No Historical Evidence of Sri Lanka-Born Tamil Buddhists in Ancient Times
Posted on June 25th, 2023

Dilrook Kannangara

There is a concerted attempt to hand over ancient Buddhist shrines to Tamils today including the Kurundi Vihara. If this unfortunate attempt succeeds the fate of those Buddhist shrines will be as catastrophic as the fate of a number of ancient Buddhist shrines in the Eastern and Northern provinces – they have been converted to Hindu kovils!

Replacing religious shrines with another is a war crime and these war crimes are being committed in Sri Lanka against Buddhists. Not surprisingly, the loud mouths that howl when alleged war crimes are committed against Tamils have gone silent. This unfortunate attempt must be prevented.

There is no historical evidence of any island-born Tamil Buddhists.

All Buddhists in historical texts who were Tamils were born and lived in Tamil Nadu, South India, and they merely visited Sri Lanka.

Being monks with no marital relationships they obviously had no existence after them. Buddhist monks and scholars of various foreign ethnic groups including Chinese, Burmese, Thai, Cambodian, Tamil Nadu and many other visited Sri Lanka since the Tripitaka was documented in the island nation and expertism in Buddhist texts remained in the island nation.

They included Buddhaghosha who was a Tamil Nadu born Buddhist monk. Same goes for all other known Tamil Buddhists in ancient times.

Using a novel by the name Manimekhala as historical evidence is unscientific and fraudulent. It is a Tamil Nadu mythical novel written not by a historian but by a novelist in Tamil Nadu. It contains mythical events. The background to the myths is the island now known as Sri Lanka. This is not the only or first mythical Indian novel about Sri Lanka. Mahabharata, Ramayana and Vishnu Purana are similar novels about the mystique island by persons from the Indian landmass. They remain myths only and not facts or evidence.

Another misleading matter is the opinions of modern historians. Those are just their personal opinions and not historical evidence. There are many other plausible explanations of the bases they use to form these opinions. Ancient Sinhalas kept comprehensive historical evidence so there is no need for mere opinions.

Therefore, the claims of the existence of Tamil Buddhists in ancient Sri Lanka fails as there is no evidence of their existence. All available evidence proves they were Tamil Nadu Buddhists who merely visited the island.

And therefore, the attempt to handover ancient Buddhist shrines to Tamils has no historical justification whatsoever. It must be prevented at all cost.

Kurundi Vihara and other ancient Buddhist shrines must be reestablished to their past glory and must be preserved for future Buddhists of all ethnic denominations. All Buddhist shrines must be kept only in the hands of modern Buddhists and not others. All four Buddhas of the present dispensation took the trouble of visiting the two largest Sinhala tribes during their lifetimes for a good reason. Such visits were never made to Tamil Nadu despite it being closer and easier accessible by land than the island of Sri Lanka.

Protection of Buddhism and ancient Buddhist heritage guarantee the continued civility of the nation and the safety and dignity of all islanders, not just Buddhists. This is especially so when contrasted against the plight of minority creeds in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and other regional nations.

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