Anthropological affiliations of the Pre-Vijayan and Post-Vijayan peoples of Sri Lanka.
Posted on May 20th, 2012

R Chandrasoma

That we do not have a satisfactory account of the physiognomy or salient physical characteristics of the ancient peoples of Sri Lanka is a fact few would dispute.  It is possible to have a rich description of the doings and actions of ancient peoples without a physical description of the actors  that goes beyond the banal and the commonplace. What kind of people were the inhabitabts of Sri Lanka immediately before the Vijayan “ƒ”¹…” invasion’ some five centuries BC? Here “ƒ”¹…”kind’ refers to a biological variant at the sub-specific level within the ruling type Homo sapiens. While the latter had out-survived the competing archaic forms of the pre-human kind, there was much intra-specific evolution leading to a considerable diversity of “ƒ”¹…”racial’ types in widely-separated regions of the world. That Africa was a great centre of  anthropogenesis is a well-established fact. Less well known is the fact that the Indonesian and North-Australian territories were also important centres of late anthropogenesis at a time when the Palaeartic and African regions had lost the evolutionary momentum they displayed at an earlier period. The recent discovery of Flores Man “”…” an extraordinary variant of the genus Homo –  powerfully buttresses the thesis that novel kinds of humans evolved in this region and spread “ƒ”¹…”locally’ with considerable success.

Strange though it seems, the Indian subcontinent was not a centre of active anthropogenesis “”…” it “ƒ”¹…”received’ people from dynamic centres of evolution in other parts of the world “”…”notably from South- East Asia and the Northern Eurasian land mass – but produced nothing distinctive of its own.  Thus, the population of this large land mass is the result of the fusion of intruders of diverse kinds. It is significant that  the intruding populations were largely bereft of the distinctive Negroid element that characterized the populations of Africa. The key to this puzzle is that the “ƒ”¹…”Negroids’ of Africa “”…” in strong contrast to the ancient peoples of South-East Asia – were not sea-farers and had no ability to cross oceans. Needless to say, the same population dynamics that shaped the ethnic profile of India had its parallel in Sri Lanka. The fact that Sri Lanka is an “ƒ”¹…”exposed island’ in the Indian Ocean did lead to differences, but these were minor.

From East Asia, two clearly defined anthropological variants enterd the Indo-Sri Lanka region “”…” The Australoid and the Negrito. Thes ancient peoples had some resemblance to the classic Negroids of Africa “”…” but were phylogenetically distinct. Their heavy skin-pigmentation and aspects of body form were evolved in parallel to suit comparable conditions of life across tropical landscapes and habitats. Let us take the Australoids first “”…” they were dark brown to black in skin colour but did not have the fuzzy hair of the true Negros. Their hair was straight or wavy as in the Caucasoids. They had broad flat faces, broad noses, shelf-like brow-ridges and protruding jaws (prognathism). The thick everted lips of the true negros were not seen in these aboriginal Asians. Their cranaial capacity was below the contemporary norm  (about 1400 cc). Culurally, they were at the hunter-gatherer stage with no built accommodation, no settled agriculture and no fabricated appliances except of the most rudimentary kind. The Aboriginals of Australia are the archetypical representatives of this group. Pre-Vijayan Sri Lanka had a significant part of its population formed of these early people “”…” called Veddhas in historical writings.

The Negritos of South East Asia form an ancient racial archetype that differs significantly from the Australoids “”…” their hair was fuzzy or crinkly and their skulls “”…” while sharing most of the primitive features of the Australoid skull “”…” was “ƒ”¹…”foetalized’ to some degree as these people we pigmy-like and lived in dense tropical forests. It is most likely that the Pre-Vijayan populations of Sri Lanka nad a significant Negrito population that lived “ƒ”¹…”outside history’ in the remote forests of our ancient land. (“ƒ”¹…”Nittavo‘ – a legendary pigmy race mentioned in the folk-lore of the Sinhala people.) Despite the legendary allusions to the Veddhas in the Mahavamsa “”…” about their bastard origins following the misalliance of Kuveni and Prince Vijaya “”…” it is clear that while these people, too, stood “ƒ”¹…”outside the mainstream of history’ in being confined to their forest fastnesses , they did mix with the “ƒ”¹…”civilized’ majority and their ancient genes are found significantly in contemporary populations.

Who, then, were the civilized autochthons of Pre-Vijayan Sri Lanka? By employing the epithet  “ƒ”¹…”civilized’ the following is implied “”…” settled agriculture with beginnings of crop-management and irrigation; the construction of semi-permanent dwellings using materials such as mud and wattle; the use of fabricated utensils such as fired or sun-dried pottery and the domestication of buffalos and the like. While the word “ƒ”¹…”town’ may be inappropriate, these people lived in villages with (perhaps) a rich social life and had practices that we would recognize as “ƒ”¹…”religion’ “”…” the worship of Gods, placatory rituals to ward-off unknown evil forces etc. Let us use the term “ƒ”¹…”Dark Caucasoid  or Indo-Caucasoid  to denote these first “ƒ”¹…”advanced’ inhabitants of Sri Lanka. How can we characterize them anthropologically? They were very far from the ancient racial archetypes mentioned earlier “”…” the Veddhas and the Negrito. They were part of the Early Semitic people who lived in a great arc extending from Mesapotamia to Peninsular India. Thses people were advanced in cranial architecture “”…” resembling the peoples who are now widespread in the Middle-East. In passing to India through its Eastern flank, these Early Semitic Caucasoids mixed with archaic breeds of mankind already settled on the Sub-Continent and, thus,  blunted somewhat the true profile of the archetypal Semitic stocks. South India today is awash with racial types that are a mixtures of the archaic, the Semitic and the so-called Aryan “”…” the late invaders of the Indian region.

Let us turn to Sri Lanka. We stated that the “ƒ”¹…”civilized’ Pre-Vijayans were Dark Caucasoids with close links (anthropologically) with the ancient Semitic races of the Middle East. The first impulse is to relate these people directly with the mixed Semites of South India. That some of the South Indian mixed Semites crossed over to Sri Lanka is indubitably true. It appears, though, that much of the original population of Lanka crossed its historic shores as stranded sea-farers. The Veddhas are related to the peoples of the Andaman Islands and it it is not farfetched to suppose that “ƒ”¹…”island-hopping’ was the mechanism of dispersal of the archaic peoples of South-East Asia. The Fiji-Papuan group of peoples are to this day excellent navigators and their skills in boat-building and the exploitation of sea-routes for “ƒ”¹…”colonization’ are well known. The impact of this understanding of the “ƒ”¹…”naval capabilities’ of ancient Asian peoples must not be glossed over – it is the realization tha the continental outpost of Sri Lanka with a great ocean around it was a prime terminus for sea-faring “ƒ”¹…”adventureres’ of all kinds. That the earliest peoples of our Island “”…” the Australoids and the Negritos “”…” reached it by this “ƒ”¹…”ocean route’ is very likely “”…” Indeed, that Southern India obtained its ancient peoples by this route is quite evident when we compare the the archaic populations of the Sub-Continent with their counterparts in South-East Asia.

Let us turn to the Dark Caucasoids “”…” the advanced variant of Homo sapiens that overran the Mediterranian region and had its representatives reach distant India and Sri Lanka. These people did not cross the great mountain-barrier to the North to enter Peninsular India “”…” they most certainly used the sea-route and settled the castal regions bordering the Arabian Sea. They “ƒ”¹…”expanded’ to the hinterland in the East and set up such urban show-pieces  as witnessed in the conurbations of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.

We shall not pursue matters further connected with our great neighbor to the North. The important issue is the origin of the Pre-Vijayan Dark Caucasoids that introduced the finer arts of agriculture and good living into an Island heretofore the abode of such primitive races as the Veddhas and the pygmoid Negritos. Apart from skills in the artifactual, we must suppose that the Pre-Vijayan Dark Caucasoids had attained a degree of spiritual sophistication that made Totemic worship, prayer and identification in spirit with the departed  possible “”…” hence the totemic groups such as the Nagas and Yakshayas chronicled as the “ƒ”¹…”indigenes’ at the time of the Vijayan invasion’

Let us turn to the Vijayan Invasion that is widely regarded as the great turning point in the history of our Island. The classical description has it that “ƒ”¹…”Aryans’ “”…” a fair-skinned race from Nothern India led by a royal vagabond over-powerd the primitive indigenous groups living in Sri Lanka at the time and usherd in an era of power and splendor in a place heretofore benighted and unknown. This is the kind of mythological foolery commonly seen in all ancient histories. That there was such a “ƒ”¹…”landing’ of “ƒ”¹…”royals’ of some kind may be true “”…” but such “ƒ”¹…”landings’ must have been commonplace gven “ƒ”¹…”porousness’ of our coastline and the happy location of our Island for early navigators hugging the coast. The Vijayan Invasion is symbolic of many that occurred in the course of our long history.

The key question that must be answered in this context is the following “”…” was it the case that Vijaya and his accompanying cohort differed anthropologically from the Dark Caucasoids already established in Sri Lanka? Here the issue of Aryan identity is relevant and must be briefly touched on. We spoke earlier of the Indo-Caucasoids  with Semitic affinities as the chief ethnic component of the populations in Peninsular India. Contemporaneous with these peoples (around 2000 BC) there lived in the steppes of West-Central Asia nomadic tribes of a vigorous disposition that were, perhaps, descendents of a Cro-Magnon Stock that dominated parts of Wester Europe prior to the Last Ice Age, Physically, these people were large, fair-skinned  and with “ƒ”¹…”dolichocephalic’ skulls with  a high forehead, prominent aqualine nose and a well-formed chin without prognathism, They had wavy head-hair that was less pigmented than the standard among the Afro-Asiatic races. Blue or  brown corneal pigmentation was the norm, They were commonly hirsute unlike the Mongoloids. This is the archetype “”…” but we find in practice a “ƒ”¹…”gradient’  or “ƒ”¹…”cline’ when these classic “ƒ”¹…”North European’ peoples mixed with the Semitic races to the South. This “ƒ”¹…”mixing’ or intermingling of racial traits was seen  in a classic form when the so-called “ƒ”¹…”Aryans’ crossed the nothern mountains  to enter the Indian Peneplain. A cline was established “”…” extending from the original homelands in West-Central Asia to the Sub-Himalayan regions of the Indian Subcontinent, At the upper end the native peoples are to this day “ƒ”¹…”Nordic’ in appearance “”…” fair-skinned, blond-haired and with a physique that is distinctively European, The denizens Afganistan, the Pushtans and the Northern Pakistanis belong to the upper end of the “ƒ”¹…”cline’ we referred to. They are the “ƒ”¹…”Aryans’ spoken of in the  classical literature.

We are not concerned with the cultural issues arising from this “ƒ”¹…”clash of Civilizations’ in the distant past. Our present concern is with the “ƒ”¹…”racial type’ of the Vijayan entourage that entered Sri Lanka aroud 5oo BC “”…” were they fair-skinned and blue eyed? This supposition is absurd as the regions of East Bengal from where the invaders came were substantially down the cline we referred to and were hybrids with mixed features. Indeed, these adventurers would have been very much like the contemporary upper-class Indians of the foothills of the Himalayan range. Why is the label “ƒ”¹…”Aryan’ used by these mixed people as a badge of higher status?  It has to do with consanguimity and caste. The upper classes were fairer than the indigenous “ƒ”¹…”Dark Caucasoid’ people and the “ƒ”¹…”Nothern connection’ “”…” the Aryan link “”…” was a badge of status for the nobility.

We return to Sri Lanka. The Vijayans may, indeed, have looked very different from their contemporary islanders because of their fairer skin, elegant body build and cultural sophistication vis-ƒÆ’†’ -vis the established native races. It is the suggestion that the latter were rude aboriginals that must be rejected. The White Iberians who invaded South America and destroyed its advanced civilization were treated as God-like by the natives who were overawed by their killing power despite the barbarous nature of their ways. Something as dramatic did not happen in Ancient Sri Lanka but the myth that the so-called Aryan Invader made short work of the rude indigenes of lower stock must be dismissed as historical fiction. Ancient societies become stratified after alien intrusions and this is what happened on a grand scale in India and, to a lesser degree in ancient Sri Lanka. The invading stock “”…” if culturally aggressive and well-armed “”…” rewrites history, relegating the indigenes to positions that do not reflect their true contribution to the building of a nation.

As stated before, North Indian adventurers “”…”and, indeed, adventurers of all kinds “”…” must have found the Island favourable for “ƒ”¹…”putting down roots’ and contributing to the “ƒ”¹…”gene pool’ of this exposed Island. Let us take the case of the South Asian Mongoloids who contributed significantly to the “ƒ”¹…”gene-pool’ mentioned above. The South Asian Mongoloids “”…” better known as Malays “”…” differ from the classic Mongoloids of Nothern Asia in lacking the epicanthic fold of the eye and in the less florid expression of classic Mongoloid traits. They are, nevertheless quite distinctive “”…” They have reddish to yellowish skins, high cheek-bones and have only very slight body-hair. These Southern Mongoloids wer an invasive sub-species that displaced the native Papuans, Dyaks and the Australoid-Negrito stocks that were originally well-established in this vast Far-Eastern region. What is of especial interest to us is the fact that Malay sea-farers entered the southern part of our Island in substantial numbers around the 14th century when Sinhala power in the North was in terminal decline. At roughly the same time, Malay elements invaded Madagascar in the far West – an indication of their prowess as a colonizing race.

It is not necessary to enlarge on the subsequent turbulent history of Sri Lanka. Most kings of Sri Lanka “”…” these includes the early Maurayas “”…” claimed direct Aryan descent and sought strenuously to distance themselves from the mass of the common people. The Lambakanna, the Kalinga and the latter-day Waduge royalty took pride in the fact that they were exalted aliens. The Kotte Kingdom obtained its princely stock from Tamil-speaking aliens. More to the point is that vast armies from South India entered this Island from time to time when royal shenanigans created chaos in the country with foreigners across the strait (Palk Strait) arriving in large numbers to assist the local combatants. The flow was mostly one-way “”…” the aliens stayed on and contributed to the dynamic gene-pool of Sri Lanka.

This notion of gene-pool is pivotal to our understanding the racial history of the land in which we are fated to live,. There are “ƒ”¹…”races’ that are easily identified by their distinctive bodily features. Thus, the Papuans, the Malays, the Inuits, the Australian Aboriginals are physically distinguishable human kinds. That the Sinhala and Tamil “ƒ”¹…”races’ that inhabit Sri Lanka and Souther India are not of this kind is obvious even to those unversed in matters anthropological. The Sinhala people represent a mingling of the genes contributed by many an invader that has left an “ƒ”¹…”imprint’ that is difficult to identify except through an examination of hereditary traits that serve as “ƒ”¹…”markers’ of ancient affinity. In this approach, a population or a people is identified by the hereditary determiners of traits (or genes) found in a totality called the gene-pool. The marker traits “”…” such as the epicanthic fold, for example “”…” serve to identify the genetic source or “ƒ”¹…”contributor’ of this this unusual feature.  By this technique we obtain a “ƒ”¹…”snapshot’ of the  of the genetic history of a geographically isolated group.

Let us look again at the people who identify themselves as Sinhala or Sihala. There is a mode of identification based on language, religion and culture. No one denies that this has fundamental relevance to the way we look at people. Indeed the standard today is to distinguish human kinds largely on the basis of cutural characteristics except when physical traits are too obvious to ignore.  However, there is another way of racial identification “”…” the older way based on physical features, How can we employ this latter mode to shed light on the anthropological affinities of the Sinhala “ƒ”¹…”race’?  Simple as it may seem, the best method  is to look at contemporary crowds gathered at public shows such as political meetings or musical fiestas in this country.

A fact that strikes even an inexperienced observer is the great mix of physiognomies  seen in such crowds. A European crowd (at a football match, for example) show striking uniformity of “ƒ”¹…”looks’ based on a large commonality of hereditary acquisions in the history of these people. On looking at the massed facesin our country, the striking fact is that the majority belong to the Dark Caucasoid (or Indo-Caucasoid) group that is widespread in Peninsular India and is closely affiliated with the Semitic races of the Middle Asia region. Equally striking is the sprinkling of dark heavy-jowled faces with clear Austroloid links. There are also the high cheek-boned “ƒ”¹…”mongoloid’ types with reddish-yellow skins, The frank “ƒ”¹…”Negroid’ facies is rare nd so are the crinkled and fuzzy hair hair styles of the latter. Where is the Indo-Aryan element that is occasionally touted as the key feature of the Sinhala “ƒ”¹…”race’? While nowhere dominant, we do see Sinhala people with nobly formed features including a high forehead, a prominent aquiline nose, a clear and pronounced chin and cheek-bones that are not raised and flat as in most “ƒ”¹…”primitive’ people. This light-skinned racial archetype existed prior to the invasion of our Island by fair-skinned Europeans and must not be confused with the latter-day “ƒ”¹…”Eurasians’ who were confined largely to the coastal belt where there was cohabitation of the white invaders and the native. We are speaking an aboriginal light-skinned Caucasoid type that was was common in the Kandyan region during the time of Robert Knox. The latter spoke of the native Sinhala people as very close to the European in physical features. Indeed, the Sinhala people of the central and Southern parts of Sri Lanka have a large admixture of the “ƒ”¹…”Aryan Caucasoid’ while in the Northern, the North Cental and the Coastal regions of Sri Lanka this ancient Aryan element has been swamped by the Dark Caucasoid and Australoid elements. There is a a degree of social stratification in this distributional pattern in that the “ƒ”¹…”higher’ classes look more “ƒ”¹…”Western’ (and less Australoid) than the poorer classes. As in India, the caste system has thwarted the randaom mating patterns that would homogenize a population.

In conclusion, let us lay bare the main thrust of our argument – that the Sinhala (and Tamil) races of Sri Lanka do have a gentic base in that a historic mix of genetically identifiable human types “ƒ”¹…”fused’ to give a collection that had a characteristic anthropologically profile but not a “ƒ”¹…”race’ in the true sense. A genuine race has genetic markers not found elsewhere. This is not the case of the Sinhala “ƒ”¹…”race’. On the other hand, the word “ƒ”¹…”race’ can be used to denote a geographically isolated group that receives genetic inflows from outside but clings to a collective identity based on a dominant language, a distinctive culture and a will to be exclusive despite all attempts to destroy its cohesiveness, This is the true reach of the Sinhala “ƒ”¹…”race’ that has wondrously occupied with astonishing assurance a remote Island for over twenty centuries.

8 Responses to “Anthropological affiliations of the Pre-Vijayan and Post-Vijayan peoples of Sri Lanka.”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    It is not possible there was any difference in anthropological affiliations between pre-Wijaya and post-Wijaya periods. 701 persons arriving in the island in circa 543BC would not have changed anything relating to anthropology or language. They brought down around another 701 persons from either Pandava (north western India) or Pandya (south India) as consorts. If they were also north Indians, that puts their total at around 1,402 still an insignificant percentage of the population that existed then. Horton Plains, etc. are proof of a large civilised (based on agriculture) population before Wijaya’s arrival. Homo Sapiens were living in the island for 34,000 years.

    Post-Wjaya population and their language remained same as pre-Wijaya language subject to small evolutions not a change over.

    Therefore it was no Wijayan invasion but Wijayan integration.

    Mahavamsa and Mahabharata clearly mention the existence of very large populations before Wijaya. They included Yakka, Naga, Raksha, Kinnara, Deva, etc. tribes. These are called exotic Mahabharata tribes. Mahabharata also specifies where these people lived in both “India” and Sri Lanka. They were predominantly from north India. Next to no mention is made that they were living in south India.

    I doubt the Wijaya arrival was an accident. By then there was a well established shipping route between Maghadha/Orissa and northern Lanka. Happenings in Sri Lanka were well known in the Maghadha/Orissa regions. Lord Buddha came to know of an impending war. The Enlightened one travelled to the island. Contrary to folk beliefs He would have taken the ship from Maghadha to northern Lanka. Wijaya and the crowd followed this same established route. A few centuries later Sangamitta and Mihindu theros followed this very same sea route to arrive in the island.

    Mahabharata also mentions the existence of Sinhalas in Lanka long before the arrival of Wijaya. Although the events may be exaggerated, the descriptions of facts cannot be baseless.

    Lanka was (and is) no exception to all other countries in having an Indo-Aryan language. All (emphasised) the nations of South Asia have Indo-Aryan languages as their majority. India has over 80% Indo-Aryan language speakers. Sri Lanka over 85%. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan and even Maldives have 100%. It is extremely unlikely there was any language replacement in any of these landmasses at any time. Certainly Lanka was no exception as it always was a part of the region.

    Modern linguistic and to a lesser extent genetic studies have found Sinhalas more closely relate to Romani people than south Indians (Nature magazine, 2003). It also points towards a 10,000 year old connection between two Indo-Aryan speaking groups now separated by thousands of miles.

    Absurd ethnic superiority claims have distorted the word ‘Aryan’. Also the race issue. There is only one human race today throughout the world with little genetic variations. On the linguistic and ethnic front, there is a clear distinction between Aryan language based ethnic communities and Dravidian communities. All South Asia nations have an Indo Aryan linguistic majority over 80% each and there is not a single Dravidian majority nation. Prescriptively, that’s how it should remain.

  2. AnuD Says:

    Some Indian people Don’t agree to the Aryan Concept. Because, there was Harappa and MohanjaDaro Civilizations which were very well advanced. Sinhala and Tamils are not two races. Because Sinhala people are not descending from a pure race and Tamils are mixed dravideans too. There is no basis to consider genetic differences between Sinhala and Tamils. Only some Tamils, in relation to Sinhale’ North, want to consider that Tamils are unique people and they are building even Tamil names of Northern villages in a unique way. The evidence is Tamilnet.

    If you read the history, Ravana was a dynasty and was a emperor. Ravana, at one time, had rule even Kambodia, parts of Thailand etc., too

    Long ago, because of food needs, people have migrated very long distances. In that conquest, some peaceful tribes, lived along that moving route, had been vanished or modified highly by the invading tribes.

  3. Dham Says:

    There is no record anywhere that Buddha travelled in any sort of land vehicle even. He travelled by foot.
    If your thinking is right he must have walked to South India and then take a boat.
    However, ship travelling was there even in Buddha’s time clearly metioned in examples of many suttas.

    This guy Chandrasoma is so smart he concluded Patichcha Samuppada in a very short rigth up. However, to come to a conclusion of this useless argument of Sinhala race vs Tamil race he spent a lot of time and energy.

    My conclusion:
    Dhammapada verse 72. ( bala vagga)
    To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness.

  4. Naram Says:

    Sea levels were rising over the last 20,000 years with the receding polar ice caps. Crossing the sea at Mannar may have been possible by small boats.

    For example English Channel eroded away the land connection between France and Englan only 20,000 years ago. THe race concepts we understand today, when reading and writing was confined to Brahmin caste may not have had meaning to a very large proportion. Also population numbers must be weighed considering the ner geometric growth wiith time; for example in 1943 the population of Sri Lanka was 6.2 M.

  5. Naram Says:

    Sea levels were rising over the last 20,000 years with the receding polar ice caps. Crossing the sea at Mannar may have been possible by small boats.

    For example English Channel eroded away the land connection between France and Englan only 20,000 years ago. THe race concepts we understand today, when reading and writing was confined to Brahmin caste may not have had meaning to a very large proportion. Also population numbers must be weighed considering the ner geometric growth wiith time; for example in 1943 the population of Sri Lanka was 6.2 M.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    In reality, racial superiority exists only in the minds of various people. In reality, there is no ‘racial superiority’. Human beings have the same anatomy, similar feelings and emotions, eat food, get diseases, procreate and pass away. Every group has intelligent & wise people, as well as ignorant & stupid people, but every one likes to feel secure with some happiness. Each ethnic group/tribe has its standards of ‘beauty’ and what makes one ‘wealthy’ or ‘desirable’ or ‘learned’. Such standards and thinking even varies from person to person these days of mass communication.

    The global gene pool is fairly mixed up these days, and there are really no more ‘pure races’ on earth. These days different religions and languages makes up the different groups. People can shift in and out of religion & language, depending on their needs for feelings of security, job needs, religious belief systems etc.

    With Globalisation, the accepted standard to reach for is usually the western one. Weapons of mass destruction or gun in hand may create fear or security, and give a message of ‘don’t mess with me’.
    As matters stand, each country must undertake birth control/family planning as we are running of raw materials to provide the western made image of prosperity. Also, within the existing Fiscal System, goods may not sell as fast as they are produced resulting in a pile up of unsold Goods & Services. However, in a place like Sri Lanka, it would be a good thing to Modernise & Mechanise to give feelings of well being for the mass of the people.

    Adapting to existing environments in each country will ensure survival of the people of that country. After all, whatever our genes, language or religion, it has always been the “survival of the fittest”, and each group has something to contribute toward survival of a country. So the people in each country must pull together in every way possible to ensure survival as a country, as that is what really matters.

  7. sree Says:

    SriLanka geographically speaking fits like a jigsaw with the southern tip of India and furthermore, the tip of thalaimannar
    to the remnants of Dhanuskodi island is bridged by shallow waters of indian ocean, speckled with sandbars and islets of landmass
    which are results of cyclones,minor techtonic shifts and tsunamis that has shaped that part of palk strait over many
    could have swam,waded accross the waters without the help of boats or ships.We Srilankans regardless of who inhabited pre Vijaya
    or post Vijaya period is here to stay and flourish as one nation with a rich heritage of multitude of cultures,religions,caste and creed
    as Fran very eloquently conveyed a message our politicians and religious leaders should seriously bear in mind.

  8. Dilrook Says:

    I fully agree with Fran.

    There is only one race the human race. Mono ethnic racial claims of Tamil nationalists must be expelled by proving it wrong.

    It is also a fact that certain languages (not races) are Indo Aryan and certain others are Dravidian. It is not a racial division but languistic uniqueness.

    In conclusion, what R Chandrsoma concludes is agreeable. However, I must add for the reasons I have given, there could not have been any anthropological or linguistic change of people in Lanka before Wijaya and after Wijaya. Wijaya and his two seperate crowds of 701 each simply had to integrate into the existing Lankan community and not the other way around.

    The conclusion is Sinhalese (natives of the island of Hela who are made up of diverse groups of people including Arabs, Romani, Indian, Chinese, etc.) occupied Lanka long before Wijaya’s arrival.

    Sree and Naram,

    The seperation of the Indian landmass and Lanka occured long before modern humans came into being. So it is not possible for humans to have crossed over walking.

    There were times of ice ages when the water would have been shallow or even merging the two landmasses. However, given the lack of need for the small population in India to migrate to Lanka as their food, etc. needs were well looked after in the massive Indian landmass, the number of people who crossed over would have been very few. Nevertheless even at the last ice age there were no ethnic identities that emerged much later. These factors helped Sri Lanka retain a unique language and culture not found elsewhere much like the English language and culture that is distict from French.

    Once established, continued migration (as long as it is not mass colonial imposed migration) cannot change over the language and culture of an island. It only nourishes it as in English and French. Areas closer to France tend to have more of French influence just like in areas closer to India in Sri Lanka.

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