18 October, 2017

The Obsession With A “Sri Lankan Identity”

By Emil van der Poorten –

Emil van der Poorten

To say that reams of paper, or the equivalent in electronic publication, have been used in belabouring what is or is not our “national identity” would be to seriously understate what has been happening in this country, particularly since the end of the war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

One of the greater absurdities was the “abolition of minorities” that the President proclaimed at one of the early triumphalist gatherings.  One did not need to have anything resembling academic credentials in any discipline to realise that this was nothing but political sloganeering at best and an attempt to homogenize Sri Lanka in a manner that the Rajapaksa Regime thought fit, at worst, neither in any way acceptable.

What is particularly bemusing is the fact that, pretty well without exception, those who are talking about national unity, the diversity of Sri Lanka’s population and a whole other blather of terminology that I daresay even they do not have so much as a dictionary understanding of, more often than not are driven by a level of insincerity that boggles the mind.

One thing that has struck me as relevant in this discussion about “national identity” is the fact that three members of the Rajapaksa family have, not to put too fine a point on it, absolute political and fiscal control of Sri Lanka.  The relevance of that fact to this discussion will be evident to anyone who continues to read this submission to its end.

The President has been consistent in espousing the need for “one nation, undivided.”  His two brothers who wield enormous economic and military power, respectively, in this country are both U. S. Citizens or on their way to achieving that status via the Green Card route.  Neither of the younger siblings have ever, by word or deed, suggested that they will surrender that status for Sri Lankan citizenship, pure and simple.  One can, accordingly and reasonably, assume that they are supportive of the primary tenets on which the good old U. S. of A is based.

Never denying that it is a “nation of immigrants,” the USA has always sought to assimilate every new arrival rather than integrate them.  If two thirds of the Rajapaksa Power Troika, already U.S. citizens or aspiring to that status, follow that thinking, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination for any observer to comprehend the fact that they wholeheartedly support the premise that Sri Lanka should also become “one nation, undivided,” a description not only espousing and forcing assimilation of any minorities into one Sri Lankan whole but setting the stage, as has become increasingly evident, for the subjugation of any “lesser” racial/ethnic “others” in the process.  Let me refer to a statement of Mr. Basil Rajapaksa some time ago that his ambition was to re-make Sri Lanka in the image of the USA, something I have not heard him seeking to recant since.  And, despite the anti-US babble that is played and re-played ad infinitum, accompanied by fasts-unto-death etc., we are dancing, most animatedly, to the USA’s tune in a variety of ways, particularly in the matter of “liberalisation,”  “privatization” etc. etc. (take your pick from the World Bank Thesaurus of economic terminology)

All of this – the real Rajapaksa agenda – is aided by the dumbing down of the Sri Lankan population, for reasons that will take too long in the telling for purposes of this discussion, which is only too ready to march behind (misspelled) posters proclaiming “Down with the Imperialists/Westerners/”Para suddhas” (take your pick) while ensuring that supplies of Fair & Lovely[1] fairly fly off store shelves, one of the more interesting phenomena of Sri Lanka’s current culture!  It certainly appears illustrative of a post-colonial relationship that is characterized by an addiction to “B” grade Hollywood action films; sold out performances of everything from hip-hop artists to latter-day reincarnations of the abominably vacuous Jim Reeves and other unlamented pop performers of a like substance and time; and “Talent” and “Reality”, shows that make anyone with any sensitivity to indigenous culture cringe!  All of this, though, is reflective of a reality that says “Para-suddha” in one breath and seeks to ape the worst of what comes off that “Suddha’s” turf, trying to achieve epidermal pallor that those coming by it naturally seek to be rid of by sun-tanning!

And how does the “one nation, united” sloganeering fit in with all of this?  It is simply the other side of the coin of political stupidity parading as some kind of “Identity” on which you can hang your “national pride.”  It also bears ominous comparison to the Nativist movement in New York in the early days of the Excited States of Amnesia, a horror depicted in the Martin Scorsese film, “The Gangs of New York.”  That was a violent “cleansing” of those who weren’t White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, several ethnic minorities taking their turn in the urban abattoir of racism that was New York City then.  Comparisons, anyone?

Looked at in the cold light of day, no one in Sri Lanka claiming to be “pure” this or “pure” that can substantiate such a claim except by falling back on some piece of mythology.  We are an island nation, a small one at that and apart from the geographical, historical and economic realities that have been a part of our evolution to what we are today, we do not have the space, vegetation etc. to claim some pristine pureness as might the Yanomami of the Amazon rain forest.  Any claim of “purity” is pure unadulterated nonsense and no persecution or killing of those perceived as the “other” in paranoid defence of that stand is going to make it the truth or, God forbid, make it come to pass.

Why don’t we, instead, do something infinitely more realistic?  Why don’t we accept the fact that every one of us is different, even if they happen to have the same mother and father?  “Separate but equal” is a phrase that took on a lot of negative baggage a long time ago.  However, if one is looking for slogans, it will do as well as any.  We can and MUST retain our individuality, and that includes as communities of various kinds.  NOT “tolerant” but “accepting” and there is a world of difference between those two words.

The stupidity of large chunks of our population who are beguiled by some chimera of a pristine Sinhala Buddhist nation boggles the mind!  Is it any wonder that pursuit of such pie-in-the-sky-when-you-die leads not only to ongoing frustration but will ultimately lead to the discovery of some Sri Lankan equivalent of Dante’s Inferno rather than paradise when the destination is reached?

What’s wrong with a conscious attempt at establishing a truly democratic country where, at the very least, the right to twirl your umbrella ends where the tip of my nose begins?

Enough of this humbug being foisted on us by moronic, uncultured politicians parading as arbiters of “culture” and “civilization!”  All we need to do is just look ahead of us to know where the route I have suggested can take us and then look back at the chauvinist, racist, religio-fundamentalist path we have trod as a nation and where it has brought us.  Like the man said, “Fooled me once, shame on you.  Fooled me twice, shame on me.”  How many times do Sri Lankans need to be fooled before they wake up to their self-inflicted pain and chaos and try to do something about it?


[1] Perhaps the most widely-used product claiming to make users “fairer.”

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    There can not be a Sri Lankan identity. It must have been only a Sinhala Identity.

    Except in India which is a collection of so many different cultures and civilizations what other country in the world, particularly the other western country gives a similar identity.

    Even in the US, every one is flocked around the US Flag and the US dollar.

    • 0
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      Yo Jim boy, perhaps mater familias should have kept her knees together and saved us the trouble.

    • 0
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      The US flag and US dollar is not based on ethnicity, dickhead.

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    The problem is that Sri Lankan minorities do not want to the accept the fact that in if they go to live in any other country, particularly in any of the western country, they very enthusiastically take the country’s majority cultures’ identity.

    ONLY, in Sri Lanka they expect that the majority should make the minorities the majority and be subjected to be subjugated.

    It is simply the Superiority complex of the Tamil minority and the aggressive domination and their after exploitation of the Christian culture and subjugation and submission of the Muslim culture.

    • 0
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      JimSofty:
      I really shouldn’t be wasting my time on unadulterated piffle such as you keep regurgitating, particularly when it is couched in incomprehensible jargon parading as English.
      However, suffice it to say that you are not only wrong in your description of matters of acceptance and tolerance in other DEMOCRATIC countries, but you seem to indulge your usual penchant for fabrication in doing so.

      • 0
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        JimSofty´s is not even comparable to that of Wimal. Meaning, undereducated Wimal sometimes seems to bear good arguments in terms of lanken politics. But JS behaves like a blind – almost always teh same. So why should we worry about him indulging usual mode. If the masses would have the same views as JS, this country would not far from Democracy Index of 3.

      • 0
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        Mr. Vander Pooten:

        You did not name the democratic countries that you are talking about ?

        You should have given examples. Other wise, your writings are just BS.

        • 0
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          Jim-whatever:
          Was that meant to be a witticism or an example of your erudition?
          If the former, I will say what I have said to your ilk before,”It is impossible to trade witticisms with a half-wit.” If the latter, if you are so ignorant that you need to be informed about basic realities in the democratic world, you either will NEVER learn or don’t have the capacity to do so. It’s, therefore, obviously a losing proposition to try to educate you in either case!
          In any event, I don’t intend wasting any more time responding to your idiocies. You could spend your time far more usefully studying some kind of English primer before you place your fingers on a keyboard, even if it is one supplied by your patrons!

          • 0
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            Stop writing BS.

            Just give me an example. then we can talk.

            • 0
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              Jim[Edited out], at least you try to understand that your head is full of donkey poo. The way of asking for example is the habit of Leelanada aka Leela aka Lella aka Potta.

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              Hey Idiot Puffty,

              Take neighbour India for example, minority language national anthem (Bengali) and plenty decentralized provincial powers….minority PM (Sikh).

              ‘Western’ social culture is heavily influenced by Black minority culture.

              SL too forced to adopt the minority bandit’s culture (Vijay-baba & 700 thieves) at the expense of Native Culture.
              Our language, religion, outlook, etc. foreign.

              As the majority domination, India should then claim (north) SL as with the same excuse the Chinese give to invade Tibet.

    • 0
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      You stupid Jim boy,

      You don’t know what you are talking about and let me get something in to your dick head:

      First of all you have an inferiority complex which is understandable coming from a very low back ground. I know you are going to say that you come from a wealthy educated family. But I don’t believe you and I am convinced from your messages you live in a slum infested by insects and the rest. Some people are born slum dwellers and some people are forced into it and you belong to the first category.

      As for your first piece of garbage “The minorities particularly in any of the western country, they very enthusiastically take the country’s majority cultures’ identity”
      Let me ask you a question:

      From your name Jim I take it that you are a Christian. But if you tell me no I am a Buddhists I will tell you that even before you have left Sri Lanka you fool you have very enthusiastically taken a Western Culture and Identity. So what is the problem.

      Man practice what you preach and in future don’t write rubbish. I know you like to rubbish the Tamils because you are a bloody racist hiding under a Christian Name.

      • 0
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        Kali:

        You [Edited out] Tamil, Did you give a response that I can respond to ?

        With respect to my user – ID ?

        It is just a user ID, dumbo.

        • 0
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          You Christian Convert,

          So You are Sinhalese hiding under Christian ID. So you are no different to those who take up Western Culture and ID. You don’t get it do you. By the way do you swear a lot at home.

    • 0
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      Minorities in SL are not immigrants to take on the Sinhalese culture, dickhead.

  • 0
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    Dear van der Poorten,

    Think, 1948, 1956, 1958, 1971, 1972, 1978, 1983, 1987-1989 and 2009.

    What does it say? Majority Hegemony.

    “One of the greater absurdities was the “abolition of minorities” that the President proclaimed at one of the early triumphalist gatherings.”

    They are abolishing the minorities since 1948 and since 550 BC.

    1. Stole the land from the native Vedda And the other Native Peoples.

    2. Sinhalese Buddhist Proclaimed their Hegemony. Read the Mahawamsa and the Monk Mahanama.

    3. Used Buddhism to promote Racism and Monk Hegemony.

    4. Got invaded by the Tamil Cholas and others

    5. Got invaded by the Portuguese Dutch and English

    6. Got Independence. Abolishing minorities since then.

    Do you see what the BBS, The Sinhala Ravya and others are saying.

    This is a Sinhala Buddhist Country. ( Vedda- Where are you?)

    The issue is do they Follow Buddhism or Just Use Buddhism ? Hegemony?

    If you know the Buddha Dhamma, the Buddhas Teachings , you will know the difference.

    Hegemony.

    • 0
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      Amarasiri

      Thanks for your support to my cause.

      Let us have more comments on the identity of islanders.

      I will only accept identity that recognise the following:

      Veddahs are the first people of this land. Needs to be recognised in the constitution.

      Removal of special status for Buddhism from constitution is an urgent matter that should be dealt with sooner if people want to create a common identity that is acceptable to all.

      Removal of history text books from school curriculum which are based on Mahavamsa myth should be another urgent matter. If removed the very act alone would definitely enhance the hands of those want to build a secular state.

      There are other issues, lets deal with these for the time being.

      • 0
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        Native Vedda,

        Removal of special status for Buddhism……SECONDED.

        Removal of Mahavamsa myth from text books…SECONDED.

        As for special status for Veddahs….uh, uh, NO. Who can be sure that you were the first? Don’t fall into the trap that the Sinhalese and Tamil have. As you may remember, Hudu Hura loved you all and fought for your recognition and rights with the GOSL all those long years ago. Just be happy that you are correctly honoured as citizens of this lovely island.

        Keep you axe sharp, Vedda!

        • 0
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          Buddhism is 2600 years old in Sri Lanka it is still surviving.

          Christianity survived in Europe, the hot bed of that religion, for less than 1800 years.

          Why there are thousands of Athiests and Agnostics in the West ?

          How did modern Science begin. Those scientists were the people who believed in that there was no almighty, Church was Bull$hitting, and believed that things could happen naturally.

          Buddhism is also about the NATURE and the Ultimate truth, natural justice and natural truth

          • 0
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            In Lanka for 2600 years a defunct form of Buddhism survives among the majority non-buddhi chimpanzees who don’t practice even of what they preach.

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      Christianity, Judaism and Islam are interrelated in every way.

      Both Jews and Muslims don’t eat Pork. Even the some editions of Bible talk about killing infidels.

      “The ‘not eating pork’ is one of the ‘to save your life’ bits of dietary advice from 1000+ years ago. Whereas this may indeed have saved someone’s life whilst we were all living in mud huts, food as well as personal hygiene have come a long way since then and pork is now just as safe as any other meat. The reason for Muslims and Jews to abstain from pork was a very good and practical one 1000+ years ago, but is completely unnecessary nowadays. It’s a relic. Like muslim women wearing veils – whilst it was the ordinary and practical clothing 2000 years ago, nowadays it is outdated and actually less practical. There are much more practical ways to dress nowadays and I am personally convinced that if Mahomet had lived in the late XXth century he’d be advising everyone to wear jeans and a tee-shirt! If the Koran and the Torah were being rewritten to suit current times – pork would no longer be a health concern and so would no longer be banned. Progress has made the practice irrelevent. It’s an outdated tradition. “

  • 0
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    The dumbing down of the Sinhala majority (especially in rural areas) will continue:

    1. As long as Rupavahini, ITN and SLBC are the only channels that reach islandwide.
    2. As long as the Sinhala majority is unable to speak, read and understand English and they have no access to the internet.
    3. As long as they continue to belive the mahavamsa myths that SL belongs only to the Sinhala Buddhists etc, they will continue to belive the absurdities propogated by racist politicians and extremist Buddhist monks and actively take part in or remain silent when atrocities are committed on minorities.

    While all this takes place at the instigation of the Rajapox family regime, the dumbed down jackasses will shout jayawaywaa and vote enmasse at regular rigged elections for the family of jackals and their loyal running dogs…and the jackassses will live happily ever after in ONE Dumb country under ONE Despotic leader and ONE Despotic family for ever and ever…
    Amen.

  • 0
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    By Nationality we are all Sri Lankans. By race we are Sinhalese, Tamil, Moor, Burgher, Malay, Memon, Borah, Chetty etc. By Religon we are Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Agnostic etc. These are the realities. Like the different flowers in a garden we must grow and bloom. Unity in Diversity.

    • 0
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      Safa

      The name Sri Lanka itself was the result of flawed process of constitutional drafting. Change of name should have been put to referendum and sought public consensus.

      Those who accepted the name should understand that they were deceived/robbed of their democratic right to agree or disagree with the new name that was stealthily introduced into constitution in 1972.

      • 0
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        BTW I have to include the race of Veddah or Adi-Vasi.

        “One of the first written references to the island is found in the Indian epic Ramayana, which provides details of a kingdom named Lanka that had been created by the divine sculptor Vishwakarma, for Kubera, the lord of wealth.[29]”

        “According to the Mahāvamsa, a chronicle written in Pāli language, the ancient period of Sri Lanka begins in 543 BC with the landing of Vijaya, a semi-legendary king who sailed 860 nautical miles on eight ships to Sri Lanka with 700 followers from the southwest coast of what is now the Rarh region of West Bengal.[33] He established the Kingdom of Tambapanni, near modern day Mannar.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lanka

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        The name “Lanka” is a verbal abuse which came out to be from a name calling by the austere Northerners on the land of Ravana, who was revered also by the South Indians as an all powerful God. ‘Hela’ too cannot be assumed to be a name for the word only meant ‘to dedicate’. Other names have also been used in the West to describe the island.

        The Bengal traveller Vijaya named the island Tâmraparnî[Tamarai Parani_Tamil] (“Lotus[or it’s color]-land”), a name which was adopted into Pāli and Sanskrit as Tambaparni. Based on information obtained from Greek and travellers from the Island the accounts of Alexander the Great’s officers and the 4th-century BCE Greek geographer Megasthenes, names the Island as Taprobanê, generally regarded as a transliteration of Tâmraparnî. In the 16th century CE, Traprobana is mentioned in the first strophe of the Portuguese national epic poem ‘Os Lusíadas’ by Luís de Camões (“going beyond Traprobana”). Taprobana might also be a hidden reference to Tribhuvana, the great Hindu Triad.

        An alternative etymology for the Greek Taprobanê is from the Sanskrit Tambrapani (“great pond” or “pond covered with red lotus”), most likely in association with the great tanks for which Sri Lanka is famed. A third is that it derived its name from a river; the name of the river is Tāmaraparnī or Tamiravarani or Taamravarni, which is North of Sri Lanka and is a combination of the Sanskrit taamra (“coppery”) and varna (“color”). A river that through the Tirunelveli district south Tamil Nadu flows is called Thamirabarani River. The ancient capital of the Pandyan Kingdom was near the river Thamirabarani.

        Sivuhelaya may also be a name of similar origin, although it is very obscure. Many other names, such as ‘Serendiva’, ‘Serendivus’, Sirlediba, ‘Sihala’, ‘Sinhale’, ‘Seylan’, ‘Sinhaladveepa’ etc. Many of these names appear to reflect nothing more than but numerous orthographic variations.

        Ptolemy also called the island ‘Simoundou’ or ‘Simundu’ (probably meant to read Silundu, also believed to derive ultimately from the Sanskrit Sinhala. From Ptolemy we learn that, relative to ‘Taprobanê’, ‘Simoundou’ was an ancient name for Sri Lanka (from Ptolemy’s perspective, and thus even more so now).

        He also called it Palai-Simundu, which is believed to either mean simply “Old Simundu”, using the Greek word for “old”, or alternatively to derive from the Sanskrit pali-simanta (meaning “head of the sacred law”), as Sri Lanka had by that time become an important center of ‘concocted’ Buddhism.

        The 4th-century Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus called the inhabitants of the island ‘Serandives’ and the 6th-century Greek sailor Cosmas Indicopleustes called the island ‘Sielen Diva’. From ‘Sielen’ derived many of the other European forms: the Latin ‘Selan’, Portuguese ‘Ceilão’, Spanish ‘Ceilán’, French ‘Selon’, Dutch ‘Zeilan’, ‘Ceilan’ and ‘Seylon’, and the English ‘Ceylon’. Other variants include ‘Seylan’, ‘Zeylan’ and ‘Ceylan’. Today, Ceylon and its equivalents in other languages are still occasionally used.

        The 2nd-century Greek geographer Ptolemy called the inhabitants Salai and the island Salike (“country of the Salai”), most widely believed to derive from the Pāli Sihalam. It is assumed that another Indian name for the island – Salabha (“rich island”) – is its source. Others argue that it came via the Egyptian Siela Keh (“land of Siela”), even more similar to Cosmas’ Sielen and still of the same ultimate origin. Some scholars also hold that it was merely a corruption, probably by the Greek sailors who traveled to Sri Lanka, of Simhalakahi.

        The 10th-century historian Alberuni, called the island ‘Singal-Dip’, also derived from sinhala and the word “Deepa” (Light[house]) meaning “island”. However, in Arabic, Sri Lanka ultimately came to be known as ‘Serendib’ or ‘Sarandib’, as used in the Persian fairy tale “The Three Princes of Serendip”, from which Horace Walpolae in 1754 ultimately coined the English word “serendipity”. The name ‘Sailan’, an Arabic form of more recent vintage than ‘Sarandib’ later came to be via predecessor words in Arabic ‘Tilaan’ and ‘Cylone’, also sharing the same root as Ceylon.

        In the crisis of an identity for their motherland, will the Sinhalese ever get their joy out of their Langooty, I doubt.

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          Cannot leave out HELAM, EELAM….Zelan, Selon, Sihala, Ceilao, Ceilon, Sihaladip, Serendib; Revered Island.

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            It is very interesting if you trace the roots of Eelam:

            The city of ‘UR’ which means ‘City’ in Akkadian/Elamite relatively in close affinity to the modern Tamil word “Oor” or “Ur” meaning the same ‘City’.

            Elam was an ancient civilization centered in the far west and southwest of modern-day Iran, stretching from the lowlands of what is now Khuzestan and Ilam Province, as well as a small part of southern Iraq. Sumerian ELAM, Akkadian Elamû, feminine Elamītu; the ancient country of Elam in what is now southern Iran. The Elamites were considered Semites by the Hebrews, although their language was not Semitic, but is considered a linguistic isolate.

            This modern categorization does not conflict with the Hebrew Bible, since it holds that the diversity of human languages originated at the Tower of Babel.

            Situated just to the east of Mesopotamia, Elam was part of the early urbanization during the Copper Age. The emergence of written records from around 3000 BC also parallels Mesopotamian history, where slightly earlier records have been found. In the Middle Bronze Age, Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau centered in Anshan and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. Its culture played a crucial role in the short lived Gutian Empire of the 22nd century BC, and from the 6th century BC, during the Persian Achaemenid dynasty that succeeded Elam, when the Elamite language remained among those in official use.

            Elam (the nation) is also mentioned in Genesis 14, describing an ancient war in the time of Abraham, involving a king of Elam it calls Chedorlaomer.

            The prophecies of Isaiah (11:11, 21:2, 22:6) and Jeremiah (25:25) also mention Elam. The last part of Jeremiah 49 is an apocalyptic oracle against Elam which states that Elam will be scattered to the four winds of the earth, but “will be, in the end of days, that I will return their captivity,” a prophesy self-dated to the first year of Zedekiah (597 BC).

            The Book of Jubilees may reflect ancient tradition when it mentions a son (or daughter, in some versions) of ‘Elam named “Susan”, whose daughter Rasuaya married Arpachshad, progenitor of another branch of Shemites. Shushan (or Susa) was the ancient capital of the Elamite Empire. (Dan. 8:2)

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    A very regular obsession; how to make 20.87 million identities one?
    I think SAFA commented well and I feel good in being compared to a flower. Why, I do believe I blushed! But, truth to tell, we Sri Lankans are a feral lot. The Tamils think they are God’s chosen, the Sinhalese think that they are Buddha’s special race, the Muslims think that Allah will favour them with seventy virgins each if they can only conquer the infidel, and the Burghers think…..will these buggers stop thinking for one minute and get on with the work that needs to be done to keep this place the ‘miracle of asia’. The thing that I have seen as I fly around this lovely globe of ours is that the countries that do best in terms of their people, with few exceptions, are the ones that create and handle diversity best. But it is right that the Sri Lankans are obsessed with their nationality and the identity that goes with it. As most foreign customs officers will confirm, if there is anything to send them into a tizz, it would be the plonking down of a SL passport on his desk. A normally placid officer, he would frazzle with suspicion and immediately be on guard. We have earned a reputation as being devious little buggers always up to ‘something’. Totally unfair, ofcourse for most, but can we blame them? Most Sri Lankans appear to live in a coccoon but thanks to the ‘tenpercenters’ – those SLankans who write on the internet in English – and myriad tourist and visitors who broadcast their observations, the whole world is now not only aware of our traveller delights but also of our many foibles and crooked ways. Damn shame, because it does injustice to the vast numbers of us who are kind, considerate and generous (and don’t bite.)

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      Spring,

      You call yourself a flower. You are joking aren’t you.
      You said it mate you are a Chicken “The thing that I have seen as I fly around this lovely lake”

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    To be or not to be Sri Lankan written by Theruni Sebastiampillai to the Island on 10th November 2012.Same question was in my mind many years and I know the reason why we can’t think as Sri Lankan because our national flag has divided this united nation.When we take the meaning of our NF it never allow us to think we are Sri Lankan.China having 56 nationalities and what would be if that flag gives a place for each and every nationalities?My opinion is it’s time to change this national Flag and introduce a new one under which we can feel that we are Sri Lankan

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    Sri Lanka cannot be the country envisaged by the mindset of the van der Poorten type. We, the people of Lanka did not have to talk about a Sri Lanka identity for we were living it time immemorial with the Buddhist heritage. Buddhism being the primary ‘religion’ had the greatest influence upon us all for over 2500 Years. The concept of a ‘Sri Lanka Identity’ is a recent construct. Until recent time in history we have not referred to people by their ethnicity.

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      Chandra:
      What on earth are you talking about?

      Labuwa, Spring Koha, Vipula:
      Thank you very much for your most informative contributions to this discussion which (thank goodness!) were not laced with patently racist rhetoric!

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    What is democracy? You will not find two countries with the same “democratic” understanding! Democracy is the only way to keep the common people calm. The truth is, that this political system called “Democracy” only serves the economical structures, therefore we get ruled by oligarchs behind the scenes. What happens now between sinhala and tamil people is just serving the elite. As the tamil elite had been preferred by the british in colonial time, now the sinhala elite gets some kind of revenge, and this will cause re-revenge and so on. Like two children on the schools’s playground: “I am absolutely right!”, “No I am”, and nobody there to solve this. But both are democratically wrong. The tamil elite would do the same, if they were in power, no kidding, both are thick as a brick!

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    Even when Dutch came here they left their churches, building architecture as well as their descendants with their names. for Example, Emil Vander Pooten is not a sinhala name.

    Ven der Pooten means Pooten’s son.

    That is assimilation. they destryoed the Sinhala culture and civilization and left the dutch civilization here.

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      JimSofty:
      Not even the name, “van der Poorten” (not “Vander Pooten”)is Dutch!
      van der Poorten DOES NOT mean “Pooten’s son” in the region from which it originates.
      The first van der Poorten to arrive in Sri Lanka did so in the mid-19th century. In case you didn’t know, the British were the “colonials” here since the late 18th century.
      Perhaps, you should check the odd fact before you give of your “wisdom” to readers of CT even though that might, of itself and for obvious reasons, be a total impossibility in your case.

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      And what is Jim?

      Jim = Supplanter

      1.usurper: the idiot who wrongfully or illegally seizes and holds the place of another.

      2.offender, wrongdoer: the imbecile who transgresses moral or civil law.

      3.claim jumper:the fool who illegally occupies property to which another has a legal claim.

      You idiot did a bad choice of your own name.

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      If they destroyed Sinhalese culture (whatever that is), how come it exists today for you to want to defend?

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    Srilanka,thinks it is some great nation and sinhali are great, time has not yet come,you just wait and see , you will all will be crushed to death as you did with the tamil people. Even very realistically you can calculate these figures, rajapakshe is a slave of a slave,he is feeling the dictator power now for some time ,how long he can hold ,u really don’t understand who is sitting on your head. Lanka a millimeter square country ,what it can do,you were slaves before and in the future also. You will be punished to the extreme and the conflict in subcontinent definitely make you extinct,you are just by product of India’s population and we are here so you are there ,you have no existence of your own.Chinese cant help you for long ,they will also shoot you .

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