Peace and Conflict, Politics and Governance, Post-War

Bigots on a Righteous Mission

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Photo by Natale Dankotuwage

The end; is there an end in sight? The Sri Lankan Conflict has penetrated into my life-time like an unwelcomed genetic trait. I didn’t ask to be born into a community, with a history of conflict. Yet, it is inseparable from an identity I am still trying to grasp. I am a child of the war generation. It is all I have ever known and, probably, all I will ever know. Yet, I hope to live to see a change; a fresh new way to understand my being, so deeply entwined with the Sri Lankan ethno-national conundrum.

As the rest, who feign any interest in the Conflict of an Island of our forefathers, I ponder the plausible solutions.

The answer seems so simple:  I suggest, re-Imagine Sri Lanka beyond the ethno-national confine.

We do not need a land for Tamil Eelam or to build several Buddhist statues amongst non-believers. We do not need to colonize “Sinhala people” here and “Tamil people” there. We need something else.

We do not need more ethnicity. We need less.  The only problem with the ethno-national conflict in Sri Lanka is that we have too much ethno-nationalism.

We have too much Buddha Lovin’ Sinhala Chauvinists. We have too much Tiger Flag wavin’, Tamil Eelam lovin’ nationalists. Too much.  These individuals see life through an extreme matrix. In a world where social cohesion is achieved through ethnic exclusiveness, a purified ethno-national experience.

Well, in my eyes, all of this is wrong. Contemplation on this problem has left me convinced; the problem in Sri Lanka is ethnic-exclusiveness. The UN Panel Report agrees.  The national boundaries in Sri Lanka leave several minorities outside – walled off.

There’s an essence of being that a ‘majority’ of Sri Lankan’s have inherited, by a gift of blood and birth; and, that’s being Sinhalese. There’s a minority that has not inherited it and, therefore, are left to be felt like outsiders. The national boundaries in Sri Lanka only accept those, who through the purity of a blood line, get to claim themselves Sinhala Buddhists (i.e. the true natives of the land).

Yet, Sinhala ethno-nationalism leaves the Tamil minority frustrated. Sure, they don’t speak Sinhalese. Sure, they’re not Buddhist. But, hell, they live and have breathed the same land for centuries. They have plowed the fields and birthed their children. They have created and buried families on that land and to not be recognized as rightful natives of the land is an insult, at the most.

Yet, some of the Tamil community has responded to this ethnic exclusiveness, with an exclusiveness of their own. This is Tamil Nationalism. Their ethno-nationalism is no less brutal, than the Sinhala ethno-nationalism before them. It too has led them excluding the other. It has left them rounding up brothers of the North because they were, on the terms of ethnic boundaries, different. They were Muslim and, therefore, not really brothers at all. They were different and difference justified them leaving.

Tamil Ethno-nationalism hasn’t helped the situation. It has only made it worst. Nevertheless, there persist self-determinists who believe that a Tamil homeland is the only answer. A recent visit to Sri Lanka proved that much. These believers of self-determination are pretty much saying, “Sinhala Chauvinists you can have the South, just give us Tamil Chauvinism in the North”.

These ethno-nationalists seem to think, quite naively, that if Sinhala and Tamil people aren’t feeling excluded on the Island anymore that the problem will just end. That all the mixed bloods and Muslims won’t complain next.

The sad reality is ethno-nationalism will never solve the problem. It will only aggrandize it. Thus, I come back to my initial proposition. We must re-imagine our lives beyond the confines of the ethno-national splendor.

There is a greater and more inclusive Sri Lanka to be imagined, even if we haven’t imagined it, yet. And, my wish for Sri Lanka is that we dream it. We must awaken from this stupor of limited ethno-national determinism. It will never allow us as human beings, of a wonderful land, to experience our true potential; to create a community for human beings. A land made not just for the Tamil and Sinhala. But, a land that is welcoming to the woman, the under-privileged, and the excluded middle.

See, the thing is, if we don’t get over our ethno-national attachments we’ll never talk about the human problems that plague our land. We will never work towards creating a home for the universal, yet distinct and fluid, human identity.

To be liberated from our limited ethno-national attachments might be the closest Sri Lanka gets to a solution.  We must think of the multiple possibilities of creating community and we must be more creative than the traditional ideals we have set for ourselves.

As I finish this piece, I worry for the ridicule I know I will get from the Sinhala and Tamil Nationalist, or the wise academic  who can’t imagine anything but an accommodating ethno-national solution for Sri Lanka.  I worry not because I have any doubt in my suggestion; but, rather, I worry because I understand, though I deny it, why importance is instilled in ethnic identities. I understand the human attachment, centuries so old.

Yet, I say with the utmost respect to these ideals: let go. Let go; not so I can conquer some intellectual feat. Let go, because I genuinely believe it is the best for our posterity.

Our children should grow up in lands not labeled by limited national boundaries. But, in lands that are promising to about any human being. That ensure peace, justice, liberty, and equality; yet, have no preference for the color of your skin or tongue. This is the land I imagine being the best for all, that will evolve with the time and migration of the future. That will be welcoming to the babies that might be born of the Chinese workers, sleeping with the woman that will have them, as they build highways in Sri Lanka.

A land that recognizes that nothing is ever permanent. That things change with the times. That one day these pure ethnic identities will be a story of the distant past. The faster we accept this, the sooner we can save a nation from falling into the hands of bigots on a righteous mission.

  • wijayapala

    Hi Natale, so are you saying that, like, ethno-nationalism is really uncool, like, you know?

  • kadphises

    Natale,

    The problem with your approach is that it is not implementable. We have to work with the canvass we’ve got. We all know the problem is ethnocentric nationalism. What we dont know or disagree on is how to end it. So it is simplistic to say “Guys, if you’ll only stop fighting there will be peace”. It is impossible to bore into the minds of 20 million Sri Lankans and surgically remove small mindedness. We therefore need tweaks, strategies, policies, legislature to 1. Make people less nationalistic (A very difficult and slow process) or 2. Make ethnocentric nationalism irrelevant to the way the country is run. It would be a better use of your time to reflect on these..

    • yapa

      Exactly, identifying problems is not that difficult. Writing a beautiful prose on it also is not difficult. But finding answers is the problem.

      Writer seems to think cause of every evil as ethno-nationalism. It seems that he think ethno-nationalism is the “original sin” of the Sri Lankan people. According to him there is no cause for this original sin. If the social problems are so simple, the world today should be without any problems, at least the societies that don’t have ethno-nationalism. Is it so? The countries he might have to pose as ethno-nationalism free countries may not have the problems we face as Sri Lankans, but they definitely have other problems. Just because those countries do not have the problems we are having they are not free of problems.

      Problems take place due to different reasons and conditions and hence two different countries cannot have the same problems. You might like the situation in the USA, however you cannot make Sri Lanka an America. You don’t have to expect so.

      Contrary to the writer believes ethno-nationalism is not the original sin. There are reasons for the high incidence in of ethno-nationalism in Sri Lanka .Those reasons are not there in America, that is why you don’t find them in America, not because Sri Lankans are born sinners and Americans are pure bred people.If those reasons are available in the USA, it also cannot get rid of ethno-nationalism that easily. Don’t try to find who is wrong but try to see what is wrong. Try to find the reasons for incidence of ethno-nationalism in Sri Lanka. A set of unique socio- economic conditions associated with Sri Lanka is the problem. We will have to identify those root causes and treat them, not cite “original sin” of the people of this country. Understand the “Cause and Effect Relationship”.

      Because of ‘A’ arises ‘B’. Because of ‘B’ arises ‘C’. When there is no ‘A’, there is no ‘B’. When there is no ‘B’, there is no ‘C’. This being so, that is; this not being so, that is not.

      Thanks!

    • yapa

      Correction..

      “Contrary to the writer believes ethno-nationalism is not the original sin.”

      Should be

      “Contrary to the [writer’s belief] ethno-nationalism is not the original sin.”

      Thanks!

      • yapa

        Throwing stones at the sinner(s) will not solve the problem.

        Thanks!

      • Victor Sena

        Only 3-days ago, I participated in one of the “Occupy…” protest rallies, spreading like wildfire, in an upscale and one of the best towns to live in the U.S. It was amazing to see so many well-to-do citizens of the U.S. walking down the streets taking part in a street-protest holding up signs and shouting anti-capitalism slogans. But, just like what we are witnessing in this article and the replies to it, everybody wants to stay within their middle and upper-middle-class comfort zones and analyze, argue, and re-analyze issues according to their own “well-educated” view points. We can talk about cause and effect for the rest of our lives, but so far, nobody has had the guts to point-out the obvious cause. For centuries, world has been run and ruled by a handful of privileged ruling class, no matter what part of the world, who would now and then throw a “piece-of-bone”, be it nationalism, patriotism, religion, ethnicity, or self-determination, to the vast majority below to fight and kill for. With the majority destroying themselves while chasing after an illusion, the super-rich-and-powerful handful have lost no time in maintaining their age-old way of preventing the majority from making any significant changes. Maintaining economic systems based on personal-property-ownership at whatever cost, imperialism to capitalism, “Divide and conquer, divide and rule” seem to be here for a long time to come while the majority of the Sinhala, Tamil, Moslem, Burgher, white, black, brown, and yellow populations is going after the “dangling carrot stick.”

  • airam

    Agree with your article. As an outsider I can perceive the ethno-nationalism that prevails in Sri Lanka and that acts as a blockage in the road of building a united “Sri Lankan” society. As a latinoamercian, I can appreciate the possibility of accepting a muti-ethnic country. In Ecuador, 15 different ethnies are recognized as “Nationalities”, within the Ecuadorian State. We are a Nation walking free from colonialist thinking where the “white” and “mestizos were the Supreme ethnias of the country. So, I have hopes that SL can move towards this goal too. Even though, I recognize that mine, may be a simplistic assumption, when you consider the deep wounds that a 30 year war has left and that the current political and social context is not the most conducive for an easy and quick shift from the Supremacy of one ethnia.

  • thamby

    This all started realy when one side had a higher standard to make it in Sri Lanka than the other. For example lets look at Education, one side had to get As and Bs at A-levels and the other side had to get Cs and Ds to get into University. This was going on for years and it started the revolution among students in the north. If we were fair the students from the north would have filled up all the Universties across the Island. After so many of us have died for this cause alone, you want to fix it now? What a brilliant idea.

    • sabbe laban

      Thambi, are you talking about the standardization of A/L results? Though you are not aware of, It’s done away with, a long time ago, while you were fighting in dreams in your adopted country!

      • thamby

        Sabbe Laban and Yapa,

        I was merely giving you an example. It all happened long time ago before the riots. Lets take another example: Again, Long time ago when exams were given for Citizens to apply for High Commission posts, Tamils were overwhelmingly beating everyone and were being appointed as diplomats to other countires. Now Military personnell and other unqualifiled persons with low aptitude are being taken for those posts where diplomatic relations are crucial to alleviate this issue described by the original article here. Yapa, did my message state any separate state? We gave you poise and character to this fabric of our motherland and you want me to be shy and sensitive.

      • yapa

        Dear thamby;

        “Yapa, did my message state any separate state?”

        No, You had not said so and I too didn’t say you said so.

        But by referring to separate homeland claim what I did was trying show that your claim was not less absurd than than separate homeland claim. I think you understand that homeland claim not necessarily to be of yours to compare your claim with it. Your leg can be compared with my leg though my leg is not yours. Ha! Ha!!

        “We gave you poise and character to this fabric of our motherland and you want me to be shy and sensitive.”

        Not at all. However, this good intention alone will not exempt you from your other duties and responsibilities. Being responsible is a responsibility a society expect from its citizens. So be shy and sensitive or being disciplined and careful in expressing opinions, especially when they are controversial and partial and could lead to disputes is an essential quality, when you look at from any perspective. Being irresponsible is not a quality with any good. Mouth goes before many destructions and calamities. So using mouth with care is a good virtue. We can prevent many of such things mentioned in the previous sentence by that simple act.

        Thanks!

        Thanks!

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Thamby,

        You wrote “Again, Long time ago when exams were given for Citizens to apply for High Commission posts, Tamils were overwhelmingly beating everyone and were being appointed as diplomats to other countires. ”

        Assuming you are right about the intellectual superiority of the Tamils (though I disagree), these so called Sri Lankan Ambassadors posted to key countries of the West acted against Lanka’s interests and was promoting the Eelam project instead.

        Should not Ambassadorial appointees have proven loyalty to Lanka in view of past experience?

        H.E. Ms. Tamara Kunanayakam, an Ethnic Tamil is our current Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland.

        Who would you rather like to see? A Tamil favourable to the Eelamists?

    • yapa

      What a marvelous discovery/solution? If all the Universities across the Island were filled up with the students from the north, the there wouldn’t have been a problem.

      One more very fair solution similar to the “Exclusive Tamil Homeland Nonsense”.

      People must have an element of sensitivity and shyness before expressing their raw feelings. Some people will not hesitate to do the no.1 or 2 on the Galle road for some fun.

      Thanks!

    • Hela

      thamby,

      This is pure rubbish. I was eligible for university entrance though I couldn’t get a place. Why? Because I did my A/L from Colombo. The standardisation rule said that I need to obtain a higher level of marks than students from many other districts, such as sinhala students in Monaragala and Muslim students in Ampara and Tamil students in Batticoloa. Same rule applied for Tamil students in Jaffna (during my time) because both Colombo & Jaffna were considered more resourced in education facilities than Moneragala, Ampara & Batticoloa.

      I didn’t take an assault rifle to shoot people in Moneragala, Ampara & Batticoloa due to what happened to me (though I was very much into radical activism), because I understood that rationing was required to provide a semblance of equitable opportunity in an environment of limited higher education capacity (though it was unsustainable).

      If I din’t consider taking up arms, why did Tamil youth in Jaffna took to them? Because they were told by their ‘educated’ elders that the reason for their ills were the Sinhala people. In 1976 in Vaddukkodai (Battakotte), they were given wooden pistols. A prominent tamil politician’s wife said that she would like to have her slippers made out of Sinhala skin (later, I had an opportunity to meet the politician & his wife in Jaffna once). Thus hatred was spread among youth rousing their idealist minds against the perceived enemy, the Sinhala people, to restore ‘justice’ in an ethnically purified enclave in the North & the East of the country. I have met young Tamil people from the North who have visited South for the first time in early eighties. I could sense the hostility in our initial exchanges, though later on they seem to have realised that I also ate bath & parippu like them (and not their flesh or drank their blood).

      As they say, the rest (consequences of hatred) is history…..

      • Nihal Perera

        Hela,

        If I din’t consider taking up arms, why did Tamil youth in Jaffna took to them?

        You fail to realize the larger point: the purpose of standardisation was to push the % of Tamil students down, and the % of Sinhalese students up. The net effect was that Sinhalese had more access to lucrative jobs, then did their Tamil counterparts. Also, university used to be a pathway to a secure job in the civil service (I do not know if this is the case anymore), so by keeping more Tamils out of university, the demographics of the civil service could also be greatly altered. In fact, that is what happened between 1955 and 1970; thanks to Sinhala-Only language policies and standardisation, the civil service underwent a major demographic shift. I refuse to believe that whoever conceived of standardisation was unaware of its potential ramifications; more likely than not, it was conceived and implemented with nefarious intentions from start to finish.

      • wijayapala

        Dear Hela,

        If I din’t consider taking up arms, why did Tamil youth in Jaffna took to them?

        Why did Sinhala youth in 1971 take up arms?

      • Off the Cuff

        Nihal Perera,

        The post linked below, addressed to Thamby, updates archaic information that you have written on University Standardisation in your post of October 20, 2011 • 9:20 pm

        The position today is drastically different to the standardisation of 1971.

        What are your views on the CURRENT state of Standardisation?
        Are your objections still valid?

        http://groundviews.org/2011/10/17/bigots-on-a-righteous-mission/#comment-37931

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Thamby,

      It is people like you who spread misinformation that prevents reconciliation in Lanka.

      I believe Jaffna is classified today as a disadvantaged district and these Tamil students enter University with LESS marks than the Sinhalese from Colombo.

      The first student from Kilinochchi (Tamil area) entered University due to Standardisation (see Sabaratnam’s book on Prabahkaran) and he scored Less Marks than Sinhala students from Colombo.

      Hela’s post gives a personal experience as to why he (a Sinhalese) lost out on University admission due to preferential treatment given to LOWER scoring TAMIL students from the East.

      • thamby

        All who replied to my FACTS including “off the cuff”

        First of all these facts came directly from my Mother’s (75 years old)mouth about “Standardization” and “appointments to the High Commission” because I personally had not seen this with my eyes. What I can remember is leaving my home in the morning to Katunayake, and they sent me (literally) in a blaze of glory. The Houses burning around me and my brothers wearing burning tires. Now, lets get to the real point. Reading and Researching all of this, I truly have to say that Tamils and Singhalease for the most part are God fearing and respectable people. We love to party as well. I have many Singhalease friends that I have a good tme with. So, If everything was going so well, Tamil people are doing well, Tamils are getting educated, Tamils are doing well in business all along being the “opposition” at the Parliment. Then, all of a sudden we woke up one day to realize that this needs to change – I need more, I am making it here in Ceylon liek a star, now I need a separate state. Now I need to Kill the Singhalease. Now I need to become a Terrorist. Brother and Sisters, please, if the hierarchy – ones wearing Orange ( my personal opinion) have fed enough cow dung in you, perhaps you have started to believe it – and the end result is you don’t have me to share your happiness with. You are right, you don’t need me to share your happiness. Meanwhile I sit here and contemplate when can I go back and honestly tell you that I don’t hate you that I love you, but lets start again but you can only do it when you acknowlede what you did was wrong. Then and only then we can all move on.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Thamby,

        The word FACT means the TRUTH.
        Heresay cannot be peddled as the Truth.

        You wrote “First of all these facts came directly from my Mother’s (75 years old)mouth”

        Is she telling the TRUTH about Standardisation?
        Not according to T. Sabaratnam who wrote Pirapaharan’s biography and he is also a Tamil.

        Here is what he says.

        “The district quota system that came into effect by the end of 1974
        introduced the scheme whereby 30 percent of the students were
        admitted to the university on the basis of merit and 55 percent on the
        basis of district quota, with the balance 15 percent of the places
        reserved for backward districts.

        The district quota system, though detrimental to the students from the
        Jaffna district, benefited Tamils living in other Tamil districts. In
        1974 Jaffna’s share of university admission shrank to 7 percent,
        roughly equal to its population ratio. This system benefited students from Vanni, Batticoloa, Trincomalee, and Ampara. It was under thedistrict quota systems that the first student from Kilinochchi entered the university.”

        This is what the wiki state “In 1969, the Northern Province, which was largely populated by Tamils and compromised 7% of the population of the country, provided 27.5 percent of the entrants to science based courses in Sri Lankan universities. By 1974, this was reduced to 7%.However, the hardest hit population group were the urban Sinhalese in the Western Province, which contained 26% of the islands population. In 1969, the Western Province provided 67.5 percent of admissions to science based courses. This reduced to 27% in 1974, after the law came into effect“

        The media wise standardisation of 1971 was unjust and that was corrected in 1974 with the Disrict quota described above.

        Wiki states further that
        The standardization of university entrance was abandoned in 1977, and 80% of the university places were filled in accordance with raw marks scored by students. The remaining 20% of places was allocated to students in districts with inadequate educational facilities.

        Today Jaffna District is classified as a disadvantaged district and hence Tamil students from Jaffna enter University with LOWER marks than Sinhalese students from Colombo. Do you hear the Sinhalese complaining?

        You wrote “about “Standardization” and “appointments to the High Commission” because I personally had not seen this with my eyes”

        That is a very poor excuse for disseminating Lies, when you obviously have access to the Internet and the ability to find out the Truth.

        If you are looking for reconciliation please stop repeating what your mother says in a Public Forum such as GV, without first verifying what you write.

  • Suhir Ponncchamy

    This article pre-suppose that Tamils came to the land after the Sinhalese. Even if you take MahaVamsa story: Viyayan and 700 outcasts arrived in this land and they married 700 girls from Pandyan Kingdom.. that is the birth of Sinhala race. Gosh, Pandyan Kingdom is of Tamils.

    With the historical fact that before land around SriLanka submerged it was connected to India.. Could it be possible that Tamils lived there prior to the arrival of Vijayan? And, therefore the minorities in their own land.. just like the native Americans in America or the Aborigines of Australia.

    Instead of celebrating the ancient roots of Tamils, Sri Lanka seeks to destroy their roots and existence.

    • yapa

      Dear Suhir Ponncchamy;

      Your post pre-suppose that Pandyan Kingdom had been there in Sri lanka when Vijaya(not vijayan, do not try to distort even names for your advantage) arrived.

      WHO TOLD YOU THIS AND WHAT EVIDENCE DO YOU HAVE TO SUBSTANTIATE YOUR CLAIM?

      All in all most of the Tamils in Sri Lanka have no a History over 300 years. Maximum is 700 years.

      Don’t try to create history. That was the main reason for the dispute in Sri Lanka, undue claims for the history and the “Exclusive Tamil Homeland Nonsense” based on it.

      Thanks!

      • wijayapala

        Dear yapa,

        WHO TOLD YOU THIS AND WHAT EVIDENCE DO YOU HAVE TO SUBSTANTIATE YOUR CLAIM?

        Do not get angry, I will explain:

        http://lakdiva.org/mahavamsa/chap007.html

        “But the ministers, whose minds were eagerly bent upon the consecrating of their lord, and who, although the means were difficult, had overcome all anxious fears about the matter, sent people, entrusted with many precious gifts, jewels, pearls, and so forth, to the city of Madhura in southern (India), to woo the daughter of the Pandu king for their lord, devoted (as they were) to their ruler; and they also (sent to woo) the daughters of others for the ministers and retainers.”

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala;

        Another failed attempt of yours to understand Sri Lankan History, dear wijayapala.

        I do not blame you, but I must stress you that even good intentions in your mind can make the mind bias. A biased mind either with bad intentions or good intentions cannot make correct decisions. That is the problem with you dear wijayapala. You try to substitute “truth/reality” with your “good intentions, you presumed as good” in good faith. But your enthusiasm motivated by good faith does not guarantee that it would give the same result as the truth/reality.

        Dear wijayapala, do you think what you have quoted in your post above substantiates the claim that Pandyan Kingdom had been there in Sri Lanka, when Vijaya came to Sri Lanka?

        Is it a case of “Yanne koheda, Malle pol”?

        Happy wijayapala about your acquaintance of Sri Lankan History. Don’t let kadphises know about this. Hah! Hah!! Ha!!!

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear wijyapala;

        Thanks wijayapala! Dark clouds (some times?) have silver linings. The looming dark cloud you brought has a bright golden lining dear wijayapala.

        What you have brought in your post itself disproves the eelamist claim there was a Pandyan Kingdom before Vijaya’s arrival thanks again for that.

        If the rulers in Sri Lanka (Yaksas) were Pandyans, why Pandyan Emperor in Madurapura did not send his armies to fight Vijaya and his 700 men which was not a strong force?

        Instead he sent his daughter and other women as the queen to King Vijaya and his ministers.

        I think those days Pandyans kings must have been some people with divine qualities,even to spread loving kindness to the people who grabbed their territory from them, as per yours and eelamist’s claim. (though later incessantly tried to invade and destroy the whole civilization so nurtured)

        Can you see dear wijayapala how you were misled and misguided by your good intentioned bias!

        Good or bad bias is a defilement that pollute your mind. You will have to clear off your mind from such biases, dear wijayapala to see the truth and reality.

        Cheers!

      • wijayapala

        Dear yapa

        do you think what you have quoted in your post above substantiates the claim that Pandyan Kingdom had been there in Sri Lanka, when Vijaya came to Sri Lanka?

        Pandyan kingdom was in southern India, not Sri Lanka, but according to the legend the Pandyan ladies came to Sri Lanka not very long after the Sinhala men did.

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala;

        “Pandyan kingdom was in southern India, not Sri Lanka, but according to the legend the Pandyan ladies came to Sri Lanka not very long after the Sinhala men did.”

        This fact is well known and no one tried to dispute it. What you had tried to support was the eelamists’ claim that there was a Pandyan kingdom in Sri Lanka when vijaya arrived here. I was only opposing this move.

        Please read the where and how it was started this time with Suhir Ponncchamy of October 18, 2011 • 9:56 pm.

        “With the historical fact that before land around SriLanka submerged it was connected to India.. Could it be possible that Tamils lived there prior to the arrival of Vijayan? And, therefore the minorities in their own land.. just like the native Americans in America or the Aborigines of Australia.

        Instead of celebrating the ancient roots of Tamils, Sri Lanka seeks to destroy their roots and existence.”

        http://groundviews.org/2011/10/17/bigots-on-a-righteous-mission/#comment-37849

        Earlier sambar brought this argument and when I challenged him, he forgot it and kept quiet.

        One of the main things that eelamists try distort in Sri lankan history is the claim that Tamils are the original owners of Sri Lanka and Sinhalese came to the island after that and deprived of their rights and grabbed the country from their hands. This they propagated all over the world through every media they came across. They painted the picture Sinhalese as invaders and Tamils as the original in inhabitants of the country. All these distortions of history were needed to justify their “Traditional Tamil Homeland Claim”, and without these distortions in the history there was no any other way to deceive/convince the world to support their foul claim. That is why the do not like to accept the truth that many Tamils in Sri Lanka do not have a history over 300years and the maximum is 700 years. The Pandyan kingdom trap or Tamil presence before the Vijaya’s arrival theory is the only way to undermine the over 2500 years Sinhalese history of by a group of people mainly brought by the colonials to this country for their advantage and to destroy Sinhalese, as they were not ready to work under the colonials as slaves in their own country.

        However, deceived soft hearted people like you dear wijayapala, help the eelamists indirectly in a way in good faith to tread the truth and to thrown the untruth.

        I challenge, anybody, any historian, scholar or any intellectual to prove if possible, that there was a Tami civilization in this country before 13th century. The Tamil community was established in Sri lanka either in the form of invaders or as the form of the labourers brought by colonials. Only a very few has exceptions. Basically Tamils had never been peaceful settlers of this country unlike the Muslim community. Tamil community throughout the history tried to grab the power defeating the original inhabitants , that is Sinhalese through invasions. They have never exhibited any sign of will for co-habitation with Sinhalese. Same attitude is continuing. What they wanted throughout the history and and now is at least a piece of and in this country, which Sinhalese do not have access or power.

        Dear wijayapala, some times I see you as a prey of this powerful propaganda and mythology. I you are sound and honest in your position you can stand up your own. I am confident that I stand in the side of truth, reality and justice, until anybody challenged and disproves my position. I will not give away my position to weak emotions or feelings. I am confident theirs are dishonest and rouge theories. Anybody’s challenge welcome.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Correction……

        “What they wanted throughout the history and and now is at least a piece of [and]in this country, which Sinhalese do not have access.

        here [and] should be “land”.

        Thanks!

    • sabbe laban

      And those early settlers of South Indian origin(You can’t call them “Tamils”) became the Sinhalese and the subsequent arrivals which came in the form of South Indian invations became “Tamils”! See how closely these two communities are related?

      • sabbe laban

        correction: Invasion instead of invation!

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Suhir Ponncchamy,

      You wrote “Viyayan and 700 outcasts arrived in this land and they married 700 girls from Pandyan Kingdom.. that is the birth of Sinhala race. Gosh, Pandyan Kingdom is of Tamils.”

      Very Good Argument Suhir

      Congratulations.
      You have solved the ethnic issue with just two lines.

      Since Tamils and Sinhalese are the same where is the Historical Tamil Homeland?

      Currently those who calls themselves Tamils object to the “OTHER Tamils” being settled in the North an East.

      Since all are Tamils there cannot be any validity in that objection.

      BTW quite a number of Sri Lankans have Indian Names even today.
      Asoka, Vijaya, Kumara, is just three of them. You could Tamilise any one of them by adding a “n” at the end but that wont make the Emperor Asoka a Tamil neither would it make the Indian Exile Vijaya a Tamil.

      The problem with people like you is the dishonesty even when writing.

    • wijayapala

      Dear Suhir

      With the historical fact that before land around SriLanka submerged it was connected to India.. Could it be possible that Tamils lived there prior to the arrival of Vijayan?

      Sorry I had missed this detail. The answer is no because the land bridge existed thousands of years before the Tamils appeared as a distinct people.

    • Suhir Ponncchamy

      yapa, bravo.. you keep killing people, burn the libraries and demand evidences.. are you kidding. you do not want to know the truth.

      • yapa

        I want to know the truth with evidence and reasons. Otherwise I might not accept even the truth.

        If you cannot substantiate something you cannot call it truth, that is how I believe it.

        Thanks!

  • justitia

    Ethnicity and ethnic consciousness exist in the mind of man and cannot be completely eradicated.
    But for a nation to prosper is necessary to subjugate both to a consideration of methods to enable betterment of all.
    If all of us realise that equality is more important than history of ethnicity,a lot of wrongs could be righted.
    It is like working in an institution, say, a hospital.
    All work as a team to enable a better future, healthwise, for the patient.
    The ethnicity of the patient, or that of each member of the team is immaterial.
    If one member finds something abnormal,he requests a second opinion from a colleague.

    The ‘lankan nation’ is the patient. Elected representatives are the ‘doctors’.

    But for this ‘model’ to be enabled, there has to be complete trust and truthfulness.
    Selfishness and self glorification will undermine the effort.
    So will dishonesty and greed for power,perks, position and wealth.
    If one ‘doctor’ finds his method/procedure is unworkable, or is harmful,he must hand over the management to one who may do better.
    This will take a lot of will power and courage, but has to be done in the interest of the ‘patient’.
    Those who can do this are rare and rise above the common herd.
    Let us hope that this will happen.

  • @justitia

    You said, “The ‘lankan nation’ is the patient. Elected representatives are the ‘doctors’.”

    Sadly, the ‘lankan nation’ is a mental patient on life support, and the elected representatives are not doctors…but thugs, rapists, murderers, drug dealers, bookie owners and lunatics. You name it we’ve got it!
    …and it’s the mental patients’ on life support who are the ones who elected all of the above…

    …a Catch-22 situation if ever there was one…

    • Ravana

      Hik Hik,
      Catch 22; Animal Farm; 1984- all good books to read.
      The Sri Lankan vanduras with their deli pihiyas have little relevance in the great scheme.
      What Victor Senna said is quite interesting and I suspect close to the real truth. The real truth is that the locus of control does change from one small group to another. But it takes longer than the average lifetime or even trans-generational passage to be available as general knowledge.

      The question is, if one has the capacity to grab power from this small group does one automatically have to continue manipulating the greatest ape on earth? Or does one step out of the game altogether? Can any individual or group choose to step out of the rat race? How many of us are capable of effectively sabotaging the system? These are interesting questions to ponder.

      BTW, network theory states that any system is redundant enough that malfunction of even a large number of nodes could not destroy it. However, there are a few important nodes which have large number of interconnections. Attack a few of those and you will effect a catastrophic systems change. Wall Street is one of those nodes. Tax Office is another. One can keep going- the banking system, the Internet, Secret Organisations, Money, Oil…. Some can be brought down by a WikiLeaks, Others by Social Networking, yet others by informal networks such as bartering…. All of these forms of attacks have a common nature. They are diametrically opposed to the system of Nation States represented by and protected by ultimately the UN. They represent the collective strength of nothing more than individual humans and have no hierarchy. The lack of hierarchy is their strength.

      There was a great saying when I was growing up. If you can’t beat em, join em. Well, right now many of my generation are “in control” of important nodes of the system. Think of what can be done from within!

      • sabbe laban

        Ravana

        I must call your account,”a day-dream of an elderly anarchist”. You know yours is a failed ideology. Say for instance that you did overthrow the system, what’s next? Robspierre?

      • @Ravana

        Hik Hik, 😀 you said, “There was a great saying when I was growing up. If you can’t beat em, join em.”
        Well the problem in “Arsik Land” is that many Arsikians don’t want to beat the Family Dictatorship and it’s drug dealer parliamentarians, thugs and sycophants! They want to join them and savour the scraps and bones that are thrown at them (during elections and after)…happily living their lives as ‘Yes Sir, No Sir, Ulcer People’….blind patriots living on past glories.As long as these malfunctioning nodes continue in this mode, there is no hope for Arsik Land. Only a complete overhaul with a little help from the West (like what happened in Libya)is the only solution as I see it.

  • Toronto

    Natale – I think you’ve expressed your sentiments well. I do meet a lot of young men and women (Sri Lankan origin) who express their disappointments about the Sri Lankan “frog-in-a-well” mentality.
    Most Sinhalese (not all) say “this is a Sinhala-Buddhist” nation.
    Most Tamils (not all) say “Sinhalese, stay out of our areas.”
    Most Sinhalese and Tamils (not all) living outside of Sri Lanka have their dream of either “Sinhala-Buddhist Nation” or “Tamil Ealam.”
    Fortunately, THEY WILL REMAIN DREAMS.
    Thank God, there is a new generation of young men and women who are staying clear of the “Curse of history” that has haunted this nation for so long.
    Take heart Natale. Sri Lanka will be a blessed nation.
    Yes, in your life time.

    • @Toronto

      You say, “Take heart Natale. Sri Lanka will be a blessed nation.
      Yes, in your life time.” Is there something you know that we don’t know? Any bets on the majority in SL voting in a non- Sinhala Buddhist as PresiDunce in our life time? Is it just wishful thinking, or can you guarantee that SL will be a blessed nation in our lifetime?

      • yapa

        Dear PresiDunce Bean;

        We really know that you don’t like Sri Lanka to be a blessed nation. Vultures want reservoirs to be dried up to gulp down the fish.

        However, the clouds indicate rains, not your aspirations.

        Thanks!

      • Toronto

        PresiDunce Bean
        Aha! you’ve made a pessimistic assumption.
        What makes you think that a Sinhala-Buddhist cannot be the leader in a blessed Sri Lanka?

  • MV

    Natalie,

    There are several misconceptions in this article. For one thing the right to self-determination is something that is engraved in the UN Charter. Second, chauvinism is when a group wants to exert supremacy or dominance over the other. Therefore, I do not see how the Tamil struggle for self-determination and nationhood can be chauvinistic in nature.

    In fact, self-determination could have been the key to peaceful conflict resolution in the post-colonial era. Any political solution is meaningless unless based on this principle.

    • yapa

      Dear MV;

      I have heard many talking of “Right to Self-Determination”, but I have never heard anybody giving it a reasonable definition, description or explanation. Can you explain the concept in general and how it could be applied in Sri Lankan context please.

      I think this would clear the doubt of many.

      Thanks!

      • MV

        Yapa,

        I think there is a general misunderstanding about the right to self-determination, at least so in Sri Lanka.

        It does not necessarily mean secession but I believe it undermines group survival and that it is the people and not the state who should decide their destiny. However, it is often the interests of the state that are given importance to as opposed to those of the people in the current state of affairs.

        What the Tamil people want is to be recognized as a nation of their own as opposed to a minority group. What you have today are colonial defined nation-states, however, there are many nations out there that are not recognized within these states. Which is why I believe self-determination could have been the key to peaceful conflict resolution in the post-colonial era. It is because of this refusal that many unwanted players, such as India, got involved.

      • yapa

        Dear MV;

        Your explanation made the concept more complicated for me. My understanding scattered in pieces. I will show you how I was confused.

        I think there is a general misunderstanding about the right to self-determination, at least so in Sri Lanka.

        You say (A): It does not necessarily mean secession but I believe it undermines group survival and that it is the people and not the state who should decide their destiny.

        Answer (B): That is it could be secession as well?

        I cannot grasp the meaning of the second part of your sentence,

        i. “but I believe it undermines group survival” , what does this means, and you only believe it and not sure or clear about it?

        ii. “and that it is the people and not the state who should decide their destiny.”

        I don’t understand this as well, is it not the state that represent its people, especially in a democracy? Isn’t it the people who entrust their sovereignty to the state to look after them? Do you mean to say state is a redundant political entity in the present context?

        (A): However, it is often the interests of the state that are given importance to as opposed to those of the people in the current state of affairs.

        (B): Do you mean to say state and an elected government are redundant political entities in the present context? Do you say power should be given back to the people? Do you reject Hobbs, Hume, Locke, Rousseau etc. etc.?

        (A): What the Tamil people want is to be recognized as a nation of their own as opposed to a minority group.

        (B): What does this mean? Is there any meaning I do not understand in this other than “a separate country”? I was unable to figure out any other meaning than that.

        (A); What you have today are colonial defined nation-states, however, there are many nations out there that are not recognized within these states.

        (B): Are you talking about Sri Lanka or in general? Can you explain the statement specifically in the context of Sri Lanka?

        (A): Which is why I believe self-determination could have been the key to peaceful conflict resolution in the post-colonial era.

        (B): Keep aside the reason, even the definition has not been made clear by you before arriving at a conclusion I have not asked for. I asked for an explanation about the concept in general and how it could be applied in the Sri lankan context. Instead you arrive at a hasty conclusion.

        (A): It is because of this refusal that many unwanted players, such as India, got involved.

        (B): Can you name some “not unwanted players”, instead of that unwanted player? Norway? Britain? France? USA?, UNO?, Adisory Panel for UNSG?, Chief of HRC-UNO, Navaneetham Pillay?, China? Pakistan?, Russia?, Iran?, Cannel-4?, Germany?, EU Parliament?………….????

        I haven’t seen anything significant was said about “Right of Self-Determination” rather than some cloudy aspirations of a person/group.

        Please try to explain in a bit more simple form.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear MV;

        Are you all based on such a unclear/undefined/unexplained theory for you all to justify the claim for exclusive rights for 1/3rd of the land and 2/3rd of the sea belt, just for about 10% of the population of the country?

        What a simpleton theory and what a dishonest crafty claim?

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear MV;

        On the other hand if you think “Self Determination” is s right, are you all ready to accept a proportionate piece of land for your community?

        Are you all ready to accept 10% of the land for your people as exclusive homeland, as your total population is about 10%? Are you all ready to be living exclusively in that piece of land?

        (I think these are direct and clear questions unlike the shady theory of sef-determination.)

        Hope you or any other interested person/party would reply my queries above.

        Thanks!

    • wijayapala

      Dear MV,

      For one thing the right to self-determination is something that is engraved in the UN Charter.

      Do Sinhalese also get the right to self-determination, or is that a privilege reserved only for Tamils?

      • MV

        Wijayapala,

        Self-determination is not a privilege but a right.

      • wijayapala

        Ok MV let’s try this again:

        Do Sinhalese also get the right to self-determination, or is that a “right” reserved only for Tamils?

  • MV

    And by the way Yapa thank you for asking that question.

  • MV

    Wijayapala,
    I am not sure if right and privilege could be used in the same sentence but anyway to answer your question it is universal and not applicable to one particular group. Accordingly, people have the right to determine how they are to be governed – it could be independence or simply assimilation – but it is not upon the state. So for example, if the Tamil people want the status of a nation then it is up to them to decide – it doesn’t have to be independence but even recognition within the state as a nation rather than a minority i.e. federation or internal self-determination.

    Even if it exists there in the UN charter doesn’t mean it is easily granted by the state. Take for example, China and Tibet or India and Kashmir.

    • MV

      I hope I have answered your question. It is applicable to all (suppressed) nations within the state. However, I don’t know why Sinhalese would care. Incidentally, the Sri Lankan state is a Sinhalese one.

    • wijayapala

      MV, why are you talking like a politician?? I simply asked whether or not Sinhalese have the right to self-determination. That is a simple yes or no question!

  • Toronto

    Dear MV. yapa, wijepala
    Here we go again. Please do not misunderstand.
    “Right to self-determination by Sinhalese and Tamils etc.”
    What about just being Sri Lankan?
    Maybe we can change the course of this nation by thinking so.
    Hopefully we will act so some day.

    • yapa

      Really dear Toronto, I think we should follow the example of Toronto.

      Thanks!

  • MV

    Yapa,

    You have asked some great questions and I hope to answer some of them to the best of my ability.

    The claim to Tamil homeland is, I believe, one that is already accepted in the Banda-Chelva pact. The claim to land was based on that time-frame considering the Tamil majority regions.

    I am not saying the state is a redundant political entity but here we are referring to nations or people who are not represented by this entity. So by “nation” we are talking separate political entity. These nations do have the right to self-determination – in other words, they have the right to decide whether to secede or not. I hope I haven’t confused you more.

    Anyway, what fascinates me is that those who made a noise against Tamil demands (i.e. JHU) are now silent when the lands acquired, including that of the Sinhalese, get sold off to foreigners and few wealthy folks. But then patriotism is only when it comes to Tamils.

  • Candidly

    Sad to read that there are still Sri Lankan expatriates re-fighting old battles in their minds and on their keyboards. It also shows how far they are from understanding what is really happening in Sri Lanka and South Asia and in the minds of the younger generation.

    In my view Toronto is right: a new generation is growing up in Sri Lanka and overseas that is extremely unlikely to commit again the mistakes of the past, despite the efforts of a few people in Canada and Australia to keep the fires of hatred burning because they have nothing better to do with their lives. As for the the young ethnic Sinhalese & Tamils living abroad, they are much more concerned with getting educated and getting on in life in their new homelands, which are now the UK, Canada, Australia, etc. They are certainly not going to repeat the mistakes of the past that their parents made. They are looking forwards, not backwards.

  • Dear Natale Dankotuwa,
    Thanks for what you have written.
    The Root Cause of the problems of our country is the imaginary and false doctrine of the Sinhala nation: the Aryan – Sinhala – Sinhalese – Theravada Buddhism – Lanka with one – to one correspondence and the successive governments of Sri Lanka dominated by the Sinhala Buddhists formulating poilicies based on this imaginary and false doctrine and unilaterally implementing them.
    Formulation of this imaginary and false doctrine of the Sinhala nation commenced during the period(1850) of the English educated people like ‘Anagarika’ Dhammapala, James d’Alwis and continued by the people like Prf. S. Paranavithana and others. Now Ven. Ellawala Medhanada Thera (The Sinhala Buddhist Heritage in The East and The North of Shri Lanka, 2005)and others continue.
    Even foreigners like Annie Bessant (Buddhist Popular Lectures, 1908, Madras), Wilhelm Geiger and others had emphasized and propagated the creation of Sinhala Buddhist nation’in the 19th and 20th century. The political and national interests of these foreigners made them to propagate this policy among the Teravada Buddhist Monks and the Sinhalese.
    A scientific study of the Pali, Tamil, Sinhala literature, archaeological finds of Lanka such as Brahmi, Tamil Sinhala inscription, coins. seal, statues, sculptures, paintings etc. will confirm that the Aryan – Sinhala – Sinhalese – Theravada Buddhism – Lanka doctrine with one – to – one correspondence is imaginary and false.
    To study scientifically our literature and the archaeological finds, one must have adequate knowledge on 1) Symbolization; 2) Symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism, and 3) the word – meaning relationship of the Tamil language.
    So far no historians or archaeologists or numismatists have studied these scientifically.
    We find hundreds symbols marked on the Brahmi, Tamil and Sinhala Inscriptions, coins and seals; hundreds of statues, sculptures, and paintings. But no one has explained these scientifically.
    Prof. S. Paranavitana who wrote a book on the Brahmi inscriptions of Lanka never did not explain over 65 symbols found marked on a number of inscriptions! However, he has read and explained the inscriptions and come to conclusion!! This is unscientific. Ven. Medhananda Thera (2005)in his book(pages 97 – 100)tried to study two of the symbols, but could come to a correct conclusion.
    The position of Iravatham Mahadevan of Tamil Nadu is also the same.
    The scholars could not explain a number of words found written on coins and inscriptions, but have come to imaginary, unscientific conclusion. As examples: The name ‘Siva’ of the Buddhist Monks in the Brahmi inscriptions of the Eastern Province and Brahmi coins of Akurugoda.
    The lion emblem of the Kadyan kingdom symbolizes Lord Buddha and not the Sinhalese race.
    Like wise, with all wrong and imaginary conclusions only, the Sinhala nation formulated its doctrine.
    The Sinha Theravada Buddhist nationalism only caused Tamil nationalism.
    The UN Panel Report(pages -7&8) has identified the Root Cause of the problems of Lanka.
    Unless the Sinhala nation rejects its imaginary and false doctrine in words and deeds, no solution will be possible.
    In short, ignorance of the Sinhala nation is the foremost problem on our country.

  • Dear Yapa and others
    Yapa has written:
    “I challenge, anybody, any historian, scholar or any intellectual to prove if possible, that there was a Tami civilization in this country before 13th century. The Tamil community was established in Sri lanka either in the form of invaders or as the form of the labourers brought by colonials. Only a very few has exceptions. Basically Tamils had never been peaceful settlers of this country unlike the Muslim community. Tamil community throughout the history tried to grab the power defeating the original inhabitants , that is Sinhalese through invasions. They have never exhibited any sign of will for co-habitation with Sinhalese. Same attitude is continuing. What they wanted throughout the history and and now is at least a piece of and in this country, which Sinhalese do not have access or power.”

    I have read the Sinhalese talking and writing about various things without studying the history scientifically.
    I as a simple question: Could any present Sinhalese prove that he or she is the descendant of the original ‘Sinhalese’of this island?
    If you go through the history, there were three massive exoduses from South India: 1)1307 – Capturing of the city North to Vindhya Hills by the Delhi Sultanate; 2)1310 – Ge. Malik Kafur and over 2000 Cavalry men of the Delhi Sultanate entering South India through the Vinhya Hillas and looting all the places up to Ramanathapuram; and 3) 1320’s – The delhi Sultanate capturing Madurai and other places.
    Tens of thousands of the South Indians fled by boats and settled not only in the Jaffna peninsula, Vanni, the West and the South, but also in all the countries up to Japan and Australia.
    This only in the 14th and 15th centuries caused the North – South conflicts in all these countries.
    This was the reason why most of the leading Sinhalese families in Sri Lankan politics in the books on their families have written they settled in Lanka because the Kings of Lanka invited them.
    Apart from these, thousands of people from south India, Malaya and Indonesia were settled in the South and North during the Portuguese, Dutch and English Rule.
    In 1690s, thousands of people from India were sold as ‘Slaves.’ The Dutch had imposed 10 Rix Dollars as ‘Admission Fee’ for each slave!
    Out of these, all who got settled in the South have become ‘Sinhalese’ but who remained in the North and East have become ‘Tamils.’
    With all these, it is a surprise fora present ‘Sinhalese’ to talk much about the ‘Sinhalese’ or the ‘Tamils.’
    If you go through the ‘Ancient’ Sinhala, Sanskrit and Pali literature, you will confirm that they were composed by the Tamil Mahayana Buddhists.
    If a scientific study is conducted on all the archaeological finds of Lanka, it could be confirmed that they were the creation of the Tamil Mahayana Buddhists.
    Could you prove with any scientific evidence that ‘Sinhalese dance,’ ‘Sinhalese Music’and ‘Sinhalese Drama’ as spoken today by the politicians and others ever existed in Lanka?
    Sinhalese scholars say that the Brahmi inscriptions of Lanka belong to the period of 3rd – 2nd Century B.C. Ask a simple question: Had Brahmi scripts been used in Lanka in the 3rd and 2nd century B.C, why not a single poem or a story or a literature was written with Brahmi scripts?
    What was the necessity if inventing the ‘Sinhala’ scripts?
    Compare the ‘Hela’ grammar book with the “Viirasooliyam’ written by the Tamil Mahaya Buddhist ‘Puttamithiran.’
    In the Lankan literature like Vayantimalaya, Budhugunaalankaraya, Guttilakavyaya, Parakumbubasirita, Sasadavata etc. stanzas praising the Triple Gem are placed at the beginning of the literature to identify the literature with Buddha and Buddhism.
    In the Tamil literature like Kural, Kamba Ramayanam, Silappathikaaram etc. also, similar method of literary symbolization is used.
    Like wise, all the statues, sculptures and paintings were the creation of the Tamil Mahayana Buddhists.
    Theravada Buddhism rejects completely Puranas, literature, symbolization, symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism, music, dance and other forms of art. Only Mahayana Buddhism accepted these and utilized to teach Buddhism to all and assist the ordinary people to practice Buddhism and attain Nibbana. According to Theravada Buddhism, only those who renounce normal life by joining the Sangha could attain Nibbana.
    Our historians and archaeologists talk much about Kandarodai and its cluster of stupas. Just because there were Buddhist remains, the Sinhalese claim that in the ancient time Sinhalese – Theravada Buddhists lived there.
    First of all, similar cluster of small stupas and other Buddhists remains were discovered recently in Maldives also.
    Just because of this, nobody could claim that Sinhala – Theravada Buddhists live in Maldives also.
    On the other hand, at Kandarodai, a number of things have been discovered. Small statues of Vishnou, Ganapathi and other gods, coins, potsherds, etc. and a pair of foot made of stone.
    All these confirm that there exited Tamil Mahayana Buddhism!
    The ‘Setu’ coins, “Aa’ coin, ‘Om Kanth’ coin and a number of other coins with the animals lion, horse,bull and other symbols, and the AAnaikoodai’ seal with Brahmi scripts and symbols etc. confirm without any doubt that Tamil Mahayana Buddhists lived in the Jaffna peninsula, Northern mainland and East.
    The ‘Kannahi’ temples in the North and these East also confirm this. ‘Silappathikaaram’ is a Mahayana Buddhist epic.
    Yapa,like others, has based his arguments on what are said in Dipavansa and Mahavamsa.
    Nobody could prove with scientific evidence that Dipavamsa was written in the 4th. contry C.E and Mayavamsa in the 5th or 6th century C.E.Further nobody has proved that ‘Mahanama Thera’ was a ‘historical truth.’
    The dates of reign of the kings of Lanka and the death of Buddha (543 B.C.)were placed by having the year of fall of the Jaffna Kingdom(1457 A.D.)as the 2000 Buddha year.
    If we go back 2000 years from the year 1457A.D., we have 543 B.C.This has been used as the year of death of Lord Buddha.
    Therefore, the Buddha era could have been created only after the fall of Jaffna kingdom in 1457 A.D.
    In the Tamil Buddhist epic Manimehalai, it is stated the Lord Buddha would reappear on the earth from ‘Thushita’ Lokha in the year 1616 and Dhamma would be re-established on the earth (Mani. Chapter 12, from line 72).
    The scholars could not understand what the 1616 is.
    In a Buddhist epic, years would have been mentioned in the ‘Buddhist Era’ only.
    Therefore, to find out what ‘Buddhist year 1616’ would correspond in our era, we have to subtract the year of death of Buddha from 1616.
    From the year of fall of Jaffna Kingdom,we know that Lord Buddha died in 543 B.C..
    Therefore, Buddhist year 1616 is (1616 – 543) 1073 A.D.
    What is the significance of the year 1073 A.D. as mentioned in the Manimehalai epic?
    This was the year in which after 70 years of Cola domination as mentioned in Mahavamsa, Vijayabahu I, after re-organizing the Sangha, repairing the Buddhist temples and building a new temple for the sacred tooth of Lord Buddha crowned himself as the Buddhist King of Lanka.
    This is mentioned in a Tamil inscription of Polonnaruwa also.
    The story of the re-establishment of Buddha Dhamma in Lanka after 70 years of Cola rule was made into the Kavya ‘Ramayana’ by the Tamil Mahayana Buddhist ‘Kamban.’ In the Ramayanam of Kamban, the first three stanzas praise the Triple Gem. Thus, Ramayana is a Buddhist Kavya composed by a Tamil Mahayana Buddhist.
    Therefore,using 543 B.C. as the year of death of Buddha compels us to conclude that Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa could not been written before 1457 A.D.
    By comparing the stories and incidents mentioned in Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa with the Tamil Sangam literature and other epics, one could conclude that there should have been direct connection between the Tamil Mahayana Buddhists and writing of the Pali literature Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa.
    With all these, what could we say about some talking and writing about the Sinaha – theravada Buddhism, Sinhalese Art, Sinhalese Literature, Sinhalese heritage etc?
    Dear Yapa. If you want to study all these subjects scientifically, I am prepared to give assistance.