17 June, 2024


Next Year Will Mark Sri Lanka’s First Racial Riots Centenary

By S. V. Kirubaharan

S. V. Kirubaharan

S. V. Kirubaharan

We, Tamil Centre for Human Rights – TCHR are deeply concerned about and strongly condemn the heinous violence that has been meted out this month against the Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

Looking at history – ethnic violence, sectarian violence and cultural violence against the Tamils and Muslims in the island are nothing new. Impunity is deeply entrenched and has continued for many decades.

The first racial riot in the island was in June 1915. It was between the Sinhala Buddhists and the Muslims – 136 Muslims were killed and 205 injured and raped. Nearly 85 mosques were damaged and more than 4,075 muslim-owned shops were looted by the Sinhala rioters, from Central province to the Western and North Western provinces.

In 1974 tension intensified between the Singhalese and Muslims in Mylumkulam in Puttalam. Government officials and the Police showed their partiality and supported the Singhalese.

In January 1976, as a consequence of the assault on a Muslim youth by a Singhalese bus driver (CTB), Sinhala-Muslims riots broke out in Puttalam. Muslims in Sirampiaddy, Pottuvil and other villagers were severely attacked. A mosque at Pottuvil (Quela Mosque) was completely destroyed and 18 Muslims who were assembled in another mosque in Puttalam were shot dead. The Muslims working in the Cement Cooperation in Puttalam were attacked and no protection was given by the Police.

Gotabhaya with BBSIn 1982, from 30 July to 4 August, Sinhala-Muslim riots broke out in Galle and then spread to Kandy, Mawanella and others parts, including Colombo.

In November 2002, Sinhala-Muslim riots took place in Chillaw. A group of Singhalese burnt down many houses belonging to Muslims and several people were severely injured in this incident. A Muslim refugee camp in Puttalam was also attacked and 75 Muslim families were forced to seek shelter in the nearby mosque.

In Katugoda in Galle, a 22 year old Muslim youth was shot dead and several others were injured.

During this period, only members of the Tamil Federal Party or Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi – ITAK raised this matter in the Sri Lankan Parliament.

In August 2006, a case was filed by some Singhalese against the purchase of 30 acres of land by Muslims in Palavi, Puttalam. This case was rejected by the Court. When the Muslims who were displaced from Jaffna, were moving onto this land, a group of Singhalese, led by a Buddhist monk, immediately chased them away violently, preventing them from settling in Palavi. On the same day they installed a statue of Buddha in that village.

On 10 September 2011, a group of Buddhist monks led a crowd that demolished a mosque in Anuradhapura.

According to BBC South Asia of 20/09/11, Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa clarified earlier reports about the fate of a mosque destroyed by a crowd of Buddhist monks. The defence secretary told the BBC he could not order the structure to be rebuilt, contrary to what had been reported earlier.

On 20 April 2012 thousands of Buddhist monks and their followers in Dambulla staged a protest against a mosque and a Saiva (Hindu) temple, setting out from a Buddhist sacred area in Dambulla. The protesters went to the mosque waving Buddhist flags and shouting slogans (you Muslims eat beef you can’t stay here). They tried to storm the building.

On 22 April, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister who is responsible for the Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs ordered the mosque in Dambulla to be removed from a sacred area.

Muslims claim that the mosque was established in 1962 and that they have prayed there regularly for many decades. But Buddhist monks say that the 50-year-old mosque had been constructed illegally.

Tamil and Muslim farmers/fishermen in Amparai, Batticaloa and Trincomalee are always facing similar problems.

Five racial riots took place against the Tamils – in 1956, 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983. Over 100 massacres of Tamils that took place since 1983 have been extensively documented.

TCHR expresses our deepest sympathies and sorrow for the victims in Alutgama, Beruwela and the surrounding areas, where the Bodu Bala Sena – BBS (Buddhist Power Force), a Buddhist fundamentalist group intensified well planned attacks on innocent people.

We condemn, in the strongest terms, the incidents, which are against all human rights norms.

Attacking innocent children, women and civilians is not courageous. It is courageous to protect freedom.

TCHR would like to offer our condolences to the family and friends of the victims of these heinous crimes. These horrific and totally unprovoked attacks have no place in the world which has unequivocally condemned them.

The speech made by Buddhist monk Galagodaatte Gnanasara, the Secretary General of the BBS in Aluthgama, has been widely circulated. Is this speech not enough for the government to take action on Galagodaatte Gnanasara? If it isn’t, then what “justice” are we talking about in Sri Lanka?

The speech was full of venom, motivating Sinhala Buddhist mobs to instigate violence against Muslims not only in Aluthgama but everywhere in Sri Lanka.

The government, which banned 16 diaspora organizations together with 424 individuals under the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 should realize whether they talk with any sense of justice or injustice.

The Rajapaksas’ policy is very simple. What is “good” for them is an act of democracy and what is against them is considered as instigating violence. Can any neutral individual or institution say that the speech made by Buddhist monk Galagodaatte Gnanasara in Aluthgama is peaceful and not incitement to violence?

Within a few days of the violence in Aluthgama, it was reported that Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thero, a Buddhist monk who is critical of BBS, was attacked by so-called unknown person. When Ven Watareka Wijitha spoke to the media from his hospital bed, he said he had been assaulted and ‘cut’ by a group of men in robes – Buddhist monks.

It is well known that the Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka, Gotabaaya Rajapaksa, brother of President Rajapaksa, is a close associate and supporter of  the BBS. He participates in BBS public events. Obviously BBS will enjoy official impunity.

The Police allowed the mobs to act freely and are reluctant to take any action against the BBS or to accuse the BBS of instigating sectarian violence.

Now Rajapaksa’s government has lost the trust of Tamils, Muslims, India and the International community. These four directions indirectly checkmate the Rajapaksas. The outcome of this checkmate will emerge in a matter of months or years.

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Latest comments

  • 10

    What after Diego Garcia(the gift sold) the sophisticated american nuclear base of 50k personnel?? A vassal state to control SARC from the sea.

    Oh the US/UK Banana Republic will be held together the same way international war criminal Blair is moving around and asking the IC to bomb Syria while his own party run by a Jewish leader stopped the Americans.

    How many men like Ian Paisley are in the passa pocket?? This is what controls the destiny of the island not human rights to third world fellows isn’t it??

  • 8

    No doubt next year the writer and associates will celebrate the 25th Anniversary to mark the Tamil led violence against the Muslims in Jaffna when 90,000 Muslims were forcibly driven out and thousands were slaughtered by Tamils. Proud to be Tamil are you?
    In 1915, more Sinhalese than Muslims were killed – mainly by British thugs, a fact the writer ommitted. Your anti Sinhala stance will get you nowhere.

    • 2

      lal loo

      “90,000 Muslims were forcibly driven out and thousands were slaughtered by Tamils.”

      Of course LTTE did all of it with the arms and ammunition provided by Premadasa through his military intelligence.

  • 4

    Well, you need to be educated isn’t it?

    The first racial riot in 1915 happened after a few Moslems pelted stones at the Dalada Procession.

    The second one happened after GG Ponnablam insulted Buddhists in a public rally 1934.

  • 5

    Kaththankaddy 3000 don’t get a mention in this MR HR Kirubaharan’s meticulously kept chronology.

    Neither the half a Mil Muslims who were exiled from the North East and forced into the bad Sinhala Buddhist South.

    Perhaps Praba sent Kiruba on Sabbatical during his rule….

    • 4

      Nope. Selective Amnesia which tends to afflict sham HR defenders. Remember they will never raise their voices against the killing of Dr. Neelan, Principal Anantharajah, Central College principal, Former GA Panjalingham and on and on. Just the selective ones only to suit their agenda. That is why there is no difference between this lot and the GoSL lot. Just on the opposite sides of a game. People die/suffer in the middle while the HR defenders take up space here.

    • 8

      K.A Sumanasekera

      “Neither the half a Mil Muslims who were exiled from the North East and forced into the bad Sinhala Buddhist South.”

      We know you are weak on your facts and truth like your other shameful conduct. Could you let us have proof of “half a Mil Muslims”.

  • 5

    Here Kirubaharan tells about the first Sinhala-Tamil riot and the damage caused to the Muslim side by the Sinhala rioters. Kirubaharan portrays Muslims were the innocent victims of Sinhala looters and rioters. This is contrary to the truth. The riot was started by a set of recent (at the time) Muslim immigrants called ‘hambayas’.

    The anniversary of the birthday of Buddha or Wesak day in 1915 fell on the 28th of May. And a carol processions was organised and permission was sought and the elected members of the Municipal Council unanimously recommended the issue of the licence as usual.

    Muslims of the mosque at Castle Hill Street objected to the issuance of the licence. So, the Government Agent approved it on condition that the procession should not enter Castle Hill Street before midnight for he knew there are no mosque activities by midnight.

    At about 1 am, on the 28th May 1915, the first carol procession with a band of musicians in a decorated cart turned into Castle Hill Street from King Street. Normally the mosque should have been closed, but on that day, it was lit and crowd of Muslims have gathered in strength and were standing inside and either side of the Castle Hill Street to object the carol proceeding in front of the mosque.

    When an inspector named Cooray and six policemen who was on duty asked the organizers of the carol procession to go to the next street through another, they obediently obliged and carol cart was turned back. And the Muslims clapped hands, jeered and booed. This was too much for Sinhalas so they stopped and watched. Then another carol cart entered Castle Hill Street. And the first one followed that. As they advanced, stones and empty bottles were hurled on the procession from the upper storeys of two boutiques near the mosque and from the platform of the mosque.

    Sinhalas lost their patience. They rushed forward and gave the Muslims back in kind. Sinhalas chased the Muslims and they fled into the mosque. Then they pulled down its iron bars and smashed its glass panes, broke into the adjoining boutiques and flung the boxes, grain and groceries into the streets.

    On the following day, there were scuffles between Sinhalas and Muslims. A Sinhala youth was killed with a bullet from a revolver fired from the upper storey of his master’s shop. The police failed to arrest the murderer. And these are what started the so-called anti-Muslim riots that continued till 5th June 1915.

    Above account was extracted from ‘The Life of Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, vol.2 (1910-1930), 1977, chapters 10 (Riots-1915, pp.229-250),’. Would you respond to this S. V. Kirubaharan of TCHR?

    • 2

      Thanks for that.

    • 3

      You mean the one man organisation called Tamil Centre for Human Rights – TCHR should respond to you?. You mean the Tiger worshipper should respond to you. You mean this sham ‘Human rights’ defender to respond to you? Why should he?. This is the HR defender who wrote in this very news paper praising a convicted Tiger criminal who extorted funds from tamils in France and subsequently served time in a French jail. Such is his Human rights credentials. (source: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lankan-state-terrorism-spreads-to-paris-france/).

      • 6

        If TCHR is one man organisation, why are you wasting your time to write a comment here?

        Have you got any personal anger on them?

        There was one man organisation in US, known as Tamil for injustice. They never showed any accounts for the money that they raised from the public.

        • 2

          Sritharan, prove me wrong rather than bringing in a new argument. TCHR is a one man show. It is show run to defend the people TCHR likes while ignoring the other HR violations and violators. TCHR is no AI or HRW. It never took an even handed approach in condeming violations. Even here as the above writer pointed out it selectively picks events to craft a story while ignoring the rest of the story.

          No I do not have anything personal against this man. I am against the agenda this man and his organisation pursues. The day he praised an extortionist from Paris, who terrorised my fellow men, is the day I ceased to see him as the defender of HR. Unless and until he category condemns the misdeeds of all sides he cannot parade around claiming to defend the rights of the tamils. Dr. Neelan to Ananatharajan to Panjalingham and many others who were killed by our own side are also tamils. The French victims too were Tamils. Show me an example of TCHR’s outrage over those violations.

          As for commenting my time is mine and you need not have to worry about how I spend my time.

          • 6

            But they have condemned the money raised from the Diaspora and profane by an organisation so called Tamils for injustice!

            What is you good name Sir?

            Are you the same crony who consistently right noxious remarks with dummy names in the CT?

            Don’t you have any other work other than humiliating, insulting and intimidating others?

            CT may ignores or allows you but there is one above us watching everyone of us.

            Mills of GOD grind slow BUT SURE.

            Good luck.

            • 2

              “Mills of GOD grind slow BUT SURE.”

              Absolutely. Totally agree with you. May 2009 and March 2014 is the best proof of that. Both lot chose to purse dastardly agendas aided by a cheer squad of defenders who selectively turned a blind eye to violations of increasing intensity. Hiding behind GOD of last resort both sides chose to kill/execute their own kind with the full confidence the cheer squads will sing praises of them. Ultimately the very tool both sides have used is eating them out. Very true watch the GOD these gamers to nothing.

          • 3

            “I am against the agenda this man and his organisation pursues.”

            Are you the competent authority of the Diaspora media or the CT?

            Who hell are you?

            “No I do not have anything personal against this man.”

            Then why are you asking the below given question under another dummy name?

            “Who gives a toss for your internecine wars/views??”

            Many comments written here may have appeared under different dummy names, but it is so obvious that all these piloted by one single individual!

            You piloted the Plane for your own ego and you lost your pilot license.

            Now your plans are going on another wrong direction and you will losse your reputation, if you have one.

            • 3

              Poor Velu. Can’t face the facts. Just blabs.

      • 6

        Nothing new about you. Just another old rag in a new suit paid for by Passa and terrorist Douglas, Karuna KP etc.

        Who gives a toss for your internecine wars/views??

        Your problem is you are SI kallathoni and think that you are Jewish- that is how stupid your race in a godforsaken village has become.

    • 9


      “Sinhalas lost their patience.”

      The virtuous Sinhala/Buddhists seem to lose their patience too often that the country has lost count of it.

      Keep losing your patience one day you are going to lose your country as well.

  • 6

    I do not deny that parts of ven. Gnanasara’s speech incite passion. The fact that Kirubaharan failed to dig deep into the context or what led to that speech shows his determination to capitalize the situation towards the project Eelam.

    I bet Kirubaharan knew this: On that fateful Poson Poya day (June 12th) Ven. Ayagama Samitha, Chief priest of Vijeyaramaya, in Dharga Town was on this way to a Bana. And his vehicle was stopped by three Muslim youth on motorbikes started an argument with the driver and attacked both. The monk was hospitalized and a complaint was made at the police. Ven Samitha also said that a decapitated Head and the 4 hooves of an Ox was left in front of his temple about 2 weeks before that. After a complaint was lodged with the Aluthgama Police, they removed the trash. But the police didn’t apprehend the offenders. Anyway, when ven Samitha was checked out of the hospital on the following day, and there was a reception to receive him at Aluthgama town. Ven Gnanasara had made the said speech there. After the reception Ven. Samitha was taken to his temple in a procession. This widely circulated armature video clip covered a part of that procession for a few minutes when Muslims threw stones to it which sets a set of events that lead to the mayhem that followed.

    Afterall hate speeches are not uncommon in Sri Lanka. Tell us, is it not the hate speech against Sinhalas and their Mahawamsa by GG Ponnambalam that started the first Sinhala-Tamil race riot in 1939?

    On 13th April 2013, secretary to Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath, Abdul Razik had deliberately made an unprovoked derogatory remarks on Buddha saying he had eaten human flesh and triple jem means just stones at a meeting in Maligawatta. Razik should have known that over 70% of this country are Buddhists and the constitution compel the government to protect and foster Buddhism. Yet Razik got away with a mere apology at court. If such a statement was made by a Buddhist or a Christian in Pakistan, against Muhammad, he would have lost his head.

    Gnanasaras are concerned about Muslim fundamentalism that is clearly taking root in Sri Lanka. To what extent Muslim fundamentalism has spread to Beruwala Aluthgama area can be accessed from the taped sermon that Wahhabi Thowheed had delivered the day after the annual kandhoori (feast) at 150 year old Buhkary Thakiyya of traditional Quadri Sufis on 23rd 2009. The loud-speaker amplified taped sermon of the Thowheed have compared Buhari Thakiyya to a Buddhist Temple, the Kandhoori to a Dansal and the archways erected at the entrance to a Wesak Pandal for everyone in the village of Mahagoda to hear. In that Wahhabi had degraded both Sufis and Buddhists.

  • 4

    In post independence Sri Lanka the Sinhalese rulers spread racism to permanently secure a vote bank in the south to make sure Sinhala-Buddhism rules the country. Even Soloman Bandaranayake had to convert to Buddhism to get elected as the prime minister.

    The weakness among the leaders of ethnic minorities is falling for ministerial posts at the expense of their respective communities. In 1949 Tamil leader G G Ponnampalam fell for the same in the first such government and betrayed the upcountry Tamils by supporting the Citizenship Act that disfranchised them. He managed to set up small factories in Kankesanthurai, Paranthan and Valaichenai but lost them later in the anti-Tamil riots. Rauf Hakeem is also making a similar betrayal to his community now without realising the benefit of the unity of ethnic minorities, which can lead to power sharing via devolution. A permanent solution can ensure a secure self rule for the ethnic minorities but winning concessions can only be temporary.

  • 0

    A few comments have been written with an idea of just countering S. V. Kirubaharan’s article.

    No point of reading articles with emotion.

    There is no place in the article that he neither says that Sinhala Buddhist is racist nor others are Saint!

    Anyway, Kirubaharan’s article has created a way for many to comment about 1915 racial riot against Muslim. This where Kirubaharan stands a credit!

    Presently he is for 13th amendment. In other words, he wants a political solution for the Tamils within united Sri Lanka.

    Therefore what he wrote here cannot be considered as capitalize towards Eelam project.

    • 9

      He knows he can’t have 13th A. because it won’t be given but has to be plucked so he is only trying the elimination process and would reach the same conclusion of partition. Its called 3 day IAF air raids like creation of Bangala

      The Muslims now understand the pros and cons of its stupid block vote greedy leaders and sleeping with the `lying race`

    • 6


      S. V. Kirubaharan writes:

      “…. 136 Muslims were killed and 205 injured and raped. Nearly 85 mosques were damaged and more than 4,075 muslim-owned shops were looted by the Sinhala rioters, from Central province to the Western and North Western provinces.”

      He has not cited any reference. If you agree with him could you give us the chapter and verse where one could confirm the above information.

  • 0

    It is so obvious that Javi – ShamRightsdefender – Native Vedda and few other comments written not only to this article but in few other places were written by one same person using a few bogus names.

    This shows how far this person is a hooligan and fraudulent Pilot.

    Those who know this chap knew that he is unemployed for decades and looking for trouble.

    It is nobody else other than the President of so called the Tamils for injustice.

    CT is the only media where elite and academics can write their decent comments.

    But, the way this hooligan is misusing it, one fine day, CT also may consider stopping this facility.

    Fraudulent Pilot must look for a street thug to have his habitual grumbling and leave this column for genuine comments.

    • 4

      Oi,kallathoni/hora oru go back to your ghetto Velu (pseudonym)

      The day you are competent at French, Spanish apart from Tamil, Sihala, Sanskrit hindi marathi english etc try to find similarities. Remember I am no linguist and N.V. is all substance with a chuckle.

      Till then you are like off the nut/butt.

      In any case we are all wondering when you are going to wash that borrowed ambude of yours? Phew!

    • 6


      “It is so obvious that Javi – ShamRightsdefender – Native Vedda and few other comments written not only to this article but in few other places were written by one same person using a few bogus names.”

      I say what I think(?) and think(?) what I say.

      Don’t need to hide behind Javi or ShamRightsdefender.

      Javi has been in this forum long before you appeared here.

      Please go away think about it, come back and tell us who is who.

    • 0

      Immediate reply to my comment by JAVI and NATIVE VEDDA prove that it is the same person who is misuing and messing up this column.

      As I said, he is unemployed for decades and a trouble hunter!

      Who else other than a hooligan will write dirty comments here!

      Thank you for showing your right identity.

      • 6


        “Who else other than a hooligan will write dirty comments here!”

        Hooligans by definition (a violent young troublemaker, typically one of a gang – synonyms: hoodlum, thug, lout, delinquent, tearaway, vandal, ruffian, rowdy, troublemaker; larrikin; informal tough, rough, bruiser, roughneck; informal yob, yobbo, bovver boy, lager lout, chav, hoodie; informalkeelie, ned; informal roughie, hoon)are violent void of any social conciousness.

        Violent hooligan and dirty comments are mutually exclusive.

        Give me one example of my dirty comment.

        • 0


          I don’t agree with what Velu says about you, Javi and ShamRightsdefender and I have challenged Velu’s comment.

          But you should not issue challenges like the following:
          “Give me one example of my dirty comment”

          Here is one

          On May 25, 2014 at 2:16 pm, you wrote


          You have great sense of History. I envy you.

          The stupid Tamils suffered last time when IPKF arrived because the Sri Lankan armed forces who were supposed to defend this island were found hiding behind their women folks and VP’s fat bottom”


          Kind Regards

      • 2

        Baca Loco Velu,

        northern village kallathoni turned refugee in the west for economic reasons you sound like skunk in a spin dryer because- wet, smelly and going ba-bump, ba- bump.

        Try eating a banana from Israel and you must know when to run once again.

    • 2

      Dear Velu,

      Re “It is so obvious that Javi – ShamRightsdefender – Native Vedda and few other comments written not only to this article but in few other places were written by one same person using a few bogus names”

      Javi is a real name. It is as real as Velu. But you are a fool to focus on the names used by others when you cannot prove that the name you use is your own.

      Please prove who you are if you can.

      Only a fool will focus on the name of a writer instead of what that writer writes.

      Kind Regards,

  • 2

    Dear Mr S. V. Kirubaharan,
    General Secretary,
    Tamil Centre For “Human Rights” (TCHR)

    Here comes the Vultures!

    A look at your website clearly exposes you as a Tamil Separatist and a Terrorist sympathizer if not a Terrorist Financier.

    Even the Ethnic Cleansing of the Muslims from the North is described in very mild language.

    “It is common knowledge that the Muslims living in Jaffna were evacuated in 1990 and they were compelled to live in Puttalam. In fact, several times, the political advisor of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – LTTE, the late Anton Balasingham, tendered their apology for this unpredicted and unexpected incident.

    In 2002, when Anton Balasingam was speaking in a public meeting in Mullaitivu, he said, “Linguistically, economically and territorially the Muslims and the Tamils are inextricably inter-related and therefore they have to co-exist as brothers in the northeast. Let us forget and forgive the mistakes made in the past. Tamil Eelam is also the homeland of the Muslims and we have to live in harmony and amity to promote peace and prosperity in the region.” (Late Anton Balasingham, 03 April 2002 at Sivasubramaniam Maha Vidyalayam, Puthukuddirrupu in Mullaitivu)”

    Evacuated not Ethnic Cleansing or Expelled

    Nothing mentioned about how the Muslims were ROBBED of ALL their belongings by forcing them out within hours with only the clothes they wore.

    Not a word of the Kattankudi and Eravur Mass Murders of Muslims.

    1 August 1990 LTTE attacks kills 14 Muslims in Akkaraipattu. The dead men had their hands tied behind their backs with their own clothes and then shot in the back of the head. Just like the CH4 Video.

    2 and 3 August 1990, LTTE kills 15 Muslims in Medawachchiya, Batticaloa and Majeedpuram.

    4 August 1990 (Friday) over three hundred Muslims, were at prayer in the Meera Jumma Mosque in Kattankudi. A few yards away about 40 at prayer in the Hussainya Mosque.

    At 7.20 pm the lights went out.

    Eye witnesses A. I. Ismail (55) and M.M. Akbar (16) says LTTE dressed in battle fatigues, sarongs and tee shirts. drove up in several white Hiace vans and opened automatic fire inside the darkened mosques.

    Six days after Katankudi LTTE rounded up hundreds of Muslims in Siyambalagaskanda but foiled by the Security forces.

    18 August 1990, LTTE attacks Eravur and murder 31 children, 27 women and 115 men.

    Not a word of the suicide attack on a Muslim Celebration on Prophet Mohamed’s Birthday at Godapitiya in Akuressa.

    Mr S. V. Kirubaharan, we know how you protect Human Rights

    Now lets discuss what you wrote here.

    You say Next Year Will Mark Sri Lanka’s First Racial Riots Centenary

    Obviously you are trying to Fish in troubled waters

    Re “We, Tamil Centre for Human Rights – TCHR are deeply concerned about and strongly condemn the heinous violence that has been meted out this month against the Muslim community in Sri Lanka”

    First it was the murderous Rudra, now you, Usha is sure to follow and so will many more. We will have enough and more Crocodile tears from Vultures like you.

    1915 was a Religious Riot. There were riots before that but mainly in the North. Tamils fighting other Tamils.

    Arunachalam noted in the 1901 Census Report : It is compatible with ‘high caste’ in Ceylon to seek not only to exclude members of the other castes, however worthy, from public offices, but in the rural districts to prevent them from adopting modes of dress, living or locomotion hitherto used by higher castes. Riots have occurred from these causes and they constitute one of the difficulties of administration in Ceylon.

    The social status of the non-vellala castes in Jaffna was extremely low, compared to the position of the non-goigama in Buddhist Ceylon. This stemmed from the fact that some of the largest non-vellala castes, the koviyars, cliandars, paths and nalavas had been slaves of the vellala up to the abolition of slavery by the colonial government in 1844. There had been slavery among the Kandyan Sinhalese but it was of the mildest form, slaves being personal bond-men to the owners

    Of the four slave castes, the koviyars were the most privileged, as they had been household servants to the vellala; the nalavas or toddy-tappers, and the pallas, landless labourers, were however treated much like helots or serfs by the vellala who formed the powerful landowning class. Their position after the abolition of slavery was not much improved. As Tambiah observed, Although slavery was abolished legally, many of the depressed classes remained as de facto slaves of their masters for economical reasons.

    Even by the mid-20th century the status of the pallas, for example, was hardly any better than a century before. Tambiah quotes from the Manual of the Madura District published in 1868 to describe the position of the pallas in 1951.

    They are a numerous but abject and despised race. Their principal occupation is ploughing the land of the more fortunate Tamils, and though normally free, they are usually slaves in almost every sense of the word.’ The outcastes or parayas had a deplorable social status. Among this group, there was a caste unique to Jaffna, the turumbas or washers men to the parayas. They were not allowed to be seen in the daylight and could only travel by night

    In 1933, the vellala bus-drivers went on strike in protest against attempts by the depressed classes to emancipate themselves to the extent of exercising a prerogative of sitting on the seats in the buses, as opposed to the floor which had previously been their preserve. A few months later in a caste feud between vellala and non-vellala Catholics, a vellala was killed, and the houses of several parayas burnt down, over the issue of a paraya man wearing shoes in church.

    The next day, another feud developed in another village between vellalas and nalavas over the rights of the nalavas to cremate their dead in a vellala cremation place, and a man was shot.

    (Communal Politics by Dr Jane Russell)

    In 1912, the Coastal Muslims (from India) objected to the Kandy Esala Pageant (Pageant of the Tooth Relic) passing in front of their Mosque. This was the cause of the 1915 Riot. Below is the events that led to the rioting.

    The Esala Perahera starts on the 8th day of the waxing moon of Esala and continues for 15 days. The ceremonies are held for fourteen days within the premises of the Devale. The final and culminating 15th day perahera concludes with a ritual called the ‘diyakepuma’ (water-cutting) ceremony. The final day perahera from immemorial times had taken a route from the Devale to a place called Porutota on the Mahaveli Ganga for the ritual of water-cutting along a road known as the Ambagamuwa Road. The perahera had to pass a number of places of worship belonging to other faiths – some Christian churches, Hindu temples, and some mosques. Among these there was one mosque built not long ago (in the 1890’s) by the Coast Moors. Until 1912 the perahera had proceeded along its traditional route with the usual music unchallenged by anyone. That year, the Coast Moors threatened to riot if the perahera passed within 100 yards (metres) of their mosque. The Government Agent, presumably on the instructions of the police , subjected the issue of a license for the perahera to the fulfillment of the demand of the Muslims.

    The Basnayake Nilame of the Devale refused to abide by this unacceptable condition, and cancelled the perahera for that year. Instead, on legal advice, he instituted action against the Attorney General on 30th September 1913. The trial of the case came before the District Court of Kandy on 20th March 1914 before Dr (later Sir) Paul E. Pieris, Acting District Judge of Kandy. The learned judge delivered his judgement on 4th June 1914, declaring the plaintiff ‘entitled to the privilege set out in the second paragraph of his complaint’ (viz. “the right and privilege of marching and to and from and through all the streets of the town of Gampola including that portion of Ambagamuwa street……. With elephants to the accompaniment of tom-tom drums and other musical instruments”).

    Although this was an extremely fair judgement by all accounts the British authorities (not ready to accept it for the obvious reason that it was damaging to their prestige as the representatives of the glorious Empire on which the sun never set) appealed to the Supreme Court, which duly dismissed the plaintiff’s action. But the Basnayake Nilame and his supporters appealed to the highest tribunal of the British Empire, the Privy Council, and retained the eminent Sir John Simon to argue the appeal. There were signs that justice in this case was going to be asserted at last.

    The 1915 riots broke out in this time of indecision. On 28th May that year, the Vesak Fullmoon Poya Day, the traditional Esala Perahera of the Walahagoda temple was held. The perahera followed its usual route along the Ambagamuwa road. But the Police prevented the procession from passing the disputed place. The Moors, encouraged by what they assumed to be support of the Police for their cause started jeering at the Buddhists marching in the procession and threw stones at them from the steps of the mosque. Retaliation was swift and inevitable. Rioting between Buddhists and Muslims spread to other parts of the island. As usual in such situations criminal elements took to looting and arson; shops of Moor traders were attacked and goods stolen; mosques were set on fire. The Governor Sir Robert Chalmers declared martial law. By the time order was restored and martial law withdrawn three months after the rioting had started 63 people had been killed by the Military and the Police. Ad hoc commissions dispensed summary justice.

    The needless severity with which the British authorities dealt with the situation was partly due to the fact that Britain was at war with Germany, a powerful and pitiless enemy. The Turkish Empire made common cause with the Germans against the British. The British Government did not want to displease the Muslims, especially the many millions of them in India, for fear that this might lead to an uprising among them in favour of their co-religionists of the Turkish Empire.

    Although the hearing of the appeal of the Gampola Perahera Case before Privy Council began promisingly for the aggrieved Devale authorities, it did not go on until a final decision was delivered because the new Governor of Ceylon Sir John Anderson was trying to settle the dispute after 1915 riots by adopting a more conciliatory attitude towards the Esala Perahera. He gave binding orders that the Perahera was not to be interfered with any restrictions. When the Coast Moors found that the Government was no longer behind them they gave up their extremist demands. In 1917 the Governor himself attended the Perahera as the Sinhalese kings of yore had done.


    Kind Regards,

    • 5

      It is indisputable that this savage has another phony name as, “OFF THE CUFF”

      This monster is jobless for decennium.

      Writing nasty comments and insulting writers is the job of this professional savage.

      See what he has written.

      “First it was the MURDEROUS RUDRA, now you, USHA is sure to follow and so will many more. We will have enough and more Crocodile tears from Vultures like you”.

      Nobody else other than this professional savage (self-styled the President of the Tamil for injustice) is going to waste their time, writing lengthy comment.

      His logotype is to insult, intermediate, harass and writing dirty comments about the writers in the CT.

      Savage, there is no doubt that you know about FISHING IN TROUBLE waters better than anybody else! This is the one causing your transgression!

      This is the one causing your transgression!This is the one causing your transgression!This is the one causing your transgression!

      • 4

        Off The Butt Offshot is the Douglas `Goo`ta hit squad name Mango. During the Paris murder DJ at Paris and he established in greater London were active giving running commentaries of deception. No sooner he vanished wrote a stinky article on CT challenging the UN commission of inquiry on CT and the offshot skunk is back just like Fathima Fuckushima who has gone under the rock- they are paid assassins in a state run international terror network.

      • 2

        Dear Sritharan,

        Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, self styled PM of TGT Eelam wrote an article to CT on June 26, 2014 about the Muslims.

        Two days later, on June 28, 2014, S. V. Kirubaharan, General Secretary, Tamil Centre For “Human Rights” (TCHR) has written this one.

        Ms Usha S Sriskander Raja the prolific TGTE propagandist is sure to write on this subject.

        Rudra and Kirubaharan are shedding Crocodile Tears.

        You have gone out of your mind when it is pointed out.

        Of course I have a Name by which I am known to the public but I have decided not to reveal it to protect myself and my family from Mad people like you.

        Instead of worrying about my name, which is irrelevant to what I write, focus on the writing and prove them wrong if you can.

        The LTTE were savages. You, Rudra and Kirubaharan defend them. I hope you have the intelligence to understand what that implies.

        BTW If you are REALLY “Sritharan” prove your identity to the CT readership because for all we know, you may even be Rudra or Usha, responding to my comment hiding behind a real name.

        Kind Regards,

        • 2

          Well said man. They have forgotten Kattankudy mosque massacre (3 August 1990) 147 deaths.

        • 0

          “Of course I have a Name by which I am known to the public”

          Is it Fraudulent pilot Don G, the President of the Tamils for injustice?

          • 0

            Dear Velu,

            You still focusing on my name because you cannot refute what i have written.

            BTW Sritharan could not prove his identity, can you prove yours?

            Kind Regards,

  • 1

    Once again I repeat my comment:

    “Kirubaharan’s article has created a way for many to comment about 1915 racial riot. This where Kirubaharan stands a credit!”

    This article deserves an award.

    Thank you very much for quoting the Island.

  • 3

    I condemn the poor act of BBS and the MARA for the Aluthgama incident.Government should enforce the law & order so that small incidents like what happened in Beruwala wouldn’t develop into that high level to create the tensions between different races. In another note, we don’t want any support even by the words from the bloody LTTE and [Edited out] like Kirubaharan. Because, as an Eastern Province dweller, I personally know how you people treated us in the North and East. Where were you these crocodile tears when we were massacred by your murderers in Kattankudy mosque. 147 people were killed while they were praying. We believe that we wouldn’t get such treatment from our Singhala brothers.

    LTTE mass killings of civilians.
    Kattankudy mosque massacre (3 August 1990) 147 deaths.
    Anuradhapura massacre (14 May 1985)146 deaths
    Habarana bus massacre (17 April 1987) 127 deaths
    Eastern Sri Lanka massacre (16 October 1995) 120 deaths
    Central Bus Station Bombing (21 April 1987) 116 deaths
    Palliyagodella massacre (15 October 1991) 109 deaths
    Digampathana bombing (16 October 2006) 92–103 deaths
    Central Bank bombing (January 1996) 91 deaths
    Kebithigollewa massacre (2006)66 deaths
    Dehiwala train bombing (24 July 1996) 64 deaths
    Kent and Dollar Farm massacres (30 November 1984) 62 deaths
    Lionair Flight 602 (29 September 1998) 55 deaths
    Gonagala massacre (18 September 1999) 54 deaths
    Kallarawa massacre (25 May 1995) 42 deaths
    Aranthalawa Massacre (2 July 1987) 35 deaths
    Air Lanka Flight 512 (3 May 1986) 21 deaths
    1998 Temple of the Tooth attack (25 January 1998) 17 deaths
    Kokilai massacre (1 December 1984) 11 deaths
    Gomarankadawala massacre (23 April 2006) 6 deaths
    2009 suicide air raid on Colombo (20 February 2009) 2 deaths

    • 3

      Oh dear, you have another phony name!!

      You have proved that you are a forged character

      You have all 24/24hrs to write comments, but we work 6 days a week.

      Wait wait,

      Don’t hide the truth you and your late brother gave enough dollars to the LTTE to carry out those killings.

      Explain the readers, why your late brother was arrested soon after Kathigamar was assassinated?

      By the way, why you didn’t answer the following paragraph.

      “Savage, there is no doubt that you know about FISHING IN TROUBLE waters better than anybody else! This is the one causing your transgression!

      Do reply this with another phony name.

    • 3

      Why are you silent now?

      Don’t hide the truth you and your late brother gave enough dollars to the LTTE to carry out those killings.

      Explain the readers, why your late brother Charles G was arrested soon after Kathigamar was assassinated?

      • 1

        Dear Sritharan,

        You have taken leave of your senses.

        Talking of phony names how come you have not yet proven your identity?

        Kind Regards,

        • 2

          Wait wait,

          Don’t hide the truth you and your late brother gave enough dollars to the LTTE to carry out killings.

          Explain the readers, why your late brother was arrested soon after Kathigamar was assassinated?

          By the way, why you didn’t answer the following paragraph.

          “Savage, there is no doubt that you know about FISHING IN TROUBLE waters better than anybody else!

          This is the one causing your transgression!

          Do reply this with another phony name.

          • 0


            “Explain the readers, why your late brother was arrested soon after Kathigamar was assassinated?”

            Are you refering to Charles Gnanakone of Australia?

            He was the one arrested in Colombo, soon after the assassination of Kathirgamar.

            If I am right, you have written all these comments to Donalad Gnanakone?

            When all these internal problems are going to end?

            Do think about the people in the ground.

          • 0

            Dear Sritharan,

            You must be a real idiot.

            Off the Cuff is obviously not a real name. However, if your real name is Usha and you use Sritharan or Velu or Rudra then all those three names would be phoney but only you would know that.

            Hence either tell us the name you use is phoney or prove that it is real without writing gibberish.

            Rudra IS a MURDERER there is no doubt about it. He was a close associate of VP and the LTTE High Command. He provided material support to the LTTE and Prabahkaran, in their murderous quest for Eelam.

            The pictures below, showing Rudra with VP and the LTTE high command proves my point.



            Kind Regards,

  • 1

    Hi Donald Jayantha Gnanakone, [Edited out]

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