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Tamil Buddhism in Ancient South India and Sri Lanka

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by J.L. Devananda

Hello Friends

The Tamil film “7aum Arivu”(the seventh sense)directed by AR Murugadoss is now running in cinemas and is a box office success.

The film is based on the story of Bodhidharmar who was supposedly a Tamil Buddhist born In Kanchipuram and a scion of the Pallava dynasty. While relating the tale of Bodhivarmar at the start the film goes on to portray the modern saga of a character purported to be a descendant of Bodhidharmar

The film has invoked interest among a large number of Tamils about their past history. Many were shocked when they learnt that Buddhism had flourished among Tamils in India and Sri Lanka in the past

While the film ”7aum Arivu” is by no means an authentic historical account it has however revived an interest on the Tamil Buddhist aspect in history

In Sri Lanka there has been much conflict about the discovery of Buddhist sites in the Tamil and Muslim areas of the North and East with a section of vociferous yet ignorant Sinhala Buddhists claiming a Sinhala presence in the past due to Buddhist sites having been there.

They are unwilling or unable to accept that Tamils too were Buddhists in a by gone era. In Sri Lanka any members of the majority community thik Buddhism is exclusively “of, for and by” the Sinhalese

Likewise Tamils in the North and East are troubled about the discovery of Buddhist sites because they do not want to acknowledge the reality that their ancestors had been Buddhists or Jainists in the past. In fact of the five great literary epics (Aimperum Kaappiyangal) three are Buddhist (Boutham) related and two Jainist(Samanam)

Since most Tamils are Hindu or Christian in today’s Sri Lanka and due to the perceived inter-twining of Saivaism and Tamil (Saivamum Thamizhum, Thamizhum Saivamum) admitting a Buddhist past is unpalatable to many

Much of this prejudice, fear and friction may disappear if ignorance on these issues are dispelled.

I am therefore posting on my blog an exhaustive article on Tamil Buddhism in ancient South India and Sri Lanka by the erudite writer “JL Devananda”. Readers may recall that I had published two of his earlier articles on the “Mahavamsa mentality” on my Blog. Though evoking controversy,both were well received

I do hope that this article too will prove informative and interesting.

Here it is friends-D.B.S.Jeyaraj

Tamil Buddhism in Ancient South India and Sri Lanka

By J.L. Devananda

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”. Dr. Hikosaka’s study is based on his doctoral dissertation.

The earliest inscriptions in Tamil Nadu written in the Brahmi character of the time, on the walls of the natural caves in the Tamil districts of Madura, Ramnad and Tirnnelveli belongs to the third century BC. They are of considerable interest to students of South Indian Buddhism. It is learnt from these Brahmi inscriptions that Buddhism had come into Tamil Nadu even then. However, the epigraphical evidence seems to confirm that, it was to King Asoka and the missionary monk Mahinda (believed to be his son) that the introduction of Buddhism into Tamil Nadu may be attributed. In his Rock-Edict No. III, King Asoka says that his Dharma Vijaya prevailed in the kingdoms of the Colas, Pandyans and at Tambapanni (Sri Lanka). Particularly the edict number XIII found near Peshawar, there is reference to the Buddhist missions of Asoka. Among the countries referred to are Cola, Pandya, and Tambapanni. This inscription was written in 258 B.C. and is direct evidence of the Buddhist missions of Asoka to the Tamil country and Sri Lanka. As Buddhist missions to Sri Lanka had to come by way of South India, the spread of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and South India in the 2nd century AD should be considered contemporary events, but it was King Asoka’s son Mahinda who was responsible for the introduction of Buddhism in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Mahinda is said to have erected seven viharas at Kaveripattinum, the capital of Cola while he was on his way to Sri Lanka. According to Dr. Hikosaka, contrary to the general impression, Buddhism might have gone to Sri Lanka from Tamil Nadu by sea-route, a route by which one can reach Sri Lanka easily. Since there existed very close cultural affinities between Sri Lanka and the Tamil country from time immemorial, the Buddhist activities in South India could have easily influenced in some way or other the Buddhism of Sri Lanka, says Dr. Hikosaka.

Even though it is believed that Buddha had visited South India (Andhra) and Sri Lanka (three magical visits according to Mahavamsa, written around thousand years after Buddha’s passing away – Mahaparinibbana), Buddhism actually began to make a strong impact on South India and Sri Lanka only after the arrival of King Asoka’s missionary. After that period Buddhism had spread widely in Tamil Nadu and won the patronage of the rulers. The major urban centers of Kanchipuram, Kaveripattinam, Uragapura (Uraiyur), and Madurai were not only centers of Buddhism, but these were also important centers of Pali learning. The other minor towns of Tamil country where Buddhism was active were Buddhamangalam, Sanghamangalam, Kumbakonam, Mayurapattanam, Alamkudipatti, Kuvam, Sanghamangai, Tiruppadirippuliyur, and so on.

Tamil Buddhists contribute to Buddhist scriptures

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 Buddhist 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.

Tamil Buddhist monk Thera Buddhaatta lived during the time of Accyutarikkanta, the Kalabra ruler of the Cola-Nadu; was a senior contemporary of Buddhaghosa. He was born in the Cola kingdom and lived in the 5th Century AD. 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 Anuradapura, (Sri Lanka). 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 Sri Lanka.

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 AD.

The author of Nettipakarana is another Dhammapala who was a resident of a monastery in Nagapattinam, another important Buddhist centre from ancient times. One more example is the Cola 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 Tamil Buddhist monks used Pali languages in preference to Tamil in their writings. This is because the Buddha spoke in Magadi Prakrit (Pali). Sanskrit is the sacred language of the Hindus, and similarly Pali is considered as the sacred language of the Buddhists.

On the other hand, the well known Tamil Buddhist epics found were Manimekalai, Silappadhikaram, Valaiyapathi, Kundalakesi, and Jivaka Cintamani. The lost Tamil Buddhist works include the grammar Virasoliyam, the Abhidhamma work Siddhantattokai, the panegyric Tiruppadigam, and the biography Bimbisara Kada. Manimekalai, a purely Buddhist work of the 3rd Sangam period in Tamil literature is the most supreme and famous among the Buddhist work done in Tamil. It is a work expounding the doctrines and propagating the values of Buddhism.It also talks about the Tamil Buddhists in the island/Nagadipa even though Manimekalai and Silappathikaram were considered as Tamil literary work and not as historical work.

The Chinese traveller, Tsuan Tsang, wrote that there were around 300 Sri Lankan monks in the monastery at the Southern sector of Kanchipuram. Ancient Kanchipuram, the capital of Tondaimandalam, ruled by the Tamil Pallava dynasty, an offshoot of Chola rulers was the major seat of Tamil learning and is also known as the city of thousand temples. Even Thirukkural, the ancient Tamil couplets/aphorisms celebrated by Tamils is based on Buddhist principals. 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.

It is also believed that Bodhidharma who lived during the 5th/6th century AD was a Tamil Buddhist monk and the son of a Pallava king from Kanchipuram. Bodhidharma had travelled from South India by sea to the Far East for the purpose of spreading the Mahayana doctrine, transmitting his knowledge of Buddhism and martial arts. According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the Shaolin monks that led to the creation of Shaolinquan.

Tamil Buddhism in Sri Lanka

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.

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 their own Mahayana temples. There are still some Tamil Mahayana Buddhist establishments (Palli) in the east and possibly in the Jaffna peninsula. The best known was Velgam Vehera (see details below), which was renamed Rajaraja-perumpalli after the Cola emperor. Another was the Vikkirama-calamekan-perumpalli.

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 AD when the rise of Vaishnavism and Saivism posed a serious challenge to Buddhism and Jainism. There was a significant increase in Hindu/Brahmanical influence and soon the worship of Siva and Visnu began to gain prominence. The Buddhist and Jaina institutions in Tamil Nadu came under attack when they began to lose popular support and the patronage from the rulers.

Even though today there are no Tamil Buddhists in Sri Lanka, the majority of the early Tamils of Sri Lanka (before the 10th century Chola invasion) were Buddhists. The ancient Buddhist remains in the North and East of Sri Lanka are the remnants left by the Tamil Buddhists and not anybody else. They are part of the heritage of Sri Lankan Tamils. Only the Buddhist temples, statues and structures build in the recent past and present in the North and East can be considered as Sinhala-Buddhist.

Buddhism and Sinhala were two different things in the past

Why does the Sri Lankans believe that the Buddhist sites in Sri Lanka belong only to the Sinhalese (Sinhala heritage) and not to the Tamils? Why are the Sri Lankans ignorant about the early Tamil Buddhists of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu? Why do the Sri Lankans think, in Sri Lanka a Buddhist should be a Sinhalese and a Hindu should be a Tamil even though the Sinhalese worship most of the Hindu/Brahmanical Gods

Unfortunately, the majority of Sri Lankans are ignorant of their ancient past. They think of the ancient past in today’s context.

Today, the Buddhism in Sri Lanka is monopolized by the Sinhalese and they call it Sinhala-Buddhism. The fusion of Sinhala and Buddhism into Sinhala-Buddhism took place only in the early 20th century by revivalists such as Anagarika Dharmapala. Unfortunately today the Sri Lankan Tamils also believe that Buddhism is a Sinhala religion and is alien to them, but this was not the case in the early past. Unlike today, the Ancient Buddhist/Hindu civilization in Sri Lanka and the ancient Pali/Sanskrit place names has nothing to do with the ethnicity.In otherwords, the Ancient Buddhist/Hindu heritage and the ancient Pali/Sanskrit place names in the North and East of Sri Lanka has nothing to do with Sinhala.

The Tamil politicians, scholars, intellects and the Tamil media should take every effort to educate the Sri Lankan Tamils to be aware and to understand that Buddhism was a part of Tamil civilization in the ancient past. The Tamil politicians should engage in preserving the `Tamil heritage’ of North & East of Sri Lanka. The most important part of the Tamil Heritage of North & East is its Buddhist and Hindu civilization.

The lost Tamil Buddhism should be restored back in the North & East. The erection of new Buddha statues in the North & East should be welcomed and the Tamils should consider Buddha also as a part of their religion. (Just like in Sri Lanka where in every Buddhist temple you find Hindu Gods, if you go to India, especially the North, in every Hindu temple there is a Buddha statue). There is nothing wrong in having a Buddha statue in the Hindu temples. Also, Tamil Buddhist temples should come up; Tamils should embrace Buddhist monkhood; Buddhism must be taught in Tamil; preaching and worshipping Buddhism in Tamil; Tamil Buddhist monks and a Tamil Buddhist Maha Sangam should be formed.

If there are Tamil speaking Hindus, Christians, and Muslims in Sri Lanka today, why cannot there be Tamil speaking Buddhists also? After all, we were all Buddhists once upon a time. It all depends on how the Tamil leaders and the Tamil media can enlighten the Sri Lankan Tamils to understand their ancient past and convince, inspire and persuade them to accept Buddhism and the Buddha statues with an open heart and make them a part of their belief system.

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  1. I saw 7aum arivu. They are playing up the Tamil angle with Bodhidharma without accepting Tamils were Buddhists once

    This article is enlightning

  2. J.L. Devananda meet my friend Dougless Devanand. GOD BLESS ALL SRI LANKAN and our SRI LANKAN GOVERNMENT. WE LOVE SRI LANKA AND IT’S ARMY.

  3. Aiym perum Kappiyangal were not all Budhist. To my knowledge Manimekalai is a Budhist work. Silapadhikaram is believed to be that of the Jaina monk.

    Thirukkural is also believed to be that of a Jain. Thiruvalluvar is my favorite. Why favorite he is more than that. He is my Guru. I can’t think in the religious terms about him.

    Though putting things for records I have to say that he is believed to be a Jaina, because of his first Kural ,agara mudala ezhuthellam aadhi bhagawan mudattre ulagu.

    The Jains say that this reference to the Aadhi Bagawan is to their God Adhinath.

    Again Jeevaka cinthamani is considered to be that of Jains.

    I also refer to your words, ‘ Buddhamangalam, Sanghamangalam, Kumbakonam, Mayurapattanam, Alamkudipatti, Kuvam, Sanghamangai, Tiruppadirippuliyur,.

    I know Kumbakonam, I know Thirupadiripuliyur (Cuddalore). Are the Mayura rupa pattanam and the Mayuram are the same.

    You say that Mayura rupa pattanam is mylapore. Mayavaram was also called the Mayuram and it is in close proximity to Kumbakonam and Nagapattinam.

    Where are those other cities or towns like Kuvam, sanghamangai, alamkudipatti etc.

    While saying that the Pallavas are the off shoot of the Cholas I am afraid that it is not a settled view among the scholars. Can you enlighten me on this.

    Budhism was assimilated into the Hinduism.

    The credit for the Bramins going vegetarian goes to the Budhism. Budha is considered as the tenth avatara of the Bagawan Vishnu.

    One last question to you Sir.

    There are lot of Jaina influence in the Tamil Nadu. The samana padugai is an example for this.

    Even now lot of abandoned Jaina temples are converted and used as village amman temples or some other temples.

    Which one of the three the Saivism (Hinduism), Budhism or the Jainism was the most popular in the ancient Tamil Nadu.

    What was the relationship between them.

    Were they quarelling among themselves. We hear a lot of anal vadham and punal vadham etc. Can you enlighten us about that also.

    We see a lot of persecution from our literature.

    For example the King Mahendravarman was a Jaina and he tortured Thirunavukkarasar for embracing Saivism. He was tied into a rock and dropped in the sea.

    Later Thirunavukkarasar surfaced at the Thiruppadiripuliyur (Cuddalore).

    Then He was put into a Sunnambu Kalavai and he sang

    ‘Maasil veenaiyum, maalai madhiyamum, veesu thendralum, veengila venilum, musu vandarai poigaizhum ponrathe, eesan endhai eenaiyadi nizhale.

    Please tell about that aspect also Sir.

  4. .
    Most of the Tamils follow Buddhism and most Sinhalese follow Hinduism.

    But in Srilanka Buddhism is different from Sinhala Buddhism.

    For example, worlds renowned Buddhist Leader Dalai Lama is not welcomed in Sinhala Buddhist Lanka.


  5. Hi,

    The main reason that Sinhalese do not buy this story about Tamil buddhism in Sri Lanka is because of the overwhelming number of Sinhala place names in Jaffna.

    Perhaps someone could provide an explanation as to if the Buddhist in Jaffna were Tamils, why are the place names Sinhalese?

  6. Interesting read, thanks for posting DBSJ..

    But again Mr. Devananda intertwines history with his own political agenda (like the very same ‘Mahavansa Mindsetters’ he seeks to castigate at every turn).. Those who claim the entire island solely as the promised land of the Sinhala Buddhists and Mr. Devananda who claims the North and East solely for Tamils are two sides of the same coin..

    “The ancient Buddhist remains in the North and East of Sri Lanka are the remnants left by the Tamil Buddhists and not anybody else. Only the Buddhist temples, statues and structures build in the recent past and present in the North and East can be considered as Sinhala-Buddhist.”

    So the Sinhala and Tamil Buddhists of centuries ago had mythical powers to see into the future and see the exact boundaries of the North and Eastern provinces drawn up by the British in the 1880s?? The Tamil Buddhists stayed in the North and East whilst the Sinhala Buddhists stayed in the other 7 provinces.. Both people’s meticulously avoided going to other areas?

    Would Mr. Devanada care to explain how the word Damida (Damila) appears in some of the inscriptions outside the North and East or how proto-Sinhala and Sinhala inscriptions appear all over the North and East?

    If there were two separate ethno-linguistic kingdoms in those ancient times populated by separated peoples, how does King Bhatia Tissa II who built the Velgam Vehera also make repairs to the Mahavihara in Anuradhapura? How does his successor Moola-tissa make repairs both to the Abhayagiri and the temple in Nagadeepa (Nainatheevu)?

    Maybe the Sinhalese are Tamil people who evolved a separate identity after the arrival of Vijaya or maybe Tamils in the North are Sinhalese who were Tamilised after the invasion of Magha!! It does not matter in the present context, what matters is that both Sinhalese and Tamils (and the other minorities) are here now and here to stay..

    Buddha is believed to be the 9th avatar of Vishnu (Hindu friends please correct me if I am wrong), and almost every modern Buddhist temple has a Devale (shrine) to Katharagama (Murugan) and Upulwan (Vishnu).. Their is even a Pattini (Kannaki Amman) shrine next to the Temple of tooth, with its separate procession during the annual perahera..

    “Tamil Buddhist temples should come up; Tamils should embrace Buddhist monkhood; Buddhism must be taught in Tamil; preaching and worshipping Buddhism in Tamil; Tamil Buddhist monks and a Tamil Buddhist Maha Sangam should be formed”

    I agree with some of Mr. Devanada’s suggestions for a revival of Tamil Buddhism in Sri Lanka.. This will certainly promote racial amity, but certainly one must tread with care.. This must be done solely by Tamil individuals and organizations, the GoSL or any Sinhala organizations should not get involved at all, otherwise there will be those who will scream ‘Sinhalisation’ and muddy the whole thing.. A person’s identity be it religious, ethno-linguist or otherwise is his/her choice. If implemented succesfully it will certainly disarm many hardliners on both sides who survive by demonising the other..

    I do not agree with Mr.Devanada on erecting new Buddhist statues/ temples in the North.. There are dozens of ancient Vihares which could be restored, there is no need for new temples at the moment.. The best starting point would be Trincomalee, where the Velgam Vehera is as well as the Konneshwaram Hindu shrine which lies right next to the ancient Gokanna Vihara.. Perhaps Mr. Devananda can lead the way by practising what he preaches and publicly embracing Buddhism in Trincomalee.. Who knows the way to long-lasting peace may indeed lie in doctrine of the enlightened one..

  7. Most of the content of this article are historical facts. It is also worth noting that Prof. Peter Schalk of Upsala University, Sweden, a scholar in religious studies, particularly in Mahayana Buddhism, lived in Jaffna and under took extensive research (from 1970’s) in the subject of Tamil Buddhist settlements in the Jaffna. Later, he became deeply knowledgeable in Tamil language which he can read and write but, interestingly, can not speak. Many readers would recall, he also later became an ardent supporter of the Tamil national liberation struggle.

    This article does well in separating the historical facts from the politically motivated Sinhala-Buddhist nationalists’ deliberate misinterpretation of that the archaeological evidence, establishing the presence of Buddhism in the North-East of the island, as an evidence of Sinhalese habitation of the North-East.

  8. Sivananthan,

    Poor weaver boy, cool, why do you become tense?

    You need not to remind me about my Dravida origin. I know it very well. But as of now it is not possible for an Indian to remain either as a pure Aryan or pure Dravidian. I have already quoted Jawaharlal Nehru’s Discovery of India regarding this. Yadava College and E.M.G.Yadava College for women are run by Tamil Aayars (Idayars) in Madurai. Ramasamy Konar is the founder of Yadava College and Gopalakrishna Konar is the founder of E.M.G.Yadava College. Chattanatha Karayalar donated lands and money to these two institutions. Why did Ramasamy Konar, Gopala Krishna Konar and Chattanatha Karayalar chose the name Yadava College? They are very clear about their Dravidian race and their Yadava Lineage.

    Harihara Bukka belongs to Kuruba (Kannada Yadava). You can go through the following references to verify this.

    Dr. Suryanath U. Kamat, Concise history of Karnataka, MCC, Bangalore, 2001 (Reprinted 2002)
    Chopra, P.N. T.K. Ravindran and N. Subrahmaniam.History of South India. S. Chand, 2003.

    North Indian Yadavas are called Aahirs. Aayars are their Tamil counterparts. Konar (Tamil), Kuruba (Kannada) and Golla (Telugu) are the South Indian Yadava clans.

    I never said Yadavas are LTTE supporters. Only few (not all) Tamil Yadavas (Aayars) are LTTE sympathizers.

    You asked me ‘What do you want?’. Don’t insult other communities.

  9. Mr J. L. Devananda has said:

    “The Tamil politicians, scholars, intellects and the Tamil media should take every effort to educate the Sri Lankan Tamils to be aware and to understand that Buddhism was a part of Tamil civilization in the ancient past. The Tamil politicians should engage in preserving the `Tamil heritage’ of North & East of Sri Lanka. The most important part of the Tamil Heritage of North & East is its Buddhist and Hindu civilization.”

    Yes. It is very important. At the same time, he has ignored the other important matter.

    The most important problem we face in Sri Lanka is the idea of ‘Sinhala – (Theravada) Buddhism’ and Sinhalese who claim themselves as Theravada Buddhist not knowing the difference between the Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism; the correct history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka; history of Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu, history of Mahayana Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu, the religious history of the Sinhalese, the impact of Mahayana Buddhism on Sinhala language, ancient Lankan Sinhala, Pali, Sanskrit literature, architecture, Iconography, music, dance, and other forms of arts of Southern Lanka.

    To understand all these correctly, an integrated analysis has to be carried out on the ancient Tamil, Sinhala, Pali literature and the archaeological finds of Lanka and India.

    But, to conduct a scientific study on these, we must have the correct knowledge on the following subjects:

    1. Symbolization;
    2. Symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism;
    3. the word – meaning relationship of the Tamil language.

    Unfortunately, so far no scientific study has been conducted by the scholars and religious leaders.

    To understand why these three are important in the study of literature and archaeological finds, again one has to analyze scientifically all the languages, Tamil, Sinhala, Pali, Sanskrit literature and the archaeological finds of Lanka and India.

    Here only a fundamental question arises. How the studies on ancient literature and archaeological finds should be conducted to make those scientific?

    Here only our Lanka and Indian scholars and other Eastern and Western scholars have failed miserably.

    To understand this, you have to analyze their studies on these subjects.

    First of all we must know that Theravada Buddhism rejects completely the Puranas, literature, symbolization, symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism, statues, sculptures, painting, music, dance, drama and other forms of fine arts.

    The Mahayana Buddhism only accepts these.

    I have explained some of these under the pseudo names: Buddhagosha, Buddhamittra,uthayakumar, Weeravansa etc. in this web. I have explained all these briefly in the presentation that I made before the LLRC under the heading “Lessons Learnt and What has to be done for Reconciliation” (12th November, 2010, Jaffna Sacretariat sitting). You can confirm this through the Google search.

    I fear unless a person goes through all these and understand everything correctly, articles like that of Mr J. L. Devananda and others will create more doubts and misunderstanding.

    In short, a Forum has to be set to conduct scientific studies on Tamil, Sinhala, Pali, Sanskrit literature and archaeological finds, and teaching literature, achaeology, religions, history etc.should be re-planned.

  10. There is a huge opportunity for the Tamil film industry if they know how to harness it. There are enough of rich people in the Tamil diaspora who are willing to fund for the production of these kinds of movies involving the history and war of Sri Lankan Tamils. The best part is, most of them are not interested in making a profit out of the movies. They only want to tell the world and specially the younger Tamil generation about the rich past history of the Sri Lankan Tamils.

    The Tamil film directors should approach the Tamil diaspora to find producers and at the same time the Tamil diaspora should also approach the top Tamil film directors and start producing movies that explores our ancient past. This is the golden period for the Tamil film industry, there are enough of opportunities but only if they know how to grab them.

  11. As a Sinhalese Buddhist, I don’t disagree with what is written here (although I don’t agree with his earlier writings). However, it directly contradicts the Ealamist theory that a separate Tamil nation existed in Sri Lanka. Thus, Sinhalese and Tamils are actually the same people who just happened to speak different languages. I believe Tamil was spoken in the south until recently (look at the document that all the Kandyian chiefs signed when they handed over the country to the British (many signed in Tamil)). Time for the Tamils to give up the separate nation idea and fight for equal rights within a united Sri Lanka. If they do this a lot more Sinhalese will join them. Currently, most Sinhalese don’t trust the Tamils (or the TNA) because of the past history of separatism. I am all for more Tamils practicing Buddhism. This may help to build links with the powerful monks in SL.

  12. Dear DBS,
    What a interesting article. Food for thought for everybody who is isolated in their dream worlds.
    I am following all your articles as well as the all comments. Continue your good work. One day it will bear fruits.

    Thank you Saman but this one was not written by me.I only posted it on my blog with an intro………….DBSJ

  13. I refer readers to an article titled, ‘ Buddhism in Ancient Jaffna’ by Kamalika Pieris (SLG 27/11/2011), where she cites reports that identify Buddhist places of worship in Jaffna and the associated villages which may have had Sinhala names. The current article by Devananda re-affirms Tamils were Buddhists at one time. However, were Sinhala-Buddhists living in Jaffna in large numbers at one time? Khamalika Pieris even wants Jaffna renamed for this reason!

    What are the origins of the terms Vadamarachi, Thenmarachi and Valigamam? Does Vadamar-aadchi, mean area controlled by people from the north (South India)? Does the word Thenmar-aadchi, mean area controlled by the southerners (Sinhalese?). What could be the meaning of the word ‘Valikamam’in Tamil? Could it be the Tamil version of ‘Weligama’ in the south? There are claims that many place names in Thenmarachi are of Sinhala origin (eg.Mirisuvil). Can any one explain in an objective/scientific manner, without resorting to jingoism?

    I know there are many Tamil village names in the South. Pallawi on the Negombo-Puttalam road is now being referred to as Pallawiya. There is also a village/ town named ‘Nanjundankarai’ in the same area. Chilaw was historically referred to in Tamil as ‘Silawathurai’. ‘Puttalam’ is now being called ‘Puttlama’. Many Tamil village names have also been transformed into Sinhala names in the South with time. Could a reverse phenomenon have operated in the north once upon a time?

    Why were the Tamils largely limited to the north and east in ancient times, where as the Tamil- speaking Muslims are found all over the island?

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  14. hey

    There is sinhala influence in Northern palce name and vice versa( Tamil influence in Sinhala areas). But I dont ee any overwhelming Sinhala place names though in The North

  15. further more I contest exclusive Buddhist or HIndu identity. The edges of what is considered Buddhist or HIndu is rather fluid. One cannot clearly mark and say-this is Hindu cultural/religious practice or Budhist/cultural/religious practice.For example presently in SL Tamils(HIndus and some Catholics) wear pottu and Buddhists dont. It denotes diffrence of ethnicity and religion. But in ancient times and even now Buddhists in India wear pottu. Ideas of conversion from one religion to another in the Judeo Christian/Islamic sense doesnt apply in the same way that it does to Budhist/Hindu conversion/diffrence. Infact many a female Kandyan dancers and other sculptures from “Sinhal” SL wear pottu too. Threfore it is very difficult to use todays markers of what is Hindu or Buddhist to analyse what was Hindu? Budhist in the past

  16. For a very long time people knew that South Indian Buddhism came to influence the thoughts here in SL. This fact has been repeated ad infinitum. I was once struck by a Convocation address by the Chief Guest VI Subramaniam either in 1980 or 1981 to the University audience in Jaffna. The theme of the Address was ” the contribution made by South India to the development of Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka” I hope someone who has it would pass on to DBSJ to cull excerpts and publish it in order to illumine the discussion.

  17. Buddhism was introduced to Srilanka only during the reign of Devanampiya Tissa. To say that before the arrival of Buddhism, people in Srilanka did not profess any religious beliefs is an absolute lie. The name Devanampiya in Tamil means Deva=gods and Nampiya=believed, and his father who ruled before him was Muttu Siva suggesting that Siva worship existed before the arrival of Buddhism in Srilanka. There are five Siva shrines ( Koneswaram in Trincomalee, Ketheeswaram in Mannar, Munneswaram in Chilaw, Naguleswaram in Kirimalai/Jaffna and Thondeeswaram in Dondra/Matara) and Murugan temple in Kataragama worshipped by Vedhas (tribal hunters) which are pre-Buddhist. The elusive fifth siva temple was discovered by accident in 1998 when digging for construction of buildings around Vishnu temple in Dondra and is yet to be re-built. Just as much the government and Sinhales are trying to establish the pressence of Buddhist temples in the North and East, they must allow Tamils also to establish the pressence of Hindu Temples in the South and West. Archeologists have unearthed evidence of an ancient glorious civilisation that existed in an area along north-western coast extending from chilaw to Jaffna which is similar to the artefacts unearthed in Southern coast of Tamil Nadu. It is the racist policies of the successive governments that have prevented the discovery of an ancient civilisation in the North which will put the Mahavamsa theories out of tune. The word Nagatheepam the ancient name for Jaffna peninsula is derived from Naga who were the people who lived there. The ancient language used was Elu which belongs to Dravidian family and has similarities to Tamil and which was the precursor to Sinhala,and is the reason that place names in Jaffna appear to be Sinhala. The word Pitty was used for sandy areas and pattu was used for districts which have been adopted by Sinhalese. We cannot go back to old days and start fighting and the government and Sinhala Racists must stop trying to change the demographic pattern of North and east to make Tamils minorities there. I am sure Sinhalese will not like to colonise Srilanka with Dravidians who are the closest relatives of ancient peoples of Srilanka to make Sinhalese minorities in Srilanka

  18. Dushy Ranetunge,

    Who told you that the place names in Jaffna are Sinhalese? If you analyze those place names, each one of them are drawn from either Sanskrit or Pali and later got modified into Tamil. As per this article, during the ancient past, Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism have flourished in Northern Sri Lanka (Jaffna).

    Sanskrit is the sacred language of the Hindus, and similarly Pali is considered as the sacred language of the Buddhists. The Ancient Buddhist/Hindu civilization in Sri Lanka and the ancient Pali/Sanskrit place names has nothing to do with the ethnicity. In other words, the Ancient Buddhist/Hindu heritage and the ancient Pali/Sanskrit place names in the North and East of Sri Lanka has nothing to do with Sinhala or Tamil.

    Since the Sinhalese have adopted and incorporated Sanskrit and Pali into their Sinhala language, those place names sounds like Sinhala but actually they are meaningful Sanskrit and Pali words.

  19. Excerpts from Karthigesu Indrapala’s PhD thesis University of London1965.

    (Tana-tivu or kayts), Nagadivayina (Nkativu or Nayinatovu). Puvangudivayina (Punkutu-tivu) and Kradivayina (Karaitivu). Of the Buddhist establishments in these places only the vihara and Dag at Nakativu has survived to this day. It is justifiable to assume that the Nampotalist dates back time when the Buddhist establishments of these placed were well known centres of worship. This was probably before the thirteenth century, for after this date the people of the Jaffna peninsula were mainly Saivas. The foregoing evidence points to the inevitable conclusion that in the Anuradhapura period, and possibly till about the twelfth century, 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 Ceylon before the twelfth century and possibly even later, there is evidence to show that the Buddhists who occupied the Jaffn peninsula in the Anuradhapura period were Sinhalese. We refer to the toponymic evidence which unmistakably points to the presence if Sinhala settlers in the peninsula before Tamils settled there. In an area of only about nine hundred square miles covered by this peninsula, there occur over a thousand Sinhalese place names which have survived in a Tamil garb. (page 270-273)

    Pali/Sanskrit place names are surely not from the Tamil language. I am not referring to ethnicity here, merely that people who lived in Jaffna during the Anuradhapura period spoke early Sinhalese and the place names reflect this.


    Prof.Indrapala himself says his thesis is now outdated. He has written a book with fresh insights

  20. A clue may lie in the fact that people in the Western province speak English and many are christian???????? similar to people in the North speaking Tamil and are Hindu?????

    Colonial influence???? from 992Ad and 1505 AD???

  21. Diyasena,

    “[So the Sinhala and Tamil Buddhists of centuries ago had mythical powers to see into the future and see the exact boundaries of the North and Eastern provinces drawn up by the British in the 1880s??]” 

    When the Europeans (Portuguese, Dutch and British) arrived, what all of them clearly observed and experienced during their period was that, there were two different Nations (Sinhalese and Tamils) having two different languages, religions, cultures, and living in two well defined and clearly and naturally demarcated (thick jungles, lakes, river, etc) land areas with their own kingdoms within their traditional lands. The Tamils lived as a majority within their separate land area (North & East) and the Sinhalese also lived as a majority within their land area (South, West & Central).

    The British, on seeing the naturally existing borders of the two ethnic groups used their technology to demarcate them as two separate regions (occupied by two separate races) and created the maps for the first time somewhere in the 1880s. Unfortunately, the same British later united the two regions into a unitary state and gave it to one ethnic group (Sinhalese) by creating a single majority and making a total mess in the region.

  22. Most of the Tamils and Sinhalese will not digest it due to their ego and complete ignorance. The majority of Sri Lankans prefer to remain as ignorants and even the rulers and leaders prefer to hide these facts from the masses. As long as the masses remain as asses, it is easy to divide and rule.

  23. Buddhists are Sinhalese and Sinhalese are Buddhists???

    This guy is still thinking of the ancient past in today’s context.

  24. Dr.Rajasingham, 

    If you read Kamalika Pieris article and this article, it is very clear that Kamalika Pieris is no different from any other ignorant Sri Lankan. She is also thinking of the ancient past in today’s context. Whenever an ancient Buddhist artifact is found by the archeologists, immediately they link it to Sinhalese or Sinhala-Buddhist totally ignoring the fact that there were also Tamil Buddhists.

  25. Dr. Narendran,

    You can also add Nalluruva (Kaluthara district) and Nallathanniya (Nuwaraeliya district) to that list of Tamil names outside in the North and East. Areas like Walikamam (Weligama/Beligama), Vaddukoddai (Batakotte), Batticaloa (Bathakalawa) and Kantalai (Ganthale)are among places in the North and East referred to by Sinhala names even in some Portuguese and Dutch documents.. Even Jaffna itself is referred to as Jafnapatnam/ Jafnapatao (closer to the Sinhala Yapana Patuna).. Then there are places which have similar sounding names and different meanings/ origin stories like Katharagama/ Kadiragamar, Mathota/ Manthai and Omandha/ Omanthai.. Ironically there is a school of thought that the word Eela itself was derived from the Pali Seehala..

    The Tamil names on the North Western coast maybe a result of the Arya Chakvarti raids along the North Western coastal road on the way to the Sinhala capitals of Yapahuwa and Kurunegala.. Similarly the Sinhala names in the North and East till the Dutch period maybe a result of most of the Vanni and nearly all of the present day East being under the Kandyan Kingdom till its annexation (the Dutch archive claim the Kandyan border came upto elephant pass inland).. People of those areas may have later become Tamilised/ Sinhalised according to the policies of the colonials or existential circumstances ..

    Several Kings ruled in Anuradhapura by the name of Siva. There was a Damila Adhikari/ Admiral in Parakramabahu’s armada to Burma.. Queyroz mentions the presence of Chingaliz in Sankili’s court and army.. Pandara Wanniyan is alluded to in some British texts as Bandara Wanniya.. There are names such as Singapuli and Welapuli surnames among non-Govigama Sinhalese, then there are the Koviyar and Nalavar of Jaffna..

    To me this tells, that no one ethno-linguistic group has exclusive claims to whole or part of the island and hence my call for a multi-cultural society islandwide instead of carving up mono-ethnic bantustans..

  26. The Seventh Sense (7aum Arivu) is a half baked movie. I don’t know why it has become a super duper hit in Tamil Nadu. Bodhidharma is known as Damo in China and he is described as a blue eyed barbarian in chinese texts. Since the base story line is week they have included dialogs like if 9 countries join together to defeat a single Tamil (either Prabhakaran or LTTE) it is not heroic and it is betrayal. Not much applause for this dialog in top class theatres like Satyam, Inox, AGS, Abirami, Devi, Mayajaal etc in Chennai. I don’t know about semi-urban and rural areas.

    Fact is Jains are more in Tamil Nadu than Buddhists. Not only in TN, throughout India Jains are more than Buddhists. Many philosophers feel that Jainism is stronger than Buddhism in exlaining the universe and human life.

  27. how about the sinhalese Buddhist reclaiming their “hindu” indentity aswell.
    Kataragama deviyo(Murugan), Vishnu, Trishul(trident) etc in “HInduism” is found in a lot of “Buddhist” temples in SL. Also the older concepts of reincarnation, karma, orange robes( like a Hindu guru/Snnyasin) from “Hinduism” need t be acknowledged. Viva la Sinhala HIndus

  28. Ramesh Kumar,

    On the contrary, perhaps you should read the Portuguese and Dutch chroniclers in greater detail to where the borders of the Jaffna and Kandyan/Kotte Kingdoms lay when they encountered the natives.. The British created the provinces in 1833, on Colbrooke-Cameron commission reforms, not to enforce any natural borders as you claim, but with their own admission to weaken the resistance of the Kandyans.. Under the first drawing of maps Anuradhapura was part of the North and Polonnaruwa and parts of Uva amalgamated to the East.. This was redrawn in the 1880s..

    The parroting of the rather simplistic ideology given in your post by separatist minions, from pre-independence times without any thorough reading (or with intentional deceit in mind), was also a significant contributor to what you allude to as the mess in the region

  29. Dushy Ranetunge,

    The Excerpts what you have posted here is from the PhD student Mr. Karthigesu Indrapala who wrote his PhD thesis to the University of London in 1965.

    The same Karthigesu Indrapala, now a well renowned and recognized, former History professor of the Jaffna University, retired from his profession after 30 years of research as a Senior Archeologist/Historian/epigraphist and a University Don.

    In 2005, forty years after his 1965 PhD thesis, he says in the book he published, his PhD dissertation is completely out of date that even he does not have a copy of his 1965 PhD thesis what he wrote 40 years ago as a PhD student.

    In any historical research, it is natural for people to change the views and assumptions, because up to now, we have no definite answers to so many unanswered questions in the fields of Archeology, history, anthropology, epigraphy and etymology in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, daily we stumble across several new findings and they contribute to new historical vistas. Therefore, based on new facts, one’s earlier conclusion has to be compromised to adopt changes. History is a continuous process of investigation without any end in sight. Therefore, it is absolutely natural that people change their opinions upon new findings.

  30. Excerpts from his book “Evolution Of An Ethnic Identity – The Tamils in Sri Lanka- C 300 BCE to 1200 CE”  – Dr. K. Indrapala

    I was planning my postgraduate research, the late Prof. W.J.F. LaBrooy, my revered teacher and, at that time, Head of the department of History at the University, advised me to research into the early history of the Tamils of Sri Lanka for my doctoral dissertation, as he considered this aspect to be a serious gap in the known history of the Island.

    The thesis was completed with the material that was available in the early 1960s. As long as excavation work remains undone, I pointed out, much that is relevant to our study will be wanting… Even the inscriptions and literary works that we have used have proved to be inadequate in the reconstruction of a satisfactory history of the settlements and in the solution of many important problems.

    The thesis was presented as the first major attempt to bring together all available evidence on the subject. THE FACT THAT IT WAS IN NO WAY A COMPLETE STUDY WAS ADMITTED. In view of these limitations and difficulties, while we may claim to have added something to our knowledge of the history of the Tamils of Ceylon, the account presented here is inevitably incomplete and not always definite. We have often been led to state our conclusions in hypothetical terms.


    More importantly, significant developments, both in terms of archaeological research and changing historical perspectives, have taken place in the last four decades.

  31. And where did you get this treasure trove of of archaeological breakthroughs from? The peer reviewed annals of Tamilnet.com?

    Get real mate, to make a Sinhala majority in the North and East provinces nearly 1.5 million people (10% of the Sinhala population) need to be relocated.. Have you ever taken a step back to consider the logistical improbability of such a project.. Stop being Xenophobic and screaming Sinhalisation every-time a few Sinhalese families settle in the North and East.. The land belongs to all, no room for mono-ethnic bantustans on this tiny island anymore.. If you want to live in mono-lingual bantustans there is abundant land a ferry ride away, which is nicely carved up on linguistic lines..

  32. Hi DBSJ,

    I have read the new book, but it avoids addressing the above facts for some unknown reason. Even the article you have posted above refers to Pali/Sanskrit place names which are clearly NOT Tamil.

    then it goes on to state “ancient Pali/Sanskrit place names in the North and East of Sri Lanka has nothing to do with Sinhala.”

    Why? If Pali/Sanskrit place names have nothing to do with Sinhala, what has it got to do with? Tamil?

    I think the writer is referring to Ethnicity and I agree that Pali/Sanskrit place names have nothing to do with Sinhala ethnicity as English language in Colombo has nothing to do with Ethnicity in Colombo.

    But, it has everything to do with Sinhala language and nothing to do with Tamil language.

    Can someone explain, why Tamil writers/historians are trying to deny the existence of early Sinhalese language in Jaffna during the Anuradhapura period?????

  33. Kumar, you’ve been reading The History of Sri Lanka by prof. Vellipulai Prabhakaran again, haven’t you? Bad boy.

  34. Dear friends!
    The grammar of Elu is written in ‘Sidatsangarawa.’ If you study ‘Sidatsangarava’ you will understand that it was based on the Tamil grammar book ‘Viirasooliyam’ composed by the Tamil Mahayana Buddhist ‘Buddhamittran’.In this grammar book only, the word ‘Aryan’ was used for the first time to denote European languages!

    In ‘Viirasooliyam’ you find a Sutra that tells how to convert foreign words into ‘Tamil. Commentary written by Peruntthevan explains how the foreign words of European (Aryan)languages, Arabic, Chinese, Malay, Sanskrit, etc. etc. should be changed into ‘Tamil’ when written in Tamil language.

    In the same way,in the Sinhala books and literature, ‘Tamil’ words were changed into ‘Sinhala’ words gramatically.

    This is grammar.

    Argument on words and languages without studying the grammar books will be of no use.

  35. Well, I think the clinching argument here is that at almost all these “Tamil Buddhist” archaeological remains there are stone inscriptions and all these stone inscriptions are in the Pali Language which is ancestral to Sinhala. Pali and Tamil in fact belong completely different language roots. The inscriptions give the names of the Kings during whose time the stupas and monastries were built, rebuilt and even repaired and these names can be verified in the Mahavamsa.

    There obviously were migrations from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka throughout history and every person who counts themselves a Sinhalese today would have a large number of ancestors from these immigrants. The South Indian Culture (Pandia,Chola,Chera and Pallava) has found its way into Sinhala Culture too and no Sinhalese will deny this. The theory that that today’s Sri Lankan Tamils are the direct descendants of those ancient South Indian migrants does not hold water. Are we being told to believe that the Tamil language, script, architecture, music, dance, dress, cuisine, religion kept in step with the evolution of Tamil culture in Tamil Nadu over 2000 years while the Sinhala culture evolved into something completely distinct?

    It is not possible to talk of absolutes as each of us have slightly different ancestrys. But it wouldnt be inaccurate to say the Sinhalese are the decendants of those ancient South Indian immigrants (Some of them would have been Tamils). However the earliest Sri Lankans present day Tamils can claim ancestry would be to those who came here with the armys of Kalinga Magga. Even the Tamils who arrived with the Chola invasions of the 9th century had been integrated into the Sinhala majority by then. There is very good evidence of this around Polonnaruwa and the Eastern Province where Ganesha worship is the predominant faith among the Sinhalese. There ancestors were very probably the Chola invadors who founded Polonnaruwa.

    It is quite clear that the claim by Some Tamils that all the Buddhist archaelogical remains in the Vanni and Eastern Province were built by their ancestors (and not the Sinhalese’) is merely a feeble attempt to claim both these extensive areas all for themselves. There are several incontrovertible factors that argue against this theory. The Pali Language in the inscriptions, The Sinhala architecural styles, Sinhala names given to the sites in the inscriptions etc. At one of these sites however there is a 9th century Chola inscription which says the Hindu Temple there was built over an existing buddhist stupa called Velgam Vehera. And sure enough when Paranavitana dug a little deeper he found the remains of this Buddhist stupa complex.

  36. Pingback: indi.ca » Tamil Buddhists (et al)

  37. Dear friends!

    A number of Tamil inscriptions have been discovered in down South. As examples:
    A Tamil inscription discovered near the Devinuvara region called as ‘Naimana Inscription’ we find Buddhist symbols.

    In that inscription at the top of one side we find marked a circular rim with 4 ears placed symmetrically and a conch by the side of it.

    As explained by me earlier, the conch symbolizes something preached to all without discrimination or announcement to all.

    The circular rim with 4 ears placed symmetrically symbolizes the Four Noble Truths.

    Thus both jointly symbolizes Preaching of the Four Noble Truths to all.

    Therefore, this particular inscription belonged to Tamil Mahayana Buddhists.

    In the South near Galle, an inscription was discovered with writings in Tamil, Chinese and Persian languages.

    This also belongs to the Tamil Mahayana Buddhists.

    In Kotagama of Kegalle District, a Tamil Inscription was discovered.

    It describes poetically the Queen Anula and others of Anuradhapura compelling Devanappiya Tissa to become nuns.

    In that inscription we find a phrase “Singai Aryan.’ The Tamil word ‘Singai’ denotes the place where ‘Singan’ resides. Lord Buddha had been described as ‘Singan’ in Tamil and Sinhala literature.

    The word ‘Aryan’ means a Noble Person.

    Thus, ‘Singai Aryan’ means ‘Lord Buddha.’

    Unless we study scientifically the Tamil, Sinhala, Pali literature and Archaeological finds of Lanka and India, no durable political solution would be found.

  38. Just “Out of date” or desperate backpedaling to accomodate Tamil Nationalist revisionism? How would he now interpret those Sinhala place names then? Have they become something else? What are the new archaelogical finds that have been made to contradict his earlier findings?

    By the way this is not to say that Jaffna and Batticaloa should be considered anything but Tamil areas. Or that Tamils should not have the self determination that they want. But falsification of history by Tamil Nationalists should be fought with as much vigour as the Sinhalese Nationalists’.

    What I see here is that to claim such a disproportionately large portion of Sri Lankan land the Tamil Nationalists need a pretty solid historical claim to it, which they unfortunately have lack. Hence the need to re-intepret and mis-intepret pretty well established readings of history based on archaelogical and epigraphic facts.

  39. The Pallavas like Mahendra varma Pallava was a Jain then converted to Hinduism (Saivism).

    The author of Mahavamsa and the Bodhi Dharma are both claimed to be from the Pallava royal clan.

    How is it? Can you shed more light into it.

  40. Rajesh Kumar,

    I happen to have a copy of a British survey map of the island around 1790. It shows the districts down the coast in what is today the Eastern Province as Korales and Pattuwas – traditional Sinhala names. Today’s Verugal Aru is named Verugal Oya. Mukkuva folklore (given in the Mattakalappu Manmiyam) talks about them arriving from India with the moslems and finding a ruined fort in Batticaloa. The only ruined fort there is the Portugese one. Also if they were accompanied by Tamil speaking Moslems it could have only been after the Moslem conversions in South India under the Deccan Sultanate circa 1700. So now please tell me how they could have built the Buddhist stupas found in the province of a far greater antiquity?

  41. If you look at the sthala puranam of any temple the deity will have a sanskrit name. Likewise the town also may have a sanskrit name.

    How do you account for the place names like Vedaranyam, Mayuram, kumbhakonam.

    Aranyam means forest.It is a Sanskrit word. It was later changed to Thirumaraikadu. Mayuram is now called Mayiladuthurai. Kumbakonam is also called Baskarashetram. Kumbha refers to jug. Kumbha is a sanskrit word. Baskara is a Sanskrit word like Prabhakaran (Though many will not like this comparison). Shetram is definitely a Sanskrit word.

    The Tiruppullani is also called Dharpasayanam. The deity there is also called the Dharpasayana Perumal.

    How do you account for the names like Chathurvedi Mangalam. Chathur vedi mangalam means the village given as grant to the bramins who recite the four vedas. Chathur definitely is not a tamil word. Likewise Trivedi Mangalam.

    Also we must remember that the Hindus used the Sanskrit language and the Budhists used the Pali language.

    There were many number of Tamil Budhists who have written works in the Pali.

    Therefore the places having sinhala/pali names could again mean that they were the places of the tamil budhists.

    In Tamil grammar there is a rule like Tharsamam and Tharpavam. Some Tamil scholar may be able to shed more light in that subject. I vaguely remember from my school days.

    I proceed to tell what I remember. Tharsamam means using the Sanskrit names into the Tamil like as they are, without any modification like veda/vedi Kumbha, madhu etc.

    Madhu is the name for sugar or alcohol. It is used in the same way in Tamil. This is Tharsamam.

    Tharpavam means inventing a new word or Tamilizing the Sanskrit word like Mayuram becoming Mayirladuthurai (I don’t know whether this example is right).

    Tharpavam also could mean this…The Tamil God Kandan is called Skandha in Sanskrit. Skandha is Tamilized to as Kandan in Tamil. This could be an example of Tharpavam.


  42. Uthayakumar,

    The Kotagama inscription has been date to 13-14th century AD, more than one and a half millenia after King Devanampiyatissa and Queen Anula.. It is an allegorical description of an Ariya Chakravarti king’s victory over the South Western Kingdom at that time..

    The tri-lingual inscription is attributed to the Chinese admiral Zheng He and is dated to the 14th-15th century..

    The Naimana inscription is dated to the reign of Parakramabahu VI of Kotte in the 15th century, who conquered the Jaffna Kingdom through Sapumal kumaraya..

    All this comes more than a millenia later than the Vallipuram inscription

    ‘Unless we study scientifically the Tamil, Sinhala, Pali literature and Archaeological finds of Lanka and India, no durable political solution would be found’

    New archaelogical findings can change the existing knowledge on history, so is the political solution to change every-time a new discovery is made, or someone interepretes something differently? Political solutions should be made on the present and based on (both political and economic) equity, sustainability and practicability..

  43. Dushy, this believe is/was out of Ignorant on the part of Srilankan due to the way the education department is run and the books were written and taught with political and religious motive controlled by the ruling class.Only few people are aware.Becauses during their university periord those who cared to do some research it to this. But even then people keep quite after thier findings out of fear, necessity to get a job,not to be typecast as traitor of the nation etc. EDUCATING THE MASS IS TALL ORDER.

  44. How is it that none of the Aiym Perunkappiyam is Hindu but the Hinduism is the dominant religion.

    The major Hindu work of the Later Sangam period was Kamba Ramayanam.

    I am intrigued by this. Please shed some light into this also Sir.

  45. I like the comments by aratai.

    Some says The Tamil film “7aum Arivu”(the seventh sense does not cover as much as the Chinese Film ( in many parts in you tube ). Hope some who can understands Chinese throw more light on it.


    Bodhidharma – The Master of Zen [達摩 – 禪宗大師] part1.flv –

    With regard to Dushy Ranatunga, The history of the inhabitants including the languages of Northern, and North Western provinces during the arrival of Sangamitha and before Devanmbiya Theesan must be sought from current Kerala and Tamil Naadu historical records or from chronicles or litratures which talks about these, during the begining of Buddhism in Southern India. This will throw more light on Ranatunge’s concerns.

    Deepavamsa, Thupavamsa, Mhahavamsa and Kulavamsa may be kind of gospels to majority of the Sinhalese but if one has to be fairminded they should not be taken as the only evidences and prove that the Sinhalese were occupying whole of the Island Srilanka and Tamils arrived later from areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala of South India.

    Can some Sinhalese Buddhists tell us what language the Naga’s spoke before Price Vijaya landed in Srilanka. or when Emperor Ashoka’s children landed in Srilanka ?

  46. Sidath Sangarawa was written in the 14th century AD, 5-6 centuries after the ‘Elu Sandas Lakuna’ and ‘Siyabaslakara’ and 12 centuries after the Vessagiri inscription.. I have not read Viirasooliyam, so am not aware of the similarities, the author may have used the style of the earlier works

    It is a baseless assumption to say Sinhala was derived by ‘grammatically’ (?!) changing Tamil words.. The easiest comparison is to compare the words of the early inscriptions with those of similar meaning in Pali, Sanskrit and Tamil.. Pali will come out as the easy winner.. Same goes for the grammatical structure, the sentence construction of Sinhalese is almost identical to that of Pali..

    The Tamil words and influence come much later, after 10th century AD.. Dhivehi (Maldivian) is the missing piece of the puzzle.. The influence of Tamil on Dhivehi, which is assumed to have diverged from Sinhala in 5-10th century AD, is less than Tamil influence on Sinhala..

  47. ambalangoda man/d chap even Ambalangoda was a Tamil name later transformed. You only have to read some of the research papers

    Some Books

    Short History of Ceylon by Codrington

    Ancient Irrigation Works of Ceylon by R.L.Brohier

    Our Place in the Civilization of the Ancient World, by the late Hon. K. Balasingam

    The Dravidian Origin and Philosophy of Human Speech by the late Fr. T.C.Closset, S.J.

    Ancient Jaffna by the late Mudaliyar S. Rasanayakam

    Studies in Etymology and Etymological and Comparative Lexicon of the Tamil Language by the late Fr. S. Gnanaprakasar O.M.I.

    Dravida by E.L. Tambimuttu

    Madura Manual edited by J.H. Nelson

    Madras District Gazetter, vol.1 (Government of Madras)

    Dravidian and Aryan by Chidamparampillai, editor Tamilian, Nagercoil, India.

    Dravidian Element in Indian Culture, by Dr. Gilbert Slater

    Budhist India by Dr. Rhys Davids

    History and Culture of the Indian People, by Professor S.K.Chatterjee

    Hindu View of Life, by Professr Sir. S. Radhakrishnan, ex-President of India

    Indian Thought and its Developments by Dr. Albert Schweitzer (Nobel prize winner)

    Mohonjadaro and the Indus Civilisation by Sir. John Marshall.

    The Origin of Sumerian Writing, by the late Fr. Heras S.J. (Journal of the University of Bombay, July 1938).

    The Sumerians by Dr. Leonard Woolley (The excavator of Ur.)

    Glimpses of World History by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

    The Phoenician Origin of Britons, the Scots and the Anglosaxons’ and The Sumer-Aryan Dictionary by Col. A.L. Waddell (William & Norgate, London).

    Armalurish by Clemens Schooner

    Lands and Peoples of the Bible, by James Baikie

    Diffusion of Culture, by George Eliot Smith

    The Story of the Nations Series, (i) Chaldea, (ii) Assyria, (iii) Ancient Egypt, (iv) Phoenicia, (v) the Jews, and (vi) Vedic India.

    Some Scholars

    Dr. Mcleane, Dr. H.R. Hall, Sir George Grierson, H.N.Brailsford, Prof. Haeckel, Rev. W.F. Goudie, Dr. G.U. Pope, Dr. Winslow, Dr. W. Taylor, Bishop Caldwell, Professor Max Muller and others.
    and books.

  48. .
    There you go Diyasena…

    right away you say, listen to us or go back to india

    Jaffna district population about 600,000.

    There are 100,000 sinhala soldiers.

    Add their spouses, then 200,000.

    Add their children, then 400,000.

    If they go for 3rd child (Rs. 100,000) then sinhala population becomes 500,000.

    Now you know what tamils are scared of?


  49. Hi Dushy Ranetunge,

    I do not fancy as much with finding the names if they have Sinhala name roots as both languages have similar meaning and sounding words. I no nothing of Linguistics or Anthropology etc. but what are people suppose to do with this type of historical data. How much facts or evidence there is what has happened after each invasion, war or even ‘reconciliation’ as we see even today.

    The history of habitats of humanity is story of people migration. And our point in history today cannot be vastly different than of the past. Except evidences are few, and ‘scholars’ can propagate enough and more theories endlessly.

  50. I once met a Tamil Buddhist in Nagadeepa. She was very beautiful. I worshipped her by falling at her feet.

    When I tried to kiss her toes she got shy and ran off. I still think of her

  51. Hi Dr.Rajasingham Narendran, Prof. K. Sivathamby once told me that ‘Thenmarachi’ has roots from Jainism. This was not during a discussion though about Tamil/Sinhala Buddhists. He mainly said this based on factors such as vegetarianism practiced by inhabitants of this period in ‘Thenmarachi’.

    Also the name ‘Chava’kachcheri takes notes of ‘Java’, meaning of trade existing to South East Asia.

  52. although the story of Vijaya is to be doubted, still let us assume that a Vijaya came from Bengal and that he spoke a foreign tongue, Sinhalese. Even then from what we read in the Mahavansa, it is clear that Vijaya knew Tamil too, for he was able to manage with Kuweni, the Yakka princess, who did not know a word of Sinhalese. Later, he and his 700 followers marry Tamil girls from Madura. This also supports my contention that all these 701 young men knew Tamil to be able to speak with their Tamil wives, who knew no word of Sinhalese, the Aryan language which was supposed to have originated in Bengal or in Gujarat.

    Take their children, and what language do you think they would have spoken? Their children by these Tamil wives would have spoken their mother tongue Tamil, and so Tamil would have been the language used by their descendants too. In the light of these facts, there was no chance whatsoever for Sinhalese, the language supposed to have been spoken by Vijaya, to have been used as the language of his descendants, at least up to the time a change takes place with the arrival of Buddhism in the reign of Devanampiya Tissa.

    You may ask me how it is that I have stated that in all other countries people used the language of the conquerors and that it is only in Ceylon that the reverse is true. The circumstances here are entirely different. Here there is no wholesale conquest. Only a few colonists arrive, 700 in all. They marry Tamil-speaking wives, as soon as they come and before they settle down. There is no sudden change of government. Had these 700 men brought their wives from Bengal or Gujarat and confined themselves as a separate community, without intermarrying from among the native population, (as, say, the English colonists did in America in the 17th century), and had they been recouped from time to time by fresh colonists coming from the mother country to join the predecessors, there was some chance for their language, Sinhalese, to have been used without interruption, as the language of the ruling classes, and continued to be used by the subject population too gradually. Here, there was no such possibility whatsoever, in view of these 700 colonists, all of them marrying Tamil-speaking wives and, not only marrying Tamil-speaking wives, but also importing the Tamil-speaking workmen with their families from the Tamil country, Madura. You will also see that no further Sinhalese ever came from Gujarat or from Bengal, whichever was the original home of the Sinhalese immigrants. In the absence of fresh immigrants who spoke Sinhalese, and in the presence of such a large number of people who spoke Tamil, the Tamil wives of Vijaya and his associates, the Tamil workmen who accompanied them, and the Tamil-speaking Yakkas who formed a large percentage of the subject population, there was every chance only for the Tamil language to have been the principal language of communication and for the Sinhalese language to have been neglected by everybody. In fact the Sinhalese language of Vijaya had absolutely no chance of survival from the very start. Under the circumstances, I have every right to presume that Tamil was the language used by the Vijaya’s successors, if not by Vijaya himself, for a considerable time.

    Look at some further facts in support of my theory that Vijaya’s mother tongue had been forgotten and that Tamil was the language of the successors of Vijaya from what happened during the reign of Devanampiya Tissa. See what Devanampiya Tissa himself did. He personally went to Jambukola in the Jaffna peninsula to receive the bo-tree saplings sent by Asoka. He took the gift first to Pacina Vihare in Jaffna, before he removed them to Anuradhapura. At Pacina Vihare he had a celebration in which sermons were preached, evidently in the language of the people there. The people there cooperated with him to such an extent that there is clear indication that he was no foreigner but was one with the people of Jaffna. Jaffna at that time was ruled by Naga chieftains who must have been friendly with him or related to him. How was he so friendly, if he was not one of them but was a Sinhalese-speaking stranger? These facts clearly prove that he was conversant with the Tamil language.

    As I have already told you, I am assuming that the Sinhalese language was the mother tongue of Vijaya and it is on that assumption that I say that his mother tongue was smothered at the very start for the reasons stated above. As to whether Vijaya’s mother tongue could have been Tamil is a different question. In any case, I shall lead evidence later to show that the language spoken by Vijaya was not Sinhalese, for I shall prove to you shortly that Sinhalese as a language was created only after the arrival of Buddhism in the island.

  53. 1926 Rasanayagams Jaffna states the same thing…

    age 179
    ” Upon the introduction of copious Pali and Sanskrit works, a new language ( Sinhalese) came into existence, with a ground work of Elu ( language spoken by Yakkha,Naga) and Tamil and the superstructure of Pali and Sanskrit….In a similar manner were formed Malayalam and Telugu; from their copious vocabulary of Sanskritic words it is now almost impossible to trace their origin to dravidian dialects. While the process of forming the Sinhalese nation was going on by the continual mixture of the Yakkhas, the Nagas, the Tamils and the Kalingas(Vijaya), the Sinhalese language too was growing and expanding…..Thus it will be seen that the mixed population from Point Pedro ( in the north) to Dondra Head (in the South) known by the name Sinhalam………during the early centuries of the Christian era, spoken one language.

    Indrapala has revised his PHD position in the new book, but in it he has avoided addressing the point of Pali/Sanskrit place names in Jaffna.

    This is confusing.

    He is correct as the earlier position seem to have had a bias on Sinhala ethnicity in Jaffna, a mistake of confusing language and ethnicity and Indrapala has corrected this, but by avoiding addressing the evidence of Pali Sanskrit place names, he seems to be over-emphasising his theory of REGIONAL influences while underplaying the existing evidence of LOCAL influences.

    I am not disputing that the PEOPLE by and large would have been dravidian in ethnicity, dominated by the ENGLISH SPEAKING class of yesteryear, who were SANSKRIT/Pali speakers.

    Perhaps Indrapala has decided to ignore “Havelock Town” and “Cinnamon Gardens” on the basis that the natives have black arses.

    But then, those in “Havelock Town” and “Cinnamon Gardens” while being “Sinhalese/Tamil/Muslim” ethnicity, speak English.

    The same would apply in Jaffna.

    While the ethnicity would have been Naga tribes, Tamils, etc, like “Cinnamon Gardens” and “Havelock Town” they woud have lived in “Sangathana, Kudathana and Aliyawala” and spoken sanskrit/pali?????

    I am interested in other views on this……..

  54. Dear DBS
    Thank you for sharing this article

    I practice what Gotham Siddharth (Buddha) taught but am not a Buddhist and blinding following his teaching.
    I agree with your following point,
    “They [Shinhala people] are unwilling or unable to accept that Tamils too were Buddhists in a by gone era. In Sri Lanka any members of the majority community think Buddhism is exclusively “of, for and by” the Sinhalese.
    Likewise Tamils in the North and East are troubled about the discovery of Buddhist sites because they do not want to acknowledge the reality that their ancestors had been Buddhists or Jainists in the past.”
    But not with J.L. Devananda’s following idea…
    “The lost Tamil Buddhism should be restored back in the North & East. The erection of new Buddha statues in the North & East should be welcomed and the Tamils should consider Buddha also as a part of their religion.”
    The above idea purely supports the systematical establishment of Buddhist temples in North and East by the Sri Lankan government.
    J.L. Devananda’s is using the historical facts in a cunning way which cannot be accepted….

    I think this article has a political purpose and justifying what the Sri Lankan government is doing in North and East by establishing Sinhala settlements and building Buddhist temples.
    I would like to say to Mr.J.L. Devananda’s
    First , Tell the S.L government to implement a solution for the ethnic conflict and get rid of the army from North and East and release all political prisoners.
    Then they can think about building Buddhist temples in N& E.
    When there is a peace and if Tamil people understand about Buddha’s teachings, I hope, then they will consider about it.
    But no one can force the Tamils to follow any kind of religious teachings or politics or build Buddhist temple in their land.…
    Building a Buddhist temple in North and East is not a religious purpose but the purpose of Sinhala Buddhist racist ideology which is making Sri Lanka as a whole country as a Sinhala Buddhist country.
    If they do this, Sinhala Nation cannot avoid facing another uprising from North and East. It is inevitable….so they should think and act wisely.

  55. Thanks for the historical article about the interesting Tamil flim.you have touch the heart of the problem but forget to explain with details for benefit of all srilankans. The root cause of our current problem lying here.

    Buddha and Boidiharma were two grate teachers of the Buddhism or Nirvana stage. After Buddha, his school of teaching was divided as two camps. one was Theravada (“The School of the Elders”) and another one was Mahayana (“The Great Vehicle”).

    Tamilnadu mainly influenced by the Mahayana Buddhism when Pallava and Chola Dynasty was there.even in Tamil homeland of Lanka Mahayana Buddhism spread throug Tamilnadu Eg:Lankan place call ‘Manipallavam’ ( Nainativu)described in Buddist Tamil Epic.

    Other side,in Sinhala homeland of lanka was mainly under the influence of Theravatha Buddhism. Anurathapuram city where the both homelands meet was built on the prehistoric settlement of our ancestors’ Nagas and yakkas.

    In the beginning of Anurathapura was accomadate all religion and all tribes. Rulling king didn’t side line other religon or other race. Eg, Elara was helped to built buddhist Vihara and Duttagemunu was built monument for Elara

    However in the later time Theravatha and Mahayana camps dividedness get sharpened. Theravatha Bikkus mostly involved in builting new viharas and collecting more asset for their life and establish buddism rather doing spritual exercise for Nirvana.There for they have started to influence in the politics(King) as well.

    Mahayana buddhism condem this way of teaching and follow the opposit path.They reject the meterial world as Buddha did and practice meditation as main tool to achive the nirvana or wisdom. Bothitharmar descendants of Mahayna school of teaching then become founder of the Grate ‘Zen Buddhism’ and ‘Kung Fu’martial art in China. Now days ‘Zen Buddism’ become famous in the world and have more similarities with ‘Tamil Shiva Siddhas’ teaching method.

    Turning point happened when Chola captured the Tamil homeland and Sinhala homeland of the Lanka to expand their empire in southeast asia. Their forces destoyed the rich ‘Theravatha’ viharas which collected lots of assets from people and built with luxry residence for their Bikkus. some of them later rebuilt by Tamil,Sinhala
    kings. However Mahayana buddism didn’t much impact by this war because of their policy not giving importance to the material world or rich life.

    unfortunately Theravatha buddhist twist the story by making inter religious conflict to become Tamil-Sinhala race conflict. Pali speaking Bikkus who had connection with north indian theravatha Buddhism for safeguarding themself ; later portrayed all Tamil kings as occupiers and Sinhala kings as patriot to protect the Theravatha Buddhism. politicaly motivated Bikkus also wrote the ‘Mahavamsa’ and put the poison seeds into the Sinhala nation
    that Tamils as enemies and they will push you all sinhalese in the sea if you do not wake.Even its common in that time Tamil and Sinhala kings rulling One after another.(Sinhala and Tamil kings even fought within the same race to rule certin areas Eg:Sera,Chola,Pandiar)

    Their hidden agenda is making sinhala people belive that they are the ‘God Fathers’ and Tamils are enimies or occupiers.Thats worked when ‘”Sinhala”Buddhist Bikkus forced Bandaranayake to make “Sinhala only” act.
    later some sinhala nationalist and politicians oiled it this burning fire by spreding false propaganda among ordinary singalese people to get in power and for their fame.

    eventhough DNA research now proved sinhalese are Dravidian origin, Angariga Dharmabala was claimed ‘Sinhalese are Arians’, eventhough 4 main religion in srilanka JR made only Buddism as religon of the GOSL.

    Ethinic harmony was destroyed,citizens rights were abused and civil war erupted not only by politicaly motivated religous group but also undemocratic power hungry politicians as well.They are not going to use their seventh sense but atleast why they don’t use their sixth sense to avoid all these nonsense actions they do?

    Those who want to know more about the ‘Master of Zen’ and Buddhas true teaching of the wisdom also watch this chinese version of the flim about Grate Tamil saint Bodhi dharama.


  56. I saw Tamil film “7aum Arivu”(7th sense)after reading DBS introduction

    My senses were blown away by the breath taking beauty of Shruti Kamalhassan daughter of famous Tamil star Kamal Hasan

    She is a scientist in film and heroine to Surya

    Shruti has a fab figure,lovely face, attractive voice, creamy complexison, enticing eyes, sensuous mouth

    She has charm and poise and when she walks she is poetry in motion. She acts well and dances well

    But I was dazzled by her sensational legs and fantabulous feet

    There is ascene where she is in bikini swimming, diving and lying in a hammock and splashing the water with her fair and lovely feet

    Oh I was completely lost

    All that I want is to cuddle those dainty feet and lick the sea salt water from those pretty soles and toes and ankles

    After that I will warm her feet made cold by the water with my lips pouring a million kisses. Then I will blow my warm breat on her feet while gently holding them in the palms of my hands gently

    Her feet are so soft and tender that I fear even the sea sand hurting those silky soles when she walks or stands

    I will crawl on all fours like an animal so that she can stand on my back lime an imperial queen and not walk on the sand

    When she sits I will lie on the ground in front of her and she can place her lotus feet on my face instead of soling or hurting them by putting them on the sand

    Oh Shruti! Shruthi!Your divine feet are my ticket to heaven

  57. Aratai,

    Has each and every soldier been allocated a land to stay in the North? (The population of North is 1 Million+, why do you count only Jaffna). Where is the infrastructure to house this said 500,000? Will they be enumerated in the 2011 census? .. These are all figments of Sumanthiran et al.’s imagination to keep the hate mill running mono-ethnic fiefdom intact.. Today the Tamil population in Colombo is nearly 40%, do not here any of us whinging do you?

  58. If you take away the Pali, Sanskrit, Tamil, Portugese, and English Languages, the answer you get is a BIG ZERO – That is the status of the Sinhala language!!!

  59. Less than a year aga, I was at Naga Viharaya Budhist temple at one end of Jaffna town, (not the Nagadveepa). I sew locals worship the Dagoba, and on inquiery I was told they were Tamil Budhists.

  60. Why would Sinhalese need to go out of the way to acknowledge Hinduism? Many Sinhalese, whether Buddhist or Christian, practice Hindu religious traditions openly. There is nothing hidden about that and there is no need to “come out of a closet”. There is nothing to reclaim. It is already theirs as part of their culture and they practice it as they wish. Now do I agree with that? Hell no. A follower of pure Buddhism should have absolutely no need to pray to any god, Hindu or other.

  61. “I am all for more Tamils practicing Buddhism. This may help to build links with the powerful monks in SL”.

    What for? Definitely not the kind of Budhism practiced in Sri Lanka!! No one Should even touch it with a barge pole!! What is the idea of Linking with the Powerful monks in SL? To burn christian churches and demolish Hindu temples and join the mob in pogroms against the Tamils? OMG NO!!!

  62. The problem is that the Archaeologists have to be neutral!! But in Sri Lanka Archaeological department itself is politicized!!! They are loyal to the politicians of the day then to their chosen field

  63. We do not need Prof.Indrapala to identify the place names of Jaffna. Just try to know with the current Tamil and Sinhala.

    Many place names are not Tamil. It is true. At the same time it is not necessary to believe those names are Sinhala either.

    Kalinga Magha was from Orissa and he established a Kinglet. He enthroned his fellow Kshatriya Dynasty from Kerala as the Jaffna Royals. There was a big segment of the Jaffna Hindu population known as MADAPALLY. Who are they? Now now no one claim as madappally because it means Temple COOK in Tamil and treated as LOWER people. But it was a corrupted Tamil term for MAGADHA PAALI means Peaple who administered Magadha. Now they are Tamil speakers. Pali/Sanskrit place names are the products of kalinga rule.

    Magadhan Kingdom and their remnants the Pallavas used Paali language. Sinhalese or Tamils cannot claim anything of Pallavas for their current political gimmicks.

    Even a sizable Sinhala population lived in Jaffna and the place names in Sinhala must be theirs! Those people too now became Tamil speakers.

    Language is not a GENETIC property. Today Sinhala may be a Tommorrow Tamil.

    Old Royals never..never ruled on the basis of any language.

    Tamils and Sinhalese must understand the influence of Magadha over Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu.

    If the Sinhalese want Jaffna as theirs on the basis of place names, will they giveup Kandy, Gundasale, Negombo and other places with Tamil names to Tamils?

  64. Now we know the real reason why that Tamil Buddhist at Nagadeepa Temple ran away when you tried to worship her feet.

  65. Dushy,

    Is it not interesting that ඊ and ஈ in Sinhala and Tamil are both based on Ra with 2 dots!

    The link posted by salin below asserts that place names in Sri Lanka cannot be explained without Tamil.

  66. Do not write something without knowing fact

    Refusing to Dalai lama entering to Sri Lanka, nothing to do with Buddhism

    That is Chinese influnce, Even Barack Obama did not appear befire press with him

    Any how This Tamil Buddhism concept suddenly appear after Parbakaran dies, and Archelogical Dept its excavation

    Dear Tamils,

    Whether you lived in 100 years or 1000 years we do not ask you to get out

    but do not ask seperate land , it never going to happen

    Try to live as Sri Lankans

  67. Prof. Indrapala had to retreat from his findings like Galileo due to intense pressure from Eelamists who wanted to establish a pure Tamil mono ethnic enclave in the North & the East of Sri Lanka. Prof. Indrapala’s findings was a major problem for the Eelamists in justifying a concocted new history re-written for Tamils and some gullible foreigners. It is this re-written bogus history that has been continuously fed to Tamils for the past 30-40 years converting an entire Tamil generation in to believing a total fabrication.

    Consequently JL Devananda also faces the problem of accepting the presence of Sinhalese (and they were Buddhists) in the North (so he attributes all Northern Buddhist history to now extinct Tamil Buddhists). He or anyone cannot explain how or why a community comprising over 80% of the population (excluding Indian Tamils who were recent arrivals to the country) did not live accross length & breadth of the country. If he uses the basic logical approach of Dr. Hikosaka whom he quotes he would realise that he (& reformed Indrapala) doesn’t have legs to stand on a theory excluding Sinhalese Buddhists from the North. While logic tells us not to discount the presence of Tamil Buddhists in the North of Sri Lanka, it is more logical to state that the Northern Buddhist history was primarily due to the presence of Sinhala Buddhists who gradually moved South due to Hindu South Indian invasions. However all the Sinhalese did not leave the North. The remaining have gradually Tamilised (example, Koviyar caste). It explains the presence of so many Sinhala villages in the North (now Tamilised) like Kadurugoda, Battakotte, Weligama etc etc.

  68. Salin,

    ‘The ample evidence’ has been filtered through sieve of racial bias..

    In his 1st section when comparing words he automatically assumes Sinhala words derived from Tamil, forgetting the Pali link..

    Eg. Which is more likely Kamam (Tamil) => Gama (Sinhala) or Gaama/Grama (Pali) => Gama (Sinhala)
    Moolai (Tamil) => Mulla (Sinhala) or Muula (Pali) => Mulla (Sinhala)
    Thurai (Tamil) => Thota (Sinhala) or Thitta (Pali) => Thota (Sinhala)

    And he brings in far fetched theories, avoiding the simpler Sinhala expalanation,

    Eg. ‘Weli’ in Weligama => Weliyei (outside, Tamil), or Veli/Vali (sandy, Pali) perhaps the author has not been to Veligama to see the soil properties of the area..

    There are also some mistranslations in his attempt to link Sinhala words to Tamil as well, taking only the suffix he forgets the meaning of the rest of the word (Perhaps he was not versed in Sinhala, so every Sinhala word looked Tamil to him)..

    Eg. Deniya is given as derived from Thinai (soil or land) whereas, Deniya means bush or forest (i.e. Dambadeniya – bush/forest of Kadamba/bur-flower trees)

    Kada is given as derived kadai (jungle or forest), whereas Kada means far-edge/border (i.e. Kadawatha, literally means border post where the border of the Kandyan Kingdom met that of Portuguese occupied Kotte)..Mankada is means, bottleneck/pass/ checkpoint (i.e. Alimankada where the Dutch record the Northern border of the Kandyan Kingdom to have laid)..

    With Kataragama he says it is a corruption of Kathir, but by his own admission he says it is a dry, hard place (Perhaps not knowing that the Sinhala Kathara, from the Pali Kachara, means a dry plain)

    In section 2 he uses modern Sinhala words, derived from Tamil and rather naively claims they were used from ancient times (The modern family names and foods are definitely of Tamil/ Malayalee influence of the medieval and post-medival period).. The early Sinhala works uses Pali derived terms to describe family memeber (eg. Mawa, Piya and/ or the original Matha and Pitha)..

    The author’s game is clearly revealed in the translation of fish Meenu => Maalu… Infact the word ‘Maalu’ actually denoted flesh (of any animal), terms such as Uru Maalu (Swine flesh), Geri Maalu (Beef) is still used in Sabaragamuwa and the deep South.. The word for fish was Masu (From the Pali/ Sanskrit Matsya) and is still used in Divehi as Mas..

    All of the author’s comparisons of words with Tamil are of modern Sinhalese, he refrains from comparisons with the original Elu (proto-Sinhalese, the likely language of the Native Yakkas) or even middle aged Sinhalese (Pali influenced Sinhalese, he is infact very cautious of the Pali connection)..

    So like Mr. Devananda tries to apply current demographics to the early settlements in the North and East, Mr. Sri Kantha tries uses the Sinhalised tamil words in modern Sinhalese to paint a picture of Sinhala originating from Tamil itself..

    All these farcical hypotheses in the letter to his son (and the metaphorical sons who follow such hypotheses), is perhaps to indoctrinate him (them) of the ultimate goal, 35% of land an 65% of coast for less than 10% of the population.. A uber-pure Tamil bantustan devoid of the unter-corrupted mixed Sinhalese (The Chelvanayagam mindset?!).. that is NOT going to happen..

  69. Dear Diyasena,

    The main problem our country faces is the Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism based on imaginary and false doctrine:Aryan Sinhala – Sinhalese – Theravada Buddhism – Lanka with one to one correspondence.

    The Sinhalese scholars refuse to accept that the doctrine: Aryan Sinhala – Sinhalese – Theravada Buddhism – Lanka with one to one correspondence is false and imaginary.

    To prove the doctrine is false and imaginary you have to study scientifically the Tamil, sinhala, Pali, Sanskrit literature and the archaeological finds. As I explained in this column to study these scientifically first of all you must have a thorough knowledge on Symbolization, symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism and the word-meaning relationship of the Tamil language.

    If take the study of Brahmi inscriptions of Lanka (as well as that of India) you find over 65 different symbols marked in different combination. But Prof. Paranavithana without studying these only came to different conclusion. Same thing with coins, seals etc.In the Brahmi coins discovered in Akurugoda also, you find symbols. But Osmond Bopearachchi did not explain what they symbolize severally and jointly!

    Similarly there are over 300 different symbols used in the Indian coins also. But the scholars failed to explain what they symbolize severally and jointly!

    But with one or two symbols marked on coins, they had come to conclusions ignoring the other symbols marked on the coin.

    In two of the Akurugoda Brahmi coins you find the name ‘Siva.’ The scholars without understanding what the word ‘Siva’ means and the symbols marked on the other sides of the coins speak of imaginary thinks.

    Therefore, the conclusions arrived at on the studies of these coins and Brahmi inscriptions would be wrong and imaginary.

    All the archaeological finds that utilized symbolization could have been produced after a scientific study on symbolization. The symbols found marked on all the so-called ancient coins, seals etc.of Lanka and India severally and jointly symbolize Buddhism.

    As Theravada Buddhism rejects symbolization, Symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism, these should have been designed and produced by the Mahayana Buddhists. It has nothing to do with Theravada Buddhism.

    You after talking about the three inscriptions have mentioned that “All this comes more than a millenia later than the Vallipuram inscription.”

    Here you say that the ‘Vallipuram inscription’ is 1000 years earlier.

    Dear Diyasena, what is the proof you have got for this?

    The only possible proof could be the Brahmi scripts!

    I ask a very important question. When were the Brahmi scripts invented and used?

    Here again imaginary conclusions of the archaeologists and historians come!

    Scholars say that Brahmi inscription were written 4 – 3 centuries before the common era. Some opine 5 centuries also.

    The scripts of the so-called Asoka edicts were in a well developed stage and were based on the basic sounds that could be produced by a human.

    Therefore, unlike the Chinese writing or Egyptian and other writings, Brahmi scripts should have been invented after a scientific study of languages.

    In that case I ask some important questions.

    1) If the Brahmi scripts were invented 5-4 centuries before the Common era and used until 6 century A.D. as claimed by the scholars, why the ancient people of North and South India and Lanka did not use those to write their poems, stories. literature etc.? Why Buddhist, Jain and other preachings were not written with Brahmi scripts? We do not find poems, literature and stories etc.of different people written with Brahmi scripts?

    2) If the Brahmi scripts were invented 5-4 centuries before the Common era and used until 6 century A.D. as claimed by the scholars,why Tamil, Sinhala scripts were invented later? Why Tamil Sangam literature were not written in Brahmi scripts?

    3) Invention of Brahmi scripts based on the smallest possible sounds shows that those who invented Brahmi scripts studied scientifically the languages. Then why a grammar book was written for any of the languages with Brahmi scripts? Why the Tamil grammar Tolkapiyam was not written with the Brahmi scripts?

    4) If the Brahmi scripts were invented 5-4 centuries before the common era, why in the North India, literature, Grammar books and commentaries, Preachings etc. were written with Nagari script and Pali scripts? If scholars claim that Sansrit and Pali scripts were invented long ago, then why should they invent another script Brahmi?

    If you analyze all these, we will be able to come to the conclusion that Brahmi scripts were the very latest scripts out of all the scripts.

    All these only compel us to study our literature and archaeological finds scientifically and explain the Sinhalese and Tamils the true histories of different things and make them to reject their imaginary and false doctrines and ‘nationalisms. This will only help us to find lasting political solution based on THE PRESENT and not on our ANCIENT PAST!

    Your interpretation of the Kotagama Tamil Inscription is wrong. Go through the stanza carefully.

  70. religion is created by human to discipline human since in there was no education that regulate human behavior. Now in the modern world, education plays the role of regulating human behavior. Now the religion is manipulated by individuals for his/her own benefits. Meditation is more important than being religious. Being so involved in religion can leade to become religious fanatics.

  71. Thanks to all those who have responded to my comment. I also want to point another phenomenon that used to be prevalent in Jaffna(probably prevalent even now). People used to refer to people from Thenmarachi as ‘Kulaikattar’ in a condescending manner. Similarly, they also used to consider those from Vadamarachi in a condescending manner.There were also cultural differences between the peoples living in these areas. Why was this so? Why did the people living in the Valigamam area consider themselves different/superior?

    I endorse Diyasena’s conclusion, “To me this tells, that no one ethno-linguistic group has exclusive claims to whole or part of the island and hence my call for a multi-cultural society islandwide instead of carving up mono-ethnic Bantustans.” The distribution of Hindu temples in the Island,and the adoption of aspects of Hindu worship and deities (Syncretism) by Sinhala-Buddhists indicate that Buddhism was an overlay on an already prevalent ‘Hindu religion’ (This was British terminolgy). Lord Buddha himself was born a ‘Hindu’ and definitely ‘Hinduism’ preceded Buddhism. Even to this day, the Sinhala-Buddhists show an ability to adopt and make their own Tamil-Hindu cultural and religious practices- a sign of a vibrant community. I however qualify Diyasena’s comment by stressing that the multi-communal and multi-religeous character of Sri Lanka should be treasured and preserved.

    Futher, Illankovadigal- Seran Senguttuwan’s younger brother (Illaya Seran Sengutuwan-ISS- has adopted his blog name from this source) was a Buddhist monk and wrote the Silapathikaram. The character Kavunthi Adigal in Silapathikaram was a female Buddhist monk and Mathavi, the second woman in Kovalan’s life converted to Buddhism. Mathavi’s daughter- Manimekalai- along with Kavunthi Adigal and a young male monk (I forget the name. Avanan?) and a ‘Achchaya Patram/Pikcha paatram/ Pinna patra’ which always replenished its contents of food visited Nagadipa (then called Mani Pallavam). Kannagi/Pathini Deviyo worship was introduced into Sri Lanka by King Gajabahu after a visit to Sera Nadu (now mostly part of Kerala).

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  72. Dear Diyasena,

    You say that “Sidath Sangarawa was written in the 14th century AD, 5-6 centuries after the ‘Elu Sandas Lakuna’ and ‘Siyabaslakara’ and 12 centuries after the Vessagiri inscription.”

    Here you have mentioned the centuries to which different books and inscription belong.

    But the most important question is what are the scientific proofs you have got for these conclusions?

    How did you determine the dates of those books and inscription? Is your method scientific?

    I would say all the dates of Sanskrit, Pali, Tamil, Sinhala literature and archaeological finds as determined by the scholars are wrong and imaginary.

    Unless you find out scientifically how the year of death of Buddha was determined; the years of writing Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa and how Sakka era was formulated, all your predictions will be wrong and imaginary.

    Would you please tell how the year of death of Buddha was determined as 543 before the Common Era? How you came to the conclusion that the Buddha era starts in the year 543 before the Common Era?

    Would you please tell with scientific proofs that Dipavamsa was written in the 4th Century and Mahavamsa in the 5th or 6th century?

    Would you please tell me how the Sakka era was formulated?

    The European and our scholars have determined these without applying scientific methods. Thus histories of different things have become good thriller novels!

    You have stated that:

    “It is a baseless assumption to say Sinhala was derived by ‘grammatically’ (?!) changing Tamil words.”

    Actually I wrote my comment for the comments made by you and Dr. Narendran. Both of you were talking about the names of places and people.

    But, I do not know how, my comment was pushed further down after moderation. Thus, you have misunderstood what I said in my comment about converting foreign words.

    It is very important to note here that the influence of Sanskrit in Sinhala language was because of the Mahayana Buddhism!

  73. dear all,
    me also watch this film, i agree that films scope but as a Sri Lankan i cannot accept this cheeting to Lanka.
    i watch this film in Dubai with my Lankan friends. there were many Indians so that time Lankans are minority.
    we shame those people from india cheeting through films to Lanka. we are looking always to make good relationship among every religion but some stupit people produce such bad films to achive the effectedd tamils people.
    i’m not willing to tel that im muslim, but we are Sri Lankans. Please Indians if you want to break religions in India do this there do not harm any countries.OK?
    I realy like Surya from that day onwards i hate him.. due to economy growth in China – India got gelous and they use the idea to cheet. please do not do again and again. we all asians we all friends we have to grow.think about you first and sarround you then you see out side.
    thanks fy dear freinds- cheers

  74. The lost Tamil Buddhism should be restored back in the North & East…..

    There is no pure Aryan or Dravidian now. But when we talk of Tamils we identify the Dravidian culture as Tamil culture. According to Ra.V.Sethupillai and many other Tamil Scholars, Dravidians did not have a religion as such. They say about Kanthali. It is not a god but something related with nature. The religions Buddhism, Hinduism ad Samanam are all North Indian religions and brought into South by invaders i.e: North Indians referred as Aryans. Therefore Tamil Buddhism is something thrust on and alien to the Tamils. Tamils are relieved from something that was forced on them. Therefore there is nothing to restore, May be D.L. Devananda want to force it on the Tamils. Further there is no Sri Lankan Tamil Buddhist unless some Tamils are bribed or forced into in the future by the Army in the North & East.

    Just like in Sri Lanka where in every Buddhist temple you find Hindu Gods,…
    There is nothing wrong in having a Buddha statue in the Hindu temples….

    Lord Buddha would have revolted on this statement had he been alive!
    Buddhism is anti Bhraminical. It is a revolt of the kshatriya or princely class against the Bhraminical domination of society.
    The Trade union Leader Shanmugathasn commented in his book.
    “ Sinhalese kings from the time of the mythical king Wijaya are in the habit of bringing their queens from India and hence the latter bring their Hindu gods too from there.

    If one goes to see the ruins of the palace of Nissanka mala in Polonnaruwa, you will see the ruins of the two temples in front of the palace. ….Later the God Vishnu is accepted in the main Temple.
    Ratnam Ganesh

  75. Mr. Native Tamil,

    It is rather intriguing that the Cholas forgot to mention these two separate homelands whilst listing their conquests at Thanajavur isn’t it? Who again were the natives of Iramandalam/Izhamandalam? Perhaps the Theravada monks had something to do with this too right? 😉

  76. Dear Sivagurunathan,

    You have stated:

    “Sanskrit is the sacred language of the Hindus.” The Mahayana Buddhism also used the Sankrit language. Because of Mahayana Buddhism only Sinhala language was influenced by Sanskrit.

  77. Why don’t you read the book,

    “Buddhism in Tamil Nadu: a New Perspective” by Dr. Shu Hikosaka

    It will clear most of your queries.

  78. Diyasena,

    States of India are not bantustans as you think. Tamil Nadu has nearly 15% of Telugu population. Karnataka has 10% of Tamil population. Bengaluru city alone has 20 lakhs of Tamil population. Karnataka also has consideraboule amount of Maratti population. Odissa (Orissa has been recently renamed as Odissa in their language) has considerable amount of Telugus. Andhra Pradhesh has considerable amount of Urdu speaking muslims. Maharshtra has considerable amount of South Indians and Gujarathis. 30 Lakhs Tamils and 30 Lakhs Gujarathis live in Mumbai city. In fact Marattis are not the majority in Mumbai city. This is the major reason for the emergence of Shiva Sena and Maharashtra Navanirman Sena in Maharashtra. Assam has considerable number of Bengalis. Population of North Indians keeps on increasing in Tamil Nadu. So Bandustans are not there in India.

    But irrespective of this mixing every language has its importance and its territory. What is wrong in having two major provinces (call them as province or state or any other administrative unit) in such a way that one province has 1/4th of the area where Tamil will be the official language and 3/4th of the area constitutes the second province where Sinhala will be the official language? In both the provinces the other language will be the second language. Having one language as the official language will not to lead to ethnic cleansing. Only organizations like LTTE and JVP do ethnic cleansing.

  79. Well said Sivananthan, I fully agree with you. Today the Sinhalese are trying to claim Jaffna by saying there are ancient Buddhist ruins and the place names are Sinhalese. Your argument gives a clear picture to their bogus claim.

  80. M. Sivananthan,

    Do not talk rubbish!

    Those place names in North & East existed very long before Magadhan Kingdom (and their remnants the Pallavas), and Kalinga Magha.

  81. The term Pattu, in the context of Lankan Tamil place names, is used in the shades of meanings to stand for an administrative division coming under the authority of a village, temple, church etc., as well as an area belonging to a particular environmental context.

    The word Pattu, as a verb, is of Tamil/ Dravidian etymology (DED 4034) and means to adhere, seize, grab etc.

    In its noun form, Pattu meaning ownership of land, areas attached to a village, an administrative/ social division etc. could be widely seen especially in the Tamil inscriptions dating from 10th century CE onwards (see table).

    Madras Tamil Lexicon gives a meaning that Pattu is a portion of a country consisting of many villages.

    Pattu meaning ownership of land:

    “இளமக்கள் பற்று குன்றியூர் நாட்டு உப்பிலிக்குடியும்”

    “I’lamakka’l pattu Kun’riyoor naaddu uppilikkudiyum” (989 CE; Inscriptions of the Pudukkottai State,South India, 1929, p123)

    “கீழ் கூற்றி மூர்தியாண்டான் பற்றாய் ஐயன் மழவராயர்க்குக் காணியாய் இவர் குடுத்த நிலமும்”

    “Keezh kootti moorthiyaa’ndaan pattaay aiyan mazhavaraayarkkuk kaa’niyaay ivar kuduththa nilamum” (1192 CE, South Indian Inscriptions, V, p301)

    Pattu meaning land affiliated to a village:

    “இவ்வூர்ப் பற்றான குடிக்காடுகளில் பூத்த வயல் குடிக்காட்டில்”

    “Ivvoorp pattaana kudikkaaduka’lil pooththa vayal kudikkaaddil” (1157 CE, Inscriptions of the Pudukkottai state,South India, 1929, p134)

    Pattu meaning an area or village the administration of which come under a temple etc. (Koayil Pattu):

    “இக் கோயில் பற்று பிடித்த மணலூர்”

    “Ik koayil pattu pidiththa ma’naloor” (1196 CE, South Indian Inscriptions VII p1041)

    Pattu meaning an administrative division:

    “பழுவூர்ப் பற்றினாலும் கண்டராதித்தன் பிடகையிலும் பல பற்றிலும்”

    “Pazhuvoorp pattinaalum ka’ndaraathiththan pidakaiyilum pala pattilum” (1278 CE, Aava’nam, 6, p.33)

    “பண்ணங்குடி கற்குறிச்சி விக்கிரபாண்டிய நல்லூருள்ளிட்ட பற்றில்”

    “Pa’n’nangkudi katku’richchi vikkirapaa’ndiya nallooru’l’lidda pattil” (1478 CE, Trivancore Archaeological Series, IX, p 12-14)

    In the Eastern Province, many Tamil divisional names have the suffix Pattu after the names of the main villages by which the divisions have been named.

    Vanni under its chieftains in colonial times had divisional names ending with the suffix Pattu as in the example of Karunaaval-pattu (the division of dark Naaval trees; parts of present Ki’linochchi and Mullaiththeevu districts).

    Vanni itself was called Adangkaap-pattu, meaning the division that withstood submission (against colonial powers).

    Vil-pattu (the division of natural ponds) in the Puththa’lam district is another example for Pattu meaning a division named after its environmental feature.

    Pattu (paththu) and Pattuwa (Paththuwa) are cognates found used in the Sinhala place names.

  82. I visited shaolin temple few years back and saw the sotne which is believed showing the shadow of Bohdidharma. I also read in the past in a Tamil magazine that a budhist monk from Kanchipuram went to China and trained other monks in martial arts at shaolin temple. Chinese sites refer this monk, Bohdhidharma, came from India. But, I could not find any Chinese site refering this monk from Kanchipuram.Has any one seen any Chinese site refering this Shaolin temple monk came from Kanchipuram?

  83. The fact is most Sinhalese are Buddhist and monks have enormous say with them. If the issues with the Tamil Sri Lankans are to be solved you would need to get the majority of Sinhalese to agree with this. For this to happen you would need the agreement of the Buddhist monks. Without their agreement nothing will happen. Unless you want to take arms and hold a gun to the head of the Sri Lankan people and get what you want (Well you guys tried that and see the results). I think it is the time that that the Tamils start thinking laterally. The TNA should approach the Buddhist monks and make their case. If you talk to them you would realize that they are mostly decent human beings who try to live by the Buddha dhamma. I think that this war has made some Buddhist monks to see things differently. My guess you have never talked a Buddhist monk in your life.

  84. YK,

    Do any of the states you mention have the minority language as an official language? Is Telengu an official language in Tamilnadu, despite the 15% population (roughly same as Tamil population in SL, both estate and Northern)? If not then the Bantustan definition fits..

    ‘But irrespective of this mixing every language has its importance and its territory’

    Ah there in lies the problems.

    1. Most of your ethno-linguistic states are much larger than Sri Lanka.. The island is too small to be carved up into ethnic enclaves..

    2. All Indian states (the parts) are far smaller in size than the India’s total size (the whole), hence secession is less viable.. The two ethno-linguistic states you propose are in SL will be constitute signficant proportions of the whole 35%+, making secession more viable (Especially where a secessionist movement has been fought on those very same lines)..

    “Having one language as the official language will not to lead to ethnic cleansing”

    Oh really? Then what was all this fuss about 1956 then?

    If Tamil is to be the official of the North and East, would you accept Sinhala as the official language of the entire country like Hindi is in India?

    No we are quite happy with two official languages and one link language.. Thanks for your advice, but no thanks!!!

  85. MeeraBharathy

    Sri Lankan Buddhism is different from the Indian buddhism. They cannot kill rats, snakes but but they can kill the Tamils, this is what their monks preaches to them. Are you suggesting the Tamils to follow this religion. When some evil thinks happening in their houses they go to the monks, and the monk will say do alms giving to about 50 monks. The monks will be given good lunch with beef and curry. When almost all the Indians started following Buddhism about 2000 years ago a Tamil called Sankaran(Aathi Sankarar) started preaching Saivam (Saivam,Also known as Tamil religion- Maddakilappu poorveeka sarithiram(similar to Mahavamsam written in Ola) says Tamil Relign came from Kalinkam)
    At that time in North India they had a week religion called Vedha and the Tamils called it Vetham. Since then Tamils called all the foreign religions,Vetham. In Vetham Cow is a sacred animal and you cannot eat beef but you can eat rest of the other creatures. So Sankaran told the people, you started following Bhuddism because it says killing anything is sin but Saiam says you cannot kill anything even for food, so Why you quit Saivam and following Bhuddism. After that only the North Indians too started following Saivam.

  86. After Prabakaran’s death the Sinhalese are trying to grab/rob the Tamil lands claiming that Buddhist ruins are found in Jaffna ignoring the fact that there were Tamil Buddhists during that time. This author is only reminding all those ignorant Sri Lankans to look into the history without getting caught to the bogus Sinhala claims.

  87. DBSJ’s motive to publish the article is well appreciated. Rather than aiming personal comments at those who hold opposite views, a good dialogue must be maintained in a forum such as this as we all learn by each writer’s point of view.

    As it has been discussed before in one of DBSJ’s columns, there are Tamil place names in the South and the West and Sinhalese and other names in the North and the East. People can argue for years but they must know that history is tentative and today’s conclusions cannot be considered as final for tomorrow. In Historical analysis creating a Sitz im Leben(GER.) – a life situation- of a word and researching how it originally came in to being is not easy. The German scholar Hermann Gunkel’s research on the Bible amply display that. As known, Archaeology as a discipline helps researchers a lot in that direction. Even then, how many layers of digs are necessary to find the artifacts to establish a theory? The popular belief + Prof S. Paranavithane’s theory on the colossus at Polonnaruwa to be Maha Parakramabahu’s Statue Vs Dr James T. Rutnam’s suggestion that it could be the statue of Sage Pulasthi in Pulasthinagara or Polonnaruwa is another situation that shows the problems with names and related matters.

    In the same way it is difficult to say whether a leader of old had a stammer or was a squint-eyed person, it is not easy to know whether a group in one day changed the place names of an area for personal or political reasons which never changed thereafter. In that situation a later historian faces a problem when establishing the reason for having a place name unless there is credible evidence to that effect.

    It is well-known that Koreans call their mother AMMA and father APPA and a female friend or relative ANNI which are Tamil words. A Korean scholar mentioned that Buddhist scholars were imitated and admired in old Korea and that the assumption is that Koreans adopted the terminology used by Tamil Buddhist scholars to refine their own vocabulary.

    When reflecting on Lankan History, some facts that all of us could agree upon are that there were Tamil Buddhists in the country – some even bilingual as well as multilingual. Some Sinhalese were banished for offences in large numbers to the North as Prof Tennekoon Vimalananda and others have written. Similarly, as family names of Lankans show Indians settled down in Lanka and naturalized as Tamils and Sinhalese. It is possible that there was a strong Tamil settlement in Panadura(Panturai)-Nalluruwa area, where even VP-the LTTE leader was born 57 yrs ago according to some and Sinhalese settlements in Kodigama- Kodigamam.

    If one reads the KARAWA OF SRI LANKA website with photographs of mansions of the rich Karawa people of Lanka and some pedigrees given, one would see not only our relationship to Indians but also how, LTTE’s PRABHAKARAN is related to FORMER ARMY COMMANDERs – GEN. FONSEKA, MAJOR GEN. DALUWATTE and many others in the armed forces.

    When all Lankans know that they all are mixed, let us maintain this discussion at a respectable level to match and respect DBSJ’s professionalism.

  88. My neighbour in SL is an old lady from Pallai.. Like it or not people from Pallai will also have neighbours from Mathara soon enough.. The palmyrah curtain of apartheid is coming down..

  89. HAHA..
    Do you have any proof for your claim?

    Sinhalization of Lanka is dangerous for peace which was propagated by Buddha in order to live as humans.

    Can you explain how the tomb of Elara became tomb of Dutu Gemunu in Anuradhapura? Anglo educated idiot Pranavitana fooled every one. The tradition of respecting the tomb of Elara was vanished in Rajarata after 1956.

    People of Rajarata respected the word of their King Gemunu for 2500 years but alas, an idiot from Matara came and fooled and twisted the history with the STATE AID in order to fan the Sinhala racism!

    Now the real people of Rajarata were pushed back to their villages and the Sinhala Silvas and Pereras of the South arrived and occupy Anuradhapura.

    I think the politicians talk “reconciliation” and support the destruction of historical evidences.

    If this is called “peace” or reconciliation, it never happen!

  90. “[Whether you lived in 100 years or 1000 years we do not ask you to get out]”

    Who the hell are you to ask the Tamils to get out from their home country???

    From time immemorial, the Tamils have lived in Sri Lanka and South India. The Tamils and Veddas in Sri Lanka may be a minority but they are indigenous. We all know that the Sinhalese came in a boat from India. The Veddas and Tamils have the right to tell the Sinhalese to get out but the Sinhalese have no rights to tell us.

  91. The problem is, most of the archeologists who do excavations in the North and East are Sinhala biased researchers. Some of them are dirty racists. Even the Sinhala-Buddhist monks from the JHU such as Medhananda are doing archeological research in the North & East. The moment they find something Buddhist they claim it belongs to Sinhalese and if they find anything favorable to the Tamils, it immediately vanishes, either they hide it or destroy it. This was the trend in Sri Lanka right from Dr. Paranawithana’s period.

  92. Ranjan,

    It depends on the definition of ‘pray’ and the ‘context’ the devotee..

    In the Hindu tradition Lord Murugan and Vishnu are powerful gods who can grant boons to humans.. Hence all the offerings and vows made by devotees..

    In the Buddhist tradition, Kataragama deviyo and Upulwan deviyo are ‘Samyakdrushtika’ ‘Maheshakya’ gods.. Both have obtained the ‘Sovan’ margapala, hence nothing wrong in paying homage to them (like paying homage to a noble monk).. But you can’t bribe them with offerings, if you do merit and pass it on, they will help you in times of need without you asking(provided you have no other Karma, which hinders them from interfering)..

    There are also ‘Mithyadrushtika’ gods (both Maheshakya and Alpeshakya), whom you can appease with offerings etc., but they are rather tempremental and their boons are more materialistic.. They also tend to help non-Buddhists or pseudo-Buddhists more..

  93. JLD talk about Bodhi Dharma but not Bhikku Mahanama who was also from the same Pallava Royal House. The film try to promote the current idiotic TAMIL politics.

    If Tamil Pallavas existed, who were the Sinhala Pallavas?

    Pallva Royal House played important roles in the Royal houses of Sri Lanka. Marriages took place between those Royals. Sri lankan Royals never married with any other family.

    The Story of Mana Va(r)mma who founded the Lambakhanna dynasty of Anuradhapura and belong to the same pallava clan. Mana Vamma stayed in Kanchipuram and participated in the war of Vatapi against Chalukya Pulikesi!

    Claiming part and part of the old history to suit the current needs is a horror!

    Tamil Nadu use only “Pallavan Transport” and Sinhalese use only “Mahavansa” from Pallava clan to do the current racist politics.

    Why did the Buddhist monks of Pallava Era think about Martial Arts? Buddha Dha(r)mma is against KILLING. So, the Pallava Royals found the traditional self-defence mechanism to defend people without killing.

    Pallava knew very well how the Ashoka Empire vanished after King Ashoka. King Ashoka went upside down and against any war or any “killing”. His empire vanished before his third generation.

    Hindu Philosophy always about building nations and ruling nations. Pallavas found the Empire and found ways to defend and live in peace. That is why they suppoted Buddhism and Hinduism.

    Ganges Valley Civilization is the oldest and it gave the King, Queen, and Country concept to the world!

    TAMIL Sangam litratures cameup during PEACE time. The word Sangam itself an evidence of Tamil Buddhist past.

    Present day Tamil Sinhala rivalry is a product of Christian rulers. Without criticizing the European invaders, both parties cannot make any peace by claiming few lines of the old history.

    If the Sinhalese and Tamils are honest, they must work jointly to bring peace instead of making Elara Tomb to Gemunu Tomb or claiming “Sinhala” in Jaffna while forget “Tamil Nalluruwa” in Panadura or jumping in Thames with LTTE flag or ask the “monkeys’ of the West to mediate.

    Tamil people know how the monkey went away with the “APPAM”.

  94. Kadphises

    Mukkuvar and Muslims may have come along with the low country Sinhalese (Karawa, Durawa, and Salagama) from South India and settled in the East and South during the Portuguese period (after 1700) but the Tamils lived in the North & East from antiquity. The Tamils in the East are not 100% Mukkuvar and the Sinhalese in the South are not 100% Karawa, Durawa, and Salagama.

  95. From antiquity, the people of Sri Lanka were following Hinduism/Brahmanism, Jainism, and Buddhism (Theravada and Mahayana). During the ancient period it was the King and his advisers who chose the place names. Irrespective of whether the King was a Naga, Tamil or Sinhalese, most of the kings advisers were Buddhist monks (Theravada and Mahayana) who were highly competent in Pali and Sanskrit.

    The King and the people may have spoken Tamil or Sinhalese and practiced Hinduism/Brahmanism, Jainism, and Buddhism (Theravada and Mahayana) but the place names were chosen by the kings advisors (religious leaders).

  96. Kadphises

    ‘kOlalar’ means headman or village guardian in Tamil. A kOl is a long stick similar to a spear they carry in their hands. The word kOlalar was borrowed by the Sinhala language and became KoRala, The syllable L replaced by R. The Western surveyors also used the current word ‘Koralai’.

    The ancient Tamils divided the lands as PATRU, it’s similar to counties in the West. The word patru is still in use in Tamil Nadu also. For example, Sempiyan Patru, Koaralai Patru in Sri Lanka and kOttaipatru, Pathineddaam patru etc in Tamil Nadu. There are even families of Kottaipatru mukulathOr in Tamil Nadu.

  97. Due to ignorance, even the present day Sinhala-Buddhists still believe that the ancient Kings of Sri Lanka were from North India. According to the Mahavamsa, their forefather Pandu-Vasudeva belongs to the Sakya clan, and is a relative of the Buddha, not realizing the fact that the term PANDU in Pali means Pandyans.

    The city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu is one of the continuously inhabited ancient cities of the world and it was a well developed and well planned ancient city on the banks of river Waikai. It was the capital of Tamil Pandiya dynasty and the Pandiyas were the close allies of the Sinhala Royal house of Sri Lanka from the beginning of Sri Lanka’s history. From the King Abahaya Pandiyan (Pandukabhaya) to Parakrmabahu, most of the Tamil blooded Kings and Queens of Sri Lanka were from the Tamil Pandiya dynasty. The Sri Lankan King Abhaya Pandiyan aka Pandukabahaya received help from his native city of Madurai in the planning of the city of Anuradhpura. Even recently, in the Kandiya kingdom, the Kandy lake that was built by the Tamil King Sri Vikremaraja Singhe was designed after Madurai Thepapakulam.

  98. I don’t think Sinhalese want Jaffna.

    Colonialism, Terrorism and its aftermath has resulted in the Sinhalese going into permanent bunker mode.

    The Tamils are not helping by trying to leverage India and the old colonials against the Sinhalese.

    Sinhalese strategy towards Jaffna is a reaction to Tamil ultra nationalism.

    Tamil nationalists are trying to save the Tamils and the Sinhalese nationalists are trying to save the Sinhalese and their interests.

  99. Tamils helped Chinese to follow the true religious teaching, now china is helping wrong people to destroy Tamils without realising this. Bloody hell!

  100. sanskrit influence doesnt necessarily mean “Sinhala” any way. SAnskritisation of Tamil was also happening during the pre chola period in the Tamil Language and culture. There are many SAnskrit words( modified and otherwise) in Tamil. For example Virasoliyam attempts to find synthesis between Sanskrit and Tamil grammar.

    Yes ……the root is dravia- but that doesnt mean Tamil ( is exclusive that not to have SAnskrit influence) or for that matter Sinhala (was not exclusive of Tamil influence)
    many palce inames endds with THOTA- in the south. This is a derivation of thottam in Tamil. Or for that matter Thura – Thurai in Tamil. That doesnt meat Hambanthota or Kalutaura were inhibited primarily by Tamils

  101. The principal port of the early Anuradhapura period was in Jaffna and to this day, there is a road complete with stone bridges from Anuradhapura to this port. The sacred bo tree was brought to Anuradhapura from this port and the early connections to North India/Kalinga mentions this port.

    So it is not surprising that there is evidence of early Sinhala place names in Jaffna.

  102. The blabbering Sinhalese here are not challenging the facts in this article but simply attacking the author, the messenger instead of looking at the message. This is the nature of Sinhala racists, when they see that they cannot twist the facts, they will blame the people who show the facts to them. They did this to Madam Arbor, Allan Rock, Evans, even recently to the UN chief Banki Moon. This Sinhala character is disgusting.

    This article is challenging the core belief of Sinhalese and their fantasy tales for their claim of sole ownership of this island. According to the author of this article and the Buddhist historian Dr. Hikosaka, the Arahat Mahinda first introduced the Buddhism to the Tamils not to the Sinhalese, that makes the Tamils as the chosen people of the Buddha to protect Buddhism, not the Sinhalese.

    The Japanese Buddhist Historian Dr.Hikosaka is out rightly rejecting and making mockery of the Sinhala Buddhist belief of the flying monks. This makes many Sinhala stories and claims of temples and places in and out of ancient places in Anuradhpaura just as the fantasy tales of some Sinhala racist monks.

  103. The encroachment of Hindu Temple lands by the Sinhala Buddhist Monks with the help of anti-Tamil Rajapakshe Government of Sri Lanka and the armed forces:

    1) Buddhists Sinhala symbols, the stupa and bo-tree, are made use of to give legitimacy to Sinhala settlements in Tamil areas. The method normally adopted is to find a bo-tree in a Tamil area, erect a Buddhist idol underneath it overnight, stealthily build a vihara around it or near it with an incumbent Buddhist monk, and then the process of Sinhalisation of the area begins culminating in the claim that the region was an ancient Buddhist area.

    2) Sudden discoveries are made of such symbols in archaeological excavations in sights historically known to have been that of Hindu shrines, and thereafter the process of converting the areas into Sinhala Buddhist areas begins as aforesaid. Cyril Mathew, a former minister and a henchman of President Jayawardena, and rabid chauvinist was the chief architect of this scheme. He and his gang discovered over 100 ancient Buddhist shrines in the Eastern Province. The gang then decided that there should be only Sinhala Buddhists living within the limits of the area in which the peeling of the bells of the newly erected Buddhist viharas could be heard and by means of mob violence and stare terrorism they sought to implement this rule.

    3) The declaration of sites of Hindu shrines as archeological reserves to undertake excavation operations, posing a danger to the temple, apart from bringing out false claims based on misinterpretation of findings to prove ancient Sinhala Buddhist settlements. The Muthumariamman temple in Kilivetty, in the Trincomalee District, is a case in point. A gazetted order for the excavation in the lands belonging to the Temple still hangs like the sword of Damocles over it, although the excavation process was suspended because of vehement protests by the former member of parliament. The inhabitants of this area have now been forcibly evicted by the armed forces.

    4) Government notifications being issued that certain ruins are Buddhists ruins, as in the case of the historic Samanalankulam Pillaiyar temple in the Vavuniya District that has now been converted into Buddhist ruin.

    5) Erecting imposing Buddhist statues in close proximity to ancient Hindu temples as in the case of Thirukoneswaram of Trincomalee, is yet another method adopted to ultimately wipe out Hinduism in Ceylon.

    6) Forcible take over by Buddhist monks of Hindu shrines hitherto venerated and maintained by Hindus are not unheard of. Such take overs have taken place at Sellakthirgamam, near the main Murugan temple in Kathirgamam, and at the temple in the holy peak of the seven hills of Kathirgamam.

    7) The pilgrim s rest at Kathirgamam managed by the Ramakrishna Mission of Colombo with its headquarters in Calcutta and which gave free board and lodging, to all pilgrims irrespective of religion, was taken over by the state and handed over to the Buddhist monks. Earlier the Hindu Mutts were razed to the ground in the move to declare a sacred area.

    8) The Cultural Triangle Project funded by the UNESCO and presently undertaken in the Anuradhapurqa and Polonnanaruwa districts, is made use of for the restoration of Buddhist shrines only, to the complete exclusion of the ancient Hindu temples in those areas. Under this project, in Anuradhapura, the Kathiresan Temple, once venerated by Swamy Vivekananda himself, is to be dismantled and re-erected elsewhere.

    The destruction of temples is only one aspect of the Sri Lanka’s cultural genocide. There are many other methods, not appointing teachers who could teach Hinduism in the schools while at the same time appointing teachers of other denominations to teach religious studies other than Hinduism to Hindu students

    Appointing Sinhala Buddhist teachers in the places of Tamil Hindu teachers thus forcing students to follow their studies in Sinhala medium and to study Buddhism.

    Discovering’ ruins of Buddhist temples in the Tamil homeland by Sinhala Buddhist Ministers and Buddhist archaeologists working for the Sri Lankan Government’s Archaeological Department.

    Forcibly removing Tamil residents in their thousands to refugee camps and settling Sinhala Buddhists in their place offering armed protection and new amenities including new Buddhist temples and Buddhist monks

    Erecting Buddha statues in prominent places in the ‘Tamil homeland creating Sinhala Buddhist settlements in the lands belonging to Hindu temples implementing permanent birth control methods among Hindus living in plantation areas destroying schools, libraries and community centers.

  104. ‘Why would Sinhalese need to go out of the way to acknowledge Hinduism?’
    As a counter point to this article which lists the Buddhisst influence on Tamil. There has much been written about it and am very proud of that contribution.
    Also theoretically accepting its Hindu past and present is about fully acknoledging/understanding their rounded “heritage”.

    ‘A follower of pure Buddhism should have absolutely no need to pray to any god, Hindu or other.’

    – sounds like a puritant ANgarika Dharmapala type of Buddhism I suppose you mean?Trying to create a “pure’ Buddhism is what partly contributed to this crisis we have in SL. In troing to create a pure Budhsim it flushes out any syncreticism and leads the way to exclusivism. For those trained in philosophy, who usually analyze Buddhist philosophy in a very abstract, decontextualized manner( like your self), it is essential to grasp how radically different socioeconomic conditions have contributed to new suffering, needs, expectations, alienation, and frustration, and how new forms of Sinhala Buddhism have arisen from and responded to these new conditions.
    Read gananth Obeysekaras Budhsim Transformed

    By the way Many Hindus go to Budhist temples openly too

  105. Trust the resourceful, ‘highly intelligent’, ‘highly and very highly’ educated Tamils to reinvent, redefine and interpret history to suit new arguments. We are easy !. All we want is you to get down from your high horses and live with us as Sri Lankans. If you want to be something special the arguments and interpretations that you were once Buddhist and that you lived in Sri lanka from the year dot want help. As Buddha said Brahamins are not born but they become Brahamins by the way they live. Buddha also did not say ‘turn the other cheek ‘ or be meek. Practitioners of Dhamma (darma) are aware of the contributions /interpretations made by Tamil Buddhist monks. History also tell us that at one time the whole of Maha Bharath was Buddhist, who knows , maybe you arrived in India after that ,maybe the present tamil nadu was not a part of India then ! Don’t worry so about history, ‘practice the present ‘

  106. Bodhidharma was a semi-legendary Indian monk, who lived from approximately 440 CE – 528 CE. Bodhidharma is traditionally held to be the founder of the Ch`an (known in Japan and the West as Zen) school of Buddhism, and the Shaolin school of kung fu.

    Bodhidharma was born in southern India around 440 during the Pallava dynasty`s rule. The City he was born was Kanchipuram famed as a center of Buddhist learning. He is said to have been born as a clan prince in the poor hunter class and was well versed in martial arts (a form still surviving as Kalaripayattu/varmam). It is said that Bodhidharma took this art form to China, which it is claimed to have evolved into Kung Fu according to the Shaolin Kung-fu texts).

    He traveled to China in about 475 where he found would-be Buddhists preoccupied with scholasticism and attempting to earn favorable karma through good works. Bodhidharma traveled to various Chinese monasteries, teaching and giving sermons. According to tradition, he was invited to an audience with Emperor Wu Di of the Liang Dynasty in 520 When the Emperor asked him how much merit he had accumulated through building temples and endowing monasteries, Bodhidharma replied, `None at all.` Perplexed, the Emperor then asked, `Well, what is the fundamental teaching of `Buddhism`.` Vast emptiness,` was the bewildering reply. `Listen,` said the Emperor, now losing all patience, `just who do you think you are?` `I have no idea,` Bodhidharma replied.

    With this, Bodhidharma was banished from the Court, and is said to have sat in meditation for the next seven years `listening to the ants scream.`

    Another story credits Bodhidharma with bringing tea to China. Supposedly, he cut off his eyelids while meditating, to keep from falling asleep. Tea bushes sprung from the spot where his eyelids hit the ground.

    Bodhidharma traveled to the recently constructed Shaolin temple in the North of China, where the monks refused him admission. Bodhidharma sat meditating facing a wall for the next 9 years, supposedly burning holes into the wall by staring at it. Only then did the monks of the Shaolin Temple respect Bodhidharma and allow him inside. There, he found the monks so out of shape from a life of study spent copying scrolls that he introduced a regimen of martial exercises, which became the foundation of many later schools of kung-fu.

  107. LKSword

    I don’t know if you are Tamil or Sinhalese but I can see that you like beautiful Tamil girls feet so much; e.g. beautiful Tamil Buddhist girl in Nagadeepa, Shruti (Kamala Hassan’s daughter)etc. why is that? Any problem in the brain? Get help soon my friend before it is too late.

  108. Hinduism – Unwanted Rituals = Buddhist
    Dravidian+ Buddhist = Sinhala Buddhist

    Sinhala Buddhist evolved from Hindu Dravidian

  109. Diyasena,

    I really wonder how everybody from JRJ to Diyasena tell the same.

    India has more area. But the population is also more. Density of population in India is 937 persons per sq mile. It is only 840 per sq mile in SL. You have more space than us. So you need not to envy us.

    North East India with the area of 101250 sq mile has been divided into seven states called the seven sisters of NE India. Even the distribution is not uniform. Arunachal occupies the major area but density of population is very less. It is just 43 persons per square mile. If you take Tripura, it is 903 persons per square mile. So according to you, people of Tripura are victimized and Arunachal Pradesh is a bandustan. In fact, there is demand for even more states with ethno-linguistic identity in NE India. Did the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh plan so meticulously in the past so that their descendents will get a major share in the land? or did the people of Tripura were gullible in such a way that they occupied a very small area? It happened like that. In SL also Tamils and Sinhalese did not plan and settle. It happened in such a way that where Tamil people are more constitute around 25% of the land mass. It is just a coincidence.

    Karnataka is a typical state where the Kannadigas constitute less than 50% of the population. Considerable amount of Tulu, Muslim (Urdu speaking), Tamil, Telugu and Maratti population live in the land area of Karnataka. But Kannada enjoys the status of official language over such a large land mass. Others do not envy that.

    A real bantustan is one in which an ethnic group is made powerless, its identity and culture are wiped out and making the ethnic group desperate and frustrated.

    GoSL intentionally changed the composition of Trincomalee by encouraging government sponsored settlement. No such government sponsored settlements take place in India. If it is the way J & K problem would have been solved long back. If 10% of UP population is settled in JK, JK can’t be no longer a muslim dominated state. China does this in West China to change the composition of that region. They (GoC) want the Hans to become more than uighurs. This is the solution (changing the community composition of JK) proposed by Hindu fanatics like Express Gurumurthy and Cho Ramaswami in India. But an average Indian does not like this.

    Urdu is the second language in most of the north Indian states. Urdu is like the second language of North India. Some other languages may get the second language status in some states in the future.

  110. You think people like Dr. Shu Hikosaka did not follow the above??? Do you think they simply did blind research and not scientific research to come to such conclusions???

  111. .
    Similarly, like it or not… learn to live with diaspora tamils or ltte rump…. they are far away from your army.


  112. .
    No. Tamils don’t won’t jaffna to be pure tamil.

    It’s better to have sinhalese (not the army)as well.

    So, there will be development, no economic embargo and specially no aerial bombings or shellings.


  113. I am not a historian, but my gut feeling is that the arguments here in this forum are mainly between:
    a) ancient Dravidians (now known as Sinhalese):
    who mainly migrated from areas now known as Tamil Nadu and Kerala, initially to Northern and Eastern areas of Sri Lanka, who then moved to Southern Sri Lanka, due to various reasons such as the pressures created by continuous migration from Tamil Nadu (mostly) and Kerala, invasions by Dravidian Kings, draughts (and famines) in Northern of Sri Lanka and in search of more fertile areas in the South etc.
    b) more recently arrived Dravidians (now known as Northern Tamils):

    It is probable that these people now residing in the Northern and Eastern parts of Sri Lanka arrived with or after the post medieval Dravidian (Cholas etc) armies and were also mixed with ancient Dravidians etc.
    My main reasoning is geographical! The closest entry points from Southern India to Sri Lanka are located in the Northern and Eastern areas of Sri Lanka (per prevailing trade winds). Then the new arrivals push the old arrivals down towards Southern Sri Lanka, due to reasons noted in a) above.
    In is also probable that there was a significant assimilation of Tamils in to Sinhalese population, once the Sinhalese emerged as a separate ethnic group, many centuries subsequent to the introduction of Buddhism.
    There were probably some trading and other cultural influences from Orissa and other region in India on Sinhalese, but it is highly likely that this was limited to an influx of a limited number of few high ranking people or traders.
    How do you otherwise explain common “Sinhalese” names such as Kulatunga, Parakrama and Kulasekara, which really were the family names of some of the great Chola and Pandiyan Kings?
    In their hurry to justify their respective political positions, history is being manipulated by both sides. If a person has stayed in country for few years (say over 2 years), then that person should be entitled to full citizenship rights including the ability to conduct his/her affairs in his/her own language, if there is a sizable population of similar ethnicity ( say over a million). Attempting to trace individuals’ ancestry and place of abode over hundreds of years for political purposes is a laughable exercise, if not for the number of people murdered by both sides!
    Who came first? – The answer is only of historical significance. It has no relevance to the political other rights of people currently residing in these areas. Until this is understood by both parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka, many hours will be wasted by politically motivated persons from both sides (rather than genuine historians) trying to explain unrelated issues such as the historically interesting questions such as to how some places in the Jaffna Peninsula came to bear names resembling Sinhalese place names (who cares?) or whether Tamils Buddhist lived in Tamil Nadu and or Northern Sri Lanka (probably they did!).

  114. The following thought occurred while reading Meerabharathy’s comment. Why not reform the ‘Hinduism’ we Tamils practice, as originally intended by Gautama Buddha? The same cobwebs that Lord Buddha saw ensnaring the ‘Hinduism’ practiced in his day, do so even today. We Hindus have a gem in our hands, but have let it get encrusted in centuries of dirt – rituals, foolish believes and Mayai/ Maya. Our ‘Saiva Sidantha Hinduism’ was built on the doctrine of ‘Anbay Sivam (Love is God). Where can we find this all encompassing love in the Tamil-Hindu community at large? A dose of Buddhism may be the medicine we need to re-discover our religion!

    Further, I hope Tamils will visit Buddhist temples and Aramaya’s in the villages of Sri Lanka to see that all Theravada Buddhist monks are not the ‘Political monks’ they are portrayed to be. The so-called ‘Political monks’ are a miniscule minority. The link between the temple, monk and the community is very deep, respectful and mutually beneficial. The monk is the teacher, guide and friend in the community. The people are their students, disciples and patrons. This relationship is much deeper and meaningful than that between the parish priest and his parish. The monk is the key to the hearts and minds of the Sinhala-Buddhist people.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  115. Today’s world does not work on ancient past. If a group of people have lived in a particular land area for more than 100 years then, they become the people of that area. Irrespective of all these Sinhala place name claims, the Tamils have lived in the North and East for many decades. If you take the population censuses before 1948, more than 95% of the population of North and East were Tamil speaking people (Tamils & Muslims). It is the traditional home lands of the Tamils.

    Political solutions should not be based on the ancient past, it should be based on the present.

  116. Why does the Sri Lankans believe that the Buddhist sites in Sri Lanka belong only to the Sinhalese (Sinhala heritage) and not to the Tamils? Why are the Sri Lankans ignorant about the early Tamil Buddhists of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu? Why do the Sri Lankans think, in Sri Lanka a Buddhist should be a Sinhalese and a Hindu should be a Tamil even though the Sinhalese worship most of the Hindu/Brahmanical Gods
    Even though the Buddhism was first introduced to South India and then to Sri lanka,Buddhism lost the ground in Tamilnadu and was well established in Hela Diva.All Buddhist scholars who came not only from South India but from other south Asian countries enjoyed the religious freedom and the privileged hear than in India or any other part of Asia.So the Buddhist intellectuals were integrated to the local society.These Buddhist intellectuals(south Indian origin) not only settled down here but found and say created the new language with the influence of the Pali words and Brahmi inscriptions which is called the language of the HELAyas of the four corners of the island.This is how it became in to exist the language of SIV HELAYAS(Later the word SivHelayas was became SINHALAYAS.)So the tamil scholars became Sinhalayas and used the Sinhalayas names in the North and the East.
    Today we can see Sinhala people looks like tamil origine everywhere and are from the early tamils who became Siv helayas.

  117. I dont have a feet fixation like LKsword but I do endorse his post about the breathtaking beauty of Kamal’s daughter Shruti

    The scene described by LKS was really sensuous. Shruti splashing her feet in the water while lying on the hammoch was a stimulating viewing experience

    Reading her interviews one realises she is intelligent and has many accompolishments

    What with her pedigree, looks, talent and ability she will go far

    The time will come when Tamil fans will be at Shruti’s feet. I mean this figuratively not literally like LKS

  118. From Ambalangoda, why don’t you make the initial talk with the monks and start the process, and let their response made public, then the Tamils have no problem of approaching the monks.

  119. Ramesh Kumar:

    This is a good reference from Tamilnet. I suspect you don’t want to be branded as LTTE rump had you stated the source.

    However you should have stated the source and provided the link if you do not want to be accused of plagarism for not stating source.

  120. DELETED…………DBSJ

    Mahesh, please dont post links without understanding the sinister background to those……..

  121. Sinhalese go to Hindu temples, as they believe in making a vow, tying the holy thread etc. Probably their ancestors were Hindus and they like the colourful customs of the Hindu religion and the temple ritual and may be getting some mental satisfaction of worshiping at Hindu temples. Age old customs are difficult to get rid of. Just like the Christians in Africa still practice their traditions and are “permitted” to have more than one wife. Religion is practiced according to ones belief.

    Sri lankan politicians go to Hindu temples in India and Sri lanka and frequently visit the FAKE swamis in India for fear of their sins committed. They want to SUBSCRIBE for several “INSURANCE” against the SINS committed. It is like the “confession” They somehow believe that their sins will be “WASHED OFF”.

    I personally believe that “THIRUKKURAL” is a better SECULAR guide to a person on how to behave in this world without mentioning any GOD. It gives great advice on different situations, on every day life an average person would encounter. Though written more than 2000 years ago, you can even apply them today. It gives advice to kings, ministers, husbands, wives, children etc.

    I wish our LEADERS will read that and try to follow at least 10% of the advice. I know it is FUTILE wish, as they run after thugs and drug peddlers, paramilitaries etc. to solve their problems and have no time to read. Furthermore they see the ghost of TIGERS in anything TAMIL!!!

  122. Thanks for enlightening us about Buddism I know that from the historical scripts written by “Kalki” and other welknown writers that Pallava(Naranthiran0 and Rajaendra Cholan promoted Buddisht philosophy.

  123. Dushy, It is not just history it was a research ,resoning with evidence and intelegent argument/hypothesis based on multi dimentional aspects. If you disagree you should put counter argument rather than just dismis it. And I am sure you can if not you youe son will be able to. You should read the whole 4 parts and take your time. thanks.

  124. You Struck the Nail on the Head.

    Answer to why there is Sanskrit influence and other issues discussed here, may be found going further than the languages to the races. Dravidian and Aryan. If you look into the religions of Dravidian and Aryan races you might find that Hinduism as practiced now is the Aryan religion that was introduced into India by the invading conquerors. ( From the Similarity of Priestly cast and Inner sanctum to the Temple and its access permitted only to those from the priestly caste and the similarity in Leviticus and the Vedas re. the Sacrifices, May be the Arian ( Meaning Foreigners in the dialect of the Indus (Sindhu Valley)) could be assumed to have Jewish origin. May be you also see there is resentment among the Dravidian against the Aryans and may be this was why the the south took to Buddhism in the form of Mahayana (where one believes one does not need to renounce and be celibate to attain nirvana) which closely relates to the Dravidian religion ( It is seen in the style of Idol Images made in Black stone in the Dravidian culture and similar images made in Gold in the Aryan culture, The Black stone helps in meditating, in that it does not create form but helps mind bring it to stand still, This also seen among the Drdvidian in the practice of using eith black stone ot Cow Dung with Grass Shoot ( Aruham ) under trees to help meditate )

    Also Sanskrit is a writen Language ( Not a Spoken Language like Latin, Greek and Tamill ) invented to preserve the meaning without creation of abiguity and was used mainly to write down the religoious Philosophy ( The Vedas ) and was used by the Priest and hence may have been used occaionally in naming places etc

    A Furhter point one may look into is whether this conflict of Sinhala and Tamil is on the basis on Language/Race or whether it is a conflict between Mahayana and Thervada form of Buddhisim. One might feel it is the later in looking into the mind set that wrote the mahavamsa. and also the early conflicts in Sri Lanka between these two sect.

    On Final note does it mater as to which of all these is correct. Would it not mater if one inquires as whether ( using Aryan terms) Hinsa or Ahinsa is woth for living and if one could become compasionate would one be bothered with these things and is he/she then a Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Zorestarian, etc

    What maters as a human is Know what one does not know or as put succinctly
    Intelligence is awareness of one’s ignorance

    May everyone become compassionate

  125. sivananthan, You should first understand how names ,languages developed and transformed, to start I would suggest you read the link given by salin.I have learned a lot after reading it fully as I am a science graduate no a history or language specilist.

  126. Absoloutely , Sureskannan if not did Sinhalees language should have been prevailed in South India.Think Kadphises the vema.

  127. You are wrong Ambalangoda man why did the Buddhist Monk killed SWARD? are you blaming on LTTE/or war,can you remember 1956,58,JR’s march in the 50sif your nor a baby.why not study the history of Pre and post Indipendent Ceylon.

    DR,Rajasingam You should read the- link given by salin then your doubts will be cleared I presume you are a medical doctor and did not understand how language and place names develpe.

  128. 7m arivu is an excellent piece of work. It is very sad that the Tamil directors are not doing more movies like these. Those who know silappathikaaram know that Tamils were Budhists once. And the people who know thevaram history know what happened to the Budhism among Tamils too.

    It is amazing that the Chinese people have never forgotten the Bodhi Dharma and never hid the fact.

    Before this 7m arivu, there was a movie released by the Chinese about Bhodi Dharma which is “Master of Zen”

  129. Diyasena,From your comment I can understand that you have not yet read the whole 4 parts and your inferances and premature.

  130. LKsword,If Shruti has made such an impression on you I wonder what you will do if you see her mother the North Indian actress Sareeka

    She is such a beauty even now

    I am sure you will fall at her feet, start kissing continuously and pass out with a heart attack

  131. Dushy Ranetunge says
    “Tamil nationalists are trying to save the Tamils and the Sinhalese nationalists are trying to save the Sinhalese and their interests.”

    In that process both people are being destroyed and my ancestral land too. I don’t mind them continuing the war as long as they do it in their ancestral homeland, mother India.

    You say:
    “I don’t think Sinhalese want Jaffna.”

    What exactly do they want?

    Do you know what my people want? We want the Sinhalese and Tamils to leave Sri Lanka.

  132. M.Sivananthan says:

    “Ganges Valley Civilization is the oldest and it gave the King, Queen, and Country concept to the world”

    So everything comes from India!

    My goodness gracious me!!!!

  133. Selva says:

    “They cannot kill rats, snakes but but they can kill the Tamils”

    When they have spare time they have been killing Sinhalese too since 5th April 1971.

    Shankarar period (788 CE – 820 CE) not 2,000 years ago.

    Place of birth of Shankarar was in Kalady of present day Kerala. Whether he was a Tamil is debatable.

    He expounded Advaita Vedanta and not Siddhanda.

    I think your former teachers were either stupid Sinhalese or stupid Tamils. You don’t know what you are writing about.

  134. Diasena do you thing 701 notorious men landed in some were in the Ilankai theevu were able to destroy all the native in habitans and bring Tamil/Dravida women and work men from south India and were able to developa a Sinhala buddhist race in the Isalnd. What was the languege the Vijaya spoke , how did he speak to his wifes and childern,did he bring Sinhala language from The North India? Is their any evidence of Sinhala language or its remnants in north India? Were 701 men were able to introduce this lnguage to the whole of the island. what language the people were using when he landed in the island? Did the South Indians gave their women willingly to these men?

  135. According to history load Buddah is a Hindu, who ever follows him thereafter become Buddhist, further more Tamils by birth belongs to Hindu , there for the argument that Tamils are Buddhist fail here! Who ever making that claim better learn some logic or better attend logic classes! The “Panchaeeaswarm’s ” in Jaffna, Colombo , Chilaw , Tringo and Batticola is string example for how Tamils settled down on those area for a long time ago! Panchaeeaswarm’s were built even before King Valahamba’s Abiyakiri, or King Dutakaimunu’s Duparama! While Hinduism put it leg a long while ago before the buddism , as Tamils are the only followers of Hinduism in SriLanka this implies we put out foot long while ago before the Sinalese! Further Wikipedia didn’t claim that Bodhidharma is a Tamil or there no evidence exit to proof that he was a Tamil ( better of some one find it and link it)!

  136. lots of rubbish, who cares tamil budhism or sinhala budhism. If you look around the world so many changes in this world. Look turkeys biggest and historicaly biggest church in the world now biggest and beautiful mosque. I can go on and on. Do you all want to live in past or future. Srilankan tamils want equal right since indepentance. IF sinhala follow true budhism their will be no problem in srilanka. All you have to do discuss after two years, ltte defeated for good. Tamils lives improved, simple answer big million NO. Why sinhala madness never going to change? One day changing world will realise true face of sinhala chavunism affecting lifes of tamils in occupied thamil ealam.

  137. .

    Don’t waste your time.

    They have a choice:

    – make Tamil official in 2 provinces and Sinhala official in 7 provinces


    – make Tamil and Sinhala official in all 9 provinces


    – they chose Sinhala, Tamil, English in all 9 provinces.

    Now you know why we’re behind India in development.


  138. Wellcome Mr.Diyasena,

    Your misconception shows how easily Theravada monks/politicians follish people like you to bring this beautiful island into world dangerous ‘killing fields’.Thats why I have explained from the begining.But you have missed the point and still remaining the same typical mentality.

    What i am saying is Perception.’Theravada Monks’ or today ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ should have nothing to do with politics which is strongly against Buddha. what they have to do is self-examine themself and their ways are correct to become buddha stage(Read some OSHO). If they have followed his true teaching we wouldn’t have 3 major riots and 30 years of the civil war and nearly 200,000 lost lives.

    misconception and mistrust infected the whole society by this peoples. politicians used both to get on power and oppressed peoples rights.

    Lets come to your question; where ever you go finlay you come to the home where you stay permanatly and your personal life belong to. Home land also similar things that is native land of the ethnic group (cultural geography) to which an ethnic group holds a long history and a deep cultural association with.Both Tamils and Sinhalese had separate homeland in the island eventhough some they had crossed over and lived naturaly whereever they want.It can be proven with genuine research. Tamils do not reject Sinhala homeland as somes reject Tamilhomeland and their culture and history.

    Yes. chola did 2 main conquests one was Raja Raja cholan upto Polanaruva and second one by Rajenthira cholan for whole island. The name they have mentioned Izhamandalam or Eelam was already in use around 1000 years before them as another Tamilname of Ellankai(Srilanka).(Refer Grate Sankam period Tamil litratures Pattinappaalai- ‘ஈழத்துணவும் காழகத்தாக்கமும்’)

    Now tell me, Do you want to know who were the natives of Eela mandalam? Perhaps not Sinhala Wijayan or Theravadams.

    “Cultural similarities in burial practices in South India and Sri Lanka were dated by archeologists to 10th century BCE. However, Indian history and archaeology have pushed the date back to 15th century BCE. In Sri Lanka, there is radiometric evidence from Anuradhapura that the non-Brahmi symbol-bearing black and red ware occur in the 10th century BCE.[24] The skeletal remains of an Early Iron Age chief were excavated in Anaikoddai, Jaffna. The name ‘Ko Veta’ is engraved in Brahmi script on a seal buried with the skeleton and is assigned by the excavators to the 3rd century BCE. Ko, meaning “King” in Tamil, is comparable to such names as Ko Atan, Ko Putivira and Ko Ra-pumaan occurring in contemporary Tamil Brahmi inscriptions (Known First Srilankan king with archiological evidance to prove)

    Last Srilankan king Kannasamy(Sri Vikrama Rajasinha 1780 – January 30, 1832)

  139. Have a DNA test to know the scientific view of your body and how many percent Genetic Marker M20 and M172 you have before you blame so called ‘Dravidian’ shit body that your forefathers gave it to you.

  140. Semmozhi,

    You are absolutely right.


    In Sri Lanka, some of the Tamil-Buddhist Kings were known as VIJAYA BAHU, VIKRAMA BAHU, PARAKRAMA BAHU, VIRA BAHU, JAYA BAHU and so on.

    In Sri Lanka, the same Pandyan names were prakitized (Pali/Sanskrit). PANDYAN is replaced with BAHU. None of these are names of any North Indian kings or Naga kings. These kings were pure Tamils from the Pandyan dynasty but they were not mentioned as Damelars or invaders because they were Buddhists.

    All the Pandyan royal names (VIJAYA, VIKRAMA, PARAKRAMA, VIRA, VIRA PARAKRAMA, JAYA, etc) are being changed (Prakritized) to Bahu. All the Buddhist BAHU kings are PURE TAMILS (PANDYANS). Just because they were Buddhists, today the Sinhalese want to claim that they are Sinhala (Thinking of the past in today’s context).

  141. This author usually writes thought provoking and highly controversial articles giving ample scope for intellectual arguments. All his articles were well received unlike the articles that were written as rebuttal.

  142. Sivalingam

    I am sorry when the Sinhalese leave my ancestral land you too are quiting the island.

    According to our tradition we believe that the Tamils and Sinhalese came to our land by Kallathoni.

    We have had enough madness of Tamils and Sinhalese over the past 2,500 years. Please leave, when you go take your Sinhalese brothers and sisters with you.

  143. Balappu

    I am sorry I don’t get it.

    You are implying that when Dravidian came to the island it was free of living persons.

  144. Then you tell! India is the mother of all civilizations. You dont know it because you were trained to hate India by LTTE who were the coolie boys of USA/UK.

  145. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    ” dose of Buddhism may be the medicine we need to re-discover our religion!”

    “A spell in the jungle would do good” to many stupid people who call themselves either Tamils or Sinhalese.

  146. MADURA(I) is not a Tamil word like PANDIYA. Then what the hell of these Tamil claims over Pandiya?

    Pandiyas started their rule at TAMIRA BHARANI(Not a tamil place name).
    Vijaya startes his rule from TAMBA PANNI. Vijaya and his friends married Pandiya women.

    Do you know what is Tamba Panni or Tamira Bharani? Tamils and Sinhalese never had any comcept of King or Queen. All that came from the Norther Ganges valley Civilization.

    No Tamil meanings available sofar for the words Chera, Chola, Pandiaya and Pallava.

    If these words are originated from Tamil, tell the Tamil meaning!

  147. No “nationalism” there but racism is only there.

    If nationalism is the real issue, Tomb of Elara never become Tomb of Gemunu.

    The first ETHNIC CLEANISING done by Sinhalese in the name of HOLY city project in Anuradhapura. ancient hindu temples were simply destroyed and the Tamil people of A’pura were displaced or chased out.

    I will identify hundreds of Tamil place names in South,Central, North West, North Central, and Western provinces.

    What are you telling? Sinhalese, specially the state aided RACISTS, now try to Sinhalize the current Tamil areas with some cock and bull stories!

  148. You are absolutely correct Sivananthan. According to Robert Knox, real people of Rajarata were Malabars. There also would have been original Sinhalese.

    These low-country Sinhala Silvas and Pereras of the South are mainly from the Karawa, Durawa and Salagama castes. They were actually South Indians brought to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese. After assimilating with the Sinhalese and getting converted to Sinhala Buddhists and Christians, today they have become the strongest Sinhala Nationalist Patriots and the guardians of Buddhism.


    You are the same person who posted as Kumbakarana ,Siva ,Kumarand Silva.Here you are posting as Suresh.

    Now you are praising Sivananthan but in others attack him

    However controversial or outrageous M.Sivananthan has the courage and integrity to post all his comments under his own name. But not you

    Methinks its you & not Sivananthan who is sick as you say and may be need urgent treatment
    You call Sivananthan nut case but look at your mirror will you

  149. This guy sounds like a nut case.

    MADURA is not a Tamil word, PANDIYA is not Tamil word, CHOLA is not Tamil word.

    Why man, even TAMIL is not a Tamil word. Even SIVA is not a Tamil word, can you tell the Tamil meaning of Tamil?

    Who invented all these meaningless words?

    By the way, do you know the meaning of the above words in any other language?
    North Indian for example. If you know, then prove it by showing them (provide link) in the lexicon.

    Otherwise, accept that you are sick and need urgent mental treatment.


    You are the same person who posted as Kumbakarana and Silva.Here you are posting as Siva.

    However controversial or outrageous M.Sivananthan has the courage and integrity to post all his comments under his own name. But not you

    Methinks its you not Sivananthan who is sick and may need urgent treatment

    You are the nut case dont you think?

  150. I agree with M. Sivananthan. MADURA and PANDIYA are Sinhala words and that is why Vijaya and his friends married Pandiya women from Madura. They are all Sinhalese. The Tamils are twisting the history and calling them Tamils. Madura was a part of the Sinhala kingdom and the Pandiyans were actually Sinhalese people.


    You are the same person who posted as Kumar,Silva ,Siva and Suresh.Here you are posting as Kumbakarna.

    YOu make different comments from contrary angles like some pandithaya about Sivananthan

    Here you praise him as Kumbakarna but attack him by your other aliases

    However controversial or outrageous M.Sivananthan has the courage and integrity to post all his comments under his own name. But not you

    Methinks its you & not Sivananthan who is sick as you say and may be need urgent treatment

  151. Kanangi,

    I am neither a medical doctor,linguist nor a etymologist. I have read Mr.Samuel Livingston’s book several times over 2-4 decades. Although enamoured by it at one time, I have with experience and greater exposure begun to question many interpretations in it.

    Today we have a Sinhala Wanni – Kurunegala north wards up to Vavuniya and a Tamil Vanni from Vavuniya to Elephant pass. The Sinhala Wanni people do not any longer identify themselves as Wanniyas, but their names indicate their origins- eg. Wanninayake. Were these one people, who with time speak different languages?

    Why is the cobra symbol used extensively by the Sinhala-Buddhist people around irrigation tanks and in Buddhist temple and shrines? Does this link them to the Naga people? Have some Tamils in the north and east have a Naga origin and are all Tamils of Naga origin? Are the Veddah’s in the East of the same origin as the Veddah’s surviving in Mahiyangana and Dumbana?

    Considering the castes among the Sinhalese and Tamils, several Sinhala castes of recent South Indian origin. Some Tamils castes are believed to be of Sinhala origin. Genetic studies indicate Tamils have a 60 % Sinhala component. How did this happen? Could it be also interpreted that both the Sinhalese and Tamils are of common origins and have with time absorbed other genes?

    An English journalist I met recently commented that my English and accent are Canadian. No one told me this before and I myself had not noticed it. My approximately eight year stay in Canada has had its impact, though I have since spent 30+ years in Saudi Arabia. If some one listens to a recording of my speech thiry years hence, would they mistake me for a Canadian?

    I think all life- including the human- are constantly evolving and changing. It is a relentless process. It happens during one’s life and over generations. Human attributes like language, religion and culture also change because of this. People meet, mingle and cross breed. Many Tamils today are marrying into other races as never before. What will their descendants be called in the future? Does this lead to ‘Mongralization’ or hybrid vigour? I think it is the latter and it genetically envigorates us. Could this have also happened to both the Sinhalese and Tamils over thousands of years in a much slower way?

    Ultimately the rules that govern life will preserve and improve that which is vigorous and adaptible. However much we desire otherwise, nature will weed out the undeserving and the unnecessary. We should understand history and its associated science in this context and work towards a future, nature and circumstances demand.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  152. HAHA..
    Problem solved! 

    Another nice try by our extra-ordinary genius Prof. M. Sivananthan from Angoda. Now he says, all those bad guys, I mean the  Chera, Chola, Pandiaya who invaded us and attacked us were not Tamils. In a few days he will say even the LTTE were not Tamils.


    You are the same person who posted as Kumbakarana ,Siva ,Kumar and Suresh.Here you are posting as Silva.

    YOu make different comments from contrary angles like some pandithaya about Sivananthan

    However controversial or outrageous M.Sivananthan has the courage and integrity to post all his comments under his own name. But not you

    Methinks its you & not Sivananthan who is sick as you say and may be need urgent treatment

  153. HAHA..
    Do you have any proof for your claim?

    The Pallavas were Mahayana Buddhists and Bodhi Dharma was propagating Mahayana Buddhism. Bhikku Mahanama was a Theravada Buddhist from Sri Lanka, he did not have any connection with the Pallavas.

    Please do not talk nonsense!


    You are the same person who posted as Kumbakarana ,Siva and Suresh.Here you are posting as Silva.

    YOu make different comments from contrary angles like some pandithaya about Sivananthan

    However controversial or outrageous M.Sivananthan has the courage and integrity to post all his comments under his own name. But not you

    Methinks its you & not Sivananthan who is sick as you say and may be need urgent treatment

  154. I think DBS had a lofty purpose in posting this erudite essay.But as usual the comments are stupidly adversarial. I wonder why DBS persists with the comments section instead of spending his valuable time more profitably

  155. Ellalan

    Why don’t you challenge intellectually with Dr. Shu Hikosake, Director and Professor of Buddhism, Institute of Asian Studies in Madras or at least the students of Buddhism in Tamil Nadu with your theory.

    By the way, do you know who built those Panchaeeaswarms? Historians believe that King Vijay built them. Vijay was not a Tamil. What about all those ancient Buddhist ruins found in Jaffna? Do you think they belong to the Sinhalese?


    You are the same person who posted as Kumbakarana ,Silva,Siva and Suresh.Here you are posting as Kumar to attack Ellalan.

    YOu make different comments from contrary angles like some pandithaya about Sivananthan

    However controversial or outrageous M.Sivananthan has the courage and integrity to post all his comments under his own name. But not you

    Methinks its you & not Sivananthan who is sick as you say and may be need urgent treatment

  156. J.Muthu 

    The problem today is, after the demise of LTTE, the Sinhalese are claiming Jaffna as a Sinhala land. There argument is that those entire ancient Buddhist ruins found in Jaffna belongs to the Sinhalese ignoring completely that during the ancient past there were Tamil Buddhists living in Jaffna.  

    Some stupid idiots like you may not care about Tamil Buddhism or Sinhala Buddhism, but today it is politically a serious matter in Sri Lanka.


    You are the same person who posted as Kumbakarana ,Silva,Siva and Suresh.Here you are posting as Kumar and taking on a new target Muthu.

    YOu make different comments from contrary angles like some pandithaya

  157. I was wondering if maybe someone could respond to my question–do you think the fact that there were Tamil Buddhists in Sri Lanka would explain why the Sri Lankan Tamil dialects are so old? After all, if there were Tamil Buddhists in Lanka, that would mean they would have had to be here from a long time ago(even before the Christian Era)?

  158. You are a real donkey!

    Kallan is thief in any Tamil dictionary.Idayar= cow boy!

    Senkunthan or Kai Kula = weaver ????? In what language?

    Now only you guys find this ‘yadava’ in North India. You have a “fish boy” name and cry that you are a cow boy. I think it is the ‘evolution’ of becoming high caste.

    Yadava of North has nothing to do with the Tamil Idayan or cow boy!
    You tell Idayans are the Tamil counterparts of “YADAVS” of North. Then the Sinhala cow boys are also your realtives. What about Chinese cow boys? Are they Yadavs or something else?

    Insulting is your low class job in this forum.

  159. Hindu beliefs are still practiced. Buddha too had a RED pottu but our Silvas and Pereras in beat up Tamil women with Pottu!

  160. Kannusamy was a member of the Telugu Vijaya nagar empire and those Telugus ruled Tamil nadu for more than 4 centuries. Kannusamy was from Madurai Nayak family!

  161. Wicky, then u treat them as Sri lankans and nobody will ask for seperate land. Problem did not start with VP but with Banda

  162. Native Vedda,

    When I referred to people of Dravidian origin, it meant that they were primarily from those parts of Southern India, which are currently identified as Dravidian States!

  163. A bantustan (also known as black African homeland or simply homeland) was a territory set aside for black inhabitants of South Africa and South West Africa (now Namibia), as part of the policy of apartheid.

    The word “bantustan”, today, is often used in a pejorative sense when describing a region that lacks any real legitimacy, consists of several unconnected enclaves, and/or emerges from national or international gerrymandering.

    Diyasena talks about mono-lingual bantustan. Even though the term bantustan had linguistic association initially, it is no longer used in that sense. It is more related to gerrymandering. In the process of setting electoral districts, gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating geographic boundaries to create partisan, incumbent-protected districts. The resulting district is known as a gerrymander; however, that word can also refer to the process. Definitely India does not have any gerrymander and it implies that India has no bantustans.

    Diyasena, Let us forget about bantustans. Why can’t we coin the term ‘Bandhustan’ (bandhu = relative) in the South Asian context? Bandhustan is a place where relatives live happily together. In my opinion my village and neighbouring villages shall be considered as a Bandhustan of area about 25 sq miles. Life was calm, smooth and enjoyable in Bandhustan. Life is a hell in metros like Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi etc. Bandhustan includes friends also. In a better sense Bandustan can be re-christened as Mithra Bandhustan since it includes friends also. In fact everybody in cities has an inner longing for going back to Bandhustan after some time and especially as they are getting older. However that remains as a longing only for many till the end.

  164. So what’s the Tamil meaning of Bahu, is it the same meaning as Pandyan? That’s a massive phonetic jump from Pandyan => Bahu? Vira, Jaya, Vikrama nor Vijaya are Tamil words, they are derived from Sanskrit.. You are standing on rather flimsy ground!!

  165. There is only one matter I can contribute to this discussion. During my life in the North, I was told there were many Tamil Buddhist. But this topic was not my focus and I soon forgot about it. But recently, about 6 months back, one of my Tamil friends said he used to go to the Buddhist temple in Jaffna during a Poya day and there were other Tamils. I know that during the time when low casts Tamils were not allowed to worship at Nallur temple? sometime around 1970, many of these cast converted to Buddhism. But these facts are quite hazy in my mind as I was not interested.

  166. Sinhala and Tamils are the veddha’s.

    Like in South America, the natives are at the bottom and the foreigners are at the top, its the same in Sri Lanka.

    The original inhabitants are at the bottom…..next time you are in a plane, take and good look at the dubai crowd……the top…the land owners are foreigners …..do a DNA test and you will find that they are from somewhere else…..I have.

  167. After reading J.L. Devananda’s article and the many controversial comments by readers, I too watched the movie 7am Arivu, to see whether it’s about Buddhism. It’s very nice movie, and handsome Suriya (Actor Sivakumar’s son) is the best, I think for Suruthi this is her first movie.

    About 7am Arivu Tamils can be proud, but not only Tamils all south Indians can be proud (todays Tamils could have been Telugh,Tulu, Kanniadiga or Malayalee hundred or few hundred years back, and in the same way todays Telugus, Tulus, Kannadigas or Malayalees could have been Tamils hundred or few hundred years back, all are Dravidians and switching languages among them is quite normal). Not only south Indians the whole India can be proud about this story. And not only Indians the Sinhalese too could be proud about this because Sinhalese have our blood.

    But the Movie is not about Tamil Buddhism, but it is about Martial Art (that’s practiced in China and popular all over the world today) that had gone to China from Tamils. I totally agree with the fact that it has gone to them from us.

    But it has nothing to do with religion, though Bhodhidharmar’s story could be used to prove Tamil Buddhists in the North & East and Tamil Nadu in the past (and that’s a fact), this is not about Buddhism.

    I am a Hindu and I don’t have to become a Buddhist just because Buddhism was part of Tamil culture. Religion is a matter of choice, and anyone can and should be able to practice any religion of his or her choice. (When I was young I was crazy about Islam, it is a very good religion, and still I do like Islam, but I chose to remain a Hindu because my faith in Hinduism was strong) I should have the freedom to choose and practice the religion of my choice, without any outside influence.

    Rather than talking about promoting Buddhism in the North & East and convert the Tamils back to Buddhism, the Sinhalese should ask their government to have Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity as the state religions without any special privilege to any religion, and encourage everyone to learn Sinhalese, Tamil and English, to reclaim our Sri Lankan identity..

  168. Hinduism is an umbrella trem given to a myriad of practices. When the Muslims and Europeans came to “India” they found that what was practiced was so diffrent structurally and other wise to their ‘religions” . So all such practices, social systems, customs, eating habits, law, dress code etc became lumped as HInduism- meaning all such things south of the Hindu kush range,. Thats why one persons HInduism is so diffrent from the other.
    Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism, atheism, agnosticism, gnosticism among others.

  169. ethnic cleansing eh?

    Page 382 of Ancient Jaffna by Mudaliyar C. Rasanayagam states: “After the massacre of the Christians, Sankili’s (king of Jaffna) insane fury longed for more victims and he fell upon the Buddhists of Jaffna who were all Sinhalese. He expelled them beyond the limits of the country and destroyed their numerous places of worship. Most of them betook themselves to the Vanni’s and the Kandyan territories (as per Yalpana Vaipava Malai by Mailvagana Pulavar translated by C. Brito,), and those who were unable to do so became the slaves of the Tamil chieftains and are now known as ‘Kovia’, a corruption of the Sinhalese word ‘Goviya’ or ‘Goiya’ and that their original status was equal to that of the Vellalas can be inferred from customs which are still in Vogue in Jaffna.”

  170. I think history and archaeology should be left to the specialists. Too many amatures have attempted to romaniticize the science of history and archaeolgy and have made a mess of it with speculative ideas that lead to further confusion and suspicion. We have written several articles on the subversion of history and politicization of the past.
    There are several stone bridges around Anuradhapura across uneven terrain and across streams. Mantai was the primary port for Anuradhapura and not the ports in Jaffna peninsular. You must also be aware that there are Dravidian and Austric mundari words in the earliest Brahmi inscriptions. One may note the Dravidian kinship terms in these 3rd Century BC Brahmi inscriptions. If you have no access to my articles on the Proto Historic period, at least read quotations from those in Professor Indrapala’s recent book. May I also note that both Arya and Dravida are linguistic identities and not racial ones. We are yet carrying the Colonial and Orientalist baggage and killling eachother for imagined identities.

    Buddhist sites in South India are mainly located in the lower plains and coastal areas. Buddhism was mainly a metroploitan based religion. Almost all Tamil Brahmi inscriptions are in the upper reaches of rivers or in the hills and are primarily endowments made to Jain monks and not Buddhist monks. One must also keep in mind the incorporation of the megalithic burial ritual into Stupa worship, where evidence is found both in India and Sri Lanka. We need to have a sober perception to history and
    not an emotional one expressed through polemical debates.

    Thank you for this comment Dr. Sudarshan..Could you please provide links to relevant articles/papers written by you?

  171. There is no evidence of large scale population movements from South India to Sri Lanka before the colonial period. There was a gradual movement, but from all over the world because of Sri Lanka’s maritime position.

    The Sinhalese fishing vessel design is for example from the far east.

    The differences are aquired.

    The Northerners were under Chola conquest from 992AD and became “Tamil” speakers/hindu’s and before then they might have spoken early “Sinhalese” and certainly buddhists.

    The Westerners were under European colonial occupation from 1505 and they became Portuguese/Dutch?English speakers and Christians.

    Even recently we see this change.

    The last king was South Indian and Kandyan dress, was South Indian, they spoke Tamil as the Kandyan convention has a large number of Sinhalese ministers signing in Tamil, their customs were Tamil. Before the arrival of the Portuguese, Tamil was the commercial language in the region and the Muslims spoke Tamil.

    This changes with the Kandyans ditching their aspirations for South Indian style to aspiring for European style and language.

    Indrapala’s latest book and that of others now, are convinced that what has happened in Sri Lanka is language replacement.

    The Sinhalese quest from 500bc has been to establish a unified state, with capital at Anuradhapura, possibly brainwashed by Buddhist fundamentalism.

    It is the same today.

    It is inherent in them, the desire for a unified state, and the actions of ultra Tamil nationalism is the “anti Christ”.

    Its hopper night at the Golf club as its Wendesday and I am off, for a session of Margerita’s and then hoppers. Both, acquired from foreign lands. They have the crispiest hoppers in town.

  172. Tamils scream about “discrimination” and “genocide” in Sri Lanka, but:

    – Tamil is an official language of Sri Lanka, it appears on currency notes, stamps, coins, envelopes, government signboards (ie the government is paying for all this). All pronouncements on SriLankan Airlines, the national airline of Sri Lanka have to include Tamil.
    – Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka is a majority Tamil-speaking city
    – Tamils as an ethnic group are represented on the Sri Lankan flag (the only one to do so in the world)
    – There are Tamil schools (funded by the Sri Lankan government), Tamil TV stations and Tamil radio stations (both government ones and private ones), Tamil cinemas, Tamil shops etc that are flourishing in the south of the country.
    – Tamils can study in the Tamil medium all the way from kindergarten up to and including university (all government sponsored)
    – There are many Tamil newspapers (government run and private), magazines,
    – The government sponsors a “Tamil language day” while there is no “Sinhalese language day”
    – The largest private media group in Sri Lanka is owned by a Tamil, and based in Southern Sri Lanka
    – Tamil temples dot the island from Point Pedro to Dondra and are patronised by the Sinhalese as well who sometimes outnumber even the Tamil devotees.
    – Thai Pongal, Maha Sivarathri, Tamil New Year, Deepavali (holy days for the Tamils) are national holidays sponsored by the government
    – There are Saraswathi Poojas, Deepavali Poojas in Sri Lanka’s parliament and government buildings, and sponsored by non-Tamil government ministers
    – There are two government universities that are pretty much exclusively for Tamils while all the other universities are shared among Sinhalese/Tamils/Muslims/Burghers
    – Tamils have their own political parties, which take part in elections and are free to voice their concerns in parliament – some are even a part of the current government (eg CWC, EPDP).
    – Tamil politicians are free to speak only in Tamil in parliament (which they sometimes do)
    – Most Tamils in Sri Lanka live outside the putative “Tamil Eelam” among the Sinhalese and the Muslims
    – “Indian Tamils” in Sri Lanka have been king makers in many previous governments – meaning if their political party pulled out of the government the government would have collapsed. They have never complained of “genocide” and they have never protested against any “genocide” of the Tamil people. Their representatives are a part of the current Sri Lankan government.
    – Tamil speaking Muslims have never complained of any “genocide”; their representatives are a part of the current Sri Lankan government.
    – Tamil students from Jaffna and other so-called “disadvantaged” districts get into university with lower cut off scores (Z scores) than Sinhalese/Muslim students.
    – Sri Lankan students in government schools today are mandated to learn the “other language” – ie Sinhalese students are taught Tamil and Tamil students are taught Sinhalese.
    – Sinhalese government officers who can speak Tamil or learn Tamil are eligible for pay rises.

  173. Original copy of Prof Indrapala’s PhD thesis still remains with Prof Nalin Silva. Prof Silva mentioned this two years ago when he visited Toronto. Even though I don’t buy Prof Nalin’s theory ( Other than Astrophysics he taught at University of Colombo in 1992)I believed there were Buddhist lived in North and east in as early as 5th century. But ethnicity changed from Sinhalese to Tamil from time to time and at present there were people who lives in North and east speaks Tamil language. That is why DNA evidence shows that present Sinhalese and Tamils lives in north and south carries the same blood line.

  174. If you didn’t read before, here is some more information to entertain you!,

    Tamil was the official language in the Kandyan kingdom when Vikrama Rajasinha was the king. In 1818 the surrender document was written in Tamil and English only. It was signed by the King in Tamil only and could be seen in the Colombo Museum.

    Tamil speaking Telugu – E.V.Ramasamy Periyar, Vai.Kopalasamy
    Tamil speaking Malayale – M.G.Ramachandran
    Tamil speaking Kannadian – Superstar Rajanikanth

    So, do you Tamil speaking Sinhalese?

  175. .
    Very good…

    keep it going…

    Also make sure, tamils can go to a police station (and other government offices) and make a complain or statement in tamil(at least in north east).

    Do more development so people in north east can find jobs.

    You’ll see Sri Lanka flying high.


  176. Dear DBSJ

    Thank you for sharing J.L. Devananda’s writings. Even if we disagree, these ideas should be shared to provoke discussion. I agree with almost everything Mr Devananda says. The only mistake is that he is looking at the past from modern lens. Back then, there were Tamil and Sinhala speaking Buddhists, but they did not self-identify as “Tamil Buddhists” or “Sinhala Buddhists.” That is the flaw of concluding that Buddhist sites in N-E Sri Lanka were “Tamil Buddhist” simply because of their geographical location with no other evidence. Needless to say, the Sinhala nationalist arguments that the N-E was “Sinhala” simply because of the presence of Buddhist sites suffer from the same flawed assumption.

    On your website we have come across Tamil Buddhists. One was young Nethmi Lavanya Yogendra who wanted to study at Visakha. Her father had studied at Ananda College. Another is Mr Poddiappuhamy Piyasena, the TNA MP who joined Mahinda. Although he is “Tamil” according to our modern classification system, his siblings are “Sinhala.” In ancient times this would have been normal because identity was more fluid and devoid of political meaning, but today it is considered strange.

    If people like Mr Piyasena represents the past, as I believe, then why can he not represent the future. Imagine 300 years from now Sri Lankan full of Piyasenas having Sinhala names and practicing Buddhism but speaking Tamil. What then could one say about “ethnic conflict” in this sort of society.

    I have one more observation. The late Mr V Navaratnam, the hardcore Tamil nationalist who indirectly was Prabakaran’s mentor, was also a graduate of Ananda College and apparently spoke Sinhala. I have searched for information about his experiences at Ananda without luck, and now that he has passed on it is impossible to approach him (he might not have wanted to talk with me anyway). If he had been exposed to Sinhala nationalist thinking and encountered discrimination at a formative age, then we can draw a link between the LTTE’s ideology and Sinhala nationalism. That certainly should give Sinhalese a good reason to stop and think about their mindset. If you have any information, it would be helpful to know. Thanks.

  177. Ah Wikipedia, the most rigorous and infallible news source of them all 😉

    You say Raja Raja Chola took upto only Polonnaruwa, which is essentially the mythical Tamil homeland and the rest which Rajenthira took was the mythical Sinhala homeland..

    The problem is Raja Raja cholan and his chroniclers didn’t seem to think that way..

    From Inscription No.63 outside the Northern enclosure in Tanjavur,

    1. Hail! Prosperity! Until the twenty-ninth year (of the reign) of Ko-Rajakesarivarman, alias Sri-Rajarajrajadeva, who, in his life of growing strength, during which, — (in) the belief that, as well as the goddess of fortune, the goddess of the great earth had become his wife, — he was pleased to destroy the ships (at) Kandalur-Salai, and conquered by his army, which was victorious in great battles, Vengai-nadu, Ganga-padi, Tadigai-padi, Nulamba-padi, Kudamalai-naldu, Kollam, Kalingam, IRA-MANDALAM (which was the country) of the SINGALAS who possessed rough strength, the seven and a half lakshas of Iratta-padi, and twelve thousand ancient islands of the sea, — deprived the Seriyas of (their) splendor at the very moment when..

    Now according to you the Mahavansa was written by Thervadam who could not be trusted, but what of the Mahabharatha, that wasn’t written by a Theravadam now was it?

    (3:51), “the Vangas and Angas and Paundras and Odras and Cholas and Dravidas and Andhakas, and the chiefs of many islands and countries on the sea-board as also of frontier states, including the rulers of the SINHALAS, the barbarous (mlechchas) NATIVES OF LANKA, and all the kings of the West by hundreds, and all the chiefs of the sea-coast, and the kings of the Pahlavas and the Daradas and the various tribes of the Kiratas and Yavanas and Sakras and the Harahunas and Chinas and Tukharas and the Sindhavas and the Jagudas and the Ramathas and the Mundas and the inhabitants of the kingdom of women and the Tanganas and the Kekayas and the Malavas and the inhabitants of Kasmira…”

    Whilst pointing fingers at Theravada monks is quite simple, one must not forget the three pointed at oneself.. The uber-mesnch mentality of wanting to live separately, in a specially demarcated area excluding the unter_menschen other races was as much a contributive factor to the present quandary.. However the outlandish claims brought about in this forum to justify and perpetuate such xenophobic bigotry, shows that despite 30 years of war some have learnt very little..

    The whole island is the homeland of the Sinhalas and the whole island is the homeland of the Tamils (and the Moors, Burghers, Malays, Veddas and any others who were born to it).. There will be NO mono-ethnic bantustans to caress the racial egos of a few.. Get used to it..

  178. Fluid definitions would certainly help peaceful coexistence. Regarding associations with Ananda, Mr. C. Suntharalingam, another strong Tamil nationalist, who was the among the first to call for a separate Tamil state (called Eylom), was a one- time vice principal of Ananda College.

  179. An interesting article which has generated even more interesting comments.

    Even Mr D Ranatunga has acquired a soft spot for Buddhism and Sinhala language .

    Buddha’s preachings were aimed to give some hope to the poor, the destitute and the discarded majority in a Brahamin dominated, dictatorial and authoritarian society.

    It is obvious therefore that the South Indian tribes which were literate enough would have been attracted to Buddhist philosophy and way of life..

    However Buddhism didn’t take a foot hold in India , because of the dominance of the Brahamins and their Hinduism over the intellect of the general populace.

    It is interesting to note that Buddhism, Christianity and Islam are growing religions specially Buddhism , among the Westerners, whilst Hinduism has been stagnant as same as Judaism.

  180. there are such similarities between French and English, but one is latin and the other based on Sanskrit.

  181. Thank you for that Sudharshan. If I recall the stone bridges and road to Jaffna was written by Rasanayagam and so was the story that the bo tree was brought to Jaffna and that a similar large bo tree and inscription (British?) was found near that port in Jaffna.

    Can you please explain about the place names in Jaffna as I found it confusing as to why Indrapala has dropped it in his latest book. Are similar place names also found in South India.

    This area of history/archeology is swamped with differing opinions and it is very difficult to see through the mist. There also seems to be “favourites” in the specialists in archeology and History.

    Is there any particular site you could recommend or perhaps may I suggest that a site is set up to address all these issues and correct them.

    I met you at your office before a trip to Jaffna during the war and had a chat and at that time I recall you stating that history is the interpretation of archeology.

    The problem many of us face is that there are so many interpretations and even the so called specialist interpretations change from time to time.

    Even if you cannot get all the others to agree, perhaps it would be helpful if there was a site with your writings, which is user friendly.

    At the time I met you, you promoted your two door stopper books and I found that one needs a Phd to read them. Perhaps somthing more simpler, us lesser mortals could read and understand would be much appreciated.

    Perhaps a short essay by you on this site will be appreciated by all of us, especially if you could address all the common prejudices.

    I accept that I am equally guilty as the others here in our “beliefs” , but we have formed our opinions from the enviorenment around us. Our education system has taught us historical nonesense and when we try to learn as adults , often we need a Phd to understand the writings and the bits that are understandable do not comprehensively address all the issues.

    I have been told that this is because “specialists” are scared of the “nut cases” in our society who might redicule and target them.

    But hey! we need the truth or we will continue to live in ignorance.

  182. Buddha said look inwards for solution and not outwards. Buddha did not preach that his followers should pray and seek help from other – that includes all kinds of gods. I have no intention of creating a “pure” form of Buddhism. I just try to follow what the great man said to the best of my abilities. To me the essence of Buddhism is “Don’t harm yourself, Don’t harm others”. Everything one does as a Buddhist should be towards that goal.

    I am sure there are many Hindus who go to Buddhist temples. I welcome them, as I would welcome anyone of any other faith. To me anybody who practices the five percepts is a Buddhist, regardless of whether that person is a Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jewish or an Atheist. You don’t have to go through a conversion ceremony, renounce your original faith, or go to a Buddhist temple to be a Buddhist. To me being Buddhist is a state of mind, rather than following a set of rituals and reciting prayers and listening to pirith.

  183. I wish to raise one point about what Sudarshan has stated.

    He states “I think history and archaeology should be left to the specialists”
    He then states “We are yet carrying the Colonial and Orientalist baggage and killling eachother for imagined identities.”

    Was it not the “specialists” of yesteryear who created these imagined identities, including Indrapala?

    I think we should all look at these issues with an open critical mind, and make up our own minds as to what has happened in our country.

  184. It seems everyone is obsessed about the past. I think it is time to let go of the past the focus on the future. We claim to believe in the most tolerant and peace loving religions in the world. But we have been responsible for the worst barbarism that the world has witnessed. This includes both the Sinhalese and the Tamils. The 56, 77, 83 riots, Terrorist bombings of the LTTE, hacking of innocent Sinhalese/Muslim Villagers by the LTTE, the JVP uprisings. No side can claim to be the morally better. I think the obsession about the past is partly responsible for this. We need to stop fighting each other and try to improve our country. Otherwise we will end up as the most primitive country the world.

  185. Interesting to read. After watching 7am Arivu, I wondered if Tamils may have spread Buddhism to South East Asia too. Cholan were one time influenced those regions and pandiyans/pallavans did influence to some extend too.

    When I first saw Telungu, kanadam and Malayalam alphabets, they somewhat looked similar to sinhalam to me. Then I got to know about Brahmi script. But then origins of the Brahmi in general and Tamil-Brahmi are not clear yet. Now we are finding that the earliest Tamil works/documents were related to Jainism or Buddhism. Even though Tamil language exists a long time ago and may have used simpler alphabets but it seems like Jainism and Buddhism started shaping Tamil alphabet. For sure Buddhism must have played a bigger role in Tamil history.

    Cheran’s Malayalam was a dialect of Tamil until 9th century and the process of separation into a distinct language, Malayalam, was completed sometime in the 13th or 14th century.

    I believe Shinalam must be an offshoot of pre-sangam-Tamil too. Hinduism (more vaishnavism) may have influenced to form Malayalam using more Sanskrit with pre/old-Tamil and Buddhism may have influenced to form Shinhalam using more Pali and old-Tamil. It seems like there were many Tamil pundits fluent in Pali and Sanskrit at that time. It also seems like people from Kanchi and Anurathapuram were not having much difficulty in communicating between each other, so there seems to be not much language barrier. Shinhalam may have nothing to do with Vijaya/mahinda at all, it could be just a natural process of separation into a distinct language too.

  186. Dushy
    I think you may have met Dr. Siran Deraniyagala, who has written his magnum opus on the Pre History of Sri Lanka in two large volumes. It is certainly a specialized work and probably one of the best written on Sri Lankan History. Dushy some of the issues you have raised are relavent but it will reuire another forum to respond to them. May be one day in London or in Kandy we could have a meeting.

    DBSJey here are some readings you wanted. These particular articles carry comparative studies with South India. In addition several of my interviews on multi culturalism and on inclusiveness were published in the Himal and Frontline.


    “Kalinga and Andhra: The process of secondary state formation in south east India” The Study of the State. Ed. H.J.M. Classen and Peter Skalnik. The Hague. Mouton.

    “The Curse of Kuveni: The indigenous Vedda and the anti thesis of Modernization”.
    Colombo. Lanka Guardian

    “The Archaeology of the Megalithic – Black and Red Ware Complex in Sri Lanka” Ancient Ceylon. Colombo. Archaeological Survey Department. No.5:237-307

    “The Barata: a Case study of Community Integration in Early Historic Sri Lanka”. Festschrift 1985: James Thevathasan Rutnam, Ed. A.R.B. Amarasinghe and S.J. Sumanasekera Banda. Colombo: Sri Lanka UNESCO National Commission. 49-56

    1987 ‘Iron technology in Sri Lanka: A preliminary study of resource-use and production techniques during the Early Iron Age’. The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities. Vol.XI: 121-132.

    “The locational significance of Early Iron Age sites in Intermediary Transitional Eco-systems: A preliminary investigation of the Upper Kala Oya system”. The Settlement Archaeology of the Sigiriya-Dambulla Region. Ed. Senake Bandaranayake et al. Colombo. Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology. 121-152.

    “A Life after Death: Continuity and Change in the Religious Symbolism of the Early Iron age”. Ed. Sudharshan Seneviratne et al. Persepectives in Archaeology. Department of Archaeology. University of Peradeniya.145-152

    “Pre state chieftains and servants of the state: A case study of Parumaka”. Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities. Vol. XV (Nos. 1 & 2). 15:99-131.

    “Some Sangam Terms Reflecting Movement, Interaction and sedentation during the Early Iron Age of South India”. Critical Essays on Language and Literature. Ed. P. Sorata and J. Danansuriya. Kandy. Sarasvati Pirivena. 137-145

    “Twilight of the Perumakan: South Indian Polity Restructured and Incorporated”. Pivot Politics: Changing Cultural Identities in Early State Formation Process. Martin Van Bakel et al Ed. Amsterdam. Het Spinhuis. 161-179

    “From Kudi to Nadu: A suggested framework for the study of Pre State Political Formations in Early Iron Age South India”. The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities Vol. XIX (N0s. 1 & 2) 57-77

    “State Formation in Peninsular India and Sri Lanka”. History of Humanity III, Paris/ New York: UNESCO. 378-384.

    “Peripheral Regions and Marginal Communities: Towards an Alternative Explanation in Early Iron Age Material and Social Formations” Tradition, Dissent and Ideology: Essays in Honor of Romila Thapar. Ed. R. Champakalakshmi & S. Gopal. Delhi. Oxford University Press. 264-312.

    Pinwewa-Galsohonkanatta 1997: The Archaeology of an Early Iron age Memorial Site. Department of Archaeology. University of Peradeniya.

    “Chankam Poetic Works as a Source for the Archaeologist”. S.Thilayanathan Felicitation Volume. V. Kanakaratnam Ed.Kandy. 342-346

    “Megaliths of South Asia with Special Reference to the Early Megaliths in Sri Lanka”
    World Megalithic Culture. Inhak Yoo Ed. Soul. World Megalithic Association.

    “Situating History and the Historians Craft”. Ethnic Studies Report. Vol.XIX, No.1:139-145. Colombo. ICES

    The Philosophical and Social Role of Early Buddhism in South India. Chennai.

    “Knowledge Information in Multi Cultural South Asia: Redefining Education for the next generation” Ethnic Studies Review. Colombo. ICES

    “From Language to Race: Deconstructing Tamil Identity in Antiquity”. International Relations in a Globalizing World. Vol.1. no.1:137-160. New Delhi. Sage.

    “Problems of Ceylon History and the Fear of History”. Identity and Difference: Essays on Society and Culture of Sri Lanka. Ed. John Clifford Holt & PB Meegaskumbura, Kandy. Intercollegiate Sri Lanka Educational (ISLE) Program USA. 27-48

    People to People Connectivity and Peace Interaction: Redefining Heritage for Conflict Resolution. Katmandu.

    “Situating World Heritage Sites in a multi cultural society: The ideology of presentation of the scared city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka”. Archaeology and the Post Colonial Critique. Ed. Mathew Libmann and Uzma Z. Rizvi. New York. Alta Mira Press. 177-196.

    Heritage for Coexistence: Situating Sri Lanka’s Role in the SAARC Region. Colombo.

    2010 [Executive Editor]
    Corridors of Oceanic Heritage: Galle Maritime Archaeology Museum & Information Center. Colombo. Central Cultural Fund.

    Contradictions of Development in the Chasm of Survival or Obliteration: Saga of Crafts Communities in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. Colombo. FLICT & Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit.

    2011 (Executive Editor)
    The Sigiriya Museum (Central Cultural Fund Museum series I). Colombo. Central Cultural Fund

    Jey, always enjoyed your writings.

    Thank you very much……….DBSJ

  187. Idiot! There was no Official Language in the Kandyan Kingdom or in any Kingdom before.

    Kandyan Convention signed by some Dissaves in Tamil. It does not mean that Tamil was an official language. S.J.V. Selvanayakam always signed in English. Are you going to tell that he was an “Englishman”?

  188. Sivanantha, Old weaver man,

    Cow boy is high caste when compared to that of a fish boy. Is it? How did you come to this conclusion? Are you the authenticate person in deciding the hierarchical order of the communities? What about the relationship between cow boy and weaver boy? Who is superior? Whether the cow boy or weaver boy? What about the relation ship between a thief boy and weaver boy? Whether fish boy is superior or weaver boy is superior? If you have the complete hierachy, publish it.

    You again and again prove that you are in the brahmin mindset or in the zionist mindset which believe in supremeacy by birth.

    I find it very difficult to argue with Diyasena. I have to refer a lot of information to argue with him. But to the poor weaver man Sivananthan, just from his comment I can grill him and bombard him. Kaalam marip pochchu Sivanantha. Come out of the stone age mindset.

    What do you know about Yadavas of India? Many books are available. Atleast you go through the Internet. Sinhalese cowboys are also Yadavas. What is your doubt in that? The term Yadav and Yadava is understood and recognized throughout Indian sub continent. Outside Indian sub continent also Yadavas are there in different names.

    But what about the term Sengunthar or Kai Kolar? Whether Sengunthar weaver boy is superior or Kai-kolar weaver boy is superior? You are an expert in deciding the hierarchy of the communities. You say that weaving is not your occupation initially. I am not sure about that. But Kanchi Thottis are frequently opened to satiate the hunger of Sengunthars. What Sengunthars were doing initially? Try to find out that. Don’t come up with a story like they were the Kings and they were protecting Tamil Nadu. Aerkkanavae enakku kathu kuththiyachchu. As I have already said Kuravars, Aayars, Velalars, Parathavars and Maravars are the original Tamil communities according to Tamil literature. All other communities are derived from these base communities.

    (I have a lot of Sengunthar friends in TN. My friends, please ignore my comments to Sivananthan. Sivananthan is a nut and it is loose now. I try to tighten the nut. He should learn to respect other communities rather than belittling them. He tries to belittle me in terms of my surname. Karai has many other meanings also in Tamil apart from coast. I don’t have any hatred against Sengunthars as a community).

  189. I write what I feel right and historical. When my statements suit their agenda or make them happy, they praise me. Their purpose of writting has an AGENDA but I have none.

    Thanks Jeyaraj for the comments!

  190. I think you did not read the book well. He chased out the people who colloborated with invading Portugeuse.

    If he chased out all the Sinhalese or buddhists, “NO” more Koviyar today in Jaffna!

    But in the case of A’Pura, the HOLY project was an ETHNIC cleansing!

  191. You are silent on the matter of the Tomb of Elara. That is a good evidence how the Sinhala racism works even today!

  192. Now you are a stoned dog and crying.

    But you do not know the TAMIL meaning of Senguntha or kaikula because you are very poor in Tamil Language.

    You try to tell here that Sri Lankans know nothing about your stupid TN CASTE rivalries.

    You better learn more Tamil history and Grammar.

    You cried the KALLANS =Thieves are warriors. What a joke! Rowdies and criminals cannot be warriors. Warriors are prepared to sacrifice their lives to the nation.

    Cow boys and Kallans never have these qualities.

    Minister Rajah is a kallan and he showed the Kallan mentality and got a place for swindling in the world records of Guinness Book!

    I feel proud to be a Senguntha because of C.N.Annadurai, Kirubananda Variyar or Bharathi dasan who contributed to the society!

    Further poverty is not an offence. Weavers of TN are in poverty because of the fraud politics of TN and it is now dominated by thieves. Not only weavers many working class suffer through the philosophy of Kallan ideology!

    C.N.Annadurai tried a casteless Tamil society but it never happened. You guys are now running everywhere with a “CASTE” certificate.

  193. Please read the concluding paragraph of Prof Gananath Obeyesekere’s research article for it gives a sane assessment of religion, race, people of the island.

    Excerpts from:
    Colonial Histories and Vädda Primitivism
    An Unorthodox Reading of Kandy Period Texts
    by Prof. Gananath Obeyesekere

    A final word: as with the relations between Tamils and Sinhalas it is obvious that the constant genetic and cultural interchange between communities must disillusion us against stereotying and essentializing identities constructed over a long historical period. Take the case of the Vädda-Sinhala cultural interchanges. Väddas have Kataragama who is a Hindu and Buddhist deity as one of their own; and there is the great god Saman, whom many Väddas of the Mahiyangana-Maha Oya area claim was one of their own ancestors before he foolishly invited the Buddha to these shores. Saman is also the younger brother of their own mother goddess Maha Lokuvo or Maha Kiriamma, and yet he is also a major deity of the Sinhalas. The great Vädda gods were, until very recent times, also propitiated by the Sinhalas who, at best, would substitute the word ‘deviyo’ (god) for Yaka. Thus Kande Yaka becomes Kande Deviyo. I have showed in another paper that the mortuary rites in the practical religion of Buddhists are very likely derived from Vädda ideation.75 These cultural interchanges facilitated movement from Vädda to Buddhist paralleling the movement from hunting to agriculture, as well as the other way around. This form of hybridity does not abolish the distinction between Vädda and Buddhist; only that at a particular historical conjuncture, the distinction becomes fuzzy such that Buddhist informants living in what was historically Vädda country even now proudly affirm their Vädda ancestry. But this affirmation of hybridity is not that of our postmodem situation where one can self-consciously affirm one’s fragmented and hybridized identity. The Sri Lankan historical conjuncture is but a phase in a larger movement from Vädda to Buddhist, accelerated in our own times where the dominance and new hegemonic intolerance of Buddhism cannot be gainsaid, quite unlike in the past where Buddhists also could become Väddas. In this situation I think it is the role of the analyst to excavate the past and hold up to critical reflection the hybrid nature, not just of Väddas and Sinhalas, but of our human condition in general. In the current political situation in Sri Lanka where identities are congealed and sometimes fanatically affirmed I think it our scholarly duty to point out the historically contingent bases on which such fixed conceptions are grounded, even if many remain indifferent to what we say and turn a blind eye on such “restorative” research.

  194. “Vanni” is a word for FOREST in Pali or Sanskrit. Tamil “VANAM” comes from the same.

    Nikawarettiya people always claim they are “Vanniyas”.

    Vanniyars( Forest dwellers) in TN were colonised by Pallava rulers who used Pali Language. They were originally from Karnataka forests. It might have happened after the defeat of Pulikesi by Pallavas of Kanchi!

  195. The same points I also raise against the so-called “Tamil grievences”. We need to solve problems peacefully. Tamil/Sinhala racism exists and that to be defeated by civilized means.

  196. It is ridiculous to assume that batches of people from Orissa, Bengal & Gujarat (North Indian Aryans) moved to Sri Lanka while those from the much closer four South Indian Dravidian states did not.

    If the present day Sinhalese have measurable doses of Vedda, North Indian & South Indian blood, what about the ethnic mix of Sri Lankan Tamils? Or for that matter, South Indians?

    It would be interesting to see what a scientific genetic study of these 3 groups would find. After 2500 years of shared history & intermingling, we will find that there are too many genetic variations within each group. Would we also find that there are little or no appreciable differences between Sinhalese and Tamils?

    That would make the Sinhala – Tamil ethnic conflict the South Asian equivalent of the Hutu – Tutsi rebellion in Rwanda. What a terrible revelation that would be.

  197. It is ridiculous to assume that batches of people from Orissa, Bengal & Gujarat (North Indian Aryans) moved to Sri Lanka while those from the much closer four South Indian Dravidian states did not.

    If the present day Sinhalese have measurable doses of Vedda, North Indian & South Indian blood, what about the ethnic mix of Sri Lankan Tamils? Or for that matter, South Indians?

    It would be interesting to see what a scientific genetic study of these 3 groups would find. After 2500 years of shared history & intermingling, we will find that there are too many genetic variations within each group. Would we also find that there are little or no appreciable differences between Sinhalese and Tamils?

    That would make the Sinhala – Tamil ethnic conflict the South Asian equivalent of the Hutu – Tutsi rebellion in Rwanda. What a terrible revelation that would be.

  198. Tamil Bikkus visiting the Sinhala homes and the Sinhala Bhikkus visiting Tamil homes, what a wonderful place Sri Lanka would become. Restoring the lost Tamil Buddhism and having Tamil Buddhists among us may recreate the togetherness, the common bond that once existed between the Sinhalese and Tamils.

  199. Hi Sudharshan,

    Yes, I think you are right, I might have you confused with Siran Deraniyagala, the author of the door stoppers.

    I am happy to meet you in Kandy or London and will enjoy it very much. I am in Colombo at present, travelling to Kandy every week, till early january. DBSJ has my contact details if you could spare the time.

    Perhaps I could treat you for lunch near the ancient battlefield of Balana Fort…….


  200. Diyasena

    “Sinha + Elu => Sinhela, the amalgamation that Pandukabhaya started was complete around Mahasena’s reign”

    The above is an imaginative theory put forward by the mad scientist Prof. Nalin de Silva who is strongly engaged in polemics. During the last two decades, he is trying to create a new history for the Sinhalese and the Tamils. Unfortunately, he has no knowledge what so ever in archeology and history. I think you are also one of the many who blindly follow him.

    As Dr. Sudharshan Seneviratne says, archeology and history should be left to the specialists. Too many armatures and pseudo-historians have attempted to romanticize the science of history and archaeology and have made a mess of it with speculative ideas that lead to further confusion and suspicion.
    If you want to learn Astro-Physics or mathematics then you follow Prof. Nalin de Silva but if you want to know about history and archeology then you follow Dr. Sudharshan Seneviratne or Dr. Siran Deraniyagala.

  201. Friends,

    History is always a good read. We can sit back and contemplate, argue, exchange interpretations and denny all we want. But it does not change where we are at now.

    When we are in desperate need, all of us will depend on someone. That someone, i can assure you, is not your choice based one race or religion – but based on the fact that they will be there for you. I think most will agree.

    Lets not differentiate. Lets celebrate our diversity. I’m tired of reading historical warriors proving points. The ultimate answer to all arguments is, “so what?”.

    Lets start asking what we are willing to do for each other and create a history that we can be proud of. Its the only thing we have control over is the present.

  202. Dushy Ranetunge

    “Sinhala and Tamils are the veddha’s”

    I vehemently oppose your claim for my people are not that stupid to regularly practice, enjoy and thrive on self destruction, 24/7/52.

    We love life to the full unlike your Sinhala Tamil bretheren who are born masochists.

    I know for sure Tamils and Sinhalese are from another planet, could have come from planet of apes. Here I am insulting the apes.

  203. It is agreed in India that Tamil is the oldest of the Dravidian group of languages and others evolved over time with influence from Sanskrit. Malayalam being the newest. Sinhalese also must have evolved over time similarly with influence from Sanskrit, Pali and also modified with people who came at various times from India to the cinnamon plantation, people from Indonesia etc.

    Unfortunately we cannot rely on the sinhalese to do research on this aspect as they are prejudiced towards the Tamils and the Tamil language!!!Neither will they accept any others research whether it is a westerner or an Indian!!!

  204. Wicky.

    Vijaya and his followers were said to have arrived in Sri Lanka after being exiled from the city of Sinhapura in Kalinga (Modern day Orissa), East India.[14] Buddhism is then said to have been introduced to the Sinhalese from India by Mahinda, son of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka the Great.

    I don’t actually get how YOU(sinhalese) can say that tamils should leave their own contry?
    If you say so, I don’t get what the problem is for you to live in Sri Lanka, where we Tamils get our seperate land.
    Can I come to your house with my friends, and tell you to leave your own house just because we are the majority. Any bells ringing in ur mind?

    Think a while, before you come with your senseless comment!

  205. RE: Wije’s comment,

    I am puzzled as to why he wants Mr. Navaratnam’s input to see whether there was discrimination against the Tamils!!! there are enough evidence in the STATE SPONSORED pogroms against the Tamils in 1956, 1958, 1977, 1983 and thereafter everyday!!! Burning of the Jaffna Library, so many mass graves, which were never investigated. Bombing and shelling of schools, hospitals and churches and temples with people sheltering inside. The list is endless!!! Driving people from village to village and ultimately killing 40,000 civilians in a narrow strip of land which was designated as “safe zone” Herding the 300,000 people into barbed wire fence with armed soldiers guarding them.
    (Government would have killed the entire population, if not for the hue and cry from the international community)Starving, torturing and killing them in the name of LTTE suspects!! Dumping them in areas where there are no infra structure without any assistance or livelihood. Stealing the money intended for them and diverting the money to the sinhalese thugs!!

    What more evidence you want before you accept discrimination!!!

    Hindu’s studying at christian colleges and Budhist studying at christian colleges are nothing new. In fact the majority of students in christian schools in Jaffna are Hindus both in boyes schools and girls schools. I am sure the same situation in Colombo too> No one was converted to christianity just because they studied at christian schools. Muslims studying in christians schools and Hindus studying in Muslims schools were nothing new Budhists coming to Jaffna and studying at christian colleges in Jaffna has happened in the PAST in small numbers!!”SINHALA ONLY” prevented them coming after 1956!!!Now you can imagine who started the “SEPERATION”

    Just like other Sinhala politicians Piyasena also proved not trustworthy as he got elected in the TNA ticket and crossed over soon after!!!

  206. Kalu Albert

    “Buddha’s preachings were aimed to give some hope to the poor, the destitute and the discarded majority in a Brahamin dominated, dictatorial and authoritarian society.”

    Now it is the ruling families that have replaced Buddhism with Jingoism, Millitarism and shade of Facism around safforan clad activism, ………………………..

    You say:

    “It is obvious therefore that the South Indian tribes which were literate enough would have been attracted to Buddhist philosophy and way of life..”

    Are you implying that majority of the population in the island are attracted to buddhism therefore they are highly literate?

    Literacy has nothing to do with wisdom.

  207. Dear DBSJ & WIJE,

    To my knowledge, Ananda College had many great teachers from Jaffna and the East. Some were Christians and others were Hindus. Messrs VTS Sivagurunathan who had been a H.M. of the Primary School for many years and edited the 1936 Jubilee Souvenir, Sittampalam, Karthigesu,Selvaratnam, Thanabalasingham- a brother of the LSSPer Karalasingham,Arulambalam were some out of the many. Anandian results were No 1 for Medical College Entrance during the Nationalist Principal Mr L.H. Meththananda’s tenure. Specially during that time, Boys from the North and the East came to Ananda.

    MP for Trinco Neminathan was felicitated by Anandians in 1970. Yoheswaran M.P. Jaffna and TULF Sec.(a victim of Prabhakaran’s LTTE) sat for HSC (to enter Med. College), but went to England later for Law studies. On his return he was at the Law College and then joined Mr Amirthalingam’s group. He was in the Vijaya House and excelled in pole vaulting and other jumps. Principal LHM’s Athletics Captain was Somasundaram( Vijaya House) for many years. Kumarasingham Gunasingham – was one of the best pole vaulters that Ananda ever produced. He was in the Athletics Team that won the Talbot Challenge Cup in 1954.

    Out of the teachers whose names were mentioned above, Mr V. Thanabalasingham was sickly and was a bachelor. The former Principal Brevet Colonel G.W.Rajapakse arranged with the Dept of Education, the PTA and the OBA to allow Mr Thanabalasingham to have free board and lodging in the College Hostel until his death.

    I do not think that any of the teachers or principals of Ananda College ever discriminated against minority students who studied under them. During the 1958 communal riots, it was well-known that the Late Minister S.K.K. Suriyaarachchy who was teaching Civics and Geography in the Middle School that time and his Head Master both were harboring Tamil residents in the area where they were living. In the “Singhala Daruwa” magazine for children, started at the College in 1934, whose first Editor was the same Head Master and a later Editor was the same Mr SKKS, there always was a Tamil Lesson which started with “Eppudi Chuham.” I hope my few words here will show anybody how Ananda treated her minorities.

  208. Nitin

    I have just read your laundry list on Economist under “guest-iijiown”.

    Either you must have copied and pasted the list or “guest-iijiown” must have copied from you.

    Either way both must be stupid to copy from somewhere else.

    I thinkg you should stick to your own creative work.

  209. SK63

    What if rogues in robes enter the house and rape your entire family, including men folks?

    They are in majority.

  210. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Good doctor you says:

    “Are the Veddah’s in the East of the same origin as the Veddah’s surviving in Mahiyangana and Dumbana?”

    You never bothered to learn about my people and our land yet you make comments just about everything. It is a shame and we are happy you are not one of us.

    What else do you know about Sri Lanka?

  211. “Buddha’s preachings were aimed to give some hope to the poor, the destitute and the discarded majority in a Brahamin dominated, dictatorial and authoritarian society”

    In Sri lanka, Budhism is used as a tool to “catch votes”, retain your “power” until you die, to amass wealth, to victimize non budhist, everything else except what Budha preached!!! There is no real “budhism” in Sri Lnka!!! Only the “empty shell” remains!!

  212. Wellcome back Mr.Diyasena,

    your Ignorance not only in the past history but also in the current period.Lets forget the past history and think about the current…

    Tell us who had the mono-ethnic uber-mesnch ‘killing field’ mentality to caress the racial egos in our island?

    1. 1949- who stripped the Indian Tamils of their nationality, including their right to vote and
    returned 600 000 back to India?

    2. 1958- who passed the Sinhala Only Act, making Sinhala the sole official language of the
    country that triggered ethinic violance and hate?

    3. 1973 – who brought the policy of standardization to reduce Tamil students university enterence
    from 27.5 percent to just 7%?

    4. 1977 – who made Buddhism only as state religion to sideline hindusiam,Christianity and Islam?

    5. 2009 – who killed over 40,000 ethnic tamil civilians and brought deliberate and systematic
    destruction in part of the Tamil ethnic Society?

    Do you advise ‘Get used to it..’?? Don’t you think all five fingers are seriously pointing on you?
    After all of these how can you still hiding under the ‘whole island is the homeland of all’ slogan and
    telling off otheres who relay care about their homaland to be protected from direct state sponsered sinhala colanisation and indirect sinhla Hegemony? Without doing this no peace will be in the island.
    Without changing current unitary system Island never going to be united.

    If you can say ‘Appe ratta’ we can also say ‘Inthamann Engalin Sontha Mann’ So,do not cross in homeland
    with your misconception like ‘live separately or excluding others’,in our homeland we will not to do the same what you have did to us,all race including sinhalese will be respected. Read more about who push us towards our homeland. http://transcurrents.com/tamiliana/archives/326

    Lets come back to the history. you havent mentioned your source to verify your claim. there are diference version and trnslation available on the internet. I have mentioned wikepeidia as considerable sourse further referense can be given only from authanatic archiologist but at this time not available on the interenet.if i can find i will post in this blog.

    Elara good Tamilking and Tamils settelments exist 2000years ago in the homeland before Sinhala language evolve and Raja Rajacholan invade lanka (Your Mahavamsa confirming as well)
    So I don’t too much worry as you!

  213. Native Veddah,

    Please teach me. The photographs of the eastern veddah’s displayed in the Dumbana vedah museum, show them dressed like Tamils, unlike the Dumabara-Mahiyangana Veddah’s. Prove you are a Veddah by teaching me and others about types of Veddhas we have. Sarcasm and snide remarks cannot continue to be your only forte. The uncorrupted Veddhas, speak directly without trying to run in circles!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  214. Buddhism vanished in India because of the criminal activities of the Buddhist monks. How can people follow monks like Buddha Rakkhita and Somarama as followers of Buddha?

    Benz car driving monks are the shame of Buddha’s teachings. In Sri Lanka Monkhood become a comedy and it used for political and financial benefits which were completely discarded by the Prince of Kapilavastu. He gaveup all the worldly enjoyments and taught how to find PEACE.

    Brahmans are always deciplined by Kings or the public but in Sri lanka monks run political parties and birthday parties!

    Westerners talk about Dalai Lama who is barred in Lanka. In which Western society grows Lankan brand Sinhala Buddhism?

    Many westerners witnessed how Sinhala Buddhism is practiced in 1983 in Lanka. Now the monks want special privilages in all affairs.

    In Thailand and Nepal monks are going out with their begging bowl but in Sri lanka monks are in benz cars and never appear with the bowl!

    Lankan monks want a lavish life style at the expense of tax payers. Some monks are now running to get MBE or OBE from Britain. Now monks study MBA and Political Science degree. What are the relevances of Business Adminsitration and Political Science or any other degrees to the Buddha’s teachings?

    I dont think Buddha’s teachings have any connection with debt, credit or credit cards!

  215. Sri Lanka comprises two nations (Sinhala speaking & Tamil speaking) with four major religions (even though they all came from outside).

    What is listed above is just 10% of the rights that the Tamil speaking people should have. When an autonomy (minimum 13th amendment) is granted, all the above are automatically included, so do not waste your time by picking a few what is already there, instead look at the big picture, what exactly they deserve as a nation occupying in a separate chunk of land for many centuries (even with separate kings in Jaffna).

  216. Dushy
    Here is my e mail and we could communicate.

    I am currently a little out of circulation, recovering…
    DBS Jey
    I hope the articles will be of some use to scholars who are on to comparative studies.
    Do keep in touch.


    Thanks. Yes we’ll be in touch.Have sent e-mail of Dushy to you &yours to Dushy

  217. M.Sivanandan,

    I remember reading it was Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike, who initiated the sacred city project in Anuradapura (Anugramam or marked Anugramon in Ptolmy’s map of Lanka)when he was Minister of Local Government and started the Tamil-Hindu marginalization there. JRJ completed this project with his 1983 riots. Further, although the restoration of Kiri Vihara in Katharagama/Kathirkamam was welcome, the Sirimavo Bandaranaike government’s success in destroying the ‘Hindu’ character of that shrine was despicable. This was also a ‘Sacred City’ project. Many who have visited Katharagama in recent years say that the ‘Divine’ has shifted to a place in the deep jungles. I myself do not perceive the ‘sanctity’ Kataragama any longer. These aspects of our recent history are despicable and should never be repeated.

    I also remember that it was Dr.Paranavitharna who tried to show that Vijaya imported his bride and those for his 700 followers from Madura in north India!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  218. Dushy,

    According to my maternal grand mother, who settled in Colombo in the early 1900’s many things were different about the Sinhalese of that time. I remember her specifically mentioning the saree. The saree as dressed today had not come into vogue. They wore mainly the ‘Redda and Hatta’. The jewelary worn was also different and was mostly made of silver. The ‘Black Pottu’ is put on small children by many Sinhalese today to ward off evil eye (As Waha). Bharatha Natyam and the accompanying music (Nattuwangam) have not only been accepted by the Sinhalese, but also ‘Sinhalized’. The number of Sinhala-Buddhists visit Hindu temples has increased and many have also become active members of movements such as that of Satya Sai Baba They also visit famous Hindu temples in South India.

    There is no doubt imperceptible, but sure movements towards a middle ground in Sri Lanka, despite many unwanted and unseemly incidents, involving both the Sinhalese and Tamils. The Tamils probably are more conservative, because of the circumstances they have been though.

    The alienation of Tamils from Buddhism started with the Tamil Bakthi movement, which revived Hinduism in South India- particularly Tamil Nadu. Appar Swamigal (Thirunavukarasar) is reported to have had a major debate with Lord Buddha. In one ‘Thevaram’ he refers to Lord Buddha as, ” Puthan enum Mathan”- Buddha the foolish man. Such politics, prevailed also in days of yore and the Tamils were not immune from it!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  219. ah since the past history is not so palatable lets switch to the present shall we?

    Perhaps we should start bit earlier when the uber-mensch opposed universal franchise and tried to impose apartheid on the unter-menschen via the infamous 50:50 demand

    1949- Didn’t even G.G. Ponnambalam vote for that bill? and haven’t many of the Tamils of recent origin been given citizenship
    1958- Hasn’t it been rectified since to a greater degree?
    1973- It was an act to empower the rural, but of course xenophobes put a racial spin on it.. It is an ironic twist of fate that the same standardization is today helping Tamil students of the North and East to get into university
    1977- What other country has holidays for holy days of other religions? All government services are commenced with all four religious observances? So what’s all the whinging about
    2009- bloated numbers to fit one’s agenda.. One would ask why stop at 40,000 and spare the other 300,000?

    The Mahavansa says Elara was an invader .. Whilst Sinhala had not evolved to its present form, the Elu language which is its proto version was well in use before Elara.. Past history doesn’t matter its the present and future that matters..

    All this fancy words such as indirect hegemony are veiled attempts at resource theft.. Equal rights, Equal responsibilities and Equal opportunities, nothing more nothing less.. No monoethnic ghettos and bantustans, I repeat get used to it!!

  220. SK63,

    I don’t blindly follow anyone (that is usually your forte innit?)? Why just the archaelogists like the ones you mentioned? What about someone like Krishnaswamy Aiyanagar?

    One does not need to listen to Nalin Silva to get the Sinhaa + Elu connection, anyone who knows the ‘Sandhi’ in the Sinhala language would make the connection.. But of course most people who go into elaborate hoaxes to show Sinhala originated from Tamil hardly bother to properly verse themselves in the language..

  221. YK,

    When part of the Trinco district is amalgamated to the North central province (giving them hitherto denied access to a coastal area), the North and East is physically separated, thereby secession becomes unviable.. Thereafter power can be devolved to its maximum extent..

  222. Malayalam and Sinhala have many common words. Even many LETTERS are similar. Biththi(wall), Okka(ma)[all] are few! GA, M, are same in both languages.

    Sinhala influence over Malayalam or viceversa?

    What is the difference between Tamil and Sinhala grammar? Can you show the difference?

  223. Who were the JAINS? They were not Tamils or Hindus. Some stories indicate JAINS were of GIPPSY origin and naked cave dwellers. They ventured in the nights and took away women from Tamil villages.

  224. Mudiyanse, thank you for your very informative response. The people I know who graduated from Ananda have told me that it is the only school that does not teach the students to be ashamed of being Sri Lankan. On the other hand, I know that “nationalist” thinking among us has often degenerated into anti-minority sentiments.

    If V Navaratnam had been mistreated at Ananda, one would have expected that he would have shared these negative experiences (if anything, Navaratnam in his book expressed little hatred toward Sinhala people which I found surprising; he had far more venom for fellow Tamils like Amirthalingam and M. Thiruchelvam). But even if he wasn’t mistreated, I still find it interesting that both he and Suntheralingam, the two most extreme Tamil nationalists before the war had been associated with Ananda College.

  225. I think all must read the book”KINGDOM OF JAFFNA” by C.BRITO, the english translation of Yalpana-vaipava- malai

  226. Goodbye Mr.Diyasena,

    No logic in your arguement.You havent given any reference or evidence but only vomiting what you have had for ages. There is no guarantee of the truth in what you are saying.

    Readers can judge from the facts what i have presented here.

    You cannot even reject my valid points. what you are trying to do is hiding the truth that you people had the agenda to change this island into Sinhala only bantustans.laughably now you are telling advice to Tamils who stoped this agenda and sacrificing over 200,000 lives.

    There is ‘no smoke without fire’ Srilankan smoke already provened upto UN level.Still you are not willing to understand and correct your path otherthan continuing the duplicity.

    As a Srilankan tell from your heart Don’t you think ‘Equal rights, Equal responsibilities and Equal opportunities’ are your veiled attempts at resource theft..?

    I do not afraid and switch to the present from past.But,with a good reason I do want to show the precent consequence of the past reckless mis-conception driven from hypocrite ‘Theravatha bikkus’ to aggressive ‘Sinhala rulling class’.

    Do you really know the meaning of the Elara/Ellalan? ‘the one who rules the boundary’ (Ellai+Alpavan= எல்லாளன்) There is no wonder other side of the Theravatha camp seen him as invader.Then why Mahavamsa not mentioned ‘Sinhala Wijayan’as invader?

    Mahavamsa purposely describing Naughty Dutugemunu as hero in many chapters and sideline in few chapter the only good king who rulled over 44 years with good justice?

    Is that you input the word “.. (which was the country) of the SINGALAS who possessed rough strength” in the below Chola inscription? Mahabaratha also same? Because their time period 8 or 9 BCE that time even Sinhala wijayan or his father did not born in the westbengal?


    ஸ்வஸ்திஸ்ரீ் திருமகள் போல பெருநிலச் செல்வியுந் தனக்கேயுரிமை பூண்டமை மனக்கொளக் காந்தளூர்ச் சாலைக் களமறூத்தருளி வேங்கை நாடும் கங்கைபாடியும் நுளம்பபாடியும் தடிகை பாடியும் குடமலை நாடும் கொல்லமும் கலிங்கமும் எண்டிசை புகழ்தர ஈழ மண்டலமும் இரட்டபாடி ஏழரை இலக்கமும் திண்டிறல் வென்றி தண்டால் கொண்டதன் பொழில் வளர் ஊழியுள் எல்லா யாண்டிலும் தொழுதகை விளங்கும் யாண்டே செழிஞரை தேசுகொள் ஸ்ரீ்கோவிராஜராஜகேசரி பந்மரான ஸ்ரீராஜராஜ தேவர்

    Keep in your mind before 10th centure Rajaraja chola very old Ketheeswaram and Koneswaram Shiva temple at Eelam were glorified in the Tevaram canon by Tamil Nayanmar in 7th century.

    Early Anaikoddai Iron Age chief(3BCE) Ko Veta to current R.Sampanthan all are Native Tamils.
    We have all the rights to decide our future and protect our lands and lives from some one who trying to decide our future and wanted to final say our daily lifes by Military occupation.

    Thank you!

  227. A correction: The debate was not with Lord Buddha, but with Tamil Buddhists.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  228. Diyasena,

    The Hela basa (Elu) is Sanskrit + Pali + Tamil. Even though Sanskrit & Pali were the core of the Sinhala language, the language scholars have identified more that 4000 Tamil words in the Sinhala vocabulary.

    Let me give you a few examples from some of the Sinhala Language academics/scholars:

    According to Dr. C.E. Godakmubara, the Sinhala Grammar Sidathsangarawa was based on the Tamil Grammar Virasolium.

    Sinhala scholar Mudliyar W. F. Gunawardena at a lecture delivered at Ananda College on 28.09.1918 had stated, the science of exmination of the structure of a sentence is called its grammar. The grammar of the Sinhala language is Dravidian. He further said, the Sinhala language is primarily a Dravidian language. The structural foundation of Sinhala is Dravidian while the super-structure is Indo-Aryan.

    Prof. J. B. Dissanayake in his book ‘Understanding the Sinhalese’ states, Sinhala occupies a unique position among the languages of South Asia because of its close affinity, with two of the major linguistic families of the Indian sub continent Indo-Aryan and Dravidian..

    H. A. J. Hulugalle, in his booklet, Information for Tourists, 1947? says in the first paragraph on page one: The Sinhalese are a mixed race, their language has been vastly enriched with words from the Tamil vocabulary.

  229. There was Jainism in the island called Lanka long before Buddhism.

    Jainism flourished around North (Jaffna) and North central (Anuradapura & Polonaruwa) before the arrival of Mahinda thero (Buddhism) and it existed until 10 AD. Even Mahavamsa referred to it. King Pandukhabaya had built houses and temples for Jains. There were many Jain saints here.
    There was a Jain establishment known as Giri Nigantha Arama which later became Abhayagiri monastery.

    (Incidentally the 1st Jain Theerthakarar is Rishaba whose daughter is Brahmi, the ancient Brahmi script was named after her, just to show their antiquity).

    People cannot differentiate easily between the images of Mahavira (Jainism) & Buddha (Buddhism). If you go to India, you will be surprised to see the similarity between the huge statues of Mahavira & Buddha, they look almost identical.

    Only the Jains can identify Mahavira’s statue and able to differentiate it from the Buddha statue. They believe that only Mahavira has a dot on his forehead. However, most of the Buddha statutes in the museums in many countries have a dot on the forehead. It seems they are Mahavirar’s mistaken as Buddha’s.

    Other than the Jains, the historians and archeologists are able to identify the difference. Some of the ancient Buddha statues unearthed from the North (Jaffna) and North central (Anuradapura & Polonaruwa) were actually Mahavira and not Buddha.

    If you look at the ancient ‘Buddha’ statues found and displayed in Sri Lanka, most of them had their head severed. It is obvious that it was not severed by the ‘invaders’ or during excavations. The biased archaeologists in the caliber of Paranavitharana who also deemed it proper to rename Elara’s tomb as Dutugemunu’s and distort history and archeological evidences to suit the government agenda has changed the Mahavira statues (with a dot on the forehead) into Buddha Statues by severing the head.

    So what actually happened to those Jains and their religiuos places in the Island? Has Mahavamsa absorbed them as Buddhists and Buddhist monasteries?


  230. I once met a Tamil Buddhist in Nagadeepa.She
    When did this happen sir?
    If it is during Kalapirayar kalam, it must be Manimehalai.
    If it is during the Kallar or Grease Yakko kalam, it must be one of those concubines of the thero there.
    Many of their descendants are die hard tax collectors of LTTE in Canada. You can fall in their feet and worship instead.

    By the way, as widely discussed in JLD’s previous articles, the Nagadeepa mentioned in Mahavamsa is the present day Kelani near Kalani Kangai, where Buddha flew into settle a dispute berween two brothers over a Throne(a material thing!). Even now the kelani Vihare has many hindu deities which are cocered most of the time.

    The present day Vihare in Nainatheevu came up only after 1940s, and there is no historical or archeological eveidence of the Kingdom of Chulodara or Damodara there.

    why cannot there be Tamil speaking Buddhists also?
    Its possible when we see Sinhala speaking Hindus.

    Tamil Buddhist temples should come up
    In the present political climate, it is only possible once the Tamils get some sort of security regarding their language, religion and land in their area of historical habitation.

  231. Diyasena

    Of course you are right. However Sinhala Buddhist have their own land in Lala land in Sinhapura.

    Do not be fooled by your own dellusion that somehow you own Sri Lanka, an exclusive ownership which was not yours in the first place.

    Sri Lanka is my ancestral land and it will remain so. Tamils and Sinhalese have been given long lease and future renewal will depend on your good behaviour.

    Buddha did not visit your people but mine to spend some quality time. When Vijaya came to my island by kallathoni he destroyed all the good work Buddha had done previously.

    I am bit thick but I not weak.

  232. Puma, “the present day Kelani near Kalani Kangai, where Buddha flew into settle a dispute berween two brothers over a Throne(a material thing!)” Did Buddha use a Helecopter, Kifr,Boing 747, or Ravana’s Puspah vimanam,to fly to Kelani????

  233. If Srilankan Sinhala so called ‘Buddhist’ Political leaders practiced what Buddha has actually tought and wanted his followers to do, There would not have been Praphahran and LTTE, or even FP.TUF.TULF.

  234. Diyasena

    Historically the Tamils have occupied South India (Tamil Nadu) and NorthEast Sri Lanka (Tamil Eelam) for many centuries. Today, Tamil Nadu belongs to the Tamils of India and Tamil Eelam belongs to the Tamils of Sri Lanka. Not only Toronto or Tooting but Sri Lankan Tamils are displaced to many other parts of the world but their ancestral homeland is Tamil Eelam. There will be a time in the future when Tamil Nadu and Tamil Eelam will amalgamate into one Tamil country. That will be when all the displaced Tamils will return to their own country.

  235. Diyasena

    Historically the Tamils have occupied South India (Tamil Nadu) and NorthEast Sri Lanka (Tamil Eelam) for many centuries. Today, Tamil Nadu belongs to the Tamils of India and Tamil Eelam belongs to the Tamils of Sri Lanka. Not only Toronto or Tooting but Sri Lankan Tamils are displaced to many other parts of the world but their ancestral homeland is Tamil Eelam. There will be a time in the future when Tamil Nadu and Tamil Eelam will amalgamate into one Tamil country. That will be when all the displaced Tamils will return to their own country.

  236. LOL. Are you okey? What lama has to do with a philosophy? let him practice it with his own way. who cares? cheers boy

  237. who gives a shit to Madam Arbor, Allan Rock, Evans or Banki Moon Mr Lingam? This is Sri lanka an d it’s our politics. It will happen. Just wait.

  238. According to Mahavamsa, Buddha flew not once, but thrice to Lanka, the third time along with 500 Monks(so it must be something like Jumbo Jet). But the learned view is that he never crossed the sea and did not travel south of Andhra or Vindya malai.

    You should also read JLD’s previous two articles on this and over 8oo comments posted there to get a true enlightenment.


    Mahavamsa is said to be compiled many many years after Buddha’s parinirvana when Buddhism was in extinction at its birth place and when Mahayana and Theravada conflicts were at its highest point in the Island, by Monks from Theravada chapter and interwoven with epics from folk stories, jathaka tales, Ramayana, Mahabaratha and Krishna’s adventures.
    This particular story about Buddha’s flights could have been taken from Ramayana, where Ravana abducted Seetha and brought her to Lanka(puri) in a Vimanam or Plane. Unfortunately this Plane could have been torched by Hanuman when he burnt Ravana’s capital, Anurathapuri and only a careful archeological excavations around Anuradhapura could unearth traces of this Plane.

  239. Alavi,

    Most of the land mass of old Lanka, near the vicinity of the present day Kelaniya was very likely consumed by the sea. This may have been a time when the Western coast of Sri Lanka was either linked or close to India. Was this deluged land the ‘Lost Lemuria’?

    There are many geological and historical events that are yet unknown with respect of Sri Lanka. These are probably unknowable. We are all groping in the dark, like the blind woman in a dark room (Irrutarayil irruntha Kurudi!). When we have disagreements about interpreting recent history, imagine the situation when we get too serious about finding support for our diverse stands from ancient and medieval history!

    What must be remembered, despite whatever our perceptions may be of the recent, ancient or medieval past, the ‘Here, Now and the Future’ matter more to the peoples of Sri Lanka, at this point in history.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  240. A research project carried out in 1995 by Human Genetics unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo in collaboration with the Department of Human Genetics, University of New Castle Upon Tyne confirmed that the Sinhalese and the Tamils in Sri Lanka are the descendants of a single genetic group. Moreover the DNA of Tamil Nadu Tamils also matched with Sri Lankan Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims. (Report of Researcher E. Logeswaran) There are no indications to believe the Sri Lankan Muslims are the direct descendants of Arabs. Some speak pure Tamil better than the traditional Tamil Hindus.

  241. There are many proofs to establish that Tamil was the main language even during the time the Portuguese landed. For example, the king of Kotte, Bhuvanehabahu VII signed the treaty with the Portuguese in Tamil. One of the Kandyan Chieftains, Ratwatta Disawa signed the treaty with the British in Tamil. There are also many original and modified Tamil words in the Sinhala language, which evolved as a distinct language of the settlers outside North-East Sri Lanka The spoken language of Sri Lankan Tamils, particularly Jaffna Tamils is still relatively pure. Those familiar with the Tamil used now in Indian TV channels would have noticed the increasing use of English words, particularly in teledramas.

  242. According to researcher E. Logeswaran, there were 7 Sivan Temples and a Murugan temple as far back as 600 BC in Sivapumi (Ceylon). The Hindu God Eeswaran was believed to be the guardian protecting the island on all four sides.

    The 7 Sivan Temples were (i) Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu (ii) Naguleswaram in Keerimalai (iii) Koneswaram in Trincomalee (iv) Thiruketheswaram in Mannar (v) Sivanoli Pada Malai in Ratnapura district (vi) Muneswaram (oldest) in Chilaw and (vii) Thondeswaram in Galle.

    The Murugan temple in Kathirgamam (Katharagama in Sinhalese) is in the Monoragala district, and is a popular holy place for both Sinhalese and Tamils. The protracted war that ended in 2009 May prevented many Tamils in the North-East visiting this shrine. Rameswaram and Mannar were not separated about 6000 years ago. The rising sea levels submerged about 2500 sq. km of land under the sea.

    The study also shows there were different kingdoms in the island ruled mostly by Sinhala Buddhists of Tamil origin and in some cases by Tamil Hindus. The existence of Tamil Buddhists in the island during the time when Buddhism was widespread in south India is evident from the unearthed ancient statues and coins. Kantharodai was a monastery for Tamil monks. Stupas discovered there are different from those found in other regions in Sri Lanka. Statues of Buddha were found in Kantharodai, Vallipuram, Ponnalai, Makiyapitti, Nilavarai, Uduvil, Nainathivu, Chunnakam, Punguduthivu and Nedunthivu. Coins unearthed in Kantharodai had the figure of Hindu goddess Lakshmi.

    Let no one hastily conclude as before that the Sinhalese resided in the North and the Tamils moved in later from south India (Tamil Nadu)!

    Thus, there is no conclusive proof that the Sinhala Buddhists are the original settlers in Sri Lanka. It is high time that the distorted versions of the history of Sri Lanka are left behind and a pragmatic approach to reconciliation and all-encompassing development is taken soon for uniting voluntarily the divided communities; a division that arose from the failure to follow the Buddhist precepts.

  243. It should be remembered that in spite of the assertion by the author of the Mahavamsa that Mahinda and Sanghamitta were children of Asoka, there is neither any historical record in North India of any children of Asoka with such names, nor reference in the king’s Edicts themselves of any Mission sent to Sri Lanka by him through any of his alleged children. Geiger has tried to gloss over this difficulty by stating that an argument from silence is not admissible. (Introduction to Geiger’s Mahavamsa, p. XVIII). But certainly an argument drawn from reliable records will be more convincing!

    The Rock Edicts of Asoka (II and XIII), refer definitely to the Tamil Kingdoms in South India – the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Cheras – while the name Tambapanni is supposed to indicate Sri Lanka. Historians have been at pains to discover whether Tambapanni refers to the well known Tinnevelly district in South India or to Sri Lanka. Geiger himself (Mahavansa, Introduction p. XVII) says, ‘I may observe that at the outset, it is not absolutely certain whether by the Tambapanni of the inscriptions Sri Lanka is meant. Possibly the name may designate the Tinnevelly district at the Southern extremity of India, where the Tambapanni flows into the sea’.

    It should not be wondered at that Vincent A. Smith in his ‘Early History of India’, pp. 115-118, calls the stories describing the conversion of Sri Lanka as ‘a tissue of absurdities’.

    There is literary tradition mentioned in Sillappadikaram, the well known Tamil Epic, to indicate that Mahendra, described as a brother of Asoka, visited the Tamil country as a Buddhist missionary and left behind a Vihara at Kaveripattinam. In the ‘Beal Records of the Western World’, page 231, we are told that there was, near Madura, the capital of the Pandayas, a Vihara built by Mahendra a brother of Asoka, and to the east of it a Stupa constructed during the time of Asoka. In the Tailang records of Burma we find that Dharmapala the great Buddhist Acharya (fifth century A.D.), a Tamil himself, lived in a Vihara built by Asoka in Kanchipura. Dharmapala, in his commentary ‘Netti-Attagatha’, mentions that he wrote his work in a Vihara built by Asoka.

    Asoka (described as a great friend of Devanampiya Tissa), does not refer in his Edicts either to his ‘friend’ or even to his ‘own children’ who, it is said, had been sent by him as Missionaries to Sri Lanka! The Asokan Edicts make no mention whatever of either the word ‘Lanka’ by which name Sri Lanka was known to the ancient Indians or the term ‘Sihala’ (found only once in an early Chapter of the Mahavamsa, and interpreted by Dr. G. C. Mendis as meant ‘to explain the origin of the name ‘Sinhala’, and to show how the first settlement took place in the Island’). It will be noticed that the term ‘Sihala’ is used only once in the Mahavamsa of Mahanama, “But the king Sinhabahu, since he had slain the lion (was called) Sihala and by reason of the ties between him and them, all those followers of Vijaya were also (called) Sihala”. (Ch. VII v. 42). But in all subsequent and earlier chapters, the Island is referred to as Lanka or Tambapanni, and nowhere, for instance, as ‘Sihala-dvipa’, nor are the people, anywhere referred to as ‘Sihalas’ or ‘Sinhalese’. May it be a later interpolation? Dr. Mendis himself suggests that, “The story of Vijaya seems to have been evolved to explain the origin of the name Sinhala and to show how the first human settlement took place in the Island.” He adds, ‘obviously the Aryans no longer remembered how their own ancestors came to this country’, (p. 81: R.A.S.C., Vol. V, part I).

  244. References in the Silappadikaram, (a Tamil Epic of which the heroine is Kannakai or Pattini, a popular deity worshipped in Sri Lanka as well as by the Sinhalese), to the Vihara built by Mahendra – i.e. Mahinda of the Pali Chronicles, may be found in Ch. X, lines 13-14; Ch. XXVII, line 92.

    In ‘Buddhism and Tamil’, p. 25, by Mylai Seeni Vengadasamy, (The Saiva Siddhanta Press, Tinnevelly, Madras), we read:-

    “Research students are of opinion that the Vihara (Indra Vihara), was built by the Thera Mahendra (Mahinda) at Kaveri-poom-pattinam.” (Mahendra becomes Mahinda in Pali).

    It is obvious that Mahinda came from Tambapanni (Thamiraparuni), the Pandyan country in South India, to Sri Lanka. It is significant that the Mahavamsa says that Mahinda had preached the true doctrine in two places, ‘in the speech of the island’…….(MHV Ch. XIV v. 65).

    Other references to Mahendra Vihara in the Tamil country, Manimekalai (A Tamil Buddhist Epic) Ch. 26, line 65; Ch. 28, lines 69-70

  245. M.Sivananthan,

    “The Pandya kings claimed descent from a tribe styled Marar, which however had for many years another important representative in the prince bearing the title Palaiyan Maran whose capital was Mogur, near the Podiya hill not far from Comorin.” (‘Camb. Hist. Of India’, p. 539)

    Palaiya ( ) has the same meaning as ‘pandu’ ( ) in Tamil, and means ‘old’ or ‘ancient’. ( )

    Vijaya paid an annual tribute to the Pandyan king (MHV. Ch VII, v. 73); after the death of Panduvasa (Panduvasudeva) his eldest son Abhaya became the lawful king. Panduvasudeva’s mother is said to have been the daughter of the Mada king. Geiger states that Mada is the Sanskritised form of Madras. Madras is a recent city that came into prominence during the British period. Mada, in fact, means Madurai and not Madras which did not exist during this period. MHV. Ch. VIII, v. 7, v. 10. Sumitra the father of ‘Panduvasudeva’ is said to have married the daughter of the Mada king.

    Geiger in n. 1, below writes, ‘Madda-Sanskrit Madura now Madras’. This is by no means an isolated instance of Geiger’s notes needing revision. Had Geiger known as much of Tamil and Tamil Literature as he knew Pali and Pali Literature, he is not likely to have made so many misleading slips in his comments and notes in dealing with Tamil words and place names in the Mahavamsa.

    For the significance of the term Mada which means Madura, vide, Kanagasabhai’s, ‘Tamils Eighteen Hundred Years Ago’, (p. 13).

    “Madura at this time was the capital city of the Pandyans. The high towers over the four gates of the fort distinguished it from other towns in the Tamil country. Hence it was familiarly known as Nan-Mada-k-kudal or kudal. The site of the ancient town was most probably Pala-Madura ( ) i.e., ‘old Madurai’. It was situated at a distance of about six miles south of the South-east of the modern town of Madurai.”

    The city referred to as ‘Mada’, in the Mahavamsa is obviously Madurai, Mada being an abbreviation of the familiar designation Nan-Mada-k-kudal. Though the Mahavamsa says the daughter of king Pandu of the Maddas reached Gonamuka near Mannar, on the second day, Dr. Mendis has taken considerable pains to show that, here, Mada or Madurai meant Muttra or Mathura on the banks of the Jumna, in the North of India.

    Note, Gonamuka is the Sanskritised form of the Tamil Kona Mukam ( ); which means ‘a maritime district surrounded by salt marshes’. It is about 2,000 miles from Mathura in North India, too far for any ship or ships to reach Gonamuka from the nearest sea-port that was available to the alleged ‘Pandu of Mathura’-‘on the second day’. Madura, the Pandyan Capital, on the banks of the Vaigai is less than 150 miles from Gonamuka.

  246. The kings that followed the Chola Tamil period, headed by Parakramabahu the Great were mainly Pandyans. Their names Parakrama Bahu, Vijaya Bahu, Vira Bahu, Wickrema Bahu, Bhuvaneka Bahu etc., are all of Tamil origin. The very names for tanks Kulam (Kulama), Vavi (Wewa), Eri (Eriya), are like the names of Kings, Prakritised Tamil, Dravidian, and not of ‘Aryan’ origin.

    Dravidian Etymological Dictionary. Tamil origin of Prakritised names of some Tamil Kings of Sri Lanka.

    i. Prakrama Bahu
    Para – (3255) Par ‘earth’, ‘world’, ‘charioteer’, ‘to diffuse’, ‘to spread’.

    Pakan (3331) ‘Elephant rider’, ‘charioteer’,
    id. Paku. ‘art’, ‘ability’,
    Ak. (u) (282) ‘to make’, ‘become’, ‘increase’, ‘create’, ‘prosperity’, (in Elu, the name becomes Parakum).

    ii. Wik-rema – (Elu – ‘Vikum’)
    Vik (a) – (4477) ‘Valiant’, ‘courage’,
    Vik (u) –

    iii. Vira – Viru-Vira (4491), ‘be eminent’, ‘distinguished’, ‘splendin’.

    iv. Similarly Valla – BA.
    Val (4406) ‘lustre’, ‘splendour’, ‘fame’
    Val (4317) ‘strong’, ‘might’, ‘hero’
    Val (4340) ‘bounty’, ‘liberality’, ‘strenghth’

    v. Bhuveneka (Nayaka)
    Pu. (3564) ‘flourish’, ‘bloom’ ‘richness’
    Naya (2977) ‘respect’, ‘esteem’, etc.
    (It may also mean Puvi-Nayagam, ‘the Lord of the earth’.)

  247. The NAGAS of Nagadipa were from South India (Nagapattinam/Nagakovil).

    The Northern part of Sri Lanka in ancient times was known as Nagadipa. The Nagas were an old Dravidian tribe from South India (Nagapattinam, Nagakovil, etc).

    In an inscription dated eleventh Century A.D, at Mamallai-Puram, by the Chola king Kopari-Kesari-Varman, alias Udiyayar Sri Rajendra Deva (1040-1069), who defeated the Chalukya king at the battle of Koppa, a copy of a deed by which a piece of land was granted to a temple at Mamallai-Puram is found. It was signed by the following Nagas amongst the high officers of the Chola Tamil King:

    Olinagan Madaiyan Alagiya Chola,
    Amurnaddu Muvenda Velan,
    Olinagan Chandra Sekaran,
    Olinagan Narayanan,
    Indupuravan Sanga-Nagan,
    Uchan-Kilavan Muguli Nagan.

    A Tamil poet of the Sangam age, describing a tribe of Nagas, refers to them as ‘chivalrous and intrepid warriors, fierce as tigers in the battle field’ (Mathurai-Kanchi 140-144, A Tamil Sangam work).

    Kanagasabhai in his ‘Tamils Eighteen Hundred Years Ago’, has pointed out that-judging from Ptolemy’s account at Uraiyur (Mc. Crindles Ptolemy, p. 185; Kanagasabhai, ibid. p. 44.), the Chola capital, the Cholas had been displaced by the Sore (Sora) Nagas who were evidently the descendants of the Chola and Naga families who had intermarried.

    About this period the Nagas, probably as feudatories of the Chola Kings of South India, appear to have been placed as petty kings in various parts of South Sri Lanka (ibid. p. 44).

    Note the following names of some of the early Sri Lankan ‘kings’:

    Khallatanaga …… 109 B.C. (son of Sadatissa, the brother of Duttugamunu)

    Cora Naga …… 63 B.C. (son of Valgamba)

    Ila Naga …… 36 A.D. (nephew of Sivali)

    Mahallaka Naga …… 136 A.D. (grandson of Vasabha, a Lambakanna)

    Kuhunna Naga ….. 186 A.D. (brother of Batiya Tissa)

    Kudda or Kunca naga …… 188 A.D.

    Siri Naga I …… 189 A.D. (son of Batiya Tissa)

    Abhaya Naga …… 231 A.D. (brother of Vera Tissa)

    (It is apparent that the Tissas in the list of early kings of Sri Lanka belonged to the Naga tribe. Note the Tamil names KUDDA, (KUTTI-‘small’) KUNCHA (KUNCHU-‘small’) in KUDDA or KUNCA NAGA.

    Again, the Parathars, (Paravas), the ancestors of some of the older inhabitants of the maritime coast of Sri Lanka were a sea-faring people and belonged to the Naga tribe. They were famous pearl divers; they dived for pearls and conch shells; they knew the charm to drive away the Sharks. According to Mathurai-Kanchi, a Tamil Sangam work, they were the most powerful people in the country around Korki in then-Pandi-Nad (South Pandyan Tamil country). They were well fed on fish and flesh, and armed with bows they terrified their enemies by their dashing valour (Mathurai-Kanchi, 140-144). The Nagas were skilled in many arts one of which was the art of weaving. The Nagas of the Eastern Coast of the Pandyan country during this early period produced, for export by the Tamil merchants, large quantities of cloths and muslins. The fine muslins manufactured by them fetched fabulous prices in foreign countries. Tamil poets allude to a famous Chieftain Ay who offered to the image of Siva, one of these priceless muslins which had been presented to him by NILA-NAGA (Chiru-Parnartu-Padai, (96-99), A Tamil Sangam work).

    “It was from the Nagas that the Aryas first learnt the art of writing, and hence Sanskrit Characters are to this day known as Devanagiri.”

    If Siri Rahula, the Elu poet of South Sri Lanka, had not allowed his imagination to run riot in his Silalihini Sandesa (XV century A.D.), as late as in the fifteenth century Nagas were still found in Kelaniya. He refers to Naga maidens singing and dancing at the Vibushana Temple at Kelaniya.

    The Nagas who lived in Sri Lanka before the ‘Vijaya invasion’ of Southern Sri Lanka seem to have spoken the Tamil language. This old Tamil mixed with the speech of the YAKKAS and with the Sanskrit/Pali of the Buddhist Monks of later centuries developed into the dialect known as Elu, spoken by the people of Ilam (IZHAM), the ancient name by which the Island was called by Tamils. In the CEYLON HISTORICAL QUARTERLY, Vol. I, No. 3, pp. 172-173, we are told the ‘Nagas for certain, living along a belt of country extending from Kelaniya as far as Nagadipa near Mannar must have migrated from South India long before the Vijaya invasion’.

    In the Tamil Anthologies of the SANGAM period of Tamil Literature, we meet with several poems written by Naga poets. In the Anthologies known as NARRINAI, KURUNTHOKAI, and AHA NANURU we come across the composition of Ilathu Poothanar (‘ILATHU’-means ‘belonging’ to Izham or Sri Lanka).

    There were other early Sri Lankan poets such as Mudagagayar, Ila Nagar, Nilakanthaer referred as having had associations with the Tamil Sangam poets. (‘TAMILAN ANTIQUARY’, Vol. II, No. I, p. 93).

  248. M.Sivananthan

    Don’t be stupit it was not Jains but Kalapprayar of the dark agesAnanda Coomarasamy had written a lot about them.

    Recently we have seen Grease man doing the same thing or two and known to come out of army camps.

  249. Dear truth,

    If you’d like to prove that Sinhala language evolved over time from Tamil or another Dravidian language, then first you will have to learn the Sinhala language and its various forms over the centuries. Are you prepared to do that?

  250. M.Sivananthan

    Until SWRD Banda came up with the Sinhala only Official language Act, English was the official language in Sri Lanka. Not only SJV Chelva but JR and a majority of cabinet ministers signed in English even later because during the British period they were made to learn English to become future leaders. The British rulers did not serve the Sinhala interests (of course they were not invitees) but they made sure that even the future Sinhala leaders learn their language. Since SJV Chelva rejected the Sinhala-only official language act, he continued to sign in English (the former official language).

    But consider the following:

    There were 12 signatories to the Kandyan Convention of 2nd March 1815 AD which includes the British Governor Brownrigg and 11 Sinhalese Chiefs (Adikars, Dissaves and others) of the Kandyan Provinces.

    The best part is, most of these Sinhalese Chiefs like Ehelepola, Pilimatalawe the elder, Pilimatalawe Junior, and Ratwatte have signed in the TAMIL language and Molligoda, Dullewe, and Millewe have signed in both Tamil and Sinhala. To sign in Tamil, these Sinhalese chiefs must have been fluent in the Tamil language.

    The main question here is, why the Sinhala aristocrats who hardly had any contact with Tamils other than the King, not only learned to read, write and speak a language alien to them but also chose to sign an important official document in the Tamil language? There is no reason why the Top Sinhala aristocrats such as Pilimatalawe Senior, Pilimatalawe Junior, Ehelepola, Ratwatte, and so on should learn, speak, and write Tamil or rather sign an important treaty concerning the country and Religion in the Tamil Language?

    If you think that Tamil was not an official language, can you or anybody tell us why it so happened?

  251. Theesan,

    You have dropped a MILLION DOLLAR question.

    When the present day governments are reluctant to implement Tamil as an official language even though it is in the constitution, it is interesting to see that during the period of the Kandyan kingdom, Tamil language had a prominent place; it is surprising to see those Top Sinhala Aristocrats Ratwatte, Ehelepola and Pilimatalawe signing in Tamil.

    Some may think that they did this either to please the Tamil speaking Buddhist King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe (Kannusamy) who was from the Nayakkar dynasty of Madurai (Tamil Nadu) or due to the strong influence (forced to learn) by the King. Even though the above mentioned Disawes of King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe signed in Tamil, the king had his signature in Sinhala. Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe was a King who was brought up from young days among the Sinhalese with the blessings of Maha Nayaka Thero of Sri Dalada. He was free to read, write and speak in the language of his choice. At that instant he would have chosen Sinhala. The question is, if the Tamil Buddhist King of Kandy learned and signed in Sinhala, why did his chiefs/ministers learn and sign in Tamil?

    I should also mention here that the second last King of Kandy, another Tamil Buddhist king from the Nayakkar dynasty of Madurai (Tamil Nadu), King Rajadhi Rajasinghe composed the Sinhala Buddhist epic called Asadrusha Kaavya.

  252. Puma,

    Thanks for the links. A very large amount of information, ideal for someone interested in knowing the history of the island. The comments are as interesting as the articles. The rebuttal by one Bandu de Silva also looks ok even though it did not draw much attention (not well received) from the readers.

    You should have also given the link to the rebuttal, it is http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/1922

  253. S. Kulasingham,

    The Portuguese writers report that Sankili I of Jaffna signed a treaty with them in Sinhalese.. Quite surprising if the main language was Tamil now isn’t it?

  254. Pretend Vedda,

    The island is the homeland of all those who are born in it and those who naturally migrate to it.. I did not claim exclusive rights for the Sinhala Buddhists..

  255. Theesan,

    Dream on buddy!!! The Sinhalas will defend their (but not only their) island from Dambakola patuna to Devundara, for another 2500 years and more.. Even if your sun god rises from the ashes, Tamil eelam will only live on in cyberspace like Khalistan and the demented dreams of yours..

  256. Thanks SK63
    I can see you have read the whole articles and the entire comments and invariably came across Bandu Silva’s two Articles with some interesting comments(yes there was another lengthy article by him which was the first that started the whole debate). These discussions made many, including non Sri lankans, experts in Mahavamsa(the true version).

    I somehow felt this current article of JLD is not in the calibre of the previous two articles. He has touched many topics spanning over several hundred years but not gone deeply into topics like Jainism and Samana Pallis in South India and Sri Lanka and their effects on vis a vis buddhism. Mahesh has also made some remarks about that like Aimperumkapiyams and the place called Mylai. Apart from the Japanese Dr. Hikosaka, many researches and travelers had written about the many caves in South India with valuable evidence. He seems too eager/quick to compromise on a solution-Tamil Buddhists and Tamil Vihares, by turning the clock back for half of the equation.

    If you also note the comments then and now, you will see that even after one year, the hard liners are not prepared to change a bit and stating the same thing again and again. with added vigour. It appears the start of the great divide began in the 1910-20s only and deepened by the colonials and their half baked historians. The Sinhalese Buddhists can thank Anagarika Dharmapala and his group for their master blueprint on future Lanka while the Tamils can blame Sir Pon Ramanathan and other leaders for their gullibility. Buddha save the country!

  257. Dr.Rajasingham narendran says

    “The uncorrupted Veddhas, speak directly without trying to run in circles!”

    We dance in circles around the Kudaram.

    I can not teach an ignorant self disrespecting Tamil. Nevertheless you may learn one or two if you lived with us for an year or two in the deep jungle.

    It is difficult for city slickers like you but not impossible. Are you willing to experiment with nature?

  258. Diyasena,

    According to the Portuguese writer Rev Fernao De Queyroz a peace treaty was signed by Sankili (Tamil king of Jaffna) and the Portuguese to cease the fighting. Queyroz says, it was written in Portuguese and Sinhala but it is not said anywhere that Sankili signed in Sinhala.

    On the other hand, according to H.W.Codrington, Tamil was the court language of the kings of Kotte (Kotte is a Tamil word for fort), near Colombo in the Western Province. The record of gifts of lands given to Munneswaram temple (Hindu) in Chilaw were in Tamil. Some later gifts to the same temple by Parakrama Bahu IX (1506-1528) and Kirti Siri Rajasinha (1747-1782) were also written in Tamil. According to Queyroz (Book I), Chilaw, Puttalam and Negombo were all Tamil-speaking areas. Buvaneka Bahu VII, King of Kotte (1521-1550) made his attestations in Tamil.

    History also refers to the facts that Vijaya Bahu I (AD 1070-1110) after constructing a Saivaite (Hindu) temple at Kantalai caused a Tamil inscription to be erected on the spot. At Polonnaruva (about AD 1109) the Tamil Velaikkaras put up a Tamil lithic record by which they agreed to be the custodians of the tooth relic of the Buddha. King Vikrama Bahu II (1116-1137) left behind a Tamil inscription relating to a donation he made for the lighting of a perpetual lamp in the Saivaite temple at Magala in the Kurunegala district (N.W.Province). A Tamil inscription of Manabharana, the father of King Parakrama Bahu I, found in the Kurungala district records the settlement of a dispute between blacksmiths and washermen. In Siva Devale No.1 at Polonnaruva, King Gaja Bahu I (AD 1137-1153) also left a lithic record in Tamil.

    When Gampola in the Central Province was the capital of the Sinhalese, King Buvaneka Bahu IV (AD 1344-1354) caused an inscription to be made both in Sinhalese and in Tamil at Lankatilake Vihare. About AD 1409 a Chinese mission came to Ceylon from the Ming Emperor. This mission left behind an inscription in Galle port in Chinese, Persian and Tamil, but not in Sinhalese.

    The Tamil correspondence of the Kings of Kandy (Central Province) with foreign governments, numbering sixty six were published in 1937 by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, as Bulletin No.3 (with English translations). One of the documents No.64 is a Treaty written in Tamil between King Kirti Siri Rajasinghe and Louis XVI of France. The famous Kandyan Convention signed in 1815 bears signatures in both Sinhalese and Tamil.

    The 1951 Report of the Historical Manuscripts Commission reveals that there were Tamils in the Kurunegala district in the 17th C., whose notarial deeds were in Tamil. It is also known that during their rule in Ceylon, the Portuguese (16-C) founded and managed Tamil schools for Tamil children in the Western and North-Western Provinces. In 1750 a mass petition was presented to the Dutch Governor by the people of Negombo protesting against the Dutch educational policy; it was in Tamil.

    Besides the above evidences, Tamil lithic records have been unearthed by the Archaeological Department in several parts of the country such as Kalutara (Western province), Matara (Southern province), Sangilikanadarawa, Anuradhapura, Budumattawa, Matale, Kandapola, Kotagama (Central Province) etc.

    According to G.C.Mendis (Early History of Ceylon), ‘There is sufficient evidence to prove that in the early Centuries of the Christian Era, the Dravidians helped to form the Sinhalese race. This influence became considerable after the invasions and the occupation of Ceylon by the Colas (AD 1017-1076), and it grew stronger with the Pandya invasions (AD 1310 et seq.). It is difficult to gauge the extent of Tamil blood in the Sinhalese, but there is no doubt that it is considerable. Otherwise it is difficult to explain why the Sinhalese language not only in its vocabulary but also in its structure shows the influence of Tamil so strongly and why the Sinhalese caste system is so similar to that of South India.’

  259. True. But both India and China should be around for the next 2500 years so that you guys can hang on to their coattails.

  260. Theesan,

    You are right, the Sinhala language not only in its vocabulary but also in its structure shows the very strong Tamil influence even though it is known as Indo-Aryan language. This fact was emphasized by none other than the Sinhala Language Scholars such as Dr. C.E. Godakmubara, Mudliyar W. F. Gunawardena, Prof. J. B. Dissanayake and many others.

    Even the Sinhala Culture (food/traditional cuisines, costumes/traditional dress, religious worship/rituals, dances kandyan & others, caste system, way of life, agricultural methods, Sinhala script, etc) is very similar to the South Indian (Dravidian). A large part of the Sinhalese people also looks very similar to the South Indian (Dravidian) in features and complexion. It should also be noted that Buddhism is not alien to South India (Dravidian).

    A comprehensive genetic (DNA) study will definitely prove that the Sinhalese are actually Dravidians and NOT Aryans.

  261. Diyasena, 

    According to Rev Fernao De Queyroz, the Tamil king of Jaffna, Sankili I may have signed a treaty with the Portuguese in Sinhala or it was written in Sinhala & Portuguese. On the other hand, according to H.W.Codrington, the Sinhala king of Kotte, Buvaneka Bahu VII, made his attestations in Tamil. Other than what these colonial writers have said, nobody has ever seen these documents and it is not found (preserved) anywhere for us to see and therefore we have to simply believe what is said. 

    Now, regarding the Kandyan convention and all those signatories in Tamil by the Sinhala Chiefs, the million dollar question what Theesan has put forward,  visual evidence is available to prove it. This document is preserved in Dalada Maligawa and its image has appeared in the Sri Lankan news papers. Was Tamil the court language of the kings of Kandy? Was Tamil the main language in the Kandyan kingdom?

    Why don’t you comment on that?

  262. Even Nayakar Pandaram became BandaraNayaka. All the Tamil Pandarams who came to help the kandyan Nayakar kings became Sinhala Bandara when they assimilated with the Sinhalese.

    The Hindu people of Palani town in Tamil Nadu, for the major part, belong to the Pandaram caste, and Palani city was ruled by the Nayaka Kings of Madurai. The last four kings of Kandy were Nayakar from Madurai. The Pandarams were fair in complexion, spoke Tamil and belong to a high caste.

    SWRD Bandaranayaka was a descendent of the Nayakar Pandaram family from the house of Neela Perumal in Tamil Nadu.

    When the King of Jaffna, Sekarasasekaran VII, known as Sankili, cruelly murdered about six hundred newly baptized Catholics in the island of Mannar, Constantine de Braganza led an expedition to Mannar in 1560 and captured it. Sankili sued for peace and promised to pay tribute, so that the King could remain independent. But the tributary status came to an end with the defeat and the death of the Tamil King Puviraja Pandaram Pararajasingham in 1591 (another Pandaram). The latter had attacked the Portuguese in Mannar with the help of the forces of Nayakar of Tanjore. Edirmanasingham, the son of the former King, was installed as the new ruler. Thus started a period of Portugal-Jaffna client ship.

  263. Native Veddah,

    Why are you pretending to be a ‘Native Vedda’? You are an out and out Tamil and an educated one too. However, you are a Tamil using your skills to preach further destruction to the Tamils. I may be ignorant when compared with your profoundness, but I certainly am not a ‘Self disrespecting Tamil’. I am a Tamil proud of my heritage and wary of men like you who are directing the Tamils towards further destruction with convoluted ‘Vedda sounding’ skewed logic.

    Why do you call yourself a ‘Native Vedda’? Are their migrant Veddas in Sri Lanka? Dance around your Kudaram as much as you want, but it wont bring any benefits to the people whom you apparently care.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  264. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says

    “You are an out and out Tamil and an educated one too.”

    In one sentence you have insulted me twice.

    First you define me as Tamil which for me the mother of all insults.

    Second you describe me as “an educated one too”. This is for me the grand mother of all insults. For instance you call yourself a doctor, education gives you the title.

    Does your education make you a wise man?

    You are confined to think within a set of framework which is given to you by your education. You are not free to think outside the “box”. Therefore you consider all others to be stupit and destructive if others do not agree with you.

    If you want to appease you are free to do so but not in the name of Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims and Veddas. We only demand what is ours.

    My name is Vedda, Native Vedda. I am here to stir and shake the minds of stupid Tamils and Sinhalese. Like you they are confined to their own myth of origin while ignoring my people and their history as if they never existed.

    Could you give me an example where I have used my skills “to preach further destruction to the Tamils”. On the contrary I have been blaming them for being self destructive. This applies to both stupit Sinhalese and Stupit Tamils. Please go back and read my previous comments.

    As for Native in my name, it is to emphasise the fact that we do exist and this island is our ancetral land and will remain so. Otherwise the stupid Sinhalese and Tamils don’t see my point as you haven’t.

  265. Diyasena

    You did not claim exclusive right for the Sinhala Buddhist- I agree. Your Sinhala Buddhist establishment has been actively claiming ownership of my ancestral land by its words and its deeds, land grab under various goverment sponsored schemes.

    Not only Sinhala Buddhist have been robbing my land but they sell them to foreigners. If you don’t see what I see then you should see a good Vedda Mahathya who would prescribe you good medicine, thembili oil.

  266. Native Veddah,

    Education= Knowledge + culture + wisdom. Wisdom comes with experience. I have given you more credit than you perceive. I gave you this credit through what I have seen behind many of your comments and your reference to Gananath Obeysekera and his writings.

    However, most of your writings are not directed towards reconciliation or what you would rather term ‘Áppeasement’. To me anyone who calls my approach ‘Appeasement’, is pointing towards further destruction. This is my wisdom.

    Further, I yet think you are a Tamil (the word Kudaram you used + many other strong hints) and an academic (because you are aware of the concept of peer review).

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

  267. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Whether he is Native Vedda or pretend Vedda it does not matter as long as he uses is wit and wisdom to enlighten and keep reminding the Nationalists, chauvinists, racists and fanatics that the Veddas are the original indigenous inhabitants of this land, where as all the migrants who settled here from time to time are fighting for its sole ownership.

    Native vedda is not only wise but he also has a good knowledge of Tamil and Sinhala languages and also well versed in many subjects including the history. He is here to do a service, maintaining “checks and balances” to make sure that those racists (so called Nationalists) who are arguing/fighting for sole ownership of Vedda’s land are reminded to live peacefully or go back to the place from where they came here.

    You are simply accusing him of directing the Tamils towards further destruction without drawing an example from one of his comments to prove it.

  268. Diyasena says:
    “The Sinhalas will defend their (but not only their) island from Dambakola patuna to Devundara, for another 2500 years and more.”

    How so the stupit Sinhalas did not notice whwn the Indian Airforce bombed with Chapatti floor and invaded Sri Lanka with nearly 120,000 troops?

    Were you hiding behind women folks just like David Blacker and his comrades in arms?

    The stupit Tamil Thiruvengadam Vellupillai Prabaharan had to sacrifice the Tamils to get rid of the invading Indians.

    Bravado is good for impressing your wife but not good for the island.

  269. Diyasena,

    When I saw you engaged in exchanges with many others I thought you have a good knowledge in this subject but unfortunately here you are asking a childish question.

    Haven’t you heard of specific royal names? A person who is raised to the throne as a king may have some name such as Kunnasamy but he will be given a royal name such as Sri Rajasinghe.

    The Nayakar were royals in Madurai (Tamil Nadu) but when they were raised to the throne in Kandy, they took the royal name Sri Rajasinghe. Similarly when they were raised to the throne in Jaffna, they took the royal name Singhai Ariyan. The Pandyan royals in South India were known as Pandyans (eg: Parakrama Pandyan) but when they were raised to the throne in Sri Lanka they took the royal name Bahu (eg: Parakrama Bahu).

    Now you see not only Pandiyan => Bahu but also many others such as Nayakar => Sri Rajasinghe and so on.

  270. Diyasena,

    “Equal rights, Equal responsibilities and Equal opportunities, nothing more nothing less..” 

    You are talking about equal rights and nothing more, but where is this equal rights??? Why there is no such equal rights yet??? 

    Every Sri Lankan knows that Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims are migrants who came to this country from outside. Every Sri Lankan knows that the Four major religions practiced in Sri Lanka came to this country from outside.  

    Why is Buddhism given a foremost place???

    If everyone is granted equal rights, then all the major religions in Sri Lanka and the major languages in Sri Lanka also should have equal status, but why NOT?

    please tell us the truth, do you think that the Sinhala government can give equal rights to all??? Do you think that all the religions in Sri Lanka can be given equal status??? Will Sinhala-Buddhist monks allow for such a change to happen??? 

    If you think what I think, then the obvious answer is NO. Why are you wasting your words by saying things that can never happen???

  271. Hanuman, the strongest monkey, jumped from the closest and highest point, and also got help by way of a hill/resting place in the middle of the sea. (The closest contender Angada said he can cross 100 yojanas but doubted his ability to come back).
    Even Rama has to build a bridge to come to the Island.

    The Master(Saipbuddha) and 500 bhikkhus dashed from Jetavana near Savatthi(Sravasti) in UP to Kalyani.

    The question is not how but whether he came.
    If I remember correct you yourself in a comment in another article, doubted his trip to Mahiyankana, where he ‘purified’-removed the believers to another island and cleansed the land by destroying the opposers.

  272. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

    After many comments and counter comments you are yet to recognise:

    that there is native people called Veddas

    that the Tamils and Sinhalese have grabbed my ancestral land

    which had push my people to the margins of society and worse

    while you stupit Tamils and Sinhalese fight over my ancestral land as if we do not exist.

    Please note I don’t need to tell you what the legacy of your educated Tamils and Sinhalese were in the island in the past hundred years.

    Name one wise leader who is also a Sri Lankan. You won’t, because there were none.

    Whats wrong with demanding what is rightfully ours?

    Democracy, dignity, safety, security, accountability, transparency, rule of law, respect for human rights, right to life, freedom of speech, right to decent life,……. are far more important and fundemental basis to any human existence in the modern world. How far can you appease the state which continues to ignore all what is known as human decency and kill people in hundred of thousands irrespective of their race, religion or region with impunity for so long?

    You expect me to accept these heinous crimes without qualm? I think you are either a brave man or madman. I am sorry I am unable to figure you out.

  273. SK63,
    This is in response to the comments below.
    Here is a comment from Native Vedda, that is illuminating;
    ” Native Vedda says:
    December 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm


    Could you define patriotism.

    You say:
    “Tamil should be taught to Sinhala kids and sinhala to tamil kids”

    It is great idea. Years to come the Tamil population would have learned Sinhala and therefore there would not be any language issue.

    The state can stop teaching Tamils to Sinhalese and cease dealing in Tamil with Tamil population.

    There would be one nation, one language, one leader and under him one people.

    You say:

    “Bring capital punishment against hate crimes”

    None will be left to claim ownership of the island.

    Who is going to hang the last person?

    You say:

    “There are wonderful sinhalese and Tamils who want peace”

    Where are they?”

    The comment on the tri-lingual policy approach is frivolous and represents what I have commented on. While the others that follow are profound thoughts, which I hope will resonate in all of us.

    Native Veddah,

    Have all the qualms possible. But where do we go beyond these qualms? Should our qualms be the last stop? Is’nt there a long journey that is ahead of us?

    Further, I am saddened by what is happening to the Veddahs in Sri Lanka. They have been made museum pieces and act the role of the Veddahs. I would like the Veddas to progress and become part of the modern world. But let them retain their language, values and culture. It is an insult to all of us they made to mimic/act a way of life for money. They are being made into monkeys that gypsies take around to act various roles! This is demeaning and debasing. This is no different to what happened to the ‘Native Americans’.

    Yes, I agree with you as to the quality of our leaders. Unfortunately, it is from amongst us that they emerge. They refelct our quality and our values as a people. We should demand better leadership. But we should first become a people with the values we demand from our leaders. Further, I also believe Mahinda Rajapakse is a leader who will represent the transition from what was bad to something better. This transition is taking place. It is an interesting phenomenon that is unfolding. We reached the very bottom as a nation at the end of the war and the upward journey has begun. The events of the past have also changed us as a people. It is period of the old ways , albeit slowly, giving way to the new. This process cannot take place overnight. It will take decades. But it is happening.

    I suppose one has to be some what mad to be brave. We Hindus believe that Lord Siva is a madman (‘Pithan’). As Steve Job had said we have to foolish to achieve anything. May be, we have to also have a touch of madness to reach out for a new/different future. There is no point in trying to figure me out. There is no complexity in me. I mean what I say, although it may sound off the beaten track.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  274. Diyasena,

    I have seen many claims that ‘Elu Sandas Lakuna’ and ‘Siyabaslakara’ are very old but nobody seems to have any details to prove this claim.

    If we take the Mahavamsa, we know exactly who wrote it and when it was written and many history scholars have accepted it but when it comes to the above nobody knows when exactly these were written and by whom. It may be older than Sidath Sangarawa but you are only assuming that it is 5-6 centuries older.

    Please remember that assumptions/hypothesis are not facts to come for a conclusion.

  275. i happened to read this article only today.i have seen eyam arivu it was a fantastic movie good entertainer i really loved it.though i doubt it is a real story or logically it makes any sense.as regards buddhism in tamil nadu it would have flourished as author says though i have knowledge only about jainism.mahendra pallava father of narasimha pallava who built mahabalipuram was a jain who got converted to hinduism after his interaction with one of the 63 nayanmars if i am right thirunavukkarasar.even now there are tamil jains though like how tamils and sinhalese identify wrongly buddhism with one language jainism in tamil nadu is wrongly identified with north indians since pawn brokers are plenty in tamil nadu(lol) and most of them are jains.buddhism and jainism is hard to flourislh or it is not possible to replace say a religion like hinduism becoz of its philosphy which are hard to follow in day to day life.whereas hinduism or christianity is easy to follow though sometimes hinduism may be considered to be too ritualistic.the reason why tamils consider buddhism belongs to sinhalese or they identify the religion with sinhalese is becoz sinhalese chauvinism is using buddhism as a mask without following any of the basic tenets of buddhism.sinhalese feel that buddhism provides a distinctive identity which other religions cannot offer.if sinhalese are going be identified say with christianity they become part of the global religion and their distinctiveness is extinguished.more than that christianity preaches brother hood and if tamil christian and sinhalese christian are going to go to a same church ethnic or linguistic identity takes a back seat whereas religion takes prominence.this will not satisfy a sinhalese craving for a separate identity.my personal view is that however heretic it may be sinhalese can be hardly called buddhist though for namesake they can be.buddha preached peace and demolition of social barriers sinhalese practice on the contrary.srilanka has witness violence since its independence buddhism and its teaching never averted the violence.buddha was basically against brahminical rituals and in fact our communist leader e.m.s.namboothripad rightly said that buddha was world first communist.but now in srilanka all sort of rituals are being followed.it has i believe an astrological channel which is anti these of buddhism.its political leaders often travel to south india to perform all sort of rituals.mahinda rajapakshe visited thirumala thirupathi it is not that he should not visit tirupathi but as a staunch believer in buddha he should not even visit buddha viharas because buddha eschewed the concept of idolatry.rajapakshes relatives regularly perform rituals on his behalf in tamil nadu temples.not only mahinda even ranil wickramasinghe does all these things which one can hardly call it buddhist.hence the fundamental problem is buddhism or rather a distorted buddhism is being followed unless some one rectifies it sinhalese society will always be in ferment and tamils will always be having a misconception that buddhism belongs only to sinhalese rather than to all ethnic groups.

  276. But the present day NAGA LAND is in the North-East India and those people dont match anything with Sri Lankans or Tamils but they look like Chinese!

    Are you telling those NAGAS came and established any Kingdom in Lanka or in Tamil nadu?

  277. But the treaty between Jaffna King and Portugeuse general was in Sinhala and Portugeuse Language. King Para Nirupa Sinha Muthali signed in Malayalam!

    Did not you see it?

  278. LTTE Veddha!

    Kalabras never lived in Caves. Their period is 1CE to 3 CE. No Tamil history available about hat period. It is known as DARK period of Thamizhakam.

    Now some anti-hindu idiots try to credit many Tamil poetic works to these unknown Jains. What is the history of the jains after all?

    Or at least the meaning of the word?

  279. Dushy Ranetunge

    The European Orientalist ‘scholars’ who translated and brought to light (or rather misinterpreted) the Sanskrit texts and Pali canon/chronicles never attempted to do the same to the ancient Tamil texts. Knowing very well that there was not only Indo-Aryan (Sanskrit and Pali) but also Dravidian (Tamil) influence in Sri Lanka, if only those orientalist and colonial ‘scholars’ such as Wilhelm Geiger and many others who mastered the Indo-Aryan languages/literature (Sanskrit and Pali) had also took some interest in learning the Dravidian language/literature and if they had understood the Old Tamil language/literature, their interpretation of the Sri Lankan history would have been totally different.

    Unfortunately in Sri Lanka, even today most of us are only following the history interpreted by those colonial and European Orientalists. Not only the Sinhalese scholars/Historians but even the Tamil scholars/Historians (a few decades ago) such as Mudaliyar C. Rasanayagarn (1926), Rev. S. Gnanapraksar O.M.I. (1917), Karthigesu Indrapala the PhD student (1965), and so on were also following the colonial/European Orientalist ‘scholars’.

    Even today we do not have proper language scholars, linguists and etymologists in Sri Lanka who have mastered Sanskrit, Pali, Elu, Sinhala and the Dravidian Languages (Old Tamil) to do a comprehensive research on the history, place names, and other ancient names in Sri Lanka. All what we are doing is simply assuming, speculating, and trying to modify the names so that it fits our agenda and then coming to wrong conclusions.

  280. M.Sivananthan

     “Present day NAGA LAND is in the North-East India, are you telling those NAGAS came and established any Kingdom in Lanka or in Tamil nadu?” 

    What has Present day NAGA LAND of North-East India got to do with the ancient Nagadipa, Nagapattinam, Nagakovil, etc of Sri Lanka and South India???  

    The Mahavamsa and most of the Sangam literature talks of ancient NAGAS of Nagadipa (Jaffna) and about the Nagas who lived in South India (Nagapattinam, Nagakovil, etc), the Nagas whom Lord Buddha came and met at Nagadipa and so many Nagas mentioned in the Mahavamsa and all those Naga poets mentioned in the Sangam literature were all from South India and Sri Lanka. 

    Are you saying that they came from NAGA LAND of North-East India??? This is something new, M.Sivananthan’s discovery.  

    Then why today none of the Sri Lankans look like the Chinese (NAGA LAND of North-East Indians)??? What happened to the rest of the Nagas from ancient South India and Sri Lanka??? Did they perish??? Or did they migrate from South India and Sri Lanka to NAGA LAND is in the North-East India???
    Only M. Sivananthan knows.  

  281. M.Sivananthan

    “But the treaty between Jaffna King and Portugeuse general was in Sinhala and Portugeuse Language.”

    YES, according to one and only Portuguese writer Rev Fernao De Queyroz but nobody has ever seen this document, it is not preserved.

    “King Para Nirupa Sinha Muthali signed in Malayalam!”

    Who is this king and where and when did he sign in Malayalam??? Is there any record for this or have anybody mentioned about this anywhere???

  282. M.Sivananthan 

    Only the Buddhist monks from the Chola maha-Sangam were Theravada Buddhists who also contributed to the Theravada Buddhist scriptures TriPitika. 

    On the other hand, the Pallavas were Mahayana Buddhists (Bodi-dharma) and Jains (Mahavira). Most of the Tamils were following Jainism more than Buddhism. Thiru-kural is pure Jainism (Aadhi Bagawan).
    You seem to be totally ignorant about Jainism. For your information, both Buddha and Mahavira statues look identical, only difference is Mahavira has a dot on his forehead and Buddha does not have any.

  283. I am touched by the comments of reader Mudiyanse (Dec 01) of Ananda College and its Tamil teachers. That was true until recent times. My close family friend the late Mr C.M. Weeraratne – the famed Maths teacher of Ananda College used to speak highly of his Tamil colleagues and of their loss. But the culture in the country changed the equation and
    Anandians fell prey to that form of suspect Nationalism-Patriotism which we are trying to rid us of. It is with regret
    I state during the 7/83 pogrom students from Ananda College joined the looters in Borella and Punch Borella (particularly around the General Hospital area) burning and destroying many bungalows. They were of the mistaken belief they were doing their duty to their race, religion and motherland by harming the Tamils then. Mr Weeraratne cried when he related this to me.

    Let us hope this ugly part of our history is not repeated again.


  284. tirupathi temple/ kerala iyappa temple/puri jaganatha temple in orisa/amaravathi temple in andhra are buddhist temples.2nd to 7th century buddhism was flourishing under kalabra rulers.vishnavas just took buddhism and converted to hindusim.todays low caste (dalits) are buddhist.at the time of kalabaras they were influntial people after 7th century everything changed.

  285. Tamil,

    A religion will flourish with full support of royals or of the state.

    Emperor Asoka reign ensured the spread of Buddhism throughout the India, Sri Lanka and beyond.

    Later Saivasim spread in South India and North and East of Sri Lanka with Emperor Raaja Raaja Cholan. Since he was a Tamil, the Tamils in the N & E of Sri Lanka and also of his kingdom converted back to Saivasim. In his reign the saivasim spread throughout Bali, Java of the Indonesia.

    Buddhism was amalgamated within Hinduism in India BY A CLEAR ATTEMPT OF identifying Buddha as the 9th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. As you indicated all the Buddhist temples were identified as Vaishnava temples later.

    In Cambodia, the world largest Hindu Temple, the Angkor wat saw the opposite. This temple of Lord Vishnu is now been used as a Buddha temple using the same argument as the 9th incarnation….

    Apart from this the Buddhsim is flourishing in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Burma and various other countries.

    The three of the five great Tamil epics are composed by Tamil Buddhists. (valaiyapathy, kundalakesi, manimehalai, silapathikaram and seevaka sinthamani). It suggests that Tamils were Buddhists for long before conversion.

    It also be noted that during the Portuguese period the Hindu religious practices were banned completely and allowed again by the Dutch in their final years to get the local’s support against the invading attempts of the British. With the beginning of the British rule, the Tamils in Jaffna peninsula were influenced by the work of the Sr Arumuga Navalar moved more closer to Saivaism.

  286. Dear Jeyaraj,


    This is another proof that Tamil monks were responsible for spread of Theravada Buddhism in Thailand and surrounding countries.


    Thank you

    I have copied&pasted text of Hindu news item you sent here

    Tamil-Brahmi inscription on pottery found in Thailand

    The presence of the characteristic letterRaconfirms that the language is Tamil

    IMPORTANT FIND: Pottery inscription in Tamil-Brahmi found in Thailand by a Thai-French team of archaeologists.

    A unique Tamil-Brahmi Inscription on pottery of the second century AD has recently been excavated in Thailand.

    A Thai-French team of archaeologists, led by Dr. Bérénice Bellina of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France, and Praon Silpanth, Lecturer, Silpakorn University, Thailand, has discovered a sherd of inscribed pottery during their current excavations at Phu Khao Thong in Thailand.

    At the request of the archaeologists, Iravatham Mahadevan, an expert in Tamil Epigraphy, has examined the inscription. He has confirmed that the pottery inscription is in Tamil and written in Tamil-Brahmi characters of about the second century AD. Only three letters have survived on the pottery fragment. They read tu Ra o… , possibly part of the Tamil word turavon meaning `monk.’

    The presence of the characteristic letter Ra confirms that the language is Tamil and the script is Tamil-Brahmi. It is possible that the inscription recorded the name of a Buddhist monk who travelled to Thailand from Tamil Nadu. This is the earliest Tamil inscription found so far in South East Asia and attests to the maritime contacts of the Tamils with the Far East even in the early centuries AD.

    Prof. Richard Salomon of the University of Washington, U.S., an expert in Indian Epigraphy, has made the following comment on the inscription:

    “I am happy to hear that the inscription in question is in fact Tamil-Brahmi, as I had suspected. This is important, among other reasons, because it presents a parallel with the situation with Indian inscriptions in Egypt and the Red Sea area. There we find both Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions and standard-Brahmi insciptions; and we now see the same in Vietnam and South-East Asia. This indicates that the overseas trade between India to both the West and the East involved people from the Tamil country and also other regions.”

    Iravatham Mahadevan adds: “Already we know of the existence of a touchstone engraved in Tamil in the Tamil-Brahmi script of about the third or fourth century AD found in Thailand and presently kept in a museum in the ancient port city of Khuan Luk Pat in Southern Thailand. There is every hope that the ongoing excavations of the Thai-French team will bring up more evidence of ancient contacts between India and Thailand.”

  287. It’s not “something else”. It’s the actual text of the Kandyan convention, which was written in English and Sinhalese (quite a surprise considering “Tamil was the official language”, no?). Or did you think the “Kandyan convention”was just a page with a few signatures on it?

  288. From the above findings and from the story of story of Bodidharma it is evident that Buddhism was spread to the Far East from the ancient Tamil country in South India.

    As per the above article, according to Dr. Hikosaka, contrary to the general impression, Buddhism might have gone to Sri Lanka from Tamil country (South India) by sea-route, a route by which one can reach Sri Lanka easily.

    In other words, Emperor Asoka’s Buddhist missionary must have spread Buddhism to Sri Lanka from the Tamil country in South India. It is clear that the monk author who wrote the Mahavamsa had a different agenda. Right from the beginning, the Sinhala biased archeological researchers in Sri Lanka manipulated their findings only to prove that the Mahavamsa is true.

    The actual truth was never revealed to the people of Sri Lanka.

  289. On the basis of the Mahavamsa legend, the present day Sinhalese claim that they are the first settlers and are of Aryan origin. The foremost propagandist of the Sinhala Buddhist `revival`, Anagarika Dharmapala, wrote in 1902 on the origin of the Sinhalese:

    Two thousand four hundred and forty six years ago a colony of Aryans from the city of Sinhapura in North India sailed in a vessel in search of fresh pastures . The descendants of the Aryan colonists were called Sinhala after their city Sinhapura, which was founded by Sinhabahu the lion armed king. The lion armed descendants are the present Sinhalese.

    The chronicles introduce the mythical Vijaya and his men as the first settlers and proceed to misrepresent the Tamil Naga and Yaksha people as non humans of prehistoric times. The former are described as `snakes` and the latter as `demons`. But it is an undeniable fact that, in the proto historic period of the island to (c.1000-100 BC), there were two Naga kingdoms, one in the north called Naga Tivu in Tamil, and called Naga Dipa in the Indian Sanskrit works, and the other in the south west, in Kelaniya.

    According to tradition, the Tamils of India and Sri Lanka are the lineal descendants of the Naga and Yaksha people. The aboriginal Nagas, called Nakar in Tamil had the cobra (Nakam in Tamil) as their totem. The Hindu Tamils, to this day, continue to worship the cobra as a Naga Thambiran subordinate deity in the Hindu pantheon and there are many temples for the cobra deity all over North Sri Lanka.

    Equally, the Yakshas were not demons but worshippers of demons, as shown by the still prevalent practice among the Hindu Tamils of propitiating the demons, which arose out of primitive fear and belief in the destructive power of demons.

    Ptolemy describes the Yaksha people:
    `The ears of both men and women are very large, in which they wear earrings ornamented with precious stones.`

    The wearing of ear rings by both men and women is a custom still extant among the Tamils in the villages of north Sri Lanka and in south India, and the poor, unable to purchase gold ear rings, wear rolled palmyrah leaves instead.

    That the ancestors of the present day Tamils were the original inhabitants of Lanka is well brought out by the historian Harry Williams:

    `Naga Dipa in the north of Sri Lanka was an actual kingdom known to historians` and `the people who occupied it were all part of an immigrant tribe from South India Tamil people called Nagars`.

    Another writer states: `
    . . . long before the coming of the Sinhalese there would have been long periods when the island was inhabited by the ancestors of the present Tamil community`.

    Ptolemy refers to Naga kingdoms on the Coromandel coast, and towns with toponyms like NAGAR KOVIL (Jaffna) and NAGA PATINAM (Tamil Nadu), appearing from the earliest times, confirm that Naga people of the same origin occupied the Tamil areas of South India and Sri Lanka. The latter may have migrated from South India in early times, when Sri Lanka was certainly joined to mainland India through the shallow ridge of sandbanks called Adam`s (or Rama`s) Bridge in the Gulf of Mannar.

    How, then, does one explain the emergence of the Sinhalese as an ethnic entity in the island? In the 3rd Century BC (the date usually assigned is 247 BC), Buddhism was introduced into the island by missionaries led by Bikkhu (Buddhist monk) Mahinda, possibly the son of Asoka, the great Emperor of India (c 273 – 232 BC), who became converted to Buddhism and was determined to spread the religion far and wide.

    Tissa, the Naga king of Lanka at that time, accepted the missionaries from Asoka and became converted to Buddhism. Since, in those days, the religion of the ruler became the religion of the people, and because Hinduism has always been infinitely flexible and little given to rigorous dogma, Buddhism, being an offshoot of Hinduism, spread fast in the island.

    In the course of time, the Sinhalese language as well as the alphabet and the script grew from the Pali language. With the spread of Buddhism and the growth of the Prakritic Sinhalese language, there occurred a religio linguistic division of the people into those who remained Hindu and the emergent Buddhists speaking the Sinhalese language. This development can be inferred from a number of Sinhalese Buddhist features in Sri Lanka. Firstly, there is no evidence whatsoever of the Sinhalese as a people, or of Sinhala as a language, before the introduction of Buddhism in 247 BC. The earliest cave inscriptions are in the same Brahmic script as the famous Rock Edicts of Asoka in western India. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states:

    The earliest surviving specimens of the (Sinhalese) language are brief inscriptions on rock, in Brahmi letters, of which the earliest date from c 200 BC. The language of these inscriptions does not appear to be greatly different from the other Indian Prakrits (i.e. chronologically Middle Indo Aryan languages) of the time.

    Actually it is the first Asokan Brahmi inscription (not Sinhala) dated c 200 BC after the arrival of Bikkhu Mahinda who introduced Buddhism, Pali and Asokan Brahmi to the Island.
    (If it weren’t for the introduction of the above, today the entire population of Sri Lanka would be speaking Tamil.)

    Secondly, the Sinhalese Buddhists, in the practice of Buddhism, have not quite succeeded in freeing themselves from their Hindu past. They continue to worship the Hindu deities, although Buddha revolted against the worship of gods and Buddhism opposes idol worship.

    Thirdly, the caste system, the central feature of Hindu society, prevails among the Sinhalese Buddhists, although Buddhism is opposed to caste. This again is a vestige of the Hindu past.

    These, taken together with the historical and archaeological data outlined earlier, lead one to the irresistible conclusion that Sinhalese emerged as a result of the ascriptive cleavage consequent upon the spread of Buddhism in the Pali language.
    The Sinhalese, then, in terms of their origin, are not an Aryan people as popularly claimed, but Tamil people who adopted a language which developed from Pali, an Aryan dialect.

    Even the pioneer Sri Lanka historian Dr G.C. Mendis, although he uncritically accepted the Vijaya legend of the chronicles, was left in doubt about its validity and observed:

    ‘ . . . it is not possible to state whether they (the Sinhalese) were Aryan by blood or whether they were a non Aryan people who had adopted an Aryan dialect as their language’.

    Equally, Dr S. Paranavitana, the former Archaeological Commissioner, stated:
    ‘Thus the vast majority of the people who today speak Sinhalese or Tamil must ultimately be descended from those autochthonous people of whom we know next to nothing.”

  290. Dear Diyasena, as late as this month pottery artefacts belonging to pre-historic period has been accidentally discovered when digging for construction is Sastri-koodankulam in nothern vanni. These are similar to the pottery artefacts of pre-historic period discovered in South India. The people who found it informed the GA who asked the professor of archeology in Jaffna University to take charge of it. This goes to prove my point. Either you are ignorant or a racist to deny the existence of a dravidian pre historic civilisation in the North.

  291. The Cholas, Pandyans and Cheras are the descendents of the ancient South Indian tribes, Nagas, Yakshas, Rakshas and Asuras mentioned in the Ramayana. The Pallavas and Nayakkars are the decedents (off-shoot) of Cholas and Pandyans. They all took fair skinned princess from North India as their wives.

    In Sri Lanka, right from the Pandyan king Pandu Vasudeva to the last Nayakkar king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, they all belong to the above dynasties from South India. The North Indian Vijaya was purely a myth (never existed). All the kings in Sri Lanka were either Nagas, Pandyans, Cholas or their off shoot Pallavas and Nayakkars.

  292. Diyasena and M.Sivananthan,

    It’s what the Portuguses writer Fernão de Queiros has written in his ‘Temporal and Spiritual conquest of Ceylon’. It’s in page 371; the one and only source which refers to this pact as follows:

    “These terms [written] in the Portuguese and the Chingala languages, were signed and authenticated and the Prince was handed over and sent in a ship with the Modeliar in good custody…..”

    According to Temporal and Spiritual conquest of Ceylon, the King of Jaffna promises under this pact to pay the Portuguese a tribute;

    “That the King of Jafanapatao shall remain in his Kingdom as before, swearing according to his rites, vassalage to the King of Portugal with a tribute of 12’ tuskers and 1,200 patacas:…”

    In pages 24, 25, 26, 27 of his book ‘Jaffna under the Portuguese’ Professor Tikiri Abeyasinghe categorises the frequent references in Fernão de Queiros work to Chingalas in Jaffna as errors. (Which they must be because the way Queiros tells it, there are Chingalas under every bush and in every culvert in 16th Century Jaffna, which simply could not have been.)

    Fernao de Queiros uses the word Chingalaz almost as a substitute for Jaffnese; that is even when the word demanded by the context obviously is ‘Jaffnese’, he uses ‘Chingalaz’

    “… but when they saw the course (of the ships) they posted men on the way as best as they could and the Prince of Jafanapatao instructed a Chingala and he came to have speech with the Viceroy and…”

    In fact when Fernao de Queiros needs a common noun for an ordinary joe in Jaffna, he uses..you guessed it ‘the Chingala’. Thus when a Portuguese reinforcement arrives to rescue some besieged Portuguese, the Jaffna King sends to them with his message, the bearer of which is …

    “Upon this message D. Antonio halted keeping the Chingala and sent word to D. Constantino de Braganca, who getting rid of the other people who were with him. Came to Nelur in a manchua by a different route and communicating with the Captains of the relieving force, he ordered them to reinforce the praca, the next dawn breaking through the Enemy, and to send (to the King) that evening by one of the prisoners the head of that Chingala hostage with this message…”

    The problem is compounded by the fact that, even when the context demands classification of peoples along ethnographic lines, Queiros uses the word chingalaz;

    “…the Prince who was superintending the war had arranged to attack the Portuguese with 6000 men divided into eight parties, and that the King had remained in the fortalice relying on the promises of the Chingalaz, Badagaz and Moors who served him, and…”

    Then too, sometimes Queiros uses words in such ways that its easy for him to pronounce (in Portuguese):

    “That he Xaga Raja Xagara Pandara was not to blame for this prelim which took place, but a Captain of his, whom he had imprisoned for so great a crime; …

    Now, let us also note what the other Portuguese officials had said about the people of Jaffna (the nature and character of the Jaffnese, at the time of the Portuguese advent). The defence arrangements the Portuguese made for Jaffna were greatly influenced by the assessment made by the leading Portuguese officials in that kingdom on the nature and character of the native inhabitants of Jaffna.

    Oliveira considered the Jaffna man as generally passive or weak (fraco). His successor as captain-major, Lancarote de Seixas, came to the same conclusion: he found the Jaffna man “quiet and mild, without any military training” and therefore unlikely to rebel unless instigated by outsiders. To them, the post-conquest history of Jaffna bore this out clearly. Luis de Freitas de Macedo, with many years of experience in Jaffna, came to a similar conclusion about the Jaffna man’s nature, as did the chronicler Fernāo de Queiros, basing himself on the observations of those who knew Jaffna well. The result of this assessment was that in Jaffna fortification was begun later, proceeded more slowly, and when it was completed, Jaffna, for its population and area, had fewer forts than was the case in the southern territories the Portuguese held in the island.

    However, one thing is certain, no matter what contextual provenance applies to the word Chingalaz as used by Queiros for the Jaffnese; those Chingalaz in Jaffna was temperamentally different to the Chingalaz of the rest of the country:

    “The relative passivity with which Jaffna accepted foreign rule stands in strong contrast to the strength and frequency of resistance movements in the south. Jaffna rose against the Portuguese on three occasions, two of them within the first two years of their occupation. On each occasion, it was the arrival of foreign troops from Tanjore or from Kandy- that acted as a catalyst for rebellion. After 1629, for thirty years, Jaffna accepted foreign rule without demur”

    Now, coming to the signing of the pact between the King of Jaffna and the Pottuguese;

    Queiros writes ‘These terms (written) in the Portuguese and the Chingala languages, were signed and authenticated’, he is not utilizing his linguistic deciphering skills; but rather describing the event (the pact) in ‘our language-their language’ terms, and their language had been set to Chingala by default, because that was Queiros’ perception.

    Queiros could have been calling a Tamil speaking Jaffnese a Chingala. How likely it is that Queiros would make so fundamental an error as this? He was a Jesuit chronicler. The penetration of the Portuguese into Jaffna through their Jesuit, Franciscan and Dominican missionary arm predates that of the political, was more extensive and necessarily involved closer human contact. What if Queiros was not making an error, but using a different style of terminology, a different conceptualisation of the word Chingala, which should have been obvious but isn’t, because most people are too dichotomy obsessed? The likelihood that just possibly Queiros (or the Lisbon authorities or the Count of Vidigueira for that matter), may not have been committing an error, but using the word Chingalaz in a more extended and encompassing sense.

    And if you still have any doubts after all this evidence, let me quote one more paragraph to show that the ‘Chingalaz’ in Jaffna spoke Tamil.

    “Perhaps because the Catholic clergy in Jaffna had no income from cultivation to supplement their allowances, they resorted to levying contributions on their flocks on a scale unparalleled in the south. The first complaints against the practice are heard in the early 1630s and by 1645 these had reached such proportions that the viceroy Dom Phelippe Mascarenhas had to appoint a commission headed by Francisco de Seixas de Cabreira, the captain major, to inquire into these complaints. About 40 witnesses, both Jaffnese as well as Portuguese, all of them in responsible positions, appeared before the commission and their testimony read like a litany of grievances against the Jaffna clergy………….The original record of the inquiry, running into over 125 pages with the signatures of the Tamil deponents in their own language, is well preserved and is a remarkable document, unique in its kind. Reading through the document, one is driven to the conclusion that while the revenue authorities, relying on the low-boiling point of the Jaffna man, went on increasing the taxes that he had to pay, the clergy too did likewise.”

    Unlike Fernão de Queiros, we are insiders and don’t have to be content with that default setting. Our inside information should warn us against accepting default settings when it comes to linguistic matters in medieval Sri Lanka. The many instances when the State communicated in Tamil, are too well known to need citations, and as for communications from Jaffna, the inscription in Kotagama in Kegalla District, which ‘is almost its (Jaffna Kingdom’s) only surviving relic’ (Chapter 5, Codrington’s Short history of Ceylon) is in Tamil.

  293. Dear Mr ISS thanks for the comments. Intending no offence to you, when we take the history of bills passed, the way estate Tamils have been treated say since 1948 by successive govts , the way the sacred premises of The Jaffna Library was torched under the instigation of certain so called educated politicians who attended Kandy, Colombo 7 and Mt Lavinia Schools ( when there was proof from many sources – including a statement of a President), when insurrections were jointly organized by rich individuals who attended so called “high class society’s schools” are you in a position to blame the schools that they attended ? In Maradana, when I was in the White Park Courts in 1977 as well as in 1983 after the riots there were many offenders produced before the Magistrate who were also Tamils and Muslims who had been looting and causing damage to property side by side with the Sinhalese. I think it is not the school, but other elements that push them to doing that.
    I hope I am not being disrespectful when I state the above. Thanks.

  294. Wije,

    If you happen to go towards Eastern province (Batticaloa area) you will come across many people with Sinhalese names such as Bandara, Liyanage, and so on practising both Hinduism and Buddhism and speaking the Tamil language. I had a batch mate from Batticaloa (Karatheevu) with a Sinhalese name speaking Tamil. The biggest joke was, he could only speak a very few broken Sinhala words, and there are many similar families in Batticaloa area.

  295. M. Sivananthan and others,

    Not only the Indians but even the Sri Lankan Tamils gave up Buddhism and accepted Hinduism. For them to go back to Buddhism, has 2500 years of Buddhism in Sri Lanka (the so called Dhammadveepa) influenced any major changes in the Sinhala society (the so called guardians of Buddhism chosen by none other than the Buddha) in terms of attitude, character, behavior, morality and so on or has it failed miserably? Are the Buddhist monks practicing Ahimsa (non-violence), Karuna (compassion), Metta (affection), and Maithriya (loving-kindness) towards fellow humans (irrespective of race/religion) or are they in the name of Buddhism promoting ethno-religious chauvinism and hatred?

    Buddhist monks are supposed to have given up all the worldly things (Materialism), but in Sri Lanka, it’s a different story, the Sinhala-Buddhist Monks Corrupt to the Core.
    These so called Sinhala-Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka do business, handle money, have Bank accounts and apply for Bank loans. They even sell the ata pirika (robes and other stuff) that the people donate them to earn money. Some of them are even employed. They engage in gambling, buy and sell shares, buy instant lottery tickets and so on. See the number of Pin-keta (tills) in the Buddhist temples. What they do with all those money they collect? Most of the culprits caught in printing fake currency notes were found to be Sinhala-Buddhists monks. They make money by selling the Car permits given to them They print, record and sell books, magazines and Bana/pirith cassettes, CDs, etc. and earn thousands of rupees in hours. Buddha Business has made the Sinhala Buddhist monks very rich. They own bungalows and real estates, and have luxury cars and vans, employing drivers. Very soon they will also apply for driving license. They also have the latest mobile phones. They do not go from house to house with the begging bowl as instructed by the Buddha, instead the villages bring food to the temple and also the Sinhala Buddhist monks employ cooks in the temple. We have also seen Sinhala Buddhist monks selling posters, begging for money, going from door to door asking money. Buddhist-monk led politicians wheeling and dealing in imported Mercedes Benz and being caught with the pants down illegally selling tax-free motor vehicles.

    They grow hair and make themselves attractive, adopting customs, habits and lifestyles like normal people, have secret love affairs, some of them live in boarding houses instead of temples, they listen to music and watch movies and have illegal sex with women or young boys. They keep mistresses in the temple (Buddhrakitha Thero and Ms. Vimala Wijewardene), and even take part in terrorist activities such as assassinating Prime minister (Somarama thero). Some of them drink alcohol, I have heard about monks who even keep Beer in their fridge. Some of them even form trade unions/associations; there was a time when the leader of the Nurses trade union in Sri Lanka was a Sinhala-Buddhist monk.

    Some of them perform false miracles and pretend to heal sick people with pirith water. They tie pirith thread and bless people expecting the people to fall on their legs and worship them. Some of them preach their own Bana instead of Buddha`s Bana.

    The Sinhala Buddhist monks were War mongers, they support and encourage war and take part in racist politics criticizing and condemning all other religions and races and creating communal hatred among Sinhala Buddhists and others. They take part in protest rallies, burning flags and effigies and also engage in fast unto death. Buddhist monks shredded their robes to take AK-47s and earn more respect. We saw how monks were involved in brawl in the parliament with blood soaked faces.

    Another new trend is the love for eating non-veg food (Meat and fish) among Sinhala-Buddhists monks. A new school seems to see nothing wrong in Buddhists eating animal flesh (including fish). An article by Ven. Dr. Vilegoda Ariyadeva thero, a former University of Ruhuna academic is a giant step toward guilt-free `Buddhism-friendly` meat eating. Dr. Ariyadeva thero claims meat eating is customary in Theravada Buddhist societies. Now a days, when the Sinhala-Buddhists monks visit houses for Arms-giving (Daane) they expect expensive sea food and sometimes meat too. There are also Sinhala-Buddhists monks in Sri Lanka consuming food/drink in the afternoons/night even though they are not supposed to do so.

    Even though Buddhism does not have any caste system, caste is used among Sinhala Buddhist monks more than lay people. Different nikayas are formed according to the caste.

    Speaking during the debate on the committee stage Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs Ministry, UNP MP for the Kurunegala district Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said as many as 728 Buddhist monks who obtained higher ordination had disrobed themselves last year posing a threat to the existence of Buddha Sasana.

    Most of the Sinhala Buddhist Monks do not even follow the 5 basic moral principles (Pancha sila) what Buddha has preached. These monks are a damn disgrace to Buddhism?

    The Buddhism preached by the Sinhala Buddhist monks is no longer able to provide any vision or guidance or constructive power but are only occupied in maintaining their own petty positions in an already atrophied hierarchy resting on a utterly disillusioned and rapidly crumbling society from which the spirit has long since departed. They have subordinated the interests of the society to national goals and the narrow ambitions of nationalist and racist leaders.

  296. Puma,

    Anagarika Dharmapala (Don David Hewavitarane) was one of the primary contributors to the Sinhala-Buddhist Nationalism and racism in Sri Lanka. His Sinhala-Buddhist ideology sometimes shows close relationships to Hitler’s Nazism. Like Hitler, Dharmapala believed that Sinhalese are a pure Aryan race with unmixed blood. He claimed that Sinhalese women must take care not to mix with the minority races of the country.

    He once said,
    “This bright, beautiful island was made into a Paradise by the Aryan Sinhalese before its destruction was brought about by the barbaric vandals. Its people did not know irreligion… Christianity and polytheism [i.e. Hinduism] are responsible for the vulgar practices of killing animals, stealing, prostitution, licentiousness, lying and drunkenness”.

    He also said,
    “The Muslims, an alien people, by shylockian methods become prosperous like Jews. The Sinhala sons of the soil, whose ancestors for 2358 years had shed rivers of blood to keep the country free of alien invaders, are in the eyes of the British only vagabonds. The Alien South Indian Moors come to Ceylon, sees the neglected villager, without any experience in trade and the result is that the Muslim thrives and the sons of the soil go to the wall.”

    On the other hand, G. G. Ponnambalam in his 1939 Nawalapitiya address said that the Sinhalese are a ‘hybrid mongrel race (‘thuppahi’) split from the aboriginal Tamils and mixed with Aryan invaders’. This was the spark that ignited the first Sinhala-Tamil riot in Sri Lanka in 1939. While the clashes spread to many towns, the British were quick to put it down unhesitatingly. (Reported in full in the newspaper, Hindu Organ, November 1, 1939).

    It was then that S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike saw an opportunity, and went to every one of the cities touched by the riots, and established branches of the Sinhala Maha Sabha (see The Hindu Organ, June 19, 1939). It was in this extremely heated atmosphere that G. G. Ponnambalam developed his fifty-fifty solution as a means of safeguarding the position of the Tamils.

    What was happening in Sri Lanka during the early 20th century was a pale shade of the racist ideologies of Hitler fanning Europe at the time. We inherited the racist ideologies as well as the Marxist ideologies planted into Sri Lanka in the early 20th century, and grappled with three insurrections arising from them, those of the JVP (twice) and the LTTE.

  297. Sir, I recently read a book titled Boudhamum thamizhum (budhism and tamil, by mylai seeni venkatasamy).

    I came to know from him and also from other sources that the preferred language of the Budhism was Pali. There were many Tamil Budhists who wrote their works in Pali.

    The Jaffna or a place nearby Jaffna is called the Manipallavam and it was having lot of Budhist influence.

    That influence was that of the Tamil Budhsits. That is the reason that the place names of the North and East appear to be Pali/Sinhalese etc.

    Actually those places were occupied by the tamil Budhists.

    This could be the plausible reason.

  298. Prophet Mohamed spoke Arabic and therefore Arabic is considered as the sacred language of the Muslims. Sanskrit is the sacred language of the Hindus. Similarly, because the Buddha spoke in Prakrit/Pali, it is considered to be the sacred languages of the Buddhists.

    It is a well-known fact that even Tamil Buddhist monks of South India used Pali languages in preference to Tamil in their writings. During that time, some of the Pallava Kings were Buddhists; they may have spoken the Pali language just like the Buddhist Naga kings of Sri Lanka who also spoke Pali.

    I cannot understand why Ven. Mahanama wrote the Mahavamsa in the Pali language instead of Sinhala language. Not only then but even today the Sinhalese cannot read/understand Pali. The usage of Pali in everything is not due to Sinhala or Tamil but due to Buddhism.

  299. Ravishankar

    ‘The Buddha himself wrote nothing, and none of his teaching was written down for at least four hundred years after his death. We therefore do not know what the Buddha taught, any more than we know what Jesus taught and today at least four schools, with sub-division in each, proclaim their own view as to what is Buddhism’.

    The disappearance of original teachings and practices of Buddha are almost complete today, for the Buddhists are sunk in superstitions, idol worship and religious rituals which were condemned and discarded by Buddha. Original Buddhism has changed colors completely.

    H.G. Wells (An Outline of History Page 392) has described this in a very terse language. ‘Gautama’s disciples have cared more for the preservation of his tree than of his thought, which from the first they distorted and misconceived (the Bo tree which helped him to rest his back, while achieved ‘enlightenment’, still exists and with a sapling from the original tree planted in Sri Lanka, the Sri Maha Bodi in Anuradapura , venerated and worshipped excessively)’.

    Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment at the age of thirty-five. From then until he died forty-five years later, he devoted his entire life to preaching his ethical doctrines. Yet he never paid any attention to the vitally important task of recording his message in a permanent written form.

    The Scriptures of Buddhism are numerous and mutually conflicting. Buddhism employed, in the main, two languages for recording scriptures. In the Pali language are recorded the scriptures of the Hinayana sect, in the Sanskrit language those of the Mahayana sect. Both these sets of scriptures oppose each other. This makes a Hinayana – Mahayana reconciliation next to impossible. Both these languages, Pali and Sanskrit, are now virtually dead or survive only as literary curiosities.

    The most striking and undisputable statement about the authenticity of the Buddhist scriptures is by Chief Monk Akuratiye Amarawansa, Chancellor of the Vidyodaya Buddhist Pirivena, Maligakanda, Colombo Scholar of the Tripitaka and Chief Monk of Southern Sri Lanka. In his preface to the Sinhala translation of Deega Nikaya, he has expressed the following:

    ‘The Deega Nikaya that we see today cannot be assuredly said to be the same one that was presented to the first reform council (Dharma Sangayana). Many reform councils were held subsequently and these Nikayas and divisions would have been subjected to many changes. Therefore, the most acceptable view would be that the present Deega Nikaya is a collection of sutras subjected to changes, additions and deletions taken place after the first reform council.’

    The above statement deals lengthily about the amendments, additions and deletions of the sacred scriptures of Buddhism done after Buddha. Another striking point is the extraordinary differences in the chronology of Buddha’s appearance adopted by the various nations that have embraced his faith. This difference amounts to nearly two thousand years. The Chinese have the following dates for this event: B.C., 640, 767, 949, 1045 and 1130. From the Tibetan books, fourteen different dates have been collected by the learned Hungarian, Cosma de Korosi: B.C., 546, 576, 653, 752, 837, 880, 882, 884, 1060, 1310, 2135, 2139, 2144 and 2422. The Japanese date is about B.C. 1000. Fa Hian, a Chinese traveler who visited Sri Lanka in C.E. 410, says that ten days before the middle of the third moon, the King of this island was accustomed to send a preacher to proclaim the austerities and mortifications of Buddha, at the conclusion of which he declared: ‘Since his parinirvana (death) 1497 years have elapsed’, which would make the death of Buddha to be in the year B.C. 1087 (Laidlay’s Pilgrimage of Fa Hian). Hiun Thsang, another Chinese pilgrim, who wrote in C.E. 640, after his return from India, says that the accounts differ about Buddha’s death, it being fixed at 900, 1000, 1200, 1300 and 1500 years before his time.

    The Mahavansa (chronology of Sri Lanka) fixes the same date for the death of Buddha and the landing of Vijaya in Sri Lanka but this date, B.C. 543, is never found in the sacred chronology of Buddhism, before it was borrowed from the chronology of Sri Lanka (Max Muller: Ancient Sanskrit Literature).

    Dr. Edward Conze, in his book, ‘Buddhism, Its Essence and Development’ remarks: ‘Buddhism is a body of traditions in which few names stand out, and in which fewer dates are precisely known. It is indeed most exasperating when we try to apply our current ideas of historical criticism. Langlois and Seignobos in their textbook of historical method, state that a document whose author, date and sources from which it has come cannot be determined, is just good for nothing’. Dr. Conze goes on to remark sadly: ‘Alas, that is the case with most of the documents on which we build a history of Buddhism’.

  300. The ancient Tamils were Buddhists and 3 out of 5 Tamil Epics were Buddhist literatures, thousands of Tamils in Tamil Nadu are converting to Buddhism every day, but to the Sri Lankan Tamils, the Buddha statues have become a symbol of Sinhala hegemony, racism, hatred, riots, rape, HSZ, land grab, colonialism and military atrocities. Who is responsible for this?

    The Tamils have always been venerating saints of all religions, but who made the Sri Lankan Tamils to fear the peaceful Buddha Statue? The blame lies squarely on the Sinhala Buddhist chauvinistic Nazis of Sri Lanka.

    Buddha preached non-violence not only in regard to living things but also in regard to non- living things like trees and forests, but what do we see today in practice in Sri Lanka?
    Today the very Buddha`s statue has become the symbol of Sinhalese hegemony. Unauthorized Buddha`s statues are planted in unholy places to make claim to the Tamils homes and lands! This is the stark reality and Tamils have no other choice but to face this menace squarely.

    Buddha in his life time taught the virtues of non-violence, tolerance and understanding. Violence in any form, under any circumstances whatsoever, is absolutely against the teachings of Buddha.

    The Buddha statues are used as a tool for ethnic cleansing. In every case of statue installation the modus-operandi is very similar. First, a Buddha`s statue is installed which then followed by Buddhist monk (s) taking residence nearby.

    Since the monks need the support of lay Sinhalese for their survival, illegal Sinhala Thugs are brought in from the south to form a new colony. The GA, Police and army ably aid and abet such illegal settlements.

    Along with politicians, saffron-robed Ayatollahs and Baby Brigades of Buddhist monks are in the front-line of all illegal colonization in the Northeast. They have personally led hordes of illegal Sinhalese to settle in the historic habitation of the Tamil speaking people.

    It is obvious to anyone with some common sense that a Buddha`s statue near a fish-market is not meant for worship or veneration by Buddhists. If that is the case, it will be a supreme insult to Buddha himself!

    For decades Sinhalese-Buddhist extremist organizations have been active in fanning the flames of communalism. It is suspected the current statues planting spree is a forerunner for re-commencing large scale state-aided Sinhalese colonization that has been going on without halt since the early days of independence.

    In the past Buddhist temples and statues have been erected in villages predominantly occupied by Hindu Tamils. Ruins of Buddhist viharas were rebuilt and/or renovated followed by moving Sinhalese colonists to occupy such villages. Such BUDDHIST RUINES BELONGED TO TAMIL BUDDHISTS and NOT SINHALA BUDDHISTS. It is a well known fact that from the 3rd century BC to 11th century AD (before the Chola invasion) a large percentage of Tamils professed Buddhism.

    The deliberate, but random erection of such Buddha`s statues is only the symptom. The disease is the single point agenda of every Sinhalese government to colonize the Eastern and Northern provinces by Sinhalese. It is done to make the Tamils a minority and to negate the Tamil homeland demand. Resorting to various subterfuges the Sinhalese have succeeded in reducing the Tamils in the Eastern province to almost a minority. All governments since independence have strenuously implemented the single point agenda of converting the North & East into a Sinhalese majority province.

    Ever since independence it has been the policy of both the UNP and the SLFP to undertake state aided Sinhala colonization schemes with the sole aim of altering the demographic profile of Northeast. D.S. Senanayake, the first Prime Minister of independent Ceylon, was the master brain who initiated and executed large scale state-sponsored Sinhalese colonization.

    In fact, Buddhism brought by ‘Thera Mahinda’ son of King Asoka in order to teach peace and bring harmony among societies, following the bitter experience of ‘Kalinga War’. It served the purpose for some time. But, what happened later. Buddhism fuelled terrorism in many ways. All the non-violent protests by Tamils were suppressed by violent acts and gave a bitter message to Tamils about Sinhala-Buddhists.

    Now Buddhism lost its purpose. It is only a tool to acquire resources, land, opportunity, power, etc. It is a strong tool to use against who ever being obstacle to gain their personal benefits.

  301. Munta pissu !

    Why can’t these narrow minded pundits understand that both Tamil & Sinhala languages were equally respected in SL, pre colonial times.

    People were wiser and more literate then.

    All these debate is to show one language is superior in Lanka historically.

    In reality the people lived in harmony and more tolerance as one nation.

    When the country was divided and weak as there were several kingdoms during Portuguese invasion. So they saw our weakness and manipulated it for their advantage.

    When the country was undivided and ruled with unity the invasions were negligent.

    Get over your inferiority/superiority complexes. Think Lankan and live like Lankans.

    There is globalization now, get out of your racist ‘well’.

  302. SK63,

    Sinhala-Buddhism came into existence only in the early 20th century.

    The British attempt at giving a Christian education to the young men of the commercial classes backfired, as they transformed the Buddhism practiced in Sri Lanka into something resembling the non-conformist Protestant model. The Buddhist revival was aided by the Theosophists, led by American Col. Henry Steele Olcott, who helped establish Buddhist schools but at the same time injecting more modern secular western ideas into the ‘Protestant’ Buddhist thought stream.

    Revivalists such as Anagarika Dharmapala started linking ‘Protestant’ Buddhism to Sinhalese-ness, creating a Sinhala-Buddhist consciousness, linked to the temperance movement. This cut across the old barriers of caste, and was the beginnings of a pan-Sinhalese identity. It is a fact that most of Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese is Buddhists but for the first time in the history of Sri Lanka, both Sinhala and Buddhism were fused together as a single sub group (Sinhala-Buddhists), in other words a new ethno-religious group (tribe) was formed by these Revivalists (who were a small minority) only during the early 20th century.

    The young people who stepped into the shoes of Dharmapala organised themselves into Youth Leagues, seeking freedom and justice for the people of Sri Lanka. The first moves came not from Dharmapala’s (Sinhala-Buddhists) ethnic group, but from the Tamil youth of Jaffna. In 1924 The Jaffna Students’ Congress, later renamed the Jaffna Youth Congress (JYC) was founded. In 1927, the JYC invited Indian independence movement leader Gandhi to visit Jaffna. The JYC led a successful boycott of the first State Council elections in Jaffna in 1931, arguing that the Donoughmore reforms did not concede enough self-government.

    Even though the Revivalists led by Dharmapala formed a new race (Sinhala-Buddhist), prior to about 1935, the politics of caste was more important than the politics of race, and there was little race animosity. Racial representation was begun by the British, who appointed representatives to the Legislative council, based on race. The Sinhalese were further split into Low-country and Kandyan, to weaken their power. The Donoughmore commission (1927) brought in the possibility of Universal Franchise, which gave a vote to everyone, irrespective of Caste, creed or ethnicity. The strong political position of the Tamil community was thus threatened.

    The 1930s were the seed bed of the racist politics that plague Sri Lanka today. The politics of communalism was dominated by the platforms of G. G. Ponnambalam and S. W. R. D Bandaranaike. G. G. Ponnambalam’s racist speeches declaring that he was “a proud Dravidian” and calling the Sinhalese a as “hybrid mongrel race split from the aboriginal Tamils and mixed with Aryan invaders” created the racial rift between the Sinhalese and the Tamils for the first time. The racism of the G. G. Ponnambalam was matched by S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike who saw an opportunity, and established the Sinhala Maha Sabha with branches all over the Sinhala areas. That was the beginning of racism and racial politics in Sri Lanka. Even though Anagarika Dharmapala created the Sinhala-Buddhist ethnic identity, it was G. G. Ponnambalam and S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike who created the Sinhala-Tamil racism in Sri Lanka.

  303. TRN,

    For your information, the colonial records indicate that the last 3 Kings of Sri Lanka (Kotte, Kandy and Jaffna) better known among the Sinhalese as thun-sinhale (tri-sinhala) were all Tamils.

    According to H.W.Codrington, Tamil was the court language of the kings of Kotte (Kotte is a Tamil word for fort), near Colombo in the Western Province. The record of gifts of lands given to Munneswaram temple (Hindu) in Chilaw were in Tamil. Some later gifts to the same temple by Parakrama Bahu IX (1506-1528) and Kirti Siri Rajasinha (1747-1782) were also written in Tamil. According to Queyroz (Book I), Chilaw, Puttalam and Negombo were all Tamil-speaking areas. Buvaneka Bahu VII, King of Kotte (1521-1550) made his attestations in Tamil.

    The city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu is one of the continuously inhabited ancient cities of the world and it was a well developed and well planned ancient city on the banks of river Waikai. It was the capital of Tamil Pandiya dynasty and the Pandiyas were the close allies of the Sinhala Royal house of Sri Lanka from the beginning of Sri Lanka s history. From the King Abahaya Pandiyan (Pandukabhaya) to Parakrmabahu, most of the Tamil blooded Kings and Queens of Sri Lanka were from the Tamil Pandiya dynasty. The Sri Lankan King Abhaya Pandiyan aka Pandukabahaya received help from his native city of Madurai in the planning of the city of Anuradhpura. Even recently, in the Kandiya kingdom, the Kandy lake that was built by the Tamil King Sri Vikremaraja Singhe was designed after Madurai Thepapakulam.


    In Sri Lanka, some of the Tamil-Buddhist Kings were known as VIJAYA BAHU, VIKRAMA BAHU, PARAKRAMA BAHU, VIRA BAHU, JAYA BAHU and so on.

    In Sri Lanka, the same Pandyan names were prakitized (Pali/Sanskrit). PANDYAN is replaced with BAHU. None of these are names of any North Indian kings or Naga kings. These kings were pure Tamils from the Pandyan dynasty but they were not mentioned as Damelars or invaders in the Mahavamsa because they were Buddhists.

    All the Pandyan royal names (VIJAYA, VIKRAMA, PARAKRAMA, VIRA, VIRA PARAKRAMA, JAYA, etc) are being changed (Prakritized) to Bahu. All the Buddhist BAHU kings are PURE TAMILS (PANDYANS). Just because they were Buddhists, today the Sinhalese want to claim that they are Sinhala (Thinking of the past in today s context).

    Now you may ask why they replaced the Tamil name Pandyan by the Prakrit name Bahu.

    Have you heard of specific royal names? A person who is raised to the throne as a king may have some name such as Kunnasamy but he will be given a royal name such as Sri Rajasinghe.

    The Nayakar were royals in Madurai (Tamil Nadu) but when they were raised to the throne in Kandy, they took the royal name Sri Rajasinghe. Similarly when they were raised to the throne in Jaffna, they took the royal name Singhai Ariyan. The Pandyan royals in South India were known as Pandyans (eg: Parakrama Pandyan) but when they were raised to the throne in Sri Lanka they took the royal name Bahu (eg: Parakrama Bahu).

    Now you see not only Pandiyan =- Bahu but also many others such as Nayakar =- Sri Rajasinghe and so on.

    All the last kings of Sri Lanka (Kotte, Kandy and Jaffna) were TAMILS.

    James Mackenzie (1837-1841) the British governor’s writings included The Ceylon Gazetteer, Tamil Plutarch, The History of Jaffna, The Outline of the Tamil System of Natural History. He wrote and read numerous articles at the Royal Asiatic Society of Ceylon.

    In one article, he wrote of the origins of the Sinhalese and, quoting from Lord Valentia s Travels and from an article of Joinville which was published by the Royal Asiatic Society of Ceylon, he penned, The Singhalese, though forming a distinct nation, and differing in their religion, language and manners from Tamuls, had no kings of their own race, but of the latter, and according to Lord Valentia and Joinville a Singhalese cannot be a king of Ceylon that is every person born of a Singhalese father or mother is excluded from the throne .

  304. Very interesting article. The question is who is a sinhalese-Buddhist and who is a Tamil-Hindu. Sinhalese and sri lankan Tamils have the same genetic makeup we are both a mixed up race. Secondly who is a sinhala buddhist. Sinhala buddhist worships Buddha and all hindu gods as seen in every temple. Buddha is the 9th avatar of Vishnu in hinduism. Essentialy a Sinhalese is a hindu buddhist and a tamil is a buddhist hindu. Hinduism and Buddhism are two prulastic religeons which can be practised together. Essentialy this division was created by the british to rule us . we have swallowed it hook line and sinker. Essentialy both sinhalese and tamils except the recent immigrants are the same people except one is sinhala speaking and the other is tamil speaking.

  305. May I post this paper presented at an international conference towards Second Century of Archaeology in Sri Lanka in Colombo, 1990, there was a re-evaluation of Paranavitana’s article written about four decades ago. His article had assumed unworthy attention of Sinhala Buddhist chauvinists, quoting him to deny Tamils, their historical habitat within the Island. This also answers most of the questions raised here.

    1). When the Portuguese came to Sri Lanka in the sixteenth century, they found three well established kingdoms in Sri Lanka and one of them was the kingdom in the North. There is definite evidence that this kingdom of Jaffna was in existence at least from the thirteenth century A.D.

    2.) Few Buddhist remains have been discovered in certain parts of Jaffna, especially at Kantharodai. Wide publicity is being given to the Buddhist character of the ruins but not to the red and black brick ware which is generally associated with DRAVIDIAN CULTURE.

    3.) Vallipuram is a small village near the tip of the north-eastern corner of Jaffna peninsula. At Vallipuram were discovered ruins of some funerary urns, usually ASSOCIATED WITH DRAVIDIAN CIVILIZATION of the early centuries of the Christian era or even earlier.

    4.) At Vallipuram was also found a fine Buddha image of stone, in the Amaravati style, which was unearthed in the land close to the Vishnu temple, which was brought to and preserved in Jaffna when it was presented by Governor Sir Henry Blake to the king of Thailand. When the land around the Vishnu temple was cleared, a gold plate inscription came to light in or about 1936.

    5.) It seems to have passed through various hands before it came to the hands of a Buddhist monk who finally handed this over to Senerat Paranavitana, the then Archaeological Commissioner of Sri Lanka. The small gold plate of 1 and 3/4 x 1 , consisting of four lines refers to the building of a Buddhist temple. On this MEAGER EVIDENCE, Paranavitana RUSHED TO THE CONCLUSION that the remains of a Sinhalese Buddhist civilization had been discovered there.

    6.) His IMAGINATION seems to have been propped up by the presence of a stretch of sandy waste, between the village of Vallipuram and the sea, which is strewn with vestiges of human habitations over an area about four miles in length and a mile in breadth, foundations of buildings, bricks, pottery and coins being occasionally brought to light by the villagers digging there.

    7.) The inscribed gold plate is claimed by Paranavitana to have been discovered beneath the foundation of an ancient structure.

    8.) Paranavitana had edited this inscription about forty years ago. His reading of the text, in transliteration is as follows:-

    1. Sidha Maharaja Vahayaha rajehi amete

    2. Isigiraye Nakadiva bujameni

    3. Badakara atenehi Piyaguha-Tisa

    4. Vihara Karite

    His translation is as follows:-

    Hail! In the reign of the great king Vaha and when the minister Isigiraya was governing Nagadiva, Piyaguka Tisa caused a vihara to be built at Badakaraatana.

    9.) From this short one sentence inscription, Paranavitana arrives at SWEEPING CONCLUSIONS.

    According to him the script was Brahmi of the second century A.D. and on the whole, agreed with the alphabet which occurred in dozens of stone inscriptions of the period, found in various parts of the Island. He was able to note that some letters on this plate were of less monumental appearance and more cursive in character than the corresponding symbols found in stone inscriptions but he justified the difference in the materials written upon. He also came to the conclusion that the language was OLD SINHALESE, conforming in general, to the grammatical standards followed in other documents of the period. Paranavitana went further and declared that this inscription also proved that Nagadipa was governed in the second century by a minister of the Anuradhapura king, that Sinhalese was the prevailing language and that Buddhist shrines were built there.

    This paper of Paranavitana had ASSUMED UNNECESSARY AND UNWORTHY ATTENTION recently as people have started writing provocative newspaper articles, quoting that paper without comment or criticism to deny Tamils, their historical habitat within the Island.
    10.) The present writer will try to show that Paranavitana s CLAIMS ARE FAR TOO EXAGGERATED.

    The point of view that the prevailing language was Old Sinhalese had already been challenged in a Tamil article written by Gunasingam.

    11.) He also pointed out that this single short one sentence inscription should not be given far too much importance. He had discussed the matter about issuing inscriptions in the prevailing language of the area and showed conclusively that this practice had not been universally followed.

    For example, the Colas issued their inscriptions in Tamil in Polonnaruwa even though the prevailing language must have been Sinhalese.

    12.) Gunasingam also distinguishes between inscriptions about royal proclamations, etc. which were meant to be understood by the masses of the region and inscriptions which tried to preserve the history of religious establishments and hence were of interest to the monks only or their adherents. He also points out that unlike the medieval Hindu temples which have preserved lengthy inscriptions in regional languages, the Buddhist viharas, especially of the early period, were not centers of social life of the community living around the temple. So what he says is that THIS SOLITARY RECORD CANNOT BE STRETCHED TO YIELD THE CONCLUSION THAT THE PREVAILING LANGUAGE OF ANCIENT JAFFNA WAS OLD SINHALESE.

    13.) Paranavitana seems to have thought that palaeographically, Vallipuram Gold Plate did not mark any significant change from the other records of the Age in Sri Lanka. It fell to A.H.Dani to discuss the significance of the palaeography of this plate in a scientific way:-

    Of these, the gold plate inscription has an individual character of its own. In this particular case, the lower curves of the verticals are over emphasized and the medial I has a sharp curve to the left. The Ikshvaku forms are marked in a I u, ka (optionally), ga ma, ya, ra, la and va. From the same source is copied the letter la. In the Ceylonese inscriptions, we have definite evidence of the school of Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda writing reaching Ceylon. Probably in the latter half of the third century A.D.

    14.) Paranavitana who mentions the discovery of a Buddha image of Amaravati style, should have taken the clue and proceeded to compare the script at Amaravati and Vallipuram. The Ikshvakus were a dynasty ruling in Telugu speaking Andhra Pradesh and both Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda were in that region. What is important to note here is that though Andhra Pradesh was a DRAVIDIAN LANGUAGE SPEAKING AREA, the rulers and the Buddhist monks were recording their inscriptions in Prakrit.

    15.) Though the Ikshvaku rulers were considered to be of an Aryan dynasty, they seem to have had close connections with the Tamils. The Buddhist monks in Jaffna have maintained close contacts with those in South Sri Lanka, in Tamilnadu and in Andhra Pradesh, and that might be the reason for the composite script found in Vallipuram. Paranavitana might have been encouraged to pronounce the Brahmi sounds like ma and I had been replaced by characteristically North Indian forms in this inscription.


    16.) Further, an observation of Dani that in those days, scripts were not associated with particular languages and that the association of a particular script with a particular language was a later development is very pertinent here.

    17.) Paranavitana, of course, could not have anticipated these later Developments but pseudo-scholars who quote him now should be familiar with them.

    The present writer has to confess that he could not understand why Paranavitana rushed to the conclusion that the language of the inscription was Old Sinhalese. Prakrit was the language of inscriptions throughout South Asia except in Tamilnadu, for the first few centuries before and after Christ. The language of Sri Lanka inscriptions up to the fourth century A.D. had been termed Sinhalese Prakrit.

    18.) The Sinhalese Prakrit, even in the earliest records did not reflect the Prakrit of any particular North Indian region. Linguistic features of Prakrit of Western and Eastern India and Deccan had been noticed in these records. Paranavitana s comment on the language of the Gold Plate should be viewed from this point of view. He starts by saying that the language is Old Sinhalese, conforming in general, to the grammatical standards followed in other documents of the period. A little later, he says that there is however one word on the ascertainment of the precise historical significance of which depends the correct interpretation of the one sentence, which comprises the whole record. He takes bujameni , regardless of the inflexion, as undoubtedly equivalent to Pali bhunjamena, the reflexive participle of the root bhuj. He refers to a certain amount of uncertainty regarding the case ending of the word and depending on that he suggests three possible interpretations.

    He further continues as follows: This interpretation makes it to find a subject other than Isigiraya for the past passive participle Karite occuring to the end of the sentence with a finite verb in the active voice. Piyaguka Tisa which may be taken as if it is in the nominative case though it does not contain the termination for that case, should then be treated as the subject of the sentence.

    19.) Paranavitana continues his discussion of the language of the record with analysis of proper names there. Taking the word Isigiraya, he says that it has a somewhat outlandish appearance about it and it is not easy to take it as the Sinhalese form of any known Sanskritic personal name.

    The last two syllables remind him of the rajan or rayar with which many personal names, ancient and modern end but the possible Dravidian character of the element Isigi is not obvious. In footnote, he suggests that there is just a possibility that Isigiraya represents Rs-809 igirika or Pali Isigirika. The name Piya guka Tissa indicates a person named Tissa who was a native of Piyangu-(dvipa). Paranavitana identifies this Piyangudvipa with modern Punkudutivu, an islet to the west of Jaffna peninsula, basing himself on certain similarity of names. Nakadiva is equivalent to Pali Nagadipa which is mentioned in the Mahawamsa with the second of the three supposed visits of the Buddha to Sri Lanka.

    The King s name in the record was Vaha . Paranavitana identifies Vaha with Vahaba for there was no other royal name in use in the first or second century A.D., which contained these two syllables.

    20.) It is difficult to explain whether King s name could have been mistakenly written in a small inscription and especially in a gold plate. So PARANAVITANA GIVES AN INGENIOUS EXPLANATION saying that Sanskrit Vr-809 s-809 abha has a variant form Vr-809 s-809 a so the Gold Plate also might have preferred the shorter Vaha for Vahaba, a derivative of Vr-809 s-809 bha.

    21.) The inscription is certainly in Prakrit but what is not so clear is whether it can be said to be in Sinhalese. Paranavitana’s long-winded INTERPRETATION AND INGENIOUS EXPLANATIONS THROW SERIOUS DOUBT ON THE MATTER.

    To clear this point, it is necessary to find out in what special features, it differs from other Prakrits and especially the Prakrit used in Andhra Pradesh. Occasionally, Telugu words are met with in the Prakrit inscriptions of Andhra Pradesh.

    22.) Another point to remember here is that there is evidence for extensive contacts between Sri Lanka Buddhism and Andhra Pradesh Buddhism in the Ikshvaku period. Vallipuram most probably served as the port in Sri Lanka through which contacts were taking place.

    The present writer feels that the best interpretation of the language of the Gold Plate is that it was Prakrit betraying Dravidian influence. The expression Nagadipa and Tamil Nakativu and the influence of Dravidian phonology could have been responsible for that intermediate form. Paranavitana says that Badakara would be equivalent to Pali Bhaddakara but considering the fact that Vallipuram is located in the northern coast of Jaffna, it is quite possible that it is a variant for Tamil Vat-809 akarai meaning northern coast.

    23.) Though the change of v to b is a feature of Kannada, another Dravidian language, this feature was prevalent is ancient Telugu inscriptions also.

    24.) As for the word Isigiriya, Paranavitana himself mentions the possibility of taking the last two syllables as of Dravidian origin. The preceding syllable could be taken as Dravidian dative case suffix. Telugu has the dative case sign ki, Kannada has ge, Tamil has ke in Tamil Brahmi inscriptions. Can the first two syllables Isi stand for Il-817 a(m)?

    The quantitative difference in the first vowel could be easily explained as the ancient Sri Lank inscriptions prefer the short vowel, almost uniformly in writing. The peculiar Dravidian sound l-817 a varies in pronunciation in various regions of Tamilnadu and in South Arcot region it is even now pronounced as S and in Madras city, l-817 a becomes ca as il-817 uttukkon-809 t-809 you becomes icuthukunu .

    25.) It is ironical that Paranavitana, who claims that this small one line inscription is in Old Sinhalese, IS UNABLE TO INTERPRET THE RECORD AND OFFERS THREE ALTERNATE INTERPRETATIONS.

    For the interpretation which he preferred most he found the subject without nominative case ending. So he says, The use of the crude form of the noun to do duty as the nominative case has been noticed in other (Sinhalese) documents of the period. The usage of the subject without any case sign for the nominative is a feature of the Dravidian languages and if this feature had been noticed in a few documents in Sinhalese, two interpretations are possible:- one, that it denotes Dravidian influence in Sinhalese and the next, that it betrays a possible Dravidian substratum in the formation of the Sinhalese language.

    26.) When Paranavitana mentions grammatical standards of the period , he must have been referring to something like grammar , the section which he had included in his edition of ancient Brahmi inscriptions.

    27.) According to him, the most striking of the phonetic changes is the shortening of the long vowels which is almost thorough-going. In Tamil Brahmi inscriptions too, this feature is found though not to the same extent. The preference for the shorter form is also seen in writing two short vowels for a long vowel. Examples: atan for aatan, il-817 a for eel-817 a pal-809 iy for paal-809 iy asiriyik(u) for aasiriyik(u) natan for naatan, etc.

    28.) The later forms are available in the THEN CONTEMPORARY SANGAM LITERATURE. According to Paranavitana, a nasal before a mute becomes an anusvara and then this anusvara is elided in Old Sinhalese. Similar change is noticed in Tamil Brahmi inscriptions also, as for example in the writing of atai for antai.

    29.) The latter form is also attested in Sangam literature. Common influences seem to be at work in languages used both in South India and in Sri Lanka.

    It is interesting to see how Paranavitana arrived at the date of about the second century A.D. for this record. First, HE MAKES A LOOSE STATEMENT that on paleographical ground, this record could be placed in the first or the second centuries A.D.

    Secondly, the king s name written as Vaha was undoubtedly meant for Vahaba for there was no other royal name, in the first or the second century A.D., which contained these two syllables. Dani has rightly noted and commented on the defective system of dating of records, paying attention mainly to traditional history only. The present writer himself has criticized Dani for ignoring traditional history of Sri Lanka and Sangam literature of Tamilnadu.

    30.) But a study of the dating of the early Brahmi inscriptions of Sri Lanka by Paranavitana convinces the present writer to bring in clues to date the records. The Sri Lanka chronicles especially the Dipavamsa and the Mahavamsa which cover the period of the Brahmi inscriptions, though they have some historical material are not history books. The Mahavamsa gives the history of the Mahavihara of the country and incidentally the chronological framework of Anuradhapura kings and connected matters in relating to pious deeds of the rulers. These chronicles, now considered to have been composed in the fourth century A.D. and in the sixth century are far more reliable when they treat of the period immediately preceding them than when they treat of the early period. Indeed, it has been told that the problem with the Mahavamsa is not with what it says but with what it does not say.

    31.) Further this chronicle, because of the period in which it was composed, is ADMITTED TO BE HAVING COMMUNAL/ETHNIC BIAS.


    But what seems to have happened so far in Sri Lanka is that, starting from Paranavitana, archaeology and especially epigraphy had been subordinated and interpreted in the light of the traditional chronicles.

    33.) Even if the ruler mentioned in the record is taken as Vasabha, IT COULD NOT BE CONCLUDED THAT THE ANURADHAPURA RULER WAS A SINHALESE. This ruler established the Lambarkana dynasty in the throne of Anuradhapura. This word Lambarkana has given rise to various speculations and Krishna Sastri opines that the LAMBARKANAS MIGHT HAVE BEEN A NORTHERN TAMIL DYNASTY.

    32.) The Mahavamsa does not mention this dynasty as a Tamil dynasty but this should not be taken as sufficient evidence against the dynasty being Tamil or Tamil speaking Naga. The Mahavamsa was interested in keeping the Buddhist line of kings on the throne of Anuradhapura and Vasabha and his successors were Buddhists. It is quite possible that the Tamil Buddhists of Sri Lanka were also quite aryanised. Paranavitana himself had commented on ARYAN NAMES OF TAMILS OCCURRING IN ANCIENT BRAHMI INSCRIPTIONS.

    33.) It is worth noting here that the earliest extent literary work in a national language of Sri Lanka by a Sri Lanka author was by a poet who had Tamilicised Aryan names, Eelattu Poothan-809 Tevanaar which had
    Aryan words Bhootha and Deva.

    34.) If the ancient name of Jaffna had been Naagadeepa, the question arises whether anything could be made out from the word Nagas. The Nagas were almost ubiquitous throughout South Asia in Ancient history so it is difficult to identify them with any ethnic group. Their presence throughout South Asia is sometimes advanced as an argument that they must have been Indo-Aryans. They were also identified with Dravidians. These views have not gained universal acceptance among scholars. In Sri Lanka, according to our traditional chronicles, there were Nagas and Yakkhas before the first Aryan colonists landed here. SO, THESE PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED NON-INDO-ARYAN PEOPLE. Keeping this in mind and the location of Jaffna so near Tamilnadu, it is plausible to argue that the Nagas of Naagadeepa were DRAVIDIANS, IF NOT EXCLUSIVELY TAMILS.The Nagas seems to have had a colony at Kelaniya also.

    35.) Paranavitana refers to the mention in the geographical chapters of the Puranas of Nagad-299 pa as well as Tamraparni among the nine divisions of Bharatavarasa. Professor S.N.Majumdar identified it with Elephanta while Dr.K.P.Jayaswal identified it with Nicobar Islands.

    36.) In the view of the Purana writers. Nagadeepa was distinct from Sri Lanka (Tamraparni) for the two are separately named as two of the nine divisions of Bharatavarsa. The Tamil poem Man-809 imEkalai too speaks of Ratnadeepa

    37.) (Sri Lanka) as an island distinct from, though in the vicinity of Man-809 ipallavam, which is taken to be the same as Nagadeepa. Geographically, Jaffna peninsula cannot be considered to be such a distinct identity from the rest of Sri Lanka as to be noted and counted as two of the nine provinces of India. So, it is quite possible that there were linguistic and cultural differences also in these regions even in those days.

    In this connection, it is worth remembering that Mahavamsa also mentions two different groups of indigenous people in Sri Lanka. The chronicle also refers to the Aryan colonists having matrimonial and other ties with the Yakkhas but it is strangely silent on the dealings of the colonists with the Nagas. Probably because the Nagas accepted Buddhism, there was no conflict as such with the other Buddhists in the Island. Many early rulers from Anuradhapura call themselves Nagas.

    38.) This is probably indicative of Anuradhapura kings having had close connectios with Nagadeepa.

    In this connection, it is worthy of note that mention about NAGAS OCCURS FREQUENTLY IN TAMILNADU ALSO. On the coast of Tanjore District, quite close to Jaffna was NAGAPAT-809 T-809 INAM. This place might have acquired its name because of the settlement of the Nagas there. There is Nagercoil, as name of a town in Kanyakumari District and as a name of a village in Jaffna. But the name Nagercoil in Kany-257 kumari is said to be relatively late. In modern Kerala, the Nayars (i.e the Nagas) are the dominant Hindu caste. A number of Tamil poets of the Sangam period go by the name Naga, i.e. Nakanar in Tamil.

    39.) It is quite surprising that many musicians who composed the pan-809 s of Paripaat-809 al go by the name Naakan-257 r.

    40.) The modern name Yaal-817 pp-257 n-809 am for Naagadeepa is explained to be denoting its association with musicians with the instrument Yaarl-817 . Is it possible that the name Yaal-817 pp-257 n-809 am was also a derivative of the close association of the Naaagas with music?.

    Paranavitana s loud thinking on the purpose of the record seems to be sufficient evidence for the argument that the record was composed in Prakrit and not necessarily in the regional language. He himself says,t was certainly not done with the idea of furnishing people of a later age with historical information. If the founders purpose had been to give publicity to his religious benefaction among his contemporaries or those of later generations, the obvious thing would have been to record the fact on a stone set up in a prominent place as has often been done in all ages and countries.


    41.) So, Paranavitana s views about Old Sinhalese being the prevalent language of the region and about the date of the record based on the identification with Vasabha SEEM CHAUVINISTIC, IF NOT MISCHIEVOUS.

    It is quite possible that the ruler mentioned as Vaha had not been mentioned in the Mahavamsa. According to Dani, this record could not be dated earlier than the second half of the third century A.D. Here it should be noted that even though Tamil language, written in Tamil Brahmi, had been found in all regions of Tamilnadu, the Pallavas of Kanchi started by issuing Prakrit charters in the fourth century A.D.

    42.) This tends to show that Prakrit was almost a lingua franca in South Asia and its use in a particular region does NOT NECESSARILY SHOW THAT THE PREVAILING LANGUAGE OF THE REGION WAS PRAKRIT.

    43.) This paper is in a way a re-evaluation of Paranavitana s article written about four decades ago.

    44.) The late Professor Senarat Paranavitana was a former Professor of Archaeology in the University of Ceylon. He has contributed enormously to Sri Lanka Archaeology and History. But recent findings make some of his views untenable. HIS VIEW OF VALLIPURAM GOLD PLATE IS A CASE IN POINT.

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