Posted on November 17th, 2010

Dr. Daya Hewapathirane


My motherland ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” whatever label you may wish to ascribe to it – Heladiva, Helabima, Sinhalay or Sri Lanka, is the oldest country in the world within its present borders. This glorious historic island existed as an independent sovereign country as far back as the 6th century BCE. The island’s civilization has achieved an individuality and identity that distinguishes it from its neighbors. Cultural traits brought from India have undergone change and independent growth, largely influenced by Buddhism which was formally introduced to our country in the 3rd century BCE. The Sinhala Buddhist culture of Sri Lanka which is the national culture of our country is one of the WorldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s oldest, continuous, unchanged cultures in existence and a culture that is unique to Sri Lanka.

It is one of very few countries in the world with an unbroken written history that goes back to more than 2500 years. This written history matches perfectly with foreign records and archaeological findings.

What my motherland, then and now, clearly projects is its Sinhala Buddhist imprint. The strength of this cultural foundation was tested several times in the past, during periods of foreign invasion, devastation and exploitation. But the nation stayed intact, withstanding threats, perils and calamities, largely owing to the power and potency of its Sinhala Buddhist cultural foundation. It is the inspiration of this strong Buddhist foundation that is reflected in the lives of our people, where peace, tolerance, compassion and generosity are the cornerstones.


The unique Sinhala Buddhist identity of our country began to take shape starting in the 3rd century BCE. This was reinforced with the development and widespread use of the proto-Sinhala language based on the Prakritic language used popularly in the numerous ancient lithic inscriptions found across our country. Starting in the 3rd century BCE, for as many as 15 centuries or for over 1500 years, our island was inhabited almost exclusively by Sinhala Buddhists. This period of time witnessed the development of a vast civilization based on a hydraulic agrarian system and a rich culture and a system of administration and governance, based on Buddhist norms and principles.

This period saw the rise to power of many outstanding Sinhala Buddhist kings who ruled the country from the Capitol City Anuradhapura for some 1200 years and subsequently from the Capitol Polonnaruwa for some 300 years until about the 13th century. This 1500 year period in the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s history can be considered, indisputably, as its golden age.

During this period, there were violent invasions of our country by South Indian Tamil-speaking Dravidian mercenaries. Although some of these South Indians were able to dislodge the seat of Sinhala power for limited periods of time, they were eventually ousted and the country was unified under the rule of Sinhala Buddhist monarchy.

During their invasions and rule, the country was plundered of its wealth and much destruction was caused to priceless monuments of the country. The 700 year old Sinhala Royal palace in the citadel of Anuradapura was burnt down. Relic chambers of stupas were broke open and valuables including gold images enshrines in them were taken away.

Often after plundering the treasures, they destroyed these historic structures for good.

Perhaps the saddest of all was the destruction of Thuparamaya, the oldest monument in South Asia. This exquisite Buddhist monument housed the BuddhaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s right-collar bone and the Alms-bowl. The Relic chamber of Thuparamaya was broke open to pay South Indian Tamil mercenaries. The crowning ornament on Thuparama was robbed and the great canopy over Thuparama, that protected it from bad weather, was smashed to get the priceless gems and golden decorations fixed on it.

In mid 10the century the Chola invaders looted Anuradhapura extensively. The huge domes- roofs decorated in gold and silver, and embedded with gems, built to cover the large DagabaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s and to protect them from bad weather, were destroyed again. That included the golden umbrellas over Mirisavetiya Dagaba, and Thuparamaya. The main library in the citadel, housing the sacred books, was maliciously burnt.

Jethavanaramaya, the gigantic monument recorded in history as the third tallest structure of the world, was destroyed. Temple of the Tooth Relic in the citadel was destroyed. Golden doors were ripped off from buildings. The pride of the nation, skyscraper LovaMahapaya was maliciously destroyed completely. This was the 6th time it was destroyed by these Dravidian plunderers. This was the end of the city of Anuradhapura.


The Buddhist tradition in Sri Lanka is one of the oldest there is. The Sinhala people have been practicing Buddhism continuously, for longer than anyone else in the world. Buddhism has been and continues to be the basis or foundation of the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s culture. for over 2300 years. All deeper aspects of the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s culture are reflective of Buddhist ideology, principles, ethics, virtues, values, morality, traditions, customs, thoughts, temperament, attitudes and way of life.

Whatever new elements that have been absorbed into the culture at different times, were subject to appropriate modifications, adjustments and adaptations in order to make them compatible with Buddhist principles and values. Buddhist principles were intertwined in these new additions although there may be exceptions which often are those elements which are in the process of being adapted to fit into the cultural norms of the country.

Buddhism is not a religion with a dogmatic canon. Buddhism functions not through crusades, but through tolerance, openness and the persuasive power of its philosophical foundation. Tolerance and the enormous adaptability of Buddhism are qualities that have remained unchanged throughout its remarkable history. Buddhism upholds everything worthy and meaningful. It promotes peace, peaceful coexistence, and democratic principles in governance. It promotes human rights, development of individual and community virtues and discipline in accordance with the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-pancha seela”. Non-violence and compassion towards all living beings has been the cornerstone of the national culture of Sri Lanka from early times. Peaceful cohabitation was promoted by Sinhala Buddhist kings from early times. Respect for the natural environment and sustainable and participatory development of resources and upheld in Buddhism. In addition, Buddhism strongly promotes tolerance of other faiths, religious and social harmony, and cordial relations with other nations.


Ours is the oldest Buddhist country in the world with Buddhism arriving in the island and establishing itself far and wide since 237 BCE, or about 2247 years ago. Buddhists across the world respect Sri Lanka as the country where pure Buddhism or Buddhist teachings in its original form prevails ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” the Theravada tradition. The significance of this should be seen in the light of the following background. Sri Lanka accounts for about a mere 1% of the estimated 1472 million total Buddhists population in the world. There are about 25 countries in the world with Buddhist populations. Of them, 17 account for a substantial number of Buddhists which qualifies them to be referred to as Buddhist countries. The 150 million Theravada Buddhists of the world are found basically in six countries and Sri Lankan Buddhists account for about 10% of the total Theravada Buddhist population across the world. It is also noteworthy that the traditional Sri Lanka Buddhist flag has become the global Buddhist flag.

In spite of invasions, threats, challenges, Buddhist culture did not disappear from our island, unlike in the case with several other countries. Today, over 70% of the total population of Sri Lanka is Buddhists. The simple and uncomplicated lifestyle promoted by our culture, is based on the five precepts of Buddhism. Their mind-set, temperament and attitude towards life are clearly reflective of Buddhist norms and values such as compassion, non-violence, tolerance, morality and peaceful coexistence with other living beings and with nature.


The outstanding imaginative and creative powers of the Sinhala people, their talents, skills, and foresight are well evident in what still remains as marvels architecture, sculpture, art, literature and other forms of visual culture, in irrigation technology displayed magnificently across the country as living evidence of an outstanding cultural heritage. The world recognition of the greatness of this unique Sinhala Buddhist culture is reflected by the UNESCO designating our ancient royal sites as World Heritage Sites – Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Mahanuwara (Kandy), Sigiriya and Dambulla, all built upon and strongly reflecting inspiration drawn from Buddhism. It is a fact that, if there is anything unequivocally worthwhile that our country can offer to the world today, it is the Buddha Dhamma and its outstanding culture and attitude towards life and its natural habitat.

Ours is the only country in the world that had the privilege of having three visits of the Buddha at three different times in the past.

During these times the Buddha set foot on 16 different places within our country which are still venerated as sacred sites.

Some of the most venerated relics of the Buddha are found in Sri Lanka, including the Tooth relic, the right collar bone and the Alms Bowl. Sri Lanka and Thailand are the countries with the largest collection of relics of the Buddha.

Oldest Institution in the world is Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Sangha Sasana, which is still active and operational in our country.

The oldest recorded tree in the world – the Sri Maha Bodhi, is found in Sri Lanka.

Oldest Buddhist monuments, dagabos, architecture, sculpture, paintings, literature, poetry are found in our country.

There is ample evidence that our ancient builders and planners were quite familiar with the principles of building construction or structural engineering. Some of their structures have lasted for over 1600 years.

The Lovamahapaya is the worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s oldest skyscraper which is 145 feet high with 9 stories and 1000 rooms. The largest brick structures of the world are the ancient Buddhist dagabos of Sri Lanka such as the Jetavanaramaya, Abayagiriya, Ruvanweliseya, and Tissamaharamaya. The Jetavanarama Stupa is about 400 feet high and is the largest brick structure in the world.

The oldest religious building/structure in Sri Lanka is the Thuparamaya stupa built by King Devanampiyatissa (307-267 BCE).


Cultural heritage encompasses material culture, in the form of objects, structures, sites, as well as living (or expressive) culture as evidenced in forms such as music, crafts, performing arts, literature, oral tradition and language. Sculpture, architecture, paintings and other forms of fine arts were used profusely in Sri Lanka from very early times to express Buddhist ideas and sentiment.

The exceptionally rich heritage of visual arts of the Sinhala people of Sri Lanka extends to a period that exceeds 2300 years, from the 3rd century BCE to the 21st CE. A spectacular collection of ancient sculpture, architecture and paintings adorns the islandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s culture.

They are conspicuous elements of the islandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Buddhist culture even today.

Culture is organic and evolving. There is however, cultural continuity from the past, through the present and into the future. Some cultural elements are preserved in an original or earlier state, whereas other cultural materials, elements and forms may have observed dynamic change, adaptation and development with time and with exposure to other cultures, circumstances and environments. The outcome of this dynamic change is often something unique but not necessarily completely new. However, it is peculiar to the particular culture concerned. It is an outcome which reflects a combination of elements of several cultures blended together but in keeping and compatible with the fundamentals of the long preserved cultural and social values of the particular culture. This outcome reflects a unique identity that is special to the particular culture. The evolution of the Buddha statue, the stupas of Sri Lanka, Buddhist paintings and the Sinhala language, are good examples.


All salient aspects of our national culture ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” tangible and intangible, either grew or evolved within the borders of our country. Sinhala language and literature originated in Sri Lanka. Sinhala language in fact is the most important defining element of our nationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s culture and heritage, from historic times. The Sinhala language grew out of Indo-Aryan dialects and exists only in Sri Lanka and has its own distinguished literary tradition. Sinhala is one of the worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s oldest living languages. There have been a wide range of languages in the world, particularly in Asia which lived and died without leaving evidence of their existence, because they were never written down.

This is not the case with the Sinhala language. All other languages used in Sri Lanka originated in other countries. It is significant to note that the overwhelming majority of people of Sri Lanka are distinguished by their language ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” Sinhala, which even today has a strong unifying effect in our motherland helping to reinforce the solidarity of our people as a unique cultural entity in the world.

Almost all place names of the country from historic times, are in the Sinhala language ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” in the North, South, East, West and Central regions.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”OLAƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ MANUSCRIPTS

It was customary in ancient times to place on record, on ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”olaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ palm leaf manuscripts, information pertaining to Buddhism, our royalty, the history of our nation, and most importantly, on many secular subjects.

A greater part of these priceless manuscripts were destroyed by foreign invaders, especially by South Indian Dravidians. Some were destroyed when the Catholic Portuguese and the Christian Dutch and British destroyed our Buddhist places of learning, temples and monasteries where most ola manuscripts were stored from ancient times.

However, what remained in places where these foreign plunders could not reach, such as remote temples, were later collected and stored in the National Archives, National Museums and prominent temples. A good part of these manuscripts have not been read yet. Therefore, a wealth of information on various fields lies hidden in the innumerable ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”olaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

manuscripts. There may be many old ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”olaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ manuscripts that contain past scientific and technological information.


Remains of the ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa in particular reveal the highly advanced state of ancient city planning. It was an amazing system of well laid out buildings with a road network, bridges, parks, cemeteries etc. Sigiriya had a sophisticated system of water management including underground canals.

Ancient Sri Lankans had a brilliant surveying tradition which is well reflected in the laying of the sophisticated irrigation system and related agricultural land management system. A sound understanding of the topography, geology and structure of the land was necessary to pan and implement such sustainable water conservation and transfer systems, where to locate reservoirs and associated irrigated lands etc.

The high degree of sophistication in engineering technology and skills in surveying are well reflected in ancient Buddhist structures and monuments. These skills were transferred to Buddhist architecture, sculpture, and other works of art. Brick-making, plasters for reinforcing bricks and rocks used in buildings and making of huge statues, both indoor and outdoor, are of special significance.

Mathematics and Astronomy were highly developed. The ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Sandesha KavyaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

written in the 15th century refers to the teaching of Mathematics.

Geometry would have been highly developed science in the past because all the massive and complex structures designed and built in the past had to utilize principles of geometry.


What was developed and promoted by our royalty and followed by the large preponderance of our people in ancient Sri Lanka was a highly productive form of farming/agriculture which reflected a sound knowledge of prevailing environmental conditions. The use of irrigation technology in a most prudent manner resulted in a farming system that was highly sustainable. The land and water management mechanisms that were observed were meant to have benefits in the short term and long term. Environmental conservation measures assumed importance where watershed resources management was given high priority treatment by our kings paying attention to conservation of forests, soil and water resources including wildlife and biodiversity.

Respect for the environment was a part of the lifestyle of farming communities of the past. The Worlds first and oldest wildlife sanctuary was established in Mihintale in the 3rd century BCE.


Ancient irrigation system developed by our kings is still operational and is considered as – Engineering marvels. Our earthen and stone dams and reservoirs systems the canal network and related water control and management structures and techniques show the skills of our ancient people. These works have sustained until today, still serving their purposes. Our canal system has minimum siltation. The Jayaganga is 54 miles long and its first 17 miles gradient is ONE inch per mile. Our ancient irrigation engineers, more than 2100 years ago, were the first inventors of both, the hydraulic surge chamber and the valve tower and to incorporate both principles in the same structure called the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”bisokotuvaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.


There was remarkable achievement in metal work industry. There were iron implements even during the 4th and 5 century BCE. The Tara statue of Sri Lanka exhibited in the British museum is considered as one of the best metal works of the past. So is the statute of Avalokethiswara presently exhibited at the Colombo National Museum, which has been displayed in several European and American Museums?

Special types of plasters were developed and used on rock and brick wall surfaces to effect paintings, ensuring their durability. Some paintings found on such ancient plasters are 1500 to over 2000 years old ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” Hindagala, paintings are over 2000 years and those of Sigiriya are more than 1500 years. Pigments used in paintings are based on natural products and are used on varied surfaces ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” walls, ceilings, statues, wooden, cloth, and earthenware. Our own traditional Pottery, ivory works, brass works, lacquer work that developed in the past are still continued today.


Ayurveda health services were highly developed in the past with its integrated approach to health and wellness. It received royal patronage and one of our famous kings named Buddhadasa was a well reputed Ayurveda physicians. There had been many books written in Sri Lanka, in Sinhala, Sanskrit and Pali on medical science. Among books compiled by King Buddhadasa on medicine is the famous ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Saarartha SangrahayaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.

Sri Lanka is the first country in the world to have established a dedicated hospital at Mihintale in the 4th century BCE. There is archeological evidence of several other hospitals built in our ancient cities. The ruins of the hospitals in Mihintale and Polonnaruwa are still evident. A number of surgical instruments have been discovered in Polonnaruwa. There were great physicians and surgeons in the past including Veterinary surgeons and Animal Hospitals. There is reference in ancient chronicles of sick elephants being treated by our ancient veterinary practitioners. The WorldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s first animal hospital was built in Sri Lanka


International relations were cordial and useful during the times of our kings. Sri Lanka had diplomatic relationships with places such as China and Rome from ancient times. The first envoy from Sri Lanka to China was in 428 CE.

Pliny (45 CE) chronicles an account of a Sri Lankan envoy to Rome in the reign of Emperor Claudius Caesar (10 BCE – 54 BCE). ”It had been of long time thought by men in ancient days that Taprobane (Sri Lanka) was a second world”.

Among foreign sources of information on our foreign relations with the outside world, are written records and reports of foreigners who visited our land. Also, there are archeological evidence that is indicative of diplomatic relations we had with foreign nations in the European and Asian continent.

The sea-faring nations knew Sri Lanka from very early times because of its position on the trade routes. The Greeks called it Taprobane.

Cosmos Indecopleustes (545 CE), the Greek merchant from Alexandria gives us the fullest account of Sri Lanka. “The island being as it is, in a position, is much frequented by ships from all parts of India and from Persia and Ethiopia and it like wise sends out many of its own and those from remote countries like China and other trading places…” The Chinese, Arabian, Persian, South and North Indian, Malay were the first traders of our country, followed by Portuguese, Dutch and the British. The ancient port of Mantota is reputed to have been an important port of call between China and Rome.

Sri Lanka was the ideal stopover of the Ancient Sea farers sailing in the Indian Ocean to East Asia and Pacific. We had our own ships and were involved in the export of rice. Ancient Chinese reports refer to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Sinhala shipsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. Our ships crossed the ocean to Java (as Indonesia was known at the time). The present Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Maldives islands, and a good part of India including Southern and Eastern India were predominantly Buddhist in ancient times. There is evidence of close interactions and travel between these countries in the past.

Contemporary Chinese records maintain that Persia bound vessels from China traded in gems, spices and ivory at the flourishing port of Mantota. The Chinese, Arabian, Persian, South and North Indian, Malay were the first traders followed by Portuguese, Dutch and British. Many Arabian traders have arrived in Beruwala Bay and made pilgrimages to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Adams PeakƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ via Ratnapura where they have traded Gems. Beruwala was the sea port of early Arab travelers who traveled to the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Adam’s peakƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

James Emerson Tennent (1861) in his well known book Sketches of Natural History of Ceylon states ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-There is no island in the worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦ that has attracted the attention of authors in so many distant ages and so many different countries as Ceylon. There is no nation in ancient or modern times possessed of a language and a literatureƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦ the writers of which have not at some time made it their theme. It’s aspect, its religion, its antiquities and productions have been described as well by the classic GreeksƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦.by the Romans, by the writers of China, Burma, India, Kashmir and the geographers of Arabia and Persia, by the medieval voyagers of Italy and France, by the analysts of Portugal and Spain, by the merchant adventurers of Holland and topographers of Great Britain.”

Pliny (45 CE) -one of the greatest Roman Historian writes about Sri Lanka in his encyclopedic work ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- ”It had been of long time thought by men in ancient days that Taprobane (Sri Lanka) was a second world”

Fa Hien (414 CE) – the famous Chinese pilgrim spent two years in Sri Lanka, mostly at Anuradhapura then a famous center of learning and writes about Sri Lanka in his works “This country is an oasis, prosperous and happy; it’s people are well-to-doƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚


The Mahawamsa, Culavamsa, Dipavamsa, Rajawaliya, Pujawaliya, Attana-galu Vihara Vamsa, Dhatuvamsa, Elu-Attangaluvamsa, Elu-Bidhivamsa, Maha Bodhivamsa, Thupavamsa, Daladavamsa and Viharavamsa provide detailed information of the history of our Sinhala Buddhist Nation, its people and their way of life. They provide information on Sinhala Buddhist Kings who rescued the Sinhala race, the island and Buddhism from marauding Dravidian armies of powerful South Indian kingdoms, hell bent on plunder and pillage, murder and mayhem, sack and ruin with sword and fire. Also about our benevolent rulers who performed deeds of piety, who made the country self sufficient in rice by way of irrigation engineering, promoted Ayurveda medicine and medical practice, build Buddhist temples, stupas and reigned with efforts to follow Dasaraja Dharma ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” the tenfold righteous path of a king.

The accuracy of this historical record of ancient Sri Lanka is generally accepted by means of other numerous local and Indian edicts such as King rock edict of Indian Emperor Asoka and records of the Fa Hien the Chinese pilgrim monk, Roman historian Pliny and several others who have already been referred to. Also by means of inscriptions, historical works, and literary works as well as by way of ruins, renovated historical and Buddhist monuments, ancient yet sophisticated irrigation networks, which extend the lifeline to date.


A nation is, in general terms, a human cultural community who feel a common bond. Members of a Nation share a common identity, and usually a common origin, in the sense of history, ancestry, parentage or descent. Therefore, a nation extends across generations. Almost all nations are associated with a specific territory, the national homeland. The national identity refers both to the distinguishing features of the group, and to the individual’s sense of belonging to it. Nationalism is closely associated with patriotism.

A nation is a historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common territory, a common culture and language, a common set of social values and psychological make-up.

Traditionally a nation is monocultural. Members of a “nation” share a common identity, and usually a common origin, in the sense of ancestry, parentage or descent. The first requirement for the definition is that the characteristics should be shared – a group of people with nothing in common cannot be a nation. Because they are shared, the national population also has a degree of uniformity and homogeneity. And finally, at least some of the characteristics must be exclusive – to distinguish the nation from neighboring nations.

The word ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”nationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ implies ancestry and descent. Almost all nationalist movements make some claim to shared origins and descent, and it is a component of the national identity in most nations. The fact that the ancestry is shared among the members of the nation unites them, and sets them apart from other nations, which do not share that ancestry.

A shared language is often used as a defining feature of a nation.

Unlike a language, a national culture is usually unique to the nation, although it may include some elements shared with other nations.

Additionally, the national culture is assumed to be shared with previous generations, and includes a cultural heritage from these generations, as if it were an inheritance. In Sri Lanka, the Sinhala language is exclusive to the nation, and is or should be central to the national identity.

Indigenous national sovereignty of a country is an inalienable right based on profound justice. Sovereign national rights of Sri Lanka rests with the Sinhala people who are indigenous to this country, forming its dominant majority community for over 2500 years. Sri Lanka is the only national sovereign motherland of the Sinhala people. Their culture, way of life and their Sinhala language originated and developed in Sri Lanka.

Tamils, Muslims, and Malays are non-indigenous minority communities of Sri Lanka who settled in the island at different times in the past, coming from their own motherlands. The Tamils came from their motherland, the Tamilnadu where their culture and language originated.

The Tamil nation of Tamilnadu is seven times bigger than Sri Lanka, where one has to be a pure Tamil in order to hold any high official position. Wherever they live, the Tamils have their national heritage and aspirations protected within their nation ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” the Tamilnadu. Any initiative that would dilute or threaten the national sovereignty of the Sinhala people is not only unjust but also illegal, and will not be acceptable to the Sinhala community.

Within any sovereign national country many non indigenous minorities have settled down but they do merge with the host nation into a single file. It is only by upholding the right of national sovereignty throughout the land that it will function without being violated. The granting of excessive rights to minorities in the form of alien-national rights of language, cultures and religions and exclusive ethnic areas will threaten a countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sovereignty.

Hence, strict controls of immigration to a country are paramount in protecting its national sovereignty and territorial integrity ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” a basic human right of a nation of people ONLY in their indigenous national motherland. Finally, high political positions in Sri Lanka including national leadership must be kept within the genuine Sri Lankan Hela nationals. It is noteworthy that for a high position in the Tamil Federal State of Tamil Nadu, first qualification is one has to be a full-blooded Tamil.

Those settling down or have already settled down in host countries have a bounden duty to merge with the host nation into a single coherent nation of members. It is basically, a state of mindset, not necessarily physical interaction. Within these host countries, human rights and civic rights of the host nation are what the settler minorities are entitled to and not the alien-national rights of the countries of their national origins they left behind for pastures anew. Their alien-national rights will shift to the private domain when in host countries and not to threaten the national sovereignty of the host countries either.

Sri Lanka wants all non-indigenous minorities of our nation such as the Tamils, Muslims, Moors and others of whatever label, to be a part of our Nation, to join the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s mainstream, just the way how minority communities are expected to do in all countries of the world, especially in places like Canada, Australia, USA, UK, Norway and help to strengthen our nation founded on the noble principles of non-violence, tolerance, compassion, where peaceful co-habitation has been the cornerstone from historic times. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Forgiving and forgettingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

has been the attitude of our people, even to those who have harmed us repeatedly from historic times, because our people know that eventually justice and truth will prevail .

Dr. Daya Hewapathirane

Vancouver B.C. CANADA –


  1. Ben_silva Says:

    We have lost a major chunk of the counry and we were on our way to losing the rest. If RW was in power, we would have lost the rest of the country as well. As Hela puwath has put in a previous post ‘Just look at who holds economic power in Sri Lanka. While it is the Sinhela poor who gave their lives to take back their “only country” – what have they received in return? We now have a country whose wealth and land is owned by Muslims and Tamils. Look at whose-who in the Colombo Stock Exchange. See who controls the largest companies in the country? Go to: []. And look who runs all the shops in the major cities in Sri Lanka – Colombo, Kandy, Galle. For sure the Sinhelelese get the supermarket clerks’ jobs and the government jobs – in contrast see who holds the management jobs? See how the Sinhelese have been driven out from prosperous cities and suburbs out in to the countryside. The sinhela children now have to travel for hours in vans to get to the good schools in the cities, while Muslim and Tamil population have “bought-out” the cities.’
    What caused this decline ? In my view we have been hanging on to old dogmas for far too long and time to think fresh to avoid further decline of the Sinhalese. We should not end up as Nalanada Buddhists, in rivers of blood. In my view, think fresh, dump religion, work and think smarter and harder, acquire new knbowledge and skills and think of the economic front and think of surviving and winning in the real modern global harsh world. Just look at what happened to Buddhists in Tibet and the countries the Silk route, or Nalanda Buddhists. Do we want to follow them ? Buddhism has been dumped even by Indians. Of course we have to respect and safegurard Buddhism as a part of our cultural heritage. Other than that, religion is a thing of the past and time to move forward, to avoid losing the rest of the country.

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