17 November, 2017

What Paranavitana Said To McGilvray; “Do Your Homework Son”

By Darshanie Ratnawalli

Darshanie Ratnawalli

“There are Brahmi inscriptions at Jailani dating to the second century BC, but they appear to assert territorial claims by local political chieftains. According to Aboosally (2002: 62-3) there is no evidence that the site was ever dedicated to the Buddhist Sangha.”- Dennis McGilvray, ‘Jailani: A Sufi Shrine in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, inscriptions written in the Brahmi script “are found in an unbroken continuity from the last quarter of the third century B.C. to the end of the seventh century A. D”- (Epigraphia Zeylanica Volume VIII[i]/2001:p1). Palaeographically, these “may be divided into three periods”. – (ibid).

It’s the first period, ‘Early Brahmi (3rd century B.C.-1st century A.D.)’ that is interesting to us given our present fixation on McGilvray and Kuragala. “The early Brahmi cave inscriptions of Sri Lanka bear a stereotyped formula of the dedication of caves to the Buddhist monks. The language in them is the oldest example of the Sinhalese language showing an absence of long vowels and conjunct consonants” –(ibid).

These cave records of Sri Lanka show us “the prevalence of the custom (then in vogue in Buddhist India) of dedicating caves as places of shelter to the Buddhist monks as a body, irrespective of sectarian differences, if they had any at that early period”.- (Epigraphia Zeylanica Vol I[ii]/1904-1912:p18  )

A critical way Sri Lankan cave donations differ from India is in the nature of recipients.  In India, caves were donated to “the recluses of various faiths”- (EZ :VIII:p15). “In the Barabar Hill cave inscriptions of Asoka, the Ajivakas (mendicants) were the donees”- (ibid).  Asoka’s grandson Dasalatha’s Nagarjuna Hill cave inscription specifically states “given to the mendicants” (ajivikehi).-(ibid)

Contrast

In striking contrast, Sri Lankan cave donations are exclusively associated with and considered to have been triggered by the introduction of Buddhism and its success in taking root.

“Stone inscriptions first appear in Ceylon very soon after the introduction of Buddhism, and their contents are Buddhistic.”- (Inscriptions of Ceylon Vol 1(IC[iii])-p xxiii)

“After the introduction of Buddhism, the early Brahmi inscriptions, indited under the drip-ledges of caves, make their presence for four centuries, beginning from the third century B.C. and witness the establishment of the Buddhist Monastic Order in the island.” –(EZ: VIII- p 8 )

“The tradition of writing one line inscriptions on the caves in the entire country and the continuation of the practice right through the period of four centuries, certainly, witness the rapid spread of Buddhism in the country. Agata anagata catudisa sagasa, the formula carried by almost all these records compels us to understand that the gifts have been made to the Budhist monks without distinction of any school or sect.” (ibid-p 11)

Here’s a typical cave inscription (No. 184 in IC) that illustrates the formula- “Parumaka-Digamita-puta Tisaha lene agata-anagata catu-disa-sagasa” (The cave of Tissa, the son of the chief Dighamitta, [is given]to the Sangha of the four quarters, present and absent).

Phraseology

A significant number of inscriptions however, follow shortened formats.  The typical shortenings (illustrated using this same inscription) would be-

1)    Parumaka-Digamita-puta Tisaha lene catu-disa-sagasa

2)    Parumaka-Digamita-puta Tisaha lene catu-sagasa

3)    Parumaka-Digamita-puta Tisaha lene sagasa

According to EZ VIII, the occurrence of “shortened forms, e.g. catu sagasa or sagasa in inscriptions, probably represents a later stage”.

The shortest format would look like

4)    Parumaka-Digamita-puta Tisaha lene

When this version occurs in caves, it is interpreted in context of the implicit formula, i.e. the cave donated to the Sangha by Tissa and not as his private cave to which perhaps he brought ‘advanced dates’.

In the formulaic rules of our cave inscriptions, the person whose name is in the possessive case in relation to the cave is always the donor, not the territorial claimant or occupant of the cave. Even when a cave is said to be a bonafide cave dweller’s (i.e. a monk), e.g.- “Damaguta-terasa lene- The cave of the Tera Dhammagutta” (No. 584 of IC), he is understood to be a donor. “The inscriptions which merely state that a cave was of a tera or a bata named, without mentioning its donation to the Sangha, cannot be taken as indicating that the tera in question occupied that cave. Similar phraseology is used in the case of laymen also.”-(IC, pg cvii). In cases such as ‘Tera X’s cave’, going by the same rule that applies to ‘Layman Y’s cave’, “…the gift of the cave to the Sangha, though not particularly mentioned, may be understood.” (ibid)

This is why in the Kuragala Brahmi inscriptions the donation to the Sangha is understood without being explicit.

“Suma (female), Parumakalu, donated, in partnership with Parumaka Sumana (possibly her husband), a cave at Kuragala” – No. 249 (regarding inscription no. 775) on the list of Parumakas – IC.

No. 263 in the same list (regarding the same inscription) – “Sumana, has donated the cave at Kuragala in partnership with Parumakalu Suma, probably his wife”

238th of the same list (referring to inscription no. 776); “Sona, whose son Bata Punasaguta was donor of a cave at Kuragala”

Kuragala presents three Brahmi inscriptions, two of which were published by C. H Collins in JRASCB, XXXII, 1932, from eye copies. The Collins inscriptions were reread, and republished in Inscriptions of Ceylon Vol. I from mechanical estampages (The most reliable method of reading an inscription) taken by the Department of Archaeology at site. The correct reading of what Collins saw as “Dataha Sapu daha lene” and translated as “The dedicated cave of Dataha” turned out to be “….dataha Samudaha lene” (The cave of …datta [and] of Samdda) (No. 774-IC).

Feminine Motif

The inscription Collins saw as “Parumaka Sumanaha Parumaka Lasamaya” and interpreted as “The cave of the Chief Sumana and the Chief Lasama” turned out to have a feminine motif and now reads (No. 775-IC) as “Parumaka Sumanaha Parumakalu Sumaya”- (Of the chief Sumana; of the chieftainess Summa).

One inscription, Collins did not observe was published in ASCAR, 1961-2 and appears as No. 776 of IC under Kuragala ; “Parumaka Sona-putasa

Bata-Punasagutasa lene- The cave of lord Punasaguta, son of the chief Sona.”

So, Watson, we finally come to “The Book”, which is basic reading for any scholar setting out to comment on any early Brahmi inscription of Sri Lanka.  Inscriptions of Ceylon-Volume 1, edited by S. Pranavitana, which gives the texts and translations together with (in most cases) photographic plates of their mechanical estampages, of 1276 inscriptions (41 are inscribed on rocks; the rest in caves) from 269 ancient sites distributed in 16 of the 22 districts into which Lanka was divided at the time of publication(1970).

This is the book Dennis McGilvray should have read before setting out to interpret Kuragala Brahmi inscriptions under the tutelage of an M.L.M Aboosally, hospitality dispenser and inscription analyzer extraordinaire. This is the book that does not appear, even for form’s sake, in the list of references of Mac’s paper on Jailani.  This is the book, of which C. R. de Silva, (A historian, who figures in Mac’s acknowledgements) should have warned Dennis; “Mac, you don’t have to read it, but for God’s sake include it in your references, if you want to analyze Brahmi inscriptions”.

*The writer can be found at http://ratnawalli.blogspot.co.uk/and rathnawalli@gmail.com


[i] The Growth of Buddhist Monastic Institutions in Sri Lanka from Brahmi Inscriptions, Epigraphia Zeylanica Volume VIII, Malini Dias.

[ii] Epigraphia Zeylanica Being Lithic and Other Inscriptions of Ceylon, Volume I, Don Martino De Zilva Wickremasingha

[iii] Inscriptions of Ceylon, Volume I, Early Brahmi Inscriptions, Paranavitana

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Latest comments

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    All true Muslims

    this is what I found on her blog:

    “ravings of a strange woman

    All the entries in this blog are works of fiction and products of my imagination.”

    If you find this article offensive it is because she is having a good time.

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      Please explain…I couldn’t get it…

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        j.muthu

        Please visit her at

        http://ratnawalli.blogspot.co.uk

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          Dear NV,

          Thanks to you I read this interesting article. It falls within the expert domain of such men as Sudarshan S and Shiran D – two of our most respected Archeologists. But in the nature of the times they live in they too have to “conform” to the existing order or the BBS and fellow travellers lead by the super Minister Ranawake, will be upon them. These are days when Addendums to the Mahawansa is encouraged and “instant antiquities” are dime a dozen.

          Senguttuvan

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      And the native Vedda has no useful comments to make, not even fake inscriptions to establish his aboriginality!

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    My elders tell me that

    Senarat Paranavitana’s credibility as an expert on Epigraphs had been challenged by many scholars including, Ananda Guruge, R A L H Gunawardana, Indrapala in their valuable contributions to historiography of this island:

    Senarat Paranavitana as a Writer of Historical Fiction in Sanskrit

    Ananda Guruge
    Vidyodaya J Soc Vol 7 i & 2 1996

    Ceylon Malaysia astudy of professor S,. Paranavitana’s research on the relations between the two regions.

    By R A L H Gunawardana
    University of Ceylon Review VoI XXV No. 1&2 1967, pp 1-64

    Indrapala describes his contribution as Paranavitana School.

    • 0
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      Attacking Paranawithanas’ credibility wholesale, without giving the the exact places where he got wrong is not helpful.
      He might have had his errors and misinterpretations.But in above context if you are challenging his interpretations , pls come with exact argument/point where he got wrong. Just generally stating he was wrong here and there , certainly will not help a learned discussion of the issue but surly for a high adrenalin talk show.

      writer deserved to be countered in a more intellectual footing.

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        Dr. Paranavitana was an archeologist no doubt but most of his interpretation was based on unfounded theories. The assumptions he made to conclude his findings were insane. There were several unfounded theories Dr. Paranavitana rose which do not have any takers among the historians.

        For example, there is hardly any evidence to suggest that Sena and Guttika were invaders/outsiders. It is only Dr. Paranavitana who raised the issue of Guttika and Sena coming straight from Sindh just because the fine breeds of horses come from Sindhu region. His logic was, if the horses come from Sindhu region then the horse trader/merchant should also be from there.

        Another example was, he tried to portray the Dravidians as invaders to South India conquering Aryan settlements there. No evidence available or no one supports that invention. It is well established by the Indian historians that Dravidians are the ones who were pushed to the South by the Aryans.

        Many such unfounded theories or rather blunders (insane interpretation) of Dr. Paranavitana’s can be listed.

        In fact these are the people who re-wrote the His-story of Sri Lanka and changed the history of the country with their imaginary assumptions.

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        I would venture to say that the writer is doing the same thing. Destroying the credibility of a scholar. Also his paper was on Muslims and the rituals practiced. Brahmi graphics ought to be left alone; its not something for garden variety commentators but for experts to handle Beats me why the writer needs to ridicule McGilvray. This article leaves a bad taste in the mouth

        Gundu Babu

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      Ah, the Vedda has gone and talked to his elders and got his orders!

      In the very last stages of Paranavitana’s life, he clearly became delusional.
      Old age has has its perils. But today it is well understood.

      But the work that was done by H. C. P. Bell, ZS, Paranavitana, Nicholas are a monument to scholarship. Paranavitana’s delusional writings are easily separated from the previous work. Unfortunately, it is less easy to separate the delusional writings of Leslie Gunawardana, Indrapala, or Sudharshan Seneviratne. Some of their delusions are a result of trying to fit in with the political ethos of their times.

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        Kautilya

        Comments are free but facts are sacred.
        – Charles Prestwich Scott

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      Dr. Senarath Paranavitana was a well known Sinhala-Buddhist biased researcher even though he was not a Buddhist. He was buttering the Sinhala-Buddhist (majority) regime in order to earn their daily bread. His research were always biased to his pay masters (the Sinhala-Buddhist government).

      Dr. Senerath Paranavitana, an Archaeological Commissioner, was a dominating figure in archaeology, epigraphy, and ancient history of Lanka for more than fifty years during the last century. For him, the Mahavamsa was like a holy book. Instead of giving primacy to archaeology and epigraphy, and supplementing his findings with material from the Mahavamsa, he was trying his best to interpret archaeology and epigraphy in the light of the Mahavamsa. His research was one sided (biased), beginning with the conclusion (Mahavamsa), he was only finding evidence to prove his conclusion. If the archaeological/epigraphical findings did not match the conclusion (Mahavamsa) he redefined/misinterpreted them using his own theories, assumptions, hypothesis and analogies to prove that the Mahavamsa was right.

      On his retirement as Archaeological Commissioner, he was appointed as Professor of Archaeology in the University of Ceylon (the only university in Lanka at that time) for a short period. The University of Ceylon had a project for publishing an authoritative history of the country and Prof. Paranavitana functioned as its editor. He was adopting the Mahavamsa as his guide, especially for the early period of Lankan history. He himself admitted that he had rejected some portions of a Tamil contributor to the volume on the ancient period of Lankan history, because those portions didn’t fit into what he considered Lankan history (Mahavamsa). Other than Sinhala and Buddhist archaeology and history, anything else was not relevant to him.

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    Darshanie,
    You have ‘hit the nail right on the head’. You have illustrated in a very succinct manner with accurate and credible references, the dearth of arguments these so called latter day experts have in interpreting some of the historical aspects of Sri Lanka.

    Interpreting ancient Brahmi inscriptions is a gargantuan and complex task even for experts in the field. What we have in the case of the Jailani is an expedient interpretation to favour an argument that ‘curry’s favour’ with the anti-Buddhist and anti-Sri Lankan rhetoric those enemies of Sri Lanka within and without and many detractors of Sri Lanka in these columns adore.

    The logic of your arguments will be like a ‘red rag to a proverbial bull’ to these dissenters and judging by the feeble English language skills and febrile arguments by some who inhabit these columns, it is certainly bound to send them into an apoplectic frenzy. As you have so amply indicated a holist approach is the only credible avenue available and not the ‘pick and mix’ methods employed by some to advance theories that suit their own political and religious agenda.

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      Dear Muslims Commenters – Please Please please dont waste time to reply or attack this fake broad with your valuable comments. This useless lass is making bogus points from baseless saucers.
      This Valli woman is as same as Leela, Lester Jilmart softy or urine lover Asanka, working for BBS.
      Anyway this article is out of date.

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    “catu-disa” means “chathu – disaa” or four directions. Some translation problems.

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    Most comments on the origin of the Sinhlas do not emphasize that Vijaya / the earliest Sinhala ancestors came from Western India, now Gujarat. The Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa evidence is that they came from there, as other Indo-Aryan speakers pushed down from Punjab into Gujarat, as in the epic of Krishna. Vijaya’s entourage seems to have been expelled (leading to later political expulsion in Sri Lanka). His entourage stopped in Sopparaka (modern Sopara) and Bharukaccha (modern Broach) in Gujarat, and also the language is closest to WESTERN Pali. There is no doubt about their origin. Later Buddhists tried to place all early influence from Bengal or eastern India, with or after the arrival of Buddhism from there, which has made for a lot of confusion.
    My PhD research was “The Effect of Early Sea Traffic on the Development of Civilization in South India”. The Sinhala ancestors first settled in Mannar or Talaimannar. The Pandiyan settlers, also from the Gujarat side, first settled opposite to Mannar, in Korkai, at the mouth of the Tambaranarani River. The attractions were pearls, cowries, conch shells, etc. The earlier Madurai on the Tambaraparani mouth was swamped by the ocean, and the 2nd Madurai also, so the 3rd Madurai was built inland, The Sinhalas also then moved their capital inland to Anuradhapura. Pandiya, Madurai, and other names were part of dynastic influence from western India, which came along with “civilization” meaning urbanization, kinship, regulated armies, formal religions and texts, scripts, division or labor, priesthood, etc etc– both in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. It is clear that civilization in western India was more complex than in Bengal, partly from influence of the remnants of the Indus Civilization in Gujarat, plus influence of more incursions of politically strong groups. The difference is that the Sinhala ancestors kept their language, but the Pandiyas took up the local language. My findings are summarized in The Journal of Asian Studies, May 1970, Vol 29, No. 3, “The Beginnings of Civilization in South India.” I am just now in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, and can be contacted at ct_maloney@hotmail.com

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      I agree with you Maloney. However its easy to think why the goverment and the mayority buddists wants everyone to think all sinhalese is from ONE place, ONE race. To make it easy for the population and make them to not think to much how and why you have thusands of different faces of a sinhalese person. Everything from a West african futures “big head, big nose, curle hair to Light skinned south americna or Iranian looking to Tamil looking . I am stereotyping but yes….To make everyone fit into the Sinhala “race” myth.

      As i use to say to hardliner buddists…..Sri Lanka is thusends of years of immigration of many different ethnic groups.

      Clear examples
      1. Kambojas (persian tribe) inscriptions all over sri lanka of the tal light skinned buddist warriors who created “Rohana” empire/kingdom outside kalutara. Sri lankas oldest buddist sangha to todays date are Kambojas Guild, Kambojas Sangha.

      And to show you some more striking evidence. The new president of Iran name is Rohani . We have alot of sinhalese named Rohan, Roshan.

      Last thing Iranian ancient flag before islamic revolution was
      Lion and SWORD on there flag.
      search for iranian flags.

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        Rohana Means in Sinhala RUHUNA.

        Anyway, persian is a language from the Indo-european language family. In that sense, Some of the sinhala words are latin – related too.

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          Facts are still Ruhuna empire was a kingdom in sri lanka and created by persian warriors who came to the island trough the big war against Ravana with (Kuaravas and Sakas) who united against the tamil king Ravana. And the two oldest buddist sanghas is Kambojas guild, and Kambojas Sangha.

          Clear Persian orgin. You can find other evidence of persian present on the island for 6000 years ago , yes 4000 before Christ was born.

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        All came out of Africa. Sri Lanka, and Sihala is a mixture of Pali-Sanskrit based prakrit as well as languages and people brought along the sea routes. There are words from everywhere including probabaly Sumarian which was the lingua franca for some 35 centuries in the ancient world.
        Contraray to what is asserted, most Sinhalese Biddhists know that they are of mixed origins, with many south indians (Chola, Kavrava, malayala, Thelegu)
        also mixed in due to movement of people and invasions from the sub-continent. But what they are insisting is the ONENESS of the CULTURAL
        HEITAGE that is unequivocally recored in the Pali Chronicles, the vamsa katha (Rajavaliya, Thupavaliya etc) as well as the myriads of inscriptions left by tha ancients to esnure that various bogus claimants cannot usurp the people’s history. The sinhalese have among them names which are clearly of tamil origin, and tamils have among them names of clear sinhala origin (e.g., Balasingham – the south indians don’t have ‘singahms”, these are the sinhalese ejected from Jaffna by sankili and then later tamilized).

        So the claim “the goverment and the mayority buddists wants everyone to think all sinhalese is from ONE place, ONE race” is NONSENSE. The sinhalese are people with a single cultural traditon, and they know it very well. They were willing to even install Tamil Kings in Kandy with the proviso that they governed in Sinhala and venerated Buddhism. They were even allowed to use “Andara Demala” inside the palace. The

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        PALLAVA kings of Tamil Nadu also used LION as their emblem. Sigiri Kasyappa’s mother was a Pallava princess. His uncle Bhikku Mahanama too of Pallava origin and came from Kanchi Puram, Tamil Nadu!

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          Our friend Native Veddah is looking for evidence Bhikku Mahanama
          was Tamil. You provide some evidence for him here.

          Senguttuvan

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      This comment I can believe. Some sinhala people look like gujaratis to North Indians.

      then the next statement is if Original sinhala people lived Mannar area, how come later it becomes a part of Tamil-Eelam. IT is OK if Gujaratis come and ask for a homeland there.

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        I belive sinhalese is a mix of tamil (10-30 %) at least and rest is a mix of forigners who came to the island. cos sinhalese population is not same race. its impossible. you have every look in the whole world …every face you can find in sri lanka.

        Secondly : Its not about skin color. Half of iran (South iran) are brown to black skinned . And strikinly very similar to sinhalese faces. brown to black but still aryan face futures.

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        Mannar is a Malayalam word. How can this Gujaratis make a claim?

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          M.SIVANANTHAN

          “Mannar is a Malayalam word. How can this Gujaratis make a claim?”

          Gujarati aren’t making this claim but the Sinhala/Buddhist are purely to distance themselves from their historical and genetical affinity with the stupid South Indians.

          Perhaps the Sinhala/Buddhists still long to be part of the superior Aryan pride.

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          Skippernathan

          Mannar is an arabic word ‘Manara’ named for lighthouse, the seafaring Arabs frequented this place in the pre Islamic times, thus the word ‘Manaram’ (with an abstracted meaning) was coined to the Sinhala language from the Arabic word ‘Manara’.

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      CTMahoney,

      The Sinhalese could have come from several places. Western India Eastern India and Southern India. While archaeology will give indications of the time periods if properly deciphered, the writings such as Mahawansa with a mix of mythology ( Lion Grandfather of Vijaya) and the story story written from the viewpoint of those in power, the monks and rulers also give clues.

      However, one can get as much information from the DNA analysis of the current population, and even some fossils using modern technology. The data gives human migrations over the past 70,000 years, and the gene distribution of the Southern Indian Gene Pool and the haplo groups. The Gene test examines a unique collection of nearly 150,000 DNA identifiers, called “markers,” that have been specifically selected to provide unprecedented ancestry-relevant information.

      https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genographic_Project

      Sinhalese people

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinhalese_people

      Studies looking at the origin of the Sinhalese have been contradictory. Older studies suggest a predominantly Sri Lankan Tamil contribution followed by a significant Bengali contribution with no North Western Indian contribution,[47][48] while more modern studies point towards a predominantly Bengali contribution and a minor Tamil and North Western Indian (Gujarati & Punjabi) contribution.[49][50][51] Multiple studies have found no significant genetic difference between the Sinhalese and the three other major ethnic groups in Sri Lanka (Sri Lankan Tamil, Indian Tamil and Sri Lankan Moor).[48][52][53][54][55][56]

      It is debatable whether the Sri Lankan population have genetic links to Far East Asian populations however due to their close links to North East India, there is a likelihood of some traces of East Asian genes.[57][58]

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        After all i think mostly sinhalese tribes welcomed forigners to let them get married and stay on the island. Tamils was nto really keen on it , they are to much thinking about cast, and to keep the tamil race intact. That is what i think. Cos you have a Devi cast in sri lanka which are the one who are “ancient builders” they who build alot of magnic stupas, world first hospital to the sinhalese kings. And many of there architect and building knowledge seams to come from Egypt. And the Devi cast is very light skinned and european looking people. At least a mix . Devi as cities, and towns you can find all over south europe. Historians belive everyone who was maching the category as Roman,Israelit,European was called it , for 2000 years ago.

        Yavanas (ancient greeks)

        They came with 40 000 monks to the anuradaphura stupa . After the celibration the history books tells the king of anuradaphura gave a big plot of the city to the greek buddists who settle down and got married to them.Even today you can find traces of these greeks in and araund anuradaphura. Names like Menander,Sunander and Chathirine, and green eyed people is living there.

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          From which books you find this 40,000 story?

          I know very well the people from Matara and other coastal areas arrived to A’Pura. They are the people with “light”skin and “blue” eyes. I know sme of those Parangiyas!

          Why did not a single Sinhala or Sri lankan king never married in other countries? Sri lankan rulers always went to Tamil Nadu kings for “military” help or marriages!

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        What i know about Far east, some sinhalese are Malay,or tamil, or Kafirs (african) or part Malay. And call themself today sinhalese.
        I think it was best for all forigners to get accepted to call themself sinhalese. Cos tamils would not let in people like Kafirs ( imported african soldiers from the portugese colony Mosambique. Mostly settle down in Negombo and chilaw. (curle hair and striking african looking still). You also have the Malay. which are decenders of Indonesian soldiers. They got a own town called Ja-Ela (malay name) they settle down there before and after they fought the wars against the Kandy kings.

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          Carlos.

          “When the eleventh year of the reign of King Parakramabahu II, a king of the Javaka known by the name of Chandrabhanu landed with a terrible Javaka army under the treacherous pretext that they were followers of the Buddha. All these wicked Javaka soldiers who invaded every landing-place and who with their poisoned arrows, like to terrible snakes, without ceasing harassed the people whomever they caught sight of, laid waste, raging their fury, all Lanka”. (Culawamsa LXXXIII, 36-51).

          The term Javaka used in the chronicle is a well-established name for the Malays of the Peninsula. Chandrabhanu attacked the Sinhala kingdom twice and failed both times. In the second attack, he himself got killed. But Chandrabhanu had succeeded taking over the northern part of Sri Lanka and become the ruler of the Javanese Kingdom in Javapattanam (present Jaffna). This Javaka King of Sri Lanka who is mentioned in the inscriptions of the South Indian Pandyan King, Jatavarman Vira Pandyan (A.D.1235-1275) has been identified as Chandrabhanu (Sirisena 1977, 14).

          The Yalpanam Vaipava Malai, the chronicle of Jaffna mentioned of two local names such as Chavakaccheri (Javaka ccheri-Java settlement) Chavakotte or Ja Kotuwa (Javaka Fort) confirming the Java/Malay connection with Jaffna. It is presumable that these Javakas may have moved towards the Kandyan kingdom at a later part of the history and worked for the King of Kandy, who is said to have a garrison of army consisted of the Malays.

          There is a well-known story that a Malay captain named Nouradeen and his brother were beheaded at the order of the King of Kandy because the brothers declined the royal offer to head the Malays in the service of the king but chose to remain loyals to their British master, the King of The Great Britain.

          “Beside, these Javakas who arrived in Sri Lanka as Chandrabhanu’s army of servicemen during the reign of King Parakramabahu II, there were seafarer freight careers, and the merchants ventured in ambitious maritime pursuits around Madagascar. They often called round the coastline of Sri Lanka, which suggests that many of them may have settled in areas near the harbours such as Hambantota and around the coastline. According to one of my Malay informants at Kirinda Malay settlement, Hambantota was named after Sampan, the seafarers from the Indonesian archipelago, who called to the natural harbour in the past. These seafarers, and the freight careers of the East, after their conversion to Islam at the beginning of the 16th century A.D. relinquished their ambitious maritime pursuits in favour of their co-religionists, the Arabs. The visits of Malays became lesser and ceased visiting Sri Lankan waters at the beginning of the 16th century A.D. when Arabs and Mohammadians established themselves in the seaports of Sri Lanka and gradually took over the entire trade of the Island into their hands.” (Edward Reimers, 1924)

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    I would like to have a translation of the arabic writing that was dismissed as being of no significance along with its dating.

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    Darshanie Ratnawalli!

    Please let us know with scientific evidence who and when the Brahmi scripts were invented?

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      Read Iravathu Mahadevan, the celebrated Tamil epigraphist who explains what Brahmi is, and what Tamil Prakrit is, and how Tamil language came into being (from Prakrit) around the 1st century BC, more or less with the rise of the Sangam period, and how the modern tamil script developed later on.

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        Utter stupidity. You know even what was the tholkappiyam period which was in Tamil written format?

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          manisekaran

          Please refer manoharan to works already been done by Professors
          K Rajan, Noburu Karashimha, Y Subarayallu and others.

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        Tamil, Sinhala and Malayalam scripts were developed from Prakrit and Brahmi but those languages are developed from the same ANCESTOR =ELU or HELA.

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      My Goodness, you asking this woman about scientific evidence of Brahmi scripts? She is a cartoon. All she knows is fictions and imaginations of someone else’. The rest were copied from elsewhere.

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    I have to say you do raise the level of discourse of this site comapred to some of the hacks (me included)on here . Bravo . keep up the good work .

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    At the risk of repetition, can I just point out that McGilvray’s article was not about the archaeology of Kuragala/Jailani? It was about Muslim religious practice at the site, as seen in the context of South Asian Sufism. The reference to Aboosally’s view on the inscription is in a footnote, and McGilvray makes no claims about Aboosally’s authority either way. He has also made that clear in his response to Madame Dimwit’s original article in CT. Miraculously, he also did that in a very cool and polite way.

    Madame Dimwit herself doesn’t do cool and she doesn’t do polite, and if her articles are to be believed, she isn’t very good at reading, and she doesn’t understand that some scholars study the present and other scholars study the past. I doubt Paranavitana would have been all that helpful as a guide to village Sufism. But this doesn’t really matter because Madame D doesn’t seem to be able to get her head around the idea that there is anything of value to say about Sri Lankan Muslims and their rich culture. That is her loss. It is a considerable loss, but it’s the price you pay for dimwittedness. If anyone is interested in Muslim cultural heritage, read McGilvray, visit Jailani (and other Sufi shrines in Slave Island and Kalmunai and Kataragama and many other places). Go with an open heart and an open mind. No harm will come to you. But your sense of the richness and complexity of this small island will be expanded with each place you visit.

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      hey idiot , the muslims have a pretty darn good claim to dimwittedness with no help from anybody .. lol

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        well we are not called ———- Modaya, Kewum Kannnda yodhaya !!!!LOL :) :) :)

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      Mac does make excursions into archaeology in his article and he makes them under the guidance of his host Aboosally, taking him as the sole and supreme authority on matters archaeological pertaining to the site. For a demonstration of these excursions into archaeology and how hospitality can magically turn a non-specialist politician with vested interests into an authority on archaeology with a rating (in Mac’s hospitality dazed eyes) higher than professional archaeologists see https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/dennis-mcgilvray-in-the-cozy-darkness-of-a-velvet-blindfold/

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    About Paranavitharane- He also said that there is no evidence that Lord Buddha visited Sri Lanka.

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    Whether it was the ‘Elders’, who said it or not to our Native Vedda, none of the three authorities cited by him to refute Paranavitana’s credibility as an epigraphist are competent to remark on epigraphy.Guruge is no epigrapphist or historian. He is a mere editor/commentator on other people’s writings. Gunawardana, is a historian who had picked up a neo-marxist style and was no epigraphist.Indrapala,once a respected historian claims, he does not possess a copy of his PhD thesis [perhaps, burnt under pressure in Jaffa] and has consequently, insulted his supervisors at the Uni of London.These are not credible people to be used in attackng Paranavitana on epigraphy.Besides, their criticism of Paranavitana is not on epigraphy he interpreted as epigraphist in Archaeological Dept but on his extraneous writings, mostly written after he gave up responsibilities as Commissioner. The best authority to cite about his epigraphy skills was his superior, the Arch. Commissioner,H.W.Codrington. On a request made by Dr.Ananda Coomaraswamy for help to read and date a Grantha inscription on a Buddha statue in the possession of Leslie de Saram, Codrington while recommending and highly commending the young epigraphist Paranavitana working under him wrote, he was far better than South Indian epigraphists whom he wrote were dilatory. One must give the man credit for what he is worth as a an epigraphist and not bring his extraneous writings outside epigraphy, esp. those written in his last days.He was not a bigoted epigraphist.He was amenable to new ideas as his modification on the Vallipuram Gold Plate inscription shows.
    As for his theory of Malay origin of the Kalinga dynasty [of Polonnaruva], what Prof.Casparis wrote was that the scholar’s intuition had to be respected.So did Prof.A.L.Basham earlier.

    Leon is right that McGilvray was writing basically on the more recent Sufi Tomb-worshiping religious tradition at Kuragala but why did he deviate to interpret the ancient Brahmi inscriptions as denoting possession by some chiefs.That is after virtually saying, by implication, that he was not competent in the field of epigraphy.This is where the problem is. He has not followed the principles of ethnology in placing evidence in proper context.
    The issue raised by the writer is Kuragala epigraphy of the 2nd century BC and not other things.She should be congratulated for placing facts before readers.

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      Dr. Leslie Gunawardena was a professor in HISTORY (NOT a Journalist), a Scholar (not a charlatan). When the academics and scholars in the same field of study (History) were calling him a leading light, an unbiased researcher (unlike Prof. Paranvithana whose views were always one sided).

      I am sure you are not aware of the so called ‘eminent epigraphist’ Prof. Paranvithana’s final publications that made him a discredited scholar. He enjoyed for several decades a great reputation among the majority for his expertise in one-sided, biased research. Such Sinhala biased, Buddhist biased archaeologists have no international credentials; they are all the products of post independence Sri Lankan universities. It is like Goebbels doing archaeological survey in the Middle East regarding the history and antiquity of the Jews.

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        His last article made all his work useless ?

        How about your Quran ?

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          Jim softy

          “How about your Quran ?”

          Quran is an article of faith not necessarily a statement of facts.

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      No-ethnologist

      “Indrapala,once a respected historian claims, he does not possess a copy of his PhD thesis [perhaps, burnt under pressure in Jaffa]”

      Don’t be daft.

      Indrapala’s thesis is available for perusal according to my elders who seen it.

      You wrote above:

      “The best authority to cite about his epigraphy skills was his superior, the Arch. Commissioner,H.W.Codrington. On a request made by Dr.Ananda Coomaraswamy for help to read and date a Grantha inscription on a Buddha statue in the possession of Leslie de Saram, Codrington while recommending and highly commending the young epigraphist Paranavitana working under him wrote, he was far better than South Indian epigraphists whom he wrote were dilatory.”

      This what D. G. Bandu de Silva wrote many moons ago:

      [Paranavithana, undoubtedly, rose to be a colossus himself whose word became the ‘law’ in epigraphy and history, and his worst critics feared the use of his pen, but that came later. Paranavithana was obviously a favourite of Codrington in those days. Volume 3 of Epigrahia Zeylanica was edited and published under the joint names of Codrington and the Epigraphist Paranavithana.

      The latter acknowledged his indebtedness to Codrington who did not hesitate to commend Paranavithana.

      I was in possession of a letter written by Codrington to Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy, where the former recommended the young epigraphist Paranavithana as a reliable person to read a short inscribing in Grantha characters on a Buddha statuette. He specifically mentioned Paranavithana as more reliable than the ‘South Indians who were dialatory.’]

      Don Martino de Zilva Wickremasinghe the foremost scholar the country almost forgot

      By D. G. B. de Silva
      http://www.island.lk/2002/11/14/opinio08.html

      Did you plagarise Banu’s work or were you ghost writing for him?

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    I am sorry to say this. This girl has got Pubic Hair on her head and that why she is writing stupid articles such as this to cast doubts on Sri Lankan History.

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      Genny, You are just a dog.

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        Look at this :) . See who got hurt…ha ha ha Its our famous same old Leela.
        I even doubt that this is this D. Walli woman’s own piece of work. She writes nothing else. Probably paid by BBS’ Boss Gota, arranged by LEELA?

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    Genny, You must be privately enjoying the pubic hair on Tatte! What Sri Lankan history are you speaking of? You mean Aboosaly/McGrilvay concoctions?

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    What does Mohammed (Augg 5)know of Sri Lankan archaeology and history? Descendants of a tradition which has erased every vestige of other people’s culture/religions are coming to preach to others how not not to be one sided! Go and live in Saudi Arabia. Then you will know how many sides there are.

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    Dharshanie Ratnawalli’s writing is always difficult to understand because of her profuse use of quotes without explaining what they mean to a layman, and without explicitly explaining her conclusions. What I gather is that the Kuragala inscriptions are of early brahmic probably from the 2nd or 3rd century. But what about the arabic inscriptions reported? Were they dated, and also what did they say? Can she explain this please?

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    How fascinating !!!

    Part of my name in rock carvings going back three centuries before Christ.

    Unbelivable.

    What would Abooosaly know about Brahmi?.

    Beauty and the Brains in tandem is seldom seen.

    Thanks Ms Rathnawali.

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      Leela, You must certainly see a doctor.
      You are deteriorating pretty fast.
      You see this Broad as a Beauty? Do you also say that she is a Brainy?
      O dear dear Leela, we need you here. If you go who is gonna amuse us with your lovely comics jokes that you crack daily. Who else is going to make us laugh until our ribs ache. So please take care of you and see a specialist. I don’t know if its am acute or chronic case whatever it is must be under medication as fast as you can.

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      “VELU SUMANA” who was a “demla” was the commander of King Dutu Gemunu. Are you a descendant of the same TAMIL Velu Sumana?

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        M.SIVANANTHAN

        Broadly speaking, comments above and below suggest that ancestors of Sinhala/Buddists came from Iran, Gujarat, Bengal, Nepal, and other parts of the world, except Tamilnadu which is only 20 miles away from this island.

        Weren’t the Tamils stupid who didn’t know there was an island very close to their shores? Didn’t they know how to sail and navigate given that their presence this island is doubted by commentators?

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          You are right. People who were 20 miles away could not come to Sri lanka but Sinhalese are now trying to fool the whole world with untruths and try to establish they have “NO” connection with the Tamils.

          How can the Sinhalese explain about the Sinhalese who have name “HERATH MUDIYANSE”?

          Can they explain who is this “Kodipuli”,”Singam Puli”,”Vellap Puli”, or “karum Puli” among them?

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    Prof. Paranavithana discovered the “tomb” of Duta Gemunu after the independence. Not only that he “PROVED” it with carbon dating.

    But the people of Rajarata paid homage to the same tomb because king Duta Gemunu asked his subjects to pay homage every year to remember his foe Elara killed in the war. Christian Paranavithana destroyed the 2500 years old tradition with his stupid Sinhala racist mentality.

    The author of Mahavamsa, Bhikku Mahanama, came from Kanchi Puram of Tamil nadu. Can anyone deny it?

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      Was Mahawamsa written in Tamil?.

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        K.A Sumana sekera

        “Was Mahawamsa written in Tamil?.”

        Not in Sinhala either.

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        No. It is in PALI which was the language of Buddhist Sangha!
        Sinhalese cannot claim “sole” ownership for Pali Language because no Pali scholars were in Sri Lanka at that time and all Sri lankan Buddhists depended on the bhikkus of Pallava kingdom!

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      M.SIVANANTHAN

      “The author of Mahavamsa, Bhikku Mahanama, came from Kanchi Puram of Tamil nadu. Can anyone deny it?”

      What is the source of your discovery?

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        Read Maha Vamsa and Chula Vamsa. King Datusena’s wives were from Pallava Royal house in Kanchi Puram!

        Mahanama spitted some venom against Tamils because his nephew Sigiri kasyappa was not supported by his Pallava relatives because he killed his own father but the Pallava relatives helped his advesary Moggalana to capture the throne of A’Pura!

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          But Datusena was of Javanese stock.

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    Someone can easily assert given its only 22 km between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu the “antiquity” of Tamils in the island must extend right to the beginning of history.

    I could easily reverse the argument and assert given its only 22 km Sinhalese must have crossed over to Tamil Nadu as well. Tamil Nadu must therefore must have had a Sinhala presence extending right to the beginning of history.

    Its geographic isolation that determine cultural groups. If not for geographic barriers everyone would have one culture and one language and probably even the same skin colour, Taking the southern tip of India, to the left of the mountain range Malayalee culture evolved, to the right Tamil culture evolved. The island to the south is where Sinhala culture evolved in isolation.

    Given Ceylon is right at the centre of trade routes the Sinhala culture and language became enriched by surrounding cultures as well as ones beyond whereas Tamil has hardly changed.

    If one digs into Tamil Nadu history I am sure one would find Sinhala and Malayalee linkages. No on interprets them to prove any antiquity of the cultures in Tamil Nadu. Similarly one finds some links to Tamil Nadu in Sri Lanka does not mean it had “dravidian” roots. Sinhala culture has evolved and will evolve to encompass the island. To deny it would be denying dynamics in demography and human behavior 101.

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    What an excellent into to Mahavamsa.

    “That (Mahavamsa) which was compiled by the ancient (sages) was here too long drawn out and there too closely knit; and contained many repetitions. Attend ye now to this (Mahavamsa) that is free from such faults, easy to understand and remember, arousing serene joy and emotion and handed down (to us) by tradition, – (attend ye to it) while that ye call up serene joy and emotion (in you) at passages that awaken serene joy and emotion. ” – Bhikkhu Mahanama

    Mahavamsa mentions invaders as “Damila” . There was no “Damila” identity in South India. South Indians were either Pallava, Chola, Chera, Malabar and Madarassi etc.

    The term Damila is probably a synonym for “terrorists”. I have a hunch Bishop Robert Caldwell who coined “Dravida” and “Thamil” identities based on “Damila” of Mahavamsa. If anyone knows otherwise perhaps they can provide a credible reference to “Damila” identity other than Mahavamsa.

    This is significant because if not found it simply means Sinhalese gave Tamils their post Malabar identity given by Europeans. I haven’t found any other than ‘Madarassi’ that specifically refers to Tamils than common Malabar South Indian one.

    Mahavamsa is not anti-Tamil or Malabar. Although its been the single biggest barrier to “Tamil Homeland” hoax. Which kinds of explains things really.

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      Chola, Pallava, Chera are the names of the Royal Houses of S/India. Malabar is a place in Kerala. Madras came into existence after the British!

      Remember Sri Lankan is different from Sinhala.

      I think you did not read any history of S/India.

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        I understand. Although is there any credible references to a cultural group “Tamil” or “Damila” other than Mahavamsa?

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        And – pray, tell us – the Sinhala gentleman going as Sivananthan
        where was Cheranadu located and what was their mother tongue?

        BTW – There was a Sivananthan, moving in and around Parliamentary circles in the 1960-1980s – married to a Sinhala nurse. He was
        shot to death outside his home in Polhengoda, Colombo 5 with nothing heard of the case in public thereafter. Are you a relative?

        Senguttuvan

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    Mahanama came from Kanchipuram? Is it a mix up with Buddhagosa? If not that shd account why he wrote about Tamil presence in the island in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC.(Sena-Guttika and Elara)as Damila though they were from Persia who employed marauding tribes from South India to invade the island. and also wrote of another Damila invasions later in the time of Valagamba. If not for this mention there is no Tamil history in Sri Lanka so early.The much boasted of Sagam period has no reference to any links with the island.This is why serious Tamil scholars respect Mahavamsa, including re-born K.Indrapala.

    Native Vedda seems to speak some sense this time without quoting his “elders.”
    That is when he asks if people across the 20 mile sea did not know how to sail? That is the interesting thing. Why people in the island spoke and wrote for over two milennia and still 75% speak and write a language different from that of the Tamils of South India.
    Twice-born Tamil historian K Indrapala,admits this predominant Prakritic influence explains it as the result of ‘distance trade’by sea [with Gujarat and Bengal area].
    Historical interpretation is far too complex.

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      Buddha Ghosa also came from Kanchipuram to translate TRIPITAKA in PALI Language but he was not belong to any Royals.

      Mahanama came to Sri lanka with his sister who married King Datusena.

      Sangam litratures came into existence in the last 100 years. Before they were known as BOOKS only. Further SANGAM period was before the Christian Era.

      SANGAM era was a peaceful and no conflicts. Even a poet EELATHU POOTHAN THEVANAR from Sri lanka also participated in poetry writing!

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    Sangam era was peaceful and no conflicts!Has Sathasivam read Sangam literature? Some of the works were compiled as late as the 7th century AC.The political scenario was one of warring tribes,Chera, Cholas and Pandyas.Some even claimed conqusts up to the Ganges but none about conquering SL.If you do not know the history gleaned from Sangam literature, the best thing is to remain silent.

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      Persian Lebbe

      “The political scenario was one of warring tribes,Chera, Cholas and Pandyas.Some even claimed conqusts up to the Ganges but none about conquering SL.”

      They did not have the need to conquer Sri Lanka if it was already theirs.

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    Sivanathan,

    You are persistent with your information that Mahanama and Dhatusena were of Pallava origin. I am really interested. But the texts of Mahavamsa in my possession do no have this information. I may have missed it. Could you kindly give the reference to the chapter and verse for our edification please?Was it taken from Paranavitana’s Parampara-pusthakaya, by any chance?

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    What kind of logic is that N.V?

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      Persian Labbe.

      Illogically you contemplate on the geologic existance of the Kingsoms of Chola & Panyas.

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    Codrington’s recommendtion of Paranavitana to Coomaraswamy was in publiic domain for nearly 20 years before his article in The island appeared in 2002.Mr de Silva read out these letters at a Paranavitana Commemmoration meeting which was presided by Walter Ladduwahetty at which a Codrington’s descendant’s was guest of honour.So there was need for anyone to plagarise as Native Vedda asks.
    Anyway, must give credit NV who seems to be doing some serious follow up not depending on his elders these days.Is he really a vedda or an “Eelam Vedda”? But remember the 18th century Jaffna chronicle says the Tamil immgirants killed the Veddas in the peninula.

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      no-ethnologist/Bandu

      Your style of writing betrayed you in the first place.

      My advice, please use your left hand to type your comment if you are writing under another name.

      Though I don’t agree with your revisionist history writing, I do like you old chap, for this island does not produce eccentrics anymore.

      One of these days we must meet and share a peace pipe.

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    N.V.
    You may not know it but I heard from friends that Bandu has left the island early August for retirement. Remember some one asked him (Was it you?)to go Portugal where it was suggested his ancestry was.No one has heard from him since.
    You and I are both going to miss him but for different reasons.I was inspired by his writing. Let us wish him a good retirement away from the maddening crowd.

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      no-ethnologist/Bandu

      Allow me to wish you well on your retirement.

      Have you completed two books that you were going to write?

      One of these days we must meet and share a peace pipe.

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