Present case for a Sinhaladeepa Homeland: Time world hears the Sinhalese version
Posted on March 23rd, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

The Sinhalese need to wake up to some realities. For 30 years false propaganda won the day. Lies have been promoted over the years and paid adverts have pushed a plethora of falsehoods. There is little point in Sinhalese grumbling and laying claim to its land without letting the world know why it has a bigger right to lay claim. Sinhalese must now join the propaganda bandwagon – this time armed with the truth. The Sinhalese are still unaware of the advantage they have. Every lie has to be supported by another lie. But every truth is elevated by another truth. This is how Sinhalese can turn the tables around. Sinhalese have scores of archaeological, historical, foreign accounts etc to claim the island as its own and can showcase that the Sinhalese race, the Sinhalese language, culture and traditions are all indigenous to Sri Lanka while all others who presently lay claim to areas have their roots elsewhere in other countries. This is a golden opportunity for the Sinhalese to put a case to the world on why the Sinhalese have a bigger right to the island but are more than happy to share it with the other ethnic groups so long as they do not demand mono-ethnic enclaves while securing rights to live in other parts as well. The Sinhala academics, historians, Buddhist associations/organizations, expat groups & other movements need to rally around this major project and build their case to secure their country. The truth ultimately triumphs in the end.

For years the LTTE Tamil Diaspora hand in glove with separatist elements, the Church and other factors that use terror groups to advance their own agendas were busy relaying a load of lies to the world. People of course believed them. The stories were sensational, the scripts were well-written, there was plenty of backing through well-known organizations & individuals who were part of the plot and so Sinhalese became the monsters and people thought no Tamil could even walk on the streets without getting attacked or killed. There was no one to showcase the statistics. Tamils were in fact living with the Sinhalese working with them, schooling and had none of the problems that the world was shown they had. But it was a good story to sell that enabled a lot of people to get refugee status and live abroad and look after their families. The best example is the Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council who has lived virtually all of his 70 plus years in Colombo, schooled and worked in Colombo and went to live in the North only after 2012 and ever since he’s declaring that no Sinhalese can live in the North, all military have to move out, no Tamil can marry Sinhalese when his own two sons are married to Sinhalese!

But when lies and lies and bigger lies are being used to carve out a separate state it is time we said enough is enough. No more lies. The Sinhalese have been ridiculed and humiliated enough. The Sinhalese in particular the Sinhala Buddhists have become a battering ram for everyone. Obviously we cannot rely on the politicians (whatever party they belong to) so it is left to the next tier of those that love the country to begin to present a case  as to why no one else can stake claim to self-determination or homeland better than the Sinhalese. It is time the academics, the historians, the patriots, expat groups and all others rally around this project and present to the world that they have no right to accept bogus homeland notions and use the new constitution to carve out a piece of the island to create a mono-ethnic enclave while allowing the same ethnic group to live and buy land in the rest of the island. How ridiculous to create a mono-ethnic separate autonomous area while the majority Sinhalese have no area to call their own and have to share common area with those that are getting a separate mono-ethnic area. Where has anyone heard of such a ridiculous solution to a problem that has no basis?

It is also time that people begin to wake up to the games being played pushing a new constitution. These ‘liberals’ know to only dish out liberalism to what is not theirs. They have no business to decide how a country should be governed totally ignoring the historical roots to it and instead try to land cultures and vultures from elsewhere.

The most important message for those that love the country irrespective of which ethnic group they belong to is to realize that in taking internal affairs to people who live elsewhere the entire nation is going to land in trouble.

Tamils in particular must seriously ponder what ‘independence’ they will actually have when Indian dalits arrive from Tamil Nadu and take over the country even their lives.

Muslims also need to realize that the West have found the perfect ingredient in Wahhabi Islam to promote Islamic terrorism giving the West the right not only to land claiming to destroy terrorists but destroy people claiming they are terrorists. See what misery prevails across the Middle East.

Therefore, the minorities must seriously wonder at the outcome when pushing lies too far.

As for the Sinhalese claim to the nation. It is time to bring all these salient features together and it is no better time than now.

An article by Kamalika Pieris titled ‘Sinhala’ & ‘Sinhaladvipa’ should be read by all. Salient points from her article are given below

  • ‘Sihala’ used to describe the island, the people and the language.
  • ‘Simhala’ used by Indians to describe the island. That island was also the name of the people & the language (Historian G C Mendis)
  • Sinhala name given first to a dynasty, to a kingdom and to the people (R A L H Gunawardena)
  • Island of Lanka known as Sihala (Dipawamsa)
  • Sinhala, Sinhaladipa, rulers of Sinhalavipa, Sihala troops were all referred to in Culavamsa
  • Islam was referred to as Sihaladvipa & Tambapannidipa, and stories Sihala vatthu prakarana from time of King Saddhatissa (137-119BC)
  • Valahassa Jataka (5-4c BC) refers to 2 merchants who came from Sihaladipa
  • Brahatsahita of Varamihira (5c BC) refers to pearls from Sri Lanka as Simhalaka
  • Sinhala work ‘Sarasvati nigandu’ says cinnamon was referred to as ‘sinhalam’ (belonging to country of Sinhala – Lankage 2013)
  • Island called ‘Ratnadipa’ island of precious stones & Tambapanni due to its red earth.
  • Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa use Tambapanni and Tambrapanni.
  • Greeks referred to island as Taprobane derived by Tambrapanni. However Ratnadipa and Tambapanni are not proper names and are only descriptions to identify a location. Except these two names all other names derived from word ‘Sinhala’.
  • Names given to the island by foreign countries shows who visited the island. China had more than 30 names for Sir Lanka from Han dynasty (206BC) – Se cheng bugo and Si diao guo deriving from ‘Sinhadipa’. Jin Dynasty (265-429AD) called the island ‘Shi zi guo’ (Lion country) Buddhist kingdoms (Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia) used ‘Sihala’ and ‘Sihaladeepa’. Greeks called the island ‘Sieladiba’ & ‘Salike’ both names deriving from Simhala. Greeks also called the island Palesimoundou derived from Parasamudra. Ptolemy (2c) spoke of Taprobane.
  • Arab traders used ‘Siyalan’ ‘Singaldib’ ‘Serendib’ and ‘Saheelan’ (Persianized form of Sinhaladvipa)
  • Portuguese used ‘Ceilao’
  • Dutch used ‘Zeylan’
  • British called us ‘Ceylon’.
  • Eratosthenes (230-195BC) and Ptolemaus (2c) speak of Sinhaladipa
  • Roman literati referred to the island as Serendivi
  • Cosmos (6c AD) said the island was called Sielediba
  • Copper plates of Chalukya King Pulakesin 1 (89-90AD) refers to island as Sinhala
  • Nagarjunikonda inscriptions (2-3c AD) records foundation of monastery named Sinhala vihara
  • Incidentally the Tamil word for Sinhala was ‘Ila’ – two cave inscriptions at Tirappanguram and Kalugamalai refers to ‘Ila’.
  • Chola kings referred to Sri Lanka as Ilam or Singalam
  • Inscriptions of Raja Raja 1 (985-1014) speak of ‘Ila Mandalam’ & ‘land of the war-like Sinhalas’.
  • Sinhaladvipa name used from Anuradhapura period to Udarata period
  • ‘Kandyan kingdom’ known as Sinhala kingdom ‘Sinhale’
  • British officer Davy (1816-1820) wrote that the island’s ancient name was Sinhala ‘for which Lakka and Lanka is now substituted by the natives’.
  • Parts of the old udarata kingdom was known as ‘Sinhale’ under British rule.
  • Martin Wickremasinghe’s book ‘Gam Peraliya’ (1944) reference is made to Jinadasa going to ‘Sinhale’ in search of occupation.
  • Evidence indicates that by 1st /2nd century AD the term ‘Sinhala’ denoted the people.
  • India’s Mahabharata refers to the people of Sri Lanka as ‘Sinhala’ (Paranavitana)
  • Allahabad inscription of Samudragupta refers to Sinhala people as ‘Simhalaka’.
  • Robert Knox (1659-1679) speaks of ‘natural proper people of the island, which they call Chingulays’.
  • Sinhala was the unique language used. It was originally known as ‘Elu’ & ‘Hela’ then ‘Sihela’.
  • 1st history of the island titled ‘Sihala attakatha’
  • Buddhagosa (5c) said Buddhist commentaries were kept in Sinhala basa for benefit of inhabitants.
  • Buddhamitra in his Tamil grammar Virasoliam (11c) stated the language of Sinhalese is Sinhala.

What Kamalika Peiris says is that both local and foreign historical sources confirm that the island was called ‘Sinhaladvipa’ and that its inhabitants and language were known as ‘Sinhala’.

Reiterating the argument further Mr. Jayantha Liyanage of the Sinhala Jathika Peramuna in his proposals to the committee drafting the new constitution raises some poignant points the key area of which he stresses that Sri Lanka is not a nation because it is just 44 years old created after 1972 and therefore lacks the basic ingredients to constitute a nation.

  • The SJP is promoting the usage of the name Sinhaladeepa based on evidence
  • King Pandukabaya established the Sinhala nation state as Sinhaladeepa in 437BC becoming the officially recognized nation for over 2300 years until 1815
  • The British invaders introduced an alien governmental structure without consent separating the minorities from the Sinhala people and demoting the Sinhala people & renaming the country as Ceylon.
  • The SJP proposes that the nation returns to its original nation Sinhala nation and the country is re-named Sinhaladeepa.
  • The SJP proposes that historical injustices be rectified that denied the rights of the Sinhala people from 1505 onwards.

If the UN and its entities including foreign governments who are obviously not aware of the long history of the country and the role the Sinhalese played to build it, it is time the Sinhalese presented them the facts even in a book form. The world cannot only hear the minorities. The grievances of the majority also must be heard,

These will provide legal and valid arguments to counter the bogus propagandists and will enable a halt to the division of the nation.

Hope the Sinhalese inspire themselves to unite for this major endeavor which needs the combined efforts of historians, archaeologists, academics, researchers, writers, public servants, expat groups, intellectuals, Buddhist organizations/associations etc.

It will be an achievement for posterity.

Shenali D Waduge


8 Responses to “Present case for a Sinhaladeepa Homeland: Time world hears the Sinhalese version”

  1. SA Kumar Says:

    Tamils were in fact living with the Sinhalese working with them, schooling and had none of the problems that the world was shown they had.- Agreed since 1983 to 2009 ( not since 1956 to 1983) All thanks goes to our Thesiya Thalaivar VP.

    Velu where are you ?

    NB/ Last seen him at Mulli Vaikkal with his blue under ware ( kovanam)

    Shenali D Waduge
    In Jaffna sky Indian flag is fly not your Sinha-kodiya or our Puli-Kodi – kaput !!!

  2. Hiranthe Says:

    Great work Shenali. If Tamil politicians can tell fabricated lies to the world, why can’t we tell the truth to the world.

    Question is… who will listen. US, UK and the so called International community already know these… but they want to promote Tamil homeland issue knowing it is a lie… because they think that they can manipulate Tamils if the Ealam is given to them for their hidden agenda.

    Until Tamils realise the truth and agree to live peacefully without asking for the pound of flesh, this problem will not solve easily.

    In the mean time, for the records, we should bring this to the knowledge of world bodies then at least UNHCR guy Hussain and the likes will realise the truth.

  3. Ratanapala Says:

    Shanali is dead right. There is no better time than now for Sinhalese to claim what is actually theirs. We have the history, the archaeology , the culture, Theravada Buddhism and prevalent Sinhala Language to prove it.

    This we have to do in spite of the politicians. A movement must arise where Sinhalese will not be afraid to say they are Sinhalese and Sri Lanka or Sinhale is their land. Unless we lay claim to land it will end up with the recently arrived Tamils and Muslims and even Maldivians!

    We also must take our story to the world – so that they know the truth.

  4. Dilrook Says:

    Excellent suggestion but who is going to do it?

    Certainly not the UNP, SLFP Chandrika faction, MEP, NFF, JHU or the Joint Opposition. Everyone plays it safe not to offend the Vatican, India and minorities. Except Wimal and Udaya, all others of the Joint Opposition only go for ‘low hanging fruit’ and take extreme care not to offend those concerned parties.

    Sri Lankan politics today is like Indian politics before BJP came to power in 1990s. All major political parties were appeasing minorities and worked hard to come to deals with state politicians. They were very good at dramatising economic woes and natural disasters. BJP changed all this and introduced a nationalist policy. At times BJP leaders went too far but overall they managed it well.

  5. nilwala Says:

    Shenali has drawn attention to a very important core problem regarding the current state of affairs and the need for the Sinhala people to rally together, and all the comments above are in agreement as to the lackluster efforts of our elected Parliamentary representatives to get into the act of protecting Sri Lanka’s civilisational and cultural heritage and its historic makers, the Sinhala people, from what is going on to undermine their inheritance by more recent immigrants. RanilW and his cohorts are in readiness to hand over the country to the West once more.
    The fiscal situation is dire and the IMF has bided its time to await the nadir and will demand its pound of flesh, while the Indians will go for the crumbs off the table. WHAT A SHAME that except for a few voices of protest, many are silent even as the sell-out goes on.

  6. dhane Says:

    Shenali D Waduge you are correct but we Sinhalese should have a strong political leader like Mahathir Mohamed to say that for Sinhala people have only one country call Sri Lanka with historical background. Tamils have their home land or create its own country in South India where most Tamils are living. If wish to live Tamils or Muslims in S/L can live without asking equal rights. Otherwise can move anywhere they like. Introduce law like “Boomiputhra” and put others in their due place in the society.

  7. Christie Says:

    India comes from Hindia the land of Hindus.

    Time to stand up to the Indian Empire.

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    What Shenali says is absolutely correct. The Sinhala People of Lanka have to be assertive and stop the disintegration of their island home. INDIA will willingly give away pieces of Lanka to foreign sources through the proposals made by the current UNP leader. INDIA and some other foreign countries will gain parts of Lanka, whilst Tamil Nadu Caste/Economic problems will get relief. For INDIA, Tamil Nadu is vastly more important than Sri Lanka. For INDIA, it is convenient to virtually own Lanka. INDIA has always reacted advsersely whenever the ultra west UNP was in power, as done now.

    Ranil led UNP INEPT & UNPATRIOTIC proposals :

    *. ETCA
    *. 5,000 acre lots to foreigners on 99 yr leases
    *. Sea tunnel to Tamil Nadu
    *. A New Constitution, probably to suit the break up of Lanka (?)

    STOP THIS MADNESS ! Prevail on the Ranil led UNP to withdraw all these proposals.

    It is imperative that all groups of Sinhala People in every sphere of activity drop their differences and forge a union to stop the disintegration of Lanka, the ONLY Homeland of the Sinhala People and even for the safety of others. Divisive Politics have crashed the country, again and again, with powerful Others playing in during the Colonial and Cold War times. The Cold War finished in 1991, and Russia is a part of NATO. Lankans must not cave into false war games.

    A powerful, large GROUP of politicos, not just one person, must come out NOW to stop the Madness of the Ranil led UNP and the wayward and anti-National CBK style false Reconciliation.

    Those who keep quiet due to bribes and fear will probably be cursed later by millions who are truly PATRIOTIC. It is a numbers game now – many, many MILLIONS are Patriotic and want to remove the UNP Proposals.

    Join the winning side, NOW ! The Hearts and Minds of the People of Lanka are for a true Independence. It will be a relief for all the countries in the region if Lanka stands her ground at this crucial hour of need for her own People.



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