23 June, 2024

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Kuragala Lessons: Fighting With Honour For A Stake In A Layered Heritage

By Darshanie Ratnawalli

Darshanie Ratnawalli

In Archaeology there is a novel concept called “Public Participatory Interactive multi cultural Museum and Site Presentation applicable to sites with multiple heritages[i]. This involves being inclusive of all available heritage components in presenting the identity of a site[ii].

Kuragala presents the typical layered heritage pattern. Season 1- It is a pre-historic habitat of Homo sapiens balangodensis[iii]. Season 2- In 2/3rd century BC Lanka, adherents of a new religion make it a raging fashion to dedicate caves right and left to the cave dwelling Sangha (inscribing the donor names on the cave wall) and Kuragala does not escape[iv]. Season 3- Kuragala becomes an Islamic shrine and a retreat.

Nowadays, Kuragala is a very useful site. Trying to assess how much its presentation in Media measures up to the multiple stakeholders concept is a sure way to identify the less obvious faces of intolerance and chauvinism. (As we already know the obvious face, the BBS, the flavor of the season in villainy).

I am going to highlight two recent journalistic presentations that attempted through misinformation (which even a routine veracity check could have shown up), to obliterate one heritage component of Kuragala and up the stakes of another. These presentations were by Latheef Farook and Dharisha Bastians.

Let’s compare these with the presentation of Kuragala (in 1932) by Charles Collins, the British Civil Servant and GA for Ratnapura at the time. Collins’ presentation, “The Archaeology of Sabaragamuwa, Bintenna” (Journal R.A.S (Ceylon) Vol. XXXII, No 85 of 1932) is currently available in the RAS library, Sri Lanka. In the public interest, I have uploaded my scanned copy at http://ratnawalli.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/The-Archaeology-of-the-Sabaragamuwa-Bintenna..pdf.

Collins’ paper is an attempt to give an account of the antiquities of the Ratnapura District which “is generally considered archeological barren”. “The few early Ruins and Inscriptions which are to be found in the District” are practically “in one small corner”. Traversing this ‘small corner’ to get up close and personal with these ruins and inscriptions takes Collins to seven places (Budu-gala, Kura-gala, Diyainna, Handa-giriya, Kottimbul-wala, Sankha-pala Vihare in Pallebedda and Galpaya).

“Kura-gala, the next place that claims our attention…the interest centres not at the foot of the hills, but high up …The archeological interest is confined to two sets of high and rocky cliffs, with a deep cleft between them. In the first set…there are several caves and two inscriptions. The latter are found on a high rock known as Hituwan-gala. The first record (A) is cut in a single line at the South end of one of the caves in this rock”.

Collins then describes the first record (A). “The inscription is cut in Brahmi characters of about the second century B.C.” This “inscription is worn and very difficult to reach, but from a “squeeze” and an “eye-copy” it appears to be as follows…”

Describing Inscription B, as being “on the same rock as A, but inscribed in two lines, about 30 feet or more above a second cave” and “in an almost inaccessible position” Collins gives us its transcript nevertheless. As per these transcripts, these are records of cave dedications by elite donors.

Return to 2013 and witness the obliterative intent in Latheef Farook’s presentation. He transforms the Buddhist layer of the site into a mere claim by “vested interests”, dating from 1961, for which “no proof can be adduced”. The only evidence that the site was a Buddhist monastery of the 2nd century BC, Farook informs us confidently, is “a board placed by the Archaeological Department in 1972”. As we struggle between two explanations for Farook; ignorance or deception, we notice another strange thing.

Far from being ignorant of the writings on the Hituwangala rock he is very much aware of them. The following sentence makes this clear; “For example when Mr. Godakumbura was asked to record and decipher the Arabic writings at Dafther Jailany Mosque especially on the Hittuwangala Rock, his answer was that it was of no relevance…”  It is this sentence which ultimately points us away from ignorance and towards deception as the real explanation. Notice the plural ‘Arabic writings’. Also notice the annexation of ‘writings on the Hituwangala Rock’ under ‘Arabic Writings’.

The only writing on the Hituwangala rock as Collins makes clear is in the Brahmi script and by no stretch of the imagination does Brahmi look like Arabic as Collins’ ‘eye copy’ also makes clear[v]. Nor is there a plurality of Arabic writing in Kuragala. There is only one open claim of an Arabic inscription. It’s written on a tombstone allegedly discovered in 1922. (This discovery is unknown to Collins and his local guides). This tombstone is the only Arabic writing Farook’s article mentions upfront. “Among the proofs of Qutub Muhiyuddin’s links with Kuragala was the tombstone discovered in 1922 when excavating to build a mosque about ten feet below a mound of earth with the words stating “Disciple of Mohyiuddin” dated 1322 AD.” It is the photograph of this Arabic writing, which is uploaded and circulated widely as the legitimating evidence. There are no upfront references in Media to Arabic inscriptions on the Hituwangala rock[vi] or any rock in the vicinity (Crucial geology tip- a tombstone is not a rock). Nor photographs. Nor translations.

Instead there are covert acts of annexation and multiplication. Consider the following sentence from Dharisha Bastians’; “Kuragala is home to an ancient Sufi shrine, sacred to Muslims because Arabic rock inscriptions, tombstones and other historical evidence point to a greatly revered Islamic saint having meditated in the rock caves”.

Notice the transmogrification of tombstone into tombstones and Brahmi rock inscriptions into Arabic[vii]. There is a strikingly similar sentence in Farook’s, strongly suggestive of both journalists having dipped into the same source.

“Rock carvings, Arabic inscriptions, writings, tombstones and legends lead us to believe that Qutub Muhyiuddin had spent a part of his meditation at Jailany-Kuragala.”

To be continued.

*The writer can be found at http://ratnawalli.blogspot.co.uk/


[i] This is how the Jetavana site has been presented to the public. According to Sudarshan Seneviratne; “Though this is primarily a religious site, the rationale of the site presentation is to situate Jetavana within a socio-cultural context representing its international dimension to the visitor as well”. He is all for stressing “the multi religious and multi cultural character of this site”. Because “This site, which is primarily a Mahayana Buddhist site, has yielded several statues of Hindu deities. A Mahayana statue carries a 10th Century AC Tamil inscription recording an endowment by a mercantile guild in south India. The discovery of West Asian ceramics and large quantities of imported ceramics and raw material for beads only speak of the multi cultural and multi religious character of this site. The 6th Century AC Nestorian cross (now located at the Anuradhapura archaeological museum) was discovered in the elite Citadel complex adjacent to the Jetavana site.”

[ii] Some others caution against being too heavy handed with the multi-religious -multi cultural approach to the extent of distorting the true ethos of a site. See A look at an Insider’s Challenge to History Brown Sahibs and Cultural definitions by Bandu de Silva. Part I http://www.island.lk/2007/10/10/midweek4.html and Part II http://www.island.lk/2007/10/11/features5.html .

[iii] It appears now that Kuragala is the largest prehistoric settlement ever to be unearthed in Sri Lanka. It’s a success story where a bold decision led unexpectedly to spectacular results. http://www.ceylontoday.lk/59-32242-news-detail-kuragala-back-in-the-limelight.html

[iv] Note that Caves all over Sri Lanka are inscribed in one language(Sinhalese Prakrit) and one script (the variation called Sinhalese Brahmi), even when the donors described are from varying cultural/ethnic contexts. This uniformity across a broad geographic canvass helps to place it within a single genre. For this reason even when the word ‘sangha’ does not occur in the inscription people generally do not make embarrassing gaffes. For example, it would be a rare simpleton who would interpret “The cave of the merchants who are the citizens of Dīghavāpī, of the sons of ….and of the wife Tissā, the Tamil” as a record of a 200 BC X rated cave epic. You don’t have to have the whole nine yards as in “Princess (Abi)Allurādhī, daughter of king Nāga and wife of king Uttiya, and king Uitiya, caused this cave to be established, for the Saṅgha of the four quarters, as comfortable abode of all that are come, and for the welfare and happiness of beings in the boundless universe”. The context identifies the purpose.

[v] The only thing that would exonerate Farook from ‘deception’ is if Arabic writing had appeared on the Hituwangala rock face after 1932 when Collins failed to witness any. But then he would be open to ‘gullibility of the most simpleton kind’. If I were a journalist I would prefer the charge of ‘deception’ to gullibility. I could at least preen myself on being a wily fox.

[vi] There is one though. But I am saving it for next week. Too juicy.

[vii] Again if Arabic witting and a tombstone had materialized after Collins’ visit, this would exonerate Dharisha Bastians from ‘deception’ and transform her merely into a ‘bridge buyer’, but is such deliverance worth it?

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Latest comments

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    ‘Disciple of Mohyiuddin” dated 1322 AD. “

    How this is possible when Islam is said to be begun since the seventh century ?

    ‘ Instead there are covert acts of annexation and multiplication. Consider the following sentence from Dharisha Bastians’”

    So, Dharisha Bastian is another kind of Con-artist ?

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      O! Jim Softy, this saint was born in 18th March 1077 (i.e) almost 935 years ago. Islam last came to the world almost 1440 years ago.

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      JimSofty

      You seem to be a total ignorant complete idiot. Islam did not begin in the seventh century. Islam began with the first humans on earth (Adam and Eve). Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed are all prophets of Islam. Most probably even Buddha (even though not clearly mentioned in the Quran) may be a Prophet of Islam (there were many unknown Prophets).

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        Mohammed the Idiot,
        Islam exists from the day human was born ? if so it’s a myth only . Hindu /Buddhists can claim those religions did exist at the birth of universe. Where does this debate end ?
        Anything to claim legally you need physical historical evidence as in this case of Kura Gala. On the other hand where in Quran says “Meditation” ?, except some beliefs & physical things like Halal killings, 08 year old wife Aisha of Mohomed.

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          Brahmi scripts were used in the pre historic times. Tamil and Sinhala were written in Brahmi.

          Meditation is not a part of Islam anywhere. Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions used meditation in caves all over India and Sri Lanka.

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    Please make it a simple English. Language construction is boring to read. The writer deliberately tries to make her point but language barier makes it difficult for her . It would be better had she made her point in a simple English.
    Where did Arabic inscription come from? Yes the writer agrees that Sufi saint had been there? Ok. It is very clear for any one. Where did Brahmi inscription come from? What is time frame of these two? It appears Brahmi inscription was from 2BC? OK . That is simple logic. To say that Hindu temple was there before Muslim saint was at this place? ok. Does writer argue that this place belong to Hnidu not for Muslim or Singhalelse?

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      I think the writer is more interested in impressing the reader with her English writing skills.Unfortunately, she loses the plot in her attempt and makes reading ger article a boring and mind-confusing task. I was already heaving a sigh of relief when I came to the end of her article but noticed with great apprehension her “To be continued”.
      Oh God, does she have to torture us any further?

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        Cant agree with you more both above commenters.
        The very first para itself made me bored, I quickly realized that a few weeks ago I read this strage language of the same writer. So boring indeed.
        Please do us a favour Ms. Walli, either write in English or dont write anything at all.

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          Now I understand!!! Because of my (gorgeous) picture you thought this was Cosmopolitan!!! Now that you have realised your mistake, why don’t you navigate away from this link and find that ‘Ten signs that should warn you he is cheating’ article you were looking for. And don’t bother to come back dahling. Shoo now. I want to concentrate on Nirmalan Dhas.

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            Wow! She has a mighty opinion about herself. A contemporary Helen of Troy. Lankan men are simply ravishing her wonderful KOS-More-POL-itan looks that are capable of launching a thousand bricks. Its unfortunate that she isnt living in a glass house. Otherwise, she will be able to see them having orgasm after orgasm just looking at her ‘gorgeous” picture.Surely, this is more Kos than Pol.

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              Dear Fan I am flattered by this confession. But I can’t help feeling concerned too. Are these lonely orgasms achieved via photographic aids fulfilling enough? Aren’t you worth something more? Some advice? Believe in your life. Live your life with intense focus even when you are doing something mundane; washing the bathroom for instance. This will signal to yourself that your life is interesting; has worth. This belief will attract to your life people who will share in this belief. Won’t this be a better way? Just a suggestion.

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              Randy,

              She missed something when she said “Believe in your life”. Believe you are ‘gorgeous’. Believe you are a ‘Scholar’. Believe you are ‘everything’. She wants you to fake it.

          • 0
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            You are dealing in an important topic and not in gossip and therefore must show greater responsibility than this irresponsible attitude. In fact I too find a language and presentation barrier in your article which you may please correct in your future posts.

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              Darling which article are you looking for ? “Ten ways to find out if she is faking”? This is not it. Shoo.

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              Yes Mohammed Asghar I missed something from the above comment. Believe in your life. This will attract to you who will believe in it too. Then you will no longer need to have lonely photography induced orgasms. This is a much better way. Try it.

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            What a cheap mentality from a so called ‘scholar’. Looks like Padmi Karunamuni’s innocent comment has hit her nerve centre.

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              The MiniPad stuck under belly? May day… may day!!!

          • 0
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            You call yourself gorgeous?
            Sorry I try to see it from every possible angles but failed.
            Your article too is confused like yourself. Try a different
            style next time for a layman like me to understand as well as Mr. Silva says below.
            I am with Padmi, Plaintruth Lookada and the guys below.

            NB-Arrogance at its Best!

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            Darshanie Ratnavalli,
            Darling,Yes , your gorgeous picture only attracted me to this article, thought it was Maria Sharapova. Can you do a favor? , pl. [Edited out]

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            Honey, [Edited out]
            This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

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        Lookada Lakai & Padmi Karunamuni

        You are right!

        I stopped reading this article half way because I felt bored to read her indirect and ambiguous paragraphs which when summarized, boils down to just one or two important points. The readers have to spend more time in reading the article more than once, to understand what she is saying.

        She is neither a journalist nor a scholar. From her writings it is very clear that she has a very high ego and just trying to show off her language skills.

        If her intention is not to confuse the readers, I suggest her to adopt writing in a clear, simple and direct language so that a layman like me can understand and digest it.

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          Er….. I would want to interest your kind of reader because? Your kind seems to get fatally attracted no matter how hard I signal ‘keep off’. You get attracted, and then start insisting that I change my style to accommodate your reading habits? Wow.

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            Oh dear the ‘gorgeous’ one,

            I did not know that you belonged to a different clan. CT is a common man’s forum. This may be the first time we see a person from a different clan writing here. As you may think, may be some of us ‘CROWS’ got attracted to your ‘gorgeous’ pix even when you shooed us away but later found we got stuck in the crap.

            BTW, what made you get into the wrong territory??? Did your clan shoo you away for writing crap?

            Some monkeys do praise their ‘gorgeous’ tails. You behave like a 9 year old kid when someone counter argue. GROW UP KID, GROW UP!!!

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              Silva,

              You are right, she should be writing all this crap in some blog where hardly people visit or in a rag like Nation with a very low circulation. Not a widely read/commented public forum like CT.

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              oh darling learn to read. reading words that are not there is come ism. A branch of delusionism. A common failing of your kind of reader, which exactly why I want to repel your kind. But you only keep getting fatally attracted.

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            Marionette, you will not shut up unless teased to retire.

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          I hope you are an in-experienced reader of archaeological records. She quoted and mentioned the differences and how some make claims on Brahmi as Arabic!

          If your kind understand the old records in your way, only trouble makers will prevail and death for science!

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            Brutish Leela, you hoot within a piccolo? Does one want experience to read archaeological records just to soak in blindly whatever the writer writes on fakes without analyzing. You and Darshanie are of the same kind of bollocks defying a defunct scabbard.

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              You prove that you are an idiot because you cry that I am Leela. That is the way you idiots understand the ancient records.

              You are a specimen to the fools who bark at the findings of Darshanie Rathnavalli!

              If you cannot understand the language of darshanie, better go for a tution class! Archaelogy is not a corner shop business!

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    Dear Darshanie,

    Your article is neither here nor there!

    Your intellectual bankruptcy is clearly seen from how how easily you are led to accept Collins as an authority on historical Inscriptions. I am not sure how concluded that these were Bhrahmi inscriptions dating back to 2BC?

    You also quote from Latiff’s article to substantiate your claim of deception
    “For example when Mr. Godakumbura was asked to record and decipher the Arabic writings at Dafther Jailany Mosque especially on the Hittuwangala Rock, his answer was that it was of no relevance…” You don’t tell us why Mr. Godakumbura if he chose not to accede to a request made my Muslims did so. Obviously Mr. Latiff is aggrieved because if Mr. Godakumbura was not an interested party he should have readily agreed to do so!

    Its obvious you have no idea what you are getting at; initially I thought you were going to take us through a chronological fact based narrative leading us to conclude how not to fight over Kuragala. However your intention is to tell us that Muslims have mounted a campaign to lay claim to a Sinhala Buddhist Monastery.

    To make up for the paucity of facts, you use innuendo; your own prejudices overriding objectivity. Mulims need not use deception to lay claim to a site that hardly is of significance to most of us.

    However as the title “Kuragala Lessons: Fighting With Honour For A Stake In A Layered Heritage” of your rather misleading article claims lets decipher and layer the facts;

    01. Lets excavations at the site be completed.
    02. Lets the inscriptions both Brahmi/Arabic be deciphered
    03. Lets look to pointers if any in other historical documents such as the Mahawamsa for mention of Kuragala

    And let all of these be done by eminent scholars and let the findings be scrutinized by other anthropologists and archeologists and lets conclude based on facts.

    However I would like to put some very basic questions to you on the assumption that you claim Kuragala to be a Sinhala Buddhist Monastery

    01. When was this Sinhala Buddhist Monastery first established

    02. How and when was it abandoned?

    03. Why and who allowed a Muslim Sufi to establish a mosque and place for meditation

    04. Why did not the rulers of the time prevent the conversion of a Sinhala Buddhist Monastery into a place of Muslim worship?

    Answers to these questions will be interesting and intriguing I must say.

    As I have said there are only two solutions because it is a sensitive issue similar to the Babri Mosque. The first is to let bygones be bygones and allow Muslims to continue without changing the status quo.
    In resolving the Babri Mosque dispute, the British governor at that time ruled allowing Muslims to keep the Mosque and preventing Hindus laying claim to it, saying restitution was not possible.

    The other is to redraw the boundaries retaining Muslim areas as is and where there are Buddhist artifacts let those be demarcated. Let both the mosque and Buddhist place of worship co-exist like Kataragama

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      Kuragala inscriptions have since been published in Inscriptions of Ceylon Vol 1. Plate numbers 774, 775,776.

      Their reading and dating do not depend on Collins alone. Collins was an antiquarian and a scholar by the way. The dating of the Brahmi script is so well established. That you ask this question at all means either you should do your homework or go back to reading GQ or Cosmopolitan.

      If you are interested in doing your homework you could get hold of a copy of Inscriptions of Ceylon Vol 1 and read the introduction and refer to these plate numbers. This book would be available either in the RAS library, ICES library or maybe even in the National library. Or if you are too lazy, you could access http://www.royalasiaticsociety.lk/inscriptions/?q=node/2 (The Royal Asiatic Society (SL) has uploaded most of Inscriptions of Ceylon and Epigraphia Zeylanica to their site. You can look at plate 774 and 776 at http://www.royalasiaticsociety.lk/inscriptions/?q=node/881 and http://www.royalasiaticsociety.lk/inscriptions/?q=node/882 respectively. (They have not uploaded plate 775 yet for some reason)
      But you can see that in the book.

      Or you could opt not to bother your head about these things.

      Or you could go to one of those Candle thingies and hold boards and leave the real/challenging stuff to people who have a taste for knowledge.

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        I think These people are not used to sort of technical language and or type material published in journals.

        Secondly, at least one of those is a muslim and he would not appreciate that they are cheating and try to establish muslim holy sites fraudulently.

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          Jim Softly,

          Well its unfortunate that you can’t see that this lady’s article is one sides. Takes a little more intelligence than you can muster. Sorry Jim :(

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        Very nice way to reply.
        Being a jouranlist you must be more calm and composed.
        Why are you losing your temper. Do you want readers to swallow happily everything you write?
        You must learn your ABC first as a jouranlist Ms. Walli.
        You better learn from your Western counterparts how to react.

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        Taste for knowledge???

        You mean biased knowledge from very selected writings from selected people???

        You sound more like a Wattiamma rather than Walliamma. Try to learn some decency and etiquette when responding to the fellow readers.

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        Likewise Darshanie, happy to recommend Good Housekeeping to you to indulge instead of writing one sided discourses on subjects you are “eminently unqualified” to handle.

        Here’s why; firstly you lack the sensitivity and maturity required to handle the subject. You rave and rant like a spoiled brat the minute someone disagrees with you. You seem to think that there is only one point of view and that it is yours alone. Your peers might be not daring to comment knowing your uptightness, but on a public forum do be prepared for verbal sparring.

        Second you don’t know your audience; these are ordinary folk who simply want to keep themselves abreast of what is happening around them. If you wish to showcase you research and academic prowess you are talking to the wrong people. I am sure respected Anthropological and Archeological journals would welcome your contributions. Or is it that they “shooed” you away and is it why you are now reduced to flaunting yourself on CT?

        Third, we expect integrity from writers; you assume that you have an honourable argument and imply that Muslims are deceitful; an untenable position to take if you aspire to be a scholar.

        In parting I can assure you that GQ makes better reading than what you write. If it is applause and cheers you crave for the stuff you write please stay with your tribe such as the BBS, Sinhala Ravaya, and Ravana Balaya. However if you want fair comment, you are welcome to write to CT.

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          Nabil, I would never bother to answer a Tabloid type stuck-up who knows nothing beyong GQ, Cosmopolitan etc. Dont waste your time mate. I could see how immature & naive writer is from her reactions when one disagrees.
          I was under the impression that Gorgeous is – Stunning or Striking or Dazzling.

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            :)

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      “The other is to redraw the boundaries retaining Muslim areas as is and where there are Buddhist artifacts let those be demarcated.”

      This tendency to establish boundaries is very interesting. Imagine where it could lead to if taken to scale.

      I suppose in many instances the “layered heritage pattern” will lead to vertical integrations of sorts.

      It appears to run counter to an emerging trend towards integration and synthesis. Is it impossible for us to treat our common heritage with equanimity?

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        Dear Nimalan

        I am glad that you brought up this proposition. In order to achieve some degree of integration and synthesis, there must be mutual understanding and complete trust among communities. Trust necessarily must derive from deep faith within; that nothing will change or break our belief systems.

        Consider the rhetoric of the Sinhala majority berating minorities as if Buddhists are the victims. This lack of trust among the Buddhists manifests as an endless list of grievances from proselytization, desecration of Buddhist sacred areas, decline of Buddhist values etc. This feeling of being under siege by a small minority is baffling to say the least.

        Islam however is bounded on faith and supplication to one god. Thus the Muslim belief system is unassailable; primarily built on a strong sense of community, brotherhood, and equality.

        There are many who believe Islam is violent and that they have to protect Buddhism from an invasive Islam. Despite the peaceful nature of Sri Lankan Muslims, they point to the turmoil in the Middle East and talk of the potential risk they face here; again a fear unfounded, given our mutual shared history of over a thousand years of living peacefully. The violence in the Middle East and other Muslim countries is political; the US is not waging a religious war in Afghanistan nor in Iraq.

        The fear of Buddhists leaving and embracing other faiths needs to be considered in context. The more people are enlightened the more they realize that religion doesn’t have all the answers to the stresses and dynamics of modern living. Buddhists must ask themselves if they are able to adapt to unrelenting pace of modern life, instead of entertaining fears of being threatened. Men and women from the west are embracing Buddhism, while there are many in the east who think that Buddhism alone is inadequate to meet their spiritual needs.
        Blaming other religions which are in reality competing for followers will not help. The searchlight needs to be turned inwards.

        Buddhists must find ways of being relevant, to their flock. If Buddhists are abandoning Buddhism they must ask “why is it that they find other religions attractive?” I am sure answers will help them be more transparent and trusting. If all of this happens I am sure we have all of the things you envisage. If not we must move on to a utopian world.

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      For Nabil who had the burning question about how to tell if the Kuragala Brahmi inscriptions belong to the 2nd century BC.

      The following excerpt from http://www.royalasiaticsociety.lk/inscriptions/?q=node/2 ;

      “The evolution of the Sinhala script from Asokan Brahmi to the modern Sinhala script and the language from Proto-Sinhala to modern Sinhala can be traced from the vast body of inscriptions discovered in Sri Lanka. Palaeographically, the inscriptions of Sri Lanka can be divided into the following periods.
      * Early Brahmi – 3rd century B.C. – 1st century A.D.
      * Later Brahmi – 2nd century B.C. – 4th century A.D.
      * Transitional Brahmi – 5th century A.D. – 7th century A.D.
      * Medieval Sinhala – 8th century A.D. – 13th century A.D.
      * Modern Sinhala – 14th century A.D. and after”

      Read together with this para by Robin Coningham et al which demonstrates how the periodisation of the script is done will help. This article is to be found at http://ratnawalli.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Robin-Coningham-Passage-to-India…-Anuradhapura-and-the-Early-Use-of-the-Brahmi-Script.pdf

      “The letters of SF 25,133 are regular and neat and show no trace of the major changes of letter form which begin to appear in Sri Lanka from the first century AD onwards and probably reflect the changes which occur in Mathura and northern India about the same time. The Maga sealing shows a majority of early forms combined with one or two slightly more developed forms. The forms of sa, pa, ma, ga, rn and ka are typical of those of the last two centuries BC, while ta and ha appear to anticipate those of the first century AD. These comparisons are based upon Lithic and Other Inscriptions of Ceylon (Karunaratne 1984).
      The distinctive thickening of the ends of strokes, resembling serifs, which is so regular a feature of inscriptions of the later period is, however, totally
      absent. The goldsmith’s mould inscription shows only the earlier forms of letters without any of the newer influences. As the inscriptions of the third
      group form practically the latest examples of inscriptions (other than on the gold medieval Polonnaruwa coin SF 6327) from stratified deposits, it is interesting to note that the typical letter forms of the first or second centuries AD are absent, with the exceptions mentioned above. The changes appear to have been found in Sri Lanka more or less contemporary with their appearance in Mathura and the north, and in Amaravati and the Deccan. These differences pave the way for the gradual emergence of different regional styles of script.”

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        This is how the half-baked European Orientalist ‘scholars’ classified/labeled the island’s developing language/script in the late 19th century CE. It was purely based on assumptions without understanding the actual ground situation in the island during that period. Other than these European Orientalists (so called scholars), could you tell us any reputed/qualified epigraphists/linguists who has written a research paper on the above to prove your point?

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          The very fact that you think Robin Coninham is an orientalist 19th century scholar and this paper which I quoted (the link to which I gave) is a 19th century paper speaks volumes about you darling. You are the ideal profile for GQ. So is Nabil who asked the scintillating question ‘ how to decide if the Brahmi script is 200 BC?’ Keep at it fans. I want at least 300 comments for this one. Oblige me.

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            GREAT!!!

            This kid discovered something from my comment. The typo 19th instead of 20th century has given her ecstasy.

            When people write absolutely hilerious articles like the above and then make imature comments, of course you definetely have more then 300 comments ridiculing you.

            Looks like of of the readers have already branded you as a laughing stock in a public forum.

            Keep it up, we need more and more fun from people of your ilk.

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            Let me repeat (corrected)

            This is how the half-baked European Orientalist ‘scholars’ classified/labeled the island’s developing language/script in the early 20th century CE. It was purely based on assumptions without understanding the actual ground situation in the island during that period. Other than these European Orientalists (so called scholars), could you tell us any reputed/qualified epigraphists/linguists who has written a research paper on the above to prove your point?

            Why Robin Coninham???

            Why not Someone who knew the languages such as Sanskrit, Pali, Elu, Sinhala, and Tamil and someone who knew the different types of ancient Brahmi scripts, Grantha script, the present day North and South Indian scripts and the Sinhala script??? Why not someone who knew the South Asian languages, traditions, cultures, etc??? Why not someone who is more reliable and credible???

            BTW, the link you have given cannot be accessed.

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              oh darling do you now believe Robin Connigham is an early twentieth century archeologist. Don’t make us all laugh please. Go to my link and out when Robin, Allachin et al wrote. Play some IQ raising games.

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            Folks (sorry ‘fans’)

            She seems to be obsessed with the readers’ comments. So please keep commenting.

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            Hey Kid,

            So, all your arguments are based on half-baked European Orientalist ‘scholars’ of the late 19th century and early 20th century such as William Geiger, Robin Coninham, et al??? You do not have any other evidence to prove your point??? Blindly follow like a parrot all what these so called Western scholars said almost a century ago. Very Pathetic eh….!

            I am wondering whether it is worth spending my time in arguing with a confused kid, but let me point out something.

            These so called Pali/prakrith (and Asokan Brahmi) scholars had no knowledge about the South Asian people and their Languages. They had no idea about the languages, scripts, religions, cultures, traditions, etc of the people of Sri Lanka and India (both were inter-related) who lived from early historic period. They were interested in Buddhism and came for a specific purpose (not to research/analyze the history in a broad angle). They learned only Sinhala (never bothered to learn Tamil or Vedda or what the early tribes spoke). They studied the findings (artifacts, cave writings, inscriptions, etc) of the early period based on today’s/present context (because at present the Buddhists are Sinhalese).

            Let me tell you, there was NOTHING called Sinhala Brahmi or Old Sinhala, such terms never existed in the early period. These are terms coined by these late 19th century and early 20th century European Orientalist ‘scholars’. The prakrith language used by the Buddhist and Jain clergy and the educated folk (Royal family) were written in the South Asian Brahmi script. The present day Sinhala script (very close to Grantha script due to Pallawa influence) has nothing to do with those Brahmi script (Gerandigala inscription carry evidence in this regards).

            It is good if you can quote more and more such half-baked European Orientalist ‘scholars’ to spread their discovered GOSPEL. I can guarantee you; we Muslims won’t give two hoots about that.

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              Oh, I forgot your hero Charles Collins, the British Civil Servant. There were so many similar comedians during the colonial period who misinterpreted the Sri Lankan history. A few more examples: Hugh Cleghorn, J.E.Tennet, H.W. Codrington, Alexander Johnstone, Predikant Philip Baldaeus, De Queyroz, et al.

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              As Mohd Asghar says, I have also heard that there was NOTHING what so ever called “Sinhalese” when the caves were inscribed. Is it true that these European Orientalist ‘scholars’ named it ‘Sinhala’ Prakrit and ‘Sinhala’ Brahmi only very recently? I also learned that Caves all over Sri Lanka are inscribed in one language – Prakrit and one script – Brahmi and both Prakrit and Brahmi are imported from India just like Buddhism.

              Darshanie, do you know any other reputed and unbiased archeologists/historians (other than Europeans) who can prove to us that there was a language called Sinhala during the time when these caves were inscribed. Any ancient history books such as Mahavamsa claiming that the language spoken and written was Sinhala? I am confused.

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              I quote from end-note iii of https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/kuragala-lessons-2-using-pr-to-obliterate-heritage/

              [iii] Almost delusional levels of ignorance pertaining to the History of Sri Lanka is far from uncommon among Sri Lankans specially of a certain vintage. In the comments section of an earlier article, my attempts to clarify a point by quoting from “Passage to India? Anuradhapura and the Early Use of the Brahmi Script:R.A.E. Coningham, RR. Allchin, CM. Batt & D. Lucy: Cambridge Archaeological Journal 6:1 (1996), pp. 73-97” was violently contested by a gentleman named Mohammed Asghar Hussain who continued to insist throughout the entire length of the comments section that Robin Coningham was an Orientalist scholar of the late 19th century or the early 20th century. One can’t discount the possibility that Coningham was an Orientalist scholar in his previous birth. But in this life he was part of a Sri Lankan-British team of archaeologists who conducted excavations in Anuradhapura from 1989 and discovered a very large number of inscribed potsherds with Brahmi writing going back to the fourth century BCE. (Read Indrapala: 2005; p 138). Coningham et al: 1996 was the publication which resulted from those excavation s. Since Mohammed Asghar Hussain also claimed to be familiar with the ‘sayings’ of Sudarshan Seneviratne and Neera Wickramasinghe, I surmise that he is a gentleman who took to history late in life, (after the mind had hardened into a rigid mould) for an agenda and not through a thirst for knowledge.

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            it’s just an attempt to own the historical remains by one race with forging an own history and heritage for themselves. truth be told, a lot of ancient kings spoke tamil in their privacy like the english elite spoke french. even the last king spoke tamil. had it not been for the colonialists (and the war on nazism and fascism they fought which taught them some civilized values and made them weaker to hold more colonies) these heritage warriors would by now know very well their place and the social standing that tells them how much of heritage they would be left to enjoy by their elite! there are those who even go on to the extremes to claim brahmi scripts were all sinhala!

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            darshanie

            Have you seen the so called ‘Sinhala’ Brahmi script? How do they differ from the Brahmi script? I cannot see any difference. They all look the same. Who named it as ‘Sinhala’ Brahmi and why?

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      Muslim years strat ffrom Mohamed. So, better rest in peace and dont try to talk non-sense about Brahmi!

      Bamian Buddhaas were dynamited by Taliban and you guys believe that “no buddhism’ exited there!

      So, Archaeoloy is not a subject for the presentday Muslims who believe quaran.

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        Leela correct your fictions, Bamiyan statues were a landmark erected during the times of Menender the greek & Chandragupta the Maurya who made a pact not to war and to allow interaction of it’s subjects to intermarry and intermingle for the prosperity. The statues stood as as a symbol of good faith, the new hope they shared as agreed according to the doctrines of the man Siddhartha the knowledged one for whomever enters through the crossroads of Bactria through the Karakoram it resembled a hope of salvation at the gateway to India.

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          How many Muslims in our region tell they were Hindus/Buddhists before embrace Islam at the edge of the sword?

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            Rub your crevice you yourself will understand.

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            idiot no muslim that i know of contradicts the fact that their maternal lineage traces all the way back to south indian tamil/ north indian expelled sinhalese genes. and that’s why their are as ingenious as you fools claim to be. and none of them denied that not all their forefathers came from arabia. do you hear voices btw? could be Morpheus, the lucifer. don’t listen to him. he will give you the red pill.

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              *that’s why they are as indigenous as you fools claim to be

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        Your archaic mythology were so mystified whereas you are unable to sieve the good from the bad whatever the lessons the Saint Buddha promulgated. You expel faces on a rock when the reek whiffs, of which you cannot do in a dignified manner even like a cat.

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    I think the whole idea about trying to solve this issue is flawed. Who cares who was there first or who has roots in it? What matters is now, everyone just get a long, live a peaceful life. We are not going to take any of these things to our graves.

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      If so, you CANNOT be a concerned citizen. Why bother ? You are not taking it to your grave?

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      “Who cares who was there first or who has roots in it? What matters is now, everyone just get a long, live a peaceful life. We are not going to take any of these things to our graves.”

      The Buddha would be proud of that, my dear sir/madam. Ignore the apparently “kapuvath bauddha” fellow replying to you. For that bit of your comment, I applaud you :)

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    This appears to be a researched response to the discussion on Kura-gala and as such is most welcome and deserves some special attention.

    What the author refers to as “the typical layered heritage pattern” is likely to present in many ancient human settlements since suitable settlement sites are likely to have been inhabited in sequence by various settlers on account of their proven suitability for human settlement. The conscious search for such multi layers at all identified settlement areas may reveal much that is missing from our knowledge of our own history and one would liken to see such a conscious search being made.

    Scientific findings rarely escape pressures emanating from ideological trends and political tendencies to ensure that their interpretations conform to existing frameworks and paradigms and these pressures translate into funding decisions and selections for publication. This is a global phenomenon and there is no reason to expect Sri Lanka to be exempt.

    There seems to be some confusion in relation to the inscriptions referred to by the author since they pertain to Kuduvil and Periya Puliyankulam(a) the connections of which to Kura-gala are not explained.

    http://www.royalasiaticsociety.lk/inscriptions/?q=node/614
    (Kuḍuvil (No. 31 of 1962463, ip. 81))

    http://www.royalasiaticsociety.lk/inscriptions/?q=node/467
    (Periya-Puliyankulama)

    The presentation of “Public Participatory Interactive multi cultural Museum and Site Presentation” as a “novel concept on Archaelogy” is interesting and the general reader would be better enlightened if its origins could be cited. The reference to Prof Sudharshan Seneviratnes Vesak commemoration lecture at Katmandu in 2007 (http://www.archaeology.lk/monthly-theme/prof-sudharshan-seneviratne/people-to-people-connectivity-and-peace-interaction-redefining-heritage-for-conflict-resolution/) or even his
    Archaeology and the rejection of the mono-country do not serve to explain this principle in a concise and explicit manner.

    The scanned version of C.H Collins contribution to the R.A.S Journal show the translation of inscription A as

    “The dedicated cave of …..Dataha.”

    And that of inscription B as

    “ Cave of the Chief Sumana (?) and the Chief Lasama”

    Some support of the claim that “these are records of cave dedications by elite donors” may be helpful.

    More information on “Dataha”, “Sumana” and “Lasama” may be helpful as would some information of the dating of the script itself and data on the analysis of the patina formed on the manuscript and its surrounding rock face may also be of use.

    Collins says that “The two caves are occupied by one Ali Mustan, an Indian Muslim, who came to the place several years ago, and now lives there as a guide and friend of pilgrims, though his right to do so is strenuously resisted by the Muslim authorities of Balan-goda.

    Kura-gala is a great place of Muslim Pilgrimage, though other religions also claim it. The special place of pilgrimage now is the second cliff known as “Dastar Selani”.

    To reach this place one has to climb to the very top of the cliff descend a short distance along a precipitous path and then by a ledge reach a series of rock caves.

    One of these caves appears to penetrate into the very bowels of the earth, and indeed it is said to go through to Mecca; and this must be so because many years ago a very holy man went down this cave and never returned.

    On the opposite side there is a small ledge opening from the cave and hanging directly over the precipice. It commands magnificent views over the Low-country, and is indeed a most romantic place.

    There were no devotees in these caves when I was there, but it is not unusual for Muslim pilgrims, under a vow to stay here for three months or so at a stretch, to spend part of the time on the ledge and part in the caves. There was however one delightful gentleman from Lahore in one of the Lower caves, who was just about to come up for his three months “retreat” and meditation.

    There are no inscriptions – at least none that has been found at this spot – and its actual history appears to be unknown.

    On the way up a number of stones, forming an oblong area of considerable size which was pointed out to me, are said to be the grave of a Muslim saint, but there was nothing to substantiate this. I think it is likely, however, that the dense jungle between the foot of Kura-Gala and Budu-Gala, if properly explored, would yield other remains of interest.”

    In general this article is a welcome effort towards researched journalism and I congratulate the author on this effort and hope that there will be many more such attempts to come.

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      Dear Sir
      Who are you? Not DGB de Silva by any chance

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        OOPS NOT MEANT FOR YOU Nirmalan Dhas

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        Darshanie Ratnawalli

        “Who are you? Not DGB de Silva by any chance”

        Why? Whats wrong with Bandu? What is he up to now?

        He once wrote he was writing a history book about this island.

        It could be the rewriting of the history.

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      Dear Nirmalan Dhas

      The most important point you have raised is, what is Kuragala’s connection with the Kuduvil and Periya Puliyankulam inscriptions I have given in my endnote.

      The connection is that they belong to a single religio-literary- cultural complex. Just as there is a megalithic-urn burial-Black and Red ware-iron tools techno-cultural complex in Sri Lanka between 900 and 300 BC, the cave inscriptions (in the early Brahmi script [dating from 300 BC to 1st Century AD] in the language called Sinhalese Prakrit) constitute a single complex. The cave inscriptions mostly say “so and so’s cave given to the Sangha of the four corners”. But some just say ‘so and so’s cave’ .Some say ‘so and so’s cistern’ or the ‘flight of steps of so and so’- referring to the stone cisterns and a flight of steps carved out from stone. All cave/rock inscriptions do not mention the word Sangha. But even when they do not, it’s understood. Because at this stage in Sri Lanka, they were not cave men who could also write and wrote in their caves ‘so and so’s cave’.

      Take the Kuduvil example, the word Sanga is absent . Yet you will not see in academia, people arguing that it was a cave where some merchants of Deegavapi lived together with so and so’s sons and their common wife, a Tamil lady called Tissa. In contrast, in the Periyapuliyankulam example whole “ this cave to be established, for the Saṅgha of the four quarters, as comfortable abode of all that are come, and for the welfare and happiness of beings in the boundless universe” nine yards is mentioned.

      In the Kuragala inscriptions the part about being given to the Sangha is absent. Which has led to another interesting development which is that the American Scholar (whose specialty was the matrilineal Muslim societies of the East coast and who is clueless about the Cave inscriptions of Lanka even to the point of getting the BC and AC wrong ) whom the Abusallys have hired to write a PR article has laid this amazing egg. Which has given me inspiration for the next week’s article.

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        So you are on the ride and stumble upon for episodes of lent concoctions?

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        Thanks for your research. Ignore the sexist and vitriolic comments. If it’s not too much trouble could you point to some authority which corroborates your point about the cave inscriptions all being gifts to the sangha even if they don’t refer to that fact? This sees too be the crux of your argument, right?

        Thanks and keep up the good work.
        S

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    Let the caravan go on to Kuragala.Good for the drug barons like Potta Nafur. Now his brother is in custody over exporting rare protected species of plants-walla-patta in ligue with Indian and estate Tamils. (Lankadeepa May 15 2013).
    Read Mcgilviry’s nauseating account of Kuragala mad show. Is this Islam, that noble teaching one heard of? , as one Muslim asked? He mentioned the drugs going round
    When reading McGilvry you can even smell the shit and urine rotting in the hot sun in jungles around after eating unhygenic food. Religion apart, in a hygine concious society, this type of continuation of primitive practices must be bannaed.Surely, the Muslims would not like to be known as people with such unhygenic practices. Look at those dancing Bawas.you can smell them even in pictures.
    Even the British controlled pilgrimage to Kataragama and Talawila and Munnesarama by having a strict ticket system. When are we going to hear of the next outbreak of Typhoid, and Cholera in the country?
    Someone with a Muslim name asked about the drugs going around. The Excise dept is very active even now at Talawila. Religious places well known in France like MON MATRE CATEDRAL SITE and NOTRE DAM church ground for the drug sessions. French Police are always there ready in large numbers at these places.
    McGilvry’s account shd be compulsory reading for Law enforcing officers. Of course McGilvry seems to revel in situations like this. No wonder when even the former British High Commissioner, Gladstone and wife were often seen in Hambegamuwa [ganja]jungles with a notorious film maker who had jumped bail in London over a drug offence!
    Orthodox Muslims are shocked at this idolatory (McGilvry) taking place in the name of Sufism in Sri Lanka. This is not Sufism but typical worst form of Kali Amma type idolatory mascquarading as the noble teachings of Islam.

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      Wish people would either spell the Name properly or a give a link.

      Anyway an article
      Arabs, Moors and Muslims: Sri Lankan Muslim Ethinicity: McGilvray

      Some Interesting excerpts

      Just as most leading Sri Lankan Tamil MPs in the newly estab- lished parliament, hoping to salvage some goodwill from the Sinhalese majority in parliament, eventually broke ranks and voted with the UNP MPs to disenfran- chise the 780,000 Indian Estate Tamils working on upcountry tea plantations, so the Muslim MPs voted to disenfranchise the 35,000 Indian Muslims still doing business

      Although its historicity is problematic, this popular legend does tacitly acknowl- edge that, in the past, there had been a good deal of intermarriage between local Tamils (especially the dominant caste Mukkuvars) and Muslims. Certainly the fact that the marriage and descent systems of the Tamils and Moors today are iden- tically matrilocal and matrilineal-even to the point of some identical matriclan (kuti) names-lends popularly-agreed support to this view (Saleem 1990: 29).

      This mandatory (wajib) operation (Ahmad Lebbai 1873/1963: 479) conducted by the circumcisers wife (ostd mami) within forty days of birth was described by my male friends-who had to turn to their wives and elder sisters for specific information on the topic-as a symbolic cutting of the skin over the babys clitoris sufficient to draw a drop of blood, but not as full scale genital excision or
      clitoridectomy.

      by a speech given in 1990 by Tamil Tiger spokesman Y. Yogi, scolding the Moors for failing to properly identity themselves as Tamils and justifying the mass expulsion of Muslims from Jaffna and Mannar by the LTTE as punishment for their alleged ethnic betrayal.

      Jailani: A Sufi Shrine in Sri Lanka

      Many articles by McGilvray

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        sbarrkum

        The up-country Sinhalese who came first from North India discriminated the low-country Sinhalese who came later from South India. The Ceylon Tamils who came first from South India discriminated the up-country Tamils who came later from South India. The Ceylon Moors who came first from South India discriminated the Coast Moors who came later from South India.

        I think today, except the foolish Tamils, all others are united as one group (Up & low country Sinhalese, and Ceylon & Coast Muslims).

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    Nabil,

    What else do you expect from a woman who writes to that Sinhala-Buddhist Chauvinist Malinda Seneviratne’s rag? She is definitely biased.

    Sometimes earlier, I thought she was a great scholar, but later realized that she is also just another kid from the other extreme (Sinhala-Buddhist Chauvinist) who can be easily confronted if you have the right knowledge at your fingertips or if you have enough time and resources to do an extensive research on the subject.

    She manipulates her argument by sugar coating her biased history with eloquent phrases and a few ambiguous statements. She is very selective when it comes to historians and their assumptions/theories on Sri Lankan history. She believes as gospel truth what the historians (Local and foreign) who spoke/wrote in favor of Sinhala-Buddhism and all others (not in favor of Sinhala-Buddhism) are simply spinning according to her. Some of the colonial Orientalist ‘scholars’ who misinterpreted the history of Sri Lanka with their own theories (assumptions/hypotheses) such as William Geiger are her most favorites.

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      @Mohammed Asghar Hussain
      It is not fair for you to brand Malinda Seneviratne or Dharshanie as “Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinists”. It is references like this that stir-up unwanted trouble for our community and you should be wary of using such broad labels of discrimination merely to taint ones personal, political or religious beliefs. Democracy I assume is still alive and kicking in this country and each person is entitled to his beliefs, however incongruent they may seem to you. Also, living in a multi-cultural society we should be able to accept one anothers views with humility. So get to the point and debate your argument in a civilised and refined manner. First, look inwards at the problems within our own Muslim community, the schisms, divisions, the threat of socio-religious discord and the joke of our so-called Muslim “leaders” enjoying perks at the expense of the community they are supposed to be serving. Where was your voice when poor Rizana was mercilessly accused, beheaded and buried in the alien sands of her aggressors? Where was your voice against the harshness and cruelty of the Sharia laws under which she was so unfairly tried? Malinda and Dharshanie may have been born Buddhists. But that certainly does not make them “extremist” as you label them to be. As much as you being born a Muslim does not entitle anyone to cast you in the same league as that deranged fanatic who butchered a defenceless army guy with carving knives in Woolwich 2 days ago, or taint you as being an Al Qaida supporter with bombs tied to your waist. So I do hope you see the light of reason and learn to tolerate other peoples arguments with equanimity and grace. This way, we can serve our community better than by trying to buttress our opinions into acceptance by others and branding them as extreme chauvinists if you fail to convince them.

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        @Fairoze Moazzim

        You sound like a paid slave to the present regime very similar to both Malinda Seneviratne and Darshanie Ratnawalli. Why don’t you reveal your true Sinhala-Buddhist name instead of hiding behind a Muslim name?

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          @Mohammed Asghar Hussain

          It disheartens me to realize that our community has half-baked fanatics like you who are only keen in rabble-rousing and creating unwanted trouble for the majority of peace lovers among the muslims. You seem to be full of misconceptions and base your arguments on wild assumptions.First you brand Malinda and Dharshanie as Sinhala-Buddhist Chauvinists. Then you taint them as paid slaves to the present regime and cast me also in the same league. Not satisfied with this, you then accuse me of being a Sinhala Buddhist myself, hiding under a Muslim name. This is the final insult to me and hurts my personal pride as a Musallman, an attribute which I personally treasure as a gift from Allah who created me thus. Islam has always advocated respect for other religions and tolerance towards its believers, a trait that is sadly lacking in you. I pray that Allah will forgive you for your transgressions and put the light of reason into you so that you will at least transform into a better civilian if not a better Muslim. Ameen, Ameen Ya Rabbal Aalameen.

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            You got insulted in what the way you read and perceive. Read in a relaxed and focused manner, that you could reason. Kuragala Rock could not be important to you but renouncing on unwarranted matters will not waver you from imminent attacks on racism you face depriving you to live peacefully among good civics, or deviant and precarious people.

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    So,we tend to attach the highest evidentiary value to the observations of Charles Collins, the British Civil Servant, to the extent of it being an ‘absolute’ on this matter. Even if Dharshanie’s belief were true, could it be allowed to rest solely on the observations of the British civil servant without making allowance for bias, or for ‘genuine’omission? In my childhood, I have met a number of old people in my village (in late 1970’s), who told me of having visted this place where the shrine is located, when they were young in the late 1920’s or early 30’s. It is important that young archaelogists and sociologists approach similar issues with an open mind and come up with cogent, concise arguments in a language that is both convicing and digestible.

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      The most vital part about keeping an open mind is being able to assess your sources. Source evaluation is a critical part of reconstructing the past. Collins is a good source because he is informed, enquiring, interested, intelligent, academically oriented and a disinterested, non partisan player when it comes to Buddhism and Islam. His failure to note Arabic writings at Kuragala is not just an act of omission. It is a deliberate, specific observation on absence.

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        On the absence of his faculty of linguistics, or obeisance onto a specific conclave? (Collins was a Pali scholar too, the leniency was not that awkward).

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    Ashgar is a Sufi, no doubt,of south Indian mould, not of north or Gujarati, as the name might suggest. Why not look at the arguments offered by the writer rather than vilify her? Truth is bitter and not sweet smelling,yes Ashgar, like loads of shit and urine at Kuragla,that Balimull wrote about.No wonder a visiting American woman (white)while travelling by train past Beruwala once, when that beautiful mosque at the sea front was explained to her, asked, “Are these Muslims here CLEAN PEOPLE”? She was shocked to see gardens pigs salivatingly licking the latrine buckets! She had to be assured that it was not a Muslim area but a staunch Roman Catholic enclave with the Calvary around. No wonder with people like Ashgar around here, and thousands congregating at Kuragala during the [Ganja]fest such poor impressions are created about Muslims of Sri Lanka!

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      Leela, Du you pay for this broad to write this thru Gota’s funds?

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        Dozonnie has to run a long way through genealogy, luckily she didn’t quote the Comodo island rapist Darwin the ape. Her evolution into the inscription grievances does show her reliance on formidable Collins’ bowel exits which was never rendered to be a comparatively perdurable studied archealogy in all times.

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    Muslims are really pi$$ed off by reading this article.

    “03. Why and who allowed a Muslim Sufi to establish a mosque and place for meditation”

    Muslims tried to do the same with Deeghavaapi too.

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      Please keep the Muslims out of this. Don’t attack broad labels like this. Contest the darkness of unknowing.

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        Loud voices we hear for different issues are always the voices of a minority and they talk for thee majority. Generally, majority, what ever the race, ethnic group or any other specific group, are silent and peace loving people who look after their day do activities.

        Here, I said, muslims because they want to represent their group.

        Anyway, Buddhism in Sri Lanka has about 2600 years of history. Sri Lankan had been far more buddhist than it is now and there had been many monasteries and far more buddhist worshipping places in Sri Lanka than now. All those had been destroyed by different invasions. Yet, there foundations should be there.

        So, it is easy for others to come set their foot prints.

        Some one was vigilant. Otherwise, Deghavapi site should have been a muslims holy site in no time. Because, politicians are silent.

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          JimSofty

          You keep on showing your ignorance. Why do you continue exposing your stupidity?

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          which buddhist place of worship was ‘destroyed’ by which invaders?

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          there was once a germany with nazi majority and italy with a fascist majority too? peace loving majority, my foot.

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        Unknowingly it is dark, show your radiant halo, freeze!

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      Punnakku Deegavapi or Binnavapi, who cares. The innocent omnibus of this Sikalaya are tired of earning their Bread by toiling their buns. They government tries to incinerate them with the burden of electricity bills running day to day affairs stitching on extinct archeology census.

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    It is your forefathers and grandparents. Blame them. Your kings and you ancestors were so stupids that why they let them settled down there. If you blame Muslim as though you are Balaming your own families: after all Srilankan Muslims have singhalese blood in them after marrying singhale ladies : no Arab came with wives here: same like Portuguese who got married and went back after leaving generation of mixed families: JimSofty : the more you talk the more your stupidity come out: the more you keep quick the more better for you and your cohorts.

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    I had the opportunity of Visiting Jelani as they call it once many years ago along with My Uncle, who was a staunch disciple of Sheikh Jeilani. I was really amazed by the spirituality and mystics. I was just wondering why go to such place but after some exploration realized there was more to this place than our imagination. This place has definitely has certain powers and with all historical records pointing towards Sri lanka as the place that Prophet ADAM(PBUH) descended from Heaven with huge foot print at this location and unexplained cave (where men had entered never to return again)looks more like the place Prophet ADAM(PBUH)Lived and meditated. If you look above this location you will see Adam’s peak. This place would have been venerated as place of spirituality ever since the creation of the human but with time philosophies and religions following one another would have been lost to the jungle until arrival Sheikh Abdul Kader Jeilani apparently he had dreamt of this place. THIS IS MY OWN OPINION.EACH ONE SHOULD RESEARCH AND BEST WAY TO DO IS VISIT THE PLACE.

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      Abdullah,
      Does Quran, or Hadith say anything about Lanka? Does any Prophet of Allah ever talked about Lanka? No. If so how can ADAM descended from Heaven with huge foot print to be placed in Sri-Pada?

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        It is the same with the Buddhist scriptures Tripitika. Nothing is mentioned in the Buddhist scriptures about Buddha visiting or even speaking about the island of Lanka. Only the Mahavamsa Mythology says Buddha visited Sri Lanka thrice. Even Buddha’s disciples who were always with him did not know about his 3 secret visits to Sri Lanka. Even the footprint of Buddha at Adam’s peak is nothing but an obvious myth.

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          Mohammed Asgar.

          Tripitaka is available in five Languages or version, One version is Mongolian, Simamese, etc.,

          Read Lotus suthra if you want to find about buddha’s visit to Sri Lanka.

          that is a Mahayana suthra.

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            JimSofty

            If it is so then why didn’t the Sinhala-Buddhists adopt the Lotus Sutra as a part of their scriptures???

            The Lotus Sutra and other Mahayana Sutras are inauthentic, in the sense that they were not spoken by the Buddha is unanimously supported by modern scholarship. I don’t know of a single academic in the last century who has argued otherwise. Lotus Suta and other Mahayana sutras are historically late, dating from many centuries after the Buddha and even after the Mahavamsa.

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    Ibn Battuta is said to have visited Serendip (Sri Lanka) and the Jaffna kingdom and Adam’s Peak in particular between 1332 – 1346 AD. This “Disciple of Mohyiuddin” in the caves of Kuragala is dated 1322 AD. How come Ibn Battuta who is a great traveller and as famous as Marco Polo could have missed it and not even to mention of it in his Sri Lanka travelogue is my question.
    Leela

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      Are you admitting that there existed a Jaffna kingdom? My word ! I am in shock !!

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        I wonder why you did not get a heart attack ?

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          heart attack happens when you begin to appreciate that mahanama was a tamil and the last king in sri lanka was a tamil.

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      i say Leela (K A Sumanasekera) leave Ib Battuta and co for now my question is when are your going to return the money that was cheated in the Lee Potter scandal?

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      [Edited out] Leela, why do you quote Marco Polo. If its Polo Mint-Rings you appreciate it’d be cool. Did Marco Polo meet the great Chinese Khan the Kublai? Don’t know he was a fake traveller boasted in his fake annals.

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    Reading the attitude of this Walli Amma I get the impression she has passed shit in the middle of an ancient temple!

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    If the Muslims have been worshiping since the 1920s at this site, obviously they now have 9 decades of belief about the Muslim sanctity of this site. That seems to be a historical fact and we should accommodate that fact of a place of Muslim worship -albeit recent, while also recognizing the fact that it has been a traditional place of worship for Buddhists etc.

    However, when Muslim or other partisan journalists attempt to falsify history, or claim that Brahmi Inscriptions are Arabic Inscriptions, they are not going to fool any one. They end up giving the feeling that if you let the camel put its head into the tent, that the camel would soon be entirely in the tent, while you have to move out — as an arabic saying goes.

    Why did Dorakumbura ignore requests to review these “arabic inscriptions”? We have people calling at the front desk of our laboratories claiming that they have shown that Einstein’s E=MC-squared equation is wrong. Then, we politely send a message to say that no scientist is available to discuss the matter at the moment. Same with people who come with claims that they have seen inscriptions (Arabic, Aramic, Assyrian or what ever!)on the face of Mars or the moon.

    Sudharshan Seneviratna’s “Public Participatory Interactive multi cultural Museum and Site Presentation” is nothing new in south Asian culture or ancient Greek culture, but it looks new within the generally intolerant Abrahamic culture that exists behind western culture. Abrahamic belief systems refused to assimilate other belief systems of `unbelieving infidels’.

    The ancient Greeks has Orphic and other belief systems co-existing without difficulty. The Romans also allowed for the “Public Paticipatory multi-belief “Temples to many Gods and beliefs. This stopped with the rise of Christianity circa 4th century.

    The Hindus and Buddhists co-existed and absorbed each others religions. The Sinhalese Kings helped the Muslims to flee persecution from the Catholic and Protestant colonials.

    Any Buddhist temple contains gods of Naga tribes (Natha Deviyo), Vishnu, Ganesh Skanda (Alexander the Great -> Iskander deified), etc. So Sudharshan, trained in a western Weltanshauung is presenting an idea totally well understood in South Asia as if new. The point of view is put in a more secular modern-day idiom by him and meant for modifying the western approach to museum-curator practice. But this need for re-asserting tolerance is needed even for the modern Sinhala Buddhists because modern Sinhala Buddhism has learnt from Portuguese, Dutch and English missionaries that it is best to not to tolerate other faiths.

    Of course, Islam which was very tolerant and cultured under the later Mogals in India, has today generated groups who have gone back to Abrahamic fundamentalism. So we have that problem all over the world, as this brand of intolerant Islam has the money to globalize itself.

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      Gamvasiya,

      When the Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka it was the ‘Moors’ who first organized resistance against them to safeguard the trade of the Moors along the Western sea-board. They encouraged and urged Bhuvanaike Bahu, the King of Kotte, and also Mayadunne and Vijayabahu (the brothers of Bhuvanaike Bahu), in turn, to oppose the Portuguese. During the Portuguese rule the Moors suffered widespread persecution, and many fled to the up-country and the Eastern-Coast. Professor Courtnay in his ‘History of Ceylon’, (pp. 13-14) says that had not the Portuguese come to Sri Lanka the entire Island would have come under the control of the ‘Moors’.

      “The affairs of Sri Lanka were at that time in a most critical condition. All the trade in the Island was in the hands of the Moors. The wealth which this had brought them rendered them powerful and gave them a great ascendancy over the native rulers. The arrival of the Portuguese saved the Sinhalese from the Moors becoming the rulers.”

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      Dr. Dharmawardene, from the time I saw your comments on this whole Sinhala-Muslim issue, in Michael Roberts’site, I have felt nothing but admiration for them. I only feel that perhaps you are wrong to say that the Sri Lankan non-Muslims feel the same aversion to the tent dress as the Westerners. I think there was no such aversion earlier. Though there seems to be now. A new attribute. Also coming back to Kuragala, don’t forget that in 1932, Collins observed that ‘delightful gentlemen from Lahore’ in one of the caves, showing that the reputation of the shrine had spread outside of SL even in 1932.

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        Miss Sobriquet, could you mind you language on referring the nom “Tent dress” in unusual in an ornery underlining if you are fair in promoting your views in relation to interfaith contributions.

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        So this place became a Muslim Shrine since or some time around 1932 ?

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          no, from what i read, a tombstone with arabic inscription was reported to have been excavated in 1932

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        Does Dr. Dharmawardene know he bailed you out last time? ;)

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      Dr. Dharmawardana

      I quote you below
      “Why did Dorakumbura ignore requests to review these “arabic inscriptions”? We have people calling at the front desk of our laboratories claiming that they have shown that Einstein’s E=MC-squared equation is wrong. Then, we politely send a message to say that no scientist is available to discuss the matter at the moment.”

      Why this condescending attitude from an erudite scholar like you? If you are not an interested party, all you have to do is get the darned so called tomb stone examined, and I am sure there are many philanthropists to meet your expenses and declare that “the tomb stone was made using “Lanka Cement by the Late Mr. Aboosally’s mason bass in 2010!” With that we can lay the matter to rest, literally.

      Instead an educate man like you is patronizingly dismissive. I wonder why. Is it because somebody planted a seed of doubt in you mind that you worry if it truly is an old tomb stone, you don’t want to be part of the controversy?

      I can expect this kind of frivolity from Darshanie Ratnawalli who claims to be modeling for Cosmopolitan. But from you we expect better!
      Nabil

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      Chandre Dharmawardana

      You have made an interesting point by saying “Any Buddhist temple contains gods of Naga tribes (Natha Deviyo), Vishnu, Ganesh Skanda (Alexander the Great -> Iskander deified), etc.”

      In fact there was a significant Hindu/Brahmanical influence among the Sinhala-Buddhists and most of the Gods they worship (Gods of Naga/Nagar tribes) are South Indian (especially Kerala and Tamil Nadu). The pre-population in the island (Naga/Nagar tribes) not only had their own Naga/Nagar kingdom but they also have a separate history not only in Sri Lanka but also in India. It is believed that during the early historic period the Nagas living in both South India and Sri Lanka (Nagapuram, Nagarkovil, Nagarcot, Nargapattinum, Nagakulam, Nagadivpa, etc) were considered as the natives of the South India-Sri Lanka region. They not only occupied both South India and Sri Lanka but they were also moving back and forth between Sri Lanka and South India.

      Today, not only the Sinhalese and the Tamils claim that they are the decedents of Nagas, I have heard even the Muslims claiming that they descend from the Naga/Nagar tribe who got converted to Islam. The Muslims of South India and Sri Lanka are commonly known as So-nagar (converts to Islam).

      It is high time that some historians/anthropologists do an extensive unbiased research on this Naga/Nagar tribe of South India – Sri Lanka region. At present the available knowledge on this subject is very limited and highly controversial.

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      We have people calling at the front desk of our laboratories claiming that they have shown that Einstein’s E=MC-squared equation is wrong. Then, we politely send a message to say that no scientist is available to discuss the matter at the moment

      chandre dharmawardana should understand that he is not someone based at princeton or cambridge or cern to play einstein’s advocate, or jury for that matter. having co-authored a bunch of papers on plasma physics and photovoltaics to justify his existence on the face of earth doesn’t amount to being an authority that validates theses on theoretical physics. (after all, it was a patent office clerk, an academic nobody hitherto, who turned what lorentz had already mathematically derived into postulates and presented the development from thereon with a high-school style narration). writing a few unsold books in the weekend and promoting them in op-Ed articles and internet comments shows chandre’s desperateness.

      i don’t know the technical term for the type of psychiatric disorder these individuals, seeking an identity that’s more than they deserve, are suffering from.

      he doesn’t have to always reserve a little space in his comment to establish a false authority when all what he wants is to state his racist opinions. he doesn’t have to bring up carnot’s theorem to bailout a bankrupt government in an op-Ed article addressed to a general public. even a little kid would recognize that after days given to him he still failed to tell laplace that solar thermal water heater could be shown to be a heat pump sub-efficient to that running an ideal reverse carnot cycle. instead he makes truce with him stating ‘you and i know the second law very well and i prefer the axiomatic entropy formulation’ and throws more nonsense with his confusions on linear algebra and concludes with a QED to make it appear like he had just mathematically proved that the electricity tariff is meaningless. why doesn’t he attempt a similar proof to say that his life itself is pointless and being of no help here? what’s the point of pointing out pointlessness anyway!

      i am pretty sure i can demonstrate to him by running a search on the internet archives that the random monkeys of nazi scholarship have already type-written all the venom he spews on certain corners of the internet, except that now i have to replace judaism with abrahimic faith and jew with muslim and christian!

      islamophobia on michael roberts site and abrahamophobia under a republished article at colombo telegraph! he should instead practice his own oriental religious meditation if he is constantly suffering from his bitter experiences of past in france as a brown man with an oriental faith and lesser intellectual capacity among his european peers. racism isn’t the answer to racism. had he used that time he spent on spreading racism to read and pracitce his own religion, he would have gotten rid of his inferiority complex decades ago.

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      the confused/ opportunistic position of chandre dharmawardane with regard to western approaches is apparent in his writings: at one time he claims the superiority of western science calling prof. nalin de silva’s supernaturally inspired ‘science’ crackpot science, because it put him at advantage that time. now when sudarshan seneviratne is seen to be compromising on ethno-fascit superiority, he isn’t happy and has “So Sudharshan, trained in a western Weltanshauung is presenting an idea totally well understood in South Asia as if new” to say!!
      -*-
      so according to the coffee-break ‘research’ of chandre supported by weekend reading, now alexander the great is ganesh skanda, son of shiva as the hindu polytheistic mythology holds? (iskandar and sikandar are legitimate variations that i know of, but no sane person would claim that the arrow points from iskandar to alexandar. and to point from ganesh skanda to any of them or the other way has no substantial validity. alexandar the great was also known by a similar name in the ancient middle east and that doesn’t make him an arabic potheistic God :D )

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      …while also recognizing the fact that it has been a traditional place of worship for Buddhists etc.

      i wonder why all these ‘traditional place of worship for Buddhists’ have to be archaeologically discovered? and the so called ancient demala heda gath sinhala gam nam be etymologically deduced! why don’t the buddhists stick to their beliefs and keep themselves attached to whatever places of worships of theirs? why don’t they keep wearing what they were wearing (?) in the ancient times so that there will be no need to rediscover and reinstate their traditions and fear about the invasion whatever other cultures? why don’t they keep on sincerely preaching and practicing the true essence of their religion instead of spending their energy on fear mongering about other communities, so that they don’t have to later claim their folks were converting to other faiths aka being proselytized?

      sincerely, i had so much respect for Buddha and his teachings and even passed some of it onto the kids around me because i had the opportunity to spend my time with some noble teachers and friends and colleagues at the university. but after this breakout of disgusting racism, and reading their apologetics like dharmawardane, now i even know the other side of their coin.

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    Come on please ,stop the nonsense and try to rehabilitate our Monks!

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    The author is looking at this site from the archaeological perspective which is of historic interest and national importance. We hear of the Balangoda man who is said to be over 37000 years old predating even Hinduism or Buddhism. So this area appears to be one of the most ancient civilisations in the world. As stated this is a multilayered heritage that may be exposed by the archaeologist by excavating the area.

    From the religious perspective this site is considered sacred by a certain segment of Muslims for some period of time as well as by the Buddhist prior to that. So it is advisable that a solution to this problem be arrived in a manner that enhances the harmony and trust between the communities. Insulting and abusing one another does not reflect well on either party. Attachment to material objects such as land and property is not advised in either religon. Religon is not represented by monuments and concrete buildings, it is the noble acts of its adherents.

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    I normally do not engage in dialogue with Internet ‘intellectuals.’
    I have no time or the inclination to be in such ‘exalted’ intellectual company. One argues that Kuragala inscriptions had also a Hindu phase because the two inscriptions are in Brahmi! That is the level.anyway, after I saw a piece by Chandre Dharmawardhana I thought I should have look at my own research on Kuragala which I have not published because I did not want to add fuel to this burning issue.

    I have been reading this young writer’s interesting contributions in The Nation newspaper and also read her piece on Kuragala there last Sunday.I am surprised that she has joined the Internet intellectuals.
    Be that as it may,she has presented something out of the ordinary which only the intellectually accomplished could understand and appreciate.This can be seen by the protests by some that they do not understand her language.
    She has raised the discussion on Kuragala from its low depth to an academically high level eschewing the uninformed or by-design- one- sided writings of two journalists, Latheef Farook and Darshani Bastians. This difference has to be understood.These other journalists (at least Farook -forget Bastians ,she writes on things she does not know just to fill pages and dangerously misguiding the public!) seem to rely as their on a great researcher named Aboosally,as their source. No such scholar called Aboosally whom even McGrively qotes heavily) is listed any whwere in the cornucopia of archaelogists/historians/ anthropolgists intellectuals.The only evidence is he was a successful businessman who rose in politics and was popular. That does not earn credibility in scholarship. Some of the authorities sourced to him, some of the Govt Agents of Ratnapura like R.B.Helling cited by Farook, had never visited Kuragala. Collin’s typed/signed Diary quoted by Farook is there at the National Archives(No.45/41) for anyone to see. What this points to is shoddy uninformed research -or lack of research- if not intent of falsification and mislead. This is where the enthusiasm of young writers to bare the truth must be appreciated.
    I am glad that at least one blogger, Nirmalan Dhas has appreciated what this young writer has presented.He has read the research of Govt Agent C.H.Collins who presented a paper in 1932 to the Royal Asiatic Society of Ceylon,which was a prestigious research Society in Sri Lanka at which savants like Ananda Coomaraswamy, Rev.Fr.S.G.Perra, Paul E Pieris,Ponnambalam Ramanathan, Mudliyar Rsanayagam, S.Paranavitana and many others contributed heavily and still continues its good work.It is not explained why Collin’s paper, which is the only serious academic contribution pointing to the early historic phase at Kuragala is not even mentioned in the writings of Aboosally, Farook and Bastians and even of McGilvry except by way of a foot note by the last writer.Is it because the truth is bitter to those who stick to a recently advertised mon-centric view of a Muslim shrine? Or is this due to an attempt to hide the early historic phase history of Kuragala, which as it reveals itself is part of the same Brahmi -Prakrit phase which swept throughout the island from around the 3rd century B.C.wherever rock crops were present? Collins has clearly stated that there are No inscriptions at Kuraala [other than the two Brahmi-Prakrit records on the high rock of Hituangala what he copied and presented as eye-copies and was commenting on.

    The significance of this young writer’s attempt is that she has taken the discussion above the parochial limitations to which the likes of Farook and Bastians have subjected, and tried to project a multiple dimension of occupation interest ranging from Pre-historic Balangoda- man phase, through early historic Brahmi-Prakrit phase to pre-modern (post 1922) phase when the place was converted to a Muslim site with Anuradhapura -style Rock cut steps donated by a rich Muslim from Chilaw,(McGilvery) have been added to transmogrify the natural space.

    As for Nirmalan Dhas’ question, that the cave donations (2nd century BC)belong to the early Buddhist phase can be gleaned by comparison with over 1200 such cave inscriptions which have been published by the Dept Of Archaeology (Inscriptions of Ceylon Vol I) as the writer points out in a later blog. As one of the first three students to read Epigraphy at the University of Ceylon in early 1950s as part of discipline (others were Dr.Sirima Kiribamuna and my colleague Dr Lorna Dewaraja), I frequently research this subject.If anyone is trying to hide the presence of Brahmi inscriptions at Kuragala it is a great disservice to archaeology and tantamount to deceit.The Brahmi inscriptions cannot be transmogrified,as done in this case, to 11th century Arabic or Kufi inscriptions by any stretch of imagination. Then all these thousands of early Brahmi inscriptions in Sri Lanka and in India must be later Arabic /Kufi inscriptions! isn’t that the gist of the argument? No wonder one creates responses like that of BBS?

    Collins points to an Indian Muslim occupying a cave when he visited.He has since been chased out by other interested Muslims. so the fight for Kuragala has been going on even among Muslims? He also observes (1932)that there was no tomb.If a tomb stone with an inscription “follower of Mohaydeen” was discovered in 1922, it is strange that Collins does not mention it.As a researcher, what impresses me is not that the inscribed tombstone was found in 1922, but there is ONLY a reference (Is it in Aboosaly’s book?)that such a tombstone was found. There is a big difference here from historical analysis point of view between a “find” which needs to be archaelogically recorded and “reference” to such a find. Ther eis credibilty issue arising from that. Collins says (1932) what was shown to him by his guides as tombstones were not tomb stones but some huge boulders which he says were certainly NOT tomb stones. So one is faced with a lot of uninformed mixed up.

    It is good to see a young research oriented journalist is trying to unravel the mystery. She should receive encouragement and not brick-bats.

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      For people who write all sort of one sided (biased) concocted history (pseudo-history scholars) and quote arguments/assumptions mostly from the findings/writings of old (obsolete) and half-baked historians and archeological researchers, definitely the internet blogs/forums are a big threat because the Internet ‘intellectuals’ will not let them go free with their so called ‘scholastic’ or ‘intellectual’ rubbish. Bogus scholars and charlatans can write all kind of nonsense and escape (play safe) as long as they are not exposed to criticisms.

      The world and its technology is much more advanced than your time and thinking Mr. De Silva. Today people are able to challenge what you write, you cannot simply fool the masses like what you did a few decades ago.

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      Dear DGB,

      I want to assure you that Muslims are not being deceitful as the writer is trying to make out. It is an unacceptable position and we hope you agree that it is offensive.

      For reasons buried in time and unknown to us Kuragla was abandoned at some point in our history and Muslims had made a shrine there. Does it matter if it was a 1000 or a 100 years ago? The fact remains that we have a shrine there from the early 20th century at-least from

      My position and my appeal to all concerned is that don’t walk all over us and condemn us as deceitful people. That is hurtful. This country is famous for the callous disregard for the feelings of the minorities. You walked all over the sensibilities of the Tamils, and now it looks like it is the turn of the Muslims.

      All we are asking is that the authorities establish the facts, share it with Muslims so that we can all separate the chaff from the grain.

      And if it is so important to Buddhists, I am sure Muslims will not have an issue vacating the place because in Islam we don’t attach material value to places of worship other than those prescribed.We gain no special merit for visiting this shrine or praying there.

      The regret would of course be the deliberate erasure of part of our history in this country and the denial of the experience of visiting the place of worship.

      It is up to the Buddhists to decide if they want to let this happen.

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    Correction: The word ” Collin’s Diary should read ‘Helling’s Diary (45/41 Nat. Archives).Sorry for the mix-up!
    DGB

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    Darshanie Ratnawalli

    You must be either a Sinhalese or a Tamil or both (mixed). Instead of picking on the Muslims and their established history (myth or whatever) why don’t you pick on the Sinhalese and Tamils who are inventing and concocting new histories on a daily basis?

    Why don’t you explore and write about all the myths that Ven. Mahanama wrote in the Mahavamsa or what Arumuga Navalar wrote? The Myth about Buddha’s 3 visits to Sri Lanka, the Myth about Ancient Eshwarams of Siva in Sri Lanka, the Myth about Buddha’s or Siva’s foot print on Adam’s peak, the Myth about Buddha’s tooth in the Dalada Maligawa, etc, etc, etc.

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      This Mohammed Asghar Hussain spews so much commmunal venom in all his responses that Im beginning to wonder if he really is a BBS agent paid to incite hatred against the Muslims just through provocation from reading his pieces alone.

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        Ilyas Saifudeen,

        BBS agent???

        You or me???

        Why this slave mentality???
        You are a disgrace to our community.

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      She is not “picking on Muslims”, any more than Collins the British civil
      servant picked on Muslims. Anyone can comment on Kuragala.
      If you want someone to investigate on your behalf, you may have to hire the
      investigator, and the investigator might find facts that are not
      what you expect!
      If you are more interested in mahavamsa myths, it is up to you to study them
      and write about them. But if you believe that one set of myths justifies your set of myths, you have already admitted that it is all a muslim myth? We have Sinhala Kuveni myths, Tamil-homeland myths, Native-Vedda myths and now Muslims myths – Great

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        … and Tapas Yogi got mixed what to ponder?

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        so yogi is all for a credible international investigation and not an LLRC one? wow, the mere thought of it is a treason!!

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    you can call it layered heritage or you can give any terms for that.

    But, muslims are claiming abandoned and ancient buddhist places as theirs.

    Islam is new their effort is some how to make the whole world holier for them.

    that is why they have chosen this place as their holy site.

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    Prejudice dies hard… all we need are not rock caves or building to worship ,our hearts are the best and safe place for worship and meditation-first one must learn to understand there are always three sides of a story in a conflict the sides of the conflicting parties which are usually based on hearsay and blown out of proportion and fed on by prejudiced Journalism to add to their credits and benefits … what is needed is the truth and next is to sit down and have a dialogue ,after all The Buddhist as well as The Sufis are both trying to do the same here , eliminate ones ego through meditation … Journalist must try promote peace than promote hate , it is always the Journalists who are responsible for peace and hate some use the mighty pens to promote the sword ,while others use it to ignite the understanding,love and peace that is deep down every humble heart.

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    I believe that Dharshanie has some good points in her article. Her condescending cordiality in the comments section, however, is a bit of a put off. I reproduce excerpts of a poem by someone calling themselves redphyre;

    Ensconced atop your magnificent throne, superior,
    you stretch down extending your mighty hand. The
    bystanders witness your heralding with gratitude
    as you uplift them with your majestic knowledge.

    And thus your banneret spread like a plague unto
    the minds of subjugated cliché; Bent below your
    crown careful not to trip on your charisma.

    As you billow colloquialisms you grin knowing the
    intent behind such condescending cordiality is to
    garner the approval of the masses. Your lauded
    hysteria blazes a wake of smoldering obsession;

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      I tell you, even rocks crack,
      and not because of age.
      For years they lie on their backs
      in the heat and the cold,
      so many years, it seems peaceful.
      They don’t move, so the cracks stay hidden
      a kind of pride.
      Years pass over them, waiting there.
      Whoever is going to shatter them
      hasn’t come yet.
      And so the moss flourishes, the seaweed whips around,
      the sea pushes through and rolls back
      the rocks seem motionless.
      And suddenly the rock has an open wound.
      I told you, when rocks break, it happens by surprise.
      And people, too

      Dahlia Ravikovitch

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    Nabil has misunderstood a comment made about research as an implication that Muslims are a deceitful people.Anyway,it is not clear whether his reference is to me or to the writer of the original article.
    if it is to me, I wish to assure him I meant Not the least to call a whole community a deceitful people.Mine was a research approach looking at the way conclusions are made. Suppression or over looking evidence and previous research, as I said is a “If anyone is trying to hide the presence of Brahmi inscriptions at Kuragala it is a great disservice to archaeology and tantamount to deceit”. I did not speak of any community. That applies to any one, including prominent archaeologists HCP.Bell, S.Paranavitana,Raja de Silva,Senarath Dissanayake whose ignoring evidence I have vehemently criticised.That also include scholars like Senaka Bandarayake whom I have accused of distorting the history of Sigiriya by presenting it as a secular place ignoring evidence of non-secular nature, K.Indrapala and others.
    I am a researcher who has undergone the the rigour of discipline of historical criticism under learned scholars here and abroad.Human error can creep in. If i am guilty of denigrating any people as a community even by a slip,I am always prepared to tender an apology.My credibility is important to me.
    If I may add a personal note, I come from a family with very close historical memories of association with Muslims,I mean the KarIappar family and others from the EAST.Mudaliyar Kariappar once came to see me to acknowledge a little favour I had rendered for his family. He thought for a while, and recalling my name said, “You are Arthur’s son-in-law, Aren’t you”. He told me a long story about his friendship with my wife’s grandfather in Kalmunai/Akkaraipattu.Then he said “I knew. Only a person who knew our old connections would have done the favour you did to our family”. Our respect and association with the Muslims is so close and binding. It hurt me to see any doubts raised over that. Even in past official dealings I put my neck in support of the Muslims over Israeli expansionism.My credentials were so clear that the late Foreign Minister ACS Hamid choose me as his personal envoy to the Arab League. Sorry I have to load all this.

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    My banneret is indeed spreading like a plague. I just realized that it’s the most commented article among recent entrees. Oh fans!!!

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      Vexed is the brunette yet is castigated by innumerable checkmates.
      Darshanie dashed, bashed and crashed is the relevance.

      By the way what does banneret mean?

      banneret
      Definitions
      noun
      (in the Middle Ages)
      1. Also called: knight banneret. a knight who was entitled to command other knights and men-at-arms under his own banner
      2. a title of knighthood conferred by the king for valour on the battlefield

      NB:It is very unusual to use ‘banneret’ instead of its old root word from Old French ‘banerete’ to mean ‘headline’.

      Refer to Collins English dictionary.

      “Read to reason not to contradict nor refute”.

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        Waiting ardently for a single checkmate. All I get are the proclamations and declarations of checkmates. Assertion does not a checkmate make. Good luck. Keep the comments flowing.

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          darshanie sweety,
          Think you lost the plot.
          please don’t embarrass yourself any further.
          Best

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          “If you write a line of zeroes, it´s still nothing.”

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          oops, did i just read this? sorry.
          one checkmate is here:
          http://pastebin.com/tag0Zh8k

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            The comment by The Self Conscious~ at May 14, 2013 2:00 am under your first article in colombotelegraph says it has a checkmate.

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      Dahling

      Its a good attribution that plague thingie…….. your article is indeed plaguing us and we want nothing to do with it

      Mama Gona

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      when you grow up you will realize that the article
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/is-bodu-bala-sena-a-racist-organization/
      by hema senanayake, who explicitly claimed that he was using the simplest of the language and setting to make his point without pretending to be a big shot that he might even actually be, has also hit the 200 comments milestone on CT and will realize that it’s not the number of comments that matter. any simple article with titles like those you choose usually attract more comments. actually your last article on CT (your first CT publication milestone) invited more comments not because of your article, but because of your one-upmanship to a fellow commenter Sujewa Ekanayake and your immature responses to the commenters out of your eagerness to seek attention and enthusiasm in celebrating the achievement of your career goal.

      see if i’m wrong by publishing this article for a ten thousand comments (total facebook likes of CT) target:
      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:rsIjMaZy0rcJ:ratnawalli.blogspot.com/2009/07/first-man-to-look-upon-my-naked-virgin_19.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=it&client=firefox-a

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    Muslims of Sri Lanka are the converts of low caste Tamils and speak Tamil but they try to fool Sinhalese by creating a “connection” with Sinhalese and tell they are the “mixed” people of Arabs and Sinhalese. This kind opportunistic elements are unqualified to talk anything of Archaeology or Brahmi inscriptions.

    First they must explain why they speak Tamil if they are the MIX of Sinhalese and Arabs!

    Arab + Sinhala = Tamil…. hahahahaha

    Darshanie’s article is well researched one and not a “commercial”one! Expect more!

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      Darshani’s lothario Leela, you too try the technique faking a Muslim to win the clutch of the lynchpins scrotum, after all you are truly penchant on the trail after the Tamil cohorts lynched Prabakaran and his invincible patriotism.

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      Here’s the thing Siva, a racist by any name smells foul! Muslims don’t discriminate humanity on caste or creed. We stand shoulder to shoulder as bothers.

      So we have no idea what you are talking about.

      Now are you a high caste racist or a low caste racist?
      Nabil

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        But you are running away from answering my question. First answer the “Tamil” and Muslim issue!

        Muslims degrade others under the Quran. Caste discriminatios are fought by the Tamil Hindus. Hindus accept them but your islam simply give a solution… Kill Kaffirs(non-muslims.. and problem is over.

        Muslims employ all the “frauds” to fool others. Arab+ Sinhala=Tamil is a classic example of Islamic fraud.

        Muslims are allowed to defraud non-Muslims and it is a service to islam.

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          Puckish Leela, your supremacy conflicts reasoned in your brain does only demise in your own veins. Tease, piece and lease with your cliques of bourgeois ideology not a shaft of hair could be picked from the dermis of our innocent countrymen’s pubics.

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          You eat cow dung da? You talking Bullshit man, :(

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          thanks for being a recorded evidence and living proof to the existence of narrow minded sinhala chauvinists who are even scared to use a name that looks like them.

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    Dear Nabil,

    As you have addressed me in endearing terms, may I pay the same compliment.
    It is not clear what you say, whether you refer to my post or the original writer’s article. If it is to me, I want to assure you that i never meant to call any community as deceitful. Such a position is an insult to my dignity, my learning and standing as a researcher.
    I take up issues in research irrespective of persons involved. Archaeologists like HCP Bell, S.Paranavitana, Raja de Silva, and the present Commissioner, Senarath Dissanayake have been at the recieving end of my criticism when ever I found any evidence of suppression, neglect of evidence. So have scholars like Senaka Bandaranayake,K Indrapala and others, if you will read my writings published in peer journals.I have been hard on Banadaranayake for neglecting evidence of non-secular aspects of Sigiriya.So did I criticise Indrapala s new book.If you can please read my 70 page Review of Indrapala’s book- Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 2012.
    I am a trained researcher who has undergone the rigour of textual criticism under the best of scholars. I try to avoid personal factor and look at evidence and the way they are presented/not presented. What I said was “If anyone is trying to hide the presence of Brahmi inscriptions at Kuragala it is a great disservice to archaeology and tantamount to deceit”. This should not be interpreted as referring to a whole community as deceitful.This is a general observation which could apply to anyone who is seen responsible for such. I did not spare great archaeologists and scholars as I said, even my good friend, Raja de Silva. So there it is.

    As a personal note, I might add that I come from a family with century old close warm and cordial association with leading Muslim families in the East. The story is too long. Every one knows that.
    I hope you will disabuse yourself if you thought otherwise. That is important for my dignity and standing in the society, and whatever little scholarship I could claim.
    I appreciate your remarks were not abrasive.
    Thank you!

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      Dear DGB

      Without meaning to offend, here’s the thread that was of concern to me,
      I quote from your comment

      “Or is this due to an attempt to hide the early historic phase history of Kuragala, which as it reveals itself is part of the same Brahmi -Prakrit phase which swept throughout the island from around the 3rd century B.C.wherever rock crops were present?”

      This is the same line of thought presented by author DW with her caption- Kuragala Lessons: Fighting With Honour For A Stake In A Layered Heritage

      Muslims are aggrieved that there are no voices to hear their side of the story and there is no one who is willing to examine what they have to offer as evidence of the presence of a tomb stone that dates back to 900 years.

      Suffice to say, all we are asking is to make a pronouncement if the evidence presented is acceptable of not. The matter can rest there.

      Instead we have an endless debate which is getting uglier by the day.

      My first line was about the author of the piece and of course has nothing to do with your comment.
      Hope this clarifies
      Nabil

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        For a brilliant response to this attempted equating of a few (Latheef Farook, Aboosallies, et al) with the whole Muslim community to arrive at the faulty equation that accusing Latheef Farook and the Aboosallies of deception and dissimulation is the same as accusing the Muslim community of deceit, please scroll down.

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          For an even better response to the Lady’s penchant for dramitization, please scroll down :)

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      Yes, trained as a Sinhala biased researcher, not second to S.Paranavitana. Keep spinning.

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        That’s what you lack moron, be lousily jealousy on intimacy to your disowned faculty.

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        are you making any point?

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    Dharshanie, you must be enjoying the comments thoroughly. see how people are responding even on matters like Kurugala (Archeology). Sri Lankan will write anything about anything. Only problems with them is they can’t live in peace and with tolerance. If they learn these two qualities. No one in the world will beat us. Supermen and Superwomen.

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      Ayesha Armabepola

      Don’t you think the readers in this forum got a fresh and juicy bite to sink their teeth after a long time?

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      You avoided to frame yourself and the debased writer within the sphere of Sri Lankan identity. Do know that the Supermen are much valiant in their prowess than your so called Superwomen and you the hate harbingering loathsome misandry, the Ambepola Superworm.

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      Dharshanie Thinks that she is one of those seeing the light and some are in the darkness.

      In other words, Dharshanie thinks that her view is the only correct one because of that she is in the light and those who do not agree with her are in the darkness.

      Think about the archaeological value of it to those who study human anthropology, value of it to buddhists who wants to preserve their past ?

      What is paramount ?

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    And I thought this kuragala matter was settled for good by Gota and the commandos last month :)

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      ………and Darshanie teases a dead rat with her rut.

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    Kuragala presents the typical layered heritage pattern. Season 1- It is a pre-historic habitat of Homo sapiens balangodensis[iii]. Season 2- In 2/3rd century BC Lanka, adherents of a new religion make it a raging fashion to dedicate caves right and left to the cave dwelling Sangha (inscribing the donor names on the cave wall) and Kuragala does not escape[iv]. Season 3- Kuragala becomes an Islamic shrine and a retreat.

    The above paragraph captures concisely the essence of the rest of the article. A very well written piece, if I might add. Islam has always been “Season 3” and hence cannot make any claims to originality. The Quran is simply Muhammed’s interpretation of the stories he heard from Jews and Christians. The Kabaa is a Shiva temple. Hence the customs that Muslims follow when doing Haaj – such as circambulation, wearing white, and drinking zakat – are borrowed from the ancient Hindus. Even the crescent moon that one associates with Islam has its origin in Sumeria. To be fair, Christianity and Judaism can make few claims in the way of originality; the difference, however, is that they do not try to. Scholars of the Bible and Torah have made great efforts to decipher the myths – often borrowed from other cultures – that underlie these works. Why Muslim scholars refuse to accept that the Quran is also based on mythology remains a puzzle.

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      Sorry, it is zamzam , not zakat .

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        You better say sorry from your first word to the last! A figure from 1.5 to 2 billion of its adherents plus a host of the worlds celebrated authors, essayists, historians, engineers, professors accept the Quran as a noble book. How come an upstart from the gutters maintains all of them are wrong? An acceptable explanation is that this psychopath has an eroding brain probably a malignant tumor which eggs him on to exhibit his malignancy on Muslims in an endless troll.

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          Why bother responding to a piece of shit. It is outright jealousy coupled with an inferiority complex !

          A disgrace to humanity !!!

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          You better say sorry from your first word to the last! A figure from 1.5 to 2 billion of its adherents plus a host of the worlds celebrated authors, essayists, historians, engineers, professors accept the Quran as a noble book.

          A good argument, except that the same is true for “Mickey Mouse” and “Harry Potter.” Do you know why so many scientists are atheists?

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