INVASIONS, VIOLENCE, ATROCITIES AND PLUNDER CHARACTERIZE TAMIL/DRAVIDIAN INVOLVEMENT IN SRI LANKA FROM 230 BCE
Posted on November 9th, 2010

Dr. Daya Hewapathirane

OVERVIEW

Recorded history states that Sri Lanka was invaded as much as seventeen times by South Indian Dravidian Tamil speaking invaders since 230 BCE. Coming with armies of Tamils from South India they ruthlessly wiped out entire Sinhala villages along their way to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa the royal capitals of the past. These highly prosperous Sinhala Buddhist capitals were ransacked and plundered and the people subject to untold atrocities. This was a part of Tamil invasions and occupation of our land for varying periods of time in the past. They killed Sinhala Kings or forced them to the retreat to the south. These Tamil invaders sat on the Sinhala throne and ruled over the Sinhala people for about 170 years at different times. The Tamil threat to the Sinhala Buddhist kingdoms had become very real in the fifth and sixth centuries CE. Three Hindu empires in southern India–the Pandya, Pallava, and Chola, were becoming more assertive. Tamil ethnic and religious consciousness matured during this period. In the meantime, in India, Buddhism was becoming vulnerable to pressure and absorption by Hinduism and its influence was receding. It was during this time that Chola, Pallava and Pandya Tamils were instrumental in repeated invasions and threats to our Buddhist Sinhala rulers.

Our country experienced terror in its worst forms never known in our land before was during the invasion and rule of the Dravidian Kalinga Magha and later in recent years under the Tamil terrorist Prabakaran. The crime-prone rule of Kalinga Magha prevailed for 21 years from the year 1201. The Tamil Pandyan and Tamil Nayakka intrusion into Sinhala royal families led to our traditional royalty going into disarray after the 13th century, and the eventual decline of the stability and magnanimity of the Sinhala Buddhist nation.

Some Tamils came to our country as mercenaries. Propensity to violence and criminal activities is not a recent development among Tamils. The history of Tamil involvement in our country is marked by excessive violence. This characterizes the history of Tamil invasions and involvements in our country from early times. This makes one think whether violence has become a part of the mental and psychological structure of the average Tamil.

Whether the outrageous and violent attitudes of Tamils in general, towards Sri Lanka have changed in recent times is questionable when one learns of the atrocious public pronouncements of Tamil leaders of the Tamil Nadu – the Homeland of Tamils. It was as recent as May 2009 that Jayalalitha called for Indian troops to invade Sri Lanka to help create a Tamil state. This woman is a former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, the current Leader of Opposition and Leader of one of the largest Tamil political parties in India.

FIRST TAMIL INVADERS – SENA AND GUTTIKA (22 Years) The first invasion around 230 BCE, was by two brothers who ruled on the Sinhala throne over the Sinhala people for 22 years till they were killed by a Sinhala prince from the south. The first reported account of South Indian Tamil rule in Sri Lanka was during the period 237-215 BCE by the horse dealers. SENA & GUTTIKA. who killed the Sinhala king Suratissa and usurped the Sinhala throne and occupied the throne at Anur?dhapura for twenty two years. In 215 BCE, Sinhala king ASELA, the brother of Surastisssa and brother of King Devanampiyatissa regained the kingdom from Tamil invaders and ruled from 215 to-205 BCE.

TAMIL ELARA (44 Years) Ten years later, a Chola Tamil South Indian invader named Elara, came and slew the legitimate Sinhala king Asela, and ruled Rajarata from Anuradhapura. He held the Sinhala throne for 44 years (205-161 BCE). This Tamil invader was slained by Prince Dutugemunu and the entire country was unified under his rule.

WAR WAGED BY SEVEN TAMILS Valagambahu became the king of Anuradhapura Kingdom in103 BCE. Five months after becoming king, he was overthrown by a Tamil invasion from South India. Seven Tamils waged war against king Valagamba – Pulahatta (or Pulahatha), Bahiya, Panaya Mara, Pilaya Mara, Dathiya. In 88 BCE these Tamils were deposed by Valagambahu ending Tamil rule. Valagambahu I (89-77) BCE restored the Dutugamunu dynasty.

SIX PANDYAN TAMIL INVADERS (428 – 452 CE) There was a twenty-four year period from 428 to 452 CE, when six Pandyan Tamil invaders ruled the country- Pandu – 428-433, Parinda – 433, Khuda Parinda – 433-449, Tiritara – 449, Dathiya – 449-452. King Dhatusena defeated the last two of these Tamil usurpers and ruled our nation from 452 to 470 CE.

PANDYAN AND CHOLA INVASIONS IN THE 9TH CENTURY CE By the middle of the ninth century, the Pandyans had risen to a position of ascendancy in southern India, invaded northern Sri Lanka, and ransacked Anuradhapura. During the period 846 to 866 CE, Pandyan Tamils invaded and plundered Anuradhapura.

TAMIL VIOLENCE LED TO ABANDONMENT OF ANURADHAPURA -THE ROYAL CAPITAL OF 1400 YEARS In 993, the Chola Emperor Rajaraja I invaded Sri Lanka, forcing the then Sri Lankan ruler Mahinda V to flee to the southern part of the country. Rajendra I son of Rajaraja I launched a large invasion and Mahinda V was captured and taken prisoner to India where he died in 1037. Mahinda V (917-1007), was the last Sinhala king to rule from Anuradhapura. These Cholas ransacked the city of Anuradhapura and moved the capital to Polonnaruwa and subsequent Sri Lankan rulers who came into power after the Chola reign continued to use Polonnaruwa as the capital, thus ending the Anuradhapura regime.

TAMIL PLUNDER OF ANURADHAPURA Rajadhiraja Chola II (1166-1178 C.E.) who was a Chola king in India had serious disputes with the Pandyans and the Sinhala rulers on the opposite side, bringing untold misery to both sides. This civil war that resulted between the Cholas and Pandyan Tamils brought power to Pandyans resulting in invasions and plunder of Anuradhapura.

ROYAL CAPITAL RELOCATED IN POLONNARUWA OWING TO TAMIL INVASIONS AND VIOLENCE CHOLAS OUSTED FROM POLONNARUWA

VIJAYABAHU- I (1045-1095 CE) ousted the Chola Tamils from Anuradhapura and regained the Rajarata Sinhala kingdom. He chose Polonnaruwa as his capital. It is also significant that Hindu Devale’s were respected and Tamil soldiers were maintained in the service of the king. King Vijayabahu had Leelavati as his chief queen, but also married a princess from Kalinga Royal Family as his second wife. From her he had a son named Vikrama Bahu and a daughter named Ratnavali. His sister, Mitta, was given in marriage to a Pandyan Prince who had three sons, the eldest of whom named Manabharana, became the husband of Ratnavali. Their son was Parakrama Bahu. I.

PARAKRAMA BAHU- I (1140-1173 CE) – Grandson of Vijaya Bahu I, a Prince of Royal Blood, of Pandyan descent, as the son of Manabharana and Vijaya Bahu’s sister Mitta. Parakrama Bahu I became King in 1140 and reigned for thirty three years leaving behind no heir to the throne. This led to the nomination of VIJAYABAHU -II as king (1173-1174 CE) He was Parakrama Bahu’s sisters son

NISSANKA MALLA (Kirti Sri Nissanka) 1174-1183 CE was a Kalinga Prince and his reign was followed by a period of utmost political instability resulting in downfall of the Rajarata kingdom and the former glory of Polonnaruva.

TAMIL INVASIONS DURING POLONNARUWA ERA During the reign of Queen Lilavati 1197-1198 CE – the Widow of King Parakrama Bahu – a South Indian Pandyan Tamil invader deposed her and became the king and ruled for three years.

KALINGA MAGHA INVASION (1201-1222 CE) In 1201 Sri Lanka was invaded by MAGHA a Dravidian Kalinga prince who took the king captive, tortured him and robbed him of all riches. He ruled for 21 years until 1222 CE. The ferocity, cruelty and barbarism of Tamils were unprecedented. These Tamils ransacked the kingdom, killed man and beast, broke images, destroyed temples, viharas, tortured the rich of their wealth and gave land to Cholas. The Tooth and Bowl relics were hidden. Kalinga Magha tyrannized the inhabitants of Raja Rata and extended his invasion to the south of the country where he was counter-attacked by the Sinhala and this Tamil terrorist escaped death and ran back to India with some of his soldiers. These Tamils ransacked the kingdom, killed man and beast, broke images, destroyed temples, viharas, tortured the rich of their wealth and gave land to Cholas. The Tooth and Bowl relics were hidden. Kalinga Magha tyrannized over the inhabitants of Raja Rata and extended his invasion to the south of the country, but was compelled to retreat by the forces of Vijaya Bahu-III of Maya Rata (1222-1226 CE) and was killed by the Sinhala on his way back to India.

INSECURITY BROUGHT ABOUT BY TAMILS A MAIN REASON FOR RELOCATION OF CAPITALS

VIJAYA BAHU -III (1222-1226 CE) who expelled Magha the Tamil invaders from Maya Rata, moved the seat of government to Dambadeniya. He had two sons named Parakramabahu and Bhuvaneka Bahu.

PANDITHA PARAKRAMA BAHU- II (1226-1257 CE) – the eldest son of Vijaya Bahu III -became the king after his father Vijaya Bahu III.The new king was known as Panditha Parakramabahu – II, on account of his great learning.

Chandra Bhanu the Tamil, who claimed to be a ruler of Jaffna, went to war with Panditha Parakrama Bahu and was defeated mercilessly. Although Panditha Parakramabahu was crowned at Polonnaruwa he ruled at Dambadeniya. He reigned as king over the whole of Lanka for thirty five years and upon his death was succeeded by his son, Vijaya Bahu who ruled for two years and political instability followed with several kings who ruled for short periods of time.

REPEATEDLY INVADED BY INDIAN TAMIL FORCES

BHUVANEKA BAHU– I ascended the throne in 1259 and ruled until 1270. During the early part of his reign our country was repeatedly but unsuccessfully invaded by Indian Tamil forces. He initially ruled from Dambadeniya and later shifted his capital to Yapahuva. The life of Yapahuva as the capital of Lanka lasted only till the death of King Bhuvaneka Bahu I, when it was subjugated and despoiled by another Tamil invasion.

INVASION OF TAMIL PANDYAN ARMY

PARAKRAMA BAHU – III, the nephew of Buvaneka Bahu- I, became king in 1270 and ruled for five years in Polonnaruwa. During his reign the island was invaded by a Pandyan army led by one Chakravarti. The invaders succeeded in capturing the forces of Yapahuva and carrying off the sacred Tooth-Relics to India. The Sinhala king succeeded in bringing it back to Lanka and placed the relics in Polonnaruwa.

BUVANEKA BAHU – II (1275-1277CE) – Son of Buvaneka Bahu I, cousin of Parakrama Bahu III who had a Pandyan connection ruled from Kurunegala.

PANDYAN INVASION

PARAKRAMA BAHU – IV (1277-1301 CE) – son of Buvanekka Bahu II proclaimed himself king against the Pandyan Emperor Kulasekera. Kulasekera came himself to avenge the killing of his nephew Parakrama Bahu III by Buwanekabahu -II. He invaded Yapa Patuna Kingdom and captured it.

(This is a mere chronological outline to highlight Tamil invasions and violence in the past.

I have refrained from enumerating the atrocious nature of these events

– Dr. Daya Hewapathirane).

15 Responses to “INVASIONS, VIOLENCE, ATROCITIES AND PLUNDER CHARACTERIZE TAMIL/DRAVIDIAN INVOLVEMENT IN SRI LANKA FROM 230 BCE”

  1. Nanda Says:

    Time for Mudali to declare this is wrong and all Sir Lankans are Tamil.
    Mudali, why are you silent ?

  2. Ben_silva Says:

    Fantastic article. Factual and accurate. . You have dealt with our History, that all Sinhalese
    need to understand and know. If we do not learn from history, mistakes would be repeated. The Anuradhapura time people were civilized, just as in Nalanda. Unfortunately, caring and civilized groups can be wiped out as happened in Nalanda and America . I also like to add that the Tamils destroyed the reservoirs and irrigation
    systems developed by the Sinhalese. The Tamil attacks were so severe that the Sinhala kings had to run for shelter in the hill country – Kandy . Now there is no place to run as even the hill country is
    occupied by Tamils. The passive Buddhists are ,naïve and do not understand the real nasty world.
    They preach compassion and try to lead us to extinction like the Nalanda Buddhists. They need to learn from your article. What is now needed is Sinhalese that move over to the 21st century and deal with current
    threats. Learn to work smarter and harder without trying to achieve Hindu Nirvana – Try Nirvana after death.
    Also not known very much is that Prabakaran used the Chola emblem, Chola methods of motivating Tamils and had links with Indian Tamils with a Chola mindset.
    We need to learn to think\clearly and learn to survive in a tough old world.
    Joseph Needham investigated the reasons for the decline of Chinese. We
    need to investigate the reasons for the decline of the Sinhalese.
    Time to learn from history, dump ancient belief systems that even Indians do not believe and learn to be competitive and win in a global economy and a market. If not end up as second class citizens , as now, in our own and only country. If any one doubts my statement about losing a good part of the country, please listen to Paul Harris.

  3. Nihal Fernando Says:

    Nanda, you deserve two egg hoppers for what you have said. Exactly correct you are about Mudali.

    On the other hand, Westerners governed our country for four hundred odd years and they left no doubt leaving many problems. But, these Dravidians have been attacking us for thousands of years because we majority is not united.

  4. M.S.MUdali Says:

    Sena, Guttika… I dont think these are Tamil names at all!

    Further Pandiyas had some claims in Sri Lanka because Prince Vijaya and his 700 friends married Tamils from Pandian country.

    “Family Feuds” cannot be invasions.

    Further CHOLA(ka) is a wind from the South. I hope these Cholas went to Indian mainland from Sri Lanka!

    Hill country occupied by HERATH MUDIYANSELAGES… for many centuries. Heraths are from Kerala. SERA =Kerala = HERA(TH).

    Speaking a language cannot be an authority for inheritance.

    Panditha Parakramabahu’s father was a Tamil Pandian prince. Chandra Bhanu was not a Tamil but a MALAY!

    Lambakhanna Dynasty was a branch of Pallava rulers. Read the history of MANA VAMMA(varma).

    In the old days those Kings fought or married with Tamil Royals not on the basis of current useless LANGUAGE issues. If the Sinhalese believe that the ROYALS fought on the basis of language, you guys must explain why the same Royals went and married TAMILS from the start of the Sinhala race!

    But the Author of this article failed to mention how CHENG HO, the Chinese Admiral came and captured all the Royal family of Mahinda V and carted them to China. Later the Chinese Empire sent a TAMIL or a Malayalee ALAKESVARA to rule from KOTTE!

    British created this language divisions. Why are you guys drag all these OLD Kings stories to justify the current language based racist politics?

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Mudali is right in one instance. Sena and Guttika were not Tamils. They were probably from Gujarat or Karnataka.

    Other rubbish is wrong as usual. Who says Wijaya and the crowd married Tamils? History says they married Pandavas, not Pandyans. There is a big difference.

    There were no Cholas in Sri Lanka. They came from Tamil Madu and we wiped them out totally.

    Herath = Sera = Kerala

    Fantastic analogue. Typical of Tamilnet idiots. Why not say, Oklahoma = Okkalamma and therefore it is Tamil?

    Why should we read the rubbish history of Mana Vamma? We have authentic history older than this person’s version.

    Agree that Chandrabahu was a Malay.

    Also agree that Sinhala Royals fought with Tamils not on the basis of useless language issues. They fought to wipe out Tamil separatists.

    Sinhala race didn’t start with Wijaya. It was there before. Please read the Mahabharata.

    There was no Mahinda V at the time of Chen Ho! Alakeswara was only a minister but a very good person. Unlike Tamils, Sinhalese are not racists. They don’t care the race of individuals as long as they love Unitary Sri Lanka.

    e.g. Lakshaman Kadirgamar, KP, Karuna, Douglas Devananda, Pillayan, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Gerorge master, Daya Master, Mathivathani, Dwarka

    Agree that British created language divisions. Who is doing racist politics?

    Tamil racist politicians only. Look at their political parties – Tamil congress, Tamil kakusukachchi, Tamil front, Tamil alliance, Tamil tigers. Racist by definition.

    Don’t run away from historical facts. There are 3 types of Tamils – Tamils who support Unitary Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Tamil Madu. Pick where you belong Mudali.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    Britain was attacked by her foes in the ages past, but that country got together & defeated her foes and beat them back. Britain & Lanka are both islands and should be easier to defend than land locked countries. Britain developed her Navy and built an Empire. Whilst Lanka never had ambitions to build an Empire, Lanka too should lay emphasis on her Navy & also the Army to defend the island.

    The threat of division to Lanka comes really due to the thrust from people of Dalit (Untouchable) origin in Tamil Nadu. They are the ones who seek new homelands away from Tamil Nadu. Realise that Tamil refugees in Canada come back soon to visit Lanka, but never do they go to Tamjil Nadu, the place where the Dalit practice originated. Whilst this problem exists in Tamil Nadu, Lanka will have to have her armed forces & HSZs.

    Anyone who can solve the emotional problems of Tamils of Dalit origin in Tamil Nadu in TAMIL NADU ITSELF has solved the so-called “Tamil problem” forever for Lanka. The Tamil problem of Untouchability existed even at the time of the Buddha, hence the Vasala Suthra, advocating that by birth one is not a Slave. It is a 3,000 yr old problem and should be looked at squarely in the face, by governments of Lanka & India (Tamil Nadu State govt). Tamil people of low caste have devised various means to overcome the problem by changing religion, crossing sea water to lose caste, forming political parties with the world “Tamil’ attached to them, education, etc. The great tragedy is that some Tamil people let off their anger & frustration of the ages on the Sinhala people as well other minorities in Lanka. In short, Lanka has become the “whipping boy” for no fault of the people of Lanka ! This should not be allowed or encouraged and anyone who does so is a traitor to the entire Nation.

    Nor should the Tamil people of Lanka be treated as a special people for special favors. They are all Sri Lankans, just like anyone else and should be treated as such. One law for all. Tamils ought to consider the whole of Lanka as their Homeland, just as Sinhalas, Burghers, Moors, etc. do. That is the only way to go. A true Liberation from the past should be aimed at.

    An Oath of Allegiance to Lanka should be made mandatory in all schools, Parliament, work places, armed forces, etc.
    And, yes, the Sinhala people who are the majority in the island of Lanka, should lead the way in discipline, good manners, toughness in facing adversity – the list of positive action to develop is endless. Let’s get together a Campaign to Regain Lanka, starting with our schools.

    “Wisdom is gained in Meditation. Contemplation & Life Supportive Action follows. Safety, Happiness & Contentment for all is the Reward”. Anyone can do Meditation, which is the only true Liberating experience, without changing their religion or leaving their country.

    This note is written with good intent, with umbrage to none.

  7. M.S.MUdali Says:

    Pandavas?
    Pandava is a name given to the five brothers in the Maha Bharath story. But Maha vansa clearly mentions PANDIYA.
    Lorenzo tries to fool around here!

    Herath Muthiyan

    Muthiyan means Elder. Can any one tell the SINHALA meaning?

    Catholic Lorenzo cannot respect King Manavamma because he and his church dont respect anything of Buddhist or Hindu!

    Manavamma’s Pallava Royal clan ruled Sri Lanka for centuries. Sigiri Kasyappa was one of them! Soon Lorenzo will tell Sigiri was built by POPE!

    Lorenzo just showed his stupidity on the history of Sri lanka. He will definitely appreciate the words of LTTE’s Fr.S.J.Emmanuel who proclaimed “TIGERS ARE THE DIVINE SOLDIERS OF CHRIST”.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Mudali the racist,

    Mahawamsa does not say Pandyan. Deepawamsa also describes the bride was Kshatriya which is one of 4 North Indian castes. That makes Wijaya’s bride the queen a Noble North Indian. The Pandava’s kingdom is where she may have come from. Anyway we have no problem if she’s from the north or the south because she and her other colleagues respected SL’s Unitary status.

    “Muthiyan means Elder”. That’s it. Well, in Sinhala it has other meanings. Similar names include Mudannayaka, etc.

    Typical Tamilnet thinking.

    e.g. Oklahoma sounds like Okkamma so Oklahoma is Tamil!

    Who says I’m catholic? Does my religion matter here (unless you are a racist)?

    There never was anyone by the name Sigiri Kasyappa. Sigiri Kashyapa was the son of King Datusena who genocided remaining Tamil Nadu people.

    Mudali you have 3 choices – a good Tamil (who accepts Unitary Sri Lanka and Sinhala/Muslim “colonization” of the north UNCONDITIONALLY), Tamil Nadu or Tamil Madu. Pick your choice!

  9. M.S.MUdali Says:

    Lorenzo:
    You are a follower of a NAZI in Vatican. Better stop your idiotic stories on Maha vansa or Deepa vansa!

    Your Church taught you how to manipulate.

    Sri lankan Kings never went to marry anyone to North India. Only Hindus know who is KASYPA or Kasiyappa! It is not a Portugeuse name!

    If you do not know TAMIL/Sinhala, better shutup!

    Better ask your Malcolm Ranjith, why he support LTTE criminals!

  10. Chintha Says:

    I have heard this pandav argument before. The fact is there was no such kingdom in South india during that time. But there was there was a kindom in the North during that period that matches the discription. You can’t make up history out of your imaginations. Tamil seperatism and empire building and extension of Tamil Nadu ibto SL is based on fraudulant history claims. According to racist seperatis’s history, Sri Lank belongs to Tamils and it is thier homeland. Sinhalese came and chased them to TN. Therefore it is thier right to claim thier Homeland back. FRAUD ,FRAUD FRAUD , nothing but FRAUD.

  11. Lorenzo Says:

    Racist Mudali,

    When you can’t face facts, you bring in irrelevant racism into the arguement which shows how bankrupt you are.

    The only civilised thing in your garb is also wrong.

    Read about Kassyapa Buddha here and learn (if you have the learning faculties still).

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

    As I told you before you have 3 choices before you – accept Unitary Sri Lanka and the ability of Sinhalese/Muslims to live in the north at will. Otherwise you are either Tamil Nadu or Tamil Madu. After the military defeat you find that you no longer have many options. Well, losers cannot be choosers!

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    Chintha,

    Then how come the SINHALAS NATIVE OF THE ISLAND OF LANKA fought in the Mahabharata War according to the North Indian epic? This happened around 5,000 years ago and there were SINHALAS in LANKA even at that time. This is enough evidence to disapprove Tamil racist claims. And the beauty of it is, it is third party evidence!

    The more they fight/argue/demand, the more they lose!

    In the past 5,000 years of history, Tamils ruled parts of Sri Lanka for only 170 years. That is less than 4%. That too were by invaders who were wiped out in no time! I like the way they ask for it and get it full on time after time.

  13. Nanda Says:

    Lorenzo,
    I agree with you. This Mudali is like a kid. When he looses he call you protugees or Landesi or something.

  14. Ben_silva Says:

    I wonder if any one thought of learning from the past experience and the need to investigate the reasons for the decline of the Sinhalese ?

  15. M.S.MUdali Says:

    Catholic Church is now interpret Maha Vansa. What a joke!

    Lorenzo…
    You bark so much and call me a RACIST. Have you any thing to call me like that?

    But you are always run away when questions about the Catholic Church’s support for LTTE!

    Wekipedia is not a history book.

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