15 April, 2024

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Is There A Basis For The Sinhalese To Insist On A Unitary Constitution?

By C.V. Wigneswaran

Justice C.V. Wigneswaran MP

A Tamil journalist asked me; Is there a basis for the Sinhalese to insist on a Unitary Constitution?

My response was; Of course not! By virtue of the Unitary Constitution received from Great Britain (thanks to the underhand activities that DS Senanayake and his ilk indulged in – Vide “Ceylon: The Path to Independence” by Sir Charles Joseph Jeffries(1962) AND First Prime Minister of Sri Lanka – Don Stephen Senanayake by HAJ Hulugalle) the Sinhalese majority in Parliament have been able to rule the roost so far. They do not want to lose their grip on the entire Island. That is why they insist on a Unitary Constitution. A Unitary Constitution ensures dictatorship of the majority unless adequate safeguards are there to prevent such dictatorship. That was why Article 29 ( 2 ) was brought in by Great Britain in the first constitution. But under the guise of a Constituent Assembly, whose members were majority Sinhalese, that safeguard was done away with in the so called Republican Constitution. The Sinhala language and Buddhism were given pride of place even though the Sinhalese and Buddhists are until today minorities in the North and East. The Tamil Leaders boycotted the sessions of the Constituent Assembly.

So Sri Lanka today under the Unitary Constitution is a dictatorship of the majority Sinhalese Buddhists. But in the North and East the majority is Tamil speaking. Yet the majority in the center dictate to the North and East.

If you look back, even historically the Sinhalese have no basis to claim a Unitary Constitution including the North and East within such unitary dispensation. The Northern and Eastern areas of the country have always been Tamil speaking. It is a historical fact that Tamil language has been spoken in this Island for over 3000 years continuously. The Sinhalese language is a very recent language, 1400 years old. Its first Grammar book was written as recent as in the 13th century.

The Sinhala language appears developed because Professor GP Malalasekera while he was Sri Lankan High Commissioner in India, brought to Ceylon, Hindi–English and Sanskrit–English Dictionaries from Delhi and then borrowed words from Hindi and Sanskrit, Sinhalacised them and included them in the glossaries prepared for official use. Thus the Sinhala language received an artificial boost towards development. We have no qualms about it. In fact, when Professor’s son Indra who was my classmate at Royal College, mentioned about what his father did, I was happy. We had then advocated parity of status to Tamil and Sinhala. So I welcomed Sinhala language growing fast. In fact when I became the first Lecturer to teach Law in Tamil at the Law College, I had to coin Tamil words for use in Courts. (e.g. Naharthat Pathiram for Motions in Courts).

The Sinhalese were never resident in the North and East in large members. It was the Tamil speaking people who lived there for centuries. So Sinhalese cannot claim the North and East to have been Sinhala areas presently occupied by immigrant Tamils. In fact the Tamils were the original inhabitants of this Island and the Sinhala language was formed by the mixing of Pali words into Tamil. Recent DNA Tests have shown affinity of the Sinhalese to the Dravidians of South India. New languages forming by mixture of several languages is a worldwide phenomenon. Presently the use of several English words while speaking the Tamil language in Chennai is creating a new language called Tamlish!

There were no Sinhalese nor the Sinhala language when Buddhism was introduced to this Island. Deva(nai) Nambiya Theesan was a Tamil while Ellalan was a Hindu Tamil and Dushta Kamini was a Buddhist Tamil. The Sinhala language and the Sinhalese Nation were yet to be born then.

Even when Mahavamsa was written in the 5th century AD there was no Sinhala language born then. There is no reference to the Sinhala language nor to the Sinhalese anywhere in the Mahavamsa. There is one reference to Sihala, the word in Pali for a lion. The Mahavamsa was written in Pali for the edification of Buddhism by a Buddhist Priest. It was not a historical document. There is no parallel reference in history books or literature to the banishing of Vijaya with his 700 followers in any of the States in North India, whether Bengal or Orissa or any other State.

Having known that the Sinhalese have no claim historically for a Unitary Constitution which includes the North and the East within it, the Sinhalese Buddhist diehards have hit upon a devious device. In recent times through the Department of Archaeology they are identifying Buddhist remains in the North and East and building Buddha statues and Buddhist temples and so on in those areas claiming them to have been Sinhala Buddhist areas. Curiously the Archaeology Department when it identifies a Hindu temple in the South or elsewhere it does not immediately build a Hindu temple there. How come? The idea here is to identify ancient Buddhist sites and claim them to have been areas of residence of Sinhala Buddhists.

But unfortunately the World of History knows that those areas of Buddhist remains in the North and East belong to the time when Tamil Buddhists (Demala Baudhayo) lived there.( vide Book in Sinhala titled “Demala Baudayo” by Professor Sunil Ariyaratna).

The aggrandizing spirit of a powerful group of Sinhala Buddhists is trying to make use of the pious religion, Buddhism, which frowned upon such aggressive and hegemonical behaviour, to obtain their willful and surreptitious ends.

Thankfully the local Hindus have awoken to the reality of this fraudulent modus operandi of the diehard Sinhala Buddhist hegemonists here.

Now the matter has become a serious concern of the Hindus of India too. They are unable to tolerate the desecration and destruction of Hindu places of worship in the North and East by the Government through its Departments and its Military Forces.

Hope the powers that be realize their folly and desist from such high handed activities which is still continuing unabated despite intervention by Courts.

These activities are the kind that typify the power and authority wielded by the majority community in this Country under its Unitary Constitution. The Sinhalese have no plausible reason whatsoever to continue with a Unitary Constitution including the Tamil Nation within it.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    13

    Hey man, you worked for the unitary government as a judge and threw the Tigers into the cage. And now living a comfortable life on the fat pension given by the unitary government as a reward for your dirty work for them. What is your problem?

    • 9
      3

      Be fair.
      I reject his politics, but the man showed considerable courage while serving as a judge. That gave him the credibility to be handpicked by the TULF for the NPC.
      Abusively personalising issues is not a healthy way to conduct discussion.

    • 2
      0

      ASD

    • 5
      0

      (Part I)
      ASD,
      “Hey man,
      A. You worked for the unitary government as a judge
      B. Threw the Tigers into the cage.
      C. Now living comfortable life on the fat pension given by the unitary government as a reward
      D. For your dirty work for them.
      E. What is your problem?”
      PROBLEMOF THE LEARNED JUSTICE ANALYSED, BASED ON MY VIEW OF THE SITUATION!!!????
      1. (A) ABOVE – true he worked for the government department, which was Unitary format as per constitution in existence, todate!! Nothing wrong, unless you become a terrorist or revolt!!?
      2. (B) ABOVE – “Throwing the Tigers into the cage” he was doing his duty as commissioned, with NO PROBLEM as those tigers were found GUILTY as charged based on PREVAILING SL LAW!! IF ANYONE HAD AN ISSUE THEY SHOULD HAVE APPEALED TO A HIGHER COURT OR PROTETED!!!?
      3. (C) ABOVE – WHAT DO YOU EXPECT HIM TO DO, IF HE HAS DONE HIS DUTY AND RETIRED, AND HE PERFORMED TO THE SATISFACTION OF HIS SUPERIORS – UNITARY GOVERNMENT IN POWER!!!!!? DO YOU EXPECT RETIRED PEOPLE AFTERDOING AN ENVIABLE GOOD JOB TO LIVE ‘UNCOMFORTABLE LIFE’!!!??? – YOU ARE SEEMINGLY, HAVE AN ISSUE, NOT BE A PROBLEM?
      (TBC)

    • 3
      0

      (PART II)
      4. (D) ABOVE – NORMALLY, THE PERCEPTION EXPRESSED, IS A REFLECTION, ONE’S “STATE OF MIND” !f work as part of his duties, prior to retirement as “dirty”, and your alluding him putting the “Tigers in the cage”, perhaps you are Tiger sympathiser – CERTAINLY NOTHING WRONG WITH IT, subject to the proviso you aren’t “claiming injustice on a valid criminal act” by Tigers, which is against the existing Law of this “Unitary constitution country”, even committed by the Tigers, with GOOD INTENSIONS AT HEART!!!!?? INTENSIONS AN OUTCOMES MAY BE IN CONFLICT WITH LAW, then it is the Judiciary’s duty, impose corrective action rectifying the situation – even captive sentence!??
      5. (E) – ABOVE – PROBABBLY THE LEARNED Justice has identified, some or many incongruencies in the existing legislation and administration of justice, under THE UNITARY CONSTITUTION, NECESSITATING MAJORITARIAN RULE OF THIS COUNTRY!!!???
      6. INALL PROBABABILITY, HE IS TRYINGTO FORMULATE AND/OR SUGGEST alternative methodology to overcome that INCONGRUENCY, INSTEAD OF “RETIREMENT LIVING COMFORTABLY ON HIS PENSION FOR DIRTY WORK”!!!???
      Presumably, the foregoing have endeavoured to answer your question to the problem???

  • 4
    4

    Why then such a man spewing a constant, relentless stream of incendiary racist venom?
    I don’t think such people deserve fake bourgeois niceties.

    • 3
      0

      Decent language generally reflects one’s character.
      False allegations are not the way to confront even the worst bigotry.

    • 5
      2

      You, possibly a RAW planted commenter, gives glimpse of thinking of Hindia and RAW that Eezham Tamils and Tamils in the Island must put up with whatever Sinhalese wish (including genocide). That for the sake of Hindia’s fake so called supposed unity.

      The day I see peaceful dismantling of Hindia’s free lunch over other nationalities is the relief for Tamils in the Island.

      CV did what he did under oath. All Tamils including militant movements knew / know what punishment, torture to the level of tearing internal organs and forced confessions by torture awaited for them even if they were innocent.

      • 2
        1

        KA

        “The day I see peaceful dismantling of Hindia’s free lunch over other nationalities is the relief for Tamils in the Island.”

        What did you exactly mean by that?
        Watch out I have patent rights over the word Hindia.

  • 9
    4

    There is nothing wrong in what C.V.Wigneswaran wrote in this article. Even the late Dr.N.M.Perera once said that the most suitable constitution for Sri Lanka was Federalism. I can even recollect that even the late S.W.R.D.Bandaranayake took the same view about Federalism.

    • 3
      1

      Same view?
      A federal state for Kandyan Sinhalese one for Low Country Sinhalese and one for Tamils.
      Ummmm

  • 3
    1

    “Is There A Basis For The Sinhalese To Insist On A Unitary Constitution?”

    the only way we can find the answer to the question is to see what the country was like before the colonisation by the portugese.Was there self governing or independent areas?

  • 9
    1

    Does not matter what he did, when he was a judge, however, what matters is the current situation and the message that he gives is correct, accurate and very worrying

  • 3
    6

    I possess no expert knowledge to judge the merits or otherwise of the theories propounded by Dr W in this and other articles of his touching on the same subject matter but every time I read them I am left with a puzzling question to which a solution has so far eluded me.

    It is this. If the Tamil language has been spoken for 3000 years in this island and Sinhalese came into existence only 1400 years ago, then how do you explain the fact that Ceylon tamils comprise only a small number (11% of the population according to the 2012 census) relative to the Sinhala speakers?

    • 5
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      LJ,
      I believe this book will enlighten you a bit more about the ethnic composition of what are commonly known as “Sinhalese “.
      Read it.
      https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://defonseka.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Karava-of-Ceylon3704.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwipy_T50Lj-AhVG1jgGHcehBHsQFnoECB4QAQ&usg=AOvVaw2wzqap8SHM21NcsCfIjwli

      • 6
        0

        LJ,
        Not that I endorse Wiggy’s or anyone else’s supremacist inclinations, but it is difficult to argue with well documented history. Change is the only constant. You may also be interested in the names of landowners in Western coastal districts as recorded in Dutch Tombos, now available online from the National Archives.
        https://www.archives.gov.lk/web/index.php?option=com_thombu&Itemid=194&lang=en

      • 2
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        OC:
        If I remember correct, my father had this book in his collection of books but it’s now lost. I will probably buy this book and read it if still available. In the meantime, I would like to know how this book supports Dr W’s theory. Please summarise the points.

        • 4
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          LJ,
          You can download the book free via the link. It is a well researched history of the Karawe community, of which the author is not a member. It does comment that the Karawes were originally Hindu Tamil speakers. Some are still dual language speakers, northwards of Waikkal. This is the case with many recent immigrant groups even as far south as Matara. The Dutch land records also show many South Indian names in coastal areas down South. Leave alone the people, Dutch maps even show southern coastal towns with Tamil names, eg, Panethure, Kalthure, Ginture. Where are all these people now? This possibly was the reason for the Sangha to be divided on caste lines, given that the Karawes , Salagamas, etc originally were indeed foreigners.
          So, who are the “real” Sinhalese? I tend to think those are the ones SJ calls “aththo”.
          “I would like to know how this book supports Dr W’s theory.” No it doesn’t. These were Indian immigrants, not Jaffna Tamils. Their language was not Jaffna Tamil. They would have been considered inferior by Wiggy himself.
          The ethnic problem is a complicated home-and-home match.

    • 4
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      Have you ever wondered why the Aththo are a tiny minority confined to a tiny region?

      • 2
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        Yes, this thought has crossed my mind but is this really a parallel case? If I understand Dr W’s theory correctly, the Sinhalese are basically a subset of the original tamils. Can we the same for the relationship between the Sinhalese and the veddahs?

        • 2
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          The issue concerns not relationships but earlier predominant presence.
          I cannot show a parallel to one who refuses see one.
          You say that “the Sinhalese are basically a subset of the original tamils”, what will followers of the Mahawamsa say about that?

          • 0
            3

            “You say that ‘the Sinhalese are basically a subset of the original tamils….'”

            I think it is safe to say that retirees comprise a sizable section of the denizens of the comments section of CT but statements of this sort make me wonder if the time is not ripe for some to retire from the comments section as well–their faculties seem to have waned so much.

            This is what I wrote:

            “If I understand Dr W’s theory correctly, the Sinhalese are basically a subset of the original tamils.”

            How the hell can anyone misunderstand THAT?

            The Veddahs were relatively a small group of aboriginals who lived in isolation from the those who migrated to the island later at different stages but according to Dr. W’s theory—assuming I understand him correctly–the Sinhalese, who were originally Tamils themselves, basically separated from the original Tamils because of later linguistic developments. That is why I don’t see it as a parallel.

      • 1
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        Where are they?

    • 3
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      Leonard Jayawardena,
      Your suspicion entails a response from Justice Wigneswaran.
      He may write another article for you and others, including me.
      For the purposes of your question you are willing to grant that Sinhalese came into existence only 1400 years ago.
      Who were they? Were they migrants?
      No.
      Plausibly, Sinhalese were Tamils, who gravitated over time!

    • 8
      1

      In many countries, the original and older population have become a minority pushed by later immigrants who are more aggressive and many are forced to assimilate into the identity and religion of these later immigrants. You can see that in Britain the older Celtic population was largely assimilated by later Germanic Anglo-Saxon and Viking immigrants. Pushed to the corners like Wales, Scotland and Cornwall, where only now their languages are making a precarious comeback. The Native American and Australian Aboriginal populations in the past few centuries are another example. Even in India, the larger Dravidian and Dravidian mixed populations in the northern, central and western parts of the country now Aryanised and assimilated. Only in the South, the Dravidian identity remained but even here due to various invasions and migrations from further north, the old/proto-low Tamil dialects spoken in what is Karnataka, Andhra and Telangana have got corrupted and new languages and identities like Kannada and Telugu formed and lastly, in what is now modern Kerala due to the same process, the western Chera Tamil Malayalam dialect got corrupted and a new hybridized language again still using the same name used for the Tamil dialect of this region formed a few centuries ago.

      • 8
        1

        The same thing happened on the island, with the arrival of Buddhism and the Pali language, the Tamil Naga and Yakka populations that converted on a large scale to Buddhism in the central, southern and western parts of the island, gradually started to mix their local Tamil or semi Tamil dialects with the Pali and Prakrit of Buddhism and gradually a new language and identity started to emerge in these regions and took root by 7AD. This new language and identity was named Sinhala a Prakritised form of one of the old Tamil words for the island and its people Chingkallam( meaning red or copper-coloured land) as explained by me and others later and has nothing to do with the myth that was later invented to explain this name and the origin of the Sinhalese of half lion half human immigrants originating from somewhere in northern India. Deliberately done to create a separate identity and origin for these converted Tamil Buddhists., especially after Buddhism vanished in India and the north and east of the island by 10AD. Note old Sinhalese a mixture of local semi-Tamil Elu dialect +Prakrit( Pali) was called Hela again a Prakritised version of another old Tamil word for the island Eelam/Eezham meaning land of metal or Toddy.

        • 8
          1

          Whenever Tamil words get Prakritised an H or G comes in front, like in Kannada Penn( female) Hennu, Paal( Milk) Haalu. Pogai( Smoke) Hoga or links Kal( rock) becomes Gal in Sinhala and Kannada. The Sinhalese kings despite being large of Tamil Pandian origin and the Sangha also encouraged this new identity religion and language. In those days when the king and the religious establishment wants is obeyed and millions of Tamils in the South took on this new Sinhalese Buddhist identity, just like the way the Tamils of Negombo, Chilaw and Puttlam did during the last century and the Colombo Chetties and the west cost Bharathas are doing now. Only in the areas where the Naga predominated largely in the north and east of the island was the ancient identity preserved, even when they converted to Buddhism. The North and East were and independent from the centre and this greatly helped, as well as the proximity to Tamil South India, especially after the 10Ad invasion of Raja Raja Cholan, clearly establishing these areas as Tamil and Hindu. The Naga were largely the ruling elite and adopted proper Tamil as their mother tongue around 3000 years ago. The ancient kings on the island including the king who converted to Buddhism were all Tamil Nagas and ardent Saivites.

          • 8
            1

            The ancient kings on the island including the king who converted to Buddhism were all Tamil Nagas and ardent Saivites. Later with the arrival of Buddhism until 7AD they were largely Buddhist Tamil Naga like Kakkai Vanna Thhesan or Dutta Gamini or of Pandian Tamil origin. The Yakka were the masses who spoke semi or proto-Tamil Elu. Both people were spread throughout the island but the Naga were more concentrated in the NE where a lot of ancient trade and commerce took place and the Yakka in the rest of the island. It was they who took up Buddhism more than the elite Naga and also converted to the new identity. After 10AD immigration, the island from South India to the Tamil north and east, became a trickle and the Tamil parts of the island became isolated from South India, this is why the traditional Sri Lankan Tamil dialects evolved separately and are more archaic conservative and closer to old Tamil and to modern Malayalam, which has retained many old Tamil words than modern Tamil in Tamil Nadu.

            • 8
              1

              However, it was the opposite in the Sinhalese south, it became a huge sea from what was then Tamil country in South India, modern-day Kerala, Tamil Nadu, southern Andhra and Karnataka. All these immigrants, rulers and invaders came and settled down south over the centuries and gradually became Sinhalese during the Portuguese and Dutch eras hundreds of thousands of low caste/Dalit immigrants largely from the Coromandel and some from the Malabar coasts were imported and settled along the western and southern littorals to do menial service work and to work as indentured slave labour in the huge spice estates. Their Sinhalised descendants belonging to the Karawa, Salgama, Durawa, Hunu and other castes now make up 30-50% of the present-day Sinhalese population.

            • 3
              6

              How old is the cult of Siva among Tamils?
              Not a Sangam god and not a Vedic god either.
              What is the earliest literary citation of Siva?

              • 2
                0

                Does it matter for Tamils being Tamils?

                I think Murugan worship is the first deity worship for Tamils.

                The reason is original Naivethiyam for Murugan worship is male goat blood mixed with foxtail millet (and possibly honey) (may well be cooked by exposing to fire), and offering of male goat meat, which is close to gathering food from nature (by hunting). Goat’s fat may well have been used for firing.

                This is why even now Maavizhakku (lamp shaped staple, which is made by mixing foxtail millet flour, honey and ghee, and cooked by lighting it with gee, especially as Naivethiyam for Murugan) is decorated by Kungumam (saffron powder), which resembles colour of raw blood and turns (burnt) red when exposed to heat by direct fire.

                This practice (foxtail millet flour mixing with honey and decorating with Kungumam) of making Maavizhakku is still continued in ancient Murugan Koyils. (Nowadays, jaggery replaced honey).

                This story is passed through and by my ancestors (both recent and old) to their younger generations.

                • 0
                  0

                  “I think Murugan worship is the first deity worship for Tamils.”
                  Not really.
                  There were five gods (including a goddess that is) and each was Sanskritized in some way to fit into the Brahminic pantheon. Nothing to be unhappy about as Hindu mythology is more fun than its rivals.
                  Similar things happened to what were called pagan gods in much of Europe after the rise of the Roman Empire. People soon got used to the Romanised versions of gods.
                  Religion is more fun with countless gods, with freedom not only to choose your own gods but also to redesign them as you wish.
                  Monotheism is as boring as atheism. Agnostics are a timid lot. they cannot make up their mind one way or the other.

      • 3
        5

        There is a qualitative difference between Kannada and Telugu on the one hand and Malayalam.
        Malayalam was a dialect of Tamil that asserted itself as a language as Tamil was incapable of accommodating the phonemes that had become part of Malayalam. Tamil phonetics is mostly stagnant since the accommodation of four new consonants from Sanskrit.
        Telugu is a Central Dravidian Language.
        Kannada and Tamil parted company in the 5th Century the latest.
        *
        There are hyped claims about Kannada as much as there are about Tamil.

        • 4
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          Hale or old Kannada, which hardly has any Sanskrit is very similar to old Tamil or basically a form of old Tamil. Telugu is a South Central Dravidian language, whereas Kanada, Tamil and Malayalam belong to the Southern Dravidian language group. Therefore they are very much similar. Many people think Kannada is much similar to Telugu because the same or similar script used a long common border, and was ruled by common rulers/dynasties for centuries so share a lot of common history, but in reality, Kanada is much closer to Tamil than to Telugu. Script-wise: Telugu and Kannada are similar. Sound /Pronunciation Telugu and Kannada are similar. Spoken Language wise: Kannada and Tamil are similar. Poetic Languages wise Telugu and Kannada are similar due to the only reason Over Sanskritisation. However, if we consider non-Sanskritised Kannada, then it is hands down more similar to Tamil than to Telugu.

          • 4
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            Old Tamil is the closest to Proto-Dravidian and the least deviated. Whereas Telugu out of the southern( and south Central) Dravidian family is the most deviated. We do not take into account the northern Dravidian languages and dialects spoken in North India and Pakistan like Brahui as they have deviated so much from Proto-Dravidian. Still, UnSanskritised Telugu is also very similar to Tamil. Old Tamil, as well as middle and modern Tamil, has retained more than 85% of the Proto-Dravidian vocabulary and in the cast of Old/High Tamil, it will be far higher. Other Dravidian languages have not retained this much but have retained other aspects of Prot Dravidian that Tamil has not. This is the reason Old Tamil is more or less considered to be Proto-Dravidian. This is the reason, Professor Asko Parpola called the Indus Valley civilisation a Tamil civilisation. The recent excavations from the Keeladi site in Tamil Nadu are also increasingly proving this and the Tamil Brahmi script evolved from the Indus Valley script and is much older than the Asokan and other scripts.

            • 4
              1

              Tamil like many other languages has very strict rules on how borrowed words from other languages are pronounced and are very rich and evolved. Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada deviated from Tamil for this reason as they borrowed so may word from Sanskrit/Prakrit in their original forms and did not follow these strict rules. As usual, trying to run down Tamil. Take all the Sanskrit words from Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam and what remains is the core language Tamil.

            • 1
              1

              Similarity does not mean one born of another.
              I am not sure of poetic similarity between Kannada and Telugu. Kannada society has a very rich Bakthi tradition like Tamil Saiva and Vaishnava Bakthi movements.
              I have read some in translation by AK Ramanujan. I have yet to come across Bakthi literature in Telugu or for that matter Malayalam.
              As for Sanskritization, Tamil has been Sanskritized since around the start of the Christian era, a little slower than it is Anglicized today, but a millennium or more is a long time in the history of a language.
              The project to de-sanskritize Tamil failed miserably, and what is left of the purist movement are pathetic relics of the purism of the 1920s .

              • 2
                1

                Does Tamil have any rules for borrowing from English?
                It still has no grammar to accommodate the four borrowed consonants.
                It cannot consistently handle a good 10% of the new words that entered Tamil speech and are part of modern Tamil.
                There is a big problem there facing us. Let us not close our eyes to it and hope that it will go away.

            • 1
              1

              Oh now to Keeladi site.
              Are there DNA samples from there that match that of Deva.nam.piya.tissa?
              +
              The Indus Valley script has nothing to do with any living Indian language. Easter Island has matching characters.
              *
              Who has compiled a list of Proto Dravidian words and matched them with Tamil? If any PD word matches ancient Tamil it will necessarily match ancient Kannada.
              This obsession with the first ape being a Tamil ape makes all of us look a little too silly.

  • 8
    2

    The island before European colonisation, especially the British colonisation was never unitary, it had three separate kingdoms. Two nominal Sinhalese kingdoms, Kotte and Kandy and one Tamil kingdom Jaffna. The Tamil Jaffna kingdom ruled the entire northern province and even the northern parts of the north-central province, the coastal Chilaw/Negombo, Puttlam north-west coast and the Trincomalee district north of the Maheveli river. The rest of the modern eastern province largely modern Batticaloa and Amparai districts were ruled by Tamil Vannimai Chieftains, who were loosely controlled by the Tamil king of Jaffna and they were paying tribute to him. After the fall of the Jaffna and Kotte kingdoms to the Portuguese, they started to come under the loose control of the Sinhalese/Tamil kings of Kandy and paid tribute to them. To these eastern Tamil chieftains, this was not a problem, as they considered the Kings of Kandy Tamil and a Hindu that they really were and the king dealt with them in Tamil ( his own language and fostered the Hindu religion in these regions). The Portuguese later captured these eastern Tamil Vannimai chiefdoms too. The Portuguese and the Dutch who came after them ruled the Sinhalese and Tamil parts of the island, which were under their control as two separate colonies.

    • 8
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      It was the British before capturing the Kandyan kingdom made the Sinhalese and Tamil areas of the island under their control as part of the Madras presidency. After the capturing of the Kandyan kingdom in 1815, they created a new colony called Ceylon in 1833 by merging the Sinhalese and Tamil parts of the island, which had always been separate for most of the island’s history m for their own convenience.

      By this single stroke, they made the Sinhalese who were confined to the south of the island and had hardly any control of the ancient Tamil lands to the north and east of the island a majority on the whole of the island and the Tamils who were a 100% majority nation in their own land a minority. To make matters worse in 1948 they gave power to this Sinhalese majority with hardly any safeguards to the hapless Tamils and left and the Sinhalese now using this newfound majority are now trying to claim a unitary form of government, and illegally using the resources of the state, to take over the Tamil areas and colonise these lands with outside Sinhalese, that they have done in Amparai and Trincomalee and in the border areas of the north and claim the whole island only for themselves.

      • 5
        6

        Did this island comprise exclusively Sinhala and Tamil areas in known history?
        Predominant areas, yes.
        How come the Jaffna Kingdom excluded most of the Eastern Province?

        • 6
          1

          Other than most of the Trincomalee district the Jaffna kingdom proper did exclude the the rest of eastern province but that does not mean the rest of the east was not Tamil as it was occupied by Tamils and ruled by Tamil Vannimai chieftains, who paid tribute to the kingdom of Jaffna unit its demise. Kandyan kingdom did not include the coastal Sinhalese areas modern western, Southern and large parts of the north western coastal areas, does this mean these areas were not Sinhalese as per your argument?

          • 1
            3

            What makes you so sure of “most of the Trincomalee district”?
            Many Vanni chieftains paid tribute to the Kingdoms of Kandy and later Kotte rather than Jaffna (1215–1624 CE).
            Trincomalee was outside the Jaffna Kingdom in the relevant period.

        • 4
          2

          SJ,,
          Eastern Province of SL was ‘sparsely populated’ and as such administration was not directly linked, but there was “call it remote control” by Chieftains and Vanniyar Families!!!

          • 2
            1

            What kind of remote control?
            Any historical evidence?
            We cannot live by guesswork alone.

        • 2
          2

          More economical and controllable, instead of direct possession by state armies!!?

  • 7
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    “Deva(nai) Nambiya Theesan was a Tamil”
    That is evidence of the kind of subjective distortions that the man resorts to.
    Deva Nam Piya Tissa (god(‘s) name loving Tissa) seems to make much sense.
    It is not ignorance but mischievous distortion that is at play.

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      Thevanai Nambiya Theesan means Thessan who had great faith or love for god in Tamil and as per the Keeladi excavations that date around 2500 years or more Theesan was a very common Tamil male name. What is found in the Keeladi excavation is very similar to what this found in the Indus Valley excavations. Prakritised form Deva Nam Piya Tissa means the same in Pali Tissa who loved the name of god. He was the son of King Mootha Sivan meaning the great or venerated Lord Siva and this is a pure Tamil name proving they were Tamil Saivite Nagas, until his conversion to Buddhism. We do not his actual name, most probably these are titles that would have been given later.

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      So which god’s name he liked much?

      What is more plausible at the time (even now) – staunchly believing and unquestionable faith in god or liking god’s name?

      By the way all Kings / Queens believed and claimed sovereignty by the faith that god disposed sovereignty (over subjects and territory) on them and to Kingdoms.

      Sovereignty in Tamil (இறைமை) precisely captures this notion even before Westphalian state system or Clausewitzian idea of state.

      Show us any other language that precisely captures this notion (Sovereignty being disposed by god) than Tamil.

      • 1
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        I think that I have seen enough BS on the subject.
        I give up.
        YOU WIN!

  • 4
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    All this talk of origins is quite fascinating but there is another factor isn’t there? Irrespective of DNA etc how do the ‘Tamil’ and ‘Sinhalese’ people regard themselves? A Tamil brought up as a Sinhalese will not feel he is a Tamil and vice versa. How people regard themselves is more important than their actual racial origins. It is this that has given rise to racial problems.

    • 2
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      S
      Very true.

    • 0
      4

      Svenson, You speak of factors. Acts 17, 26 says that God made all humans from one blood. If this truth is ingrained in us, there would be no racial problems with all these claims with percentages misleading as sacred thought embedded in land and soil. Let us love one another and live in unity of life and purpose, without fear, in humility, knowing that we can take nothing with us at death, but only our eternal life in God’s presence forever. Other options are horrible.

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        Acts 17:26 literally reads, “[God] made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth….”

        The word “one” in this passage refers to Adam. It is one of the enduring biblical misinterpretations that all humans everywhere on the planet earth descend from Adam, whereas the Bible not require this interpretation. The phrase “every nation” above refers to the nations that descend from Adam via the three sons of Noah as detailed in Genesis chapter 10 (the Table of Nations). If you read this chapter you will see that those nations inhabited only the biblical world (which consists of what we today call the Middle East, including North Africa, and parts of Europe). There is no reference, for example, to the Aborigines of Australia. The word “earth” in the phrase “all the face of the earth” means earth as conceived in biblical times, which from our perspective is only a limited part of the the globe.

        There is archaeological evidence for the existence of humans on planet earth long before Adam (created about 6,000 years ago according to data in the Bible, though it may be possible to extend this by a few more thousand years) and I hold the view that different races have been created on earth at different times in its history, the Adamic race being the last.

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        Davidthegood, you speak of God. Others speak of the soul, resurrection, heaven etc. Most religions start off with these metaphysical ideas as their foundations. So one can do one of three things with them.
        1 Accept them blindly (despite all the doubts and contradictions)
        2 Reject them as superstitious nonsense
        3 Acknowledge that one just doesn’t know
        Buddhism has suffering as its foundation, something that every human being is aware of through their own personal experience. Only when one has a certain and solid foundation is it possible to build without doubts.

      • 2
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        “God made all humans from one blood”:
        So why do hospitals want to know my blood group?

    • 6
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      Good then why marginalise the Tamils, commit war crimes, and structural genocide on them and steal their lands using the armed forces, and other government departments like Archaeology, forestry and Mahaveli, using the resources of the state and concocted history with many Sinhalese, including you overtly and covertly supporting this and when cornered start stating all these, especially when Tamils challenge them. Come up with all this bullshit we are all the same so why fight etc. So why discriminate, commute war crimes, structural genocide and deliberately destroy Tamil history and cultural artefacts? Did not see you and many Sinhalese protesting then but largely posting racist anti-Tamil comments, supporting these activities. Certain self-hating anti-Tamils with their own selfish agenda will also support you. We all know there is one who constantly tries to undermine other Tamils here.

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    SJ Thaatha, Siva Sankaran Maama and Rohan Anna here are two videos regarding Indian scripts and Keeladi excavations by Indian archaeologists and the new evidence now found is changing previously held theories and histories.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax5Hl-R_Xl0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFs6CtNLRWA&t=51s

  • 4
    1

    when the portuguese invaded ceylon it had three kingdoms kotte,kandy and jaffna.The present day troubles can be traced to te fact that due recognition had not been given to the status quo that existed before the arrival of the portueguese. Today india is actually 25 kingdoms that existed prior to the arrival of the british who amalgamated all of them into one british india.Nehru in his wisdom knew that india once the british left would fall backinto 25 different countries unless they are woven together with he thread of federalism.Nobody had that wisdom in sri lanka resulting in the debilitating civil war and subsequent bankruptcy and even now carrying the burden of a large armed force.

    I believe that we should have three federal states in sri lanka according to the territories that were there in the 3 kingdoms kandy,kotte and jaffna. the kingdom of jaffna encompassed the present day northern province and parts of the northern half of the eastern province.

    • 3
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      S
      What was the status quo before the Jaffna Kingdom?
      We imagine mighty rival empires in a potty little island.
      There were periods in which there were strong rulers who controlled over large territories. They also did much for the agricultural economy.
      The Portuguese did not care for any group here except whoever they could do business with.

      • 2
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        SJ
        “What was the status quo before the Jaffna Kingdom?”

        why go into that.India did not.Nehru only looked at what was before british colonisation.Thogh he was a kashmiri brahmin he did not say kashmir was for the brahmins because they were chased out and killed by the muslims.Leaving aside kashmir look at the rest of india.Recetly india became the largest population in the world beating china.It will grow and grow thanks to the wisdom of nehru.

  • 2
    4

    ‘The kingdom of jaffna encompassed the present day northern province and parts of the northern half of the eastern province.’
    .
    Did it? The Portuguese arrived in 1505. By 1520 the Kandyan kingdom stretched as far East as Trincomalee. Be careful what you wish for. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Kandy#/media/File:Sri_Lanka_geopolitics_-_after_%22Spoiling_of_Vijayabahu%22.png

    • 4
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      The Trincomalee district north of the Mahaveli River was part of the Jaffna kingdom proper and this includes Trincomalee town, the rest of the eastern province south was ruled by Tamil Vanniar chiefs and were called Vanimai chiefdoms. These areas were Tamil occupied from ancient times and ruled by Tamil chieftains and kings. Until the fall of the Jaffna Kingdom these eastern Vannimai chiefs, south of Trincomalee came under the loose control of the king of Jaffna and paid tributes to him. The King of Jaffna gave only minimum access to the kings of Kandy to use Trincomalee and Batticaloa ports to bring in goods from India as well as brides and their entourage for the king and other Kandyan nobles from their Tamil homeland in South India. Very similar to the way the ancient British Norma kings and nobility used to import French-speaking Norman brides from Normandy France and later German partners.

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        It is only after the fall of the Jaffna kingdom that the Tamil eastern Vannimai chiefdoms sought the loose protection of the Tamil/Sinhalese kings of Kandy, as pointed out by me and others here to these eastern Tamils and their chiefs, this was not an issue, as they saw and considered the King of Kandy to be Tamil Hindu, which he really was and he dealt with them in Tamil and fostered and protected the Hindu religion in their areas. However soon the Portuguese captured the rest of the east, especially the highly populated coastal areas, other than the deep interior and the Dutch also took control after them. The Kingdom of Kandy and Jaffna were very close allies. In fact, both of King Senatath’s sons were married to two Tamil princesses from the kingdom of Jaffna. This may be the reason King Senarath sent his soldiers to recapture the kingdom of Jaffna after its fall and briefly succeeded and also to safeguard the sea access to ports in the east of the island that the kingdom of Jaffna provided for him.

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          Either way, whether the east was ruled by the King of Jaffna or Kandy and came under their loose control during different times of history, itis Tamil land and part of the Eelam Tamil homeland, as recognised by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British and the British created the Tamil Northern and Eastern provinces from lands that the Sinhalese had not even the remotest claim and declared them Tamil provinces.
          It has always been Tamil occupied and ruled by Tamil Chiefs until European colonisation and its culture had always been Tamil Hindu and at times Tamil Buddhist until independence when large-scale illegal Sinhalese colonisation took place on ethnically cleansed Tamil lands in the east. The South Indian origin Tamil Muslims only arrived there a few centuries ago as refugees fleeing Portuguese persecution on the west of the island. Now all sorts of claims are being made and history concocted, with large-scale colonisation to falsely claim the east for Sinhalese. Trincomalee from ancient times had been Tamil Hindu land as evidenced by ancient Hindu temples and was an important centre of Hindu pilgrimage.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trincomalee

    • 3
      1

      paul

      i did not mntion trinco did i.I only said some parts of northern half of eastern province.I n fact i remember king senerat meeting the portueguse emissary in trinco harbour.Instead of plitting hairs look at the big picture i give here.

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