Tamils in Sri Lanka are Recent Arrivals from Malabar Coast and Coromandel Coast of South India (Thesawalamai Law)
Posted on April 20th, 2016

Dilrook Kannangara

Tamils are certainly recent arrivals from the area that is part of today’s Kerala and Tamil Nadu. According to the regulation No. 18 of 1806, the law applicable to The Malabar inhabitants of the Province of Jaffna” is the law of Thesawalamai. This very clearly proves Jaffna Tamils are people that came to Sri Lanka from Malabar coast of Kerala. Apart from a very few changes, Thesawalamai  law found in Sri Lanka is a carbon copy of Marumakattayam law of Malabar Coast, Kerala. In detail, Jaffna Tamils came from the west coast of South India – states of Travencore (tobacco plantations capital in the 17th century) and Cochin and the Districts of Malabar and South Canara.

Another wave of Tamils came to Sri Lanka from Coromandel Coast of Tamil Nadu. They too followed Thesawalamai law in Sri Lanka brought by Malabars with a slight change. They too came to be known as Malabar inhabitants of the Province of Jaffna.

In addition to Malabars (Jaffna Tamils), other Tamils in Sri Lanka’s coastal areas were known as Mukkuwas. Mostly fishermen, they too came from Malabar coast of Kerala and inherited the Mukkuwa law which is very similar to Thesawalamai.

Further readings on Thesawalamai law – Influence of Hindu Law and Marumakattayam Law on the Laws and Customs of the Tamils of Jaffna by J.M. SWAMINATHAN.

Calling this law Thesawalamai  is deceptive as it means the law of the land” whereas it has absolutely nothing to do with the law of the land in Sri Lanka. Even today, Tamil accent of Jaffna Tamils is very close to Kerala than Tamil Nadu.

Given repeated south Indian (mostly Tamil) invasions since the introduction of Buddhism to the island (all Tamil invasions took place after Buddhism was introduced), it is extremely unlikely that Sinhalas allowed Malabar and Coromandel Coast people to land in the island and continue to live in the island. Their attempts to settle in Lankan territory would certainly have resulted in massacre. However, when the Portuguese, Dutch and British invaders neutralised Sinhala military power, South Indians could have safely landed in the island. Even today, all Tamils in Sri Lanka totally rely on Tamil Nadu made songs, films, artwork and everything that can be called part of Tamil culture.

The artificial Ceylon Tamil” or Eelam Tamil” ethnicity was created only in 1911 by a Tamil who was in charge of the census. As such, Eelam Tamils have a history of only 105 years in Sri Lanka and half of it is soaked in blood of Sinhalas, Muslims and Indians in their racist quest for a mythical nation called Tamil Eelam” (interestingly another artificial concept created in 1922 by the very same person who created the Eelam Tamil ethnicity in 1911).

Given these facts, it is utterly absurd for Tamils to claim they lived in Sri Lanka for over 500 years in a Tamil homeland within the island. If at all Tamils had a homeland, it was in Kerala and Tamil Nadu of South India.

Tamils are entitled to equal individual rights in Sri Lanka but are not entitled to a province, Tamil official or national language and a homeland in the island. Any attempt to carve out a separate nation, federal state or province for Tamils must result in war and the neutralisation  of separatists. Ideally the Sri Lankan constitution must clearly specify this defence.

4 Responses to “Tamils in Sri Lanka are Recent Arrivals from Malabar Coast and Coromandel Coast of South India (Thesawalamai Law)”

  1. vyasan Says:

    I agree with the above posting about the history of Sri Lankan Tamils. The code of law known as ‘Thesawalamai’ has many similarities with the customs & laws practiced in today’s Kerala. Moreover, even in the matter of marriages between relatives, the practice of Sri Lankan Tamils, especially that of the Jaffna Tamils are similar to that of Kerala people, for example, a girl or boy can get married to her or his maternal uncle’s son or daughter if they found to be compatible to each other, similarly a girl or boy can get married to her paternal aunt’s son or daughter. This practice is followed in Kerala, whereas, in Tamil Nadu, a girl can also get married to her maternal uncle if that uncle happens to match the girl age wise. And I also found out that many Tamil words used by our parents and grand parents are used in Kerala today, but not in Tamil Nadu. Among the Jaffna Tamils, and the Malayali people, this practice, girl getting married to her maternal uncle, is unthinkable. Similarly, the food habits of Jaffna Tamils are more similar to that of the Malayali people rather than to that of the Tamils in Tamil Nadu. Physical features too resemble more to that of Kerala, and the old house building patterns are similar to those found in Kerala in those days. As a Jaffna Tamil, I have come to know about these facts from my observation and knowledge gained through talking to my Malayali friends and watching the old Malayalam movies. In fact, I find many similarities of our (Jaffna Tamils) life style with that of the Malayali people than that of the Tamil Nadu Tamils. I am sure, if it were not for political reasons, the Tamil politicians in Sri Lanka more likely would want to identify themselves with the Malayali people than with the Tamils in Tamil Nadu.
    Unfortunately, for political reasons the facts have been twisted to suit their purpose by the Tamil politicians.

  2. mario_perera Says:

    “Tamils are entitled to equal individual rights in Sri Lanka but are not entitled to a province, Tamil official or national language and a homeland in the island. Any attempt to carve out a separate nation, federal state or province for Tamils must result in war and the neutralisation of separatists. Ideally the Sri Lankan constitution must clearly specify this defence.” – Dilrook

    That is it. that is all that has to be said on the subject. may i repeat: Any attempt to carve out a separate nation, federal state or province for Tamils must result in war

    The nation is haunted by two specters:
    First, a unilateral attempt by Tamils to carve out a separate nation, federal state or province for Tamils
    Second, a unilateral attempt by the government to concede a separate nation, federal state or province for Tamils, constitutionally or surreptitiously.

    As for the first case, such an attempt must invariably lead to WAR.

    But what of the second situation? Such an attempt by the government would be treachery against the Sinhala nation.

    There are two events that strike my mind in this regard.
    First, the what Gota said at his interview by the BBC on the issue of Fonseka raising the matter of ‘white flags’. Gota said, if Fonseka said so that would be TREASON. Gota’s outburst ended with: We will hang him.

    What did LTTE think of their traitors?
    In 1972 Kasi Anandan stated in public, in the presence of Chelva: Mr Duraiappah is an enemy of the Tamil nation. He does not deserve a natural death Nor does he deserve to die in an accident. Tamil people especially the youth must decide how the traitor must die.

    He repeated this threat against others as well. “The six traitors who voted for the Republican Constitution of 1972 must not have natural deaths.” The six Tamil MPs referred to by Kasi Ananthan were C. Arulambalam, A. Thiyagarajah, C.X. Martyn, C. Kumarasuriar, M.C. Subramaniam and Rajan Selvanayagam.

    Briefly said, TRAITORS MUST DIE. There is no better dissuasive means against treachery to the Sinhala nation than the ‘sword of Damocles” hanging over the heads of traitors.

    Apparently a counter force is appearing on the scene. During today’s televised news, the JHU took up this issue of the demand of Federalism by the TNA. The JHU will not allow that to happen, the spokesman said.

    The Sinhala nation which lost the flower of its youth to eliminate the threat of terrorism, must not be deterred from taking the ultimate step against traitors who tread over the blood of those who laid down their lives for the unitary nation state.
    ‘Death to Traitors’ is the only counter force that will make eventual perpetrators reflect and desist.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  3. Dham Says:

    Mario said –
    “The Sinhala nation which lost the flower of its youth to eliminate the threat of terrorism, must not be deterred from taking the ultimate step against traitors who tread over the blood of those who laid down their lives for the unitary nation state.”

    This before the win it was a Sinhala government and Sinhala soldier.
    After the win it was converted to a Colombian Government and Colombian commanders were hand selected to control the Sinhala youth who were restricted to cleaning Tamil drains in the name of an introduced new term “Reconciliation” and a hint of “Autonomy” was passed around the world.
    Tamils did not want reconciliation. Sinhalas were always sympathetic to Tamils and did not know of this foreign word. Completely unnecessary Hora Para to Elam was constructed. If this is not the great betrayal which one is it ?

  4. Christie Says:

    These are Indian colonial parasites like others in Mauritius, Guyana, Malaya, Fiji and other tropical British Dominions.

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