is different from that of the past. The top leadership of the present government, President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and also leading government figures such as Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, do not see the Tamil and Muslim people separately from the Sinhalese. Their approach is to see the people as one, rather than in terms of their ethnicity or region.

The downfall of the Rajapaksa government occurred because the former government saw national politics in ethnic terms. They considered the Tamil and Muslim people not only as distinct from the Sinhalese people to whose interests they gave priority, they also saw them as potential threats to national security. This is why the security forces were permitted to remain inactive even while Sinhalese mobs attacked Muslim properties, as in Aluthgama. This is also why the former government sought to increase the size of the Sri Lankan security forces after the end of the war, instead of demobilizing them as is common when a war ends. Instead of seeking to build a new future based on the peace that had been achieved, they began to prepare for another conflict in the future. The former government had a securitization mindset which impelled them to see national security as requiring a watchful eye and a military presence over the ethnic minorities.

One child drew a pen and wrote letters in the Sinhala, Tamil and English alphabets.  She explained that she was the pen, and writing her own life, and it would be lived in the three languages.

One child drew a pen and wrote letters in the Sinhala, Tamil and English alphabets. She explained that she was the pen, and writing her own life, and it would be lived in the three languages.

The non-ethnic approach to governance that the present government leadership has shown is being reciprocated by the ethnic minority political parties. They are by and large fully supportive of the government and are placing their trust in its commitment to resolve long standing problems. Even those groups that continue to believe in the need for pressure to be put upon the government in the form of people’s power, such as the Tamil People’s Council in Jaffna, have made an effort to inform their supporters that they are neither being anti government nor anti Sinhalese. The large demonstrations that took place in Jaffna last week highlighted concerns about the non-return of land taken over by the military, the release of prisoners incarcerated for years without charge and the putting up of Buddhist symbols in places where there are no Buddhists. But there also needs to be a recognition of how much has changed for the better in the past one and a half years.

Peace Building 

The day before Tamil People’s Council held its rally there was a sports programme in Jaffna organized by Netball Australia in collaboration with the Foundation for Goodness in which cricket star Muttiah Muralitharan is a leading figure. Coaches and students from six schools each in Jaffna and Galle were the beneficiaries of this programme where their netball playing skills were enhanced and they were given a broader perspective about living together peacefully in one country. This programme involved coaching school children, along with their coaches, in the latest techniques in playing netball. The programme also had a peacebuilding component which was facilitated by the National Peace Council together with the Centre for Communication Training. Such people-to-people initiatives have been found to be useful in rebuilding broken relationships in post-war societies.

The representatives from Netball Australia expressed their satisfaction that both the coaching and relationship building exercises had taken place successfully. They said that a similar programme carried out in an African country had run into difficulty as the children from the two conflicting communities had refused to sit together. This is indicative of the advantage that Sri Lanka has in seeking to strengthen post-war reconciliation and unite the people of the country. In Sri Lanka it may be generally observed that children, and also adults, of the different ethnic and religious communities, tend to get on well with each other in social and professional spaces. This was the case even during the height of the war for the most part. By contrast, even in Northern Ireland today, two decades after the violence has ended, and a political solution has been found, the social gap between the communities is still wide. In Sri Lanka, this social gap is less wide.

A demonstration of the goodwill that naturally exists between the different communities was manifested in an exercise that the students were asked to undertake by the facilitators from the Centre for Communication Training. The children from the north and south were put into mixed groups and were each asked to draw a picture which described what they are, wish to be and hope to become. They were also asked to explain their drawings to those in their group. Although most students could not speak in the language of the other community, they somehow struggled to explain what their drawings meant to each other, including using whatever English they knew as the link language.

Another child drew figures of people belonging to the four religions and said she would be a worker for peace.

Another child drew figures of people belonging to the four religions and said she would be a worker for peace.

One child drew a pen and wrote letters in the Sinhala, Tamil and English alphabets. She explained that she was the pen, and writing her own life, and it would be lived in the three languages.

Another child drew figures of people belonging to the four religions and said she would be a worker for peace.

Public Education 

The government leadership is presently charting out a roadmap to reconciliation in Sri Lanka along with the political leadership of the Tamil and Muslim parties. There are two important processes taking place that are intended to lead to the development of a new constitution and the establishment of reconciliation mechanisms. Both are going to be public processes. The constitutional reforms will have to be approved by the people at a referendum. The reconciliation process will also be a public one as it includes the setting up of a truth seeking commission, the proceedings of which will be seen and heard by the entire country. Both of these processes will also go deep into the most controversial areas of public and political life, such as the devolution of power and the charges of serious human rights violations and war crimes connected to the war.

Last week, parallel to the netball programme in Jaffna, the National Peace Council held a workshop on transitional justice at Eastern University in Batticaloa. There were about a hundred students drawn from the Tamil, Sinhalese and Muslim communities in approximately equal numbers. In their group discussion when they were asked to list their priorities in terms of reconciliation, irrespective of ethnicity, the students said that the law must apply equally to all, regardless of status or ethnicity. They also recommended having educational campaigns on the important reform processes within the country or else they said that politicians and others will exploit the ignorance of the people. Although they were divided into mono-ethnic groups, in which all the students in a group were of the same ethnicity, they took care not to hurt the sentiments of those of other ethnicities.

However, it was a matter of concern that none of the students said they were aware of the public consultations process that had taken place with regard to both constitutional change and the reconciliation mechanisms. There is an emerging vulnerability in the ongoing reconciliation process due to this lack of public awareness and public participation in the reforms that are being initiated at the highest levels of the polity. The first is that nationalist propaganda can fill in the vacuum. Among them are charges made by the Tamil People’s Council is that there is Sinhalese colonisation of Tamil lands and the building of Buddhist temples in these areas. Charges that give emotives or misleading interpretations about the reforms that are taking place are made in the South as well. The possible resurrection of the LTTE due to the actions of the government and the division of the country by the international community are some of the favourite propaganda lines. Unless countered effectively this can lead to a loss of trust and confidence and back to a negative cycle of renewed conflict. The best way forward would be to engage in greater awareness education and to find ways to make community leaders participate directly in the reconciliation process by means of people-to-people engagements.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    10

    @ Jehan.. Please stop with your Bull ***** Articles. and for once have the B*** to really criticize the Tamil Politicians in the North like the CM wiggy and the rallying of extremist. That is what you sort of intended here. is the very last paragraph. Cant sit and blame sinhalese or the Government on all things and also Rajapaksa. Call a spade a spade. stop with your rubbish articles and if you really care about inter ethnic harmony go after the Northern CM and the other parties.

  • 5
    0

    Attempt at ‘conflict transformation’ by enforced constitutional reforms risks disaster, and perhaps prepare the ground feasible for NGO peace vendors to thrive; In the worst case scenario the locals of the ilk will have to pack up.

    • 4
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      Jehan Perera

      RE: Inter-Ethnic Goodwill Must Be Built Upon

      Yes.Tell the Truth. Call a Spade, a Sade and a Para, a Para. Appeal to All Paras.

      Start with the Foundation. Para-Sinhala, Para-Tamils, Para-Muslims Para-Malays, Dutch, Para-English,Para-Chinese and other Paras.

      Furthermore, their beliefs are Para too. Para-Hinduism, Para-Buddhism, Para-Islam, Para-Christianity, Para-Jainism,etc, are all Para beliefs.

      Why are they any better than the other Para-beliefs? All have no support or proof, only brainwashing.

    • 2
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      Chandra

      “In the worst case scenario the locals of the ilk will have to pack up. “

      Thanks.

  • 4
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    This is a mammoth task, but possible.

    Media has to be away from extremistic thought bearers, politicians, that have been making every efforts to abuse the chance.
    This has been the obstacle for the nation for the last few decades.
    If the current politicians would be able to analyse it properly and do the due accordingly, not neglecting any parties allowing them for discussions, things could move forward as surely as sun rises.

    The state should take every action to make the media (third force of a country where democracy lives) VERY CLEAR about not being biased as has been the case in terms of extremists led by Rajapakshes.

    Derana has been doing the job for Rajakashes since their birth is related to them – so, they have to be servile that way, while Hiru also does the job in thatline, on and on, that being no impatial from thatday on.

    ITN and other state senders do also good jobs by providing political discussions giving a chance also to those radical representations such as Gewindu, Udaya Gonthadipila etc not forgetting allow take part of lanken university professors.

  • 6
    6

    Can you please preach to Vigi.. it’s he who is hell bent on destroying the “reconciliation process”

  • 7
    6

    Unity for this cursed land was all destroyed by Sinhala racists politicians D.S.Senanayaka Banda,J R,Premadasa
    These selfish leaders have missed the boat.

    So Inter ethnic Good will will be a dream for another 1000 years.

    As long as Sihalease think that they can rule and control Tamils -which will be never ever possible -there won’t be any peace in this cursed land.

    Cheers

    • 5
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      Cholan,

      You are correct:

      As long as the Sinhala dominated state, its armed forces and political leaders are hell bent on grabbing Tamils’ traditional homeland and colonizing with Sinhalese with the intent to making Tamils minority everywhere in the island, where is reconciliation I ask?

      They are continuing to sow the seeds for further conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese.

      • 0
        0

        So THIRU please tell me:

        1. Where should the Sinhala people live ?

        2. Just like you are proposing the BHUMIPUTHRA rights for the Tamils in Northern and Eastern Province, are you proposing Bhumiputhra rights for the Sinhala people ?

        3. Do you identify the Tamils of recent Indian background as Sri Lankan Tamils ? They are living in Sinhala land (a fact). What do you propose to do with them ?

        thanks and regards

        PS: No point in going around in circles and wasting time. Lets get to the root of the problem and deal with it. Without being emotional and fixed on certain ideas. Simple enough….

    • 3
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      Sometimes technology can change people more than people can change people. The problem is there are too many people who don’t speak even basic English. How will they understand modern science/technology and increase their standard of living? What we need is a model similar to Singapore; all government-funded schools should be in the English medium only. This way, people will have full access to outside ideas and the nationalist sentiment will die down a little. I am referring strictly to Sinhalese. There is no hope for our skullcap friends; these idiots think Quran is more useful than quantum mechanics.

    • 0
      0

      So CHOLAN please tell me:

      1. Where should the Sinhala people live ?

      2. Just like you are proposing the BHUMIPUTHRA rights for the Tamils in Northern and Eastern Province, are you proposing Bhumiputhra rights for the Sinhala people ?

      3. Do you identify the Tamils of recent Indian background as Sri Lankan Tamils ? They are living in Sinhala land (a fact). What do you propose to do with them ?

      thanks and regards

      PS: No point in going around in circles and wasting time. Lets get to the root of the problem and deal with it. Without being emotional and fixed on certain ideas. Simple enough….

  • 1
    0

    It looks peace is far away and a mirage in this Island. The comments in the CT express it clearly provided the comments reflect the sentiments of Lankan. They want to live in turmoil and fish in turmoil. Agonies and human sufferings awaiting eternally. You never know in what form a disaster will happen. You all think if there were no Tamils but slaves, Island will be a Paradise for ever. But there is a spray the wasp use, it can make fight each other and another foreigner will make the opportunity to make it a hell.

  • 2
    1

    Inter-Ethnic Goodwill Must Be Built Upon NGO parasight Jehan perera

    So Inter ethnic Good will will be a dream for another 1000 years as long as Wiggie, Cholan keep on demanding for more & more.
    Wiggie is like a horse with horns unlike a Unicorn.

    Nothing is a mammoth task if one understands to live and let live. During all those years of the how did we live in the South among the majority community. We survived. War was there but we got a life.

    Constitutional reforms can not change anything nor permitting us to sing the National Anthem in Tamil. These are cosmetic.
    reconcilliation must come from the heart with humility.

  • 1
    1

    In a small heavily populated nation like SL there is no room for segregation. The link language was broken when English was lost. However, some argue with facts that emancipation of rural/provincial Sinhalese and Tamils and their access to higher education would not have been possible without the controversial language policies. So in Hindsight we may judge them harshly but were the a product of their time of rampant nationalism and anti colonialism? smart leaders like Lee Kuan Yew saw the dangers of this. Yet Malaysia also switched to Bahasa Malaysia with some significant negative effects as they chose to establish supremacy of the Bhumiputhras.

    So why not raise standard of teaching and pay them more and train them more to be multi lingual ? As CM Wigneswaran said more Tamils should learn the language of the majority. Even in Kerala or TN they learn to speak Hindi as a second language while functioning in English. One of my closest friends is an incredible Soil Scientist in India. He and I were roommates and he shared the stories. Of course he went to a private school but they all spoke a smattering of Hindi to get along. Most of his life he was posted in the North in India where they look down on the relatively darker skinned Indians. That is a fact I observed living and loving every minute of my remarkable time in Punjab. But when it came to crunch time or when they were faced with common enemies like China or Pakistan(from their perspectives) they all were Indian. They took pride in “Be Indian and Buy Indian” and what makes that? Not sure….but too long chauvinist Sinhala and Tamil leaders have fostered fear or actual segregation. And we have to be honest about how Tamil people had to bear the brunt of ethnic attacks under certain regimes.

    If Tamil or Sinhala people had a Second Amendment like in the USA, perhaps they could have defended themselves and their homes against marauding murderous thugs in 1983 and before or during the days of tyre pyres and necklacing by class envious demented JVP terrorists and State terrorists and torture camps. A weak people are always more susceptible to tyranny. A well Armed citizenry can be the best bulwark against tyranny was what US founding fathers thought.

    In the absence of that, why not try the Indian approach in a modified manner? That is have local police at a provincial level as the main protectors of civilians.

    So in Tamil majority area, let the police be mostly Tamil and also Tamil speaking Sinhala or Muslim cops and if a certain area is more Moore/Muslims with different conservative values why not Moors in that area but subject to the sovereignty of a Federal constitution. Could there also be a CRPF or a Central Reserve Police force that is under Central Government control that can be deployed in case of unrest and ethnic clashes?

    India does it all the time. I remember in 1984, when the BlueStar Operation ended in a fiasco and we had to live in fear and curfew how the Punjab police was replaced by CRPF: of course the problem there was they CRPF were Southerners and other non- Punjabi speakers and they were quite apprehensive. But gone were the Lathis the Punjabi cops used to beat people up with and out came CRPF with their obsolete 0.303 rifles and of course those were uncertain times. I also asked a certain political leader of SL and a military person why not like a “Sikh Regiment” “Rajput Rifles” a “tamil brigade” and a “moor brigade”? They do not have to be ethnically exclusive but a mixture of people and commanders but primarily the rank and file to be local. We were under 24 hour curfew for about a week except for a 3 hour window after the 2nd day.

    Please Please let their NOT be more hatred and violence in SL and let there not be grieving mothers and fearful children again. May there not be terrorism or government oppression and violence either. Just Thinking aloud here Mr. Perera. IF people stop feeling their are superior on basis of caste or race or language and see that poor people suffer the same issues in the deep south and deep north, perhaps they can see the commonality of their problems and reach out. To reach out they both need to be able to communicate. At least in the interim until more Tamils learn Sinhala and more Sinhalese learn Tamil how about the government use Interpreters and train interpreters on an urgent basis and use them to conduct school tours for kids from both sides so they all see that along with an ethnic issue SL like a lot of other developing nations have that inequitable development and access to resources including education seen in so many nations that are unstable? Look at the turmoil in the Arab nations being inflicted by ISIS. Their population pyramids are completely skewed(in contrast to developed stable nations with more ageing populations and a shortage of young workers for the lower end jobs) with so many young people and these young people have no hope and no access to a decent education, or jobs or even basic things like safe water and food. They are frustrated and angry and that leads to temptation of extremist groups manipulating their emotions. Sounds familiar? How the hell did the LTTE gain such strength? and how did the JVP end up being so violent twice? Thinking aloud here Mr. P

    • 4
      1

      Mano Ratwatte

      “In a small heavily populated nation like SL there is no room for segregation.”

      Segregation does exist in one form or another, though not overtly practiced.

      “However, some argue with facts that emancipation of rural/provincial Sinhalese and Tamils and their access to higher education would not have been possible without the controversial language policies.”

      No doubt majority of both people benefited from from Tamil/Sinhala education, however the language issue prominent was one of enforcement of Sinhala only language policy and deliberate denial of access to learning English.

      “Even in Kerala or TN they learn to speak Hindi as a second language while functioning in English.”

      This is the product of DMK led protests in the 1950s and 60s against the imposition Hindi, justifiably so. However I agree with you when you say many learn Hindi. It is because the people are free to chose the languages they want to learn, and not imposed from the centre.

      You would have also noticed many Southerners are fluent in more than 3 languages.

      “Most of his life he was posted in the North in India where they look down on the relatively darker skinned Indians. That is a fact I observed living and loving every minute of my remarkable time in Punjab.”

      The myth of darker skin perpetuated not only in India but in this island as well.

      The skin colour is not the sole reason for Northerners looking down on southerners given that most northerners dark skinned anyway.

      There are other reasons:

      The Aryan myth passed down from white supremacists, to upper and middle class Northern Indian (late 19th and early 20th centuries) which tricked down masses is one reason.

      Hindu caste system crudely practiced in the North needed some differentiation and justification, then colour skin came handy.

      RSS fascistic thugs were very active in promoting Aryan/Dravidian dichotomy for their own purpose..

      The protest between (1950 and late 1960) against enforcement of Hindi is another reason for the Northerners look down upon the Southerners. For the Northerners Hindi was not just a language but a source of parochial nationalism which the southerners wouldn’t have it.

  • 6
    2

    With the likes of Viji’s and Ushas, and Sampanthan’s and those hoodlums who assaulted our High Commissioner in Malaysia, and the voices of the Diaspora who all keep baying for ELAM and separatism, where is the possibility of any Inter Ethnic Goodwill ?

    This will never ever happen!! it is only a pipe dream, please get used to this reality Mr Perera, and don’t run away with the idea that every time you talk about Ethnic Goodwill you are doing the Country a favour. The Tamil Tigers are very much alive albeit they have licked their wounds and are smarting for another attack when they feel the time is right.

    What is the alternative to your proposition? Keep them in their cages, reinforce them (the cages)from time to time but don’t ever think of taming them .Also they need not be harmed if they stay put. Status quo must remain for ever and ever until those mentioned above plus their likes are NOT in evidence, and die of aging.

    Should they agitate, then give them the treatment. There is no other way with “Tigers”

  • 4
    5

    Hello Jehan;

    As one of the spin doctors and an agent of Ranil introduced recently into local media to cover-up incompetency and conniving political agendas of this “Power Sharing Government”; specifically to advance ill conceived, short-sighted projects. Sorry to say you are not doing a good job

    You have said:

    1) “The downfall of the Rajapaksa government occurred because the former government saw national politics in ethnic terms.”

    Downfall of Rajapaksa was triggered by the excess and corruption committed by the former strongman’s family and the inner coterie. Not for politics in ethnic terms. The Tamil speaking minority (Hindu, Muslim,Christians) who supported Mahinda wholeheartedly is directly or indirectly involved in the present power sharing government. So do not twist the main reason for Rajapaksa’s defeat.

    2) “Sinhalese mobs attacked Muslim properties, as in Aluthgama.”

    You as a non-Buddhist sponsored by Pretentious Buddhists will always spin the story. Aluthgama mayhem was triggered by a Muslim mob assaulting a Buddhist monk travelling to his own temple in a three wheeler. Muslim provocations lead Ven.Gnanasara thero to sponsor a rally to protest against Muslim atrocities. So the main reasons were Muslim atrocities and assault on a Buddhist monk.

    3) “The non-ethnic approach to governance that the present government leadership has shown is being reciprocated by the ethnic minority political parties”

    What are you talking about , again you are trying to hoodwink the people, If the above is true CM Wigneswaran would not have put together a coalition of anti-Sri Lankan groups including former LTTE members to protest against the presence of Sinhala people in the northern province. Let me reminded you, Sri Lanka was founded by the SINHALA People (SINHA +HELA). It is an undeniable fact and they can live and work in any part of the country-just like the others are allowed to live and work in any part of the country.

    Moreover, Security forces are a natural extension of the GOSL. GOSL must ensure rule of law in every part of the SOVERIEGN UNITARY STATE of SRI LANKA. Therefore it is the inherent right of the people that we ensure armed forces are mobilized and stationed in every part of the country. We have not forgotten that your sponsor once gave orders our Military Forces to let LTTE Forces to roam freely in Northern and Eastern Provinces. It is not a secret that your leader confined and humiliated our Military personnel

    4) “The representatives from Netball Australia expressed their satisfaction that both the coaching and relationship building exercises had taken place successfully”

    Since when, the sports associations have been given the freedom to participate in drafting the national policies. You have previously also attempted belittle the parliament of Sri Lanka; It is understandable because it is packed with common criminals, drug lords/peddlers, womanizers, ethanol dealers, unsavory mudalalis and commission agents.

    5) Among them are charges made by the Tamil People’s Council is that there is Sinhalese colonisation of Tamil lands and the building of Buddhist temples in these areas.

    What do you mean by Sinhalese colonization; You may not have real Sinhala family connection, it does not mean that you can join with Anti-Sri Lankan forces and dispute the fact that Sri Lanka was founded by SINHALA (Hybrid race of SINHA+HELA) in 543 BC – That is before the birth of your acquired religion. SINHALA people can live wherever they choose to live within the land mass of Sovereign Unitary State of Sri Lanka. It is our birthright. We the people or our security forces are not occupying any Foreign Land- Your choice of words “Sinhalese colonization” is highly repugnant- Again we understand you are “HIS MASTER’S VOICE”

    6) The possible resurrection of the LTTE due to the actions of the government and the division of the country by the international community are some of the favourite propaganda lines..

    In my view, they are not a propaganda lines at all. It is the correct characterization of certain policies and inactions of this “POWER SHARING GOVERNMENT”. Some examples; Having meetings and Tamashas with LTTE Diaspora in Colombo and other foreign capitals. Turning blind eye to the actions of separatist forces within Sri Lanka including that of Wiggy’s snobbery and silent revolt. Failure to take actions against KP and Humiliating military forces.

    • 5
      1

      Ranbandu

      “Let me reminded you, Sri Lanka was founded by SINHALA (Hybrid race of SINHA+HELA) in 543 BC”

      From where the hell did you get this information? From which history book? Which chapter/page?

      Where is the source and where is the evidence for your above statement that Sinha cross-breeding with Hela to become Sinhala?

      The Mahavamsa is saying a different story. Vijay and his 700 men who arrived from North India annihilated most of the pre-populations (native aboriginal tribes) that already lived in the island of Lanka (very similar to what happened to the aboriginals/natives of Australia and North America) and the remnant had been driven (escaped) into the jungles and become Veddas (including Kuveni’s children). Later he (Vijay) married a Pandyan princess of Madurai, South India and his men were given in marriage to the Pandyan maidens. That is how the Sinhalese race originated and the poor Veddas (the original natives) had to live in the jungle forever. If you find it difficult to get a copy of the Mahavamsa, then at least watch the Sinhala movie Vijaya Kuweni. The full movie is available free on-line.

      • 2
        4

        Those who want to dispute the Birth of “SINHALA” (SINHA+HELA) race and denigrate SINHALA people would twist our history. Your source of information seems to be popular movies based on fiction.

        • 3
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          Ranbandu,

          The birth of “SINHALA” race as per Mahavamsa is a totally different story.

          Please, please give us your source. From which history book did you find the above information (Sinha + Hela = Sinhala) including the chapter/page because this looks like your own invention. From which history book did you find this? Which chapter/page? Let us see who is twisting our history.

          • 1
            2

            Summary of SINHALA origin for those who spew poisonous words;

            Original Country name:Heladiva
            People: “Hela”

            Country in Indian literature:Swarna Lanka,
            People ‘Raaksha’

            During and after Vijaya and his ‘Singha’ (Lion)
            royal dynasty : ‘Sinheladeepaya”Lankawa’
            People: ‘Sinhela’ (from:Singha+Hela)

            W.T. Keble; states in -Ceylon, The Beaten Track.

            “Mihintale is covered with cells hidden in every nook and corner and perched upon the edge of precipices. They tell of an age even older than the coming of Buddhism when ascetics sought this hill as a refuge from the world.”

            The archaeological record of Heladiva dates human habitation to around 125,000 years. mtDNA evidence provides dates from 85,000 and 65,000 years. Mahavansa acknowledges there were people on the Island when prince Vijaya arrived. In fact, the Mahavansa in detail describes Prince Vijaya’s encounter with the Hela princess Kuveni who he later married.

            Prince Vijaya was NOT a barbarian (like V. Piribakaran – perhaps your mentor) to erase or wipe-out the entire HELA race of Swarna Lanka as you have claimed. What is the use of becoming a king in a land without any inhabitants? At least cultivate some common sense (if possible) without spewing out poisonous words.

            I doubt very much that you have the capacity to understand the origin of “Sinhala” people because I suspect you to be a bigotry character of “Non-Sinhala-Buddhist” origin. You are masquerading as a Sinhala person and clearly incapable of stepping outside Mahavansa (The Great Dynasty). Your inferior introvert characteristics and inferior complex has driven you to challenge the origin of SINHALA people.

            Let me give you a tiny drop of archeological facts about other half (HELA) of our remarkable SINHALA ancestry.

            “From about 37,000 BP onwards the prehistoric record is very much more complete. The information stems from a series of cave excavations in the lowland Wet Zone: Fa Hien-lena near Bulathsinhala (37,000-5,400 BP), Batadomba-lena near Kuruwita (31,000-11,500 BP), Beli-lena at Kitulgala (over 30,000-3,500 BP), Alu-lena at Attanagoda near Kegalle (10,500 BP)3 . These data are supplemented by those from the open-air site of Bellan-bandi Palassa near Embilipitiya (6,500 TL BP). The dating is based primarily on radiocarbon assays on charcoal, checked independently against thermoluminescence dating in the case of Beli-lena. There are over 50 such dates from various contexts at these sites and the chronological framework may be pronounced secure”

            From the knowledge passed onto us by our HELA elders and learned Buddhist monks, it is mentioned there were three dynasties that existed in HELADIVA or SWARNA LANKA;
            THARAKA DYNASTY -10,000 Years ago, MAHABALI DYNASTY-7500 years ago and RAVANA DYNASTY 5000 years ago.

            Ranbandu
            9/27/2016

            • 2
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              Ranbandu

              LOL!

              None of the above what you have written is from any authentic source. The Mahavamsa does not say anywhere that Sinha + Hela = Sinhala. There is no archaeological or epigraphic evidence what so ever to prove SINHALA is a Hybrid race of SINHA+HELA (that Sinha cross-breeding with Hela to become Sinhala). The term ‘Hela’ cannot be seen in any of the ancient inscriptions in Sri Lanka. Only the Mahavamsa refers to the people who lived in the island when Vijaya arrived as ‘Hela’.

              Sinha + Hela = Sinhala is only an imagination (or an assumption) of a few Sinhalese like the Sinhala Jaathika Chinthanaya movement that created these stories from thin air (totally contradicting the Mahavamsa and the archaeological/epigraphic evidence) to claim that the Sinhalese also have nativity in Sri Lanka.

              “The archaeological record of Heladiva dates human habitation to around 125,000 years. mtDNA evidence provides dates from 85,000 and 65,000 years.”

              LOL!

              Of course, there is plenty of evidence of pre-historic mankind in Sri Lanka (Fa Hien-lena near Bulathsinhala, Batadomba-lena near Kuruwita, Beli-lena at Kitulgala, Alu-lena at Attanagoda and so on). People lived in many countries in the world from times immemorial. There would have been many ancient civilizations in Sri Lanka very similar to other countries like Africa, India, China and so on but most of them disappeared over time, the last of them (as per Mahavamsa) is the so called ‘Hela’ (the term ‘Hela’ has no epigraphic evidence in Sri Lanka) but however, they have very little to do with the present day population in Sri Lanka. In other words, the present day Sinhala race is NOT the offspring of the pre-historic generation of Sri Lanka. The present day population (both Sinhalese and Tamils) are migrants and their ancestry is in India (the latest genetic study on Sri Lankan population proves it). Only the Veddas are original natives with Sri Lankan ancestry.

              All other crap what you have written (personal remarks) are ignored. LOL!

              Please try to educate yourself from authentic academic sources like research papers, etc. without repeating (like parrots) the blatant lies that some racist Sinhala organizations propagate.

    • 2
      1

      Ranbandu

      “dispute the fact that Sri Lanka was founded by SINHALA (Hybrid race of SINHA+HELA) in 543 BC – That is before the birth of your acquired religion.”

      Here we go again.

      Please cite some credible evidence to support your very stupid claim.

  • 6
    6

    This is typical VEDIBANA. Tamils and muslims have ehtnic specific Political parties. For Sinhala people who owns the country, even the word Sinhale is racist.

    Where in the world a country has been built on ethnic terms. Even the Jehan Perera’s financier is not supporting what Jehan Perera preaches.

    • 7
      0

      “For Sinhala people who owns the country”

      Due to foolishness, the Sinhalese is the ONLY race (tribes) in this entire world that believes, the majority race in a country is the sole owner of that country and all others (minorities) are aliens.

  • 2
    2

    If the Wellala Tamil politicians want to keep one third of the country under their control, though Tamils are only 11% of the total population and expect rest of the country to be multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religion, multi-cultural; reconciliation is going to be a far-fetched thing. As I pointed out earlier, the best solution is to give 18% of the land in the north to Tamil speaking people (Tamils 11%+Moors 5%) to establish Eelam and request all the Tamil speaking people to move to Eelam and live happily ever after.

    Tamils talk about colonization of Tamil areas by Sinhalese. They forget the fact that during British colonial rule Tamils colonized Sinhala areas, particularly in Colombo. British provided land for the Tamils who were brought to Colombo to serve them. These Tamils built Hindu Kovils in Sinhala areas. British brought Tamils from India for plantations and settled them in Sinhala areas. Now the government is allocating land and providing houses for these Tamils in Sinhala areas. Yet,Tamils do not want settling Sinhala people in land owned by the Government in the North and Buddhists in that area building temples.

    Chandrika and Vigneshwaran are the biggest obstacle to reconciliation.

    • 2
      0

      SLCitizen

      “Chandrika and Vigneshwaran are the biggest obstacle to reconciliation.”

      How about you?

      “They forget the fact that during British colonial rule Tamils colonized Sinhala areas, particularly in Colombo. British provided land for the Tamils who were brought to Colombo to serve them.”

      Its unreasonable. Could you cite evidence so that we can reclaim the land from Tamils/Muslims/Sinhalese and give it back to the British.

      “British brought Tamils from India for plantations and settled them in Sinhala areas.”

      What is the percentage of these imported Tamils own land. British left this island in 1948, about 68 years ago. What is stopping the state and successive governments to nationalize the plantation and redistribute the land to the descendants of the original owners?

      Please educate me, whether these land in the up country , were they settled villages or thick jungles?

      ” If the Wellala Tamil politicians want to keep one third of the country under their control, though Tamils are only 11% of the total population and expect rest of the country to be multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religion, multi-cultural; reconciliation is going to be a far-fetched thing.”

      If you are not agreeable to 33.33% of the land being given to Tamils, at what % would you settle for, 1%, 5%, 10, 15%, 20% …..

      Put your offer on table, lets see whether the Tamils are agreeable to your land reconciliation.

  • 1
    0

    “the law must apply equally to all, regardless of status or ethnicity”

    The failure to do this is what led to the war. The failure to do this is what will lead to the next war as well….

  • 2
    0

    No Jehan, the top leadership of the present government President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wicremasinghe and also the leading government figures such as Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera do see the Tamils as minorities and they are second to the Sinhalese. Even the Resettlement minister with a Tamil name of “Swaminathan” is seeing the Tamils as second class and that he belongs to the Majority. 90% of the Sinhala community see the Tamils as second class citizens and should be subjugated. There may a few civil society people within the Sinhalese who do not view it that way but unfortunately they have no power.
    If the present government , as you say that their approach to governance that the present government leadership has shown is being reciprocated by the ethnic minority is very wrong. You yourself in your article mention the Tamils as minority is not surprising because it has come from the bottom of your heart. This government is adopting the same attitude towards the Tamils as that of the past government.
    The recent protest march by the 15,000 Tamils on Saturday in the North made several demands,which itself shows that this government is the same as the past government with one exception that the Tamils brought this government to power. That is why the Tamil people said that this march was not against the government but they feel that this government has , like the previous government failed the Tamil people.
    They want the Army from the North removed immediately and the lands released to its owners.
    They want the Tamil political prisoners released immediately
    They want to know the whereabouts of their kith and kin who surrendered to the armed forces during and after the war.
    They want to know the truth as to what happened during the war to the civilians and to those who were raped and murdered by the armed forces
    They want to have self determination and self rule in the form of Federalism, under a united Sri lanka, which would be the only way for everlasting peace.
    The provincial council election which was held by Rajapaksa, never gave the powers it needed as the centre and the Governor held the power. That approach is still held by the present government.
    It cannot be said that the Ethnic community is reciprocating with the present government. It is only Sambanthan, Sumanthiran and Mavai Senathirajah is reciprocated with the government for their own benefits. They won’t be there at the next elections.

  • 2
    0

    Start with Gunarsa on south then Wiggi from north.uncle Sam trying his best for peace.

    We all had enough of this silly war.i wouldn’t mind budha statues.as long as there is no guns.

  • 2
    0

    H.E. Maithiripala Sirisena wants to make the Island an exemplary Democratic State, but his Ministers have prsonal agenda, according to their platforms. The Lands Policy presented to the Cabinet, on paper appears to reassuring ……

    “The policy calls on the Ministry of Defence to coordinate with the Ministry of Law and Order, to accurately map out all land that is or was owned, claimed or used by civilians, and is currently occupied by any of the three forces or police. These should be returned to civilian use and ownership urgently, unless the State determines that it is required for public purpose, it holds. Such purpose–be it national security or development–should be carefully scrutinised, including to ascertain whether no alternative land could be found. This would also mean releasing land used by the military for non-security reasons, including agricultural production, tourist enterprises or recreation. The ‘National Policy on Durable Solutions for Conflict-Affected Displacement’, written over the past year by the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Resettlement, has been approved by Cabinet. Other impediments to resettling people include lands being claimed by Government departments and authorities, as well as conflicting land claims and disputes, it says. At the start of drafting, a majority of internally displaced persons (IDPs) had returned to their places of origin. But there were still over 40,000 in the country and more than 100,000 Sri Lankan refugees in India and elsewhere. There were also others who were resettled but, continuing to struggle” see: http://www.sundaytimes.lk/160925/news/return-of-lands-pivotal-for-resettling-idps-national-policy-209864.html

  • 3
    0

    Jehan

    Is this possible with Wimal Modawanse, Budharakita Rajapakse, Dinesh Goon-wardene, Gamekolla, Boru Wigneswaran, poisonous tongue Sivajilingam, Puppet Sidhartan, scrap metal merchant Rishard Badiudin etc. etc.

  • 2
    0

    The bane of Sri Lanka is the artificial division based on language and to a lesser extent on religion. This division was created and exploited by politicians. At the 08 January 2015 election Lankans clearly indicated that social ills like corruption, nepotism needs to be urgently addressed. Goodwill between the different communities will grow if GoSL addresses these issues.

  • 1
    0

    Controversial Buddhist Monk Galagoda Atte Gnanasara of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has declared that if he and his group had a ‘little’ political backing then they can end the rise of the Muslims in the country.
    and he said I feel like taking a T-56 and do what Prabhakaran did!

    further he said he believes what LTTE did to the tamil youths is the best choice for the Sinhalese youths , to force them to become suicide bombers and kill the opponents indiscriminately without choice and for the ones who refuse to be gun down

  • 1
    0

    Reconciliation between the ethnic groups is difficult to achieve as long as there are people who have extremist/fundamentalist views. Media too need to restrict publishing these views. I do believe that the Armed forces need to be impartial and treat the Tamils as equal as Sinhalese. They should be rehabilitated as well.

  • 0
    3

    Picture drwan the by a child is interesting.

    In sinhale, buddhist Majority Sionhale, the hindu child is holding hands with the Muslims and christians.

    where is the buddhist child ?

  • 2
    1

    Jahan is trying even harder than Bodhi Sira the caretaker,to massage our poor rural Sinhala Buddhist majority ..

    To make them bend over to Batalanada Ranil, Suren Surendran, Rev Emmanuel, Vellaas Wigeswaran and Sambandan, before Managala Samaraweeran brings his UN court to town, to try the War Heroes,

    Hold the Referendum for a Federal Eelaam, as soon as possible ,

    And finally get the UNP to govern for the next two decades , as their own think tanks have predicted and promised…

    How cool.

    Jehan must have got a decent increase in his remuneration package after the last performance review….

    BTW , Will the War Crime Trials come before or after the Referendum..

    Wonder what Jehan’s own think tank ,think about it!!!

  • 2
    1

    What Jehan Perera preaching here is what is called the Balkanization of countries by the West. They created shanti countries in Yugoslavia dividing the country along ethnic lines. those countries will never grow to formbidable countries and stay as beggers for ever. Other such states are East Timor born from Indonesisa, two Sudans, Now Yeman is being devided the same way. Iraq will be divided among the neighbopuring countries. Afghsnitahan will be balochisthan and Afghanisthan. Syria (if they are allowed to do that) will become Kurdisthan, syria ans other countires.

    They have plans to do the same thing with Sri lanka, burma and Thailand.

    So Jehan Perera’s job is brain washing people

  • 1
    2

    Mr. Jehan Perera and all participants,
    This is a good and forthright article for the inter- ethnic goodwill building for both communities to do. But in reality, the minority has been enslaved by the majority and there is no good intention by the new good Governance. It is coming to light now this change in Government in January, 2015 was done for safeguarding the previous regime from the Hague criminal courts and not really for reconciliation with Tamils. If it is for reconciliation, by now the victims should have been at least given the confidence the Government means business. The President promising the real criminals one thing and undertaking the opposite in the UN clearly lets down the victims. How is it possible to educate the innocent of the plight of victims if the Government is fooling the victims and the world?
    This style of genocide has been in existence in Sri Lanka from the time of independence.
    The genocidal intentions are very clear from the reality of what is happening right now in the North and East.
    Throughout the struggle it has been the Tamil parties that always wanted the Government to let Tamils live as equal citizens with Sinhalese. Every time it was the Sinhalese Government that abrogated the peace pacts after cosigning with the Tamil parties.
    From time to time Tamils lost lives and properties in all parts of Sri Lanka by the rioting Sinhalese encouraged by the majoritarian Governments. This genocide took place during both UNP and SLFP Governments.
    In Sri Lanka the politicians have evolved to be cheap heroes devising means of ways to come back to power avoiding the Country’s real situation and showing small time heroism as racists allowing the innocent citizens to benefit by looting the minority races. They enjoy heroism by letting the Army occupy the North and East, building Buddhist Temples in majority non Buddhist regions, preventing Tamils from earning their livelihood, Forcibly occupying lands belonging to Tamils.
    It is not enough bringing the one time Ceylon, the Country that was the envy of all Asian Countries to today’s despicable Sri Lanka, the new regime has no intention to improve the status of the Country any better.
    The same momentum that brought down the Country from the time of independence to today, is now taking the Country further down. Very unfortunate for Sri Lanka it is the same old leaders of UNP and SLFP who took turns to bring down the Country are still continuing the same mission.
    Will there be any consequence for Sri Lanka cosigning the UNHRC agreement and abrogating it or will it be another chance for Sri Lanka to continue genocide publicly because UN is also a party for the genocide?

    • 0
      0

      Richard go back to south India instead of whining here.

  • 1
    0

    It was refreshing to read Thondamannay’s comment.
    It is sad to see that most people who comment in CT are still using insulting terms against each other.
    For once can the older generation who have destroyed this country with their arrogance and false pride stop and think what the younger generation wants.
    Please listen to them. They want to grow and bring up their children in an ethical peaceful country.
    If you lot cant help at least stop spreading the poison.

    The world has moved forward and many groups are not looking at emotional well being but spiritual well being.
    We boast about 2 great eastern religions in our region but do we understand and follow the core teachings of this.

    Please Please write and do things that will unite and refrain from doing anything that will divide.
    Also stop pointing the finger continuously at the other person and even at politicians.
    be honest and humble and see what you as an individual have done to unite and heal the country.

    Ambi

    • 0
      0

      Ohhhhhhh Noooooooo

      Are You Richards wife ?

  • 2
    1

    Please let us hope there will never be war or ethnic conflicts there again. Only radical elements from the diaspora Tamil Tiger brigade are fanning the flames of conflict without making any substantive contribution to developing the North.

    Radical sinhala perverts like BBS must also be stopped. They are not Real Buddhists. They are rabble rousers. MR lost because he failed to rein in those thugs. Muslim Radicals are also a bigger danger because they worship not Islam but Arabism and Wahabism.

    Let commonsense prevail.

  • 1
    0

    Jehan, Why don’t you also use your elitist privileged US educational background to preach to Tamil Racists too? You argued for segregation in the Unis where you wanted most Tamils in the Northern Jaffna Uni. Now you speak something differently and argue for integration. Why is it ok to segregate for Tamils but not for others? Both are wrong no?

  • 2
    0

    Inter-Ethnic Goodwill Must Be Built Upon JEHAN PERERA & WIGGIE.

    ehan, Why don’t you also use your elitist privileged US educational background to preach to Tamil Racists too? THATS TABOO BY THE PAY MASTERS.

  • 0
    0

    Very well said and illustrated. Bensen

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

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