Home grown Tun Sinhale in place of Externally imposed disastrous Provincial Councils?
Posted on November 1st, 2012

Dr. Sudath Gunasekara (SLAS) Former Permanent Secretary and President Senior Citizens Movement Mahanuwara.  24.10.2012.

3 Rata Sabhas (Ruhunu, Pihiti and Maya) with 3 Governors and 3 Chief Ministers and 150 Ratasabha members

 Instead of 9 Governors and 9 Chief Ministers, and 638 parasitic Provincial Councilors ?

 And saving nearly Rs 600 Billion a year for the development of the country,

 Currently wasted just to upkeep Provincial Councilors, their kith and kin and this monstrous and wasteful system (absolutely no benefit to the country) that take the country and the nation down the Gadarene slope for total disaster?

Many readers of my articles on Tun-Sinhale proposal- have requested me to show the proposed “Tun Rata” Divisions on a map and the details of the proposed machinery of governance I propose to replace the present 9 Provincial Councils.  I am herewith attaching a map showing the Tun Rata and the 27 Administrative Districts suggested along with other details.


               Tun-Sinhale- The world’s oldest Political Division

The moment I say Tun Sinhale, the Tamil and Muslim communal politicians will cry Sinhala chauvinism and Sinhala Buddhist extremism. But I must emphatically say that their assertion is absolutely baseless. Because there is evidence to prove that the word Sinhale had been used to designate this Island even long before the arrival of Vijaya and it has nothing to do with the Sinhala ethnicity as against Tamil or Muslim ethnicity. This country has been known by three names from very ancient times, namely Lanka, Sinhale and Tambapanni and the people who inhabited it were known as Lankans or Sinhalese.

From times immemorial it treated the whole country and its territorial waters as one State with a strong government at the centre supported by three semi-independent regional political entities. Thereby simultaneously it preserved both the territorial integrity of the Island nation and the regional identities of each region of the Island. It took in to account regional variations in both physical and cultural factors. It is also important to note that the early rulers of this Island were obviously fully aware of the vertically arranged resource dependency, in addition to regional cultural variations, between the different altitudinal zones of the country and also the inseparable relationship between natural environment and development, which the present generation of politicians and administrators has miserably failed to comprehend. That is why the ancient people perhaps guaranteed that each Rata extends from the high hills up to the very sea thereby ensuring integrated and balanced development. Each of these Ratas also had its own physical and cultural individuality that warranted separate treatment. The boundaries between these Ratas were also natural and fixed on the ground and as such there was no room for boundary disputes either.

Tun Sinhale is the world’s oldest political division in the world. It had been permanently marked on ground in 427 BC by King Pandukabhaya with village boundaries laid all over the Island, though the divisions had been conventionally accepted for millennia even before. The 427 political division of the Island continued for 2242 years up to 1815 AD as the three political Divisions of this Island with minor changes in size and boundaries, with the latest from 1505 to 1815 as the Kandyan Kingdom and the Maritime Provinces identified with the advent of the Europeans.

Ancient Snskrit writings and works such as Puranas have used the word Lanka and Sinhale to refer to this Island. Lanka denotes beauty or serendipity. It also connotes the meaning centre. Harhsadeva wrote “ƒ”¹…”raman teshyamiti Lanka.” Thus according to Harshadeva it is called Lanka owing to its beauty. Vahnipuranaya also compared it with the Amarawathi of Sakka full of all wealth and happiness. It also says Yakkas are the chief inhabitants of this Island. Terms like Serendib, Ojadeepa, Waradeepa (The noble Island) also mean more or less the same thing. On the other hand Lanka also means the centre. For example ancient Indian astrologers wrote “Lankiyati Bhumadye ankiyatiti Lanka” which means it is so called as it is situated at the center of the earth.  Among other writings that support this notion are Garudapuranaya, Bhagawath Champu Ramayanaya and Magha Ramayanaya. Garudapuranaya and Jotistathvaya have used the word Sinhala. These sources referring to the people on the Island had said “thath dviipavasin Sihalan”- those who live on that Island are Sihala. Terms like Ceilan, Ceilo Ceylon, Salike, Silan, Siladib, Silan, Singaldib and even Ilam (in Tamil) are all derived from this name. All this means the land of the Sinhala people.

This I think is irrefutable evidence to say that this country had been known both as Lanka and Sinhale long before the arrival of legendary Vijaya in 543 BC and also to prove that all the people who lived here were called Lankans or Sinhala. Thus from time immemorial this land had been known as the Land of the Sinhala people and Lankans. Lastly the term Taprobane in Ptolemy’s work owes its origin to Tambapanni. The word Tambapanni had been used in Garudapuranaya and also in Valahassa Jatakaya.

Tun Sinhale is therefore not a new concept or a new proposal either. In fact this political division goes far back in to antiquity to about 5000 BC. According to Utarakanda of Ramayanaya the first wave of immigrants who belonged to the Yaksha tribe came to Lanka from north-west India. They were supposed to be a group of people who left Mohenjodaro (5000 BC) due to Aryan invasions. Malyawantha, Sumali and Mali, the three sons of Sukesh a Yaksha tribal leader, were the first three rulers who consolidated their power in Lanka. Malyawantha the eldest ruled as the king over the Pihitirata with his capital at Lankanpura. Sumali ruled over Ruhunu Rata as a sub-king with his capital at Mahiyangana or Nagadeepa and Mali ruled as a sub king over Mayarata Rata with his capital at Tambapanni may be under different names. This geopolitical division of the Island got permanently established on ground from 427 BC with Pandukabhaya marking the village boundaries over the whole Island and it continued up to 1815 AD in one form or the other.

This is how Mahavamsa records this episode.

“ƒ”¹…”Dasavassabhisitto so gamasiima nivesayi Lakadeepamhi sakale Lankindo Panukabhayo’ (MV.X.103). King Pandukabhaya attained the throne in 432 BC.

Therefore this could be considered as the oldest geopolitical division in the world. This idea also tallies with the notion that the first “Democratically elected King” (Mahasammata) Manu was sworn in, in Lanka with his capital at present Mannarama. The Yaksha tribe was later joined by others like Raksha, Deva and Naga, together who formed the Sivhela which was subsequently became Sinhala. Heladiva appears to be older than both Lanka and Sinhale It comes from haleo-Sun. In this sense Heladiva means the Land of the Sun. Siv+Hela means the four tribes of the Sun Island. Probably after the arrival of Vijaya-a Prince of the Sinha clan from India they would have adopted the word Sinhela which later became Sinhale-meaning the land of the Sinhala people.

It is within this geopolitical framework (Tun Sinhale) we reached the zenith of civilization in the post 427 BC period with fame that spread in all corners of the orient as well as the occident. The destinies of this Island nation have been shaped during the twenty-four centuries prior to 1815 within this geopolitical framework. I do not think any other country in the world can boast of such unbroken political continuity or stability within one single political map. As such arguably it is a time tested geopolitical division and therefore today, under the present situation too, it presents the ideal model of geopolitical division for the country for effective, sustainable and just governance.

Under this system, even though persons belonging to different ethnic groups were resident in different parts of the Island throughout history, the whole country was treated as one Kingdom and one nation with three political Sub-Divisions, which were called Ratas. The country was known as “The Sinhale” or Lanka. Those who came to the Island from time to time as traders (especially Arabs) and descendants of invaders and captives (South India) got permanently acclimatized and absorbed in to the local socio-cultural milieu as Lankans or Sinhalese.

This was the position up to the 2nd March 1815. The Rajarata continued to be the main seat of power almost four 20 centuries until it was shifted to Gampola in the mid-14th century. The King of Anuradhapura was usually acclaimed as the King of Lanka. While he directly ruled Rajarata, the viceroys or sometimes Regional Kings who swore allegiance to the King of Anuradhapura and paid their dues as well ruled over the other two. Under this system Sri Lanka was one Kingdom and one nation with maximum devolution of power to the Sub-Kingdoms, as they were known then. For those who cry for a federal system of government for this country this could be cited as one of the earliest examples of a “federal state” known in the world. So why not adopt it now.

The Best Devolution Model for Sri Lanka

It is in this backdrop the following proposal is made with the best of intentions with a view to rescuing the country from this tragic situation by bringing all communities together as one nation. In order to achieve this noble goal, it is suggested that we go back to the re-establishment of the ancient Thri-Sinhale with boundaries as shown in this map. This division will ensure equitable distribution of resources among the three units (land, water, coast line and even people), restore ethnic reconciliation and firmly establish a permanent geopolitical framework that will once and for all put an end to the present political crisis and lay the foundation for re-building a strong and vibrant nation state. This I am confident will provide the golden key to the portals of a prosperous and peaceful future Sri Lanka.


Under this proposal the Island will be divided in to three regions called Rata, namely, Ruhunu, Pihiti and Maya. Each Rata will have nine districts. There will be a Rata Sabha for each Rata headed by a Governor appointed by the President of the country. The Administrative Capital of the country could be located in Mahanuwara on a ground carved out from the three Ratas with the present Mahanuwara city as the nucleus. Mahanuwara Division could be taken as the 28th District. But it will be independent from the other 3 Ratas. However this District will also have its representation in the National Assembly. The number of representatives assigned to this district will be 6. It will also have one senator. Three members will represent this district in the 3 Rata Sabha. This arrangement will strengthen the inter-state relationships. Each Rata Sabha will have a council of Ministers headed by a Chief Minister and it will have bout 50 MPP elected by the people to represent the districts. (This can vary).

The Executive Presidential system will be abolished under this system. An Elected Prime Minister shall be the head of the cabinet and a cabinet of Ministers not exceeding 15-will advice and assist him. It is proposed that the three Chief Ministers of the three Rata Sabhas should also be included in the national Cabinet as Ministers without portfolios of the central government to ensure better coordination between the center and the Rata Sabhas. The Parliament shall not have more than 125 MPP to represent the 28 districts. Provision could be made within this system to accommodate representation in respect of minor ethnic groups. The Commissioner of Elections to determine the allocation of seats for different districts based on population and area.  The Parliament of Sri Lanka should be vested with the supreme power of governing the whole country. Devolution of power to Rata Sabha should be confined only to running their local affairs.

The President should not be immune under the law of the country. He should be equal before the law like any other citizen.

In addition to the House of Representatives and the three Rata Sabhas there shall also be a Senate of 31 members, 28 representing the 28 Districts and 3 to be nominated by the President to represent the 3 Rata Sabha in order to enlist the services of the best talented men in the country to run the affairs of State. This will make the total number of politicians 310 for the whole country instead of nearly 900 at present. This 310 will include The President, The Prime Minister, and 14 Cabinet Ministers, including the 3 Chief Ministers, Rata Sabha Ministers, MPP of Parliament, Rata Sabha Members, three Governors and the 31 Senators. Drastic reduction of politicians and superfluous political and administrative institutions in this country is a crying need to reduce waste and cost of governance. It is important to note here that even the United Kingdom has decided to reduce the strength of its Parliament by 100 members.

At present there are 225 Members of Parliament, 109 Ministers of the Central Government (as at today), 638 Provincial councilors, 9 Governors, 9 Chief Ministers, 882 politicians.(Add Pradesiya Sabha members here ).Under the new proposal this will be brought down to 310 as stated before, and as such there will be a reduction of 572 politicians. These 572 parasitic politicians thereafter could engage in some productive work that will benefit the country. This will reduce the maintenance cost of politicians at least by 65 %. One can just imagine the amount of money that could be saved as a result. Pradesiya Sabha Members and Members of other local bodies like Municipal councils and urban councils who will be retained in any case, even under the new system are not counted in this context.

This of cause is only an outline proposal. Details of the demarcation of boundaries and the modus operandi of the system have to be worked out in the event of this proposal being accepted by the authorities. The most important thing here is the acceptance of the concept of the Tun Rata Division in principle in place of the existing disastrous Provincial system as the best solution to unite all Sri Lankans as one nation. It also entails a new Constitution that should be based on the indigenous traditions, customs, values and governing patterns where rulers, statesmen and public servants of the Dharmasokian tradition will be enthroned in the seats of power.

The proposed model will benefit the country in the following manner.

The proposal will,

  1. Firmly establish a sound geopolitical framework that will consolidate the political map of the Island that conforms to regional physical and cultural differences and lay the foundation for re-building a strong and vibrant nation state.
  2. Provide a framework for maximum devolution of political power to the periphery that will bring about better democracy to the people and ensure balanced development.
  3. Stop ethnic segregation and promote ethnic and regional harmony that leads to national integration. It will also put an end to all agitations for separate and independent Tamil and Muslim political entities and induce them to think and behave as full citizens of this country without allegiance to India, Arab or any other country.
  4. Do away with the Provincial Council white elephant and reduce the number of politicians and superficial politico-administrative institutions and so-called public servants to a workable and economic minimum that suits the country, thereby saving billions wasted at present to maintain a ceremonial, corrupt and wasteful system.
  5. Drastically cut down the Government expenditure and make available more funds for national development that will improve the standards of living of the common people.
  6. Put an end to colonial administrative and political legacies that nurtured ethnic polarization and a divide and rule policy that seriously hampered the forward march of the post-independent Sri Lanka and open up new vistas for a united and prosperous new Lanka.
  7. Ensure fair and equitable distribution of resources among the regions and promote maximum regional development.
  8. Provides a political framework where all people will begin to think firstly, as members of a Rata (either Ruhunu, Pihiti or Maya), and secondly, as one nation instead of the present tendency of thinking as Sinhalese (Low country and Kandyans), Tamils or Muslims etc.
  9. Restore the lost core historical, political, cultural and economic heritage of the people of this Island nation and lay the foundation for future political stability and socio-economic prosperity.

10   Put an end to the curse of provinces that were designed by the British to divide this country on ethnic grounds and the Provincial Councils forced on us by India to achieve its siniste   objective of creating a Tamilnadu within this country.


14 Responses to “Home grown Tun Sinhale in place of Externally imposed disastrous Provincial Councils?”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Sudath Gunasekara,

    I agree with the system but with all due respect DISAGREE with PIHITI RATA.

    Please add KURUNEGALA and PUTTLAM into it.

    Otherwise Tamils will be the majority in it which makes TNA powerful.

    10,11,12,13 – UNP, SLFP voters
    14 – SLMC, TNA, UNP, SLFP voters
    15,16,17,18 – TNA voters

    Jaffna has the LARGEST population and controls the balance.

  2. Dham Says:

    Agreed with LorenZion.
    Instead of Kala Oya, you must take Deduru Oya as the boundary.
    Do not forget the most important issue. Cannot make any communty except Sinhala the majority in any of the Rata.

  3. Kit Athul Says:

    Lorenzo, this is a living document like the SL constitution, therefore it is open for discussion and changes as time passes by. Dr. Sudath has spent most of his time showing the value of Sinhala state. Rajapkse adminstration MUST now appoint a commission to prepare a discussion document from which a proper constitution amendment MUST be created. I think now if, there is a big IF the 13 A is nullified every one will have a general idea and what will replace the Provincial Counciles. This is an excellent piece of work and must be recognized. Comment witers must not allow DIS-Information saboteurs to confusue the issue.

  4. Dham Says:

    But What LorenZion pointed out is important. Fine tuning is required.
    I doubt Maharaja will listen to this though.

  5. Ratanapala Says:

    Thanks for all the analysis. Too much analysis without action will definitely lead to paralysis. As mentioned earlier the most opportune moment for abolishing the accursed 13th would have been immediately after 19 May 2009. At that time the political minds got muddled with Raja Pissuwa, but even now it is not too late. What is important is FEET ON THE GROUND! We need more Sinhala people moving into their historical lands in the North and East. Politicians must make conditions favourable for this outcome.

    Tamils and Muslims freely move in the rest of the island buying and settling down in choice land without any restrictions; buying with money they earn by retail selling – mostly Sinhala produce!

    Settlements must be allocated in Government land for people to settle in. This is the highest priority. The present problem is that even though the North and East are sparsely populated – on a percentage basis within provinces the Sinhala presence is minuscule; This is the result of genocide of the Sinhala people during colonial times and also the destruction of their livelihood by the destruction of the rain fed irrigations systems. This was complimented by the appointment of Tamils Administrators who literally made some of the Sinhalese to be Tamils. At present their are many ethnic Sinhalese who have been Tamilized. Hence names like Herath Mudiyanselage Nathan etc.

    Once there are people on the land it will be difficult for any power to deny their presence. This is exactly what the Tamils did during the last 250 years. Most of the Tamils now living in the North and East are recent additions to these areas and most are those that came from South India to tend the tobacco plantations in the North and East. They are the predecessors of the Indian Tamil population in the hill country. Highly concentrated coastal population that lived only a few miles off the seaboard have been averaged over the entirety of districts to show a majority presence in the area.

    It is high time we got out of analysis- paralysis and got to get FEET on the ground. This means not only people moving onto the North and East, but also clamouring for their rights. It is the complacency of the Sinhalese and their belief that their political leaders will look after their rights that has got us into this situation. Countries like Malaysia got these things sorted out from day one!

    It is time the Sinhalese started to fight for their rights with feet on the ground! Oh how we miss the likes of Anagarika Dharmapala, Ven Madihe Pannaseeha Mahanayake Thero and Soma Hamuduruwo!

  6. Lorenzo Says:


    Sure. It is a very good start.

    EVERY rata should have a Sinhala majority in such a way that HALF of that is MORE than Tamils and Muslims combined.

    e.g. If a rata has 50% Sinhalese, half is 25%. Tamils and Muslims will be 50% which is more than 25% and NOT acceptable.

    Mathematically, EVERY rata should have MORE THAN 67% Sinhalese.

    Why? Because they are DIVIDED between UNP and SLFP but others are less divided.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    The Thun Rata system worked fine prior to Colonisation. It may work now too with some shifting of areas here and there, for instance, Trinco & Jaffna should both NOT be included into Pihiti. It would be better for Security issues to include Trinco in Ruhuna ? In everything, SECURITY should receive top priority.

    Sri Lankans will have to be patient re Changes. Right now GoSL is busy trying to get off the UNHRC Human Rights hook plus setting in place the Divinaguma Bill in formulating alternate forms of governance (to the 13-A).

    The trouble in Lanka is that some folks oppose some proposed Changes for the better, and are busy looking after their own needs & needs of other countries rather than taking care of the existing Sri Lankans !

  8. HussainFahmy Says:

    New Division For Greater Dominance or a Possible Reconciliation of All Communities Treated as Equals. Only Time Will Tell.

  9. Marco Says:

    Sudath great analysis and i agree with Ratnapala too.
    I would go even further by saying any “Immigrant” illegal or other wise born after Independence are given what i called “Alien Citizenship”.

  10. Kit Athul Says:

    Lorenzo, thanks for challanging the dis-information. No RATA should have a Tamil or Muslim majarity, but their vallagses should function as muslim villages and a certain pecentage (decided by the parliament) of land should be assigned to Sinhala majority regadless of the religion. All the Islands in the North must have SL Naval presence and VIDIO Surveillance with a Lion Flag. in the center. Navy must monitor 24 / 7 at a central location where high speed attack boats are readily available to arrest any one entering the Sand Islands. HussainFahmy will not like it but, this is Sinhala land and not for Palestinians or Turks.

  11. Kit Athul Says:

    Marco, good suggestion. There should be another catagory “Tamils born abord with affiliations to anti-Sri Lankan associations” they must be clarified as “persona-non-grata” and must be arrested on arrival at any entry port.

  12. HussainFahmy Says:

    Absolutely right, I would not like it for the simple reason; human nature fights back Dominance of all sort. No community or faith can dominate another and those who try would extinct themselves over time. History should be a guidance to the present and future. I consider myself a citizen of the World with affiliations to those who seek good and forbid evil. Our actions are held accountable.

    The theme to work with –


  13. Dham Says:

    Kit Ayya,
    Why Tamils only ? There are others who have been brainwashed by Wahabis.

  14. Dham Says:

    If proper expressways are built, there is no need to have Tun Sinhale – Just one “SInhale” will do.
    Even 3 is a waste of time, money and lives for such a small country.
    What is required in proper governance whether maha sammatha of chula sammatha manu.
    Make a one nation which speak Sinhala , while all culatures and colour should be preserved and encouraged.

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