Continuing the series on WHAT HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF JAFFNA- No flowers bloomed in Jaffna culture
Posted on August 11th, 2012

H. L. D. Mahindapala

 Jaffna is a narrow spit of land sandwiched between two great cultures: the Dravidian culture of S. India to  its north and the Sinhala-Buddhist culture of the south. With the gathering of the Tamil migrants from S. India   in this strip since the 12 -13th centuries Jaffna became the acknowledged centre of Tamil culture and politics. Though there were Tamil-speaking communities in the east and the central hills it is Jaffna  that gained the elevated status of being the cultural heartland of Tamils, partly due to historical and geographical circumstances and partly due to the peninsula being cut off from the rest of the nation which enabled it to keep a distance without mixing freely with the other cultures.  This isolation helped Jaffna to retain its linguistic archaisms which is rated highly as a mark of “purity” in the Tamil language. Other than that there are hardly any striking creative contributions that came out of Jaffna to make it the sole haven of Tamil culture. 

 The repeated ethnic cleansing from the pre-Dutch period right up to the time of Prabhakaran also helped Jaffna to keep the “other” at bay and maintain, as far as possible, an exclusive ethnic identity based on mono-ethnic, mono-cultural, mono-lingual factors. Its history is also littered with periodic instances of massacres, persecutions and expulsions of those who were perceived as threats to its mono-cultural rule. Consequently, Jaffna, which was a closed society, turned into an exclusive ethnic zone for the Jaffna Tamils, unlike the multi-cultural, cosmopolitan and open society of the south. It was the region that was least open to external influences. Jaffna was somewhat like the touch-me-not creeper (Mimosa Pudica, thuth-thiri (Sinhalese), thotta chinungi (Tamil)) which closes up at the slightest touch.

 Tied to the umbilical cords of S. India, Jaffna invariably looked northwards for its cultural sustenance. The geographical proximity to S. India too was also a vital factor in separating the other Tamil-speaking migrants (examples: the Tamil-speaking Muslims in the east and the Tamil-speaking Indian estate workers in the central hills) from the Jaffna Tamils. The Palk Straits that separated Jaffna from S. India, however, created an ambivalence in the minds of the Jaffna Tamils who developed divided loyalties, one with an endearing attachment to their motherland and the other resisting the invasions of the S. Indian culture polluting the “purity” of the Jaffna Tamil culture.

 For instance, during the time of Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike there was a movement among the cultural purists of Jaffna to ban the import of Tamil Nadu magazines and films with critics claiming that the flood of cheap Madras culture was polluting the  “pure” Tamil culture of Jaffna. Prof. Swaminathan Suseendirarajah (SS), an authority on Sri Lankan Tamil linguistics, commenting on this movement to keep the S. Indian cultural invasions out of Jaffna wrote: “Today in Sri Lanka a movement to foster Tamil language in every aspect independent of Indian Tamil is gaining popularity. To achieve this end some of the extremists are advocating cessation of Tamil language-link with India and even urging the government to ban the import of certain category of Tamil literature from India.” (p.21 — Studies in Sri Lankan Tamil Linguistics and Culture, Selected Papers of Professor Suseendirarajah, Sixty Fifth Birthday Commemoration Volume, 1998, Edited by K. Balasubramaniam, K. Ratnamalar and R. Subathini.)

One pre-eminent feature of the Jaffna culture has been the obsession to retain its archaic purity. This emphatic claim to be culturally “pure” — purer than the other varieties of Tamil including that in S. India — has been the sole criterion on which Jaffnaites claim superiority over the other Tamil-speaking cultures. Prof. SS states: “The spoken variety of (Jaffna) Tamil seems to have gained prestige over other varieties such as Batticoloa variety, Trincomalee variety, Vavuniya variety, Colombo variety, Moor variety etc. This has given way to a popular view in India that Jaffna Tamil both, spoken and written, is “pure”, “literary- like”, and “grammatical”.” (p.269 – Ibid).

 In an insightful passage he also states: “The Tamils in general have a great regard and veneration for the language of the past, especially for the language of the Cankam (Sangam) period. They generally believe that the present day language is somewhat corrupted and deteriorated. Even the minimum educated shares these views as a blind following of the view of the orthodox Tamil scholars.The preservation and high incidence of archaic features in Jaffna Tamil thus make them feel that it is the best among modern varieties of Tamil. They are proud of it and many scholars in Sri Lanka ( Thaninayagam 1955) and India (Meenakshisunderam 1964) have given expression to the fact that Jaffna Tamil is purer and more literary-like. Whenever decried Jaffna Tamil as inferior to Indian Tamil Jaffna scholars like Arumuka Navalar had defended and asserted a prestige position for it. Today in Sri Lanka a movement to foster Tamil language in every aspect independent of the Indian Tamil is gaining popularity. To achieve this end some of the extremists are advocating cessation of Tamil language-links with India and even urging the government to ban the import of certain category of Tamil literature from India.” (p.21 – Ibid). 

 Of all the literary values the Jaffna Tamils harp only this attachment to archaic peculiarities as a sign of their creative contribution to the Tamil language. There is, no doubt, a quaint charm about  archaic peculiarities being used in modern times. It is like listening to the guttural accents of Chaucer’s Middle English. But a living language leaves behind the archaisms and moves on to acquire new intonations, new vocabulary, new rhythms in the patterns of speech without fear of being polluted. It was not so in Jaffna. The Jaffnaites took pride in being archaic. This attachment and reliance on their past conformed to their common trait of being conservative, intransigent, and inflexible. In their minds the past was “pure”, “glorious” and most desirable and a return to the past was seen as the highest attainable peak of their culture. However, Prof. SS points out that “(A) modern linguist may like to examine the validity of some of these general statements on a scientific basis.” (p.5. – Ibid).  

 As stated earlier, the high watermark of Jaffna culture is in retaining a “purity” derived by clinging on to archaisms. Other than that there are no great contributions to the creative arts of Jaffna.  Whether in language, arts, caste, religion or everyday practices this notion of “purity” dominated the culture of Jaffna.  It gave them an exaggerated sense of superiority.  Prof. SS repeatedly emphasizes the superiority complex that emerged from the purity of archaisms prevalent in Jaffna Tamil language. The Jaffnaites take great pride of being the custodians of the archaic purity and, consequently, not succumbing to the pressures of the vulgar idiom coming from the streets. This tendency to hang on to a stagnant past as opposed to an evolving and creative modernity is hailed as a sign of “purity”. What is regarded as “purity” in archaic linguistics can also be interpreted to mean that Jaffna was resisting modern intrusions into its traditional way of life. They were like King Canute ordering the waves to roll back.  

 Receding into a time warp is rated as a positive factor that bestows superiority over modernity. But language that is locked in time is as good retreating into a black hole. Creativity comes out of leaving the dead past and leaping into an ever-changing future. Jaffna culture — in all its dimensions — has opted to recline in the past without using the past as a springboard to leap into the future. Jaffna mentality has been to cling on to the past as if there is sanctity only in antiquity. Even when they reform (like Arumuka Navalar who restructured Saivism to elevate the Vellahlas to the highest rank in the casteist hierarchy) it was to reinforce the past and not to break away from it.

 Perhaps, it is this factor that has stunted the growth of Jaffna culture. For all its boasts of belonging to the great Tamil culture Jaffna has nothing substantial  in its records to hail the peninsula as a dynamic creative centre for the Jaffna Tamils. The reality is that Jaffna has been culturally arid as its land. Though Jaffna claims to be the heartland of Tamil culture it has yet to produce something significant, or classical to stand out of the other varieties of Tamil, either local or abroad.  It has yet to produce masterpieces of value to be recognized as the fountain of Tamil arts, architecture, music, literature and other creative activities. If a Jaffnaite is put to the test and asked to cite one piece of literature, drama, poetry, music, architecture etc that could match either the Tamil culture of S.India or the Sinhala-Buddhist culture of the south  he/she would withdraw into a stunned silence like the thuthiri creeper. In other words, they have come to believe that they have a great culture with nothing to back up their claim.

In my last visit to Sri Lanka in April-May 2012, I spent some time discussing this issue with some leading Tamil academics — my good friend and colleague, Prof. S. Thillainathan, Prof. S. Pathmanathan, the historian, and later  Prof. S. Suseendirarajah — and they all agreed that the Jaffna Tamils do not have anything comparable to that of the  cultures of the Sinhala-Buddhists or the S. Indians. There isn’t a single masterpiece that the Jaffna Tamils can cite to prove that they have a great culture. When I asked professors Pathmanathan and Suseendirarajah to explain why Jaffna failed to produce a classical masterpiece to live up to its claim to be a great culture both were candid enough to say that the question had not occurred to them earlier.

 In short, despite all the claims of Jaffna Tamils to be superior they have been, like other migrant groups, mere carriers of the cultural baggage with which they arrived in Sri Lanka. The Jaffna Tamils have been mere imitators of the Tamil Nadu culture with hardly any significant variations to make it unique, or even noteworthy. At best, Jaffna culture is nothing more than a narrow rivulet that branched out from S. India and ran into a billabong in Sri Lanka. (Billabong, n. (Austral.) river branch that forms a backwater or stagnant pool “”…” p.96, The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary, Melbourne University Press, 1987)

To change the metaphor, Jaffna culture which was imported lock, stock and barrel from S. India remained as a twig that put its roots down only on the top soil in Sri Lanka without digging deep to produce any  multi-coloured, multi-scented  flowers.  Prof. Pathmanathan told me that “Jaffna culture remained at a very low-level at all times “. While the S. Indian and the Sinhala-Buddhist cultures can be compared to the “karatha-Colombu”growing vertically, skywards, into a huge, broad,  wide-spread, luscious, fleshy, juicy, fruit-bearing tree the Jaffna culture can be compared to the thuthiri creeper, moving horizontally at ground level, which turns inwards and remains closed to any outside influences. It could be argued, therefore, that the lack of creative energy has been one of the factors that has contributed to the failure of Jaffna to mutate creatively and rise above the thuthiri level. It retained the original archaisms but  failed to transform into a new fruitful plant in the new Sri Lankan environment.

 Besides, their claim to be a superior culture has to be justified along with their claim to have been the first arrivals in Sri Lanka “”…” long before the Sinhalese (?). If they were the first arrivals why  did they fail to lay the foundations of a Tamil nation from the time they arrived? Why is it that the Sinhala-Buddhists were the first to lay the foundations of their  nation from its classical period in BC and not the Tamils?  Why is it that they allowed the Sinhala-Buddhist to take over the land and why did they wake up only in the 20th century to claim territory after the Sinhala-Buddhist had cleared the ground for all comers to share the land in common? The proof that can validate their  claim to land is not in landing in boats  in the year dot, or living in pockets of settlement here and there but in creating a nation of their own.  Their politico-cultural movements indicate that they had no commitment to make Sri Lanka their homeland. If, as they claim,  they were the first settlers they had all the opportunities in the world to make Sri Lanka a nation of their own without creating Prabhakarans to run amok like Hanuman. Their thinking and their actions go to prove that they didn’t have the slightest notion of being a nation in the past and when the idea occurred to them in the forties they could only run from Vadukoddai to Nandikadal Lagoon. 

 Unlike the Sinhala-Buddhist they, obviously, had no sense of belonging to the land , or sense of destiny tied to the land. This is understandable because they were always linked to their motherland and they regarded Sri Lanka as a  convenient transit lounge to get back to S. India  as and when they please. The historical fact is that while the Sinhalese settled down as the inheritors of the good earth from the  pre-Christian era the Tamils decided to settle down as permanent inhabitants only in the 12 – 13th centuries. If they had settled down from the time they claimed to have arrived — i.e, the pre- Buddhist era — and dedicated themselves to make the island theirs they would not  have been passing the Vadukoddai Resolution in 1976 making  spurious historical claims to a land which belongs to all communities. It is after the Sinhala-Buddhists transformed the natural wilderness into a glorious civilization that they set out  to grab a share of it  claiming that they were founding fathers of the nation. 

 The failure to produce a significant Tamil culture debunks the mythology which leads them to believe that they are the creators and owners of Sri Lanka — at least a part of it. Before I go any further and run into fierce opposition from the aficionados and worshippers of Jaffna culture let me quote one of the best authorities on the subject, Prof. Sinnappah Arasaratnam, who  was the professor of history at Armidale University, New South Wales, Australia. He, in fact, has shown  an awareness of this issue “”…” i.e., the imitative and the mediocre standards of the Jaffna culture, though he does not deal with it head-on in his book CEYLON (Prentice-Hall, Inc., New Jersey, 1964).  

 The claims made by the Jaffna Tamils has left the impression in most minds that their culture is monumental enough to dwarf, or even match its two neighbours.  But Prof. Arasaratnam,  after surveying the Jaffna Tamil cultural scene, says: “No original artistic tradition grew in Tamil Ceylon. Culturally, the Tamils looked upon their arts as part of the Dravidian tradition of south India.” (p. 115 “”…” Ibid). This sums up succinctly the history of Jaffna Tamil culture in two sentences. In other words, he is saying that the Jaffna Tamil culture got stuck in a billabong, a stagnant pool, and never attained any great heights. Simply put, this means that, like most other exaggerated claims of the peninsular propagandists, there is no such thing as a uniquely creative Jaffna culture that has risen above the thuthiri level. At best, it was an imitative culture that survived on parasitic borrowings from Tamil Nadu.

 Of course, it is the common tendency of all cultures to borrow from other advanced cultures. But the genius of the borrowers is  demonstrated in innovating creatively and transforming the old borrowings into something new, something of their own. But as stated by Prof. Arasaratnam “No original artistic tradition grew in Tamil Ceylon.” There was nothing significantly different that they could call their own. There were some low-level creations that aspired to be among other works of artistic excellence. But there were no major creative achievements that would lift them above the run-of-the-mill productions. For any major achievements they had to look either towards S. India or towards the Sinhala south.  In other words, while the Sinhala south was creating a new culture the Jaffna Tamils were producing carbon copies of the Tamil Nadu culture.   

 Prof. Arasaratnam also adds: “When any major work was to be undertaken, craftsmen would be brought from Tamil Nadu. Geographic proximity and close political relations made this possible. An expert artist of Jaffna would soon cross the straits to gain wider recognition in India” (p.115 “”…” Ibid). This reveals how the geographical proximity made Jaffna dependent on Tamil Nadu for cultural sustenance. Besides, there were no prospects for a Jaffna Tamil artist to gain recognition or prosper unless he/she crossed the straits. This was demonstrated in the case of Arumuka Navalar (1822 “”…” 1879), the greatest cultural icon of Jaffna. In his missionary zeal he was the equivalent of Buddhist Anagarika Dharmapala in the south. His talent rose to new heights and gained recognition only after he went over to Tamil Nadu .

 However, in recognizing the failure of the Jaffna Tamil culture Prof. Arasaratnam sets out to explain why the Jaffna culture did not take off creatively into a higher level. He says defensively: “The Tamil kingdom did not indulge in any great architectural activity because it did not have the resources to do so. Constant fighting swallowed up considerable revenue. The temples built by the Tamils were of a medium size and in the Madura style of the Vijayanagar period. “¦..” (p.114 “”…” Ibid). This argument, as any critical historian would agree, does not hold water. It is an untenable argument advanced as an excuse to cover up for the failure of Jaffna to rise to any worthy or significant cultural heights.

Throughout history human beings have struggled to rise above the limitations of resources and other challenges posed by nature and fellow human beings. The strength of any culture is in overcoming the limitations and challenges posed by its environment. Arnold Toynbee wrote his monumental study of history on this theme of challenge and response. In his study he includes the hydraulic society of the Sinhala-Buddhists but skips the Tamils. Even Karl Marx studied the Sinhala-Buddhist society to balance his Euro-centric view of history divided into classes. When the aesthetic savant, Ananda Coomaraswamy, son of Jaffna, decided defend the arts and crafts of the traditional societies he wrote a monograph on the Medieval Sinhala Art. So where does all this leave the Jaffnaites who tirelessly boast of their great culture?  Besides, if they failed to overcome the lack of resources and rise to great heights how can they claim to have a great culture? Why did the Jaffnaites fail to rise above the thuththiri level to claim equality with its two  cultural giants in the neighbourhood?

  Does Prof. Arasaratnam’s excuse of not having resources provide the answer? A comparison with the Egyptian culture is appropriate. It is common knowledge that the ancient Egyptians “”…” in BC,   mark you, and not in the post-13th century “”…” produced monumental art, architecture, the first monotheistic religion and virtually laid down the foundations for the rise of Greek culture,  as stated by Herodotus, the father of historiography, and consequently the Western culture, from the dry sands of the desert. The pride and glory of the Egyptian culture still dominates the Saharan landscape. Jaffna, on the contrary, had far more resources than the people on the edge of the Saharan desert. So why did the Jaffnaite fail?

 Then again, take the case of Sigiriya. What resources did King Kasyappa have when he decided to transform a hard, dry rock leaping out of a  dense tropical jungle into an architectural masterpiece? He had no electricity or gas. He had no high-tech drills to bore into the rock. No cranes to lift heavy material to the top. No pantechnicons to transport raw material. No water pumps to supply water to the top of the rock. But he did it all without these resources. He may have been a parricide. But the creative genius of the people who transformed a barren rock into a palace, with luxuriant gardens and roadways,  speaks eloquently for the Sinhalese who gave birth to a new culture and civilization to the world. Kasayappa, mind you, did all this while facing the biggest political threat to his life from his brother, Moggalan, who was raising an army in India.

 The historical evidence, as it stands now, points to the naked truth that Jaffna political class ran a fiefdom without creating a worthy culture of their own. They were quite content to bask in the borrowed feathers of Tamil Nadu. Jaffna claimed greatness by climbing on the shoulders of the Tamil Nadu  giant. It neither produced outstanding local talent nor did it have an audience/market to thrive as in S. India. Its greatest cultural claim is related to the Tamil renaissance led by Arumuka Navalar.  

 The main thrust of “Tamil Revivalism” led by Arumuka Navalar was to combat the invasive forces of Christianity  threatening to uproot the Vellahla casteist culture. His answer to Christianity was to mount a religio-linguistic movement  with cadres recruited from his newly created army of Saivite Jaffna Vellahlas. It was he who elevated the Vellahlas into the highest peak in the casteist hierarchy which had no Brahmins to rule from the top. According to Brahamanism they were tabooed from crossing the sea. The greatest contribution made by Arumuka Navalar was to fill in the gap at the top by elevating the Vellahlas as the new Brahmins of Jaffna. It was this Vellahla casteist elite that dominated peninsular and national politics  in the 20th century.

 The Dutch had reinforced the legal power of the Vellahlas when they codified the customs and laws of Jaffna in the Thesawalamai. But the Vellahlas lacked moral authority to dominate the peninsula with an ideology that would validate their right to be in command as sub-rulers. Of course, they relied on casteism derived from Hinduism. But in the absence of Brahmins there was huge lacuna at the top of the hierarchy which was filled by Arumuka Navalar who anointed the Vellahalas as the substitute for the Brahmins.  Other than creating a new  Vellahla-based political culture Arumuka Navalar failed to provide any outstanding culture that could stand proudly with any other culture of the region. In fact, even his “Tamil Revivalism” proved to be an imitation of the anti- missionary movement that had run its full course in Madras.

Confirming this, R. F. Young, and Bishop S. Jebanesan who produced a well researched monograph on the Hindu-Christian movements in the 19th century in Jaffna, wrote in their book, The Bible Trembled: “Contrary to convention, we view Navalar more from a regional than local perspective, as less initiatory than remarkably well attuned and responsive to events and trends on the opposite side of the Palk Straits separating Jaffna from the Madras Presidency. Viewed from this angle, there was actually little in the northern revival that had not already appeared first in Madras or the rural districts of the mainland (e.g., Tirunelveli). Instead of the usual emphasis on what Navalar achieved in India, we stress how India influenced him. Revivalism in Jaffna did have distinctive features that will be discussed in relation to the fact of Vellala domination in North Ceylon, but the Tamil mainland was far ahead of Jaffna in giving birth to the reactionary revivalism of the 1840s.” (p.41 “”…”  The Bible Trembled, Institute of Indology, University of Vienna, 1995)

  The upshot of Arumuka Navalar ‘s “Tamil Revivalism” was to create the political entity described as “Saivite Jaffna Vellahlas” ( p.42 – Ibid ).  He revived the Tamil language by re-publishing the S. Indian classics. And he recast Saivism to give new life and power to the Vellahlas. They naturally made him the greatest cultural icon of Jaffna. He even attained saintly status in the Hindu pantheon. He is remembered and revered for the  so-called “Tamil cultural renaissance”  which has many strands including Hindu-Saivite religion, Vellahla casteism, anti-missionary campaigns, and, above all, oppression of the non-Vellahla castes. The ruling  elite of Jaffna,  their religious and secular institutions, their politics and culture rode on the backs of the oppressed low-castes for survival.

 When the Vellahlas were facing threats to their established culture it was Arumuka Navalar who stepped in to reconstruct and reinforce the socio-religious casteist politics of Jaffna. His strategy was to elevate the Saivite Jaffna Vellahlas to fill in the gap created by the absence of the Brahmins. It was this Vellahla political force that reverberated down the 20th century in the corridors of power. He made his greatest contribution to the political culture of Jaffna by reinforcing the power of the Vellahlas. But his contribution to the creative culture of Jaffna was limited to the translation of the Bible into Tamil and re-printing the classics of S. India. Despite his stature in the Vellala pantheon  he was rejected by the low-castes of Jaffna as an oppressor and was  portrayed as an imitator by Bishop Jebanesan and Young.  Though Navalar is “portrayed as a triumphant human (manushya) avatar”  ( p.39  – Ibid) he was primarily an arch conservative who “ardently championed Vellahla interests and prerogatives as an integral aspect of Saivite renewal. Where the Brahmins left off he took over.”(p.40 – Ibid.) Navalar’s “arch conservative Saivism” was directed at reinforcing the power and prerogatives of the Vellahlas and “it had little or nothing to do with anti-colonial, incipient nationalism,” (p.42. Ibid)

 The Tamil renaissance that the Jaffna Tamils boast about is primarily a Vellahla movement which was essentially political than cultural.  This was inevitable because it was headed by the dynamic Vellahla guru, Arumuka Navalar. His way of redefining Jaffna had a lasting impact on the socio-religious politics of Jaffna. He revised the Hindu ideology to arbitrarily elevate the Vellahlas who, as Sudras, were  the lowest in rank in the classical Hindu hierarchy. He alone is responsible for giving a face-lift to the Vellahlas as the anointed successors to the Brahmins. As stated by Young and Jebanesan the “northern revivalism became largely an affair of the Vellahlas, the dominant, land-owning, cultivator caste from which, as (Prof. K.) Sivathamby has effectively argued, revival had inevitably to originate. “¦.This was the caste to which Navalar belonged, and he ardently championed Vellahla interests and prerogatives as an integral aspect of Saivite renewal. Where the Brahmins left off, he took over.” (Ibid “”…”p. 40).

 Taken as a whole, there are no visible, outstanding  or memorable achievements of an autochthonous or indigenous culture that came out of Jaffna. Jaffna, for instance, was the fist to get a printing press but it failed to produce memorable literary works of art. Poets, novelists, dramatists, thinkers, artistes who have led cultural movements, either as individuals or as creative schools, are present only at a low level, nothing higher than the thuththiri creeper. Arumuka Navalar, the literary lion who helped to translate the Bible, was a “revered pioneer of Tamil renaissance who saved (Tamil) classics from passing into oblivion in an age infatuated with English”¦.” (ibid “”…” p. 40). His contribution boils down to ferreting out the old Tamil classics and using the new medium of the printing press to republish them to awaken the Tamil consciousness. Clearly, the Tamil Revivalism that is talked about so effusively is all about reviving the old Tamil classics. Throughout the history of Jaffna there is hardly any creative literature that stands out as an original contribution to make Jaffna culture shine as a cultural  shrine.

 Take also the other example of a Jaffna Tamil literary icon, C. W. Thamotherampillai. He too was noted for collecting and editing the texts of antiquity. Navalar and Thamotherampillai were engaged with the antiquarian zeal of reviving the old classics. The Ceylon Patriot, a newspaper published in Jaffna, wrote (4/4/1874) : “In Madras there is not a house he (Thamotherampillai) has omitted to visit (except of course the residences of the hateful Christians)”¦”¦to collect information. Upon one sacred person he has been in attendance 30 days, fanning him and performing such menial services, simply to get an old book from him.” (ibid “”…”p.155).

 Obviously, these two pioneers went in search of old classics in India because nobody was producing any new classics in Jaffna. Reviving  the old classics was also a politico-cultural reaction to combat the invasions  of the Western culture. Resisting invasive Western culture with the native culture was the standard reaction in  the colonies. But  Arumuka Navalar, who was the leading light of the anti-Christian movement, did not have  a home-grown culture to resist the foreign invaders.  He had to borrow from Madras all the literature he could to  inspire and lead a new wave of anti-Christian, anti-Western forces undermining the traditional base of Hindus. He also needed a new army of dedicated followers to  fight the Christian missionaries gaining ground by the day. It was at this critical point that Arumuka Navalar anointed and elevated the “Saivite Jaffna Vellahlas” as the bulwark  to resist the invasions of Christianity.

 It was Arumuka Navalar’s army of “Saivite Jaffna Vellahlas” who took command of Jaffna and directed its  political agenda right  up to Nandikadal Lagoon. His first political acolyte was Sir. Ponnambalam Ramanathan, who won his first seat in the Legislative Council through Navalar’s backing. The elevation of the Vellahlas to the status of the Brahmins seemed to be a good idea at the time it was done. What Navalar did not know was that he was giving birth to a self-destructive force. They were obsessed with grabbing power and territory and not in creating a humane culture. In a land without a creative culture Arumuka Navalar is hailed as the unrivalled icon. But his transportation of classical texts from S. India did not raise Jaffna from the thuththiri level to the heights of “Karatha Colombu” (the dark-skinned juicy mango). In reality, his movement reinforced the  thuthiri culture,  which consistently withdrew inwards to defend the dying, decadent casteist Bastille of the Vellahlas. 

25 Responses to “Continuing the series on WHAT HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF JAFFNA- No flowers bloomed in Jaffna culture”

  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    Small correction:-

    MAHINDAPALA !!! Mimosa Pudica…. Touch-me-not……is…… NIDI KUMBA……… in Sinhalese…. and not Thuthiri.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    ALL Tamil culture is IMPORTED from Tamil Madu!!! NOTHING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is generated in SL!! Just like the Tamil ethnic group.

    SL DOES NOT HAVE and NEVER HAD a Tamil culture. They ALWAYS IMPORTED it from Tamil Madu, India.

  3. Geeth Says:

    Dear HLDM,
    Isn’t that so strange to see the dead silence maintained by Tamil racist writers and commentators regarding your series of articles decisively challenging their fake history, comparing to their deafening uproar s retorting to every sigh and fart coming from the south related to the word “TAMIL”? It is even stranger to note that because this article series is slowly but steadily removing each and every bricks and stones of the shit castle of the fake Jaffna Tamil superiority. They know it better than us.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    Even the word THAMIL is an IMPORTED word.

    Jaffna is the closest place in the island to TAMIL MADU making it easy for illegals to migrate here from caste infested Tamil Madu.

    Cheap Indian imports.

  5. RANKUS08 Says:

    This is another brilliant note by Mahindapala to prove the “emptiness’ of Tamil racists. Their claims to the land of Lanka or any part of Lanka is not based on any historic or verifiable fact. Dr Kingsley de Silva discussed the issue
    in his book ‘ the separatist ideology in Sri Lanka:” the traditional homelands ” of the Tamils. Mahinda explores skilfully another important area. HE QUESTIONS THE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LAND OR THE CULTURE BY THE TAMILS. It is a basic fact to recognize the contributions made by a community /an ethnic group to their society/land to measure the depth of their culture.

    Unfortunately , the Tamils of Sri Lanka had been show casing the South Indian literature, music, dances , architecture etc or copying them and presenting them as Tamil contributions -factually, not Sri Lankkan Tamil input!- while attempting in every turn to run down the Sinhalese, (remember , Ponnabalams’ supremacist bragging). Is it due to the fact that the Tamil (mainly invading forces) had no substantial settlements in Sri Lanka before the Dutch period? Was it due the fact that Velllahals , the dominating group in the absence of Brahmins came to Sri Lanka during the Dutch period as indentured labor for Tobacco cultivation.? Why didn’t the Brahamins
    come to Sri Lanka?
    In any case , Mahinda has opened the doors for historians to FIND OUT WHY SRI LANKAN TAMILS FAILED TO CREATE THEIR OWN CIVILIZATION WHILE THE SINHALESE MARVELED? We will be able to discover the true story and expose the MYTHS IN THE BOOKS OF RACIST SRI LANKAN TAMIL HISTORIANS who attempt to ‘create’ a
    history and their followers who are desecrating W’pedia and other foreign sources proving lies and myths about
    Sri Lankan history. Perhaps, Mahinda’s article should spur a dedicated group to correct the intellectual dishonesty of racist Tamil scholars.
    THANK YOU , MAHINDA

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    Finally K’nidhi’s TESO has gone ahead.

    They have found a new nonsense – May 17th (BOWEL) Movement :))

    Toilet Nadu and bowel movement! No bad.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Effigies of Sambandan and K’nidhi have been BURNT in Colombo.

    Well done!

    Burning effigies is a south Indian practice and that makes it all the more good because they understand it.

    I wish it were not just their effigies. :))

  8. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Eelam is mentioned in the very oldest Babylonian inscriptions. Southern Elam was known as Anshan from the earliest times to the days of the Persian empire. Long before the rise of the city of Babylon the old city-states of Accad and Lagash held for a time part of the Eelamitic territory, and border warfare was very frequent. In 23rd century BC, Eelamites conquered the city of Ellasar (Larsa) and the whole of Babylonia. Eelam offered prolonged resistance to the Assyrians in the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Assurbanipal crushed and annexed Babylonia, put an end to the independence of Eelam itself by taking the capital Susa in 645 BC and making the whole country one of his many provinces. After the downfall of Assyria, northern Eelam became subject to the victorious Medes, and later southern Eelam was occupied by the Persians.

    According to the Tamil Dictionary published by University of Madras, Eelam is a Pali word – not a Dravidian word!!! Eelam has the same meaning as Hela and Sinhala!!!!

    Sihala is attested for the first time in present day Andhra Pradesh to refer to a Buddhist temple meant for monks from Sri Lanka in the 3rd century AD. Hela is a derivation of Eela that it was Prakritized as Sihala and eventually Sanskritized as Simhala in the 5th century AD.

    Not only Eezham, Eelam, Cilam, Chilam, Eelavar, Eela, I’la, Lemuria, E’lu, He’la, Seeha’la, Simha’la and Sinhala cognates, but so are the Greek “Salai” and “Seiladiba”; the Arab “Serendib”; Portuguese “Ceilao” and the colonial “Ceylon” cognates.

    Also Eelam is a word used exclusively for toddy beginning from the common era up until the medieval period. Eelavar in South Indian medieval inscriptions refer to the caste or function of toddy-drawers. Eelavar is a caste of toddy tapers in the southern parts of present Kerala.

  9. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Until the 9th century AD, with the exception of the megalithic remains of Pomparippu and the possible exception of those of Kathiraveli, there is no definite evidence regarding and Dravidian settlement in our country.
    It is possible that there were some Tamil settlers in the Batticaloa district from the 13 century AD onwards.

    Several writers on the history of Jaffna, basing their studies on the traditional legends found in the late Tamil chronicles, have put forward certain theories claiming the establishment of Tamil settlements in Jaffna in the period of the Anuradhapura rulers. These theories are not accepted by serious students of history as they are not based on trustworthy data. Many of these have been convincingly dismissed by scholars in recent years.

    According to the Pali chronicle the port of Jambukola (Camputturai), on the eastern cost of the peninsula, was the main port of embarkation to Tamralipti in Eastern India from at least the time of King Devanampriya Tissa (250-210 BC). The two embassies from the island to the court of Ashoka embarked on their voyage from Jambukola. Sangamitta arrived with the Bo-sapling at this port.

    The Samudda-panna-sala, commemorating the arrival of the Bo sapling, and the Jambukola Vihara were built there by Devanampriya Tissa. The northern most part of the island was under the suzerainty of the Anuradhapura king in the 3rd century BC and that Buddhism had begun to spread by that time in that part of the island as in the other parts.

    The language of the gold plate inscription from Vallipuram, the earliest epigraphic record discovered in the Jaffna peninsula, is the early form of Sinhalese, in which inscriptions of the time in other parts of the island were written. Sinhalese were settled in the Jaffna peninsula, or in some parts at least, in the second century AD. There were Tamil speaking traders in the port of Jambukola but there is no evidence that points to Tamil settlements in the peninsul a at that time

    The gold plate from Vallipuram reveals that there were Buddhists in that part of the peninsula in the 2nd century AD. At the site of this inscription the foundations are in the premises of a modern Vishnu temple. There is little doubt that the Vishnu temple was the original Buddhist monument converted in to a Vaishnava establishment at a later date when Tamils settled in the area.
    Such conversion of Buddhist establishments into Saiva and Vaishnava temples was a common phenomenon in the Jaffna peninsula after it was settled by Dravidians.

    In the premised of another Vishnu temple at Moolai were discovered some ‘vestiges of ancient remains of walls’ and a broken sedent Buddha image. Again in a Saiva temple at Mahiyapitti a Buddha image was found under a stone step in the temple tank. A lime-stone Buddha image and the remains of an ancient dagaba were unearthed at Nilavarai, in Navakiri.

    Among the debris were two sculptured fragments of shaped coral stones with a stone railing design. The dagaba can be dated at least to the 10th century AD. Near these ruins are the foundations of an ancient building and in the middle of thesis a modern Shiva temple. The old foundations are those of the vihara attached to the ancient dagaba.

    Buddha images have also been discovered in Uduvil, Kantarodai and Jaffna town. Kantarodai has yeilded very important Buddhist establishment in the region in early times. Such artifacts as the glazed tiles and the circular discs discovered here have helped to connect the finds with those of Auradhapura.

    The Sinhala Nampota, dated in its present form to the 14th or 15th century, preserved the names of some of the placed of Buddhist worship in the Jaffna peninsula, Kantarodai is mentioned among these places. The others are Nagakovila (Nakarkovil), Telipola (Tellippalai), Mallagama (Mallakam), Minuwangomu Viharaya (Vimankaram). Tanjidivayina (Tana-tivu or kayts), Nagadivayina (Nakativu or Nayinatovu). Puvangudivayina (Punkutu-tivu) and Kradivayina (Karaitivu). Of the Buddhist establishments in these places only the vihara and Dagabo at Nakativu have survived to this day. It is justifiable to assume that the Nampotalist dates back time when the Buddhist establishments of these places were well known centres of worship. This was probably before the 13th century, for after this date the people of the Jaffna peninsula were mainly Saivas.

    In the Anuradhapura period, and possibly till about the 12th century AD, there were Buddhists in the Jaffna peninsula.

    Although it may appear reasonable to presume that these Buddhists were Sinhalese like those in other parts of the island, some have tried to argue that they were Tamils. While it is true that there were Tamil Buddhists in South India and Ceylon before the 12th century AD and possibly even later, there is evidence to show that the Buddhists who occupied the Jaffna peninsula in the Anuradhapura period were Sinhalese.

    The toponymic evidence unmistakably points to the presence of Sinhala settlers in the peninsula before Tamils settled there. In an area of less tha 2,500 sq km covered by Jaffna peninsula, there occur over a thousand Sinhalese place names which have survived in a Tamil garb. The Yalppana-vaipava-malai, the Tamil chronicle of Jaffna, confirms this when it states that there were Sinhalese people in Jaffna at the time of the first Tamil colonisation of the area.

    The survival of Sinhalese elements on the local nomenclature indicates a slow and peaceful penetration of Tamils in the area rather than violent occupation. This is in contrast with the evidence of the place names of the North Central Province, where Sinhalese names have been largely replaced by Tamil names. The large percentage of Sinhalese element and the occurrence of Sinhala and Tamil compounds in the place names of Jaffna point to a long survival of the Sinhala population and an intimate intercourse between them and the Tamils.

    This is also, borne out by the retention of some territorial names, like Valikamam (Sinhala- Valigama) and Maratchi (Maracci-rata), which points to the retention of the old territorial divisions and tell strongly against wholesale extermination or displacement of the Sinhalese population.

    In the 9th and 10th centuries some villages in Rajarattha accommodated Tamil settlers but these were by no means numerous. There were many Tamil settlers in the Jaffna peninsula or in any part of the island other that the major ports and the capital city before the 10th century. The earliest evidence regarding the presence of Tamils in the Jaffna peninsula is from the Tamil inscription of Parakramabahu I (1153 – 1186) from Nainativu. Evidences also point to minor settlements of Tamils in important ports as Mahatitha (Mannar) and Gokanna(Trincomalee) as well as in Anuradhapura There were Tamil traders in the ports of Jambukola and Uratota, in the Jaffna peninsula.
    The Sanskrit inscription from Trincomalee, discovered among the ruins of the Konesvram temple, refers to a personage names Cadaganga (Kulakkottan) who went to Ceylon in 1223. The inscription is fragmentary and is engraved on a part of a stone door jamb. Among the decipherable words is the name Gokarna, the ancient name of Trincomalee and the root from which the name of the temple is derived (Gokarnesvara).

    In the Tamil Vanni districts only a few Dravidian style Saiva temples of the 13th century have been found. Among these the temples at Tirukkovil, Kapuralla, and Nallatanni-irakkam and the Saiva remains at Uruttirapuram and Kuruntanurare notable. These certainly indicate the existence or Tamil settlements in those places in the 13th century.

    Materials from Buddhist structures were used in the building of Saiva and Vaishnava temples. Monumental remains of a different type attest to the destruction wrought by the invaders and the conversion of Buddhist institutions in to places of Saiva worship, effected by the new settlers. The many scattered ruins of Buddhist monasteries and temples all over the Vanni region preserve the memory of the Sinhalese Buddhist settlements that once covered these parts.
    Several of the pilima-ges (image houses) attached to the monasteries in places like Kovilkadu, Malikai, Omantai, Kankarayan-kulam, Iracentiran-kulam,Cinnappuvaracankulam and Madukanda were converted into Saiva tempels, often dedicated to Ganesha.
    Buddha images or inscribed slabs from the Buddhist structures were used to make the Ganesha statues.
    A number of small Saiva shrines have been found in association with Buddhist remains. The destruction of several of the Buddhist edifices and the conversion of pilima-ges into Saiva temples may have begun at the time of Magha.
    In the North Central Province on Minneriya Road, close to Polonnaruwa, were discovered a few Saiva edifies which were build of materials from Buddhist structures.
    A door jamb from one of the Saiva shrines there was found to bear part of an inscription of Parakramabahu 1.
    A broken pillar shaft with Sinhalese writing of the tenth century was recovered from the enclosing wall of another shrine.
    In one of the Vishnu temples of Polonnaruwa, fragments of Nissankamalla’s stone inscriptions were found. In the same place, two fragments of a broken pillar with Sinhalese writing about the 10 century AD served as steps of one of the Vaishnava shrines.
    A pillar in the mandapa of Shiva Devale # 5 at Polonnaruwa was discovered with a Sinhala inscription of the 11th century AD on it. In Shiva Devale # 7 a square stone asana with an inscription of Nissankamalla was used as a base for a “Lingam”.
    Another of the Saiva shrines unearthed at Polonnaruwa yeilded a pillar with a Sinhalese inscription of Jayabahu 1.

    The invasion of Kalinga Magha with the help of Kerala and Tamil mercenaries was far more violent than the earlier invasions. Its chief importance lies in the fact that it led to the permanent dislodgement of Sinhalese power from northern Ceylon, the confiscation by Tamils and Keralas of lands and properties belonging to the Sinhalese and the consequent migration of the official class and many of the common people to the south western regions.

  10. Geeth Says:

    Thanks “Dayabara” Nalliah,
    In Sinhalese ‘dayabara’ means love and compassion, something that you posses but Tamil racist Ealamists still lacks and must learn to cultivate for themselves.

    Unable to prove their point in the ownership of the land in the land-dispute case presented before the global humanity, the Tamil pacha historians have found two scapegoats. The first is associating the Palaeolithic and Megalithic remains found in Sri Lanka to the Tamils. Although these findings cannot be relegated to later concepts of race and culture, still shamelessly they do it. Not only that, some sections in Elam history school going even further to suggest that the ‘Vaddas’ are early relatives of Tamils in the island. The second is the suggestion of Tamil Buddhist presence in the north of the island.

    So according to them, Kuvani was a Tamil. If Kuvani was a Tamil, then Yakshas must be a Tamil tribe. Then Ravana becomes a Tamil king. But pre Mahavamsa chronicals revel that Pandukabhaya, a Yaksha prince, dispatched his militaries to attack Vijaya clan via a vast swath of paddy fields. Most probably they must be the present day rice bawl in north western province close to Yodha wewa. Pre Mahavamsa chronicles even further revels that Kuvani was spinning cotton on the bank of a large water sheet (a reservoir) when Vijaya encountered her for the first time; therefore these inhabitants of the land at the time were civilized and had already possessed the technology to build man made reservoirs. These features were not part of the Tamil country in India. And all the words used in paddy cultivation to the date, are in Elu origine, and not Sanskrit, Prakrit or Tamil origin. For example, Niyara, Vee, Kumbura, Dakathi, Udalu, Kamatha.

    If Yakshas were Tamils, the technology of reservoir building must have been there in Tamil country as well. Then the words of oldest agricultural activity must have some resemblance in Tamil language. But there is none.

    On the other hand, no doubt that associating these prehistoric remains with Sinhalese or Tamil must be so unscholarly thing one can do. But the suppositions one can bring into the argument is that, “since there is no historical evidence to prove that another race was chased away from the land that is under our investigation, these early remains must be the early evidence of the true inhabitants of the island continually lived up until to the date. Without doubt, they are Sinhalese. Coming into this conclusion serves the truth and brings peace between these two races. But a lot of money there to prevent this happening. And the Elam culprits are not really chasing peace or truth either. They are in a mission of land grab. So like a plaintiff bogusly claiming the ownership of a land in a court case, Tamil Elam historians are trying to create fake evidences. But each and every time they have end up in vain unable to contest the historical truth.

    Palaeolithic period means we are talking about a period approximately about 2.5 million years ago. That’s why I argue that our contentions of racial connection to these remains can be only suppositions. For me it doesn’t even matter if they were Sinhalese or Tamil. What actually matters is that the island called Sri Lanka existed for time immemorial immediately next to Tamilnadu and its people maintained a distinct culture within its landmass from north to south and east to west, without doubt – different to that of Tamil culture in the South Deccan. None can challenge that truth. Even Dollar/Euro driven charlatans in history departments of universities, or even they dump Euros in truck loads into this research, they cannot challenge the simple truth that the Sinhalese never came to this island from elsewhere but they were there.

    If Upsala University’s Peter Scholk likes people to prove otherwise, they have to find answers to some crucial questions, which they have failed so far. But some day in future they might be successful in this pursuit, because with auspicious support of Colombian ruling class, the Sri Lankan universities have stopped generating new generation of historians with necessary historical knowledge and research capability. The Colombian ruling class has put full stop to it to make sure that the Elam history wins in future. Is the present government ready to change the educational policies and curriculum of schools and Universities?

  11. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Since we do not have lions or tigers in Sri Lanka we should have KOTIYA in our national flag and not lion or tiger.

    A leopard subspecies – Panthera Pardus Kotiya is native to Sri Lanka and it is the country’s TOP predator. The correct Sinhala term for leopard is KOTIYA.

    The term Diviyā was in use for centuries in Sri Lanka to refer to smaller wild species of the cat family such as Handun Diviyā or Kola Diviyā. The correct Sinhala word for tiger is Viyagraya. Mistakenly we started to use Kotiyā to mean tiger and Diviyā to mean leopard.

    To complicate and confuse the matters , Tigers led by Veluppillai Prabhakaran who were also known as Koti (the plural form of Kotiyā) – once ranged widely across Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka, now extirpated from Sri Lanka.

    Ceylon Lion – Panthera leo sinhaleyus is only known from two teeth found in deposits at Kuruwita in Ratnapura District. Based on these two teeth, a well known naturalist Mr P.E.P.Deraniyagala erected Panthera leo sinhaleyus in 1939. Mr Deraniyagala did not explain explicitly how he diagnosed the holotype of this prehistoric subspecies as belonging to a lion, though he justified its allocation to a distinct prehistoric subspecies of lion by its being “narrower and more elongate” than those of recent lions in the British Natural History Museum collection. According to Mr Deraniyagala, Panthera leo sinhaleyus was endemic to Sri Lanka, became extinct prior to the arrival of culturally modern humans about 40,000 years ago. There is insufficient information to determine how it might differ from other subspecies of lion. Further studies would be necessary because it is extremely difficult to differentiate a canine tooth of similar species of animals. Even the Ratnapura rainforest habitat is most suited for tigers than lions.

    In 1982 a sub-fossil right middle phalanx was found in a 17,000 years old prehistoric midden at Batadoma in Ratnapura District and tentatively considered to be of a tiger. Tigers arrived in Sri Lanka during a pluvial period during which sea levels were depressed, evidently prior to the last glacial maximum about 20,000 years ago. Since Sri Lanka was separated from the Indian subcontinent by rising sea levels in the early Holocene, now there are tigers in Sri Lanka.

  12. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Since Sri Lanka was separated from the Indian subcontinent by rising sea levels in the early Holocene, now there are NO tigers in Sri Lanka.

  13. Dham Says:

    NT,
    Do you know the history about Kalawedda ?
    After the tigers became extinct, kalawedds seems to have assumed tiger duties !

  14. lingamAndy Says:

    NT,Dham
    End of the day my Lankan brothers We both community live together last thousand of thousand of years & will live together another thousand of more years !!!
    only What We present Lankan can do is make any help to other people living in mother lanka !
    rest is all in thier hand when to start fight again !!!
    to stop this fight for ever only one solution unit in diversity – No short cut !!!
    bring Mahaweli to KKS & bring Yaldevi to Hambanthodai ( than to south end Dodumuna)

  15. lingamAndy Says:

    or one more permant solution can be achieved !!!!!
    MR should call for Dinner at Alari malikai the following people !
    RW , Sajith P,Sampanthan, Mano G,etc& All head political Pukkus, & Jvp ETC….
    once the finish their dinner take them in a room beat them until their become unconsist (may be use Pirambu(cane))

    Next day We will get solution ( won’t be no problm their to solve) !

    Can MR DO?

  16. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Dear Dham

    Paradoxurus Zeylonensis (Golden Palm Civet), Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus (Asian palm civet / toddy cat) and Viverricula indica (small Indian Civet / rasse) are collectively called Kalawedda in Sinhala and Maram Nai in Tamil.

    Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus (Asian palm civet / toddy cat) is a member of the Viverridae family native to South and Southeast Asia. We call the Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus species Uguduwa. The terms Uguduwa and Kalawedda are used interchangeably to refer to Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus. Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus known to steal it from the buckets of the toddy tappers.

    Kalawedda is also used to refer to Viverricula indica (small Indian Civet / rasse).

    We also have an endemic civet species called Paradoxurus Zeylonensis (Golden Palm Civet). We call Paradoxurus Zeylonensis species Pani Uguduwa, Sapumal Kalawaddha, Ranhothambuwa or Hotambuwa.

    The term Hotambuwa is also used to refer altogether a different species Herpestes smithii (Ruddy Mongoose) too since it is mistaken as Paradoxurus Zeylonensis due to similar appearance and colour.

    Do not confuse Kalawedda with Uruleva (Viverricula indica mayori / ring-tailed civet) which inhabits jungle and scrub jungle.

    We also use use the names like Balla, Buuruva, Gona, Uruleva and Kalawedda to degrade our opponents.

  17. lingamAndy Says:

    Nalliah Thayabharan
    I can not believe You have this much of knowledge about Srilanla ( I thought you are one of those cut & pate writer)!
    Excellent! keep it up !

  18. Fran Diaz Says:

    First, we thank HLD for this series.

    If ever Sri Lanka adopts another National Flag, (I doubt we will), we ought to have the Lotus Flower enclosed in a Circle instead of any animal figures. Colors can be Red, Blue & Yellow with some white.

    To be pragmatic about false claims to Sri Lanka ownership, we should have permanent garrisons by armed forces (coastline as well as various inland posts) and this must be enshrined in the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

    The other factor is to make sure that all Illegal Migrants are deported (there’s plenty of them here particularly from the times of ltte rule of the North and East), with small District Citizens Committees formed to ensure this, on a permanent basis. As matters stand, Sri Lanka is being used, particularly by Tamil Nadu illegal migrants, as a sort of trampoline to jump to other more affluent countries ( mostly since 1983 Riots which were a planned affair for that very purpose) . Has anyone taken a closer look at the boat people bound for Australia as Asylum seekers ?

  19. Lorenzo Says:

    But we never call people Kalawedda in public during election time, especially when the person calling another by these terms is contesting the election!!

    Sambandan is a Kalawedda.

  20. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Dear Fran Diaz !
    How about peafowl instead animals?

  21. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    “Tamil Exclusiveness” concept is one of the root causes for ethnic tension in our motherland. This is like someone saying that “Tamils are Tamilizing Sinhala areas of Wellawatta”. Mono ethnic enclaves should not be encouraged. That’s the reason to non-tolerance of other cultures. Everyone should have a common Sri Lankan identity. Sri lanka is for every son and daughter of the soil, whether speaking in English, Tamil or Sinhala. Equality,liberty and freedom to exercise one’s religion, language and culture is all that matters.
    Time has come to stop all this nonsense of being Tamil and Sinhalese. We are all Sri Lankans and Sri Lanka belongs to all its children. Every Sri Lankan citizen has to be treated equally, should be allowed to move around freely without any restrictions and when they do so they should be encouraged to procure these assets at market prices. If the Tamil speaking Sri Lankans can live other parts of Sri Lanka, then why Sinhala speaking Sri Lankans don’t have the same right.
    Sri Lanka is a free country; Anybody from Dondra Point should be able to live in Point Pedro and vice versa as well. Co-inhabitant is the best solution to national integrity and makes different ethnic groups to understand each other. Now that the Tamils are relocating to Canada, UK, Australia etc Sinhalese should relocate to the vacant areas left by the Tamils. In Singapore EIP – Ethnic Integration Policy – is enforced to balance ethnic composition.
    Any Sri lankan should be able to live where ever they want, as long as the law of the country is respected and followed.
    When racists use “Tamil Areas” it implies that there are some areas exclusive for Tamils.Do people call Kandy, Nuwaraeliya or Milagiriya Sinhala Towns? Why this ethnically designated towns only in the North? Who ‘colonized’ Wellawatte and Milagiriya?
    Tamil speaking Sri Lankans know that Sinhala speaking Sri Lankans are great neighbours and even better than German, French, Italian or British. Tamil speaking Sri Lankans are living in harmony with Sinhala speaking Sri Lankans in the South. Given that millions of Tamil speaking Sri Lankans are living in the South and South is too cramped with people so we must say it is okay to allow new settlements (no matter what language they speak) in the North and East. While population of the rest of the country increased rapidly, with some once small towns like Galle and Matara becoming mega cities with population bursting at the seams, the population in the North has dropped by more than half.
    There are no ethnic homelands in Sri Lanka – only Sri Lankans and Sri Lanka.Please do not create mono ethnic enclaves.

  22. lingamAndy Says:

    mono ethnic
    Please accept Srilanka ( Sri , Lanka , lion , Bhuddha, etc etc…. Our mother lanka is mono ethinic land long long time ago !!!

    like Lorenzo say , live with us our get the hell out !!! simple solution
    as a Tamil person I may not live what he say , what I accept what he saying is right in our mother lanka !!!

    unit in diversity , no short cut !!!!

  23. Lorenzo Says:

    Unity in UNITARY SL or DEATH to those who disagree by the beach!

  24. lingamAndy Says:

    Lorenzo-Agrred you mean Nanthikadal !!!
    UNITARY SL – in mono ethnic !!! open you eye if you have ???

  25. Fran Diaz Says:

    Nalliah,

    Must we use animal symbols at all on a future flag of Lanka ? Peafowl are also animals. The Peacock designs were used in the AirLanka emblem at one time, and that was quite appropriate as a ‘symbol of flying’.

    Anyway, we doubt very much that any changes will be made to the Lanka flag, now or anytime in the future.

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