27 October, 2020

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Patriotism & Skewed Histories

By Rajan Hoole

Dr. Rajan Hoole

Dr. Rajan Hoole

Authoritarianism and the Crisis of Identity -I

…the secret of Gandhi’s greatness lay not in the absence of human failings and foibles, but in his inner restlessness, ceaseless striving and intense involvement in the problems of mankind. He was not a slave to ideas and concepts, [which] were for him also aids in grappling with human problems, and were to be reconsidered if they did not work” – P.C. Joshi, in Gandhi and Nehru

You are fanning the worst of sentimental flames. We can fight on political ideologies, on economic principles, but when it comes to rousing people to a state of mass hysteria on issues like language, religion and race, there is no knowing where it will end. If Honourable Members had seen the spectacle I witnessed on Sunday at the Town Hall grounds, they would have been ashamed of themselves. They would have felt sorry for the future of this country… it is not enough for us merely to mouth phrases and say that the minority communities have nothing to fear from the majority community; that in the past we have got on well, and that we will get on in the same old way. That is not enough today… Today we have to do something positive to allay those fears that are increasing.. . if we do not take a positive stand, we will continue to give room for Sinhalese chauvinists to do what damage they can”. – Dr. N. M. Perera, LSSP leader, in the Ceylon House of Representatives on 19th October 1955. The reference is to a meeting of the Tri Sinhala Peramuna.

Mapitigama Buddharakkitha

*Photo – The whisky-drinking Kelaniya High Priest Buddharakkhita who was close to Wimala Wijewardene, the widow of the author of ‘The Revolt in the Temple’, had helped S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike to power in 1956 on the ‘Sinhala Only’ cry.

With the coming of independence from Britain in 1948, power was ceded to the colonial elite, and it could not have been otherwise. For it is they who had the education, and the skills in administration and government. Being in a privileged class cannot do much harm if one has the humility to recognise that it is not divinely ordained, and that if one went far enough back in one’s lineage, one is likely to discover that such privilege often came into the family through dubious means. Nevertheless, the future good of the country depended on whether this class could produce leaders of vision to steer a course that would ensure justice and stability.

During the Indian struggle for example, Jawaharlal Nehru, a member of the colonial elite spent his breaks in prison contemplating and writing, formulating a vision for India. In his classic Glimpses of World History, written in prison in the early 1930s, he tries to make the reader understand India’s place in the wider heritage of mankind. In the chapter on the Indian Mutiny of 1857, he places it as a lost cause, ‘the last flicker of feudal India’, despite the heroic resistance to the British in many parts of the sub-continent; a lost cause, against the industrial might, organisational skill and unscrupulousness of British power.

Thus to those of Nehru’s way of thinking, the future good of India, a political entity of British creation, lay in being forward-looking, drawing the best from mankind’s heritage, while being true to her own spiritual legacy. There was no going back to feudalism. Great men and women, and visionaries from all parts of India – Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore and Subramaniya Bharathi among them – helped to lay secure foundations for independent India. An India having the ideals to continue the struggle against bigotry in its various forms.

This country did not go through that process of nation building, thereby acquiring the values to sustain its independence. A ruling class that was rather deferential to British power, and comfortable in its own dominance, did not have the values to negotiate the challenges of independence. In the absence of a vision and controlling values, faced with the challenge of obtaining votes, it became easy for politicians from this class to look back to a reconstituted past. They went on to don the mantles of feudal heroes which ill-fitted them.

In a far-reaching manner, the past colonial rulers, especially the British, had determined the constituents of the post-independence ruling class. Governor Brownrigg’s declaration of 21st November 1818, a year after the British had suppressed the Kandyan rebellion, listed 15 Kandyan nobles who were to be rewarded by the British for their support and services to the British crown. Those who took part in or aided the rebellion were to be punished with the loss of their lands and titles.

Among those rewarded were the chiefs Ratwatte and Mahawalatenna, listed along with Eknelligodde Dissave. The latter’s services to the British had been recorded with some embarrassment by John Davy (An Account of the Interior of Ceylon). To Eknelligodde was attributed the devastation of Lower Uva, whose men ‘supported by a small party of our [British] troops’ showed ‘their zeal [for the British] by their depredations’. Not all the chiefs rewarded would have gone to such an extreme, but many would rather have decided on pragmatic grounds, after judging the resistance of the rebels to be a lost cause.

J.P. Lewis in his Manual of the Vanni Districts (1895) refers to the violent and extortionate conduct of one Bulankulame Dissave (Chieftain) whose appointment to that post in 1815 was a reward for having supported the British. Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and President J.R. Jayewardene were both descendants of persons rewarded for services to the Dutch or British rulers or both. Not surprisingly, it is such families who came to form the ruling class in post-independence Ceylon, and one does not quarrel with that.

What has been dangerous in politics is the manner in which they have used the past.

Instead of speaking about the need to relieve oppression and poverty in all communities, they spoke about the oppression of the Sinhalese by all kinds of invaders and their resulting fall from ancient glory, and reclaimed for themselves the feudal status of being their champions. Even the heroism of the Kandyan rebellion accrues to them by glossing over its embarrassing aspects. For this backward looking brand of politics, history, the more ancient and more vague, the better. In its search for enemies of the Sinhalese Nation, Tamil invasions from India, Tamils in the plantations, Tamils in government service and Tamils in the commercial sector were all pointed to as a conspiracy against the Sinhalese.

Amidst this vote-catching propaganda, the fate of the Kandyans who had a genuine claim to patriotism, and had to lose everything to escape British wrath, went unnoticed. A case of disappearance recorded by us concerned Jayasekere, a carpenter in Pottuvil, who was then 74. His ancestor who was Nindagama Rala in Miyangoda, Southern Uva, had fled after the rebellion of 1817 and settled in Panama, south of Pottuvil, an area that remains very backward to this day. His daughter Kumarimenika had married Tharmaratnam, a Tamil. Tharmaratnam was taken in the notorious mass abductions by the STF and Police on 2nd August 1990, and disappeared. Jayasekere had to labour for the upkeep of his daughter and three grand children. The State which was in the hands of modern ‘patriots’ had for many years failed to respond to their appeals regarding the missing person. Jayasekere’s reality is very different to that of Deputy Defence Minister Ratwatte. One of the latter’s birthday observances was televised with a speech by a very nationalist monk, the proceedings giving him the heroic aura of a Dutugemunu or Prince Sapumal Kumariah from ancient and medieval history.

Of considerable significance in the fortunes of this country are the Wijewardenes of Kelaniya. Their antecedents go back to the colonial elite. The family, now Buddhists, had been in turn Roman Catholics, Calvinists and Anglicans with the transfer of power from the Portuguese to the Dutch to the British, and had acquired wealth through ‘less than pious business activities’. Mrs. Helena Wijewardene renovated the Buddhist temple at Kelaniya and her family became its patrons. J.R. Jayewardene who was brought up an Anglican was her eldest grandson through daughter Agnes, and Ranil Wickremesinghe, her great grand son through her son Don Richard. The latter was the founder of Lake House Newspapers – a powerful vehicle for family ambitions.

The Revolt in the Temple (1953) was an important piece of ideological writing by Helena W.’s son Don Charles, which appropriated for the Kelaniya Temple and the ‘Sinhalese Race’ a 2500 year history, and likewise by allusion for the Wijewardene family, the temple’s recent patrons. The destiny of the country and of the patrons of the temple was linked together by the writer in his eloquent slogan, “When Kelaniya fell, Lanka fell, when Kelaniya rose, Lanka rose.” Jayewardene discovered and published for the family an ancient and royal genealogy based on a dubious manuscript. (See The History of Kelaniya, Jonathan S. Walters, SSA.) The zeal of proselytes, with pretensions to an ancient legacy and a modern mission, rendered their politics highly combustible. The Revolt in the Temple, according to Walters, ‘constitutes a blunt statement that the Tamils are a threat to that historic mission and lays out Wijewardene’s blue-print for a post- independence Sinhala Buddhist state which has gradually become a reality.’

The whisky-drinking Kelaniya High Priest Buddharakkhita who was close to Wimala Wijewardene, the widow of the author of ‘The Revolt in the Temple’, had helped S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike to power in 1956 on the ‘Sinhala Only’ cry. Chauvinist politics and commercial interests have always been close partners. It is said by contemporary observers that differences between Bandaranaike and Buddharakkhita had developed over the formers refusal to accommodate the business ambitions of a close relative of the latter. Later when Bandaranaike tried to accommodate the Tamils in a quasi- federal arrangement, Buddharakkhita orchestrated his assassination in 1959. Ironically, Wimala Wijewardene, at the close of her tempestuous political career as minister of health in the Bandaranaike government, turned to working for Back to the Bible. The monk-assassin Soma Rama, took Christian baptism before he was hanged.

The ideology of this family reverberates through the political career of Jayewardene from the 1940s and the actions of his son in the 80s as personal security advisor to the president. The other side of this politics was the nurturing of the Tamil Tigers. The very excesses of the supremacist ideology to which this family lent its weight, could not but lead to its discomfiture, resulting in previously unthinkable compromises to stay in power. Such was the social character of Ceylon’s ruling class.

A more imaginative ruling class would have found other means of getting votes from all the communities, rather than having to play the champions of one community and equally having to make enemies of the others. This avoidance of modern problems and taking liberties with the truth over presumptions about heroic pedigrees and historical grievances set the country on the course of tragedy. The ideology through which this politics was articulated contained in it a crisis of identity for the ruling class having its roots in the recent colonial past.

*To be continued..

*From Rajan Hoole‘s “Sri Lanka: Arrogance of Power – Myth, Decadence and Murder”. Thanks to Rajan for giving us permission to republish. To read earlier parts click here

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Latest comments

  • 7
    3

    Are you aware of the massive massacres of Muslims by Hindu and Sikh Indians during partition?

    Are you aware of the massive slaughter of Hindus and Sikhs by MUSLIMS who occupied Lahore area in now Pakistan during partition?

    Rape was very common for Muslim Pakistanis and Hindu /Sikh Indiana too.

    You are clueless.

    • 5
      3

      KASmaalam K A Sumasekere

      Was the whisky-drinking Kelaniya High Priest Buddharakkhita related to you?

  • 4
    3

    Why not we have Sinha – Le caste in the name of whisky drinking Buddhist priest and the Intelligent caste in SrilLENKEN. Sorry in Srilanka !! To put it all right in shit Lanka.
    The culture and the mentality will remain the same even after the next century by that time I wonder who will be left to carry the Sinha – Le Flag , may be a lone Budharakitta??

    • 0
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      It is still better than the bishop hiding bank loot behind the altar, hiding LTTE machine guns behind the altar, harboring Suicide bombers carrying cyanide capsules around their necks and Priests transporting Suicide jackets to the south from Mannar.

  • 3
    5

    whisky-drinking Kelaniya High Priest Buddharakkhita

    Man is fallible but the teaching isn’t. People only venerate the institution not the man.

    Its the teaching that can make a Tamil “untouchable” into a Supreme Judge!

    So anything that can take a savage and make a notable is worthy of veneration in my opinion.

    • 5
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      Vibushana,

      “Man is fallible but the teaching isn’t.”

      You are 100% correct in respect of Sinhalease Buddhism.
      Nothing wrong with Buddhism and the people following in Sri Lanka or elsewhere. Most of the Sinhalese politicians and the followers do not follow Buddhism.

      • 0
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        Why do you single out the Buddhists?

        No one is following their religions 100%.

        If that were so wouldn’t this world be a beautiful place!

  • 2
    2

    According to some historians the people who were living in Sri Lanka at the time of Vijaya’s landing were called “Helayo”. Vijaya coming from “Sinha” clan later integrated with “Helayo” thus making a new society called “Sinhalayo”. This is a logical argument as Sri Lanka had been referred to as “Heladeepa” in some Chronicles. Vijaya’s ancestors came from Sinhabahu. Therefore, word Sinhala has nothing to do with “Lion Blood.”

    • 3
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      Hansro,

      Another version (please read below) of what you are saying and are NOT true according to this http://sangam.org/2011/11/Aryan_Theory_4.php .

      “A certain Vijaya, whose grandfather is a lion, is driven out of his country (somewhere in North India) by his father and accompanied by 700 followers comes to Ceylon. He and his followers call themselves Sinhalese because of this origin. On arrival, they find the island occupied by a race of demons called the Yakkas and the Nagas. They settle down near Puttalam and, after driving out these demons to the mountains or to the see or otherwise exterminating them altogether, marry Tamil wives and bring Tamil skilled workmen and thereafter colonise the whole of Ceylon…

      The above is the version of the history of early Ceylon in a nutshell as propounded by the Sinhalese historians. Now if this version is true, it must be supported by or fit into all the facts of history already known to and accepted by us as true. In other words it must be verified and proved beyond any shadow of doubt in the light of our existing knowledge of men and things. Until it is thus verified or proved, it is only theory or a hypothesis.”

      • 0
        1

        Why do you single out the Buddhists?

        No one is following their religions 100%.

        If that were so wouldn’t this world be a beautiful place!

    • 4
      2

      Hela is the Pali version of the islands native dialect called Elu. It was a semi Tamil Dravidian dialect very close to proper Tamil just like old Sinhalese was. From the word Elu only came the word Eelam which means in Tamil the land of metal or toddy. Even now in modern Tamil Iyam/Eeyam means a sheaf of metal and Ilama in Sinhalese means a vein of metal. Era means in Tamil toddy and the Sinhalese word for toddy is Ra derived from the Tamil word Era. The word Ceylon in derived from the Tamil word for the island Eelam. Even Sinhalese call themselves by this Tamil name like Illaperumma no Sinhalese call themselves HelaPerumma as Eelam is the original word Hela is its Palin version.
      The word Sinhala has nothing to with a Prince Vijaya whose existence and story cannot be authenticated by anyone either in India or in the island, other than the Mahavamsa fable that was trying to create a myth about the origins of the island’s Tamil tribes who converted to Buddhism and gradually became the ancestors of original Sinhalese by bastardising their Tamil dialect with the Pali and Sanskrit of Buddhism. They did this in order to separate them from their unconverted Hindu Tamil ethnic kin and to stop them from identifying with them and reconverting back to Hinduism like the rest of India did. So created this Aryan origin myth about Prince Vijaya, Little realising the people of Bengal/Orossa were not Aryans but Dravidian or Dravido/Mongol Dravidian/Australoid.
      Another ancient name for the island was Chingkalam which means in Tamils the land of red or copper. Most of the island’s soil is reddish brown and the island’s semi Tamil or Tamil speaking population were called Chingkallavar. Chingkallavan for a male and Chingkallathi for a female. The Eelam Tamils are the only people who still use this ancient term even now when they speak of the Sinhalese. The newly forming language and ethnicity that resulted with the large scale conversion of Buddhism in the south of the island started to be described by this name. Tamil Chingkalam became Sinhala in Pali. The population that remained Hindu and retained their ancient Tamil identity were identified by the other ancient Tamil name for the island Eelam. They were called the Eelath Thamilar and their land Thamizh Eelam. The word Serendib is derived from another ancient Tamil name for the island Cherantivu which means the Island of the Cheras an ancient Tamil kingdom that is now modern day Kerala. The ancient pre historic ties between then Tamil Kerala and the island and its people was much closer than the other two Tamil kingdoms Chola and Pandian. This is the reason many aspects of the island’s culture and cuisine is far more closer the modern day Kerala than to Tamil Nadu( what encompasses the ancient Chola Pallava and Pandian Tamil country)even in the island’s Tamil parts. Remember also the Eezhavar/Eelavar of Kerala a community closely associated with toddy tapping a very important community numbering around 28% of Kerala’s population. They are supposed to have migrated from the island to then Tamil Chera Nadu during prehistoric times when all this was common Tamil lands. That is why they are called Eezhavar or Eelavar no one calls them Helava Helavar as this Eelam/Eezham is the original name. Hela is a Pali version of Eelam. Got it

      • 1
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        Thank you paul.

        What about writing a book or creating a website on our history?

        • 3
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          Anpu

          Just now I received this link from my friend the old codger:

          Complete book of Ceylon Constitution – 1945 – Report of The Commission on Constitutional Reform

          can be downloaded from

          https://ia700705.us.archive.org/33/
          items/CeylonConstitution-1945/
          CeylonConstitution.pdf

          This could be of use to you.

          • 3
            0

            Thank you native

  • 5
    1

    A very valuable article with historical insights.The skewing is in full swing even now. History is written by the victors they say and that is true at all times.There were times I was at odds with the other but now I realize he is absolutely right and sincere. Thanks for the article and look forward to more.

  • 2
    0

    A very valuable article with historical insights.The skewing is in full swing even now. History is written by the victors they say and that is true at all times.There were times I was at odds with the author but now I realize he is absolutely right and sincere. Thanks for the article and look forward to more.

    • 4
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      Why were you “at odds with the author”? He’s had five brothers, four of them are around still. I find an appalling number of “educated” people not knowing which one they are talking about. The best known is the author of this article, which appeared today:

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/t-kandasamy-intellectually-a-giant-and-as-a-man-kind-fatherly-exemplary/

      All Rajan’s “articles” are carefully researched. I think that most of us have been reading every article, but “article” has delighted many. Remember that these are installments from an out-of-print book.

      This article is has got discussed more than the others because it deals with some political leaders leaders who are known to us in the South. All are going to be significant when historians centuries down the line, try to trace the history of these troubled times.

  • 2
    1

    I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments expressed by Dr N M Perera then and this should ring true forever for those who fan the flames of racial and religious hatred There is no shortage of them right now and never will be until we have a real leader of the peoples among each contending community who will speak the truth and say that no matter which side does it racio/religious based politics will yield only hatred and destruction.You reap what you sow.The views expressed in this article is not immune from the effect of this very same truth that divisive sentiments produce hatred and hatred produces destruction.As Saint Exupery put it “Truth is not that which is demonstrable-it is that which is ineluctable”(unavoidable or that which hits you in the face whichever way you turn).So writing articles or making utterances to support one side or another is not what will make a difference but to speak the truth or to use a common saying “To call a spade a spade”.
    In my respectful view the Aristocracy or as the writer assumes the self-imputed aristocracy’s impact on the turn of events after the British left our shores is more accidental than of any direct import of what they did or would have preferred to have occured. The one single event ,if there is such a one we would like to point to which changed the destiny of our nation and pushed it into the doldrums, it is the untimely death of Mr D S Senanayake.This paved the way for mediocre and in some cases dumb politicians without any semblance of a vision for the future to be thrust into taking the helm and leading the country into disaster step by step like the Charge of the light brigade as Lord Tennyson put it “Half a league,half a league ,half a league onward, All in the Valley of Death Rode the six hundred……into the valley of Death rode the six hundred” Yes first few years in the valley and in 1983 with foolish JR’playing straight into the hands of evil Prabakaran “into the valley of death…”
    Your analog of what happened in India and Indian politicians and Ghandi or their vision and absence of it in our politicians had little or no bearing on what actually happened in Sri Lanka.The Late D S Senanyake had the right vision for all of us but it died with him. SWRD with his racist policies rather naively started the rot ably supported by the racist Tamil Leaders of that era.The Tamils are as much to blame for the debacle by supporting separatist politics as much as the equally rotten Sinhala counterparts, for the carnage that followed.Again we now see the reincarnation of these evils through scum like Gnaniissara and politicians like Gammanpila and the Rajapakse camp in general and on the Northern front Wigneswaran and some Muslim leaders.On the other hand there seems to also be a lot of goodwill on the part of many Sinhala,Tamil and Muslim politicians who matter and can make a difference now.The window of opportunity may close anytime.If the men and women of goodwill on both sides grab the opportunity or as one may put it take the bull by the horns and take their people with them to that space we call “Peaceful Co-Existence”there is no doubt that Sri Lanka will be a wonderful place to be in ten to fifteen years from now.

    • 3
      1

      DS also contributed to the problem
      Colonization
      Dominion over full freedom
      Thereby betraying the party for self
      Opposing free education …..

      • 4
        1

        DS

        May I add one more ugly face of this island, passing an act that disenfranchised hundred of thousands of hard working people stateless over-night.

  • 2
    1

    I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments expressed by Dr N M Perera then and this should ring true forever for those who fan the flames of racial and religious hatred There is no shortage of them right now and never will be until we have a real leader of the peoples among each contending community who will speak the truth and say that no matter which side does it racio/religious based politics will yield only hatred and destruction.You reap what you sow.The views expressed in this article is not immune from the effect of this very same truth that divisive sentiments produce hatred and hatred produces destruction.As Saint Exupery put it “Truth is not that which is demonstrable-it is that which is ineluctable”(unavoidable or that which hits you in the face whichever way you turn).So writing articles or making utterances to support one side or another is not what will make a difference but to speak the truth or to use a common saying “To call a spade a spade”.
    In my respectful view the Aristocracy or as the writer assumes the self-imputed aristocracy’s impact on the turn of events after the British left our shores is more accidental than of any direct import of what they did or would have preferred to have occured. The one single event ,if there is such a one we would like to point to which changed the destiny of our nation and pushed it into the doldrums, it is the untimely death of Mr D S Senanayake.This paved the way for mediocre and in some cases dumb politicians without any semblance of a vision for the future to be thrust into taking the helm and leading the country into disaster step by step like the Charge of the light brigade as Lord Tennyson put it “Half a league,half a league ,half a league onward, All in the Valley of Death Rode the six hundred……into the valley of Death rode the six hundred” Yes first few years in the valley and in 1983 with foolish JR’playing straight into the hands of evil Prabakaran “into the valley of death…”
    Your analogy of what happened in India and Indian politicians and Ghandi or their vision and absence of it in our politicians had little or no bearing on what actually happened in Sri Lanka.The Late D S Senanyake had the right vision for all of us but it died with him. SWRD with his racist policies rather naively started the rot ably supported by the racist Tamil Leaders of that era.The Tamils are as much to blame for the debacle by supporting separatist politics as much as the equally rotten Sinhala counterparts, for the carnage that followed.Again we now see the reincarnation of these evils through scum like Gnaniissara and politicians like Gammanpila and the Rajapakse camp in general and on the Northern front Wigneswaran and some Muslim leaders.On the other hand there seems to also be a lot of goodwill on the part of many Sinhala,Tamil and Muslim politicians who matter and can make a difference now.The window of opportunity may close anytime.If the men and women of goodwill on both sides grab the opportunity or as one may put it take the bull by the horns and take their people with them to that space we call “Peaceful Co-Existence”there is no doubt that Sri Lanka will be a wonderful place to be in ten to fifteen years from now.

    • 1
      0

      Vijaya beats Praba in the evil front
      Praba is a product of his environment
      So was Vijay, his environment was Sinhapura India

  • 6
    0

    We are nation of literate fools led by unscrulous, self seeking, semi-literate cads. No community is exempt. Education has eluded us despite what is dispensed as free education in our schools and universities,

    Mother Lanka, I weep for thee! Even Yahapalanya increasingly appears to be a fraud perpetrated on this nation of literate fools. We hope for a new dawn but it never comes around. Very soon we will become a nation of literate, cynical and hopeless people, if Yahapalanya fails us too. This seems to be inevitable,going by what is happening around us.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendrann

    • 0
      0

      Literate fools or educated corrupt and/or both?

  • 0
    0

    Rajan Hoole.

  • 4
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    Rajan Hoole.

    Your line…..

    Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike and President Jayewardene were both descendants of persons rewarded for services to the Dutch or British rulers or both…

    As for SWRD,he is a direct descendant of Neelaperumal,a South Indian Tamil.
    As for JR,his ancestry on the Paternal side was Colombo Chetty,until the 17th century,when they merged with the Sinhala tradition.

    I used to often wonder,how these folks eventually ended up as the champions of the Sinhala cause!

    • 4
      0

      Plato,
      JRJ was a Thambi Mudiyansalage! His son married a Colombo Chetty. New converts are always more ardent than the old. They are not comfortable in their new skins and have a need to prove that they are more faithful to their new newly acquired identity.

      Dr.RN

      • 2
        0

        THambi is a Tamil term. Usually meaning younger brother or some one younger. You gat Tamil Hindu names like Thambithurai ChinnaThambi. Etc. Many Tamils Muslims also used the word Thambi as part of their name. However it is not an exclusive Muslim term or name. Just because the Muslims in Sri Lanka derogatively called Thambi or Naina. Nainar again is a pure Tamil word. A title or a form of address to someone high in society or a respected person. It was a very common form of address even in Jaffna. So when someone is called Nainar Marrikar it means the very respected or honourable Marrikar( A Tamil Muslims caste).
        JR ancestors most probably would have been an Indian Tamil Hindu called Thambi Mudalali or Thambi Mudaliyar. The Sinhalese term Mudiyansalage is derived from the Tamil word Muthiyan or Muthiyavan. A person who is old or respected.

  • 0
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    Dr.R.N.

    JRJ was by no means of original Muslim stock.The term Thambi was for other reasons.
    Prof:KMD de SILVA and Howard Wriggins have given a a historical perspective of the origins of JRJ. PL.read same.
    JRJs son Ravi was married to Charmaine Vanderkone, a Tamil from Mannar,daughter of a former District Judge; They met at the Rifle range!
    Interestingly,JRJs grandchildren married colombo chetties!

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