19 September, 2018

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No Barrier Between Nagadeepa & Nainatheevu

By Somapala Gunadheera

Somapala Gunadheera

Somapala Gunadheera

I was posted to the Jaffna Kachcheri as a CCS cadet in 1957 and was happy to be invited to join a boat trip to attend the ‘Ther (Chariot) Festival’ at the ‘Nagapoosani Amman Kovil’ at ‘Nainatheevu’. As far as I remember, the GA, AGA and DJ of Jaffna were travelling together in our boat.

Our party disembarked at the ‘Nainatheevu’ jetty early in the morning and went through the rituals of the festival including pulling the chariot round the ‘kovil’. After the festivities were over, we were treated to a sumptuous lunch cooked in the traditional, delicious Jaffna style.

After lunch, all members of our party walked about a kilometre to visit Nagadeepa Viharaya. There we were entertained by the chief incumbent of the viharaya who offered blessings on us. At the end of the day, we re-embarked at Nagadeepa Jetty, opposite the temple. We found no sea or other divisive factor in our walk between Nagapoosani Amman Kovil and Nagadeepa Vihara. Not even a politician!

By the way, Nagadeepa is an original Pali word which language is not known to be involved in a linguistic conflict. Besides the name supports the view that the island had been occupied even before the Buddhist era. There was a lively discussion during our cruise as each of us in the party could share our thoughts in the other’s language.

Back at home, I told my mother that I had been to Nagadeepa. The GA would have spoken to his wife about his visit to Nainatheevu. Both ladies would have doubtlessly understood that we went to the same place.

Nagapeepa

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Latest comments

  • 25
    1

    The Nagapoosani Amman Kovil’ at ‘Nainatheevu’ is as old as the Nagadeepa Vihara. Let the Tamils call it Nainatheevu’ and let the Sinhalese call it Nagadeepa. Both these names were used for centuries so let us stick to both. Let’s not allow the racist politicians to create an unwanted issue and take advantage of the situation in arousing the people.

    • 3
      1

      Dear Nimal,
      Tamil people have no objection for the Sinhalese calling it Nagadeepa. What they say is that the official name should be Nainatheevu, which corroborates with other islands around Jaffna. What Sinhala racists are saying is that the island should be named only as Nagadeepa and nothing else. Nothern province governor by saying that provincial councils have no authority to name it Nainatheevu, has acted as a Sinhala racist. Nainatheevu is the original name and Nagadeepa was coined later, by the writers of Mahavamsa the reason for the Pali name.
      The original name for Dondra or Devinuwara was Thondeeswaram. Will the Sinhala racist government change the name of this southern town.

  • 17
    7

    I think the issue is not about Hindu Temple or Buddhist Temple. The issue is the name of the island. It should be consistent with the names of other islands around this place. Like other small islands like Pungudu Theevu or Nedum Theevu it should be called Naina Theevu. We all can remember Karai Theevu was named as Karai Nagar recently at the request of the people. So, it is the people of that island should be given the right to decide the name of the island.

  • 7
    5

    Somapala Gunadheera

    RE: No Barrier Between Nagadeepa & Nainatheevu

    “By the way, Nagadeepa is an original Pali word which language is not known to be involved in a linguistic conflict. Besides the name supports the view that the island had been occupied even before the Buddhist era. There was a lively discussion during our cruise as each of us in the party could share our thoughts in the other’s language.”

    This was ALL Part of the Land of native Veddah Aethho, well before the Para-Sinhala, Para-Tamils, Para-Sinhala Buddhism or Para-Tamil Hinduism was introduced.

    Para Newcomers are fighting over something what is not their after arriving by Illegal Boats Hora Oru and Kalla-Thanis.

  • 10
    4

    If the island was not occupied (= populated) before the Buddhist era (from 2500 years ago), the Hindu shrine must have existed, as Hinduism is older than Buddhism.

  • 12
    3

    Please emphersize that Nainativu is the name for the Island where as Nagadipa is a place with in the Island & its the name of the Buddist temple.

  • 6
    2

    What is all this nonsense about? The place has been called Nainativu and Nagadeepa (same meaning in 2 languages) for centuries. There have been no problems and two temples have co-existed for ages. Who is causing trouble
    now?

    • 6
      3

      essie

      “two temples have co-existed for ages”

      Could you cite some evidence to back your claim.

      • 0
        5

        Ninativu is the Tamil name and Nagadeepa is Sinhalese name.
        Naga is Cobra in Tamil and it was told that the Naga tribe from India inhabiting this island for centuries before the Tamils from South India came and occupied it.

        • 3
          0

          George Fernando – Negombo

          ” it was told that the Naga tribe from India inhabiting this island for centuries before the Tamils from South India came and occupied it.”

          Where were the Sinhalese when Naga and Tamils came and occupied this island?

        • 1
          0

          Archaeological evidence proves that the ancient Nagas even occupied South India see even place names like Nagar Kovil Naga Pattinam. They were Dravidians and Tamil was their mother tongue. Recent Naga excavations in Batticaloa ( 2500 years old proves this). Even the southern Buddhist Nagas used Tamil and not any other language.

        • 2
          0

          Nagas came from South India. They were Dravidians and Tamil was their mother tongue. Even the Buddhist Nagas used Tamil. See ancient Naga Buddhist inscriptions in the south of Sri Lanka and the recent 2500 year old Hindu Naga inscription found in Batticaloa

          • 0
            1

            Cool story, bro :D

  • 8
    0

    A VERY MATURE ARTICLE.I wish to congratulate Mr Gunadeeraa for writing this article which brought memories of myself going to Jaffna taking my Singhalese friends and being treated by my Yalpanam relations lavishly with Jaffna mutton curry,toddy etc. I was myself was entertained like a king when I spent holidays in Matara by my Singhalese friends with Pol array ku and ambulance thiyal,Hoppers,Kiribati with dynamite(hot lunu miris).We are all Srilankans and we should not allow issues like this to divide us..That should be the spirit.

    • 4
      0

      I have nothing against anyone wanting to call the island by any name.

      The writer did not choose one or the other. It was his choice. I understand that. What I fail to understand is your adjective ‘mature’.

      Your fiends call you Bala. But, you are Balaraman. You go as BALA BALARAMAN. Perfectly in order. But your name has not undergone any change, has it? It still is Balaraman, isn’t it?

      What is the name of the island?

  • 7
    0

    Typical Sri Lankan indulgence.

    Trying to find another ace to throw on the table of racial divide. We are mature only insofar as to find ways and means to render the races apart.

    The curse of race, religion, language and country flourishes.

    • 0
      0

      BBS Rep

      “The curse of race, religion, language and country flourishes.”

      in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho occupied by the Paras from India,who came by illegal boats, Hora Oru and Kalla Thoni.

  • 0
    0

    Cooking up a huge pot of hot curry out of nothing for nothing by the mischievous or inadvented wrongdoer is that Gazette Notification printer.

    In Tamil it is Nainatheevu and it should be continued as such for Nainatheevu Nagapoosani Amman Kovil devotees and for the island dwellers.

    In Sinhala it is Known as Nagadeepa it should be continued as as such for Buddhists and Nagadeepa Viharaya pilgrims

    It should be as simple as that.

  • 4
    0

    This is not about temples. This is about the official name of the island. The official administrative records show the name as Naina Theevu. Let G A Jaffna check the records and bring this matter to an end.

    Residents of this island called it as Naina Theevu for centuries, but during Mahinda’s regime the official name was changed into Nagadeepa to please the Buddhist worshippers. He did not think of the animosity that will bring.

    Prior to Mahinda’s arrogant behaviour, Tamils called the island by official name Naina Theevu and they did not mind the Sinhalese calling it Nagatheepa. . Both existed side by side while the official name remained as Naina Theevu.

    Similarly Tamils have been singing national anthem in Tamil for nearly fifty years and Mahinda ordered it to be sung only in Sinhala. He did it again to please the Sinhalese and thus caused rift between the communities.

    The present government should bring back Naina Theevu as official name of the island. Let Sinhalese people call it by the name of Nagatheepa and Tamils will have no objection so long as the official name Naina Theevu remains.

    • 1
      2

      Residents of this island called it as Naina Theevu for centuries

      Well, not so. It was “Neina Diva” in 1700.

      Check here.

      http://tinyurl.com/tamil-kingdom

      • 0
        0

        Neina tivu!

        I don’t understand. Their is a slaang word meaning mate for Neina.
        Am I allowed to say “mokaktha neina me bambuwa”?

  • 1
    0

    Digging into dry shit has never been pleasant. What’s in a name ?
    can we please forget this name issue and indulge in something worthy like
    respecting one another. 99.99+ percent of humans, White, yellow, black, brown etc are born between a woman’s legs. The poison of race, caste, creed and religion are injected into the brain as one grows up. Some come out of it and many live with it and yet some would die for it.

    Since the day of birth man carries a ticking time machine in his heart and the time it stops is also the time of the end of the life cycle. Within this time we cultivate good and bad things and we shall carry our deeds beyond death into the nether world.

    Let us not start a debate on a worthless subject and waste valuable time when there are more important things to do like creating harmony among the human race.

    It would be in the best interest of everyone to ignore this issue as I myself am clueless about naina and naga. Naga is for the reptile cobra. Is the island
    crawling with cobras? naina or naga it is a deepa (island).

    If at all there is still going to be a debate on the name then the option to do so must be given to the inhabitants of the isle by way of a vote.

    I wish peace and happiness to the people living in this isle.

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