by K. S. Sivakumaran
We all know history is subject to revision when new research shows new evidences. It is also an exercise in interpretation and it depends on who does it for whom. In Lanka, history is interpreted in different ways.
While being skeptical on what I am going to record below, I feel it is necessary to report how the Tamils in Lanka look at their past.
Because the English press does not have any space to report, comment and analyse what a minority community think and feel, occasionally I select things from the Tamil press and write for the benefit of the non-Tamil readers. I feel it is the duty of a bilingual writer or journalist.
Sunday Thinakkural of July 01, 2012 published an article by a writer under a pseudonym- Vaakarai Vaanan. He very often writes on such historical subjects as Lankan History. I have not met him nor do I know his real name. Judging by the nom-de-plume he must be a person from Vaakarai in the Eastern Province.
Here are excerpts from his article:
*Tamils speaking Tamil had lived in this country long before the Early Iron Age, nearly 3000 years ago.
*There is evidence to prove this from the archaeological evidences found in various pats of the country, particularly in the North and East where the Tamils had been living most.
* The excavations reveal that in the inscriptions words denoting Tamil are written as “Damida” and “Damila in Prakrit language.
* It shows that traders from north and south of India have come to Sri Lanka even before the birth of the Buddha.
* In Trincomalee, there is the famous Sivan Hindu temple called Koneswaram. In Prakrit it is known as Gona Eswaram.
* There is evidence that traders flocked to the Mannar Gulf to buy the pearls found there.
* There is evidence in writing what foreigners have written about ancient Lanka.
* The place names found in Sangam Literature written more than 2000 years ago (these names now converted as Arabic and Sinhala names)
* People finding uneasy when the history of the Tamils are established with evidence decry that it is all myth. This is sad.
* People like Thomas Burrow, Romila Thapar, Rev. Keras of Spain (who described himself as a Dravidian of Spain), and Professors Ramachandra Dixithar, K.Indrapaala, S.Krishnarajah, M.Varatharasan, K. Kailasanathak Kurukkal, P.Ramanathan and others have written about these.
* Please read page 53 of the Fact Finder Encyclopedia in English.
* It says that there are more than 50 Tamil words including “Mutham” (pearl) would prove that the Aryans who came into the northern part of the Indian subcontinent more than 3500 years ago, they wrote in Prakrit the four Vedas (Rig, Yasur, Sama and Atharvanam) which indicate the existence of Dravidians living there.
* The fact that the Tamils were the original settlers in India could be seen when a Dravidian language called Brahui is spoken even now in the remote regions by the ancient tribes in Baluchistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.
* “Dravida’ is a Prakrit word. Its root word “Dramila” which means people who were chased out. That is to say that the indigenous Dravidians who lived in northern India were chased out by the Aryans.
I shall stop here. Maybe sometime later we shall see what the writer says further in his lengthy article referred above.