Historic Hindu Pattini claim to Madhu Church
Posted on January 23rd, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

With the recent calls to rewrite history it is no better a time than now to bring out all the hard facts that have got both hidden or buried (pun intended). Every time the topic of colonial atrocities are brought forward for debate the quick response is to claim these as history pushing to the background the crimes committed in the name of peaceful coexistence. However, when most of the laws in place today were created with the intention of putting past crimes into the background and to ensure the continuance of the reign of white rule over the rest of us given that we are all victims it is time we started to remind these very nations some of their crimes. The background of the Pattini devale is important for many reasons ” it is where the Madhu Church presently stands, the Pattini devale has a history beyond 1850 years whereas the Madhu Church is hardly 150 years old. Misappropriation of sacred sites belonging to other religions need to stop. The Church has to apologize and return the site to its original owners.

Of late the media attempts to portray the Madhu Church as being more than 600 years old which is proven an exaggeration for the Portuguese Catholics came to Sri Lanka in 1505 ” Catholic history starts after conversion of Sinhala Buddhists and Tamil Hindus. In fact a recommendation was to be made under the Ranil Wickremasinghe Government to recommend to the Vatican that the Church be sanctified as a National Basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. How historically and morally incorrect this move is to the Hindus who are well aware of the history behind the ‘Church”.

If anyone contests this claim they have to only refer to ‘Brief notice of the origin and history of the Sanctuary of Madhu” by the then Bishop of Jaffna to Mr. E B Denham who had tried to conceal that the Church was on top of the ancient Pattini Devale as admitted by British civil servant R W Levers. They would also need to refer to ‘Manual of the North Central Province” by R W Levers who says “”At the present day the offerings are generally taken to St. Mary’s Church at Madu, which is considered by the Buddhist and a great many of the Tamil pilgrims, who resort there, as the Temple of Pattini Amma (Amman Kovil).” ” these are historically recorded truths by the British themselves.


·         Portuguese Catholics arrive in Sri Lanka ” 1505

·         Dutch Christians arrive in Sri Lanka ” 1602

·         British arrive in Sri Lanka ” 1796

·         Dutch Protestants drove out Portuguese from Mannar ” 1670 (344 years ago)

·         Madhu a Catholic shrine only since 1870 (a history of 144 years only)

·         Even though the Bishop of Jaffna initiated the Madhu Festival since 1870 did not have a Church.

·         The Foundation stone of the Church was laid only in 1876. (so the Church itself is only 138 years old and thus the claims made by the late UNP Minister that the Church is 600 years old is a total fabrication). Moreover, even by 1911 there were no permanent residents at Madhu. The Census of 1911 recorded 320 pilgrims 230 of whom were Sinhalese from Colombo and the rest from Chilaw.

Hindus have greater claim

The site where Madhu Church presently stands was the original site of a Pattini Devale (later called Amman Kovil) since 114-136 CE under King Gajabahu. This means that the Pattini Devale has been where the Madhu Church now stands for 1850 years. If the Pattini Devale is no longer in its original site it is because the Portuguese Catholics destroyed every place of worship that was non-Catholic and converted non-Catholics to Catholicism. These conversions were done by force and anyone resisting faced death. We are well aware of the suffering the Catholic Inquisition since 1233 resulted for all non-Catholics and heretics and it was because the Dutch themselves were victims that they avenged the suffering they were put through by the Catholics when they arrived in Sri Lanka. The 1538 Treaty between the Dutch and the Sinhala King provided a clause to expel all Catholics.

The Madhu site is where the Hindu Amman Kovil has stood for at least 1850 years as against 144years for the Madhu Church. What needs to be reiterated and what the Catholic Church needs to accept is that the Church usurped this ancient Hindu temple, not only that they desecrated the Durgai Amman Silai and built a Catholic Church in its place in 1876 though the annual Madhu Festival has been held since 1870.

The usurping of the Hindu kovil is very much part of the inquisition objectives and a continuation of the wanton destruction of scores of temples, kovils and murder of Muslims by the Portuguese Catholics. The Church clergy may not like to be reminded that they ordered the beheading of the last Tamil Hindu ruler Sangili Kumaran and conversion of his family. Tamils should not forget that it was the Sinhalese King who sent his General to rescue the Hindu Tamils and in so doing sacrificed his life. Was it not a repetition of this very same scenario that occurred during the final phase of the war when 5000 military lives was lost to save 300,000 Tamils many of whom were possibly LTTE family members or even LTTE in civilian attire.

Therefore all Catholics in Sri Lanka descend from Sinhalese and Tamils who were forcibly converted by the Portuguese Catholics. 

At this point we need to also remind the Hindus that prior to the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505 the Sinhalese and Hindus were living amicably. It was the spectre of the arrival of the white man that brought a curse to the country since 1505.

Hindus and Buddhists became united through the efforts to bring about the anti-conversion legislation. We recall the efforts of UNP MP Maheswaran who tried his best to reconvert Tamils to Hinduism but he fell prey to LTTE’s guns.

So did 6 six soldiers who were cleaning the Madhu church premises on 12 Feb 2008. http://video.aol.com/video-detail/thalladi-church-damaged-in-ltte-artillery-attack-12-feb-2008/3333123459

While the Catholic Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka says sacred places should be kept free of violence and bloodshed we cannot but wonder why they are silent about very prominent Catholic clergy who had been and continue to be very much involved with the LTTE and their sponsors both locally and internationally. The accusation against the Church of connections to the LTTE could have been easily negated by the Church taking action against these Catholic clergy by de-robing them. The golden question is ” why has the Church not taken action against these clergy who have been very much aligned to terrorist activity.

 If Father Rayappu Joseph opened Eelam House in London, allowed the Madhu Church to be used as an LTTE office. We also recall the arrests of 3 priests on 1 February 2008 carrying suicide jackets and interrogations revealed that these priests had brought down 30 suicide cadres from Mannar to Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. These priests had even transported several suicide kits and weapons. One of the 3 arrested was a pastor of a church in Mannar. The previous year on 20 February security forces also recovered cyanide capsules and equipment from St. Mary’s Church Jaffna. What we can make out is that the Christian clergy had been used to transport weapons and explosives across the country ” this is aiding and abetting terrorism.

 What individual priests do using the cover of the religion can be effectively responded to not simply by issuing a statement denouncing the action. Given the innumerable cases of involvement by priests with a banned terrorist movement what the Church and its headquarters in the Vatican should have rightfully done was to de-robe those like Father Emmanual and Father Rayappu Joseph.

 Returning to the issue of the ownership of the Madhu site ” all that needs to be repeated is that the place is rightfully that of the Pattini Kovil of the Hindus. It is immoral for the site to be usurped and made into a Holy site for Catholics totally ignoring the history behind the site. Numerous other sites across the country where Churches stand were all formerly sites of Buddhist temples as well. The exact positions of these churches where former Buddhist temples once stood are given in the Portuguese chronicler Queyroz’s works.

 What needs to be also said is that the continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America were all invaded, occupied and systems put in place to convert the natives, kill those who refused, plunder the wealth of the lands and devise devious ways to play the natives against each other by creating sub-cultures that would create the necessary environment for these White Western nations to prevail over the ‘uncivilized’ world. Has any of this colonial mentality changed at all over the years?

 Be that as it may what needs to be said is that the very countries ignoring their own track records are dictating the rules of law to us the victims and all we can say is to return all that they took by force and level the playing field first.

30 Responses to “Historic Hindu Pattini claim to Madhu Church”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Hindus are very happy what Kasippu Joseph Goebbels is doing for the Tamil Elam cause. So they don’t mind a church occupying a temple land (as long as these bishops support Tamil Elam).

    Kannaki Amman (Pattini in Sinhala) is not a popular goddess among SL Tamils anyway. Mannar Hindus are even less followers.

  2. Ratanapala Says:

    Thanks Shenali for that very informative report. It would be good if you could do likewise with a report on historical Buddhist temples robbed and converted to Churches in the South of Sri Lanka. Throughout the western seaboard and also in the hinterland many Catholic Church sites are robbed and desecrated Buddhist temples and and other places of worship.

    This Church who violates children, launder money and take part in many heinous deeds can lie shamelessly. They pontificate to the whole world on rights and wrongs but when confronted the damage it has done to children the world over, said it is responsible only for 30 children in the Vatican State. Such hypocrites!

  3. Sooriarachi Says:

    If what Lorenzo says is correct that Hindus are happy for a Church to occupy Hindu Temple land, then why was it that the Catholics are leading the separatist movement and even Prabakaran himself changed from Hindu to Catholic? I don’t think Hindus are happy to hand over their temples to other religions. In fact they too have taken over Buddhist temples like what they did to the second Sri Maha Bodhi close to Trincomallee during Mrs Bandaranayake’s time. They chopped the Bo tree down, put concrete over it and built a Hindu temple above it. The Govt of the day ignored this for the sake of maintaining peace. (Read Sansoni Commission report)
    Anyway the crux of Shenali’s argument is why those catholic priests involved very closely with the LTTE criminal activities are allowed to carry on as priests, misleading the Tamils in to violence. In the West even paedophile priests have been disrobed, so what prevents priests transporting suicide vests and taking terrorists to other parts of the country be disrobed?

  4. SA Kumar Says:

    We Tamil Saivar & Sinhala Bhuddist are living together last 2,000 years & will live together for another 3,500 years !!! ( I read some were Bhuddisim will live in this world 5,500 years- not sure…)

    This Holy land of Lord Bhuddha is for all of us !!!

    United Provicial Council of Mother Lanka , no short cut

    Solution :Fully implement of 13A & 6A & settle 100,000 Bhuddist family in NEP !

    Any supporters for this solution ? PLEASE ATLEAST ONE CHINHALA SAKOTHARAYA !!!!

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Tamils are so damn foolish. They look at everything from the point of view of RACISM. Even elephants are racists according to them.

    13 Tamils killed by wild elephants deployed by Colombo in Batticaloa

    [TamilNet, Thursday, 23 January 2014, 23:40 GMT]

    Wild elephants that have been brought from the jungles in South to jungles close to Tamil villages in Batticaloa have claimed the lives of 13 Tamils in Batticaloa district since December 2012 to December 2013, Eastern Provincial forest officials said.

  6. Lorenzo Says:


    “If what Lorenzo says is correct that Hindus are happy for a Church to occupy Hindu Temple land, then why was it that the Catholics are leading the separatist movement.”

    Not quite true. Tamil Elam movement is led by Tamil HINDUS and TAMIL CHRISTIANS alike.

    e.g. Vigneswaran, Sambandan, Jeyalalitha, Karunanidhi, MOST TNA MPs and NPC councilors are all HINDUS.

    VP was a HINDU not a Catholic. He named his son after a Christian Tamil body guard who laid his life to save the useless life of VP. Dirty VP’s father was the main trustee of a Hindu kovil in VVT. VP’s mother’s funeral was held the Hindu way as she too was a Hindu. There are photos VP worshiping Hindu gods (Murugan mainly) and performing Hindu fore rituals. I have NEVER seen any photo of VP worshiping the cross, etc.

    Even the TIGER in the LTTE flag is wearing 3 stripes of “vibuthi” (Hindu holy ash) on its forehead! Not a cross.

    Have Hindu Tamils ever tried to dislocate this church? NO!

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    That Sharmini Serasinghe woman is now attacking ordination of young Buddhist monks.

    Her target is Buddhist and Catholic priests. Hindu and Muslim priests are NOT restricted to marry. She must be handled for the sake of RELIGIOUS HARMONY.

  8. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Jaffna Tamils lost their social culture since they started supporting political murders. Prabhakaran led LTTE was intensely fascinated by death and dead bodies. There was a lack of conviction about condemning the barbarous massacre of Buddhist pilgrims in Anuradhapura, in 1985.Tamil Diaspora is yet to reform and still suffering from victim-hood mentality.

    An important event fading from living memory is the attack on the strikers of June 05, 1947, on the eve of independence.

    The primary issue was the Left protest against the Soulbury Constitution for Independent Ceylon, for its failure to guarantee workers’ rights. Associated with it was the interdiction of T.B. Illangaratne, president, and 19 others of the Government Clerical Services Union for having held a meeting on Galle Face Green, in contravention of Public Service Regulations. 50,000 public servants prepared for trade union action.

    At this point there was a development of considerable historical interest. The State Council headed by D.S. Senanayake, the prime minister-in-making, hurriedly passed the Public Security Ordinance, taking barely 90 minutes over it. Perhaps the rulers in 1947 also thought it useful to have such an act on the statute book before independence, since, one is not surprised by such laws under colonial rule, while it would be awkward to present such legislation after independence. Interestingly, however, the most oppressive piece of legislation ever passed in Parliament – the one to make Tamil plantation workers non-citizens – could not have been passed under colonial rule!

    Following the passage of the PSO, the strikers made their way to the venue of the public meeting in Ralahamigewatte, Kolonnawa, marching through Dematagoda. The procession was blocked by the Police. Dr. N.M. Perera, the LSSP leader, went forward to Police Superintendent Robins, to explain to him that the meeting was authorized. He fell on the ground after being struck on the head by a baton, and had to run away to save himself. The Police fired 19 rounds of bullets into the strikers, killing one and injuring 19 others, 5 of them seriously.

    There were indeed many deficiencies in the Police of those times. But despite their prejudices and class affiliations, the Police as an institution had one saving grace. They were conscious of the Law as the standard and the ideal of enforcing it impartially. They were also sensitive to being seen falling short on professional standards. This in consequence had the merit of enabling the public to challenge them on the basis of the Law as the standard. But on the other hand the situation becomes quite hopeless when the Police acknowledge no standards, and for the most part become sycophants of the rulers.

    Another event in the episode of the police action in 1947 foreshadowed the future. The body of the innocent clerk Velupillai Kandasamy, who was killed by police firing, was dispatched to his family in Jaffna by the mail train. G.G. Ponnambalam, famed criminal lawyer and leader of the Tamil Congress, stood by the coffin when it was placed on the platform of Jaffna railway station. He told the crowd that had come for the occasion that Kandasamy was killed by the Sinhalese government. It was still British rule and it had not entered into the minds of the crowd that Kandasamy’s death had anything to do with his being Tamil.

    The event was reflected upon many years later by a witness to it. This was in October 1986 when crowds filed past the corpses of nine Sinhalese soldiers killed in an encounter in the Mannar District and the two captured alive. They were exhibited near Nallur Kanthaswamy Kovil. The body of LTTE leader Victor killed in the same incident was carried from place to place in Jaffna while Kittu, the LTTE’s Jaffna leader, basked in Victor’s glory. From the time Kandasamy’s body was brought to Jaffna, Tamil politics has been ‘corpse politics’ – politics for death and destruction and not for life!

    Not long afterwards, the same Tamil Congress leader G.G. Ponnambalam who said Kandasamy had been killed by the Sinhalese government joined the same UNP government of D.S. Senanayake’s to become a cabinet minister. He also lent his support to the deplorable Acts which rendered the Tamil plantation workers (of recent Indian origin) without representation. This caused a split in his party, with the faction led by Chelvanayakam, Vanniasingam and Naganathan, continuing to oppose the Acts and forming in 1949 the Federal Party. Mr. I.R. Ariyaratnam, a Left party leader in Jaffna, later asked Ponnambalam why he had after initial opposition supported the Citizenship Bills upon being made cabinet minister? Ponnambalam replied, “India is a big country 50 times our size. Her prime minister, Nehru, does not care for these Tamils of recent Indian origin. Why should I bother about them?” It was again a mindset, educated and brilliant in a way, but tragically deficient in foresight and moral sense.

    The events of those two years in the late 40s which were centred about the country’s independence in 1948, contained many presentiments for what followed in the next half-century. While having the forms of democracy and legality, it was a political culture that was manipulative with few stabilizing higher values.

  9. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    British created death cult of Wahhabism aka pseudo Salafism is a religion of tolerance ?
    Buddhist Temples have survived in Islamic countries for centuries…but they could not survive under the death cult of Wahhabism. Even Islamic religious sites could not not survive the death cult of Wahhabism which is now protected by the USA, UK and Saudi Wahhabia.
    The death cult of Wahhabi have just been revved up by the USA and their Saudi “Friends”, help to keep the “war on terror” to continue and billions of dollars are flowing into the Zionist war profiteers.
    It is not Iran that should be bombed…in Iran there are still Jews living there and praying in their Synagogues…In Saudi Arabia there is no Church, Synagogues, Buddhist nor Hindu Temple is allowed…Shia are persecuted and Islamic heritage has been destroyed there….
    Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi respected Christian and Jewish religious sites in Libya but USA-UK-French-Saudi-Qatari financed terrorists destroyed them recently.
    The Gulf Cooperation Council – a club for Wahhabi Sunni Arab monarchs — the institutional home of the counter-revolution, directed against not only Iran but also against the forces for change in the region.
    It is a fact…Americans and British are protecting Wahhabi extremists…In Syria Christians and their Churches were safe before the Westerners began sending their Wahhabi Fanatics killing innocent Syrian civilians.

  10. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    South Indian settlements were widespread in the western region and in the north-eastern coastal belt of Sri Lanka during the early period of the Christian era. They enjoyed political authority both in Anuradhapura kingdom and in other regions and played a significant role in the trade between South India and Sri Lanka.
    The development of the Dravidic tribes gave rise to Kingdoms like Pallava, Pandiya, Chola, Chera and Vijayanagara. Chola Empire was encompassed the entire region up to the Ganges in Northern India, the Maldives to the south to Malaya and Sumathra in the east.The political socio-economic and cultural impact and influence of these Dravidian Kingdoms had a lasting political socio-economic and cultural impact and influence on Sri Lanka and in the region to a very great extent.
    Mercenaries from South India settled in and around Anuradhapura from 400 CE to 700 CE when rulers of Sri Lanka brought mercenaries from South India to fight on their behalf.During the latter part of this period the Northern Sri Lanka was used as the staging post for attacks on Anuradhapura by Indian Kingdoms including Sirinaga, Manavamma and Pandyan king Sri Mara Sri Vallabhaon who attacked and took control of Northern Sri Lanka before proceeding to Anuradhapura. South Indians migrated to the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka from Anuradhapura when the kings of the second Lambakanna dynasty curbed the influence South Indians enjoyed in the Anuradhapura kingdom. In 900s CE South Indian in and around Anuradhapura had increased heavily that a levy of a separate impost had to be imposed on them.
    Magha of Kalinga of Orissa invaded the Rajarata Kingdom in 1215 CE with his South Indian troops and destroyed the economic underpinnings of the old hydraulic civilization that had been weakened by earlier Chola onslaughts. Magha of Kalinga’s invasion prompted majority of the Sinhalese of Jaffna Peninsula to move southwards. Jaffna Peninsula under Magha of Kalinga’s rule was the worst marauding regime that had existed in Sri Lanka. In 1247 CE Chandrabhanu – a Java King from the Malacca Straits region – invaded Sri Lanka with the aid of Indian armies from the Malayan peninsula and inflicted heavy damages on the Magha of Kalinga domain. Although Chandrabhanu’s invasion was repulsed in 1263 CE he managed to capture Jaffna Peninsula that were then under Magha of Kalinga.
    Chandrabhanu attacked Dambadeniya in 1258 CE which was ruled by Parakramabahu II (1236-1270 CE) but was repelled with the help of Pandyans who had developed a cordial relationship with Parakramabahu II. Pandyans allowed Chandrabhanu to continue his rule of the Jaffna Kingdom as he agreed to be a tributary to them. Place names like Chavakachcheri (Javakachcheri) denote the settlements created by Chandrabhanu.The Pandyan invasions during Chandrabhanu’s and his son’s periods brought in a fresh influx of South Indian immigrants with all their slaves and dependents who mostly settled in places like Thirunelveli, Mailiddi, Tellipalai, Inuvil, Puloli, Pachchilaippalli, Tholpuram, Koyilakandi, Irupaalai, Neduntivu and Pallavarayankaddu.
    Chandrabhanu recruited an army from South India and attacked Dambadeniya again. Parakramabahu II appealed to the Pandyan King Virapandya for help. The Pandyan king Virapandya invaded Jaffna, defeated Chandrabhanu and appointed Chandrabhanu’s son Tambralinga to the throne. But soon Tambralinga attacked Dambadeniya. The Pandyan King sent an army led by Kulasekaran who defeated Tambralinga in 1262 and appointed Kulasekaran as the King of Jaffna. Kulasekaran took the throne name Pararajasekeran and the title Ariyachakravarthi and ruled from 1262 to 1284 CE.
    Kulasekaran was succeeded by his son Kulothungan who took the throne name Segarajasekeran and ruled from 1284 to 1292 CE. Kulothungan repelled an invasion by Yapahuva king Bhuvanekabahu who tried to seize the pearl fishery in Mannar. Kulothungan’s son Vikrama succeeded him and ruled under the throne name Pararajasekeran II and ruled from 1292 to 1302 CE. Vickrama repelled insurgency by Sinhalese living in Jaffna led by Punchi Banda by beheading 17 leaders of the insurgency including Punchi Banda and arresting several others.
    Varothayan who ruled the Jaffna Kingdom under the throne name Segarajasekaran III from 1302 to 1325 CE settled the dispute between the Sinhalese and Tamils of Jaffna Peninsula by addressing the grievance of the Sinhalese. Varothayan restored the privileges of Sinhalese. Parakramabahu IV who ascended the throne in 1302, the same year Varothayan became king ruled from Kurunegala. Varothayan accumulated wealth by raiding Anuradhapura, exacting tributary payment from many minor rulers in Vanni and north central and northwestern parts of Sri Lanka and from the pearl fishery, which he dominated and fostered. In 1323 Madurai came under the Muhammad bin Tughlaq. Varothayan helped the Pandyan king during their struggle against Malik Kafur. Malik Kafur captured and looted Pandyan King’s capital Madurai in April 1311 CE and subsequently Sultans of Delhi raided Madurai.
    Marthandar Perumal, succeeded his father Varothayan in 1325 CE and ruled from 1325 to 1348 CE under the throne name Pararajasekeran III continued his father’s policy of expansion. Iban Battuda, the Muslim traveller, who had been earlier in the Delhi Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s court and had traveled through Madurai to Sri Lanka, has recorded with astonishment Marthandar Perumal’s immense wealth, the hundreds of ships that crowded the harbour and the mighty navy he had at his command. Marthandar Perumalcontrolled the northern trade routes to India and China.
    During that time Bhuvanekabahu IV who ruled from 1341 to 1351 CE shifted the capital to Gampola from Kurunegala.
    Before the early 1400s CE rise of the Vijayanagara Empire, the Yadava Empire of Devagiri, the Kakatiya Kingdom of Warangal, the Pandyan Empire of Madurai, and the tiny kingdom of Kampili had been repeatedly invaded by the Sultans of Delhi, and by 1336 CE they had all been defeated by Alla-ud-din Khilji and Muhammad bin Tughluq, the Sultans of Delhi. When the Pandyan empire in Tamil Nadu collapsed as a result of the Muhammad bin Tughlaq dynasty waves of immigrants from Tamil Nadu moved to Jaffna peninsula and Vanni.
    Marthandar Perumal’s son Gunapushanan ruled the Jaffna Kingdom from 1348 to 1371 CE under the name Segarajasekeran IV. In 1353, Gunapushanam, invaded Gampola and captured Four Korales and other northern portions of the Gampola Kingdom and had effective control over the north-west coast of Sri Lanka up to Puttalam. The King Vikramabahu III who was in power in Gampola. fled but later agreed to be a tribute-paying subordinate. Vikramabahu III’s minister Alakesvara led the resistance to Gunapushanan’s army. Alakesvara was a descendent of Nissanka Alagakkonara who came to Sri Lanka from Kanchipuram following the invasion of Delhi Sultans and embraced Buddhism and served in the courts of the Sinhalese kings.
    Though abandoned by the King Vikramabahu III, Alakesvara stayed back and took over the resistance to the Gunapushanan’s army. Alakesvara raised an army, built forts including the one at Sri Jayavardhanapura, Kotte.
    The Vijayanagar Dynasty started in Kannada speaking Mysore grew into a powerful empire within five decades and its rulers captured Madurai from the Muslim Delhi Sultan in 1371 CE and annexed it to its vast kingdom that embraced the most of the South India.
    Gunapushanan died in 1371 CE and Virothayar who assumed the throne name Pararajasekeran IV succeeded him. Upon succeeding Gunapushanan, Virothayar had to face the threats from the Vijayanagara Dynasty and from Alakesvara. The king, Bhuvanekabahu V, who succeeded Vikramabahu III in 1371 was the King at Gampola at that time Alakesvara wielded actual power.
    Alakesvara provoked the Virothayar by arresting and killing his tax collectors and by attacking the Virothayar’s army posts in Gampola and Kotte. Enraged Virothayar sent the army overland to Matale and the navy to Panadura but both army and navy were defeated Alakesvara.
    Virothayar was also embroiled the Vijayanagara Dynasty who demanded tribute from the Jaffna Kingdom to which Virothayar agreed.
    Jayaviran ascended the throne upon the death of his father Virothayar in 1380 CE and assumed the throne name Segarajasekeran V. In the meantime Bhuvanekabahu V attempted to take control of the pearl fishery and Jayaviran sent a large army to Gampola and the navy to Kotte. The army marched to Gampola and camped there. The navy landed troops at Panadura and the soldiers proceeded to Sri Jayavardhanapura and set up guard points around it. The king, Bhuvanekabahu V fled and it was left to Viravahu, son-in-law of Alakesvara to defeat the Jayaviran’s army. Viravahu captured the crown and proclaimed himself the ruler. Gunaviran who ruled Jaffna Kingdom from 1410 to 1446 CE ascended the throne in 1410 CE as Pararajasekeran V. in 1411 CE Parakramabahu VI was crowned the King of Kotte. Parakramabahu VI sent his adopted son Senpaga Perumal (aka Sapumal Kumaraya) to capture the Jaffna Kingdom. Senpaga Perumal accomplished his task in many stages. Initially, Senpaga Perumal conquered the Vanni chieftains, the tributaries to the Jaffna Kingdom. Then Senpaga Perumal tried to march to Jaffna but Kanagasuriyar who succeeded Gunaviran in 1446 CE and ruled under the name Segarajasekeran VI repelled Senpaga Perumal. Senpaga Perumal mounted a second invasion in 1450 CE which succeeded. Kanagasuriyar fled to South India with his family.
    Harihara II, the second son of Bukka Raya I of Vijayanagara Dynasty consolidated the Dynasty beyond the Krishna River and brought the whole of South India under the Vijayanagara rule. The next ruler, Deva Raya I, emerged successful against the Gajapatis of Orissa and undertook important works of fortification and irrigation. Deva Raya II (aka Gajabetekara) succeeded to the throne in 1424 CE and was the most capable of the Sangama dynasty rulers. He quelled rebelling feudal lords as well as the Zamorin of Calicut and Quilon in the south. Deva Raya II invaded Sri Lanka. The administration of most parts of South India was done by Telugu speaking officials during the rule of Vijayanagara Kingdom and migration of immigrants from Tamil Nadu into the Jaffna peninsula and Vanni increased during the Vijayanagara Kingdom.

    Senpaga Perumal ascended the throne in the name Sri Sanghabodhi Bhuvanekabahu rebuilt the Nallur temple, and built palaces and houses in Panadra Vallavu and Sankili Thoppu area and promoted Hindu worship. Jaffna Peninsula was again occupied by Sinhalese under Senpaga Perumal.
    The conquest of Jaffna ended 1467 CE when Senpaga Perumal appointed Vijayavahu as the king of the Jaffna Kingdom abd hurriedly returned to Kotte in when he heard about Parakramabahu VI’s death and about the coronation of Parakramabahu VI’s grandson Jeyaweera. Senpaga Perumal before he returned to Kotte.In Jaffna, Kanagasuriyar and his two sons, Pararajasekeran and Segarajasekeran, returned with their army, killed Vijayavahu and regained their lost kingdom. Pararajasekeran played a vital role in winning the battle. Kanagasuriyar ruled until his death 1468. Kanagasuriyar’s elder son Pararajasekeran ruled from 1468 to 1519. Pararajasekeran beautified the Nallur, renovated several Temples including Sattanathar, Veyilukantha Pillaiyar, Kailasanathar, and Veeramakali Amman. Pararajasekeran’s younger brother Segarajasekeran established schools and villages and wrote a book on astrology and a book on medicine. The famous Sanskrit work Megathoothu written by Kalidasa was translated into Tamil during this period by their brother-in-law Arasakesari.
    In Kotte Senpaga Perumal defeated Jeyaweera in 1469 and ascended the throne under the name Bhuvanekabahu VI. Senpaga Perumal’s son ascended the throne under the name Panditha Parakramabahu VII succeeded him but was killed by his uncle Ambulugala Raja who adopted the name Vira Parakramabahu VIII. Ambulugala Raja was succeeded by his son ascended the throne under the name Dharma Parakramabahu IX. His brother Vijayabahu VI ruled a portion of the kingdom as his co-ruler. They were in power when the Portuguese arrived in 1505.
    Pararajasekeran had two principal wives and a number of concubines. His first wife, Rajalaksmi, had two sons, Singhabahu and Pandaram. Pararasasegaram second wife was Valliammal, bore him Paranirupasingham. Another concubine bore him a son named Sankili and a daughter named Paravai. Following tradition Pararajasekeran named the eldest son Sinhabahu as his successor but he died of poisoning. Pararajasekeran then appointed his second son Pandaram as the crown prince but was stabbed and killed while he was walking. Sankili took over the kingdom and ascended the throne in 1519 under the name Sankili Segarajasekeran. Sankili wielded real power behind the throne and resisted all contacts with the Portuguese and even massacred about 700 Parava Catholics in the island of Mannar who were brought from India to Mannar by the Portuguese to take over the lucrative pearl fisheries. Sankili was removed from power due to a local uprising that led his son Puviraja Pandaram take nominal power. Puviraja Pandaram lost power to Kasi Nainar and Periyapillai. Periyapillai with the help of Tanjore Nayak help mounted an attack on the Portuguese fort in the Mannar to regain territory lost during Sankili’s rule but he was defeated. After the death or abdication of Periyapillai in 1582, Puviraja Pandarm was nominated as the king for the second time. During his second tenure Puviraja Pandaram attempted to wrest the control of the Pearl rich Mannar Island from the Portuguese by attacking the fort by sea and land. Puviraja Pandaram was defeated in both attempts.
    Puviraja Pandaram was killed in 1591 during the second Portuguese expedition led by André Furtado de Mendonçaled by André Furtado de Mendonça in 1591.
    Puviraja Pandaram’s son Ethirimanna Singam was injured in the battle and was saved by a Portuguese captain Simão Pinhão. Eventually Ethirimanna Singam was installed as client monarch under the conditions that Catholic missionary activity to be freely allowed and the Elephant export monopoly to be handed over to the Portuguese as well as the tribute to paid by the Kingdom was increased.
    Ethirimanna Singam who became the king under the name Parasasekaran VII interrupted the Catholic missionary activities and the Portuguese monopoly on Elephant exports. Ethirimanna Singam carried out an undercover campaign against the Catholic missionaries and did not look with favor on converts. Ethirimanna Singam interfered with the passage and shipping of Elephants of the Portuguese government through his territories thereby securing advantageous terms for his Elephants. By 1595 the King of Portugal had issued an order to remove Ethirimanna Singam but colonial authorities in Goa did not oblige as Ethirimanna Singam was not overly disruptive to Portuguese colonial interests.
    Ethirimanna Singam helped Kandyan Kings Vimaladharmasuriya I and Senarat to secure help from South India to resist the Portuguese.
    With the death of Ethirimanna Singam in 1617, there were three claimants to the throne. One was Sankilikumaran (Sankili II), a nephew of the king. The other the claimants were Ethirimanna Singam’s young son and a group of proPortuguese Mudaliyars. Eventually Sankili II became the king under the name Segarasasekaran VIII through a palace massacre. As Sankili II was not able to get the Portuguese authorities in Mannar or Colombo to agree to his over rule and regency due to opposition for him from the pro Portuguese Mudaliyars, Sankili II invited the Tanjore Nayaks to send military help. Sankili II also allowed corsairs from Malabar to use a base in Neduntivu that posed a threat to Portuguese shipping through Palk Straight. The last king of the Jaffna Kingdom Sankili II was defeated by the by Phillippe de Oliveira led Portuguese forces in 1619 and was taken to Goa and hanged.

  11. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    A little knowledge is dangerous. And a little historical knowledge is even more so.
    Around 500 BCE Sri Lankans developed a unique hydraulic civilization. The spectacular feats of hydraulic engineering where the fusion of the Egyptian and Babylonian patterns achieved the most complete and subtlest form were found in Sri Lanka and not in the Indian mainland. Sri Lanka has the longest continuous history of Buddhism since Buddhism was introduced into Sri Lanka in the 2nd century BCE by Mahinda, the son of the Asoka the Great, during the reign of Sri Lanka’s King Devanampiya Tissa. Buddhism came to South India before the 3rd Sangam period of Tamil literature. The full impact of Buddhism in South India is unmistakably shown in Silappadhikaram and Maṇimekhalai, which are two epic works of the 3rd Sangham period in Tamil literature (2nd century CE). Of these, Manimekhalai is a purely Buddhist work, which in addition to the narrative, contains also expositions of the Buddhist doctrine. Extracts from other poems written by the author of Manimekhalai, Sithalai Saaththanaar, are found in other Tamil literary works. Quotations from Ilambodhiyar, the Buddhist poet, are found in the Natrinai. Hindus continued to absorb Buddhist practices and teachings, such as Ahimsa and the renunciation of the material world.
    Since ancient times various schools of Buddhism flourished in the present-day Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, parts of Andhra Pradesh and some parts of Karnataka, as well as Sri Lanka and the Maldives .
    Buddhism played an enormous role in shaping the mindset of the ancient Tamil people, affecting their aesthetics, politics, literature and philosophy. The Pallava prince-turned-monk Bodhidharma from 5th-6th century CE Tamil Nadu founded the school of Zen Buddhism.

    The Tamil Literature, archaeological finds such as Brahmi, Tamil Inscriptions, coins, seals, earthenware, potsherds, statues, sculptures etc. of Tamil Nadu confirm that Mahayana Buddhism existed throughout Tamil Nadu from the ancient time.

    Literary and physical symbolization of Lord Buddha and Buddhism had been used scientifically by the Tamil Mahayana Buddhists.

    In the Tamil Literature, by placing stanzas that praise Buddha or the Triple Gem, they had been identified with the Mahayana Buddhism. In Kural, Silappathikaaram, Kamba Ramayanam, Aathisoodi etc. Lord Buddha or the Triple Gem are being praised at the beginning. Out of the four chapters that are placed at the beginning of Kural, the three chapters other than the ‘Excellence of Rain’ praise the Triple Gem. In Silappathikaaram and Manimekalai also, the Triple Gem is being praised.

    The Tamil Mahayana Buddhists only wrote the Tamil grammar book, Tolkaapiyam. In addition to the grammar book, they also composed Tamil lexicons. The twelve stanzas placed at the end of each of the twelve chapters confirm that ‘Seenthan Thivaakaram’ was composed by a Tamil Mahayana Buddhist.

    Physical symbolization of Lord Buddha and Buddhism had been utilized extensively by the Tamil Mahayana Buddhists. All the symbols found marked on the Brahmi and Vaddelutthu inscriptions of Tamil Nadu are Buddhist symbols.

    The historians who did not conduct a scientific study on symbolization, symbolization of Lord Buddha and Buddhism and the word – meaning relationship of the Tamil language faced immense problems in understanding what the symbols marked on inscriptions, seals, coins, earthenware, potsherds etc. severally and jointly symbolize or what are being said in the Tamil literature. As an example: nobody knows all the meanings of the Tamil word ‘Sivan’ or the meaning of ‘Siva.’ Though almost all the ‘learned’ say that the words ‘Sivan’ and ‘Siva’ denote the God Sivan, or Siva, in Sri Lanka two Brahmi inscriptions in the Eastern Province speaking about the Buddhist Monk by the name Siva. Also in some Brahmi coins discovered at Akurugoda in Ruhunu, we find ‘Sivaha’ written on one side of them. ‘Sivaha’means ‘of Siva.’ On the other side, we find a symbol that symbolizes ’12 Nithanas’ that determine the cycle of Birth and Death as preached by Lord Buddha.

    The animals lion, horse, bull and elephant have been used to symbolize Lord Buddha in the Tamil Nadu coins.A pair of foot, pair of fish and pair of conch also have been used. The ‘learned’ who say that a fish symbolizes the Pandya Dynasty could not explain what a pair of fish symbolizes.

    Thus, unless a scientific study is conducted on the subjects Symbolization, Symbolization of Lord Buddha and Buddhism and the word – meaning relationship of the Tamil language, studies on Tamil literature and archaeological finds would be unscientific, and histories of various things would be wrong and imaginary.

    The ancient Tamil Buddhist poem Manimekalai by the poet Seethalai Saathanar is set in the town of Kaveripattanam. Ancient ruins of a 4th-5th century CE Buddhist monastery, a Buddha statue, and a Buddhapada (footprint of the Buddha) were found in another section of the ancient city, now at Pallavanesvaram.

    The heritage of the town is found in the Burmese historical text of 3rd Century BCE, and gives evidences of a Budha Vihar built by the great Ashoka.

    Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu was a Buddhist centre of the 4th-5th century CE. Its stupa dates from this era. Buddhism disappeared from this city as of an unknown date, but was revided as of the 9th century CE. (H.P.Ray, The Winds of Change, Delhi 1994, p. 142) In the 11th century CE, Chudamani Vihara, a Buddhist vihara (monastery) was built by Javanese king Sri Vijaya Soolamanivarman with the patronage of Raja Raja Chola. “Animangalam Copperplate” of Kulothunga chola notes that “Kasiba Thera” [Buddhist Monk] Renovated the Buddhist temple in 6th century CE with the help of Buddhist monks of ‘Naga Nadu’. This ‘nagar annam vihar’ later came to be known as ‘Nagananavihar’. Buddhism flourished until 15th century CE and the buildings of the vihara survived until 18th century CE.

    Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu is one of the oldest cities in South India, and was a city of learning for Tamil, Sanskrit, and Pali and was believed to be visited by Xuanzang (Huan Tsang) also known as Yuan Chwang. It was during the reign of Pallava dynasty, from the 4th to the 9th centuries CE that Kanchipuram attained its limelight. The city served as the Pallava capital, and many of the known temples were built during their reign. The founder of Zen Buddhism, Bodhidharma was born here, as was the famous Sanskrit writer Dandin who wrote Dashakumaracharita. The Sanskrit poet Bharavi hailed from Kanchi and wrote the famous Kiratarjuniya here under the patronage of the Pallava king Simhavishnu. Great Buddhist scholars such as Dignaga, Buddhaghosa, and Dhammapala lived here too.

    The king of Kanchi, Pallava Mahendravarman was a great scholar and musician, a man of great intelligence and also a great Sanskrit satirist and playwright.

    Xuanzang, the great Chinese traveler, visited the city in the 7th century CE and said that this city was 6 miles in circumference and that its people were famous for bravery and piety as well as for their love of justice and veneration for learning. He further recorded that Buddha had visited the place.

    In the Jaffna peninsula and northern mainland, hundreds of Mahayana Buddhist coins,seals statues and other archaeological finds have been discovered for the last two centuries. However, all these years historians could not identify these as Mahayana Buddhist archaeological things as they did not conduct a scientific study on Symbolization of Lord Buddha and Buddhism. Also as they have not understood the word – meaning relationship of the Tamil language, they could not find all the meanings of the words written on the coins etc.

    A very good example for this is one type of the ‘Setu’ coins collected in the Jaffna peninsula.In this particular type of ‘Setu’ coin, on one side, a standing human figure is marked. The face is turned to our right and the human holds with his left hand a conch near its mouth. The elliptically shaped head of the standing human is divided into four equal parts with two perpendicular straight lines. On the head of the standing human. a three stepped head-wear is placed. The standing human holds with his right hand a vertical stick with 5 cross bars of equal size. Thus, 10 straight line bars jut out on either side of the vertical stick. On to the left of the standing human figure, a trisula with vertical limbs is kept vertically. On to the far left of the standing human figure, a long stick is placed vertically.

    On the other side of the coin, a bull facing to our left is in the sleeping position placed above the Tamil letters ‘Setu.’ A crescent and a dot inside the curved part is placed above the head of the Bull. There four groups of three dots placed in the form of an equilateral triangle.

    The historians, numismatists and the archaeologists who studied the particular coin have come to the conclusion that the standing human figure is the King of the Jaffna Kingdom. Some have specifically stated that it is Ariyachakkaravarthi.

    But none of them had explained why the King of Jaffna holds a conch near his mouth or why his head is divided into four equal parts or why he wears a head-wear with three steps.On the other hand they could not explain why the King holds a vertical stick with 10 straight small bars jutting on either side of the stick, or why a trisula and a vertical long stick are placed near him.

    A conch, like a bell, hand drum etc., makes sound that could be heard by everyone without any discrimination. Thus, a conch, a bell and a hand drum could symbolize making public announcement or preaching something to all.

    What being preached to all is symbolized by the head divided into four equal parts. It could be argued that the four equal parts of the head symbolizes the Four Vedas of ‘Hinduism,’ the Four Yogas of the Second Gem of the Triple Gem of the Jains and the Four Noble Truths preached by Lord Buddha.

    However, ‘the Four Vedas’ are not the thoughts of a single person. Also, it is not preached to all. The ‘Manu Dharma Sastra’ says that molten lead should be poured into the ears of a ‘sutra’ who eavesdrops chanting of ‘the Vedas.’ On the other hand, ‘the Four Yogas’ are actually a part of the Jain Preaching. Therefore, the head divided into four equal parts of the standing human with a conch placed near the mouth could symbolize ‘the Four Noble Truths’ preached by Lord Buddha only. Therefore, the standing human figure should symbolize Lord Buddha preaching ‘the Four Noble Truths’ to the world. This conclusion should be confirmed with the other symbols found marked near the standing human and the symbols found marked on the other side of the coin.

    Three steps are very important in the Buddhist Preaching. According to Lord Buddha, one must adhere to the Noble Eight-fold Path in three steps, namely Sila, Samadhi and Panna. This emphasized with the head -wear with three steps.

    The vertical stick with 10 small parts jutting on either side could symbolize ‘the Ten Precepts’of Buddhism. The trisula with straight limbs could symbolize ‘the Triple Gem.’

    The long stick placed by the side of the standing human figure could symbolize the reign of the person symbolized with standing human figure.

    Thus, the standing human figure symbolizes Lord Buddha preaching ‘the Four Noble Truths’ to the World. The symbols found marked on this particular side of the coin symbolize Buddhism severally and the Reign of Buddha Dhamma jointly.

    The conclusion arrived at would be correct if the same things are symbolized on the other side of the coin also.

    On the other side of the coin, a bull is placed in a sleeping position on the Tamil word ‘Setu.’ A crescent with a dot inside is placed above the head of the Bull. A crescent with a dot inside could symbolize the full moon. Normally a small curve and a dot inside is used to denote a circle. The full moon is associated with Lord Buddha, while sun with ‘Argha’ of the Jains. Therefore. the Bull could symbolize Lord Buddha. However. this should be confirmed with the other symbols found marked on this particular side of the coin and with the Tamil word ‘Setu.’

    A group of three dots placed in the form of equilateral triangle could symbolize ‘the Triple – Gem.’ The four groups of three dots could symbolize ‘the Four Noble Truths.’

    The Tamil word ‘Setu’ and ‘Seetu’ could mean ‘the’ and ‘Great’ also. To understand this, one should understand the word – meaning relationship of the Tamil language. Therefore, the Bull placed above the word ‘Setu’ does not symbolize the normal Bull, but ‘the Bull,Great Bull.’ Therefore, Bull had been utilized to symbolize Lord Buddha. A systematic study of the symbols utilized in India and Sri Lanka will reveal the truth that Lord Buddha had been symbolized with Lion, elephant, horse, bull and a pair of foot.

    Therefore, the symbols found marked on both sides of the coin confirm that the particular coin is a Tamil Mahayana Buddhist coin symbolizing Lord Buddha preaching ‘the Four Noble Truths’ to the world and establishing Buddha Dhamma.

    All the coins, seals etc. discovered in the Jaffna peninsula and the northern mainland belong to Mahayana Buddhism and designed by the Tamil Mahayana Buddhist Monks who studied ‘Symbolization’ scientifically.

    Nāka Tivu/ Nāka Nadu was the name of the whole Jaffna peninsula in some historical documents. There are number of Buddhist myths associated with the interactions of people of this historical place with Buddha. The two Tamil Buddhist epics of Kundalakesi and Manimekalai describe the islet of Manipallavam of Nāka Tivu/Nadu which is identified with the Nainativu islet of the Jaffna peninsula. This Tamil Buddhist shrine was located close to the ancient Nagapooshani Amman temple of Nainativu, one of the Shakti Peethas.

    The famous ‘Vallipuram” Buddha statue built with Dravidian sculptural traditions from Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh (Amaravati school) was found in excavations below the Hindu Temple. The language of the inscription is Tamil-Prakrit, which shares several similarities with script inscriptions used in Andhra at the time, when the Telugu Satavahana dynasty was at the height of its power and its 17th monarch Hāla (20-24 CE) married a princess from the island.

    Professor Peter Shalk (University of Uppsala), writes ” Vallipuram has very rich archaeological remains that point at an early settlement. It was probably an emporium in the first centuries CE. From already dated stones with which we compare this Vallipuram statue, we can conclude that it falls in the period 3rd-4th century CE. During that period, the typical Amaravati-Buddha sculpture was developed”. The Buddha statue found here was gifted to King of Thailand by the then British Governor Henry Blake in 1906.

    Dr K.Indrapala argued for a flourishing pre-Christian buddhist civilization in Jaffna, in agreement with Paranavithana, and Mudliyar C. Rasanayakam, Ancient Jaffna in an earlier work, 1965.

    This place is similar to Nagapatnam where all Asian vessels used it as a stopover point and the Buddhist and Hindu Dagobas are just a resting and worshipping places for the sailors and international traders. Both Nagapatnam and Vallipuram served the powerful kingdoms of China, Siam, Cambodia, Champa (Vietnam) and Java.

    A group of Dagobas situated close together at Kandarodai in Jaffna served as a monastery for Tamil monks and reflect the rise in popularity of Mahayana Buddhism amongst Jaffna Tamils and the Tamils of the ancient Tamil country in the first few centuries of the common era before the revivalism of Hinduism amongst the population.

    Thiriyai is referred to as Thalakori in the 2nd century CE map of Ptolemy. Pre-Christian-Buddhist Tamil Brahmi inscriptions have been found in the area, the oldest belonging to the 2nd century BCE. Thiriyai formed a prominent village of Jaffna’s Vannimai districts in the medieval period. The site is home to Mahayana Buddhist vatadage ruins worshipped by the locals during the rise of Tamil Buddhism in the area. During Paramesvaravarman I’s reign, the famous Tiriyai Pallava Grantha inscriptions of 7th-8th century Tamilakkam were recorded in the village. The inscription refers to Tamil merchant mariners from Tamil Nadu, their sea faring and commerce to Trincomalee.

    It details their endowment of this shrine dedicated to the Buddhist deity Avalokitesvara and his consort Tara. Dvarapala sculptures found at the ruins are early contributions of the Pallava school of art to the island.

    The Chola Dynasty patronised several religions amongst Tamils, including Saivism, Vaishnavism and Buddhism. They built Buddhist temples known as “Perrumpallis”. The famous Rajarajapperumpalli of Periyakulam was built by Rajaraja Cholan I. Tamil inscriptions excavated from this site point to the attention the Cholas paid to the development of Trincomalee District as a strong Saiva Tamil principality and for their contributions to the upkeep of several shrines including the monumental Koneswaram temple of Trincomalee.

    Today, the Palk Strait which lies between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan land masses, is seen as a divider, separating two different distinct ethnicities, religions, cultures and political entities but there was a phase in history when Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka enjoyed very close ties, thanks to a shared interest in Buddhism.

    During the early period, the Palk Strait was not seen as a divider but it was a unifier. At that time Buddhism was a bridge between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu.

    The fascinating story of the historical links – Golden threads between Buddhism in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka was narrated by Dr. Shu Hikosake, Director and Professor of Buddhism, Institute of Asian Studies in Madras in his book 1989 Buddhism in Tamil Nadu: a New Perspective.

    The earliest inscriptions in Tamil Nadu belong to the third century BCE. They are written in the Brahmi character of the time, on the walls of the natural caves in the Tamil districts of Madura, Ramnad and Tirnnelveli. They are of considerable interest to students of South Indian Buddhism. It is learnt from these Brahmi inscriptions, which paleographically belong to the 3rd century BCE, that Buddhism had come into Tamil Nadu even then. It was to Asoka and his son Mahinda that the introduction of Buddhism into Tamil Nadu may be attributed. Epigraphical evidence seems to confirm this statement. In his Rock-Edict No. 3, Asoka says that his Dharma Vijaya prevailed in the border kingdoms of the Cholas, Pandyans and at Tambapanni. But it was his son Mahinda who was responsible for the introduction of Buddhism in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.

    In this task, he was helped by Maha Aritta, a nephew of the Sri Lankan king Devanampiyatissa. Mahinda is said to have erected seven viharas at Kaveripattinum while he was on his way to Sri Lanka. Some Indian scholars are of the opinion that Aritta or Maha-Aritta might have lived in the caves of the village of Arittapatti in Madura, which is in Tamil Nadu. According to Dr Hikosaka, Buddhism might have gone to Sri Lanka from Tamil Nadu, contrary to the general impression.

    Buddhism might have gone to Ceylon from Tamil Nadu by sea-route, a route by which one can reach Ceylon easily. Since there existed very close cultural affinities between Ceylon and the Tamil country from time immemorial, the Buddhist activities in India could have easily influenced in some way or other the Buddhism of Ceylon, says Dr Hikosaka.

    Although Buddhism has become almost extinct from Tamil Nadu, it has contributed a great deal to the enrichment of Tamil culture and has exerted a significant influence, both directly and indirectly, on the Tamil religious and spiritual consciousness, present as well as past.

    According to Historians, Buddhism began to make an impact on Tamil Nadu only in the 3rd century CE. During the period from 3rd Century CE to 6th Century CE, Buddhism had spread widely in Tamil Nadu and won the patronage of the rulers. The remains of a Buddhist monastery excavated at Kaveripattinum which could be assigned to the fourth century, are believed to be the earliest archaeological relics of Buddhism in Tamil Nadu. The major urban centers of Kanchi, Kaveripattinam, Uraiyur, and Madurai were not only centers of Buddhism, but these were also important centers of Pali learning.

    The Tamil Buddhist monks of South India used Pali languages in preference to Tamil in their writings. This is because the Buddha spoke in Magadi Prakrit (Pali) which was considered to be the sacred language of the Buddhists.

    It was at this time that Tamil Nadu gave some of its greatest scholars (both Theravada and Mahayana) to the Buddhist world. Tamil Nadu boasted of outstanding Buddhist monks, who had made remarkable contributions to Buddhism thought and learning. Three of the greatest Pali scholars of this period were Buddhaghosa, Buddhadatta, and Dhammapala and all three of them were associated with Buddhist establishments in the Tamil kingdoms.

    Buddhadatta or Thera Buddhaatta as he is called lived during the time of Accyutarikkanta, the Kalabra ruler of the Chola-Nadu. He was a senior contemporary of Buddhaghosa. He was born in the Chola kingdom and lived in the 5th Century CE. Under the patronage of this ruler, Buddhadatta wrote many books. Among his best known Pali writings are the VINAYA-VINICCHAYA, the UTTARA-VINICCHAYA and the JINALANKARA-KAVYA. Among the commentaries written by him are the MADHURATTHA-VILASINI and the ABHIDHAMMAVATARA. In the Abhidhammaratara he gives a glowing account at Kaveripattinum, Uragapuram, Bhutamangalam and Kanchipuram and the Mahavihara at Ceylon. While he was at Sri Lanka, he composed many Buddhist works such as Uttara-viniccaya Ruparupa Vibhaga Jinalankara etc. Buddhaghosha, contemporary of Buddhadatta also composed many Buddhist commentaries.

    Buddhaghosha is a Tamil monk, who made a remarkable contribution to Buddhism in Sri Lanka. He stayed and studied Buddhist precepts at Mahavihara in Anuradhapura. The Visuddhimagga was the first work of Buddhaghosha which was written while he was in Ceylon.

    After Buddhaghosha, the important Theravada monk from the Tamil country was Dhammapala. Dhammapala lived in the Mahavihara at Anuradhapura. He composed paramathadipani which was a commentary on Buddhaghosha’s work on Khuddaka Nikaya and Paramathamanjusa, which was a commentary on Buddhaghosha’s Visuddhimagga. A close study of the three Buddhist monks viz Buddhadatta, Buddhaghosha and Dhammapala shows that Tamil Buddhists were closely associated with the Sri Lankan Buddhists around the 5th century CE.

    The author of NETTIPAKARANA is another Dhammapala who was a resident of a monastery in Nagapattinam. One more example is the Chola monk Kassapa, in his Pali work, VIMATTI-VINODANI, this Tamil monk provides interesting information about the rise of heretical views in the Cola Sangha and the consequent purification that took place.

    There are so many other Tamil monks who are attributed to the Pali works some of them were resident at Mayura-rupa-pattana (Mylapore, Madras) along with Buddhagosha. The well known Tamil Buddhist epics, on the other hand, were MANIMEKALAI and KUNDALAKESI.

    The 6th century CE Tamil Buddhist work Manimekali by Sattanar, is perhaps the most famous of the work done in Tamil Nadu. It is a work expounding the doctrines and propagating the values of Buddhism. The interaction between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan monks finds mention in Manimekalai, which is set in the Tamil towns of Kaveipumpattinam, Kanchi, and Vanchi.

    There is mention about the presence of wondering monks of Sri Lanka in Vanchi, which was the capital of the Chera Kings of Tamil Nadu. The Chinese traveller, Tsuan Tsang, wrote that there were around 300 Sri Lankan monks in the monastery at the Southern sector of Kanchipuram.

    As Buddhism was one of the dominant religions in both Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, naturally there were very close relations between the two regions. The monks from Sri Lanka, too, went across to the Tamil kingdom and stayed in the monasteries.

    As Dr Leslie Gunawardana says, `The co-operation between the Buddhist Sangha of South India and Sri Lanka produced important results which are evident in the Pali works of this period`. He also says that the Tamil Buddhist monks were more orthodox than their counterparts in Sri Lanka.

    Indeed, the relations between the Tamil and Sinhala Buddhist monks were so close that the latter sought the assistance of the former in political turmoil.

    In Sri Lanka, the Tamil Buddhists who followed Theravada Buddhism shared the common places of worship with the Sinhalese, but there were also Tamil Buddhists who were following the Mahayana Buddhism and they had there own Mahayana temples.

    There are still some Tamil Mahayana Buddhist establishments (Palli) in the east and in the Jaffna peninsula. The best known was Velgam Vehera, which was renamed Rajaraja-perumpalli after the Chola emperor. Another was the Vikkirama-calamekan-perumpalli.

    About 16 km northwest of Trincomalee off the Trincomalee – Horowupothana road is an ancient Buddhist shrine with origins dating back to the years before the second century. It is a historical fact that among the many ancient Buddhist shrines in Sri Lanka Velgam Vehera which was renamed Rajaraja-perumpalli, also called Natanar Kovil by the present day Tamils stands out as the only known example of a `Tamil Vihare or Buddhist Palli` or as the late Dr Senerath Paranavithana described it in his book `Glimpses of Ceylon`s Past` as an `Ancient Buddhist shrine of the Tamil people`. Some of the Tamil inscriptions found at the site record donations to this shrine and are dated in the reigns of the Chola Kings, Rajaraja and Rajendradeva. It was his view that the date of the original foundation of the vihare was no doubt considerably earlier than the reign of King Bhatika Tissa II.

    The situation in Tamil Nadu, however, began to change towards the beginning of the 7th Century CE when the rise of Vaishnavism and Saivism posed a serious challenge to Buddhism and Jainism. There was a significant increase in Brahmanical influence and soon the worship of Shiva and Vishnu began to gain prominence.

    The Buddhist and Jain institutions in Tamil Nadu came under attack when they began to loose popular support and the patronage from the rulers. One result of this was the migration of Buddhist and Jaina monks and devoted lay members to kingdoms where they could find refuge. While the Jainas were able to go to Kannada and Telugu regions, the Buddhists turned to Sri Lanka and assimilated with the local Buddhist population.

  12. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    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(Tamralipti was the exit point of the Mauryan trade route for the south and south-east.) from at least the time of King Devanampriya Tissa (250-210 BCE). The two embassies from the island to the court of Asoka 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 BCE and that Buddhism had begun to spread by that time in that part of Sri Lanka 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 2nd century CE. There were Tamil speaking traders in the port of Jambukola but there is no evidence that points to Tamil settlements in the peninsula a at that time

    The gold plate from Vallipuram reveals that there were Buddhists in that part of the peninsula in the 2nd century CE. 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 CE. 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, Kantharodai and Jaffna town. Kantharodai has yielded 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 CE, preserved the names of some of the placed of Buddhist worship in the Jaffna peninsula, Kantharodai is mentioned among these places. The others are Nagakovila (Nakarkovil), Telipola (Tellippalai), Mallagama (Mallakam), Minuwangomu Viharaya (Vimankaram). Tanjidivayina (Thana-tivu or Kayts), Nagadivayina (Nagativu or Nayinativu). Puvangudivayina (Punkudu-tivu) and Kradivayina (Karaitivu). Of the Buddhist establishments in these places only the vihara and Dagabo at Nagativu 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 CE, for after this date the people of the Jaffna peninsula were mainly Saivas.

    In the Anuradhapura period, and possibly till about the 12th century CE, 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 Sri Lanka before the 12th century CE 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 Yaalppana-vaipava-maalai, the Tamil chronicle of Jaffna, confirms this when it states that there were Sinhalese people in Jaffna at the time of the first Tamil colonization 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 (Waligama) and Maratchi, 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 CE some villages in Rajarata 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 CE. 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 Konesvaram temple, refers to a personage names Cadaganga (Kulakkottan) who went to Sri Lanka 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 CE have been found. Among these the temples at Thirukkovil, Kapuralla, and Nallathanni-irakkam and the Saiva remains at Uruththirapuram notable. These certainly indicate the existence or Tamil settlements in those places in the 13th century CE.

    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 pilgrimages attached to the monasteries in places like Kovilkadu, Malikai, Omanthai, Kankarayan-kulam, Irasenthiran-kulam, Sinnappoovarasankulam 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 CE 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 CE 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 yielded 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 dis-lodgement of Sinhalese power from northern Sri Lanka, the confiscation by Kerala and Tamil mercenaries 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.

  13. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Gautama Buddha is not a God but a Empericist and a teacher who taught us the way to restore wisdom and understanding by conquering the greed, hatred, and ignorance which blind us at the present moment. Gautama Buddha does not claim to be a creator of lives or the Universe. Belief in the Gautama Buddha’s teachings is not blind belief, blind faith, and far from superstition. In Buddhism all the ‘rites and celebrations’ are not centered on a supernatural being, but rather the people attending the assemblies. The devotion in Buddhism is based on reason and not based on emotion. Buddhism is an education, teaching us the way to break through our ignorance and arrive at a perfect understanding of ourselves and everything around us.

    Killing is breaking a key moral precept in Buddhism. No holy war concept in Buddhism. One is strictly forbidden to kill another person in the name of religion, a religious leader or whatsoever religious pretext or worldly excuse. Sufferings are very well explained in Buddhism.

    The Tathāgata’s intellectual approach to the human predicament which is devoid of authority, ritual, speculation, tradition, concept of divine saving grace and mystery is virtually indistinguishable from philosophy.

    All major religions share authority, ritual, speculation, tradition, concept of divine saving grace and mystery.

    All major religious leaders including Jesus of Nazareth and Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh claimed direct hotline to God.

    But Tathāgata said
    “I tell you not to believe merely because it has been handed down by tradition, or because it had been said by some great personage in the past, or because it is commonly believed, or because others have told it to you, or even because I myself have said it.
    But whatever you are asked to believe, ask yourself whether it is true in the light of your experience, whether it is in conformity with reason and good principles and whether it is conducive to the highest good and welfare of all beings, and only if it passes this test, should you accept it and act in accordance with it.”

    “The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense of arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. . . Buddhism answers this description. . . If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism.”
    – Albert Einstein

    “We are all Buddhists even if we don’t say we are.
    We are all Bodhisattvas even if we don’t know we are.
    Some choose to ignore this.
    Others choose to remember this”
    – Fred Alan Wolf

    We are in the present moment, and alive, and compete – there is nothing wanting in the present moment. Leaving this moment by wanting, desiring, regretting, or fantasizing will by definition lead you to crave, to dissatisfaction, because you have left the only place in the timeline this moment that truly offers satisfaction and completion. This is what the Tathāgata’ discovered, and he offered a pathway to discovering it for ourselves.

    Truth is just the truth and it has no religion, no culture, no language, no head or tail. Buddhism is an education and is not a religion because it does not presuppose the existence of supernatural powers with whom humans can react. Buddhism is non-theistic: it does not involve worship of a supernatural entity.
    Buddhism while rejecting superstition and sorcery it leans on a profound philosophical theory and scientific experiment. Based on the logical theories and verification by intensive practices, the Buddhists look forward to achieve the mutual responses of practice and theory, so that the mind and phenomena, the law and wisdom unite and merge as one entity.
    Buddhism stresses very strongly the restraint of anger, hatred and desire as a path to personal peace and contentment. Without this restraint of these negative qualities there is no spiritual progress because one is continuing to generate bad karma by harming self and others. Meditation and mindfulness are required to attain greater spiritual insight or wisdom. Most of the people who practice Buddhism are thoughtful, reflective and peace loving. Buddhism is not to glorify Buddhism nor to convince anyone to become a Buddhist. Neither is it to downgrade people who worship a supernatural entity.
    Religions require that you believe there is a god who created earth and the universe and all creatures in it, and that this god also created the religion – and that following god’s rules will lead to a good outcome in this world. The creation myth at the center of each religion is challenging, because it takes both a broad view – God created everything; and it simultaneously takes a narrow view – This religion is the one true way, its creation story is accurate and its description of God correct, because to say otherwise would unravel the very fabric of the religion.

  14. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    1797 Napoleon takes the lands under the control of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church The Pope has become the facto ruler of the city of Rome and the suburbs by the 6th century AD. But in 754 AD, Pepin the Short, king of the Franks, officially handed over these areas to Pope Stephen II. These Italian lands under direct rule of the Pope were called Papal States, or States of the Church or Pontifical States. Pope, with the help of regional powers like the Franks, continued to annex more territories by gifts, purchases, and conquests until the Papal States included nearly the whole of central Italy. These areas reached their greatest extent in the 16th century. In 1797, Napoleon Bonaparte took much of the territory. In 1815, after the allied forces defeated Napoleon at Waterloo and restored Papal rule back in these areas under Austrian protection. But in 1870, Italian King Victor Emmanuel II annexed all Papal states including Rome and limited the Pope’s jurisdiction to the Vatican. In protest, each Pope thereafter considered themselves as prisoners under Italian occupation. In 1929, in the Lateran Treaty, Italian king Victor Emmanuel III recognized the full independence of the Vatican City under Pope.

    Vatican has a history of pacts with criminal dictators as the Holy See signed treaties with monarchs and governments regardless of slavery, inhumanity, or torture they may have induced upon fellow human beings. Vatican had links to government organizations, right-wing nationalism, including Fascism and Nazism. Moreover, From 1920′s to the 1940′s most every right-wing dictator had been brought up as a Catholic: Hitler, Horthy, Franco, Petain, Mussolini, Pavelic, and Tiso (who has served as a Catholic priest).

    Pope Pius XI, in his own words a “man with no love for democracy,” helped to bring Mussolini’s Fascist Party to power in Italy and in 1926 solemnly declared:
    “Mussolini is a man sent by Divine Providence.”

    The Spanish people, stricken with poverty and a high rate of analphabets (about 80% of the population), had swept away monarchy, proclaimed a republic and elected a left-wing government in 1931. Separation of State and Church was made a reality, religious freedom was granted and civil marriage adopted. Some of the Church property – which was estimated at one third of the nation’s wealth – was nationalized. To fight the “Antichrists,” a violent, relentless Catholic opposition was promptly started on a large scale throughout Spain.

    By 1934 Catholic organizations already planned a coup d’état, having been in touch with the Fascist Government of Italy. On July 17, 1934 the Spanish Army rose in many Spanish towns. The Spanish Civil War had begun. As soon as the revolt broke out, a General Franco made haste to let the pope know that his coup had succeeded. The papal banner was unfurled over the rebel headquarters at Burgos, and the Pope Pius XI had Franco’s flag raised over the Vatican.
    This was the beginning of a world-wide Catholic offensive against Republican Spain. Bishops in Italy, Germany and other countries published pastoral letters urging Catholics to help. The pope spoke. The Spanish Civil War, he said, was a foretaste of what

    “is being prepared for Europe and the World unless the nations take appropriate measures against it.”
    — Pope Pius XI, December 25, 1936

    Mussolini sent thousands of troops, Hitler sent warplanes, warships, tanks, and soldiers. The Spanish people fought a bitter, relentless fight from 1936 until 1939. Before the demolition of yet another young democracy in Europe was complete, Pope Pius XI died.

    BBC broadcasts on Croatia – February 16, 1942 :

    “The worst atrocities are being committed in the environs of the archbishop of Zagreb [Stepinac]. The blood of brother is flowing in streams. The Orthodox are being forcibly converted to Catholicism and we do not hear the archbishop’s voice preaching revolt. Instead it is reported that he is taking part in Nazi and Fascist parades.”

    – Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, by John Cornwell page 256

    Though Fascist governments eventually died out and the Vatican made sure to distance itself from them, later dictatorships under Catholic tyrants would yet again be given the Vatican’s full support.

    For example, Chile’s Catholic dictator Pinochet who tormented Chileans. He was caught and was to be extradited to Spain where he could be put on trial for his crimes against humanity. The Vatican pleaded with international authorities to prevent his extradition – on humanitarian grounds, no less, arguing that the criminal was unwell. This farce might have been more believable, had the Vatican (and its fascist Nuncio to Chile, cardinals and archbishops) also pleaded with Pinochet for humane treatment of the Chilean people when he was still dictator. But the Vatican hadn’t done that, because Pinochet was working for the Church and in a Church-approved manner in his position as tyrant.

    Religious conversion is a deadly weapon much more disastrous than nuclear bombs and Vatican is the biggest terrorist organization that is using it for sowing distress and sorrow in this world. It is high time the civilized world shut down the ‘harvest machinery’ in Vatican .
    Even though the Christian population is “still” at 7%, the Christian Church has tremendous political influence in Sri Lanka. A majority of the major business tycoons, media organization owners, civil activists and almost all the senior cabinet members of the former UNP government were Christians.

    Both Ranil Wickremesinghe and Chandrika Kumaratunge are also widely believed to be closet Christians.

    Tamil writer DBS Jeyaraj wrote in the (Christian owned) Sunday Leader , Christians have contributed much more to the “Tamil cause” than Hindus.

    Christianity was brought to this island country of Buddhists and Hindus by the Portuguese, where it was imposed violently on the pre-Christian people against their will. The zealous soldiers of Christ destroyed temples and built Churches where the shrines had stood using the very materials of the broken temples themselves. They killed all those resisting who defended their pre-Christian places of worship.

    From 1574 onwards, the Catholic zealots kept destroying Buddhist and Hindu temples all along the Western coast. The monks and priests over there either fled or got killed or went underground. 1,000 pillared temples in Devundara in the deep south and Trincomalee in the East; the Saman Devale (temple) in Ratnapura; and the Kelaniya temple, all very much revered, were ransacked and burnt.A group of militant monks called Ganinnanse discarded the traditional yellow robe and began to wear a white robe instead to hide themselves.

    The Portuguese deliberately built churches over the ruins of Buddhist or Hindu temples. The present Kochikade church in Colombo and the Madu church in Mannar, both very popular now among Catholics, were Pattini Devales or temples for Kannagi, the famous heroine of Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
    Buddhist schools (pirivenas), which were also mini universities, were ransacked and burnt, and their monk-scholars killed. Among the schools thus destroyed were the Sunethra Devi Pirivena in Kotte, Vidagama Pirivena in Ragama – In 1557 400acre Vidagama Pirivena of Ragama converted to church graveyard and the Tottagamuwe Pirivena in Hikkaduwa. Today there hardly exists a Buddhist Temple over 150 years old in areas once ruled by the Portuguese, particularly in the maritime coast.
    The campaign against Buddhism had the involvement of three principal agencies namely –
    (1) The Roman Catholic Emperor of Portugal (2) His Viceroy at Goa and (3) The Roman Catholic priests in Sri Lanka
    ..the Portuguese came not only for trade and territorial acquisition, but for proselytising. The Papal Bulls of 1452, 1455 and 1456, gave the clear go ahead to Portugal to acquire territory and convert heathens. The Pope had conferred on Portugal a monopoly on all this. Force and intrigue were used convert them

    Many coastal communities in Sri Lanka underwent mass conversion, particularly in Jaffna, Mannar, and among the fishing communities living north of Colombo such as in Negombo and Chilaw. Roman Catholic churches with schools attached to them served Catholic communities all over the country. These schools also contributed to the spread of the Portuguese language particularly among the upper classes of society.

    The efforts of Roman Catholic clergy particularly the harsh methods adopted by them to convert Buddhists and reduce the influence of Buddhism among the public were viewed with great alarm by the Buddhist Sangha who had fled from Kotte to the Kingdoms of Sitavaka and Kandy, upon the conversion of Dharmapala and the seizure of Buddhist Temples.
    If Portuguese rule had continued and spread to the interior of the island, Sri Lanka would have completely lost its Buddhist heritage and become a completely Westernized and Catholic country. But even with the limited territorial reach (they were strong only in the Western maritime provinces) the impact had been deep, perhaps even indelible.
    Prior to the advent of the Portuguese, there was much Sinhala-Tamil and Buddhist-Tamil amity in Sri Lanka. Hindu temples dotted the maritime provinces, though these were Buddhist-majority areas. In the Thottagamuwa school, no distinction was made between Sinhala and Tamil, Pali and Sanskrit.
    It was the Portuguese who first created a division between the Sinhalese and the Tamils.

  15. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Most Catholic countries are poverty ridden, with wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. Catholic church is more like a Multi-National Global Corporation than a religious body.

    The bulk of the Sinhalese Buddhists have got caught up in a Hindu/Catholic problem not of their own making.

    LTTE was NOT “Hindu” led. The fact that the LTTE created huge cemeteries for their dead “Hindu” Tigers shows exactly which religion was in charge. Real Hindus cremate their dead !!

  16. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Idiyappam, Appam, Dosa, Pittu are Keralite dishes and not Tamil Nadu Dishes. Tamil speaking Sri Lankans’ culture has lot more in common with Kerala than Tamil Nadu.
    Kerala and Sri Lanka have close relations for thousands of years. 2nd Century AD Senguttuvan – King of Chera invited King Gaja Bahu for an occasion to honour “Kannaki”. King Gaja Bahu took a statue of “Kannaki” back home and introduced Kannaki worship in Sri Lanka. Kannaki is still known as Pattini goddess among Sinhala speaking in Sri Lankans. Keralites have many similarities with both Sinhala and Tamil speaking Sri Lankans. In fact the ancestors of many Tamil speaking Sri Lankans migrated from Kerala. Although they continue to speak Tamil, their accent has striking similarities with Malayalam. They still even use Malayalam words like monai, parainju, kunju, kutti etc. In fact Veluppillai Prabhaharan’s ancestors are from Kerala too. TULF leader Veluppillai (SJV) Chelvanayagam was not born in Sri lanka. Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan settled down in Tamil Nadu in his retirement until he was invited to compete for the top post. Ceylon Tamil Congress leader G.G.Ponnampalam became a Malaysian Citizen in 1956. Most of the present TNA leaders, including Sampanthan, Mavai and Suresh have their families permanently settled in India. What this shows is even so called “Tamil leaders” never considered Sri Lanka to be their motherland.

  17. Fran Diaz Says:

    Nalliah, you have put out a book here ! thanks.

    Anyway, my guess is that poor folk Tamil or otherwise, will turn to any religion that gives them upward mobility re money, jobs, education, and enhance the possibility of going abroad to more salubrious climes.

    Laws have to be enacted to protect the Buddhist shrines, old and new. The Buddhist shrines are the most vulnerable. Why not put the Armed Forces in charge of this project ?

  18. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    In January 2005 just days after the Tsunami, 3 people including an 8 year old boy – P. Mahenthiran (38), T. Tirusan (8), and N. Ananthan (24) – were killed and 38 persons were injured when Christian assailants threw two hand-grenades on a Hindu funeral ceremony for Tsunami victims in Vahaneri (northwest of Batticaloa town) – an area plagued by conversion-driven tension . Two suspected Christian assailants were arrested for the killings.

    30 years long civil war and the Tsunami has provided an easy way for the Catholic and Evangelical NGOs to convert poor, traumatized refugees by offering them food, sewing machines and few hundred rupees as bait.

  19. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Hindu pilgrims used to go to Madu for centuries because of their belief in the special healing powers ascribed to the Hindu Goddess Kannaki. The nearby tank is still called Kovil Kulam (Temple Tank). The Buddhists co-worshiped at the same site (like in කතරගම) and called it a “Pattini Devale”.
    “It is essentially a forest pilgrimage…the earth of Madu is considered to posses special medical properties, hence the sanctity, resulting in the reputation that `Madhu Medicine’ effects cures in cases of snake bite” (Census Report of 1911 by E.B.Denham – page 76). That age-old belief has nothing to do with Catholic religion. By building a catholic church there in 1876, the Catholic bishop of Jaffna conveniently appropriated the popular age-old belief in the healing powers of Hindu Goddess Kannaki for the edification of Madhu Madha Vigin Mary of the Catholic faith

  20. Lorenzo Says:

    So it is the Sinhalese who have actually lost a Pattini shrine. That is true. Tamils seem to be LEAST bothered as long as their TAMIL ELAM project is supported by the OCCUPYING Kasippu Joseph Goebbels clan.

    As I said before Kannaki Amman worship is not very wide spread among SL Hindus COMPARED to the worship of other gods like Murugan, Shiva, etc. It is a compromise MOST Tamils are willing to make for the sake of their Tamil Elam project. A Hindu priest would NOT do what Kasippu Joseph Goebbels is doing.

  21. Nanda Says:

    When the white man do something by force, cowardly Tamil race is silent. That is the reason.

    When the English came Tamil Nadu worshipped them like GOD Krishna. Was ready to do slavary to them.
    But under unified Endia when they intorduced Hindi to Tamil Nadu, Tamils said ” we don’t want forced action”, they protested.

  22. SA Kumar Says:

    Dear Sinhala brother
    please can you let me know meaning of Puvangudivayina (Punkudu-tivu) in sinhala !


  23. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Though nobody can even wear a tie in hot and humid Tamil Nadu, wearing a jacket in the Tamil TV programs has become the norm.

  24. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Please read the following to know more about Indian and Tamil culture (written 105 years ago)

  25. Lorenzo Says:


    Catholic bishop Kasippu Joseph Goebbels plans to meet Anglican bishop DESMOND TUTU around Geneva UNHRC time to complain about Tamil genocide, war crimes and other racist nonsense. He has collected a LARGE PILE of anti-SL CDs, documents and files. He plans to hand these over to Desmond Tutu.

    Why Desmond Tutu?

    A google search tells me Desmond Tutu is or was a member of the INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT and the GENOCIDE PREVENTION COMMITEE!!

    Their plan is clear.

    KJG must be stopped now before it is too late.

    Wrote to MOD and other jokers but no response. Some emails returned. As usual they cannot be reached. No other option. Please bring this to their attention.


  26. R.M.W Says:

    What about Ranil Wickremasinghe who is more of a quisling than the original quisling himself? Catholic Church is falling on it’s face now. What we should do is get our house in order first. Because the Catholic Church controls the media in Lanka, this kind of articles and ideas will never see the light of day. I think that our national paper Daily New and Sunday Observer should be run by neutral editors who give all points of view. If some of the articles I wrote the 1990ies were presented to the public, we would have not lost so many lives and resources and for Church’s subtle manipulations’ would have been ineffective. Freedom of thought is the thing we should fight for and not f……. Gods

  27. aloy Says:

    The book unfolded by NT is incredible. So, there has been no worthwhile Sinhala ruler from CE 200 upwards. The SL’s history narrated by NT is just like that of a south Indian state. Is this a subtle way of laying claim for an Eelam?.
    I hope a Sinhala historian will take up what NT has stated here. When I read Mahavamsa I get a complete different picture. Surely if this country was a playing field of South Indian chieftans with continuous battles, how come a successful hydraulic civilization developed in ‘Rajarata’? And what are the ruins we see there?. I always thought NT is a wolf in sheep clothe.
    Coming to RMW’s comment above, I too, agree that both DN an SO have been reduced to a very low level. They only contain what intelligence agencies produce and I believe Shenali also writes for such an agency.

  28. Piyadigama Says:

    Tamils are paid by TGTE to write to Sri Lankan websites and cunningly change people’s views.

    Trust them at your own risk. There are few here commenting regularly. Sometimes their patriotism sounds too good to be true. Not everyone, but some. There are very few good Tamils too.

    It is an established fact Sri Lanka was ruled by the Sinhalese always (except for few short times) until the British occupation. Mahavamsa is a thorn in the eye of Tamils. They spend a lot of money trying to ridicule the Mahavamsa and bring Sinhalese down to the level of Tamils who have no history in Sri Lanka.

    Whatever it is Madhu is an established place of worship even Buddhists go nowadays. People living, working and surviving in Sri Lanka need no problems created. Government cares nothing about a bishop doing anti-Sri Lanka things and people don’t care anything more. Now in elections both parties sell sex. Handsome men and sexy women are the new politicians. Educated people have no place in Sri Lanka. It is becoming another low grade place like Tamil Nadu.

    අපට පුතේ මගක් නැතේ!

  29. Piyadigama Says:

    රට කරවන රජ දරුවන් සැපවත් කරලා
    පිට රටවල ණය අරගෙන සුර සැප විඳලා
    වට පිට රට තොට මිනිසුන් මහ මග දමලා
    කොටි නැසුනත් රට වනසා රජයන දෙමළා

  30. SA Kumar Says:

    Nalliah Thayabharan
    all ok, why you worry about nobody can even wear a tie in hot and humid Tamil Nadu ! that is Director of show to worry !
    So called Anti VP& co Tamils alway make big mistake like Piyadigama said, Sometimes their patriotism sounds too good to be true !

    live & let live
    United Provincial Council of Mother Lanka, No short cut !

    Hela Demilaya ( Eelath Thamilan) !

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