“Jaffna is also a part of the country”, says Commander Security Forces Jaffna
Posted on September 19th, 2012

Asada M Erpini

The Commander Security Forces Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe has clearly explained to the visiting United Nations Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) team the manner in which the Army used property that belongs to civilians, according to media reports on 19 September. The Major General has said that many properties had been handed back to their owners. He has added that when the military occupies houses of civilians, the owners are paid rent and when properties are acquired the legitimate owners will receive compensation.

 The issue of determining the legitimate owners of properties is critical when it comes to paying compensation for acquisition by the Army: during the period when the LTTE held sway over the Northern Province many properties were given over by the LTTE Leader to the kith and kin of the pseudo-heroes who went by the misnomer “Maha Vir”, and the current occupants of quite a number of houses in these regions may not be those who have the legal ownership of the properties.

 The call for the reduction of military presence in the North has been the incessant demand of various international agencies, INGOs and the bogus peace merchants almost since the day when Prabhakaran bit the dust in the Nandikadal lagoons taking his Eelam dream with him. The Major General has also stated that the Army has already handed back a majority of the land to their owners and the owners of other houses that the military occupies at present are paid rent until they are released.

 The Major General’s response to the issue of reducing troop presence in the peninsula should be made compulsory reading to the Tamil National Alliance and their Eelam backers here and abroad: “”¦soldiers recruited for the Army “¦ have to be housed in the country and Jaffna is also a part of the country”.  The apt response of the Major General cannot be gilded further!

15 Responses to ““Jaffna is also a part of the country”, says Commander Security Forces Jaffna”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    soldiers recruited for the Army … have to be housed in the country and Jaffna is also a part of the country.


    Thank you Sir. You nailed it.

  2. Vijendra Says:

    Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, you are absolutely right.

    Jaffna, Trincomalee, Batticoloa, Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Matara etc. are all parts of Sri Lanka and it belongs to Sri Lankans. The UN bufoons who come under the pretext of doing “good” to Sri Lanka are none other than goons of the western warmongers. They are all out to create differences where they do not exist. They are now worried that they have lost some fertile ground to sell their arms and ammunition.

    You told them the truth and we Sri Lankans are proud of you, and thank you very much for taking care of our country by providing security in the north.

  3. dhane Says:

    What is USA forces are doing all over in many camps in Germany, Japan, Korea. Those countries are not part of USA. Why nobody asking USA to reduced their presence in those countries or camps. Thank you sir Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe your reply is indirect question to those who point finger to SL.

  4. thurai Says:

    In 1998 many people of Jaffna wanted SL Soldiers not Armed Tamil Youths.
    2012 People say even Solidiers are there in Jaffna they have no problems with them.

    First remove the cast discrimination within Tamils and High cast monoply among Tamil Politics.
    Tamil politicians cry for something always which incite violence.

    1) More right for Tamil Language in SL even Tamils wanted to learn English or other Language for their
    Bright future.
    2) Stop Sinhala Settlement in the north and east even Tamils from north don´t like to settle
    in the Vanni area and settle in Southern Sri Lanka and in Western countries.
    3) Stop Building Buddhist Temple even Hindu Temples are all over Sri Laka and in the whole world.
    4) Remove Soldiers from North and east without thanking for liberated Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims
    and the whole world from LTTE Tamil Mafia organisation.

  5. jay-ran Says:

    “The Major General’s response to the issue of reducing troop presence in the peninsula should be made compulsory reading to the Tamil National Alliance and their Eelam backers here and abroad: “…soldiers recruited for the Army … have to be housed in the country and Jaffna is also a part of the country”. ”
    Well said Sir!!!
    These RACIASTS TAMIL POLITICIANS are not interested with the PEACEFULL ATMOSPHERE PREVAILING IN North & East with which the ordinary Tamil civilians ARE HIGHLY SATISFIED.They know very well that Sri Lankan Soldiers ARE WELL BEHAVEDAND IS NOT A THREAT TO ORDINARY TAMIL CIVILIANS.But, Tamil Politicians of TNA who are real LTTE FOLLOWERS,with the backing of the TAMIL DIASPORA LIVING IN WESTERN COUNTRIES,WITH THE BLESSINGS OF THE WEST,do not wish a peacefull North & East.
    West,while keeping their armies in about 165 locations in the world whose land is not that of the West,PREACHES SRI LANKA TO DE-MILITERISE JAFFNA, so that they can pork their fingers and de-stabilise Sri Lanka.
    Therefore,UN Officials should be asked to mind their own business as what they preach does not apply to the West-A REAL DOUBLE STANDARD!!!

  6. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    “Tamil Exclusiveness” concept is one of the root causes for ethnic tension in our motherland. Mono ethnic enclaves should not be encouraged and causes non-tolerance of other cultures. Everyone should have a common Sri Lankan identity. Sri Lanka is for every son and daughter of the soil, whether speaking in English, Tamil or Sinhala. Equality,liberty and freedom to exercise one’s religion, language and culture is all that matters.
    Time has come to stop all this nonsense of being Tamil and Sinhalese. We are all Sri Lankans and Sri Lanka belongs to all its children. Every Sri Lankan citizen has to be treated equally, should be allowed to move around freely without any restrictions and when they do so they should be encouraged to procure these assets at market prices. If the Tamil speaking Sri Lankans can live other parts of Sri Lanka, then why Sinhala speaking Sri Lankans don’t have the same right.
    Sri Lanka is a free country; Anybody from Dondra Point should be able to live in Point Pedro and vice versa as well. Co-inhabitant is the best solution to national integrity and makes different ethnic groups to understand each other. Now that the Tamil speaking Sri Lankans are relocating to Canada, UK, Australia etc Sinhalese should relocate to the vacant areas left by the Tamil speaking Sri Lankans. In Singapore EIP – Ethnic Integration Policy – is enforced to balance ethnic composition.
    Any Sri Lankan should be able to live where ever they want, as long as the law of the country is respected and followed.
    When racists use “Tamil Areas” it implies that there are some areas exclusive for Tamil speaking Sri Lankans. Do people call Kandy, Nuwaraeliya or Milagiriya Sinhala Towns? Why this ethnically designated towns only in the North? Who ‘colonized’ Wellawatte and Milagiriya?
    Tamil speaking Sri Lankans know that Sinhala speaking Sri Lankans are great neighbours and even better than German, French, Italian or British. Tamil speaking Sri Lankans are living in harmony with Sinhala speaking Sri Lankans in the South. Given that millions of Tamil speaking Sri Lankans are living in the South and South is too cramped with people so we must say it is okay to allow new settlements (no matter what language they speak) in the North and East. While population of the rest of the country increased rapidly, with some once small towns like Galle and Matara becoming mega cities with population bursting at the seams, the population in the North has dropped by more than half.
    There are no ethnic homelands in Sri Lanka – only Sri Lankans and Sri Lanka.Though LTTE used Tamil speaking Sri Lankans as human shields, killed them, denied them food and medicines watched without a hum by the Tamil Diaspora and Tamil politicians, it was the Sri Lankan Army that braved LTTE attacks and mines to save 294,000 Tamil speaking Sri Lankans. These brave soldiers are the rightful owners of our motherland including Jaffna peninsula.

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    There are NO LAND OR AREAS in Sri Lanka that belong EXCLUSIVELY to Tamil People.

    ALL of Sri Lanka belongs EQUALLY to ALL of its people, irrespective of community.

    As the Defence Secretary points out, the MAJORITY of Tamils in Sri Lanka live in the South among the Sinhalese.

    Why then is the settling of Sinhala people in the North & East called “Colonization”? They are entitled as Sri Lankan citizens to settle and live ANYWHERE in Sri Lanka just as the Tamils settle and live in the South. We cannot have one set of rights for Tamils and another restricted set of rights for non-Tamils.

    These DEMANDS REFLECT the Racist, Apartheid attitudes of Greedy Selfish Eelamists who want to have their Exclusive Cake in the North and EAT an EQUAL Share of Cake of the Sinhalese also.

    Such Selfish Racist DEMANDS cannot be Accommodated in Sri Lanka, whatever the jaundiced “international community” may say! We will not ALLOW the creation of a patchwork of Apartheid Bantustans in Sri Lanka, come what may.

    Tamils should adjust to living as EQUAL citizens of Sri Lanka without DEMANDING SPECIAL RIGHTS UNAVAILABLE to OTHER Sri Lankan citizens.

    The “INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY” should recognize the RACIST INTOLERANT UNDEMOCRATIC SEPARATIST character of Tamil Eelamist demands and NOT PANDER TO THEM!

    Defence Sec. dismisses TNA claims

    By Shamindra Ferdinando
    September 20, 2012

    Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said yesterday that Tamil speaking people living in the Northern and Eastern Provinces were free now.

    Tamil people appreciated the ongoing accelerated development programme in war devastated districts. The international community was appreciative of the post-war recovery process, the Defence Secretary said, alleging that despite all that an attempt was still being made to portray a bleak picture.

    The international community should realize that those making unsubstantiated allegations against the GoSL today remained silent to Tiger atrocities as long as they felt the LTTE could achieve its military objectives, he said. The government welcomed senior representatives of the international community seeing the ground situation and raising contentious issues with relevant authorities. “We don’t have anything to hide. In fact, those alleging state sponsored colonization in the Northern and Eastern Provinces are mum on people driven out of their villages during the war by the LTTE,” the Defence Secretary said. They were also silent about large number of Tamils from a North and East freely settling down in a South, he said.

    Rajapaksa recalled how the LTTE detained even local UN staff and prevented their families from seeking refuge during the Vanni offensive. The official expressed confidence that the international community would examine the post-war situation. The Defence Secretary was responding to a spate of allegations made by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) at a meeting it had with a visiting UN delegation.

    A delegation of the Tamil National Alliance met Hanny Megally, Chief, Asia, Pacific, Middle East and North Africa Branch, Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and his team of officials at the office of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations. UN Resident Coordinator Subinay Nandy was also present. The TNA delegation comprised R Sampanthan, Mavai Senathirajah, Suresh Premachandran, Selvam Adaikalanathan, P Selvarajah and M A Sumanthiran, Members of Parliament.

    At the conclusion of the meeting, the TNA said: “Amongst the matters discussed were land issues relating to security zones, particularly Valikamam and Sampur where the displaced people have not been able to resettle, their lands being taken over for military purposes, lands being taken over ostensibly for development purposes and on which, persons of the majority community are being settled, cultural and religious places being denied to the Tamil people, issues relating to demilitarization, disappearances, detenues, changes in the demographic composition in the North and the East, accountability and the evolution of an acceptable political solution. The question of whether the Sri Lankan government is unequivocally committed to the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC and the resolution adopted by the UNHRC at its sessions in March 2012 were also discussed.”

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    Many villages & towns in N&E that had Sinhala names earlier, now have Tamil names. Isn’t it right that the earlier Sinhala names be reinstated ? Tamil names appear to indicate that those areas are fair game for Tamil ONLY claims (per Tamil TNA leaders), whereas a Sinhala name indicates that the area belongs to all Sri Lankan citizens.

    Our grateful thanks to the armed forces of Lanka for maintaining peace in our homeland.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    Big time liar and character assassin Frederica Jansz has been SACKED from editor post of rug tag sunday leader!!

    “You can’t fool all the people all the time Frederica!!”

  10. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Frederica Janz was surprised when she got her job as the editor after a very short training period.

    Judge W.T.M.P.B Warawewa opined that though former chief of defence staff and former commander of the army, Gardihewa Sarath Chandralal Fonseka was charged with dissemination of disinformation, in fact it was Frederica Jansz, who had done so, reproducing stories obtained from other sources. Judge Warawewa also noted that witness Frederica Jansz had repeatedly changed her story, and lied, published falsehood and disregarded court orders in the past.

    Frederica Jansz is very good at blowing her own trumpet and writing unsubstantiated, hateful, character assassinating hog-wog ‘gutter Journalism’.

  11. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Tamil Diaspora’s current breadwinners are the original immigrant population. These are people who grew up in Sri Lanka, who have shared memories and relationships with the remaining Tamil population. Relationships are the ties that bind. Much of the upcoming Tamil Diaspora generation has had no direct contact with Sri Lanka’s Tamil population. A large portion of this generation does not speak Tamil and would be unable to have anything but the most basic of conversations with their Sri Lankan counterparts. For others, their connection to Sri Lanka is romantic and genetic – the way many Americans refer to their long-forgotten German or English ancestry.Tamil Diaspora risks losing itself within their host country identities. If Tamil Diaspora parents do not bring their children to visit, connection to Sri Lanka will be further diluted as upcoming generations settle deeper into their host nations.With the possibility of Tamil Eelam gone, much of the Tamil Diaspora has lost all desire to return to Sri Lanka.

  12. 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.

  13. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    It was S.W.R.D Bandaranaike who opened the doors for low caste Tamil speaking Sri Lankans to attend schools & temples – places that were taboo to them by their own Tamil speaking brethren.
    The Social Disabilities Act No. 21 was passed in the parliament in 1957 giving lower castes of Tamil speaking Sri Lankans the right to attend schools & temples as the part of S.W.R.D Bandaranaike’s plan was to penetrate into the “low caste” votes of Tamil speaking Sri Lankans.
    Lower castes Tamil speaking Sri Lankan children could attend school regularly only after this act. A reawakening happened in the north among previously marginalised lower caste Tamil speaking Sri Lankans.
    No sooner Vellalar realized the dangers of SLFP government led by S.W.R.D Bandaranaike courting the low caste Tamil speaking Sri Lankans, Vellalar devised their response. It was to create the best division possible. A rift between the Tamil speaking Sri Lankans and Sinhala speaking Sri Lankans which would strike better success than low caste – Vellalar divisions among Tamil speaking Sri Lankans. It is important to note that the satyagrahas, the tarring of Sinhala letter “SRI” instead of English letters on vehicle licence plates launched by the Veluppilai Chelvanayagam led Federal Party and G.G Ponnambalam led Tamil Congress – both Vellala high class political parties happened a year after making Sinhala the official language. Why did Federal Party and Tamil Congress not cry foul over the Sinhala Only Act in 1956 but oppose the Social Disabilities Act on 1957 with such venom? It is because Tamil speaking Sri Lankans wanted to deprive their own.
    Wijeyananda Dahanayake who was the Minister of Education in 1957, gave teaching appointments to many lower caste Tamil speaking Sri Lankans who had three credit passes in the S.S.C Exam (equivalent to current G.C.E O/L). Appapillai Amirthalingam who was a Federal Party MP then, opposed this move under the pretext that it would bring down educational standards.
    Similarly, when the Sirimavo R.D.Bandaranaike led SLFP Government introduced university standardization in 1973 those that opposed were those who were against equitable distribution. The schools in thirteen out of twenty two districts did not produce a single engineering or medicine student until 1974. Students from Colombo and Jaffna who had been privy to education opposed opportunities that would be enjoyed by students from Mannar, Monaragala, Vavuniya, Ampara, Kilinochchi & other less developed districts. While the composition of the ethnicity did not change entrance, for Tamil speaking Sri Lankans it meant not only the Vellalar but lower caste Tamil speaking Sri Lankans too would gain university entrance. This was why Vellalar opposed the 1973 university standardization introduced by Srimavo Bandaranaike led SLFP Government.
    Tamil speaking Sri Lankans who cry “discrimination” may like to recall how in the refugee camps during the 1983 riots Vellalar refused to share common toilet facilities with the low castes and a lot of problems arose inside the very camps housing only Tamil speaking Sri Lankans!
    Hindi is the official language of the Indian Union (although it also recognises 15 or 16 other regional languages as official). Still, it is the native language of only about a third of all Indians. Those who don’t grow up speaking Hindi must learn it at school. Very little Hindi is spoken in the south of India, where the dominant languages are completely unrelated to those of the north.
    Urdu is the official language of Pakistan. It is also the official language of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and one of the two official languages of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
    Like Hindi, Urdu is not the native language of most Pakistanis. For only about 10% of Pakistanis, primarily those living in Karachi and other cities of the Sindh province, speak it as their mother tongue. The remaining Pakistanis grow up speaking Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi, Pashtu, Kashmiri or other languages and must learn Urdu at school. In fact, India has about ten times the number of native speakers of Urdu as Pakistan.
    But this situation is changing because the Pakistani state has so thoroughly suffused the country with Urdu. Many of today’s young Pakistanis for whose parents Urdu is not the mother tongue, have grown up speaking Urdu as though it was.
    Similarly a majority of Sri Lankan kids with Tamil speaking parents are now living in traditionally Sinhala speaking areas and growing up speaking Sinhala as well. Language will not become a subject of racist division in few years if all the Sri Lankan children learn Sinhala and Tamil.
    It has been the proud privilege of the Sri Lankans to live in harmony with one another. That has been the basis of Sri Lanka’s culture from the days of Asoka, 2,300 years ago. This has been repeatedly declared and practiced. Let us endeavour to rebuild the brotherhood that once existed between the Sinhala and Tamil speaking Sri Lankans. It is the only way forward to usher in peace and prosperity once more to this beautiful country of ours that has been torn apart by war and strife.
    According to the Tamil Dictionary published by University of Madras, Elam is a Pali word – not a Dravidian word. Elam has the same meaning as Hela and Sinhala
    Pali is at once flowing and sonorous: it is a characteristic of Pali that nearly every word ends in a vowel, and that all harsh conjunctions are softened down by assimilation, elision, or crasis, while on the other hand Pali lend itself easily to the expression of sublime and vigorous thought.
    In 1805 Capt.Robert Percival of British army in Jaffna wrote in his book “An account of the island of Ceylon” that the majority in Jaffna peninsula were Moors who wore a little white round cap on their shaven heads. Second largest community was Malabars, who had migrated to Lanka after the Portugese period, from the Coromandel coast of South India. They appeared different to the South Indians in Jaffna. Capt. Percival also recorded in his book that there were more foreigners in Jaffna than the people who were native to Jaffna. These “foreigners” were those Malabars who came from the Coromandel coast to grow tobacco. The legacy of the tobacco boom in Jaffna was reflected in the thousands of odd wells that have been used and are still being used for irrigation. Even after the big massacre of the Sinhalese in Jaffna in 1478, third largest community in Jaffna at that time was the Sinhalese. The South Indian community who had arrived as merchants and invaders, was smaller than all the above three communities.
    While typical Sri Lankan placenames of Sinhalese origin vastly dominate, toponyms which stem from Tamil, Dutch, English, Portuguese and Arabic also exist. In the past, the many composite or hybrid place names and the juxtaposition of Sinhala and Tamil placenames reflected the coexistence of people of both language groups. Sri Lankan place name etymology is characterized by the linguistic and ethnic diversity of Sri Lanka through the ages and the position of the country in the centre of ancient and medieval sea trade routes.
    Several Sri Lankan names including Perera (Pereira), Mendis (Mendez), de Silva (da Silva), Dias (Diaz), Corea (Correa), Tissera (Teixera), de Mel (de Mello) and Swaris (Soares) were derived from Portuguese. “Grand Pass” is the English rendering of “Grande Passo”, the name of a ferry established by the Portuguese, to cross the Kelani River.
    Popular Sri Lankan delicacies include lamprai and pilaf, frikkadelas and meatballs, pastellas (curry patties wrapped in crisp pastry), love cake, breudher and poffertjes were derived from the Dutch culinary tradition.
    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 CE 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 and Sarath Fonseka’s ancestors are from Kerala too. TULF leader Veluppillai (SJV) Chelvanayagam was not born in Sri lanka. Ceylon Tamil Congress leader G.G.Ponnampalam became a Malaysian Citizen in 1956.

  14. 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 Tamils and Keralas 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.

  15. Lorenzo Says:

    Jaffna was always a Sinhala area until swarms of Tamil boat people landed.

    After that they converted Buddhist shrines into Hindu shrines.

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