14 November, 2019

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The Portuguese, The Saviours Of Our Culture?

By Wilfrid Jayasuriya

Dr. Wilfrid Jayasuriya

“The Portuguese, the Saviours of our Culture?”. This is the title of a scholarly article written in the Ceylon Historical Journal in the 1950s by B.J. Perera BA (History) University of Ceylon who was our teacher in the University Entrance class. It was of course “dead against” the version given by nationalist historians after independence. However his interpretation simply put was that the Mughals had conquered Hindu India and ruled it for a couple of centuries and converted a large part of the Hindu population to the Muslim religion as had happened in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia and the Maldives, which had been either Hindu or Buddhist. The evidence in Bali and Java of the existence of Buddhist and Hindu relics supports this view. 

When the  Portuguese arrived in Colombo in 1505 the Arab traders were already there. Sailing ships would use the trade winds and ply between east and west in the Indian Ocean. They were perhaps established close to the port and so the existence of Arab colonies along the west and east coast is explained. Beruwala, or the port where “the sail was lowered” and where the descendants of the Moor traders still remain the majority, is the “living memento,” while perhaps the Muslim settlements in the lands, interior to the East coast, from Batticoloa to Pottuvil are evidence of the same. Current news items about the finding of bombs, swords and guns in the Eastern region remind me of the people who wore short trousers as their main dress item for men, when I worked in Amparai as District Land Officer in the early 1960s. The women too were much more physically strong and active than was common in the urbanized western region. The men called Mattayas also carried guns in the jungle environment and I employed them once to conduct an elephant drive, when the farmer colonists from the wet zone were harassed by elephants eating their paddy and encroaching on their habitations. The Mattayas were tough and their women were probably from among the original Sinhala and Tamil inhabitants, with whom the newcomers from across the sea intermarried. But they were all farmers in the 1960s except a few traders and fishermen. The miniscule elite were educated in English and the first student from among them to enter the University of Ceylon and graduate won an election to Parliament. They carried him shoulder high acclaiming his “B.A. Econ” as much as his political victory. I enjoyed his friendship. 

The argument that B.J.Perera used was that if the Portuguese had not arrived in 1505, and thereby forestalled the colonization by the Arabs,by establishing their own colony in Ceylon, the Sinhala Buddhist and Christian / Hindu culture which grew in the 500 years from 1505 to 2000 (five centuries) under the shadow of the Portugese, Dutch and British colonial rule, which was more tolerant regarding religion than Islam, would have been prevented as had happened in the Mohamedan conquests of India, Indonesia, Malaysia etc. where Mohamedanism became the ruling ideology and sometimes the sole relgion. 

. . . . . . . . . . . .

I could not help looking back on my youthful years as District Land Officer in the early 1960s, working among the whole gamut of cultures that the Gal Oya colonization scheme provided, for one who had known only the western province environment. Looking at the continuous TV coverage after the Easter Sunday event  I remembered Sainthamaruthu (close to Kalmunai), which appears to be the headquarter location of the current Muslim extremism (together with Kattankudy further north)   as the place where some landless people encroached on a cemetery to live there, and we had to intervene and settle them elsewhere. This kind of unusual event remains in the memory for who would want to build his house among the dead? Fortunately I did not have to even visit the place because the Divisional Revenue Officer, Kalmunai, settled the matter. Along the coast where the Batticoloa–Pottuvil road runs for almost 100 miles Tamil and Muslim villages sit side by side interspersed. It is quite likely that the acute landlessness in one village (like Sainthamaruthu) was caused by the inability to reach across the boundary to the next village, because it was another ethnic group that lived there. 

The Gal Oya irrigation scheme is based on two main channels bringing water from the dam at Inginiyagala, where the Gal Oya river had been dammed about 30 miles upstream in the late 1940s, to provide hydro power and irrigation water. The left bank channel irrigated about 200, 000 acres for paddy cultivation and the water left over (overflow, mainly drainage water after supplying the new colonization area ) was expected to supplement the existing water supply (mainly rain and floods) which irrigated the existing old settlements of Tamil and Muslim villages along the east coast, through which the Batticoloa Pottuvil road ran. That was  about 25 miles east of Amparai, which was the heart of the new paddy area. The coastal towns of Kalmunai / Nintavur/Akkaraipattu were much older. 

The first ethnic conflict in that part of the world happened in the colonization area in 1956, between the newcomers from the Sinhala settlements and the old Tamil settlements / Muslim settlements.  Both the latter groups felt that the empty land inland, which they often used for rainfed cultivation in Maha (or the rainy season November / Decenber) to supplement their produce, had been taken away and given with irrigation water, to the Sinhalese colonists from various parts of the country, where land hunger had existed. I remember a Muslim man from the coast ploughing some land, with a tractor, adjacent to the Technical Training Institute in Amparai town area, 20 miles inland, because it  appeared to be open territory, though it was urban and now part of a technical training college. 

In order to cater to the desire for expansion among the old villagers, Sinhala (who were mostly inland) and the Tamil / Muslim who lived along the coast, the right bank lands had been tentatively set aside and the right bank channel was completed later by the 1960s. The new irrigated territory, on the right bank, was allocated partly to sugar cultivation by the Gal Oya Board, which also constructed a factory and a distillery and made both sugar and rum / arrack,  and partly to village expansion for congested villages from Kalmunai to Nintavur, Oluvil, Akkaraipattu  etc in the south, perhaps right up to Pottuvil. This stretch of sea coast also followed the pattern of alternate Tamil / Muslim old settlements. 

I held a land kacheri, around 1963, for all the land hungry people who wanted land in the right bank, which was left over from the sugar project. There were 3000 applicants and the interviews were conducted in Tamil / English through an interpreter from the area, who was also a kacheri clerk, since I could not speak Tamil. It was held in the Sinna Muhatthuwaram Resthouse. “Sinna Muhuthuwaram” means “small watersmeet / causeway” (or something to that effect) which conducted the flood waters across the Batticoloa—Pottuvil road, over it whenever it rained hard, because there was no need to build a bridge. The interpreter/clerk who interviewed the applicants with me addressed almost everyone as “Mohammed.” Though the names on the applicants list were more varied  he did not seem to mouth them and when I inquired “why?”  he said, “Everyone is called Mohamed plus a nickname,” and not by the name on the register, which we had copied from the application. So being a “local” he knew the nicknames! This seems to give an insight to us outsiders, how different “identity” was in this community, compared to our own family names and given names. It indicated a bond among them that seemed to liquidate given names written in registers in favour of unwritten communal identities. It was perhaps signified in the Muslim practice of eating from the same plate, placed  in the middle of the table,  together, in place of taking separate servings to individual plates at the border, by one’s seat, as is the usual way. This is an image of communal feasting which we sometimes saw at Muslim feasts or weddings, in hotels. In one of his books Sigmund Freud talks of communal eating as the closest of ties. 

Finally I selected 600 out of the 3000 applicants after a 3 day marathon land kacheri (kacheri means “meeting” in Tamil) and they were given land on the right bank. That was probably my last interaction with the community in the East, which has attracted so much attention these days. 

This community is said to have been formed by Arab sailors etc forming settlements on the east coast and the interior, which was ruled by the king of Kandy before 1815, when the British became the sole rulers. They were quite different from the Muslims on the west coast, who had lived among the Sinhalese and were more likely to be traders.The east coast Muslims spoke Tamil because they had married Tamil women and  were mainly cultivators, especially paddy farmers and hunters and they wore trousers and also carried guns. They were called mattayas. I had occasion to organize an elephant drive within the left bank farming area to chase the elephants, who were eating up the farmers crops and destroying the cottages and I employed the mattayas who knew how to do it. They were given a stock of bullets for their guns and they formed a V shaped group of bare bodied, short trousered men, which moved into the jungle, firing their guns, using the noise of the firing  to scare the elephants who moved further away from the settled village areas into the thicker jungle. It was successful. 

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Latest comments

  • 7
    1

    ‘Sinna Muhathuwaram’ means Small Estuary.

    • 12
      12

      If not for Portuguese, Sri Lanka would have been overrun by Moghuls who had taken parts of South India as far as Madurai, before any Arab could establish a kingdom. So we must thank Portuguese for it, if not which ancient Sinhala Buddhist civilization would have been destroyed like what had happened in Afghanistan and Pakistan including murder of Buddhist priests. It was Portuguese who showed how to treat Muslims. Today we are paying the price of the gross mistake by King Senerath for giving asylum to them. Had Portuguese been given support to finish the job, it would have been a blessing for the land. It is only after British took over maritime districts, that Muslims began to re-establish trading in coastal areas. Prior to British, both Portuguese and Dutch failed to capture Kandyan kingdom, because they took the Kadugannawa route and the steep terrain ensured their defeat. The ingratitude of Muslims despite being given protection by Kandyan kings is demonstrated by the fact that, it was they who showed British the way to attack Kandyan kingdom through Galagedera route which is a gradual climb, resulting in the fall of the kingdom. Muslims had always been treacherous to the country. In 1915 they had the audacity to demand that Buddhist perehera should not go past Mosque in Gampola. Will they dare to make such demand now without getting well and truly hammered. See what they are doing in eastern province where they murdered and drove away Tamils who gave them asylum and appropriated their lands. It is a good thing that Buddhist priests have come forward to correct the injustices done to Tamils in the east by Muslims, who were given free hand by the state for their money and votes.

      • 5
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        Lanka Perera – anybody’s progress & development will be challenged with attacks, but there is no history that suggests those attacks could complete destroy those progressing & achieving. Portuguese or Dutch or anybody else will only strengthen, not defeat. You have the right to bark, keep doing it to entertain us & others

      • 5
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        Lanka Perera,
        There are no good guys and bad guys in history.
        In 1521 three sons of Vijayabahu, the reigning king of Kotte, put their father to death and partitioned the kingdom among themselves. Bhuvaneka Bahu allied with the Portuguese and Mayadunne was helped by the MUSLIM led fleet of the king of Calicut in what is now Kerala , an inveterate enemy of the Europeans.
        So the Sinhalese kings had murdered their own father, One murderer had Portuguese help and the other had Muslim help.
        So it is ridiculous to talk about Muslim ingratitude. The 16th century Sinhalese rulers were just as devious and immoral as they are now.
        Please do try not to distort history.

        • 1
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          There are no good guys and bad guys in history. According to some Parayas, there are Para Sinhala and Non Para -all others. Another possible classification is Para Low IQ and Para High IQ.
          .
          I almost forgot. All Parayas are Buddhists and all Buddhist are Parayas.

      • 4
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        Lanka Perera,

        Those who were Traitors to the last Kandyan king were all Sinhala, Sinhala Buddhists.

        The Sinhala Buddhists did not trust the Portuguese, The Tamil Hindus did not trust the Buddhists and the Muslims did not trust the Buddhists.

        By the way, Perera is a Portuguese name, a Parangi , a Para name they imposed on the locals.

        • 2
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          Amarasiri,
          Pere(i )ra is not a real Portuguese name. It means “pear tree” and was given to converts.

          • 1
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            Old Codger,

            If all converted to Portuguese-ism, aka catholi-sam, all in the Land will be known by the Para-Portuguese equivalents of Pear Tree, the woods, of the forest (de Silva), go away(Corey) , Donna Catharina, Don Juan etc., instead of the Prior Para Names.

            Wonder, if the B A Perera in the 1950’s had the IQ to see through that, it was just a brainwashed convert’s opinion.

      • 2
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        Lanka Perera,
        In 1505, there was nothing to save from the Moghuls in Sri Lanka. Only some piles of ancient bricks and indolent monks who owned a lot of property. On the other hand, the Mughals had a great empire in India with many beautiful cities and buildings which sill exist.

    • 8
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      Dr. Wilfred Jayasuriya,

      Thank you for your eye witness account and what B J Perera had written about the Portuguese saving Lanka from the Moguls. The what if scenarios are just opinions, of Perera, whose name comes from the Portuguese.Remember, the French , Dutch and English were there as Western imperialist powers in colonialism. Have you heard about the French Indo Cuba and the Dutch East Indies. This also shows the poor historical knowledge of Perera.

      Remember, Don Juan Dharmapala, who handed over the kingdom of Kotte to the Portuguese and who wanted to take over the country, and turn into a Catholic Lanka like the Philippines? Mayadunne, Rajasingha, and other kings fought the Portuguese, and the Muslims naturally aided the kings.Western imperialism and geopolitics overcame Portuguese ambitions, and the Dutch and the English took over.

      Remember, World War 1 and World War 2, are Western Imperialism Wars.

      Now, see what the Spanish and Portuguese have done to the Natives of the New World.

      • 2
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        Congratulations, Amarasiri, at last you have written comment that does not include the words ‘Para’ or ‘IQ’. It shows that your IQ is not quite zero.

        • 1
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          Edwin Rodrigo,

          Congratulations, your Para- IQ seems to be improving to comprehend at least some of the comments of
          Amarasiri.

          Keep way from Para-Sinhala Para⚾️-“Buddhist “ Monks and Para-Wahabbis, to improve your IQ and reasoning abilities, and prevent you from becoming a Sinhala-Buddhist rioter or a Wahhabi-Salafi bomber.

  • 10
    10

    Muslims in Sri Lanka are not Arabs and there were never any Arab settlements stop posting nonsense, garbage and myths . You may have been a government officer but your knowledge of history is nil. People like you should not be posting articled that is full of lies and fake history. Even the Arab explorers who came here around 1377 , never spoke of any Arab, part Arab or of any Islamic settlements along the west coast. The Sri Lankan Muslims or Moors are from South India and not from any part of Arabia or anywhere else. They are Tamil Dravidian Hindu converts to Islam and is very little Arab in them and if there is any Arab or any other blood in them , it occurred in their original South Indian homeland and not anywhere else, Definitely not here. Arabs never came here or the shore of South India in their thousands , only a few hundred came to trade along the shores of then Tamil Kerala and Tamil Nadu and only miniscule amount from these few hundred ever took local low caste or prostitutes as their keeps. 90% of the Muslims in South India and here a low caste Tamil Hindu converts to Islam , who converted to escape the Hindu caste system. Short and sweet and when they migrated here , after when they were chased out of their South Indian homeland , after the fall of the brief Delhi Sultanate rule in the Tamil country in India , they fled to the island on small wooden vessels called Marrakalam in Tamil. This is why the Sinhalese called the Muslims , ” Marrkalayo”.

    • 10
      7

      They settled along the western and north western coast , that was Tamil and wherever they settled they gave Tamil names to these places , as they were Tamils. If they were Arab or Arab Sinhalese mixtures , they will not be speaking Tamil and giving Tamil place names and following the South Indian Tamil Sufi Islam. Like Peruvalai ( the big bend, as the coasts bends here) along the western coast now Sinhalised to Beruwela. as they were Tamils. If they were Arab or Arab Sinhalese mixtures , they will not be speaking Tamil and giving Tamil place names and following the South Indian Tamil Sufi Islam. They mostly settled along the north west Chilaw and Puttlam areas , which were all part of the Jaffna kingdom as they were ethnic Tamils. Due to religious and trade rivalries the Portuguese started to kill and persecute them and incorrectly called them Moors , after the Muslim Moors who ruled the Iberian peninsula. This term only related to their religion and not to their race. They first took refuge in the Kandyan central province but when more and more of them started to arrive , the Sinhalese did not want more of them and started to kill and persecute them. In desperation King Senarath of Kandy asked the Tamil Vanniomai chiefs of the east, who came under his loose control , if they could settle these Muslims fleeing Portuguese and now Sinhalese persecution in the east, as it will be easier as they were ethnic Tamils. They agreed and settled them and also gave them Tamil Mukkuva Hindu women as brides to start families, as 90% of these refugees were men, as most of the old , women and children were killed or perished when they fled. This is why the eastern Muslims still follow the ancient eastern Tamil Hindu Matriarchal Mukkuva law . There were no Sinhalese in the east .

      • 18
        3

        Dear SSS,

        You seem to know much more about the Muslims and their ancestry in this country but that does not mean you should belittle and accuse Dr.Wilfrid Jayasuriya of lies and fake history etc etc. Dr Jayasuriya has written a very civil and factual story based on his experiences. If you claim to know more you could correct it in a much more decent manner. It’s a shame that you have to exhibit the little knowledge you claim to have in such racist tones.

        • 11
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          Aelajo
          What makes you think that the man is well informed?
          The man claims to be of North Indian Brahmin stock. His caste and race prejudices get the better of any sense that could penetrate him.
          There are large Muslim concentrations along the eastern and western coast. But not in Jaffna & Kilinochchi districts.
          The population varies between 2.5 and 3.7% in the three southern districts. Further, inland the district wise population goes up to 14% in Kandy. Appearance mostly suggests significant, but not dominant, Arab origins.
          The prospects of a majority along the East and West coasts being of Indian origin is high. Even that does not altogether exclude some Arab ancestry, for there were Arab settlers along the south coast of India.
          Notably, Sri Lankan Muslims for very long used the Arabic script to write Tamil.
          *
          Comparison of the growth of Islam in Southern India and South East Asia with that under the Moghuls, mainly of Persian and Mongolian extraction, is not accurate.
          In South East Asia kings converted to South Indian Hinduism followed by Buddhism in places and later Islam.

          • 4
            6

            You are a Thullukan who is pretending to be Thamizh but always constantly attacking Thamizh or anyone who supports the Thamizh but supports Chingkalla racists and Thullukans, as you are one of them. Siva’s comments are a bit harsh but what he states is the truth , if you want to post an article , you should research , instead of just repeating myths and lies. This theory that Chingkallams are of North Indian descent and Sri Lankan Muslims are of Arab descent has now been proven to be incorrect. Both people are largely of Indian Thamizh immigrant descent and Eezham Thamizh have more North Indian descent than the Chingkallams . who claim to be North Indians. Quoting biased outdated and disproved historians and historical references as your defence does not work. There is very little Arab amongst the Thullukans and this as Siva has stated is only confined to a few families , who themselves are of predominant Thamizh descent. This article is from a Muslim A Borah ( not a Thullukan, as like you they will never state the truth but keep on insisting on a significant Arab origin myth).

            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lankan-muslims-are-low-caste-tamil-hindu-converts-not-arab-descendants/

            Trying to write Thamizh in an Arabic script for Thullkans and calling it Arwi , failed miserably and this does not prove anything. Arwi was invented in South India, Thamizh Nadu and Sri Lankan Thullukans brought it with them from their South Indian homeland . They never invented it . Proving their South Indian origin. Unlike the North Indian Urdu ( Hindi written in the Persian script with lots of Arabic/Turkish and Persian words) as the language for the North Indian Muslims , that took off , Arwi ( Arabised Thamizh written in Arabic script) for the South Indian Thamizh Thullkans failed miserably. You also should check your facts before posting.

            • 4
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              The piglet do you know how the term Thullakan came into use. Those days when you were tree climbers Arabs did not come to India First but the Turkish traders monpolized trades. They arrived in western coast like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Cochin and also trading inland like Madurai from there. These people wore fez and the people called the Thurukkiar and very much later it became Thurukkar and Thurrukiar, Thulukkar and Thullukkan (one person) etc. We don’t call Tamils Thamillar now but Thamillan. It was very crazy of you to say Eezham Thamizh have more North Indian origin and also proves you had never been to villages in South India and North India. May be you are seeing too much India movies but you must personally go and see to find the facts.

            • 0
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              Piglet
              You are exactly what you call yourself.
              Read more on ‘arabuth thamizh’ and comment further.

          • 3
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            I know that you are an Tamil apologist for Sinhalese racists and fake Arab Dravidian South Indian Tamil Muslim extremists. So what if I am a Brahmin and my ancestors arrived from North India to the Southern parts thousands of years ago? Is that an issue for you , and you want to create problems? Anti Tamil apologist for Sinhalese racism and Islamic extremism ? Modern Tamils are mixture of many races and people. Predominantly Dravidian but many of the upper castes, not only Brahmin have Indo Aryan origins, lots of the lower castes have Australoid origin, there is also mixture of other races and people. East Asian, Greek, Roman, Arab, Iranians , and other European during colonial times. At least the Tamil Brahmins despite having a distant North Indian Indo Aryan origin , still proudly call themselves Tamils and have contributed a lot to the Tamil language and culture. Even Subramania Swamy and Hindu Ram, despite many of their stands , proudly calls themselves Tamil. However take the case of the Sri Lankan Muslims , constantly denying their Tamil origin and doing everything to destroy the Tamil language, culture , heritage and history in the island on the basis of a fake Arab origin and Islam. If there is any Arab in them, it is only confined to a few hundred families , out of a population of 2 million. Not even 2% and even these people only have a distant male Arab ancestor, all their other ancestors are Tamils, but this distant male Arab ancestor amongst these few hundred families , has been used to claim an exclusive Arab ancestry for the entire Muslim population in the island. This is like the Sinhalese and Tamil Christians in the island claiming an exclusive European ancestry , showing the very small part European Burgher community as proof.

            • 4
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              Brahmin is a fake caste established by those who migrated from west to keep the natives (Australoid and other races) at bay so they can rule as superiors. Even after thousand of years you lick the Brahmins and proud to call yourself as Brahmin. Indians are are thoroughly mixed race and you can see in temples Brahmin Pusari as black as Australoid and physically not resembling an Aryan at all. To see very fair and physically well build people you have to go to Kashmir or very north of India where movement among races is very low. Now I have sealed you as Australoid crow SSS so don’t talk about Aryan or Brahmin.

              • 1
                7

                Yes we know that you are a mad man and that Arab worshipping Thullkans like you are descended from low caste Australoid Indian Tamil Hindu converts. If there is any Arab , Afghan or any other blood amongst you low caste converted Thullukans , it came from your low caste/untouchable female Tamil loose charactered female ancestors playing the harlot with the Arab sailors and Afghan money lenders and soldiers. Nothing to be proud of . No wonder you are screaming and screeching here. Arab /Afghan and other men had their own wives in their own homeland and were only using these low case loose moral women for sex and harlotry a. or in some unfortunate incidents , they were rape cases. Now howl and cry and post abuse and garbage, half cast Australoid crow from South India. Not my words yours. We also can post abuse but in my case what I post will be the truth.

                • 0
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                  Rohan I have explained everything above, may be it is killing you to know you are an Australoid so to vent out your anger just attacking irresponsibly. If you think you are writing the truth just give the historical reference (History books etc.). I am telling you the Tamils were of Australoid descent not Moors who claimed to be of mix descent, that includes Australoid too. It was you who howl and cry instead of giving an explanation of your origin. India is curry pot, that is a mixture of all. If I am a half cast half cast Australoid crow from South India that word wouldn’t have come from me. All throughout it was me who was referring you as Australoid crow from South India, that is a fact. Disprove it.

              • 1
                1

                Ralli hamid, you are right, this so called Brahmin, SSS, is realy an Ausrtraloid, and this can be seen from his hatred for the Sinhalese, whose ancestry is Aryan from North India. SSS is suffering from a severe inferiority complex being a migrant (illicit) from Tamil Nadu.

                • 1
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                  “the Sinhalese, whose ancestry is Aryan from North India”

                  HAAAAAAA HAAAAAA! HEEEE HEEEeee!

                  Why on earth you, genocilda racist facist Sinhalese take so much effort and proud in disowning and prostituting your mother?

                • 1
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                  Most Sinhalese are descended from Indian Tamil immigrants from ancient to recent and not from North Indians. In fact DNA studies have revealed that Sri Lankan Tamils share a 30% DNA with North Indians compared to Sinhalese who only share 25%. Sinhalese share 70% DNA with Indian Tamils. Sri Lankan Tamils 17% . DNA has also proved that there is below average Arab DNA amongst the Sri Lankan Muslims and their core DNA is South Indian Tamils and there genetically no different from the Sinhalese and Tamils and like both are very closely related to the South Indian population, including the South Indian Muslims. 50% of the present day Sinhalese are largely descended from low caste Tamil , indentured .slave labour imports from Tamil Nadu and then Tamil Kerala during the Portuguese and Dutch era. They were settled along the western and southern littorals to do menial service jobs and to work as slave labour in the huge spice estates. The vast majority of the Sinhalese originating from the western and southern coasts are descended from these low caste Indian Tamil slaves, now their Sinhalised descendants with names like Silva, Fernando, Ferdinando, and other Portuguese names are the biggest anti Tamils and supporters of the Sinhalese Aryan myth, just like the homeless one . DNA has also proved the Kandyan Sinhalese and the Sri Lankan Tamils are quite closely related to each other. Sorry to keep on repeating the same thing , as some have accused me, as I have to keep on repeating the same thing to idiots like you , as you people have been so much brainwashed to believe that you are Aryans and Arabs and not Dravidian low castes. I know it is a shock to your pea sized brains but the truth most times is not what you want to hear, especially when your head has been filled up with useless fairy tales.

            • 2
              1

              If it is all right for one of non-Tamil origin to be proud to call himself Tamil, what is wrong with any other to claim any other origin.
              I think that the light skin among the local coastal population owes considerably to prolonged Portuguese presence and some extent Dutch and English (who have descendants in the hill country).
              I seriously doubt your mathematical skills and claims to DNA expertise.
              The Muslims in the South and later the East of this country had good reason to distinguish themselves from the Tamils of the North, the attitude of whose elitist leaders towards other Tamil speaking people based on caste, region and religion has been deplorably offensive. You seem to have inherited, seemingly not by DNA, much of those traits. But they were more civilized in their language.

            • 0
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              Siva Sankaran Sharma: I dont know where you find these Sri Lankan Muslims claiming to an Arabian ancestry – must common among the top upper class. But where I come from, the Muslims are too busy making a living with a little bit of help from their Sinhala neighbors and clients. They dont speak good Sinhala, but I dont think any of my Sinhala friends speak good Sinhala either.

      • 5
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        SSS,
        *
        The Arabs did not come just one time. They have been coming in waves for 1,500 years and more. The first Muslim communities then mixed in successive generations with the new Arab traders that that came to the shores.
        *
        They speak mostly Tamil in the North and East because the other communities are mostly Tamil in the North and East. In the West, they speak Sinhalese.
        *
        They didn’t really aim to convert the rest of the religions because the other religions were already strongly established by King-decree, as Buddhism/Hunduism was, in Sri Lanka. Their main intent was in trading and not in converting, unlike the Western encouraged Sharia nowadays.

        • 0
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          ramona

          I tend to agree with you.When the 1915 anti muslim riots broke out the south indian muslims were about a quarter of the ceylonese muslims.The ceylonese muslims did not object the the buddhist procession with music passing their mosque but the south indian muslims who had another mosque objected to the music.

      • 3
        3

        SSS Australoid Crow you say, “Tamil Vanniomai chiefs agreed and settled them and also gave them Tamil Mukkuva Hindu women” which means your chiefs those day were pimps finding women for migratory people”. It really bloody shame to be of pimps origin.

        • 1
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          ralli

          they would have selected the fat and ugly ones for the muslims and kept the good ones for themselves.they are not fools.This was a golden opportunity to get rid of a liability.The hard up muslims would have accepted anything that had a nice fuzzy warm hole in it .As for pimping i believe money is given,in this case no money.

    • 3
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      Siva Sankaran Sharma,
      “You may have been a government officer but your knowledge of history is nil. People like you should not be posting articled that is full of lies and fake history.”

      As if you are not writing lies and fake history about Sinhale. Dr. Wilfrid Jayasuriya definitely knows the history of this country than a descendant of a slave brought to this country illegally by colonial parasites.

  • 7
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    Dr Wilfrid Jayasuriya

    Very useful information unknown to many, specially to the younger generation. Present day Muslims who claimed to have pure Arab blood in them must read this. Thanks a lot sir. Please share more about mattayas if you can in your next article.

  • 7
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    I am so glad to read Siva Sankaran Sharma’s comments on the Muslim people of the East. I am grateful to him for enlightening me. Though I was a student at A Level and undergraduate level in the 1950s reading Ceylon and European / British history as subjects (Fr.S.G.Perera History of Ceylon in the Portugese and Dutch periods, and G.C.Mendis: British period), the aspect of history (somewhat specialised) which he has conveyed about Muslim settlements in the west as well as the east is new to me. Thank you.
    Wilfrid Jayasuriya (author of the article “THe Portugese the Saviours of Our Culture”) However this intervention opens up the question as to who were the agents or protagonists of the conversion of mainly Buddhist or Hindu societies in Malaysia, Indonesia, Bali or India into Islam?

    • 2
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      Wilfred,
      History is something nobody can see & therefore, our knowledge of history depends on what we learn. As your opinion is governed by narrative of B. J. Perera as well as your own experience, Mr SSS’s opinion is governed by what he has learned from his sources. It appears that both versions of history agree on one point while disagree on another important version of history. Both you & SSS agree that the Muslim (whatever their ethnic names were) communities were harassed by Portuguese. But, both versions fail to say why. Was it b,cos trading rights or b’cos Portuguese already had bad experience with Muslims elsewhere such as S India en route’ to SL and therefore treated SL Muslims also as hostile or b’cos local Muslims resisted to cooperate? This we don’t know.
      The major disagreement lies in the speculation on the potential outcome if Portuguese never showed up. On this point, I think that SSS is much more closer to the actuality & that SL Muslims never had any intention of religious war (sort of) to overpower S/B or Tamils. I believe that idea of overpowering has a very recent origin (see Belief & Belonging: A Muslim dilemma by Ali; CT) that came along with global identity after emergence of ME as an employment center & the expansion of communication which help transmit ISIS ideologies. This lead me to conclude that B. J. Perera’s version of history is inaccurate!

      • 2
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        D.P.
        True.
        History is something not seen, but is what we learn.
        Islam had at one time exerted influence in Spain and neighbouring Portugal.
        But when the Pope got up from his bed one fine morning in a proselytising zeal and decreed the Catholic rulers of both to spread the message of Jesus to the rest of the heathens of the world West and East.
        The Spanish went West and the Portuguese went East and the rest is modern history.

    • 1
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      Mr. Jeyasuria,
      Thank you for sharing your personal experience with the readers of CT. At the end of the day we all are one people. Most of all Sri Lankan’s DNA is a mixed bag. We all are divided in the name of religion and minus that, Sri Lanka will be a peaceful, prosperous country of undivided. Religion should be a personal matter and should be handled by the religious leaders not by the government.

    • 0
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      Dr Wilfrid Jayasuriya,
      .
      I’m sure that your comments are worth a lot; your memories go back such a long way. I remember you writing articles in the 1980s, and Prof. Ashley Halpe commenting favourably on your work.
      ,
      I’m sorry if this sounds luke-warm. I’m exhausted with trying to understand what’s now happening in the country to study all this in detail.

  • 5
    1

    The Taprobane-Buddhism, aka Ceylon-Buddhism, now SL-Buddhism survived Portuguese, Dutch and British Colonialism.
    The danger is from within. Extreme nationalist rightwing forces have started commercialising the respected religion.

  • 4
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    Dr Jayasuriya,
    We read history from the perspective of the victors for they write the history. There is very little critical analyses.

    You ask the question as to who were the agents or protagonists of the conversion of mainly Buddhist or Hindu societies in Malaysia, Indonesia, Bali or India into Islam?

    Bali for your information is still majority Hindu as is India. Mahathma Gandhi said forced conversions are a myth and even if successful, will not last long. Mughals came to India and conquered India and there are allegations (legitimate) that they forcefully converted the locals. Mughals did not conquer the entire land mass of India. For some reason they did not come down so far as to Tamil Nadu. So the forced conversions by the Mughals did not succeed.

    The question arises as to which Army conquered Indonesia and Malaysia? There was no Army that went to these two countries. It was the Arab traders who by example taught the locals a way of life. They voluntarily converted and that is why the conversion is permanent. Mahathma was right.

    • 0
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      Chintaka,

      Those Arab traders who converted South East Asia to Islam were Sufis, traders, and taught their way of glife, that was love of God.

      The Current set of Wahhabis, have no love, and they want to kill Sufi Muslims. Many claim, based on the Hadith of Najd, the Wahhabis follow Satan.

    • 4
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      C
      Hinduism was very oppressive by caste so that conversion to Islam and even Christianity (from earlier times in the South) relieved the oppressed of that burden under non-Hindu rule.

  • 3
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    Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Maldives became Islamic because the Buddhism and Hinduism they practiced was vague at the time and almost dying out.
    *
    This was quite unlike the King decreed Buddhism in Sri Lanka which established itself very strongly.
    *
    Arabs were not sea-faring warlords, and their military strength was on land (following the jihadi-techniques of the Prophet), like the Muslim conquest of N. India.
    *
    In Sri Lanka, Arabic sea traders settled without much aim to conquer territory. It’s all different now of course, with Sharia-intent given the go ahead by Western powers so they can play a new set of Age of Empires.

  • 2
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    Some people here have accused me of being too harsh and critical of the author of this article. I may have been but had too , as this constant myth that Sri Lankan Muslims are descended from Arab traders has to stop. Most are ignorant and just spread this lie and myth but many are deliberately spreading this myth, with an ulterior motive to marginalise the island’s Tamils by dividing and ruling the Tamils and using this fake Arab origin for the island’s Muslims to radicalise the island’s Muslims and distance them from their actual Tamil Sufi Islamic culture origin and heritage and the use them as a tool to marginalise the Tamils. Basically religion and a fake Arab origin has been used to brainwash a section of the island’s Tamils , to hate their own origin, language , culture and heritage and use them as a tool to destroy their own race and people. Sri Lankan Muslims or Moors as incorrectly called are not of Arabs or even partial Arab descent but are Dravidian Tamil Hindu converts to Islam and their origin is from South India and not from North Africa, Iran or from any part of Arabia. If there is any Arab it is only found amongst a few hundred families, who make up around 2-5% of the total Muslim population in the island and this too a distant male ancestor or two. Even amongst these families all other ancestors on their maternal side is 100% Tamil and on their paternal side mostly Tamil. A little bit of Arab does not make these people or the rest of the Sri Lankan Muslims Arab or anything else. They are Tamils. This lie perpetuated by local and foreign media has been cleverly used by successful Sri Lankan governments, their selfish power hungry elite and politicians and other interested foreign parties to radicalise and Arabise them and convert them from their tolerant Tamil Sufi Islam and culture to horrible nasty aggressive intolerant Wahhabi/Salafists.

    • 3
      4

      I have written before in my comments to you not to talk about Tamil Sufi. Idiot do you think Sufism originated in Tamil Nadu? Sufism originated I think in Turkey and later spread to other Islamic countries. Sufism is not Islam but it was a path to god as preached by some mystics. Prayers are not necessary for followers of Sufism so they are not strong Muslim. So you Australoid crow SSS try to know a subject well before writing. I don’t think there will be even 0.1% Muslims in Sri Lanka who follows Sufism. As I told you earlier you must have been a catch of a Gay SL Muslim so naturally your mind hates SL Muslims. I tell you here Sri Lankan Moors were not Tamil converts although there could have been mixed with Tamil and Sinhala converts. Those are not important here now because we are firmly established as Ceylon Moors. May be you want to be satisfied that a Moor did not poke on you but a Muslim Tamil did.

      • 0
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        ralli

        ” Idiot do you think Sufism originated in Tamil Nadu”

        please don’t use such terms on this esteemed blog to describe SSS.

        If you do want to make a point, dim bulb would have been more appropriate language wise than idiot which is a crude way of describing a dim bulb.

        I know Copious notes of SSS monotonously over and over again saying the same BS may drive you nuts,but do maintain your status and use proper language.

        • 1
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          SSS is laying out reasons based on the facts.

          Facts are facts, and is monotonous.

          Calling names and foul language is the sign for loosing arguements, however heated it may be.

      • 2
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        Ralli Hamid the born again Ralli Ameen, stop calling others idiots when you are the biggest idiot. How can a person who believes the teaching that earth is flat, can have any high IQ. When you disappeared from this columns we all thought that you were one of the back packers who blew them up and were happy that a rubbish has been dumped off. Now you have taken a different name hiding your past involvement in extremism and writing nonsense. You should be imprisoned for preaching hatred.

    • 2
      2

      “If there is any Arab it is only found amongst a few hundred families, who make up around 2-5% of the total Muslim population”
      *
      Good to see your arithmetic improving from 2% to 2-5%.
      Keep working on it.

  • 0
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    “The Portuguese, the Saviours of our Culture?”

    Now US is coming to do the same, why opposing for the good reason for Saviours of yur Culture

  • 4
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    Both Islam and Christianity are proselytising religions, with a belief that whoever wins over adherents to their faith and increase their flock will earn merit to go to heaven. It maybe that one is more extreme than the other, today. They look for opportunities like caste system, poverty etc. to convert people. The Portugese & Dutch had destroyed many Hindu & Buddhist temples, which the Muslims in Sri Lanka have refrained from because they did not come here as conquerors, unlike in India. Furthermore, it is incorrect to say all Muslims in SL came from South Indian coast. Trade between SL and Arabia has been happening since ancient times and many Arabs had settled down here and intermarried with locals.

  • 0
    0

    cardinal ranjith might ask the pope to sanctify b j perera
    when the portuguese started harassing the muslims in the west king senerat offered the m sanctuary in the kandyan areas and in the east
    that is how they came to be there

  • 2
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    Dear Wilfred,
    First of all, even though I belong to S/B by birth, I’m an atheist & don’t consider myself belonging to any race b’cos my birth was not my choice. Even if I had a choice, it is extremely difficult for me to say what that would have been b’cos it depend on the perception of the world at that moment of history. Even though the perception is always the reality, there is no guarantee that one’s perception matches with reality even with 50% of accuracy. This explains the difference between your version of history & that of SSS. This is very important for two main reasons (there could be more): 1. The measure of accuracy of sources. This is a factor which is external to each of us but which affect all of our knowledge; not just history. 2. And then comes the effect of preexisting biases (perceptions) that filter the knowledge. The British historian Herbert Butterfield in his influential 1931 book titled, “Whiggish interpretation of History” called this phenomena Whiggish reading of history to explain our too often but erroneous reading of history from modern sensibilities. The reason I decided go into some philosophy is my “feeling” that your story of Portuguese influence in changing the course of SL history may have influence by your view of how SL ethnicity should be like today. That in turn explain why you accepted B. J. Perera’s conclusion without a question.
    But, think of Pakistanis who are ethnically Indians sharing the same cultural heritage including food & language. Do you think that they would regret, even for a moment, for being Muslim now?

  • 1
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    Dear Author, do you forget what happened to brazil or south america? I wonder what happened to the ancient mayan and incan religions?

    • 0
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      Not destroyed by conversion but by colonial conquest and collapse of the empires.

    • 0
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      Advhil Iqbal
      May be the Peruvians, Mayans, Incas and the Aztecs of South America would have survived with their age old beliefs customs and faiths if the Pope of that period had not used his proselytising zeal on the rulers of Spain and Portugal.
      Islam and Christianity are two sides of same coin book faith Mid- East origin.

      • 0
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        Proselytizing was an excuse for the expansion.
        The Pope mainly mediated in the matter of sharing colonial territory.
        It was greed on the part of the rulers of Spain and Portugal for the wealth of the indigenous people that was the motive force of the conquest.

  • 2
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    Mr Wilfred, being a senior person, is trying to interpret Lankan history by one man’s opinion; B.J.Perera. Even his interpretation of the Sri Lankan moors are entirely different to his theory. If they are of Arab origin why did Tamil become their mother tongue in the west and central parts of Lanka then, leave aside the east? Why should Arabs to speak in Tamil from earlier times. Some of the top Tamil scholars in SL are Muslims. Same in Tamil Nadu too. There is no doubt that SL moors are of south Indian origin (Tamil Nadu) and Kerala (it was Sera nadu then) except a few Arabs. There is distinct differences between the moors of Arab origin and Tamil origin even today in their physical appearances. Easters Muslims were called as “kaakas” (annai) and wore a long pair of shorts called “siruval” . They were all farmers and fishermen and showed no interests in education. I have lived among them as a little boy in the early fifties and when 56 riots broke out I was living at sammanthurai. Our house was protected by shot gun bearing kaakas. Places like Amparai and Uhanai were tamil areas and the GODB and DSS scheme displaced them and became a sinhala area. B.J.Perera did not realise the crimes committed by Portuguese by destroying all the ancient Hindu and Buddhist shrines and forced catholic religion into the natives. They killed those who refused to convert. They diluted the Sinhala culture and in fact gave it a new twist. Perera himself must have come down the same lineage bearing a Portuguese name and perhaps christianity. B.J. Perera’s simple view does not become a fact. Of the invaders, Portuguese were the worst. Even Sinhala kings invited Dutch to get rid of Portuguese.

  • 2
    0

    Learned Historians and commentators now generally regard the arrival of the Portuguese in the year 1505 as the beginning of the Dark Age in the history of Sri Lanka.
    Several noted historians and commentators have expressed their indignation over the methods employed by the Portuguese during their period of dominance in the following words:
    Sir James Emerson Tennent refers to the Portuguese conduct in Sri Lanka in these terms-
    “There is no page in the story of European colonisation more gloomy and repulsive than that which recounts the proceedings of the Portuguese in Ceylon. Astonished at the magnitude of their enterprises, and the glory of their discoveries and conquests in India, the rapidity and success of which secured for Portugal an unprecedented renown, we are ill-prepared to hear of the rapacity, bigotry and cruelty which characterised every stage of their progress in the East. They appeared in the Indian seas in the three-fold character of merchants, missionaries and pirates. Their ostensible motto was amity, commerce and religion. Their expeditions consisted of soldiers as well as adventurers, and included friars and chaplain majors. Their instructions were to begin by preaching, but, that failing, to proceed to the decision of the sword.”
    The historian Paul E. Peiris observes: ” They found in Ceylon a contented race, and a fairly prosperous country .. and it is melancholy to reflect that they succeeded in producing nothing but chaos. Out of a long list of high – born Hidalgos whom Portugal sent to Ceylon, it is difficult to point to one name as that of an enlightened statesman and high – principled administrator. No stately fabric remains as compensating for that religious fanaticism to which ample witness is borne by the devastated ruins of those lovely structures which the piety of generations had strewn broadcast over the country

    • 0
      0

      Senaka W,
      When you speak of Portuguese brutality, you must consider who is making the allegations. “A nation of half castes”? The language itself is an indicator of the writer’s obsession with racial purity. Could this not indicate that the Portuguese were not racist in the way that the Dutch and British were? Is that bad?
      The Sinhalese Kings were as brutal as anybody. Tales of babies being mashed in mortars and men cut into 32 pieces are aplenty.
      I believe much of the ire against the Portuguese comes from the fact that they were caste-blind . To them any Christian was good enough to employ.
      Most of the oppressed fishermen converted. Naturally the “high” castes feign outrage!
      Histories that apply Victorian or even contemporary standards of behaviour to the 16th century are certainly not valid.

  • 2
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    Their bequest to the Dutch was a colony of half -castes, a failing agriculture, a depopulated country, and a miserable and ill – conditioned people They had in Ceylon an opportunity almost unique in the experience of European nations in the East, but their moral fibre had proved unequal to the occasion”.
    G.P. Malalasekera in his Ph.D. dissertation which was later published as a book under the title ‘ The Pali Literature of Ceylon’ makes the following comment in lucid language on the high handed methods employed by the Portuguese in pursuit of their colonial objectives which included conversion of the people of the country into Christianity and the concomitant repression of Buddhism:
    ,
    “Every stage of their progress was marked by a rapacity, bigotry, cruelty and inhumanity unparalleled in the annals of any other European colonial power. Their ferocity and their utter indifference of all suffering increased with the success of their army; their inhuman barbarities were accompanied by callousness which knew no distinction between man, woman and child; no feeling of compassion was strong enough to stay their savage hands in their fell work. To terrify their subjects and bring home to them the might of the Portuguese Power, they committed atrocities which had they not been found recorded in the decads of their friendly historians, seems too revolting to be true. Babes were spitted on the soldier’s pikes and held up that their parents might hear the young cocks crow. Sometimes they were mashed to pulp between millstones, while their mothers were compelled to witness the pitiful sight before they themselves were tortured to death. Men were thrown over bridges for the amusement of the troops to feed the crocodiles in the river, which eventually grew so tame that at whistle they would raise their heads above the water in anticipation of the welcome feast.”

    • 0
      0

      “Every stage of their progress was marked by a rapacity, bigotry, cruelty and inhumanity unparalleled in the annals of any other European colonial power.”
      What an utterly false /ignorant statement by the supposedly erudite Malalasekera. He should have been aware of the millions eradicated by the Germans in Namibia and the Belgians in Congo in the 19th century.

  • 1
    0

    Nice one Mr Weeraratne: When I saw the following, my thoughts flew to another time and place . . .
    ‘Their ferocity and their utter indifference of all suffering increased with the success of their army; their inhuman barbarities were accompanied by callousness which knew no distinction between man (Prabhakaran et al), woman (Isaipriya et al), and child (Balachandran)’

    History, when it repeats itself, can be a proper bitch.

    • 0
      0

      SK,
      “History, when it repeats itself, can be a proper bitch”
      Yes, what a put-down!
      People who condemn foreign turpitude often ignore their own.

  • 2
    1

    Hamid, interesting to note your explanation how the word Thlukkan was derived. But you are mixed up with Aryans and Bhramins. Now it is well and truly established that Indian Aryan is a myth. In Sanskrit Aryan refers to a man of some standing. The Aryan invasion across Kyber pass or Aryan migration are myth, there is no scientific evidence. In fact Aryan not even a race unlike Dravidians. Indus Valley civilisation predates even early Vedic period and also mostly to be of Dravidian origin. Early Vedic period there were no Brahmins. It came later and came along caste system etc to keep the newly evolved Brahmins at a higher level. But don’t confuse Indian and Sri Lankan Brahmins. In India they are a caste while in SL they are invariably temple priests. In India despite a small number still the most powerful. Sanskrit, learning, teaching and Hinduism were within their control. But not so in SL. Kashmir is the cradle of Hinduism. The Kashmiri pundits are Hindu scholars. They were massacred and even chased away by Muslims after independence with Pakistan’s terrorism. Arabs were not Muslims to begin with. But when they came to Indian Malabar coast and Gujarati by around 7th century they have adopted Islam and also introduced to the natives. May be the Hindu caste system helped them in their conversion. At that time it was part of Dravidian land (Chera Nadu) and Tamil speaking. From here came most of SL moors. They were all Tamil speaking and even today their mother tongue. They were indeed Tamil Muslims. In Tamil Nadu, in spite of this Islamic extremism, Muslims consider themselves as Tamils. Sadly Islam and Hindu caste system made all the difference. Especially the recent Islamic extremism and distorted interpretation of Islam and lately ME employment ruined the entire attitude. Sharma has amply explained the scenario.

    • 1
      1

      Nathan ,many of the Sri Lankan Muslims arrived in the island from Kerala but they are not descended from the native Kerala Mappila Muslims who originate largely from North Kerala( now an Islamic stronghold) but from ethnic Tamil Muslims from Tamil Nadu who migrated to then Tamil speaking Kerala and many of them settled in the southern parts of Kerala. It is from here that they migrated to the island , as the Malayali did not like them much and to some extent persecuted them, as they were not local but from Tamil Nadu. This despite both populations at that time were still speaking variations of the Tamil language . Many of them who remained in Kerala , largely in the south now speak Malayalam and call themselves Malayali , this is why you get Kerala Marrickar, Lebbai. Rawthers and Nainars ( another Tamil Muslim caste) . The native Malayali Mappilas are from northern areas. With a completely different culture. Tamil Muslims , native converts to Islam or part Arabs were either called Chonakar/Sonakar or Thullukar, meaning from Thuruki or Turki , although they had nothing to with Turkey may be because they wore the Turkish Fez cap , during the height of Ottoman empire. This name remained and the population in Kerala used to call the ethnic Tamil Muslims as Thullukar or Thullukan in a more derogative manner to distinguish them from the native Mappila Muslims from north Kerala. Just to say they are not natives but outsiders. When they migrated to island , this term and its derogative intonation stuck, as for Sri Lankan Tamils they are outsiders too , as hardly any native Tamil converted to Islam.

      • 2
        1

        “…the population in Kerala used to call the ethnic Tamil Muslims as Thullukar or Thullukan” (Is it not ‘thulukkan’?)
        Does the “an-ar” distinction exist in Malayalam?
        The honorific plural ‘ar’ exists in Tamil.
        There was nothing derogatory about the singular ‘an’ in standard Tamil.
        *
        How a native convert would be referred to as a person from Turkey beats me.

        • 1
          0

          What is “thulukkar”
          Wikipedia
          Thulukkar
          Thulukkar are a group of Tamil speaking Muslim populations in south and central Kerala. They are supposed to have migrated from Tamil Nadu to various parts of Kerala through the Western Ghats. Many members of the Thulukkar community migrated to Pakistan after independence and settled in Karachi, Sindh. They are called “anna” in Kerala, owing to the pseudo-Tamil language they speak. “Thulukkar” name has derived from the word “Turki”.
          In north and central Kerala native Muslims are predominant and are called Mappila. In the former south Travancore region, Thulukkars are the common Muslims, especially in Trivandrum district and in certain pockets in the eastern hill ranges like Erattupetta and Thodupuzha. In fact, significant numbers of Muslims in places south of Muvattupuzha-Ernakulam are Hanafi Madhhab followers.
          Prior to Thiru-Kochi formation, Alappuzha was the main commercial hub of Travancore kingdom. Many Tamil Muslims migrated to Alappuzha from places like Tirunelveli, Madurai and Thanjavur during the last 50-60 years and they are also Thulukkar.
          They were speaking Tamil until the vast majority shifted to Malayalam as their first language. Most of them follow the Hanafi school of Islam.
          Erattupetta town in Kottayam district in Central Travancore has a significant Thulukkar population along with Pathanamthitta town, athikkattukulangara, Kanjirapally town and Thodupuzha. Palakkad also has significant number of Rawthers who migrated from Tamil Nadu.
          They have surnames such as Rawther, Labba and Kannu etc.
          Happy. I know it is in your nature to contradict me and run me down to others to make you feel important but you do not know much. The Sri Lankan Muslims are descended from these ethnic Tamil Thullkans from south Kerala and not from the native Kerala Mappila Muslims from North and central parts. Their culture and dress if different .

  • 0
    0

    Religious competition for population and the plight of the older localised religions, the big-six are all culpable through violence or cunning.
    The question is do Sri Lankans prefer a population scenario without the Portuguese?
    What of the current situation? need addressing?? if so, how???

  • 0
    0

    Thank you Siva for that update. Well appreciated. But these discussions without any bias are vital for all in SL to know their roots and more importantly what the truth is. It is not meant to oppress anyone but to know the truth and to make the bogus claimers to understand the real situation. In this modern world this tribalism is not going to work except in some primitive, archaic societies in SL or India. But these bogus claims of ownership is ruining this country. Sinhala Buddhists say they are the natives. Muslims say they are the natives. Tamils say they are the natives. The bottom line is that all have their roots elsewhere except the natives lived in SL prior to buddhism, namely Veddas, Nagas and Yakkas. The rest are all a blend and a natural process of movement and migration and sharing. If Sinhalas say that they aee an exclusive race in Lanka then where did all their language come, their religion, their culture, their traditions, dress, art, music. If they are really natives then all these mentioned ought to have evolved in Lanka itself. These are all political stunts and naturally politics and religion will go well together. But coming to Muslims, it is an irony that they adopt a mixed view just to suit the circumstances and as a way of survival and exploitation. No one can explain how tamil became their mother tongue? Mainly they want to please the sinhalas as they are part of them, but now Sinhalas are little more smart and little more informed not to believe this kathawa. But I dont say Muslims are in any way inferior to others but they have to ensure that they are not superior to others. Keep religion as something as personal and not a pubic affair. Sinhala Buddhists are in a mess because of this stupid attitude.

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