21 September, 2018

Blog

The Clash Of Two Histories In One Nation

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Continued from last week

The two critical streams of  thought that flowed down the 20th century and bloodied the political landscape came from the North. These two streams swept aside all other Left-wing currents which were struggling to dominate the mainstream. Both streams of thought were identified and articulated by two Tamil leaders of the North. And both were Ponnambalams. The two Ponnambalams wrote two different histories. The politics of the 20th century turned out  to be a bitter battle between these two histories.

In my previous articles I have discussed to some extent  the role played by G. G. Ponnambalam, one of the two Ponnambalams who picked fascist racism as the most expedient political ploy to play in order to leap over the heads of other aspiring rivals. In Jaffna he could not hope to succeed with the humane alternatives of democratic liberalism, nationalism, or even Marxism, the three leading ideologies which captured the hearts and minds of the 20th century. His choice of racism was opportunistic. It determined the politics that came after him. After Ponnambalam came the deluge. His racism was decisive in shaping the bloody politics of Jaffna which ran all the way to Nandikadal. What  is  hardly known, however, is the alternative stream of thought that originated with the other Ponnambalam, Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam. The contrast between  the two is as  different as day is  from night.

Tragically, the Tamils followed the wrong Ponnambalam. It is the virulence of the anti-Sinhala-Buddhist rhetoric of G. G. Ponnambalam’s that gained ascendancy over the other competing history propounded by Sir. Ponnambalam. G. G.  Ponnambalam’s racism snowballed, changing its shape and colour,  as it rolled down from thirties and gathered momentum, leading eventually to the fateful Batakotte (Vadukoddai) declaration of war by the Tamil leadership in 1976. In the meantime, Sir. Ponnambalam Arunachalam’s narrative got silenced in the raucous racist ravings recycled relentlessly by the clones of G.G. Ponnambalam. To understand how these two streams originated and ran  into each other violently in the 20th century and spilled over to the 21st century, where we live in, it  is necessary first to  examine “Ceylon history” as defined by Sir. Ponnambalam.

Ponnanbalam Ramanathan in 1906 with his future wife, Ms. Harrison (right)

On January 30, 1908 Ponnambalam Arunachalam, M.A., Cantab, Ceylon Civil Service, Barrister-at-Law, Lincoln’s Inn, took the floor in the Legislative Council Chamber, the highest political forum of the day, to deliver a lecture on the Sketches of Ceylon History. His Excellency the Governor Sir. Henry A. Blake, G.C.M.G presided over this session in the Legislature as usual. The lecture was more than a generalised overview of Ceylon history. In essence it was an exposition of the Sinhala-Buddhist culture which was expressed for the first time in English at the highest forum of the English-speaking elite in colonial times. The discoveries of pioneering archaeologists, mostly British, digging into the  past had brought out the best of the classical Sinhala-Buddhist civilisation of  the Anuradhapura and  Polonnaruwa periods. There was nothing else to match their achievements in  the history of other communities.  And, mark you, it was also the time when the imperial sun of the British never set in any part of the globe.

In the first decades of the 20th century the history of the Sinhala-Buddhist civilization was popular among the English-educated elite who were rediscovering the glories of ancient and medieval Sri Lanka that were buried under the jungle tide. Pioneering British archaeologists were surveying the land and documenting the new discoveries with a degree of professional pride. The translation of the Mahavamsa by George Turnour (1837) was a landmark event that opened up new vistas into a hidden past. John Still, the Assistant Archaeological Commission and the author  of the literary work, Jungle Tide, also had published his index to the Mahavamsa by 1907. Based on the new historical findings Arunachalam told his elite audience: “..Perhaps no country in the world that has such a long continuous history and civilization.” The touch of pride with which he delivered his speech rings even today as his words echo in cold print, tracing the past filled with the majesty of the glorious achievements. Sir. Ponnambalam was aiming deliberately to pit the magnificent achievements recorded in Sinhala-Buddhist history against that of the British who were lording it over the natives.

The latter day revisionists, rewriting history to fit into their political agenda, labelled any return to the past with the objective reverence that it deserves as the “Mahavamsa mentality”. One  of the main aim of the revisionists was to denigrate the Mahavamsa and all the values that came with it. But in the resonant words of Sir. Ponnambalam there was no such cynical connotation. His speech, in fact, laid the foundations for the school of history that looked upon the past as a guide for the future. The anti-Sinhala-Buddhist revisionists attacked Anagarika Dharmapala for reviving the past history in all its splendour. But long before him Sir. Arunachalam had seen  the glory of  it all and he was proud to share the greatness of the achievements of those who made history. The classical grandeur of the past was recalled and articulated with intellectual vigour by Sir. Ponnambalam to put the record straight, particularly for the white nabobs who were strutting in the colonial corridors of  power, with their noses up in the air, projecting an image of being  superior to  the natives.

Though Sir. Ponnambalam was talking ostensibly about “Ceylon history” he was actually delivering a political message to the British rulers. The underlying message said, in short, that the power and the glory of the ancient and medieval Sinhala-Buddhist civilization was testimony to the capacity of the “Ceylonese” to govern on their own if the British could leave the island graciously, handing over power to those  who made history and  left behind “our island (as) a fit dwelling-place for men…” (Mahavamsa, Chapter 1 : 43. translated by Wilhelm Geiger).

The objective of history, as stated in the Mahavamsa, is to make the island “a fit dwelling-place for men”. What  other use is there in history if the makers  of history cannot make this earth – the only place available for man in this vast universe —  a “fit dwelling-place for men”? It is  this philosophy of history that makes Mahavamsa a humane and unique document. Mahavamsa did not purport to write recipes for unattainable utopias run by philosopher-kings at one end or the working class at the other. Mahanama Thera had no illusions of the state withering away under fallible human agencies or  actions. Philosophers and workers in power can be as vicious, perverted and misguided as any other ruling class. Besides, the ideologically driven utopias invariably ended in frightful dystopias. The political objective in the Mahavamsa was unambiguous, simple and realistic. It was down-to-earth. It was to build a “fit dwelling-place for men”. It was attainable and that is what the Sinhala-Buddhists did in their history. It was  tolerant, open and a “fit dwelling-place” for all those who came to make it their home and co-exist in peace.

G. G. Ponnambalam

Creating a place in history that is “a fit dwelling-place for men” is by far the most viable, attainable and desirable goal for humanity wandering in volatile history. The terminology of political theorists may vary, their analyses may come from different angles, and their utopian models to end the misery of history may be commendable, but the ultimate essence of all politics has been and will be to build “a fit dwelling-place for men.” In its narrow and literal sense it may be interpreted as providing domestic facilities for day-to-day living. But in its broader philosophic sense it goes beyond that to the creation of a cohesive and congenial community of men who  can pursue their moral and mutually beneficial  ideals freely to their satisfaction. It can be read as Mahanama Thera’s Buddhist ideal of the  pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. It conforms to the primary aim of political philosophies which, in its basic essence, is to make the earth “a fit  dwelling-place for  men”. The Mahavamsa was the first to articulate this noble and pragmatic objective in explicit terms.

Along with this the Mahavamsa declared another profound political principle : kings are anointed “mindful of the good of all”. (Ibid – Chapter IV : 6). The state must be for “the good of all” and not to any particular sect, minority, majority or separatist group. These are fundamental principles which were embraced later by the West as the highest ideals of civilisation and parroted by our political WOGs (Westernised Oriental Gentlemen) who scoffed at the Mahavamsa. The second hand version that was recycled and exported by the West to the pin-heads in the Colombo University, for instance, was hailed as brilliant and insightful thinking whereas the original declarations of Mahanama Thera were dismissed as a product of a mentality that was deplorable. The failure is not that of Mahanama Thera. The failure is in the stupidity of peer-reviewed Ph.D(eviants), one-eyed theorists like H. L. Seneviratne, or other mytho-maniacs in academia who were reading their own  minds filled with  Ponnambalam’s rabid racism when they read the Mahavamsa without paying critical attention to the plain text that laid down some of the highest principles for those with eyes to see.

Sir. Ponnambalam, no doubt, would have been inspired by the spirit and the values embedded in the Mahavamsa. Incidentally, it must be noted that his assessments were made at a time  before “the peninsularity of the mind”, particularly Tamil racism, had not gripped Jaffna politics and driven it astray. It is in this non-racist environment that he was able to deliver the other vital political message. He was emphatic in declaring that he was speaking on  behalf of one nation. In his political vocabulary nationalism meant one nation derived essentially from the values of the Mahavamsa, particularly an island which was a “fit dwelling-place for all men”. In fact, in speaking on the theme of Our Political Needs, one of his analytical masterpieces delivered to Ceylon National Congress on April 2, 1917, he summed up the political aspirations of the time as follows: “…..(W)e in Ceylon desire that our Government shall be a Ceylonese Government, that our rulers shall identify themselves entirely with the Ceylonese interests and, in the striking words of the Mahavamsa, ‘be one with the people’ “. There were no vociferous calls for “separatism” or even “Tamil nationalism”. There were no calls for a disproportionate percentage of power. No divided sharing  of power. Quoting the historic text he said that the goal was to “be one with the people”.  That was the message he gave the nation, picked from the Mahavamsa.

Ever since Turnour translated the Mahavamsa it was held in high esteem by the distinguished elite of the nation, including the scholarly community of the British Raj who were the pioneers in  resurrecting the buried past. Sir Ponnambalam’s speech in the Legislature was a defining moment : it defined the nation as it was structured in the past and as it ought to be structured in the future. He spoke as the representative of a united nation. Even when he spoke later on Our Political Need he spoke as a representative of one nation without dividing it into ethnic enclaves. It was the Sir Ponnambalam school of history that dominated the minds of the nation, from top to bottom at the time. He, in fact, became the symbol of national unity though, unfortunately, personal politics intervened and he parted company with the Ceylon National Congress — a grand multi-ethnic coalition — of which he was the president.

Politically, the newly discovered treasures of the hidden past were grasped with passion and commitment by the rising elite who used the new knowledge as a tool against imperialist masters. National leaders began to invoke the nation’s history as political evidence of their capacity to rule better than the colonial masters. Going back to the past was just not a political move to prove that the Sri Lankans were equal to the English masters but their superior. It was also the most effective political argument of the time. It was S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike who came out of Oxford saying that to be the equal of the colonial masters you have to be their superior. Whether in the Chamber of the Legislature, or the Royal Asiatic Society, or any other platform references to the Sinhala-Buddhist civilization had all the political undertones of emphasizing the superiority of the Orientals over that of the ruling Occidentals.

Sir Ponnambalam had earned the respect and admiration of his peers and the people as the leading light of the day guiding the nation not only to reclaim its lost past but also to create a future based on the cherished values of a history that shone in the eyes of those who knew their past. He was lifting the veil that hid the past for his contemporaries to appreciate its value. Urging the nation to explore the “rich treasures of history, ethnology, folklore, botany, geology, zoology (which) await the explorer in every part of the Island” Sir Ponnambalam said: “It would help also to recall to us and fix in our minds the great things done by our ancestors. Thus we may in time recover some of our lost originality and acquire that self-confidence which is indispensable to national progress and national success”.

His speech was aimed at reclaiming the forgotten past for the glory of the present. Deploring the cultural cringe of the WOGs Sir Ponnambalam reminded the legislators : “At a time when the now great nations of the West were sunk in barbarism, or had not yet come into existence, Ceylon was the seat of ancient kingdom and religion, the nursery of art, and the center of Eastern commerce. Her stupendous religious edifices more than 2,000 years old and, in extent and architectural interest, second only to the structure of Egypt, and her vast irrigation works, attest the greatness and antiquity of her civilisation. Her rich products of nature and art, the beauty of her scenery, her fame as the home of a pure Buddhism, have made her from remote times the object of interest and admiration to contemporary nations. Merchants, sailors, and pilgrims have in diverse tongues left records of their visits, which confirm in a striking manner the ancient native chronicle which Ceylon in almost singular among Asiatic lands ……” The presiding Governor could not have missed the political message hidden in this evocation of a civilization that was equal to any other.

It was, of course, a time when nationalism was expressed not in violent revolutions, or even in non-violent mass political movements, but in more subtle forms like reviving the memories of a monumental past that left its indelible legacy in the mind of a nation, waking up from nearly five centuries of colonialism. Sir. Ponnambalam was proud that “officers of a public department (had) formed themselves into a Society for the promotion of historic study and research. They used to read together and discuss the Mahawamsa, the ancient chronicle of Ceylon…..” He also remarked in this speech: “It is refreshing to read a Royal College boy protesting in the College Magazine against the exclusion of Ceylon history and geography from the curriculum of our leading schools”.

Sir Ponnambalam’s lecture was a paean sung in praise of the Sinhala-Buddhist civilization. The tributes he paid to Dutugemunu and Sri Sangabo were effusive. When he came to the Tamil kingdom of Jaffna he spoke mainly of the military exploits of the Aryachakravartis. There were no tributes to the cultural achievements of the Tamils in his speech. Or even a reference to Yalpana Vaipava Malai — the first official history written by Mylvaganam Pulavar at the request of the Dutch Governor in……… Naturally, with his knowledge of Jaffna history and culture he had hardly anything to cite as great achievements of the Jaffna Tamils. His focus was on the richness of the Sinhala-Buddhist civilisation.

He regarded the Mahavamsa as a treasure trove dazzling with historical insights that illuminated not only the past of Sri Lanka but also that of neighbouring India. He said: “…Mahanama, a literary artist, who lived a generation after Buddhagosa, wrote the Mahawamsa, which is really an epic poem of remarkable merit… Excavations by General Cunningham in the Topes (brick burial mounds) of Sanchi in Central India have furnished striking and unexpected confirmation of the Mahawamsa.” Ananda Coomaraswamy, the great aesthetic savant, too paid his tribute the Sinhala art in his magisterial monograph, Medieval Sinhala Art.

What is also noticeable of this period is that history, art and culture of  the Sinhala-Buddhist civilisation fired the imagination of the newly emerging elite of all communities. In the absence of mass politics the English-educated, propertied, semi-feudal, semi-capitalist class who were pitted against the British colonial masters, derived their power from the grandeur of the past with which they taunted their rulers. They were bonded together at the top by a common culture of their shared past. Though they had personal and political differences there were no irreconcilable ideological differences at the turn of the century. That came later, and, more markedly and venomously, in the thirties, after the other Ponnambalam.

The unmistakeable feature of Sir. Ponnambalam’s speech is that he claimed the glory of the past as a common heritage of all Ceylonese, as they were known at the time. The latter-day revisionists who have re-written politicized history to denigrate Sinhala-Buddhist civilization cannot dismiss the informed, accurate and balanced judgements passed by Sir Ponnambalam as a product of the “Mahavamsa mentality.” In praising the Sinhala-Buddhist culture he did not feel that it was anti-Tamil or politically incorrect. On the contrary, referring to the veneration of King Elara’s tomb “by silencing the music, whatever procession they may be heading” he says: “Well, may the Sinhalese be proud of chivalry so rare and unprecedented”. He viewed Sri Lankan history as one unbroken continuity. It was not segmented into Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim, or Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic categories. It was a broad and humane approach in which he embraces all, with open arms, as “Ceylonese”.

He singled out the Mahawamsa as a unique document that belongs to the whole nation. And he ended his lecture with a plea to return to “the great ideals cherished by our ancestors” and “make ourselves worthy of our inheritance.” He said:: “Over the garden gate of my old college (Christ’s) at Cambridge — the college of Milton and Darwin — stands the motto of the noble founders, the Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII.

The motto is Souvent me souvient: “often it come to my mind”. “often I am reminded.” It is a perpetual reminder to successive generation of the member of her family and of her college, of her ancestors’ loyalty to duty, to king and country, and to high ideals. Well would it be for us Ceylonese if we too kept fresh in our hearts the great deeds done and great ideal cherished by our ancestors, and strove to make ourselves worthy of our inheritance.”

This sign-posts how the two Ponnambalams diverged and took to two histories of one nation. Of course, Sir Ponnambalam was speaking  with pride in the early days when the political energies were directed against the colonial masters. Besides, the Tamils were quite content with privileged position they held both in the  Legislature  and the Administration with British patronage. The North-South power struggle, based on racist lines, hadn’t surfaced then. In 1912 the Sinhalese had used their vote to elect Sir. Ponnambalam Ramanathan to the Legislative Council beating the other Sinhala candidate, Sir Marcus Fernando. And Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam was the president Ceylon National Congress modelled on the Indian National Congress. The inter-ethnic leaders shared a bond of common interests on practically all the key issues. Even though the first split came over acquiring an extra seat in the Sinhala-dominated Western Province for the Tamils in North, in addition to what the Tamils had been given in the North, the mood of Jaffna was against communalism and tribal representation.

In the twenties the English-educated Tamil youth played a key role in Jaffna fighting against casteism and communalism – the  only two ideologies  that came out of Jaffna which were also the two curses that spilled over from  the peninsula and plagued the nation. The Tamil youth, imbued with Gandhism, were such a powerful force that not  even G.G.Ponnambalam could get a toe-hold in the North  in the twenties. He emerged into prominence in the thirties when the power of the Tamil youth had faded. The first and the second  decades were calm days when the two communities were responding to each other with understanding and mutual respect.

This, no doubt, was the period when the elite ruled at the top without any formidable interventions from the masses at the bottom. It was comparatively easy for the English-speaking  elite from  all communities  to cohabit pleasantly at personal and political levels. It was also the time when the Tamils were holding  the leadership at the very top. The two Ponnambalam brothers were the acknowledged leaders of the  nation by all communities. In Sinhala-Muslim riots  of 1915 the Sinhalese, who had elected Sir. Ponnambalam Ramanathan, looked up to him and he dutifully defended the Sinhalese.

But the tsunamic change that came over from Jaffna and drowned the nation shattered the joys and peace of communal harmony. It came with the Machiavellian politics of G. G. Ponnambalam. His role deserves another chapter.

The next chapter, sadly, will have to begin with him again.

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

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      LOL

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      Jamis Muthu Banda the Tamil Speaking Sinhalam———Brilliant, thanks. Keep up your good work.

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      The colonial Orientalist ‘scholars’, who were enthusiastic to invent Indo-Aryan cousins in this part of the world, created enough myths in that process for Sinhala-Buddhist elitism in Sri Lanka. It was in these early colonial writings (19th century AD), largely based on the uncritical acceptance of the local chronicles, that a new perspective of the ancient history of the island began to develop. The view that the Sinhalese were the ‘proper inhabitants’ of the island in ancient times and that the Tamils were invaders came to dominate colonial historical writings. In addition, since the Sinhala language was more of Indo-Aryan in nature, the British declared that the Sinhalese were Aryans from North India and the Tamils were Dravidians from South India.

      It is important to note that the Aryan theory was not merely something imposed from above by Orientalist ‘scholars’. It was eagerly welcomed by most Sinhala scholars who found the Aryan theory flattering in that it elevated them to the ranks of the kinsmen of their rulers. The combined result of the forces at work was the mischievous oversimplification of Sri Lankan History that the Sinhalese are Indo-Aryans who came from North India in the 6th century BC and the Dravidian Tamils are later migrants who came as invaders to snatch a part of the promised land of the Sinhalese away.

      It should be noted that none of those European Orientalist ‘scholars’ who translated and brought to light (or rather misinterpreted) the Pali chronicles (Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa) ever attempted to do the same to the ancient Tamil texts and the writings on ola/palmaryh leaves which are believed to be destroyed when the Jaffna library was burnt. The partiality in historiography by the British colonial rulers brought in new social gaps, confrontations and competition. With that started the Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalism spanning from Anagarika Dharampala’s revivalist movement through 1956 “silent revolution to Jathika Chinthanaya and Sinhala Urumaya in the 1990s is interpreted as a teleological linear history, at the end, intending the ethnic crisis.

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      Regarding the newly invented/English translated Mahavamsa, Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam got it all wrong.

      On the Pali chronicles of Ceylon (Dipavamsa – 4th c AD & Mahavamsa – 5th c AD), Buddhist history Scholars who analyzed it like Dr. V. A. Smith, Dr. B. C. Law, Dr. B. M. Barua, Dr. H. W. Codrington, Dr. Oldenberg, Dr. S. C. Seth, et al described the various Buddhist legends as historically untrue, silly and mendacious fictions, fabrications by unscrupulous monks, etc. They have styled the stories by these Buddhist writers as “silly monkish fictions of mendacious monks”, “tales told by Buddhist/monkish romancers”, etc. They have been invented for the purpose of possessing a history of the Buddhist intuitions in Ceylon and to connect the royal family of Ceylon with the most distinguished person conceivable–the great Emperor Ashoka.

      On the other hand, Professor Carlo Fonseka wrote:

      “I do not find that reading the Mahavamsa enhances my self-esteem as a Sinhalese. On the contrary I feel greatly embarrassed and deeply humiliated when I learn that we the Sinhalese are the descendants of Vijaya, the banished profligate son of an incestuous marriage between (Sihabahu) and sister (Sihasivali) whose mother was so exceedingly lustful that only a real lion could satisfy her sexually. Moreover, Sihabahu killed his leonine father, the king of the brutes […] Thus, according to the Mahavamsa, brutishness, bestiality, incest, patricide and profligacy, were the stuff of our genesis […] of the 54 rulers recounted in the Mahavamsa, 22 were murdered by their successors; 11 were overthrown; 13 killed were killed in battle and 6 were assassinated” (The Island, 22 October 1995).

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        who cares about carlo? the point is sinhalese people originated here while Tamils did not.

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          Such,

          Keep saying a thousand times if that makes you feel better! Just check your DNA; you are not different to me!

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

  • 0
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

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      LOL

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    seems to me that [Edited out] HLDM is haunted by the ghost of Ponnampalam

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    HLDM “The Clash Of Two Histories In One Nation”….the Sinhala nation have multiples of history based on hearsay, misinterpretation and may be due to “no history”>>>many people like you want to create a non existence history of Sinhala nation and in the process make contradictory claims>> and you have no shame that you a Sinhala racist have to rely on two prominent and respectable Tamil’s writing’s to justify the existence of or not of a Sinhala Nation … ….the Tamil nation have only one undisputable history. >>>>and no one denies The Tamil Nation the Tamil Kingdom that the whole world once was.>>>>so carry on to your next episode courtesy of prominent Tamils

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      Let me first begin with a LOL

      1. what is the non existent history of Sinhala nation?
      2. Are you saying Sinhalese do not exist? Am i and those who killed you were some invisible force?
      3. What is the indisputable history of Tamil nation :D

      Majority of the tamils in SL need a mass scale education programme on SL history!

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      Rajesh it appears that you have spare time in your hand. I suggest you rather take up gardening for a change rather than responding to a public racist’s senile drivel.

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        But it was very pleasing when sinhalese, SWRD and mahavamsa is bashed, right? Remember? It was wonderful and non racist to insult and bash Sinhalese and mahavamsa..but when the tables return, suddenly it is racist, painful and bigoted…

        You belong to the lowest level of racists.

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    Ironically the grand son of this racist GG is burning the north of Sri Lanka again. Such a misfortune for this country. I wish someone had killed the original Ponnambalam when he was crossing the sea.

    Sri Lanka’s conflict is nothing but the clash of two histories in the country, history vs tamil mythomania

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    One wonders why Sinhala extremism failed to acclaim, loud and clear, the great services done by the Brothers Ponnambalam to Sinhala and the Sinhalese. This would have gone out greatly to cushion the anti-Tamil hatred that did so much of damage and virtual irrevocable damage to Sinhala-Tamil relations in 1958, 1977, 1983 and so on. It is not too late to give this wide national coverage, notably in the Sinhala media and beginning from the earlier classes in schools. The time seems so right if one is to believe the Yahapalanaya Circus is serious about mending ties between Sinhalese and Tamils.

    Surely Minister D.M. Swaminathan, claiming to be a direct descendent of the Brothers Ponnambalam, can convince his Cabinet colleagues, including his mentor the Royalist and Cbo 7 man Ranil W – of this vital factor that has much unifying features thereto.

    Kettikaran

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      what is sinhala extremism or even tamil extremism means at all? Sinhala or tamil is not an ideologies, they are simply ethnicities.
      The Sinhalese failed to do a proper investigation on how tamil politics lead to separatism. At least now they should.

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      Sinhalese dont appreciate any help others give them. See how much they hate muslims today? The same muslims who discarded their tamil identity and went out of their way to help Sinhalese mistreat tamils. Even during anti-tamil riots muslims often helped Sinhalese. They also acted as double agents in the north and east and got several LTTE officers captured or killed. They also formed an important part of the SL special forces and deep penetration units. As they could speak tamil very well and could sneak into LTTE areas easily. And today despite all that they are now being spat on by the Sinhalese

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    In Australia with his writings, sweeping broad mind, financial independence( not dependent on occidental sources) and personal conduct the writer Mahindapala would have proved the superiority of the orientals over the occidentals ! Australia is enriched by him and not the other way around.

    I have grave doubts abut this Dutugemunu story of respecting the Elara grave( most likely the body was left for wild animals or at best burnt)The story came into history more than 500 years after the so called event.It has the same authenticity as the Dutugemunu story about the huge ocean in the south and alien Tamils in the north! Did he known about the other oceans too ?

    In the distant past this kind of skirmishes (now it is argued that this so called massive confrontation would have been a very small hullabaloo between maybe about 50 persons on either side) were not fought with much chivalry. That concept did not exist then nor does it exist now in the country.The population then was minuscule, economically weak and many native Sri Lankans lived happily under Elara.

    But on the basis of feudal mentality such a story is consistent with the ethos promoted by feudal minds of the leaders. “We may have our differences and fights, but the feudal lord, even his grave must be respected”.

    It is the same now. RW will never move fully against MR , nor MR against RW. IF MR wants an expensive car, body guards, houses the government will provide it. The favour will be returned without doubt.

    It is in the interest of these chaps to continue with their leadership myth. So they have more in common than we realize. That may have happened even then, but for different reasons than chivalry.

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      There was no language called Sinhala during Dutugemunus time. Dutugemunu himself was probably a Tamil buddhist king. The first part of his name ‘dutu’ comes from ‘thutta’ which means wicked in Tamil. Since he was a power hungry tyrant who did anything to come to power. His father was named ‘Kavan Tissa’ which is a corruption of the Tamil phrase ‘Kaakai vanna theesan’, which means the ‘ruler whos skin colour was black like a crow’
      Then you have the Hindu Tamil King Deva nambeeya theesan whos name means ‘The religious ruler’ or something similar. His name was later corrupted by modern day Sinhalese to ‘Devanam Piya tissa’
      He was the first ruler i believe who converted to Buddhism. The Sinhalese admit he converted to Buddhism but refuse to admit he converted from Hinduism and talk all kinds of rubbish without explaining what religion he followed prior to converting.
      Then you have ‘Mootha Sivan’ who Sinhalese later renamed ‘Mudda Sive’
      Sinhalese themselves descended mostly from Tamils but are terrified of admitting it.

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        Kaavan Theesan in Tamil means the great man who guards or protects. From the Tamil word Kaaval ( to guard or protect) this was corrupted to Kavan Tissa in Pali

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          When hominids were evolved your god siva injected tamil language into body of hominids becoming king cobra in Africa and made every language on earth a derivative of tamil it seems. why do you not apply for a professorship of languages in oxford or cambridge and enlighten or educate poor mass that tamil is the mother language of all the languages on earth. that will help poor mass immensely. All the conflicts on ethnicities would go away and world will become safe place to live. wish you and your tamil colleague all the best. .may the old gold siva bless you. if your wife is so beautiful hide her somewhere you know god siva is a womanizer. may try something with your wife for favours he is going to do for your endeavors in educating world mass in this connection. .

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          Yes that is also a possibilty!

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          LOL GG ponnas brainwashed idiot! what is the proper source idiot? Do you have any inscription or any other source to back it up?

          LOL ignorant buffoon.

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          In Thirukurral Valluvar states:
          Aapayan kundrum arut thozhilar nool marappar
          Kaavalan kaavan enin . – 560 and I QUOTE G.U.Pope- ” If the Guaddian of the country neglects to guard it, the Produce of the Cows will fail, and the Men of Six Duties Viz BRAHMINS will forget the Vedas.
          Actually the Previous Kural, says that Rains will not come if King is not ruling properly.FRIENDS- In 100CE- when Valluvar wrote Kural Agriculture was the major part of living and what is worse for a country – No rain-and Brahmins not chanting Vedas, was the view of THIRUVALLUVAR
          The word Kavan or Kaavan is an old Tamil word meaning the one who guards or protects.

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        This is the GG ponnambalam history that brainwashed the tamils in Sri Lanka and created bloodbath and mayhem in SL.
        The first Sinhala inscription in from devanampiyathissa which shows the earliest form of sinhala language.

        I understand when you learn that there was NOTHING tamil in SL history ( before 13AD) though you were brainwashed otherwise by tamil politicians, it must be very tormenting when learning the real history, right ?

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    unfortunately sir ponnambalam ramanathan was an elitist who opposed universal suffrage saying that it was giving the vote to the rabble
    judging by what is happening today he may not have been far wrong

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    In previous threads HLD Mahindapala has made out that the bane of Tamils is caste system implying that Sinhalese are enlightened and free of caste. Now he is into Tamil politicians. He sights two Ponnambalams. People have heard of GG P but not the “other”. People know Ponnambalam Arunachalam as Aurunachalam. Another politician Ponnambalam contested on CP ticket. HLD M is again maligning GGP and Sir P A implying the his politicians are far sighted etc etc.
    Is HLD M aware that he is distorting history to suit his prejudices? The same distortions can be expected in Mahawamsa. It will take very little intellect to realize this.
    Reputed historians will not care too hoots for HLD M’s writings. His band of illiterate followers will.
    By the way Prof HL Seneviratne ignored you last week. Surprised you …….?

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    Hi Sadu HLDM alias contemporary or nava Sadu Mahanama,

    Please answer the following important questions (panchabala prasanya ) with out ducking :
    1. Why was Ceylon National Congress ( CNC) formed in 1919 ?
    2. Who were the founder members of CNC ?
    3. Who was the 1st President of the CNC ?
    4. Why Sir Ponnampalam Arunachalam left the CNC in 1921 ?
    5. Why no Tamils were elected from the Western Province to the Legitlative Council in 1921 ?

    Unanduven obage piluthuru balaporottuwan sitinawa
    (Eagerly waiting for your reply ).
    As often heard at the end of your hero MaRa’s speech :
    THERUWAN SARANAI

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      The CNC was founded by local sinhala politicians mainly. When marcus fernando from Karawa caste was to be the first president, the govigama fellows did not like it. So JR jayawaydana’s father went to Tamil nadu and brought Ponnambalam Ramanathan who was enjoying his retired years in TN and made him the president to defeat Marcus Fernando.

      This is how Ramanathan became president in 1919.

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    Hi Sadu HLDM,
    I forgot to mention that I don’t mind reply for my 5 important questions from any of your proxies of the calibre of smart patriot Dr.DJ. DJ has already claimed or declared that he is an embodiment of the Sri Lankan version of Buddhism or rather that of MaRa & Bros.
    Budu Saranai

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    pala
    There was another ponnambalm.
    Sir ponnambalam arunachalam.

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      Pala

      Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam was the Founder of the Ceylon National Congress in 1919. However, within two years of the formation he was a disappointed man. He formed the Ceylon Tamil League in 1922 of which also he was the Founder-President. We reproduce here the text of an address delivered by Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam to the Ceylon Tamil League in 1922. Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam died in 1924.

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    Excellent article!!!
    NGOs spend millions of dollars $ just to attack “Mahawamshaya”, Angarika Dharmapala, Sinhala-Buddhist patriotism, and now on Maha Nayaka theros..

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