Posted on June 4th, 2016


Jaffna was a part of the Sinhala kingdom up to the 12th century .  Around    1247 or so, a Malay (Javaka) ruler, called Chandrabanu from the Buddhist kingdom of Ligor (now Nakon Sri Thammarat in Thailand)  invaded the Dambadeniya kingdom. He was defeated by Parakrama Bahu II (1236-70). There is reason to believe that Chandrabanu  did not return to Malaya but ended up in Jaffna. Chandrabanu’s coins have been  found in the north and there are place names such as Chavakaccheri in Jaffna peninsula .

Around 1258,   Jatavarman Sundara Pandya from the  neighboring Tamil kingdom  attacked Chandrabanu  and levied tribute. Then in 1263, Jatavarman Vira Pandya invaded, killed Chandrabanu and placed Chandrabanu’s son as a vassal ruler in Jaffna.  P.A.T Gunasinghe, researching into this period, said that there is little doubt that a ruler other than the Ariyachakravarti ruled in Jaffna before the last two decades of the 13th century. Gunasinghe also suggested that the Chandrabanu period could be considered a period of Buddhist rule in Jaffna.

In 1286, the Pandyas invaded again and placed the first of the ‘Ariyachakravarti’ rulers in charge in Jaffna. The first Ariyachakravarti was believed to be a leader in the Pandya king’s army. Gunasinghe pointed out that unlike most kings, the Ariyachakravarti rulers left no inscriptions. The tradition of leaving inscriptions was there at the time. There was one in Kegalle, but none in Jaffna.  The Kegalle inscription indicated that this kingdom was not an independent one but was a part of the   Pandya kingdom. Jaffna became, according to Vernon Mendis a Pandyan principality”.  The Pandya kingdom in  India  was weakened by Malik Kafur’s  Muslim invasion in 1310. Jaffna may also have been affected. In 1344, Ibn Batuta, arriving in the island, was told that Ariyachakravarti of Jaffna was an ally of a Muslim power in south India. The coins of Ariyachakravarti exhibit on one side the bull and on the other the crescent.

I think that the Pandyas were merely using Jaffna as a base from which to annex the Sinhala kingdom.  Ariyachakravarti successfully attacked Vikramabahu III (1359-74) and exacted tribute. Vickramabahu’s powerful minister, Nissanka Alagakkonara defeated Ariyachakravarti and the tribute ended. Historians are definite that the Sinhala kingdom did not go under Jaffna rule  during this period. Ariyachakravarti invaded again in the reign of Buvanekabahu V (1374-1408) and was defeated.

Around 1364, the Tamil kingdom in South India was conquered by the Vijayanagara kingdom of Karnataka. Jaffna also, as a Pandya principality was made to pay tribute and when it tried to rebel, Prince Virupaksha invaded and brought Jaffna under Vijayanagara control. This is indicated in his inscription dated 1365 Even in 1507, Jaffna it appears was yet under Vijayanagara. There was a Vijayanagara invasion into the Gampola kingdom,    which apparently was repelled. There is no record of the Gampola kingdom ever coming under Vijayanagara rule.

Jaffna went under Sinhala rule for a brief period. Parakrama bahu VI (1412-1467) sent Sapumal Kumaraya to conquer the peninsula. Jaffna became once again a part of the Sinhala kingdom. G.V.P. Somaratne says there were Sinhalese in Jaffna when Sapumal entered. Sapumal kumaraya ruled in Jaffna for 14 years from 1450.  Sapumal when he became king as Buvaneka Bahu VI (1469-77) was not interested in retaining Jaffna and Jaffna reverted to its earlier state.

Jaffna was the weakest and poorest of the   political units in the island in the 16th century, said K.M. de Silva. It was defended by mercenaries from south India . C.R. de Silva said that both Vijayanagara (Karnataka) and Travancore were claiming Jaffna at this time, and it is possible that Jaffna accepted the nominal over lordship of Vijayanagara. All transactions, whether salaries or trade was in cash, said Abeysinghe..  According to a 17 century Portuguese document, its revenue was about one fourth that of Kotte.

The Portuguese wanted Jaffna only because Jaffna could be used to control the sea route between India and Sri Lanka. In 1560, they forced a treaty on Jaffna ruler Cankili I (1519-61).  P.E.Pieris says the treaty was signed in Sinhala and Portuguese. In the same year they also took over Mannar Island. Cankili was deposed by his son, Puviraja Pandaram, who was deposed by another, who was over thrown by a third.  Puviraja regained the throne in 1582. He opposed the Portuguese, so the Portuguese replaced him with Ethirimanna Cinkam (1591-1616). Ethirimanna was succeeded by Cankili II who tilted towards the kingdom of Tanjore. Tanjore was a small, weak kingdom inside the former Tamil kingdom of South India.  In 1619, the Portuguese packed Cankili off to Goa and took over Jaffna.   The ruler of Tanjore tried to push the Portuguese out in 1620, but failed.

Unlike Sitavaka and Udarata who resisted the Portuguese fiercely, Jaffna succumbed to Portuguese rule without much opposition. Jaffna had converted readily to Catholicism  and the proportion of Catholics in Jaffna was eventually far greater than in the rest of Sri Lanka. The Portuguese churches selected for inclusion in ‘The architecture of an island’, (1998) are from Jaffna and Mannar. They are located at Chankanai, Myladdi, Vadukoddai, Paisala and Mannar. Jaffna Catholics supported the Portuguese throughout their period of conquest. They prevented Cankili from getting aid from Tanjore. The Portuguese never had such support from Catholics in Udarata.

The Portuguese transferred the Jaffna capital from Nallur to Jaffna in 1621. It was easier to defend Jaffna than Nallur. Work on the Jaffna fort started in 1625 and was still continuing in 1637. Kayts also had a fort. Both forts were by the sea. The Udarata king, Senerat invaded Jaffna in 1628. The Udarata army entered Jaffna unopposed and set fire to the churches there. 30 churches were destroyed  together with other external symbols of Christianity, such as crosses. The Portuguese regained Jaffna in 1629. Pieris notes that the Portuguese and Dutch never had a good word for the people of Jaffna, unlike for the Sinhalese.  D.G.B.  de Silva says Jaffna had more foreigners than locals.

Jaffna and Mannar went under the Dutch in 1658. The Dutch said that Jaffna, Mannar and Vanni had come to them as a direct conquest from Portuguese, who had taken these from the independent ruler of Jaffna. The islands     around Jaffna got Dutch names, Karaitivu was Amsterdam, and Neduntivu was Delft. Pieris says that the Dutch missionary Baldeus created a name for Mannar, from two Tamil words signifying sand and river. Dutch got down Tamils from South India for tobacco and indigo cultivation in Jaffna.  Portuguese officers were replaced by Tamil mudaliyars.

The public have been told that there was an indigenous kingdom in Jaffna known as the ‘Kingdom of Jaffna.’ Jaffna has no historical records which confirm the existence of such a kingdom. S. Pathmanathan in his ‘Kingdom of Jaffna’ says that the local Tamil chronicles don’t give a clear account of the beginning of the kingdom or its rulers. The main historical source for this bogus ‘kingdom’ is the ‘Yalapana Vaipava Malai’ written in 1736 at the request of the Dutch governor. Pathmanathan says that this document is defective in chronology and genealogy. No specific contributions any king is recorded in it.

Of the ten kings who are said to have ruled till 1450, only 4 are known in sources other than in Yalpana Vaipava Malai.  K.M. de Silva gives a list of 17 ‘Kings of Jaffna’ in his History of Ceylon.  He is able to give dates only for the last six starting from 1478 but says even these dates are uncertain. He says it is difficult if not impossible to work out who ruled in Jaffna. That is not surprising. Because instead of turning into a ‘kingdom,’ Jaffna had became a vassal state of the Pandya kings of south India.


  1. 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 socioeconomic and cultural impact and influence of these Dravidian Kingdoms had a lasting political socioeconomic 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.

  2. Ratanapala Says:

    I wonder from where this Jaffna Mahavansaya came from?

    Are there any historical evidence, archaealogical artefacts, inscriptions of Royal decrees to the presence of all these worthies in Jaffna and any left over legacy in terms of peoples customs, place names etc? Only customs one see are those that have come from South India and not of long antiquity either. Did these “kings” live in palmyra palaces and sit on palm fronds and called them thrones?

    Yalapana Vaipava Malai boasts of a ‘steel fortress’ which had magnetic properties that could undo the iron nails of passing ships! Such poetic imagination is hard to beat in any world literature!

    In reality there are a plethora of Sinhala place names now tamilized and some Buddhist ruins, now rapidly being unearthed and destroyed, but hardly any leftover signs of Tamil Imperial habitats nor works of value to ordinary citizens such as irrigation systems and religious places that correspond with this history.

    Can the writer enlighten us on this for who knows we may be wrong!

  3. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Ratanapala is right. You have to have physical evidence. Archaealogical in fact then you know for certain.
    There are fiction and fact. Some of the books are fiction. Some are facts. It is like that. If you see something
    in a book, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Please check the oldest building in jaffna and you will see it is the old dutch fort.
    It tallies with the facts available. If your article is true we should be able to see some of the remains from old
    buildings etc. Like you see in Anuradahapura and Polonnaruwa. Sri Lanka was in one piece until dutch rascals came
    and destroyed it. They brought tamils from tn to work in tobacco plantations.

    As we all know, the two legged creatures, or any creature for that matter, to survive on this planet they need water. So if you have a lot of these
    creatures in one place, they need a lot of water. So that’s why all ancient civilisations existed near rivers, lakes etc.
    Not near the sea! Is that enough evidence. in jaffna’s severe climate nobody would’ve lived there. Enough proof
    about these ancient tamil kingdoms? These stories are fictitous. Please don’t make them fact. What happens is after
    several centuries they become fact! Why? Because people lived at the time not around then to say otherwise.
    Only way to prove them right or wrong is archaealogical facts.

    I’ll leave some can’t deny evidence to dismiss all these rubbish. Please use the following link.
    Please rewrite the article. Don’t believe everything in books. There are some fictions as well.


  4. Christie Says:

    There were always visitors and invader from the sub continent the same as was for British Isles. Sinhalese never allowed them to establish them selves and take over the island as was for the British Isles.

    Any attempts to establish their own were destroyed until they came as Indian colonial parasites under the British-Indian Empire.

  5. anura seneviratna Says:


    Indeed, Jaffna under land robbers then from Tamil Nadu and west. Most western land robbers to Sinhela Island land and murderers left but Tamil Nadu origin still trying shamelessly to translate crime into a right with endless historic fraudulence. It is self evident Tamil Nadu is the Tamil country and we need no further evidence to prove the Island of SL is the Sinhela National country and all her citizens including all settler communities now should be Sinhela national citizens.

    This type of article place ladders to jumping monkeys.

  6. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    A little knowledge is dangerous. And a little historical knowledge is even more so.
    Around 500 BC 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 Ashoka 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 Sangam 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 Sattanar, 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.

    Persons interested in ethnicity in Sri Lanka should read the following:
    Abeysekera, C. and Gunasinghe, N. (1987) Facets of Ethnicity in Sri Lanka, Social Scientists Association
    Deraniyagala, Siran(1992) The Prehistory of Sri Lanka; an ecological perspective. Archaeological Survey Department of Sri Lanka
    Gunawardena, R.A.L.H. (1995) Historiography in a Time of Ethnic Conflict. Construction of the Past in Contemporary Sri Lanka, Social Scientists Association
    Indrapala, Karthigesu (2007), THE EVOLUTION OF AN ETHNIC IDENTITY — The Tamils in Sri Lanka, C. 300 BCE to c. 1200 CE
    Jayawardene, Kumari (1984) “Class Formation and Communalism” in Race & Class Vol. XXVI, No I Summer London.
    Jayawardene, Kumari (1990) Ethnic and Class Conflict in Sri Lanka, Sanjiva Books
    Jeganathan, P. & Qadri Ismail (1995) Unmaking the Nation: The Politics of Identity and History in Modern Sri Lanka, Social Scientists Association
    Liyanagamage, Amaradasa (1968) The decline of Polonnaruwa and the rise of Dambadeniya. Department of Cultural Affairs, Government Press
    Pieris, Paulus Edward (1918) Ceylon and Hollanders 1658-1796. American Ceylon Mission Press
    Pieris, Paulus Edward (1920) Ceylon and the Portuguese 1505-1658. American Ceylon Mission Press

  7. Dilrook Says:

    @Nalliah Thayabharan

    Silappadhikaram and Maṇimekhalai are the works of Tamil Nadu, India. They have no relevance to Sri Lanka apart from a few references. The unbelievable myths contained in Maṇimekhalai relate in part to Sri Lanka. However, they are in no way give any evidence of Tamil presence in the island.

    When referring to Tamil poems, artwork or anything, please make sure to refer them as Tamil Nadu or Tamilakam (original name of Tamil Nadu). This is because there is absolutely no Tamil artwork of any other place.

    Apart from a few sporadic invasions, there is no evidence of Tamil presence in the island. Even these invasions were totally reversed by Sinhala armies making it impossible for any Tamil community to survive in the island. This is evidenced by the fact that there are no Tamil artwork or construction attributable to locals in anyway before the 18th century. Even the Tamil (Nadu) language spoken in Sri Lanka is only 200 to 300 years old as there was no enough time for it to evolve separate from Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Had the Tamil (Nadu) language been in Sri Lanka for a considerable period of time, it would have evolved much more.

  8. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Why can’t people accept the simple fact, you need physical evidence. Not the books. People writing these
    things saying from this book and that book, probably don’t know there are things called novels. There are fiction,
    there are fact. It is like that. Seeing in a book doesn’t mean it is the truth. Far from it. Those novels have fictitious
    characters. Most people know that except people writing these things saying this and that. Ok we had tamil kingdoms.
    Then where are the remains of those buildings like in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa etc. If these people disput what
    we say, they should go to Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa to see for themselves. Those mythical kingdoms exist in
    books and www. only. Only other place is of course tamil nadu (nadu means country in tamil). The guys came from
    tn to invade us and left. That’s all happened. They didn’t and couldn’t stay in jaffna since there was no water in

    Please don’t believe you read in books are always true. There are fiction. Please show us an ancient brick to substantiate claim. It will really help if tamils stop these ridiculous claims and be Sri Lankans. Only contributions
    to us is murdering 100,000+ Sinhalese, including Buddhist monks, women and children by catholic tigers of tamil
    drealam. Please be Sri Lankan and be loyal to Sri Lanka. Why? Because it is your birth country and the Sinhalese
    welcomed your ancestors with open arms. Even during the 1960s severe famine in tn, a lot of kallathonis swam/
    crossed to our country. We took them all. They too have become ‘natives’ and clamour for a separate country.
    You’ve been grateful? Pause for a moment and think.

    All these people who claimed asylum abroad (sorry, developed countries only please) now proudly say I’m
    American, French, German etc. etc. But they are very reluctant to say I’m Sri Lankan. If I were you, I’d be
    ashamed since you are insulting your birth country which gave you FREE education, FREE medicine and gave
    everything it could while being a poor country. Sri Lanka even let you write in tamils in all exams, tamil examiners mark them up and let you get into university etc. etc. Some people might say you can get through the back door.
    Always faculties like medicine and engineering full of them outnumbering the native Sinhalese depriving them of
    their share. Still not happy. Then some tamils even contribute to kill the Sinhalese by giving money after receiving
    FREE education from poor Mother Lanka. That’s the real truth. Their heart and loyalty is tn. That’s why they want
    a separate country. They don’t think they are Sri Lankan. That’s why they have these ridiculous claims without
    even having an ancient tamil brick to back up those stories. Hope Sinhalese won’t add fuel to this ridiculous ‘fire’.

  9. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Last sentence….
    Hope Sinhalese won’t add fuel to this ridiculous ‘fire’ by writing quoting from this book and that book.
    Books aren’t archaeological facts.

  10. plumblossom Says:

    Yesterday, the third largest arms storage facility of the Sri Lankan Army went up in flames. Is this sabotage by the Yahapalanaya Government itself to weaken our Armed Forces? Weapons worth millions of US dollars went up in flames. Was Ranil, Sirisena, CBK, Mangala, RAW, the US, the UK, the EU, Norway, Sweden, Canada behind this? Is this to weaken our Armed Forces so that the TNA separatist terrorists can get what they want via constitutional changes i.e. Eelam?

    A great danger facing Sri Lanka is the proposed constitutional changes. UNP MPs frequently come on discussion forums on TV and state that the policy of the UNP is maximum devolution of power within a unitary state. However, you cannot any longer call yourself a unitary state if you devolve too much power in the first place! Even now with the 13th amendment in force, Sri Lanka is no longer a unitary state. I would suggest that the Global Sri Lankan Forum write a press release suggesting that no more power should be devolved to the provincial councils than they have at present and especially not land, police and fiscal powers. The GSLF should demand unequivocally that North East Sri Lanka is definitely not a Tamil homeland as stated in the 13th amendment but the homeland of firstly the Sinhala Buddhists (as per the history and archaeology of the island) and subsequently and at present the homeland of all the people of Sri Lanka in total. The GSLF should absolutely demand this change be brought on as part of the13th amendment. The clause in the 13th amendment which says that any two provinces can be merged should also be deleted.

    GSLF, please write a press release and release this to the Sri Lankan press immediately before Ranil, Sirisena, CBK and Managla bring on a federal constitution (disguised as ‘unitary’) with extremely wide powers with the North East being merged (effectively an Eelam) as what the TNA separatist terrorists, the US imperialists, the UK, the EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden and India wants.

  11. plumblossom Says:

    Invaders and settlements are not the same thing. Definitely today’s Sri Lankan Tamils came during the Dutch and the British times to work on tobacco plantations during the Dutch and the British times and were brought over by the Dutch and the British. If you look at the history and archaeology of Jaffna, presuming it to be the oldest Sri Lankan Tamil settlement, it is very clear. Therefore it is best not to confuse invasions (which happens when powerful neighbouring kingdoms arise) and settlement. For example the Pandyas, Cheras, Kalingas also invaded Sri Lanka from time to time but you would not say that the Keralas or the Orissans and the Andra Pradeshians ‘settled’ here would you? Same goes for the Nissana Malala invasion or the Portugese, Dutch or British colonisations. Would you say that the Portugese, Dutch or British settled in Sri Lanka or were those simply colonisations for periods of time? Even the 10th century writing is that of an invasion, this time Chola, not a permanent settlement. Please do not confuse invasions which did not result in a any settlement with permanent settlement. The Sri Lankan Tamils were brought over during the Dutch and British times to work on tobacco plantations and that is what the archaeology also corroborates. Also the Cholas, Pandya, Cheras and Kalingas invaded Aunradhapura or Polonnaruwa again signifying invasions only not settlement of any sort.

  12. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    A lot of dynasties in ancient and medieval Sri Lanka claimed to be Kalinga and Kashtriya dynasties. Ancient Kalinga territory bleed into both today’s Andhra Pradesh and Orissa and it was a maritime power. They exported people and both Hindu and Buddhist ideas all over southeast Asia.

    Many castes in Jaffna Peninsula can be found in South India except Nazhavar, Koviyar and Madappalli. Vellalar are Tamil speaking people who are a land owning feudal agrarian community. Some of the Vellalar in the Medieval period were sages such as Naayanmaar and religious scholars like Chekkilaar. Out of the 63 Naayanmaar, 13 were Vellalar. Several castes used many made up stories to upgrade them in the caste hierarchy in Jaffna peninsula. This is how 65% Tamil speaking Sri Lankans ended up being Vellalar where as in Tamil Nadu Vellalar never make up more than 10% of a local population except in Kongu Nadu. This is a never-ending game throughout South Asia in every ethnic group. Even after converting themselves as Muslims doesn’t prevent people from inventing stories about their past. In Afghanistan and Pakistan Pashtun tribes claim Semitic Arab origin to elevate them in the tribal hierarchy. Jaffna peninsula was a virgin territory for a lot of adventurers from India of `lowly’ origin who rose up in the hierarchy by hard work and cleverly masking their past. If each and every high caste Vellalar families do an unbiased genealogical study they will find adventurers from India of `lowly’ origin.

  13. SA Kumar Says:

    Nalliah Thayabharan
    Vellalar families do an unbiased genealogical study they will find adventurers from India of `lowly’ origin.- are you living in western world & how long ? still believe in low & high caste ?

    be proved to be Mother Lanka Where genuine Bhuddist Sinhala people living not caste system exist !!!

    now you know why Lord Bhudda visited Mother Lanka 3 time .

    If We(Tamil) are in their position Will We give 3 meals a day for three years for 297,000 people than released with out charged ???

    Nalliah We(Tamil) may good metal fighters but Dharma with Bhuddist sinhales that why We never ever win them !!!

  14. Fran Diaz Says:


    Re your above note to Nalliah,

    Please note two important points :

    * Tamil Nadu issues birth certificates with Caste.
    * INDIA does the Census (latest 2011 too), based on Caste divisions.

    Lanka is just 12 miles across the sea from Tamil Nadu. Tamll folk have caste divisions even in Lanka, without it being written up in birth certificates. Even in the west, among the Tamil Diaspora we have witnessed caste based ‘divisions’.

    Caste is well and alive among Tamil folk, it seems.

  15. SA Kumar Says:

    Fran Diaz
    Caste is well and alive among Tamil folk, it seems.- Fully agreed but what you are missing it not Tamil it is Saivam( Hindhu) have caste system .

    I know no one agreed with me but real fact is We are Eelavar who speck Tamil ( in Sinhala Hela Demila ) NOT Thamilar (Tamils) our origin from boarder of todays Kerala & TN who’s mother tang is Tamil but social behaviar match with Malayalis ( Cousin marriage not uncle marriage/ Idly-Desai not our main food etc….)

    also Our fight between Saivam & Bhuddisum not NOT Tamil & Sinhala !!!

  16. plumblossom Says:

    Even if we accept that the Pandya, the Vijayanagar empires held onto the Jaffna Peninsula as part of their empires, it was only the peninsula, a small piece of land. it would have been sparsely populated since the Pandyas and the Vijayanagar empire would have been there simply to extract resources and to use the peninsula as a staging post to launch attacks to overtake the Sinhaladeepa (of which Jaffna too is a part but forcefully taken over by the Pandyan and the Vijayanagar empires). However, it is very clear that it is only during the Dutch and British times that the present day Sri Lankan Tamil people were brought over to work in the tobacco and indigo plantations which were sought after crops in Europe and with which a lot of profit would have been made. That is why they were called the Malabars by the Dutch and the British. Also all the ancient archaeological finds point to a Buddhist past with many ancient Buddhist temples, Buddha statues etc. being found not only on the Jaffna peninsula but also all over the North. In fact, the North was part of Rajarata, when you think of the extensive irrigation reservoir system built by Rajarata. So even if there is some claim for greater power, it should be confined to the Jaffna Peninsula only and not the vast majority of the Northern province which was part of Rajarata. Considering the Jaffna Peninsula, one of the largest structures is the Jaffna Fort built by the Portugese. There is also a fort at Kayts and also at Mannar island. The only other ancient structure, apart from all the Buddhist archaeology is King Cankili’s abode. Cankili was part of the Aryachakravarthi occupation. So let us face it, most of the Northern province was part of Rajarata apart from maybe the Jaffna peninsula (which was forcefully occupied by the Pandya and the Vijayanagar empires). So today, the whole of Sri Lanka is belongs to all its people as a whole and no bit part can be claimed by any exclusive group of people, when looking at the history and archaeology of the island. By the way, the Spanish, the French, the British, the Americans, the Portugese made enormous amounts of money growing tobacco, indigo, sugar cane, cotton and other commodities fetching high prices in the carribbean, brazil etc. using slaves etc. So this is why the Dutch and the British in Jaffna would have brought over a lot of people from the Malabar coast etc. to work on tobacco and indigo plantations which would have fetched high prices in Europe.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2019 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress