27 June, 2019

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Navalar Myths Aborting Reconciliation

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Terrible Days for Reconciliation

These are terrible times for ethnic and religious reconciliation. The Siva Senai was launched 09.10.2016 with TNA footprints. Its leader Maravanpulavu Sachithananthan is on the Federal Party Central Committee. His Co-Coordinator, Seeniththamby Yoheswaran, is a TNA parliamentarian. Siva Senai’s pogroms have focused on Muslims and Tamils too in Bombay.

According to Sachithananthan, the Siva Senai was started because Hindus here face problems from Sinhala-Buddhist colonisation, Muslims being funded by countries like Iran and Iraq, and Christians receiving Western missionaries’ support, while “Hindus alone have no support.” Sachithananthan seemed blind to the hundreds of Hindu temples coming up on encroached state and private lands using Diaspora money.

The TNA in Caste Oppression

Religious reconciliation seems distant in Jaffna. The TNA’s Mavai Senathirajah hides behind “conservative Hindus,” telling southern officials that they do not want Christians holding high university office. Is he for or against minorities being put down?

Navalar: Suited, Bare-bodied?

Navalar: Suited, Bare-bodied?

Madam Chandrika Kumaratunga’s Office of National Unity and Reconciliation lists as Governor Mr. Nilakandan who told the Virakesari that the Jaffna VC has to be a Hindu.

What is Madam Chandrika’s position? Why and how is Nilakandan a Governor of ONUR? What is the TNA’s and Mr. R. Sampanthn’s position on TNA leaders supporting the oppression of caste and religious minorities? On Navalar as a national hero?

Madam Kumaratunga, Hon. Lakshman Kiriella and the UGC

Government policy on reconciliation is being obstructed by the UGC Chairman Mohan de Silva’s new communalist requirements to teach engineering. When I was rejected for the post of Senior Lecturer at the University of Jaffna, one of the reasons de Silva gave Madam Kumaratunga who kindly queried why, was my writings on Arumuga Navalar, “an iconic figure” to Hindus. Professor Carlo Fonseka swears to this in an amicus curiae brief. Refraining from critiques of popular figures is now a majoritarian requirement for university recruitment! It is sad that the UGC has become a tool in the hands of Jaffna’s Caste Establishment in putting down religious minorities and keeping us out of the university.

Do Madam Kumaratunga who stands for National Unity and Reconciliation, and Minister of Higher Education, Hon. Lakshman Kiriella, who stands for Good Governance, support these new UGC requirements to teach engineering?

Navalar Day

“The Assisted Schools and Training Colleges (Supplementary Provisions) Act No. 8 of 1961” explicitly provides that religious celebrations should not take place in nationalised schools unless those celebrations were, at the time of takeover, associated with the institution that owned the school Yet, in this past month, Jaffna has seen Navalar Day celebrations which have also been attended by the Chief Minister and the Siva Senai.There were attempts to plant the statue of Navalar at nationalised Christian schools during these ceremonies. In doing so, they break this protective law.

At the two formerly Methodist Jaffna schools, Jaffna Central College (JCC) and Vembadi Girls’ College, JCC vigourously said “No thanks” to Navalar statues. Vembadi’s Principal Venuka Shanmugaratnam pushed ahead, planting a Navalar statue ready for the ceremony, and demanding the Church cede more lands. However, strong letters citing the law from Methodist Conference President Asiri Perera and the St. Peter’s Methodist Church Pastor, The Rev. C.N. Ravishankar, aborted the move.bible-1850

Jaffna Bible, 1850: Translated from the Original tongues

Ambivalence Towards Navalar

JCC’s position evinces Jaffna’s ambivalence towards Navalar. In 1969, when the Federal Party was elevating Navalar, Mr. Shanmugathasan (CP-Peking) orchestrated protests with the objection that Navalar was a caste revivalist. In 2011 when high caste Hindus took a statue into Karaiyar Valvettithurai, villagers came out and blocked entry.

The division is this: the high caste and those aspiring to high caste want Navalar elevated. The vast majority of Jaffna who are oppressed caste Hindus want nothing to do with him, calling him chaathi-veriyan or caste-crazed. The exaltation of Navalar is considered an intimidation of the oppressed castes.

Imagine the psychological and social impact on oppressed caste children to see a man who openly despised them being glorified in their schools!

Navalar on Caste

In “Jaffna’s State of Religious Affairs,” Navalar excoriates those who drink the kitchen Paraya’s coffee (kusinip Parayandai copiyai kudichukkondu) while visiting missionaries. He objects to missionaries sitting down to eat with the oppressed caste and ruining the two rules (aasaaram) he always saw as one – rules on religious and caste practices.

Navalar’s most egregious act was at the Rev. Peter Percival’s JCC which was opened in Oct. 1934. Navalar joined at the age of 12. The episode which I discovered in the Church Archives is found in the Morning Star of 25.11.1847. Percival had admitted Gabriel Jeroni of the toddy-tapping caste. Navalar is described as the leader of the high caste schoolboys, or “lads,” “The boys”, including Navalar,wanted Jeroni dismissed and when refused wanted him to be seated at the back. Percival refused. Navalar then walked off with 50 boys to found a school for upper castes. Navalar, unfortunately had not yet graduated since joining JCC after primary school 13 years earlier in 1834. When the teaching at the Navalar school was found deficient, therefore, most students returned.

Historical Revision

Sri Lankan histories are notoriously unreliable. Tamil histories, especially on Navalar, are likewise. The written down history is that Navalar was brilliant and handsome. He applied for admission to Central College at age 12, telling Percival that he would come only if he could wear holy ash (prohibited at mission schools) and criticize the Bible. Percival agreed, recognizing Navalar’s value to the school. Navalar taught Tamil to Percival. Knowing Percival wanted a Tamil Bible, Navalar undertook the translation, and when Percival asked for his help, he pulled it out of his coat pocket and presented it to Percival to claim as his own. After leaving JCC, he helped Percival in going to Madras to defend the translation before the Bible Society’s Madras Auxiliary which held rights. Percival was shivering because he did not know how to defend it. But Navalar reassured Percival that he would defend it and not to worry. After Navalar’s defence, the Madras Auxiliary accepted the translation which was praised as the best (an admission there were other translations). Percival therefore developed ten times the awe he had of Navalar. This awe led Percival to lose his Christian faith.elijah-hoole

The Rev. Pandit Elijah Hoole File, CMS Archives, University of Birmingham, UK: File CMS CE-071/Elijah Hoole/P.lxxviii

From historical records:

The Wesleyan Methodist Magazine of 1835 carries Percival’s letter to his parent mission dated 7.1.1835:

“In October [1834], my intention to open [note open] an English school in Jaffna, for native pupils principally, was very extensively circulated in Jaffna and its vicinity; … During the month of October upwards of one hundred and fifty boys were entered upon my book … The first class, consisting of forty two boys, contains several boys who have … picked up considerable knowledge of the English language. With this class I spend upwards of an hour every morning, in reading the New Testament in English, with a Tamil translation [Nota Bene].”

Central College was founded in 1834 as proven by Percival’s letter and the Centenary Celebrations book of 1934. (President Sirisena was tricked into attending the Second Centenary Celebrations this October and the post office into issuing a stamp). The Tamil Bible was available in 1834 as seen from Percival’s letter. Methodist records show that missionaries going abroad had to study the relevant language. Percival learnt Tamil from the Rev. Elijah Hoole who had retired in England after years in Madras. Percival’s first posting was in Trinco where he studied Tamil further. After a posting in Bengal he came to Jaffna in 1834 and founded JCC and Vembadi. He undertook Bible translation with a committee of missionaries. From Harvard archives I obtained a rare copy of A Brief Narrative of the Operations of the Jaffna Auxiliary Bible Society in the Preparation of a Version of the Tamil Scriptures, Strong& Asbury Printers, 1868. Percival’s endeavours as Secretary were mainly in printing and their translation efforts were stymied by the Madras Auxiliary. John Murdoch (1865) says that a proposal from Jaffna to prepare a new version was agreed to only in 1848. In a letter to the parent society dated 06.07.1849, Percival himself records that he was gifted a mahogany desk with a brass inscription:

“Presented to the Rev. P. Percival, on the occasion of his completing, after three years of unwearied labour, his Translation into Tamil of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, by his affectionate friend and brother, John E. S. Williams. Jaffna, July 5th, 1849.”

I.e., the translation was approximately from July 1846 to July 1849. Navalar had certainly left Percival by 1847 and was calling missionaries Mleccha and Christianity the Foreign Devil Religion. Navalar knew neither Greek nor Hebrew from which the Jaffna Bible was revised. With relationships so broken, Navalar could not have gone to Madras to defend Percival’s translation. It was The Rev. Pandit Elijah Hoole of Jaffna (who took on the name of Percival’s Tamil language tutor). The CMS archives in Birmingham have Hoole’s testimony prior to ordination:

In 1847 Mr. Percival removed me to Jaffna, where he expected to make me useful in several ways. In 1849 I accompanied him to Madras, where I assisted him in the Revision [note the word revision] of the Tamil Version of the Holy Scriptures and [returned] to Jaffna in 1850.

I.e., Percival merely revised an existing translation – hence the short three years. The missions in India refused to use it. Its use was mainly confined to Jaffna for 50 years after which we began using the Indian Bower version. Percival did not lose his Christian faith. He and his disciple Hoole were caught up by the Anglo-Catholic wave of the time and became Anglicans. Percival left Jaffna in 1850 and thence to Madras as an Anglican Priest where he baptized his own grandchildren.

Minority Histories and Reconciliation

Comparing the official record with our stories, we see that our history is not history as it was, but history as we wish it to be. Despite contrary records, the Navalar myths will continue. Reconciliation includes honouring the contributions of minorities (including Christians and oppressed castes), being willing to engage truthfully with our history, and keeping dialogue open. When we persist in discriminating against minority groups and holding on to our nationalistic apprehensions, however, our communities lose their chance to move forward.

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  • 1
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    [Edited out]

    • 23
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      It is Mr. Hoole who is the biggest threat to reconciliation with his bigotry. A man who licked the rear end of Mahinda Rajapakse to get a Vice Chancelorship failed to get an academic leadership position thrice – for the Jaffna University, Eastern University and Peradeniya University.

      Anyone who reads his earlier writings would know that he is a Christian Racist, Sexist, Homophobic, Zenophobic and Hinduphobic man driven by hatred. Witness his writings against women Vice Chancelors.

      Of course, he has his Christian sidekicks – Lone Wolf and Sinhala Man who will sing his hosannas.

      Christianity has been the most violent religion on earth. I will cite the New Testament and Old Testament below separately

      • 2
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        Batticaloa Tamil

        “A man who licked the rear end of Mahinda Rajapakse to get a Vice Chancelorship failed to get an academic leadership position thrice2

        I am sorry were you there when the act took place?

        • 9
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          Brilliant Batticaloa Tamil! R Hoole is predictable, bitter, angry and hateful. He does not say anything new.

          Native Veddah – Hoole’s intense lobbying of MR has been much commented upon in the CT and other websites.

      • 0
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        Batticaloa Tamil,

        Zenophobic? Afraid of Zen?

        I remember that Dr Hoole was the VC of Jaffna University during some time but was unable to work in Jaffna due to threats from the LTTE. Do you agree?

      • 0
        6

        FIRST SHOW US THE MARKING SHEET FOR VC SELECTION by which Batticaloa and Jaffna assigned points to the VC candidates. Then we can talk. We invited him to apply given the state of Trinco campus. All know educated Saivite Hindus in the universities are the most treacherous among all the Tamils.

        Did Vasanthy Ariaratnam, Shanmugaling too lick? Man it is the President of Sri Lanka who appoints every single VC. You talk like you have never seen the colour of a Universsity. In the good old days, when Prof. Hoole was being evaluated for VC by the UGC just when the Chandrika appointed UGC was in place pointswere given strictly for achievement and calibre and world renown. Prof. Arudpragasam was meticulous in assigning marks. How did Vasanthy Ariaratnam fare better than Prof. Sitta?

        Come Mahinda, now you get Prof. Douglas Devananda giving points for the three elected.

        You may insult all you like. Arumuga Navalar spoke of Batti Tamils and and Trinco Tamils as dirt, and called the gods of the non Saivite Tamils Pisasus in writing. He said the likes of you are outside his religion and caste purity. He implied you folks were lower caste and people in Jaffna should not marry here but strictly within their people to keep their caste purity. JAffna people would not buy govt. land in Trinco when it was going for a few cents an acre. Why? Because they would call them Batti people and won’t marry their daughters, thanks to your Navalar’s teachings on caste.Your language is that of an uneducated person.

        Sad for you. BATTI FOLKS HOLDING PANDANG FOR ARUMUGAR? GUESS NEXT THE TRINCO’s too!

        Gangaiyil Kuliththalum Kaakai annamahathu.

        That was Jaffna Arumuga Navalar’s core philosophy.

    • 18
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      Here are a few New Testament verses that sanction slavery. These verses legitimized the African slave trade. I can provide many more references but will hold for subsequent use.

      “Slaves, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.” [Ephesians 6:5-9]

      “Let as many slaves as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor.” [1 Timothy 6:1-3]

      Jesus recommends that disobedient slaves be beaten. [Parable of Luke 12:47]

      Jesus recommends that disobedient slaves may be killed [Parable of Mathew 24:51] When Onesimus the slave ran away, Paul the Apostle returned him to the owner [Epistle of Paul to Philemon].

      Modern American translations dishonestly replace the word slavery with word servant. One should go back to earlier translations and to the original text in Greek.

      • 0
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        “Jesus recommends that disobedient slaves may be killed [Parable of Mathew 24:51] When Onesimus the slave ran away, Paul the Apostle returned him to the owner [Epistle of Paul to Philemon].” Batti’s version of the Bible.

        Is this from the so called “Navalar Version?”

        That is why Jesus hung on the cross? He could have walked off unseen as at tother times, from it all.

        That is why he asked St. Peter to put his sword back in its case” and said

        “Those who raise the sword die by the sword” he said?

        Why lie to win an argument?

        • 2
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          Aandi, I just read the quotes of the Bible made by Batticaloa Tamil. I looked at the two parables carefully. B Tamil is correct. Jesus also called the Jews ‘devils, sons of Satan, vipers and snakes’. We know where all that led to.

    • 16
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      More sayings from the Bible. Hoole rakes bigotry and the hatred people have for him will follow him to his grave and even haunt his children thereafter.

      Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

      They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

      If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

      Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

      “Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel”. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

      “But if this charge is true (that she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father’s house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst”. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)

      “If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

      • 0
        6

        Prof. Hoole is a Christian not a Jew.

        Deuteronomy, Exodus, Leviticus All Jewish history books. Earlier than the Kamasutra, a Hindu upaveda.

        Quote from Christ or his disciples from the New Testament.Like

        They know that you are my disciple because you love your neighbour as yourseln,

        Kusinip parayan, vannaan child from his vannarponnai, Jeroni.

        Christians share bread and the cup with them show brotherhood.

        “Anna punniyam yaavinum kodi angor Elaikku elththariviththal.”

        • 4
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          Vaisha

          The Old Testament is part of the Christian Bible.

  • 4
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    “Governor Mr. Nilakandan who told the Virakesari that the Jaffna VC has to be a Hindu”

    When was this?

    And, of course, you are right about Navalar. Glorifying him has on Jaffna Tamils the same effect that thinking the tooth in the temple is of Gautama has on Sinhala Buddhists.

    • 21
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      .. you are right about Navalar. Glorifying him has on Jaffna Tamils the same effect that thinking the tooth in the temple is of Gautama has on Sinhala Buddhists. “

      Luxman either you are down grading Buddha or you your self glorifying Navalar.

      But the probability is you are as ignorant as Hoole.

      Navalar is not a Hindu god. He is a poet.

      He did not attain Nirvana as Buddha is claimed to have.

      so get your facts before letting your ignorant racist brain compel you to rush pen to paper

    • 1
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      What bullsh1t idiot? Naval is one of a many many tribal racists in Jaffna. The Tooth Relic, Dalada was the ancient royal insignia of Ancient Sri Lankan kingdom.

      • 8
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        Have you seen the tooth? Gautama was a handsome prince and Buddha’s philosophy is far superior to anything practised in Hindu temples today. Ritualising and politicising his great philosophical thought by present day Sinhala Buddhists is an insult to Gautama and the thoughts he intended to propagate. Get it?

        • 1
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          Who cares whether i saw or it or not? it is the belief of a ppl and more than that it was our royal insignia until 1815.

          • 1
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            You yourself should care! It helps develop rational thinking and save yourself from insulting Gautama’s thoughts.

            • 1
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              I am quite a rational person hence i see through eelamists…it is you who need to go and understand what a royal insignia is

              • 0
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                How many eelamists who appreciate the teachings of Gautama Buddha have you met?

                • 1
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                  who cares? it is not relevant to the fact that dalada was royal insignia of Sri Lankan kingdom since ancient times

  • 20
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    Professor Hoole,

    Please stop digging into history. The more you write about the times gone by, the more difficult it is to bring about reconciliation between the communities in Sri Lanka.

    • 6
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      I cannot agree more. He appears to be more dangerous and radical in this century than Navalar himself. Bensen

  • 20
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    All four gospels have been translated and are in the Tamil Electronic Library.

    http://www.infitt.org/pmadurai/pmworks.html

    The latest, the Judas Gospel is not yet there.

    The bible is not such a fantastic book to translate, certainly not three years labour !!

    Many pieces of Sangam period literature – which need real scholarship, to read and understand, are in the electronic library.

    No one needs to “elevate” Navalar – there is no need to, as he is already ‘there’.
    His weakness was about “caste” – but this is observed even among Christians, when marriages are proposed.
    ‘Caste’ is dying out as people get more and more educated, and especially among those who are immigrants in other countries.

  • 21
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    Ratnajeevan,

    Could you please substantiate your statement “The TNA’s Mavai Senathirajah … telling southern officials that they do not want Christians holding high university office.”? (Also as Luxman points out, please also substantiate your similar accusation about Nilakandan.)

    If that is so, should you not bring that to the attention of local and international Human Rights officials, and in fact take appropriate legal action against such discrimination.

    With all your education and exposure, I should be surprised that you would fail to take such legal recourse. However, given your past few articles in this blog which seemingly amounted to mere clandestine attempts and rumour mongering towards earning some self-importance and sympathy perhaps, rather than any substantive assertions of facts, it is difficult not to mistrust you and your intentions!

    If you believe “Religious reconciliation seems distant in Jaffna”, I might add that you may not be an insignificant contributor to that!

  • 25
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    This guy is crazy as it gets, it’s always about him and his two doctorate degrees, then comes his wives qualifications. He must be a terrible person to be around. No one wants to work with his “highness” so he blames his religion for it. It’s simply he is someone who can’t relate to another human being as a human being. He can relate only as his degrees. Take a break and just go back to your Harvey Mudd college or what ever the unknown school that you taught in the US. Sri Lankans will take care of themselves, we don’t need your help.

    • 11
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      This guy is crazy as it gets, it’s always about him and his two doctorate degrees, then comes his wives qualifications. He must be a terrible person to be around. ///////
      he is just a normal tamil ;)

  • 5
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    The “hate comments” have yet to come in!

    The problem with Prof. Jeevan Hoole is that he is more outstanding academically than we can aspire to be. We, Sinhalese, wouldn’t mind the Tamils in Jaffna being quite outmoded people living strange Hindu lives in Jaffna. Prof. Jeevan Hoole can move around anywhere in the world. We feel threatened by his abilities.

    The contents of this article alone are enough to to explain why the High Caste Hindus of Jaffna say nasty things about Prof. Hoole.

    • 20
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      Sinhala_Man,

      From his own admission in his articles, it seems, not just high-caste Hindus, but just about everyone he has come in contact with Ratnajeevan is against him and are nasty to him – whether it be Chandrika, Mohan, Douglas, VC, rest of the faculty, Sampanthan, other’s in TNA, Mahinda – you name it!

      If he is such a treasure and a god-send to students, why is he not being hunted down and absorbed by the larger and the more expansive education system in the country for the betterment of all Sri Lankans not just the Tamils in the North?!

      Four or five years ago in these columns DJ was shouted off as the “educated idiot” – and now I think another is rapidly showing his colours!

      • 3
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        Kumar R
        You are mixing up two unconnected things to score cheap points. First, one could have heated disagreements with politicians and senior officials when you are pursuing fair treatment that is denied. If you stop pursuing and are resigned, the matter ends and there is no more heat. But if you pursue you may have to go to the bitter end and face much unpleasantness. What makes you say that Sampanthan and Chandrika are nasty to him? Politicians may be supine when it comes to issues, but it takes much more to rattle a seasoned politician.

        Second, you are suggesting that because of his problems with two university administrations, Hoole is a bundle of rot unwanted by the students who want the best and to learn from leaders in the field. It is certainly not the students. To answer this you need to go into the mafia character of the academic hierarchy in our university system and the fear of young academics to think and act on their own. Hoole’s history at Peradeniya and how he was given vacation of post while on leave is well known to Kumar. He knows that after being senior professor at Peradeniya, how the selection committee for Jaffna which included two academics from Peradeniya, unanimously considered him unsuitable for essentially the same position as at Peradeniya – senior professor in computer science! Kumar also knows how the same academic who made charges against Hoole at Peradeniya from which he was cleared by a committee of inquiry, is also acting as the Vice Chancellor’s hatchet-man to keep him out of a senior lecturer’s position in Jaffna.

        • 15
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          Erasmus-revived!

          Why did you go suddenly into hiding after your previous foolish similar surrogating for Hoole – wasn’t it because you were unable to forthrightly answer any of the questions? Shameless.

          Not unlike last time you now repeatedly make much blind assumptions about “Kumar” – and let me re-iterate to your foolish self that “Kumar” knows nothing of the issues that you seem to assume.

          Therefore could you be good enough, for the benefit of “Kumar” as well as the general readership here detail why Peradeniya let him go? What was the position of the academics at Peradeniya that found him unsuitable, as you confess? Be specific on the reasons/basis Peradeniya used to successfully boot him out. Are you guys ashamed to detail that? Were those academics high-caste Hindus as well?

          You state “one could have heated disagreements with politicians and senior officials when you are pursuing fair treatment that is denied.” – were those politicians and senior officials also High-caste Hindus? Wasn’t there a legal recourse if “fair treatment” was denied? Wasn’t Ratnajeevan aware of the legal recourse available to him or does he think the legal system is also part of the high-caste Hindu mafia that you seem to have exclusive knowledge of? Shouldn’t one pursue legal recourse rather than engage in pointless heated arguments with Politicians and senior officials in such a case?

          You also concede “because of his problems with two university administrations,” – Were both set of University administers High-caste Hindus?

          As for “mafia character of the academic hierarchy in our university system” – is the hierarchy of the University system made of or controlled by high-caste Hindus?

          If Peradeniya felt justified and succeeded in booting Ratnajeevan on some specific grounds, and then University of Jaffna also used the same basis for denying Ratnajeevan essentially the same position, why is that a high-caste Hindu issue?

          Are you guys truly that thick – not to realize what illogical convoluted arguments you make to meet your selfish ends. Wasn’t that the same case when Ratnajeeven tried to hi-jack the pre-University education issue for his selfish ends, never mind the urgency to address the issue head-on at pre-University education?

          If you both are in any way sincerely concerned about the affected Jaffna (pre-University) students, please tell us what you have done to address that issue since the publication of the Research report about the sharp decline in standards of Jaffna students sitting University entrance exams. What did you or Ratnajeevan do, aside from going after the VC on some far fetched “drip-down” theory?

          Or, would you rather hurriedly get back under some skirt to hide once again for now, only to be revived a few weeks later when no one is looking? Good strategy pal!

  • 20
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    Glory of Hindu civilisation !! (Hinduism)

    Muslim emperors ruled India for seven hundred years. The British ruled India for two hundred years. Some joined them.The Muslim emperors and the British were not able to convert the whole of India. Still the glory of Hinduism persists. The culture of Hinduism prevails. Nothing can shake its greatness and root.
    Hinduism is neither asceticism nor illusionism, neither polytheism nor pantheism. It is a synthesis of all types of religious experiences. It is a whole and complete view of life. It is characterized by wide toleration, deep humanity and high spiritual purpose. It is free from fanaticism. That is the reason why it has survived the attacks of the followers of other great beliefs / faiths (religions)of the world.
    Hinduism is extremely catholic, liberal, tolerant and elastic. No religion is so very elastic and tolerant like Hinduism. Hinduism is very stern and rigid regarding the fundamentals. It is very elastic in readjusting to the externals and non-essentials. That is the reason why it has succeeded in living through millenniums.

    • 0
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      It is the British who created Hinduism by putting every faith the indian subcontinent practised except jainism and Buddhism in one basket.

      • 1
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        sachooooooooooooooooooooo the stupid II

        “It is the British who created Hinduism by putting every faith the indian subcontinent practised except jainism and Buddhism in one basket.”

        It was the Persians who first named those people who lived beyond river Indus as Hindus.

  • 1
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    So Sivajilingam does not want a Catholic as the VC of Jaffna Uni.

    Doesn’t,t ,Siva report to Abraham, who is the mouth piece of the Veallala Party TNA leader Sambnadan, and a potential leader of future Eelaam in Jaffana.

    Wonder what Rev Emmanuel doing in the TNA with his flock?…

    • 0
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      KAS,

      “So Sivajilingam does not want a Catholic as the VC of Jaffna Uni.”

      Dr Hoole is not Catholic and Sivalingham is not a high caste Hindu nor does he decide on who is the VC.

  • 15
    2

    All concerned have to answer my question as to whether the Jaffna University is a Hindu University or not. If the answer is Yes, then what harm in demanding a Hindu Vice Chancellor for a Hindu University? Will anyone dare suggesting a non Buddhist VC to a Vidyodaya or Vidyalanka ?

    Caste system is still alive among the Sinhalese as well and to harp on it to avoid addressing reconciliation and peace efforts is nothing but third rate politics in an already shimmering nation.

  • 17
    0

    Mr.Hoole

    you say and I quote “… UGC Chairman Mohan de Silva’s new communalist requirements to teach engineering. “

    can you please expand on this and explain why Engineering is communalism

  • 18
    1

    “Nayira vaalai nimirthe mudiyathu” (one cannot straighten the tail of a dog).

    Likewise, Ratnajeevan cannot be changed. He is at it again.

    It is pathetic to see this learned professor once again giving went to his personal angst in not being appointed to the Jaffna University by attacking TNA, Mavai, Neelakandan, Chandrika, Mohan de Silva, Sampanthan, Kierella,Satchithanandan, Yogeswaran MP and a whole host of others. And he is back again to his favourite pastime of attacking Navalar.

    “Nakkira Naiku Chekku Enne Sivalingam Enne” ( the dog licks anything and everything). Ratnajeevan has once again started attacking all and sundry over his Jaffna University job issue.

    I am seriously doubting whether this learned professor has the same frame of mind as that of that mad dog monk at Batticaloa Mangalaramaya. That guy always look for an opportunity to attack Tamils and Muslims of Batticaloa. Likewise, this learned professor uses every opportunity to attack Hindus. But, thank God,the learned professor does not use obscene language.

  • 16
    1

    Hoole – Jesus Christ is a myth or reality?

    • 12
      1

      Jesus chrisat and the Church are two different things. Church is conversion (manupulation and conversion) and expansion of the defunct Roman kingdom. Almighty, Jesus and the bible are the product.

  • 17
    0

    The Assisted Schools and Training Colleges (Supplementary Provisions) Act No. 8 of 1961” explicitly provides that religious celebrations should not take place in nationalised schools

    “…..unless those celebrations were, at the time of takeover, associated with the institution that owned the school “

    An escape clause for the schools founded by the Christian Missionaries.

    I went to one of those school’s in Jaffna. Majority of the students were Hindus. But every morning the school starts with Christian worship. Then Sunday Church&School for hostel students. The school functioned around the Church. Why don’t you write about this Mr.Hoole?

    It took a long time before Hindu prayers were introduced and Saraswathy Pooja was celebrated in Christian Mission schools of Jaffna

    Cant remember celebrating Navalar Day though!

    • 0
      2

      WESLEYAN SEMINARY, BATTICOTTA SEMINARY.Look up the names.

      If you apply to study at a seminary of all places, you are saying yes to their rules and the implication is that you are seriously considering joining the clerical orders. Many other Christian students of all races were denied a place at Percival’s Wesleyan Seminary.

      Why did Navalar want to go to a seminary of all places? Or was he genuine that time at given his Christian family background and did caste come in his way?

  • 23
    0

    Hoole , rejected by Peradeniya Jaffna and Batticaloa universities, has no other job except keep on criticising Navalar who died about 135 years ago. No one will deny that Hoole is an anti Hindu. His writings in Christianity Today and CT proves it. His CT article where he identified each lecturers in Jaffna Uni by his or her caste is the worst piece of writing I have read in my life time. I don’ t care what caste Hoole belongs to but he always write saying Maviddapuram temple was owned or managed by his ancestors thus to prove to the readers that he belongs to high caste. Grow up Sir grow up. A person is respected not by caste but by his good conduct.

    By the way Vembadi Girls and Uduvil Girls school ,both belongs to your missionary, still don’t allow the Hindu students to apply holy ash on their forehead and celebrate sarasvathy poosai. Can you do something sir?

    • 15
      0

      ‘Vembadi Girls and Uduvil Girls school ,both belongs to your missionary, still don’t allow the Hindu students to apply holy ash on their forehead and celebrate sarasvathy poosai.’

      That is outrageous. These girls should apply ash in defiance of the school authorities. Some Christians too rub ash on their foreheads.

      • 0
        11

        “Some Christians too rub ash on their foreheads.”

        Yes the ancient Christian eremites (sadhus) and a certain order of the holiest prophets wore ashes and red and yellow pottu, nazaritic (Jesus was a Nazarite) dread locked uncut hair and saffron robes and walked barefoot. These were in pure humility as a constant reminder of their unworthiness before God and Christ and to remember the net worth of the body.For example:

        “The bahtawi are an independent class of hermits who represent the anchoritic tradition – modern successors of St John the Baptist rebuking all including the emperor himself without fear or favour. As Shimei reviled King David, so the bahtawi have been know to hurl abuse at all and sundry including the emperor. Some live completely separately from society, unseen by all, their bones occasionally discovered after their deaths in the remotest of places. Others lived in trees (dendrites) or small holes in the ground. Often they live on leaves and bitter roots and reduce sleep to an absolute minimum. “

        Then Jesus came along and said no need to show off that you are holy or fasting etc.. He taught mystical conversations with God which we call praying in the Holy Spirit behind locked doors, in private. So the modern Christian sannyasins like Percival and Canon Somasunderam wore contemporary clothes. Their renunciation was within. It is by their words and fruits of their action we know that they were holy.

        That is why Christian children do not wear body marks except on the day of Good Friday when we crucify/incinerate our ego and differences. All Christians are to live on that day as pure as the children and as peoples, angels and beings of heaven who could never even imagine caste differentiation in the created order.

        Your pen name is unfortunate and revealing Mr. Paul:

        “Paul, Paul, why dost thou persecute me?”

    • 14
      0

      MR,

      “Vembadi Girls and Uduvil Girls school ,both belongs to your missionary, still don’t allow the Hindu students to apply holy ash on their forehead and celebrate sarasvathy poosai.”

      Is this really true? I sincerely hope not! Could some one, perhaps n official confirm or deny this?

      Any comments from Vembadi and Udduvil Girl school admin? Will truly appreciate your comment on this. Or perhaps the Missionary hierarchy can clarify this?

      Are there boy’s schools that also have such restrictions? Why or why not?

      Would it be acceptable if the Buddhist schools and Hindu schools restrict students from carrying rosaries and bibles?

      Does the country truly belong to the civilized world of today? Or, what Navalar did more than a century ago is the only concern we have?

      • 0
        13

        KumarR,

        “Does the country truly belong to the civilized world of today?”

        Of course not.

        I am surprised that even you don’t know the facts about Jaffna schools. I have until now thought that you live in Jaffna.

    • 0
      12

      MR and others,

      “By the way Vembadi Girls and Uduvil Girls school ,both belongs to your missionary, still don’t allow the Hindu students to apply holy ash on their forehead and celebrate sarasvathy poosai. Can you do something sir?”

      You cannot be parents or grand parents from Jaffna since you don’t know the basics. Vembadi is a national school financed by the central government and Uduvil is a 100% private school administered by the Church of South India and mostly financed by the Trustees for Jaffna College in the USA. Jaffna Central College is another national school.

      There was apparently an “illegal” attempt to erect Navalar statues at the national schools of Vembadi and Jaffna Central College.

  • 14
    0

    S.Ratnajeevan Hoole concludes that the Vellalah Hindus are aborting reconciliation. He quotes several people including Carlos Fonseka – the man who now believes that the 1981 burning of Jaffna Library was NOT by the army/police.

    How many Colombo Telegraph readers know that Hoole has taken the hyphenated surname Hoole-Mahindapala?

    Navalar had shortcomings but was a genius. Hoole-Mahindapala fails to recognize this.

    Hoole-M goes on to say “Percival therefore developed ten times the awe he had of Navalar. This awe led Percival to lose his Christian faith.”
    A Christian losing the Christian faith? Unthinkable in the mind of Hoole-M!

  • 2
    18

    Thank you Mr. Hoole for writing about a very important issue that affects me and the Christian children at Vembadi, Central and other Christian schools and training colleges which were given by the churches under the government’s solemn promise that the character of the institution will be maintained.We are being cheated daily. In Trinco and Batticaloa, as you enter Methodist and Vincent’s, you see larger than life goddess statues. Not capable of honesty.
    Hindu prayers are sung at the beginning of Sports Meets and Prize givings in our former schools.

    The Buddhists oppress the Hindus they cry, but the Hindu teachers the Christian children. It is time for prayers and long suffering from fellow Christians. Sad that other Christians are not writing. The one Christian name is falsely used as is obvious.

    Jaffna, Jaffna, “you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you…”.

    Signs of impending doom!

    • 14
      0

      Vanilla,

      Instead of throwing accusations wildly, could you please clarify what of the “character of the institution” that you feel is not being maintained, hampered by the Hindus (by implication of your statement)?

      How exactly are you “being cheated daily” and by who? Are you suggesting that you and the Missionary school admin should have the right to deny those of the other religions their right to their own faith, just because the Missionary schools supported by the Church provides education? What exactly do you feel cheated about?

      Hindu’s will allow you to carry your rosaries and bible right into their temples and pray and practice as you please. It is you who do not want to respect others faith. Why do you feel so threatened by other religions and faiths? Do you know how many Buddhists and Hindus regularly go to all different churches, while they also regularly visit their own temples. How many Christians do you think do that – or are encouraged to do that by their religious leaders?

      Who exactly are behind the obstruction to reconciliation among faiths that Ratnajeevan pretends to be championing? – The humbug!

      • 0
        13

        Prof. Sivasegaram,

        Good questions, Sir as they say. My answers are attached.

        Your point 1. “character of the institution” – Mr. Hoole has given the exact act number in his article. Black and white. Read that first please. It is all there. Then come to Vembadi with a copy and see for yourself. I don’t even know what some of those things are.

        Your point 2. ” It is you who do not want to respect others faith.”

        My daughter always tells, the Hindu girls in their class talk and sometimes tell her also “Christians are low caste” though she is christian. Even a graduate teacher has told that once to her. So common this saying. You can’t be a Jaffna man if you don’t know that or you are just pretending as usual. One day I asked my daughter to go and ask who says so? The girls told her their mother says so and are getting all worked up. Her teacher is this holy ash Hindu type. So she won’t open her mouth in school. Even girls nicely eyeing handsome Christian boys going to Central and St Johns whisper to her He is a christian. Dont tell at home. They are scared to tell about their love to others because they think christian boys are low caste and they cant get married after that if people come to know.

        One educated gentleman told me when you become Christian, your god Krishna puts you into a caste lower than the lowest caste in the world. He is always teaching the Bagawath Geetha book to us every time we visit them. But he is our long time good friend and thinks he is actually helping me and my daughter to become holy. So I just listen and keep quiet. Your god is telling that no. You see.

        Now you are telling me ” It is you who do not want to respect others faith.”

        Your Point 3:
        Who exactly are behind the obstruction to reconciliation among faiths?
        I think I have already answered all your questions. And I think you knew the answer but you were pretending as usual.

        So my question to you Sir. So now who is the biggest humbug?

        • 11
          0

          Vannila
          Kindly spare the readers this nonsense which another person indulged in earlier in connection with another item by the same author.
          I do not indulge in personal attacks in the media.

          If you want too abuse me go ahead, but do not find silly excuses.

          For your information Kumar R has been identified by Agnos and he himself clarified it.

          I am not a practitioner of any religion and hence am more tolerant towards anyone’s faith than any ‘believer’.

          • 0
            8

            “Kumar R has been identified by Agnos and he himself clarified”

            Er… problem is, both (Kumar R and Agnos) are ghosts, hence cannot act as witnesses to each other.

            Agree, personal attacks are bad and not helpful in discussions. They are best ignored, leaving the reader to judge.

            • 4
              0

              “Er… problem is, both (Kumar R and Agnos) are ghosts…”

              So are Vannila and Luxman.

              Agnos explained things very clearly his analysis. It was very decent of him despite my crossing swords with him on occasion.

          • 13
            0

            Prof. Sivasegaram,

            You are absolutely right – and am truly sorry that you end-up having to face such abuse directed at you seemingly unknowingly, yet foolishly! However, Vannila’s case is less of an issue that results from childish ignorance (unfortunately not limited to children alone as Vanilla amply demonstrates) rather than anything more insidious.

            Regrettably, the issue is more alarming when the learned PhD/DSC/VC-aspirant,.. blah, blah blah, and his cohort Erasmus (bless the “original’s” soul!) too were afflicted with rather similar home-brewed Sherlock Holmes’ism – since those bastardization are more a result of seeking diversions, only so as to hide their intellectual challenges in addressing issues forthright!

            In any case, I would too support you in checking with CT if they have some ability to sort this mess caused by gullibles on the one hand and the more-crafty blagards, on the other.

            Vannila – although you addressed your response to Prof, I take it you meant it for me. Hopefully the Prof helped you out of your illusion on the “humbug” identity of your concern. I will respond to your comments separately.

            Kumar R. – yes believe me, it is Kumar R. and none other! Hope

            • 0
              3

              “since those bastardization are more a result of seeking diversions”

              This, I say, is spot on!

          • 1
            13

            Prof. Sivasegaram
            I am sorry for hurting your feelings. Sorry for the mistake. Our seniors in the Jaffna University library are thinking and some lecturers also it is you because only you can speak posh English in Jaffna University circle. Like you studied in England or ST. Thomas.

            I am not a practitioner of any religion..

            Not a practitioner. May be your friend Agnos also. Really Sad. I think Engineering kills all non 3-D realism experience ability of heart.

            Sir try out religion. You are missing the very best poems. It helps me. we were taught

            Thiruvaasagththu urugaar oru vaasagthukkum urukaar.

            Religion is like floating in a beautiful planet with light. You can be you there. No calendar, no clock only happiness. It is best experience. but bad people are using it to do violence. So people are suspicious.

            • 3
              0

              Dear Vannila
              Thank you.
              I have heard worse falsehoods about me to which I do not respond for it amounts to showing undeserved respect to liars.
              I am least offended by your comments, but admit that I was irritated by the same kind of attack recurring within weeks.

              As for my “posh” English:
              Way back in 1965, Professor Thurairajah, responded thus to a student who asked him how he did not acquire an accent like some others who had been abroad: “Perhaps because I learned my English here”.
              Like him, I too learned my English in a provincial school, but in the East. I do not speak posh English. I still make mistakes and I strive to be correct.

              What makes you think that I did not practice religion ever?
              I am fairly conversant with Saiva literature and a good amount of Vaishnava and other “Hindu” literature.
              I like fiction too but do not believe it.

              Kindly do not blame engineering for anyone’s faith or lack of it. It is a dangerous generalization.

              • 1
                8

                “I am fairly conversant with Saiva literature […] I like fiction too but do not believe it.”

                Good one, good one!

          • 2
            1

            Dr. Sivasegaram

            Hello Dr. Sivasegaram, nice to have you with us. You are one of those good and honest leftists and I respect you for that. You are one of the few I know to be having a 100% non-racial mind.

            Don’t worry about the barking dogs and kalaveddahs (pole cats). Without them this forum will be uninteresting and colorless. They add to entropy and sometimes that is required. If you don’t like them, don’t read their comments.

            As they say, dogs may bark but the caravan rolls on.

        • 10
          0

          CT
          There is too much of such nonsense.
          Cannot something be done?
          Thanks

        • 12
          0

          Vannila,

          As for your responses,

          1. “Hoole has given the exact act number in his article.” Frankly he has given more than that — ” Please read “strong letters citing the law from Methodist Conference President Asiri Perera and the St. Peter’s Methodist Church Pastor, The Rev. C.N. Ravishankar, aborted the move.”. Do you not see that there is indeed and effective recourse if there is a legitimate issue? That is my principal complain about Jeevan – don’t hide under or hi-jack tangential issues to meet your selfish intentions as was the case of the University entrance exam issues. Learn to fight your cases fair and square!

          2. If a graduate teacher said anything to the effect you suggest, you do need to bring that to the attention of the Principal, and to even higher authorities – and do that promptly. Don’t let such stupidity fester. Take action promptly in a responsible manner as an adult should rather than getting involved in school girl chatter about “handsome Christian boys and forbidden love affairs”!

          One “educated” gentleman does not a community make! Every community has its lunatics. Ratnajeevan is educated – isn’t he? Apparently much more than even the most other educated!

          3. As Lone-wolf points out Christianity, along with Islam, believes in monotheism. It is in that context I ask how could Jeevan hold Hindus responsible for obstructing reconciliation, given that reconciliation is founded on accepting, respecting, accommodating and appreciating diversity and not championing exclusivity?

          Hope Prof S.’s comments knocked you back into sanity – although I am not sure if I should count on that.

      • 0
        12

        KumarR,

        “Are you suggesting that you and the Missionary school admin should have the right to deny those of the other religions their right to their own faith, just because the Missionary schools supported by the Church provides education?”

        As Dr Hoole clearly points out Vembadi and Jaffna Central College are FORMER missionary schools. They are since 1960 so called national schools that come under the authority of the Ministry of Education in Colombo. Apparently these schools ignore an old but still valid agreement that forbids Hindu worship.

        Please use the links below if in doubt

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vembadi_Girls_High_School

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaffna_Central_College

        “How many Christians do you think do that – or are encouraged to do that by their religious leaders?”

        Christians and Muslims believe in monotheism and are thus not allowed to worship more than one God.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotheism

        To be honest I am puzzled by your comments and what I consider lack of reading comprehension and local knowledge. The people who have identified you as a professor must be wrong.

        • 13
          0

          Lone Wolf,

          “Apparently these schools ignore an old but still valid agreement that forbids Hindu worship.”

          First, under that law, is it actually legitimate to forbid using holy ash? How about a pottu as worn by married Hindu women? Do they count as Hindu worship? Really?

          Second, the exposure of this (what I consider) abominable “right” of religious but public institutions to place such restrictions based on their individual faith may indeed be worth a review, never mind the seemingly antiquated law made in the sixties, possibly agreed to for material benefits at that time. At one point we agreed to buy the deadly DDT from the US where it was banned, based I believe on offer of free wheat supplies! Laws are not God given – they need to keep up with the time – would you agree? On that count I am glad you reiterated “STILL” valid agreement (emphasis mine).

          And in this environment of Professors of Jeevan, DJ caliber, I take your diagnosis as a compliment. Thanks!

          • 0
            6

            KumarR,

            If you read carefully you may notice that I used words “agreement” and “apparently”.

            Instead of an old “law” (your word) there appears to be an old agreement that to some extent bans new religious celebrations and symbols at the schools in question.

            I have almost no knowledge on how these two former missionary schools became national schools or what is the status of Hinduism/Christianity in the schools and thus will not comment more.

            • 3
              0

              Lone Wolf,

              Were you not referring to the ““The Assisted Schools and Training Colleges (Supplementary Provisions) Act No. 8 of 1961”” that Jeevan pointed out? Comprehension challenged? If not, let us know which agreement that you felt relevant in justifying forbidding Hindu worship in formerly Missionary schools?

              (Incidentally the DDT purchase for free US wheat was also Agreement, Possibly under Public Law 480.)

              Are you not back peddling now invoking the “apparent” qualification for your previous assertion? How dare you accuse me of not being aware of local practices, if the only “local knowledge” you were chest-thumping about amounted to nothing more than just “apparent?!”

        • 5
          0

          Lone Wolf,

          Indeed the extent of my “local knowledge” that you refer to seem limited in terms of what I consider outrageous practices such as the taboo on using holy ash by Hindu students. However, that in fact triggered my curiosity further, and who best to ask but you, the “local knowledge” hero?! Perhaps Jeevan, Erasmus, Vanilla could chime in as well!

          If the justification of the ban on holy ash is based on, as per your arguments, “the old but still valid agreement that forbids Hindu worship,” what of the following do you think also qualify for banning as “Hindu worship”?

          1. Traditional pottu as worn by married Hindu women – is there a prohibition on that for Hindu teachers at these Missionary schools? Or perhaps the schools circumvent that issue by not appointing Hindu teachers – please educate us who are ignorant on such “local knowledge.”

          2. It is not uncommon that one would exclaim “Oh Jesus” when confronted with some surprise, shock, exasperation, whatever. Now, if a Hindu student in the Missionary school happen to confront a similar situation while at school, is there a taboo on exclamations that may refer, instead, to Krishna, Siva, Ganesha,or Muruga that are of common use in Jaffna community? Or, is the Missionary admin just generous enough to allow the Hindu girls to borrow the approved Christian exclamation while within the premises and thus abide by that “The Assisted Schools and Training Colleges (Supplementary Provisions) Act No. 8 of 1961” that you and Jeevan consider so sacrosanct?

          3. Many of the girls I am sure find comfort in a short prayer under their breath when encountering some stress situations – say, a toughie at the exam, or a call to the Principal’s room. Or perhaps the Christian girls would resort to a brief, fleeting, unnoticeable meditation with closed eyes and a sort silent prayer. What would the law allow the Hindu girls to do under similar situations, so that they are not in contravention of the “Act No. 8 of 1961”?

          4. You are possibly aware of the interest in “brain yoga” – the traditional Hindu practice now acknowledged and adopted in prestigious Western education systems (please check the web – in case that is out side the boundaries of “local knowledge” as you see it). If in case that practice gains even greater universal acceptance, would that be acceptable for the Jaffna Missionary schools bound by the “Act No. 8 of 1961”? Or for that matter, are traditional yoga practices rooted in Hindu culture taboo as well?

          5. Getting into even more scientific sphere, perhaps you have heard of the emerging view of the Hindu tradition of “OM” or “AUM” and what is termed God’s sound or “Sound of existence”. Is the practice of “OM” or “AUM” also tabooed by the “Act No. 8 of 1961”?

          6. Perhaps, more fundamentally, I am sure that the schools do teach Evolution as per requirements for science students preparing to enter the University. If at some point in time there is adequate interest to lean other religions, including Hinduism, by a large enough group of students (both Christians and non-Christians), would that be allowed by these schools or would that be restricted because of “Act No. 8 of 1961”?

          Lone Wolf, you may think that I am just being intentionally derisive with such mockery – but, if you take a moment to reflect it will dawn on you that the true and effective mockery is indeed the irrational practice under the guise of what should be an outdated Law and in the Phd/DSC/VC-aspirant’s need to resort to that for outdated if not uncivilized impositions!

          • 0
            3

            KumarR,

            I have almost no knowledge on how these two former missionary schools became national schools or what is the status of Hinduism/Christianity in the schools and thus will not comment more.

            Why don’t you contact or even better visit Vembady and Jaffna Central College and take up your concerns with the principals, staff and students? As I have mentioned earlier the competent authority is Ministry of Education (Not the provincial one) who also can help you. May I suggest that you publish the results of your field study as an article here on CT.

            Do you still believe that these schools are run by Methodists? If you do you have problems with reading comprehension and lack local knowledge. Or maybe I lack local knowledge and reading comprehension? To my best knowledge only uduvil and Jaffna College remain private Christian schools without any government assistance.

            In case you haven’t understood it before I am secular myself and would very much like to see all schools, offices etc without religious symbols, celebrations etc.

            What happens at Jaffna University, Vembady and Jaffna Central College where mostly the elite studies interests me much less than the problems common children have in the provincial schools.

            • 2
              0

              Lone Wolf,

              The only reason I felt the need to engage with you was your unsolicited confession that “To be honest I am puzzled by your comments and what I consider lack of reading comprehension and local knowledge.”

              If as you now choose to whimp out now with “I have almost no knowledge on how these two former missionary schools became national schools or what is the status of Hinduism/Christianity in the schools and thus will not comment more.” and that after you had faulted me for lack of local knowledge and then further invoke the probability “Or maybe I lack local knowledge and reading comprehension?”, I must agree with you that you are right, further engagement with you is hardly rational, and that on multiple counts.

              • 0
                0

                KumarR,

                While waiting for your article on the status of religious practice in former missionary schools I conducted a virtual field study. Please use the link below:

                http://www.jcc.lk/index.php/about-college-3

                In my humble opinion the pictures clearly show holy ash, flowers behind the ear, Hindu gods on the walls etc at Jaffna Central College. I do not detect any Christian symbols but I have to admit that I don’t identify all of them. I do not know if what I found is a violation of your favorite Act or not. Unfortunately Vembady is unavailable at the moment.

                You have mentioned rosaries earlier. As far as I know they are part of Catholic worship and do not really belong to Protestant Christian traditions. You, of course, in addition to your lack of local knowledge might suffer from general ignorance and think that Methodists and other Protestant Christians like Dr Hoole are Catholics. Please study the link below:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosary

                For further knowledge you can use libraries, media and internet.

                If I were you I would avoid confrontations with the educated people you often try to challenge without any real success.

                • 0
                  0

                  Lone Wolf,

                  Glad to be of help to educate you. Lutherans, a major branch of Protestants do pray Rosary.

                  http://www.wikihow.com/Pray-the-Lutheran-Rosary

                  I will respect your plea “I have almost no knowledge on how these two former missionary schools became national schools or what is the status of Hinduism/Christianity in the schools and thus will not comment more.” rather rapidly back peddling on your original chest-thumping assertion on the 16th.

                  Indeed the holy ash issue was a surprise given the egalitarian Wesleyan views with “discrimination and prejudice as key topics of concern, whether applied to race, gender, age, or other areas of life,” and your implicit support of the taboo by invoking the “old but still valid agreement that forbids Hindu worship.”

                  You are very welcome to back pedal, whimp-out, whatever, with any excuse, or rather any wishful thoughts that comforts you – possibly the story of your life!

                  • 0
                    0

                    KumarR,

                    “Glad to be of help to educate you.”

                    You have so far failed to educate me. Try harder next time. If you start to verify information before launching attacks you might be taken seriously in the future. Good luck.

                    You, of course, did not start the “holy ash banned in national schools run by missionaries” but blindly followed claims made by others who also don’t have necessary local knowledge.

                    Let us now move to more important things. Are you not going to comment on your best friend Dr DJ?

                    • 0
                      0

                      Lone Wolf,

                      Take two of your statements:
                      “As far as I know they (Rosary worship)are part of Catholic worship and do not really belong to Protestant Christian traditions.”
                      “You have so far failed to educate me.”

                      Now, did you not get educated that Lutherans, a major branch of Protestants, do indeed pray Rosary?!

                      Would you now like to resort to another one of those whimpish backtracking?

      • 4
        5

        Vannila and Kumar R

        Whatever the conflict between both of you (Christian & Hindu) you are/were united in caste discrimination.

        I was told a section of Tamil speaking community was denied access to the Mavittapuram Hindu temple and another section of the Tamil community was denied access to St Annes Church in Ilavallai in the 1980’s.

        So here is a common unifying basis on which the Hindus and Christians can unite.

        If you start a caste war among Hindus and Christians the focus could be shifted from religious feud to caste conflict. It would help both of you solve problems between the two religions, essentially an upper caste upper-class issue, actually this is about entitlements.

        Please do not hesitate to contact if you need any help, anytime. I know a person who can help you in this matter. H L D Mahindapala has been carrying a can of necessary fuel and box of matches for years.

        • 3
          0

          Dear NV,

          I share your concern very much, and appreciate your broader perspective on this.

          Rest assured I want in no way either a Hindu-Christian or a low-cast high-cast conflict here.

          My concern is solely this – when educated persons stoop to prostitute their skills to manipulate the naïve and gullibles, the counter needs to be prompt, strong and effective.

          Here is a question. If Jeevan feels that the celebration of Navalar is disputable on the basis of his “castism” concerns, why is it necessary for him to invoke the “The Assisted Schools and Training Colleges (Supplementary Provisions) Act No. 8 of 1961 that explicitly provides for restrictions on religious celebrations (other than that of the Missionary of course)”? Couldn’t Jeevan merely make his case for his opposition based on his perception of Navalar’s oppression of low-castes. Period. Why involve an agreement (Act No. 8 of 1961) that relates to religion, never mind whether the Agreement is, in these days of greater civic enlightenment, STILL worthy of the paper it is written on or not.

          Jeevan has done such hi-jacking of tangential considerations for the third time now (a hat-trick, if you will!) of three different issues in his last three articles – and each time, it turns out to he does it solely and selfishly to meet his goals that would seem ugly otherwise. That is my gripe.

          What is the worse is that the consequences are even graver, and Jeevan of all people should be cognizant of that.

          For instance, in this case, Jeevan’s evoking of the “Act No. 8 of 1961” got many riled up, including Vanilla and brought to surface the incredulous (“apparent?”) practice of denying students in Jaffna’s nationalized respected educational institutions their right of harmless, faith-driven cultural and religious practices such as the use of holy ash, no doubt sacred to them just as much as a rosary is to Christians.

          In effect Jeevan has pried open the proverbial can of worms, and it is inevitable that concerns would be raised of any other possible similar incredulous impositions. And that progression will not make either the Missionary, nor the student and not even the larger community any better, safer or happier! Your fuel-cum-match simile is spot on!

          How much do you think Jeevan, the academic, is responsible for this? Isn’t he effectively the water-boy for Mahindapala, just substitute fuel for water?!

          Now, a simple but broader question to the institutions that still think Jeevan’s favorite “Act No. 8 of 1961” is sacrosanct and on that count holy ash should remain taboo? When you make such impositions on young and growing non-Christians, who at home are taught the merits of their own religions no different than how Christian parent teach theirs, what do you think those Hindu young minds feel – MORE respect for you and your institutions or LESS? Shouldn’t that be your prime concern? After all, respect is a two-way street, never mind the age difference!

      • 0
        3

        Kumar R.

        Wesleyan Seminary had its rules. Take it or leave it.

        It is like saying you want your wife to carry her favourite gift she got from another one from her four prospective suitors into your house.

        Seminary is about Katpu towards Jesus “will not even think of another”.

        “Oru kinaththai oru idaththilai than kindalam” paarungo.

        Percival, the founder of the Wesleyan Seminary that Arumugavar attended had the right to his rules.

        • 2
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          Vattu Fart,

          “Take it or leave it” – Candidly said indeed, and we must assume that you feel entitled to speak on behalf of Wesleyan Seminary, formally or otherwise, unless of course the Wesleyan Seminary deems in necessary to correct either you or me on that.

          What you seem to forget in that rigidity is that we are here discussing why reconciliation is at stand still! I am certain your defensive, if not arrogant, assertion here would serve very well for those sincerely seeking the reconciliation that Jeevan pretends to champion, fashioned in his own “I came to bury, not to praise” duplicity.

          To that extent, I think, Vattu, you have clearly pinpointed the crux of the reconciliation barriers. Your assertion on behalf of the Wesleyan in Jaffna, despite what the progressives have achieved in the past several decades that had made even the Pope acknowledge the need for change, would serve far more than you realize in reconciliation going forward. Thanks.

          On a personal note, your expelling that sentiment does much credit to the moniker you have aptly chosen!

          In reference to your sly, if not lame attempt at comic relief only so as to dodge legitimate questions does hardly impress any one, except perhaps any (if any?) hardline Wesleyans in Jaffna that may be conditioned to your arrogant mindset.

          My question is not whether the Hindu students should be allowed to conduct Hindu worship while at school. I guess, if there indeed is an agreement (“Act No. 8 of 1961”) then, until that gets reviewed, the establishment certainly seem entitled to taboo Hindu worship.

          My question is different.

          Under the protection of that Act, how far is the establishment willing to go to make incredulous imposition on rather common, innocuous behavior and cultural and regional practices. Who and with how broad a brush would he/she stoop to paint such cultural practices and common behaviour to bring them under the definition of being “Hindu worship” so as to impose restrictions invoking the said Act? Where exactly does that responsibility lie for arbitration on that count?

          Can you be specific and state if any of the six items that I had specified in the response to Lone Wolf qualify for your ban under the “Take it or leave it” rule?

          Here are two more.

          7. While I am certain the Christian girls are allowed to use a Holy Cross in their neck chains, would the use of any Hindu symbol (“AUM”, for instance) be sanctioned under your “Take it or Leave it” rule?

          8. Many a Hindu girl in these schools possibly avoid non-vegetarian food, either on a regular basis, or on days of special significance to Hindu’s (say Friday). That behaviour is indeed conditioned by their faith in their religion that they worship. Would they be now required to relinquish that privilege to make that faith-based choice under the “Take it or leave it” rule?

          Let me repeat. My concern is not whether the Schools should or should not prohibit Hindu worship within the school premises, given that the Act No. 8 of 1961 is presumably STILL effective. The need to review that is a different matter that needs to be addressed separately.

          The issue I am pointing out is how far would the institution go in extending the definition of “worship” to unduly, unfairly and rather stupidly taboo common regional, cultural, non-evasive practices such as the use of holy ash? Such inconsiderate and invasive tabooing seem to do more harm rather than less to the community as a whole, especially as we aspire reconciliation that necessarily requires mutual respect to start with!

    • 0
      11

      Vannila,

      “Thank you Mr. Hoole for writing about a very important issue that affects me and the Christian children at Vembadi, Central and other Christian schools and training colleges which were given by the churches under the government’s solemn promise that the character of the institution will be maintained.”

      Who is in charge of administering the national schools of Vembadi and Jaffna Central College in Jaffna? I remember that the PM gave a serious warning and a dead line for change to the principals last year while visiting Jaffna but never found out the details. Any additional information you have?

    • 0
      11

      Vannila,

      You should complain to the Ministry of Education in Colombo who is in charge of the national schools.

      My understanding is that Vembady is the best school for girls in Jaffna.

  • 8
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    Dr.Ratnajeevan.

    Your line…..
    Percival therefore developed ten times the awe he had of Navalar. This awe led Percival to lose the Christian faith…

    Pl.replace Percival with Dr.Ratnajeevan Hoole and Pygmalion with Navalar.
    All your problems will be solved!

  • 8
    0

    There sholould be Vanni christian eelam and Vanni Hindu Eelam or may Jaffanisthan is Hindu Eelam.

    After that, Sri lankan govt should sell weapons to those two camps in order to keep the govt floating.

    Muslims also shoul argur saying Sunnis are better killers than Shittes. Sri lankan govt should sell weapons to them too in order to keep the peace.

  • 0
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    Navalar was no saint but if we look for saints to admire we would have no one to admire in history. Not even the Mahatma Gandhi who was racist against Blacks and was a casteist. Not even Mother Teresa nor Martin Luther King.

  • 8
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    There are forces conspiring to divide and rule Tamils by caste, religion and region. Tamils need to be watchful of them, some of whom claim to be one of us but actively work with the genocidal GoSL to undermine our aspirations. Unity is strength hence we must prioritise our ethnic identity before caste, religious and regional identities especially when we are facing the common threat of Sinhala supremacy.

  • 1
    11

    Dr Jeevan Hoole,

    “Yet, in this past month, Jaffna has seen Navalar Day celebrations which have also been attended by the Chief Minister and the Siva Senai.There were attempts to plant the statue of Navalar at nationalised Christian schools during these ceremonies. In doing so, they break this protective law.”

    Thank you for taking this up. I repeat that the NPC has a policy of what I call religious statues instead of necessary statutes. A lot of diaspora funds is used for Hindu and Christian activity in Jaffna but this is something the donors can choose to do. They should however make sure that all permits are obtained for construction and the festivals that increase in size, length and volume. The donors should also think about the real needs of the people not what the elite asks for.

    Who funded the Navalar statues? Some months ago I read of 17 other Hindu statues that were donated by a doctor in India due to a request from Jaffna. The idea of the NPC seems to be to decorate schools (only big schools in Jaffna town?) and other buildings of government with Hindu symbols. This is very similar to the government plans to provide tablets for the very few a-levels students instead of drinking water, toilets and food for the majority of the children who don’t even learn to read properly! If the aim is to create an ignorant obedient population dominated by high caste Hindus success is guaranteed but real development will never be achieved.

    How much tax payer money is used for this project? Is tax payer money also used for Buddhist, Muslim and Christian activity in the province especially in the areas dominated by Hindus? How can funds be found for statues and not for drinking water or toilets? How about a school harvesting rain water for the children and staff instead of looking at a statue and praying for a visa to work in Qatar?

    I know that tax payer money is used to decorate all public buildings with Hindu statues. I know that tax payer money is used for, for instance, the wheels of the temple chariot. I know that YMHA and other cultural-religious groups linked to Hindu temples receive tax payer money for festivals, paint, buildings etc. What I do not know is do the Muslims, Christians and Buddhists receive similar support from the local authorities. Not in my area where the Christian low caste minority has been excluded from any funding. Maybe needless to say that the Hindu temples and community groups in rural Jaffna are caste based.

    How are Christian children treated in government schools were they are a minority? Are they forced to participate in Hindu activity? Who teaches Christianity? In some small rural primary schools Christian children are a big minority or even a majority due to conversion.

  • 0
    3

    Was Arumuga Navalar born in South India ?

    • 8
      0

      Somewhere close to Tangalle I think.

  • 1
    11

    Naga,
    The issue is one of contested history. Hoole has referred to some materials. If you disagree and stand by another version, you have to do some hard work and reference to justify yourself. While you were in the UN or in some other reputed organisation, you would have been expected to grasp the substance of someone else’s presentation and answer to the point. Instead you take the lazy way out, let your imagination run wild and try to create an image of Hoole in the likeness of the mad monk of Batticaloa.

    We Hindus, Muslims and Christians are among those whom fate has ordained to either live in harmony in the North-East or to destroy each other. If the former, we have to observe civilised norms of discourse.

    By making an unjustified comparison of Hoole with the monk of Mangalaramaya, you are playing the same game of religious aggression that the latter is playing, of claiming Buddhist historical rights over whatever he wants to acquire or place his stamp on. In more polished quarters, the game is played by ridiculing those who challenge historical claims they implicitly support.

    We have already alienated the Muslims and attitudes such as those displayed by you are not going to help the Hindus, who are also a minority. If I were a Sinhalese chauvinist, I would sit back and have a loud laugh.

  • 1
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    Hindu caste dirt. What a messed up religion!

    No such BS in Islam. All are same.

    • 4
      0

      “All are same.”
      Are thy?

  • 11
    0

    Prof Rajeewan’s write up on “Navalar Myth Aborting Reconciliation” is totally misleading and the above caption suits his actions well. As Prof Rajeewan is living in the modern times and accusing Navalar who lived around 150 years ago demonstrates his shortcomings.
    Pro Rajeewan’s forefathers were the first to get converted from Hindu religion to Christianity. Fact behind their conversion was not because they really understood the core teaching of Christianity religion but to gain petty material gains and to get more favours from their white masters. But main point in this context is that even after more than two centuries Prof Rajeewan’s clan seems not have understood the core teaching of Christianity.

    PROF RAJEEWAN SHOULD ATLEAST NOW TAKE THE INITIATIVE TO LEARN THE HIGHER PLANE OF CHRISTIANITY IN PROPER MANNER.

    MAY GOD BLESS HIM

    • 3
      12

      “Fact behind their (Hooles’with a continuous line of Priests) conversion was not because they really understood the core teaching of Christianity religion but to gain petty material gains and to get more favours from their white masters. .”

      Mr. Paramanathan, Have you first tested the faith of the Christian Tamils before speaking?

      Historical records clearly show that during the Dutch nearly all of Jaffna was Protestant including the ancestors of Navalar. Before that most of us were Roman Catholic. As the Tamil proverb goes:

      Arasan evvali kudigalum avvali.

      With freedom of conscience under the British only those Tamils who did not understand
      “the core teaching of Christianity religion but converted to gain petty material gains and to get more favours from their white masters”

      (Is this a quote from the Navalar Centenary Issue?) as you describe them well here, reverted to Hinduism. Those who reverted we still call Choththu (rice) Christians. Those who persisted through the Navalar era and independence, are genuine.That is why,

      “even after more than two centuries Prof Rajeewan’s clan remain Christians”

      being denied suitable jobs in the Tamil areas.

      Prof. Hoole speaks here for reconciliation within Tamils society first, because it is a true Professor’s academic duty to point out error and enlighten wherever ignorance prevents progress. For a house divided will surely fall.

      You are saying all this just to be really nasty to the Tamil Christians. Does that make you a better Hindu or a better person?

      • 0
        0

        [Edited out]

  • 0
    10

    Dr Jeevan Hoole,

    “Government policy on reconciliation is being obstructed by the UGC Chairman Mohan de Silva’s new communalist requirements to teach engineering. When I was rejected for the post of Senior Lecturer at the University of Jaffna, one of the reasons de Silva gave Madam Kumaratunga who kindly queried why, was my writings on Arumuga Navalar, “an iconic figure” to Hindus.”

    Do you have any update on the status of your RTI request to receive a copy of the relevant letter from the UGC in this matter?

    • 0
      11

      Lone Wolf:

      The UGC Secretary wrote back that it is a private letter addressed to Chandrika in response to her request and therefore I am not entitled to it.

      It is my position, however, that Chandrika wrote to the UGC Chairman Mohan de Silva in his capacity as Chairman and therefore it is an official letter.

      Judicial aithorities need to settle this. However Prof. Carlo Fonseka who has seen the letter has given an affidavit on its contents. He states that my writings on Navalar and my being a Christian were given as two of the reasons for my not being wanted at the University.

      I appreciate your civilised, cerebral comments addressing the issues I have raised.

      Jeevan Hoole

      • 0
        2

        Dr Hoole,

        “Judicial aithorities need to settle this.”

        Thank you for the update. I hope that you have already or will challenge the decision in the future. At least the UGC has admitted that the letter exists.

        Please inform us on any progress.

  • 12
    0

    I think Prof Hoole that you should leave social and political analyses to your brother and to your cousin Nesiah! Stick to science!
    Your comments are full of irrelevancies and non-sequitors.For example what has Navalar got to do with the conduct of present day educational administrators?
    If you really look honestly at the history of educational administration in Jaffna you will find that Hindu ones and Christian ones practiced what can be called religious exclusivism:The Christian schools appointed only Christians to head their institutions and mostly even appointed only Christians as teachers. The Hindus did the same and are apparently continuing to do so.
    One may say this is unfortunately the standard operating practice throughout the world: When you have some power in your hands use it to the advantage of your own!
    Re your grievance about not being given various appointments: Surely you must know that when colleges make appointments, it is not only the academic qualifications that are considered but also issues such as collegiality, qualities of leadership, temperament etc that come into play.

  • 13
    0

    This unfortunate man Hoole seems to be hitting out at all and sundry because he missed out on his appointment as Vice Chancellor. He has provided much entertainment to me, who left Sri Lanka and Jaffna many years ago. The entertainment comes from his mud slinging at random on all things Hindu, his raving about the caste system while carefully noting that his ancestors are high caste people connected with a famous temple and his revealing of his academic accomplishments in a small community of Sri Lanka which had produced far greater men of esteem.

    1. Navalar lived nearly a century and a half ago. Caste was very much alive then and perhaps, it is now. Christians had caste as well. I remember pews in churches were reserved for high caste people. It still plays a role among all Tamils when it comes to marriage. I have many Christian relatives. The story in my family is that my great-grandfather became Christian to learn English and get a public service job. He converted back. Some others in the family did not. So, we have two branches in our family. There is no acrimony. This is a situation in many Jaffna Tamil families. Re Navalar, whatever his antecedents in Hinduisim may be, he is still a revered Tamil scholar both in Sri Lanka and India. Throwing stones at him is counterproductive. Nothing can erase the fact that Tamil literature is intimately connected with the Hindu Saivaite religion. That is not to say that leadership roles among the Tamils must be held only by Christians. It is belied by facts. SJV Chelvanayagam was a Christian and possibly the next leader of the TNA would be Christian. Mr or double Doctor Hoole should get off this particular hobby horse.

    2. Hoole goes on about his qualifications. Sri Lanka has had so many giants who had enormous reputations overseas like Chandra Wickremasingha in astronomy and mathematics and Gnanalingam in physics. A generation before Suntheralingam, Gnanalingam’s father had achieved much. Weeramantry was a judge of the international court and had two doctorates in law. NM Perera is credited with this too. Gamani Corea was accepted as a great economist around the world and was Secretary General of UNCTAD. The examples could be multiplied. Within the small Jaffna community, there were many who had both a lower and a higher doctorate. Dr HW Tambiah who did so much to record Thesawalamai, a Christian Tamil and Supreme Court Judge was one such person. Professor Sornarajah is another. So, come off this rather small horse of having two doctorates and be a bit more humble. Christianity must be teaching as much. Within the gifted Tamil diaspora, such qualifications are not a rarity any more.

    3. Hoole’s constant ravings show him to be an unpleasant man. This may be uncharitable to say. But, he seems to want to create divisions when there should be harmony. My wife, Mamath Sinhalam, went to a Christian school. She has happy memories of her teachers.

  • 0
    0

    It seems we haven’t identified any new moon shot project to replace Eelam project in Jaffna.

    Because of it, people are now out of focus and creating social problems such as drinking problems, drug problems, cast problem and now religious problems. Who are the culprits spreading these problems? Guess the ones who were benefited from war time business and the ones who are back in Jaffna and roaming freely now days without any meaningful job to do!

    Many of us who grew up in Jaffna during the war time never experienced any of these social problems. The secret to contain disruptive personalities are to make them busy.

    Can someone please offer this man a full time job so that he won’t have enough time to spread the religious cancer issue in Jaffna?

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