Can GOSL Implement LLRC Recommendations?

Photo credit Ada Derana

This is the question of the day. This is raised nationally and internationally and answers contrast for different reasons. In this article, I endeavor to briefly answer this question from a governance perspective, keeping in mind the present socio-political realities  in Sri Lanka.

The President appointed the Commission of Inquiry on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliations (LLRC) on 15th May 2010 with a broad mandate to inquire into and report on specific matters, in terms of the Commissions of Inquiry Act. The title of the Commission and the mandate in general suggests that the objective of the appointment of the LLRC is to find ways for reconciliation among all communities, after a bloody ethnic conflict.  It is also possible to argue that the LLRC was appointed to advise the Head of the State on how to avoid a national tragedy in the future. The Warrant has, among others the following term of reference:

“[inquire and report on] Institutional, administrative and legislative measures which  need to be taken in order to prevent any recurrence  of such concerns  in the future, and to promote further national unity and reconciliation among all communities, and  to make any such other recommendation  which reference to any of the matters that have been inquired into under the terms of this Warrant.”

In that context, the LLRC had a mandate to examine the governance structures and its functioning to ascertain why Sri Lanka was in a “mess” in relation to ethnic harmony. The LLRC submitted its report on 15th November 2011 to the President and unlike many other Presidential Commission reports, this report is in the public domain.

Governance Related Recommendations

The Report deals with a variety of issues including the Ceasefire Agreement, Overview of Security Operations, Land Issues, Resettlement, and Reconciliation. Judging from its recommendations, we can conclude that the LLRC has also addressed its mind to the relevance of governance for overall reconciliation efforts.  Perhaps there may be disagreements on other findings and recommendation, but, I believe, there is implicit consensus on the findings and recommendations on governance aspects.  Being a governance and human rights activist, I was delighted to read these specific findings/recommendations. The civil society has been urging the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) for many years, to respect the existing constitutional guarantees and establish Rule of Law; and raised almost identical  issues.  The government continues to pronounce that Sri Lanka has good laws, which are respected. The GOSL never accepted that there was any paucity or deficiency in rule of law or human rights protections. Centuries ago, Aristotle taught us “Good laws, if they are not obeyed, do not constitute good government”.

For the purpose of this article let me reproduce few governance related recommendations of the LLRC, selected and clustered by me for easy reference:

1. Media freedom, attacks on journalists etc.

(a)   The LLRC  was deeply disturbed by persistent reports concerning attacks on journalists and media institutions and killing of journalists  and the fact that these incidents remains to be conclusively investigated and perpetrators brought  to justice…. Any failure to investigate and prosecute offenders would undermine the process of reconciliation and the Rule of Law.  (paragraph 9.114)

(b)   It is essential that media freedom be enhanced in keeping with democratic principles and relevant obligations. Steps should be taken to prevent harassment and attacks on journalists and media institutions and deterrent punishment should be imposed on those who were responsible for attacks. Priority should also be given to the “investigation, prosecution and disposal of such cases to build up public confidence in the criminal justice system”. (paragraph 9.115)

(c)   Government should ensure that the freedom of movement of media personnel in the North and East, as it would help in the exchange of information contributing to the process of reconciliation.

(d)   Legislation should be enacted to ensure the right to information (paragraph 9.115)

2. Freedom of Association

People, community leaders and religious leaders should be free to organize peaceful events and meetings without restrictions. (paragraph 9.118)

3. Law Enforcement, Police and Impunity

(a)   The Commission notes the failure on the part of the law enforcement officers to investigate offences and bring offenders to book, where the offences are committed by persons with political connections. The  Commission emphasizes that all allegations should be investigated and wrongdoers  prosecuted and punished  irrespective of their political links, so as to inspire confidence among the people in the administration of justice (paragraph 9.203 & 212)

(b)   The Police Department is a civilian institution which is entrusted with the maintenance of Law and Order. Therefore, it is desirable that the Police Department be de-linked from the institutions dealing with the armed forces which are responsible for the security of the State.  (paragraph 9.214)

(c)    An independent permanent Police Commission is a pre-requisite to guarantee the effective function of the Police and to generate public confidence. (paragraph 9.215)

(d)   Activities of illegal armed groups are of serious concern to the Commission.  It appeared that the dominating presence and activities of such groups have created fear among the general public, contributing to an environment of impunity. Some of their illegal activities affected the basic rights of people such as the right to life. …. Action should be taken to disarm and put an end to illegal activities of these groups (paragraph 9.72-74)

The above recommendations are self-explanatory and need no elaboration. It speaks volumes of the present governance status. The LLRC was able to find the nexus between Rule of Law and Reconciliation. It has found that the collapse of Rule of Law and restrictions on civil liberties is   detrimental to reconciliation efforts.

Priority  to Tighten the Political Grip;

Probably one can argue that the whole issue of accountability (in the final stage of the war) has been ignored by the LLRC. Nevertheless, the local and international community is awaiting the response of the President, not mere GOSL, on the key findings and recommendations of LLRC. In my view, whether the government has the political will to fully implement the LLRC recommendations depends mostly, if not mainly, on whether the President and his government are prepared to respect Rule of Law.  Are they genuinely prepared?

This question cannot be answered in a vacuum without understanding the basic norms of how the country is run today.  Some of the most significant features of the present GOSL under the leadership of President Rajapaksha is as follows:

  1. The concentration of power within his close circle (family and few others)
  2. Tightening  the  political grip through control of free expression, media and free assembly, while  taking all possible steps to monopolize  information.
  3. Politicization and weakening of public institutions including the law enforcement agencies
  4. Militarization of civil life and civilian institutions.
  5. The manipulation of elections, through unprecedented abuse of state resources and emasculation of opposition.

Aspects (a) to (d) above have been dealt with by the LLRC but not the (e) above. Probably there were no sufficient representations made to the LLRC on that aspect. It seems clear that the LLRC thinks these features of the regime are obstacles to engage in reconciliation among the communities. In my view, these features pose a threat to the continuity of democracy in the country, not just reconciliation.

Whether the regime is serious in implementing these vital governance related recommendations must be judged from the past conduct of the Rajapaksa regime.  The regime has failed to improve governance structures and, in fact, it has shown complete indifference to governance. If we have a quick look at its governance record, almost all the public institutions including regulatory institutions and law enforcement agencies were politicized.  The constitutional guarantees available for protection against politicization were removed with the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.  None of the assassinations of journalists and attacks on media institutions were seriously investigated.  All the cronies of the government and their families are above the law. It has never taken steps to eliminate impunity. In my view, these are well planned strategies of the regime – for a clear purpose of tightening the political hold.  If the governance related recommendations are implemented, then the Rajapaksa regime will lose its political grip and a fair political equilibrium will emerge. In my view, that is not a rick the regime will take.

Probing into bona fides of GOSL

If the police are independent, being placed under an independent Police Commission as suggested by the LLRC, and de-linked from the military, and then we are bound to see a different police. Investigations will be conducted by professional policemen and evidence will be elicited, against any suspect, irrespective of the nature of the crime. They will not be subject to the dictation of the political masters. In such an event, there is a likelihood of successfully solving political or high profile crimes. Such independent investigations can expose the involvement of main players of the regime, who otherwise, comfortably sweep such investigations under the carpet and manipulated investigations.  History has seen that when the law enforcement agencies become independent, corrupt leaders, including heads of the police department go to jail and new countries and new cultures emerge. That is exactly what happened in Hong Kong in late 1970s. Is the GOSL ready to accept it?

Take the case of killings of journalists, which have not been truthfully investigated by this government.  There are at least two people who know those responsible for the deaths; the one who gave orders and the other who carried out the orders. If the police is given a free hand to investigate and prosecute the offenders, there is a likelihood of even judicial findings against the higher officials and politicians within the government. An investigation can expose those who were responsible for those crimes. World political experience show that such exposures have even brought down governments! Is the GOSL ready to accept it?

Freedom of expression, mostly political dissent, is something not new to President Rajapaksa because he was one who frequently used those rights at the highest level, while being in the opposition. Now, President Rajapaksha (and the regime as a whole) does not welcome any powerful dissenting grouping that can challenge his political future.  However, the Government is at a natural advantage, because the people in the south honestly admire it for defeating the LTTE.  The war victory (and popularity) is often used as the most powerful tool to suppress any dissenting voices. This reminds us of the famous quotation of Polybius: “Those who know how to win are much more numerous than those who know how to make proper use of their victories.”   If free expression and lawful assemblies are permitted on sensitive political matters without impediment, alternative voices will certainly expose the government’s sham political devices and much more. Authoritarian tendencies will then be challenged openly.  Is the GOSL ready?

The GOSL  has mastered the control of media, through lawful and unlawful means.  Apart from extra judicial tactics used by the GOSL with impunity, the entire state mechanism is now used for the protection and survival of the Regime. Besides, consider how the government reacts to anything that can “embarrass the government”.  With that mind set, I do not see how there can be a political will to ensure full scale free expression and media freedom.

There may be other sensitive international and legal issues why the GOSL has some reservations on implementing the LLRC recommendations.  On political expediency, GOSL will definitely answer affirmatively  to the question,  whether  Sri Lanka has an independent and credible mechanism to investigate allegations of human rights violations  and,  in particular,  the  incidents  during the last stage of the war.  In my view, the GOSL cannot implement the governance related recommendations, simply because it believes that it is a political suicide to respect Rule of Law and protect human rights. Should the public be quiet then?  As Martin Luther King Jr. said “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed”. Unless there is sufficient and intensive demand by the people of this country, on the streets,  in Sri Lanka, the GOSL will not even consider implementing these recommendations. Then, the LLRC would be a show piece for international consumption, without any relevance to Sri Lanka.

  • Gnanam Selvaratnam

    Can GOSL Implement the LLRC recommendations? Of course they can.
    Do I want GOSL to Implement the LLRC recommendations? Absolutely.
    WILL GOSL Implement the LLRC recommendations? Probably not…

    DJ – if you’re reading this – seeing you are close to the government and a key influencer (and highly respected diplomat) as well as being the most accessible official around (on the blogosphere) – Will GOSL actually implement the recommendations of the LLRC? Are you aware of any actual plans as such?

    I know it might seem a bit odd, but just want your reassurances because we have been through so much in SL, lets get some traction on political reform.

    If I get an emphatic Yes to my questions, i’ll be happy, if I get some rambling, I’ll have my doubts… either way you have my utmost respect.

  • eureka

    To prepare the Sinhala masses for any devolution of power, submissions made in English and Tamil must be translated into Sinhala(submissions made in Sinhala are translated into English and posted on LLRC website) and posted on LLRC website and widely distributed as leaflets in the South by a civil society.

  • Keynes!

    There’s a better way to prepare the Sinhalese, Muslims, Tamils and David Blacker for devolution.

    1. Formulate an additional chapter for the LLRC report with input from historians such as Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri and molecular anthropologists such as N. Saha of the National University of Singapore, R.L. Kirk and Sarabjit Mastana.

    The new chapter would highlight that much of Sri Lankan history is a myth and that all of us are cousins.

    2. Implement Dr. E.W. Adikaram’s recommendation that was formulated many moons ago.

    • sabbe laban

      Please tell me more about E.W. Adhikaram’s recommmendations, as I too have a great deal of respect towards this fascinating but eccentric thinker!

      • Keynes!

        Sabbe,

        If I elaborate on E.W. Adhikaram’s recommendation today,it will be construed as apostasy, blasphemy and heresey all in one go. Nevertheless, here’s a hint: it’s very similar to what Terry Jones was planning to do on the 2010 anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

  • eureka

    Dear Buddhist associations

    1.Please tell LLRC and other appropriate bodies of responsibility that the people should not be allowed to transfer their responsibility to concrete structures:

    http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2012/02/05/misguided-buddhist-zealots/
    Misguided Buddhist Zealots

    2. Please pay attention to the whole article:
    http://groundviews.org/2010/10/06/amber-light-signals-requiring-pro-active-action-by-the-lessons-learnt-and-reconciliation-commission/

    ”…… Preventing public places, especially roadsides (mainly along popular highways), main towns and residential areas being used to set up shrines, temples, statutes and commonly venerated tress and physical objects on an ad hoc basis
    Preventing constructions, setting up reservations and designating new sites in presently publicly held land for the exclusive use of certain defined ethnic or religious groups , which may be deemed disrespectful to and cause disharmony amongst the relevant communities and or be deemed unjustified in the context of the present demography of the areas concerned. ……”

    • Off the Cuff

      Eureka,

      Archimedes ran naked on the streets after discovering a scientific principle. Unfortunately, you are doing that without discovering anything.

      Are you contending that there are no roadside edifices to male genitalia that some people worship, constructed on public land? Are there no Hindu Kovils, Christian statues and crosses, Hindu Deities adorning public highways on pubic land?

      Have you taken a count of these Ad Hoc edifices?
      If not, how do you know that these edifices are disproportionate to the followers of these respective religions?

      I do not support nor do I advocate these ad hoc structures but you are out of line and running naked when you criticise with one eye closed.

      Please keep in mind that 84% of Land in Sri Lanka is Public Land. Hence there is no Ethnic owner to these Lands. It is COMMON PROPERTY of ALL Lankan Citizens.

      The Demography of the Hill Country was changed by the British.
      Are you advocating correcting that?

      If not, what is the change in Demography that you are complaining about? Are you obliquely laying claim to a part of the Publicly owned Land?

      If so, how much are you claiming?
      Is it 10%, 25%, 50% 80%?
      Please state your case with supporting Facts.

      • eureka

        ”Please pay attention to the whole article”

      • PitastharaPuthraya

        Off the cuff,

        I do not agree with erecting any religious edifices on the road sides.

        However, there is a difference between people inhabiting a particular area erecting a relgious structure on the road side for them to worship spontaneously without ulterior motives and erection of buddhist relgious monuments by the politico-millitary machine of the Sinhalese Buddhist rulers on the newly ‘conqured’ territories soley inhabited by the hindu Tamis.

        I do not think that you are blind to the purpose of these buddhist structures. Obvously they are not constructed to propagate the The Buddha’s message to Tamils or to facilitate the people inhabiting those areas to worship their relegious idols.

        The blatant and simple truth is to show the locals who the real owners and rulers of the country are. It can be interpreted as an open challenge to the Tamils who still think about self-determination and devolution.

        Would the real practising Buddhists appove the erection of the Buddha’s statues and Dagobas said to be containing his relics in every nook and corner in the newly ‘conqured’ territories?

      • Off the Cuff

        Eureka,

        Still running naked?
        Unlike you, Archimedes forgot that he was running naked only for a short time.

        You ask ”Please pay attention to the whole article”

        I have but have you?

        You have raised the questions of Demographic changes and the erection of religious edifices.

        I have requested you to prove your case.

        Does your SILENCE imply that you have no case that can stand scrutiny?

        Have you been just blabbering all this time?

      • Off the Cuff

        PitastharaPuthraya ,

        We both agree that the construction of Ad hock religious edifices on public property is wrong. Our agreement seems to stop there.

        You wote “…..erection of buddhist relgious monuments by the politico-millitary machine of the Sinhalese Buddhist rulers……..”

        You are trying to drum up an ethno religious divide.
        Are there no Tamil Buddhists?
        Is there no Tamil Buddhist Literature?
        Are there no MINORITY Ministers in Govt?
        Have not members of Minority communities Headed Powerful Ministries as Cabinet Ministers?
        Have they not Headed the Armed forces, Police, Judiciary, Attorney General’s dept etc?

        Where is your proof that proves Hindu, Christian edifices a spontaneously erected and Buddhist edifices are not? If as you say that it is done by the politico military machine what prevents them doing it legally instead of by ad hock means?

        Sri Lanka is overwhelmingly Sinhalese and Buddhist. How do you propose to have it governed by anyone else through democratic means? What have the Jaffna Tamils done to win the confidence of that majority? The confidence that was eroded when the Jaffna Tamils acted as the guard dogs of the British?

        You wrote “….. on the newly ‘conqured’ territories … “

        Newly Conquered?

        Are you obliquely referring to the period during which some areas of Lanka came under the Fascist and Racist Jackboot of a gang of murdering Terrorists as a LEGAL period?

        Are you aware that even during that period, ALL welfare facilities and Services to the Tamil population was delivered by the Government of Sri Lanka? The Govt which you label as Sinhalese Buddhist?

        Who paid the salaries of ALL Government Employees inside the Murderous LTTE held Territory?
        Who maintained the Hospitals and the Medical Staff?
        Who Financed the Schools that the Tamil Children were educated in?
        Who provided FREE education to those Tamil Children? The LTTE?
        Who conducted the Public Examinations? The LTTE?
        Even that muderer Prabakaran’s own children were educated at the SL Govt’s expense.
        Even his parents were paid an SL Govt pention.
        Open your eyes PP and take that veil of hate off it.

        You wrote “…..soley inhabited by the hindu Tamis”

        Where are the Muslims who were living there?
        Where are the Sinhalese who lived in the North?
        Ethnically Cleansed were they not?

        Apparently you cannot read.

        84% of Sri Lanka’s Land is PUBLIC Land.
        Hence it is uninhabited.
        It has no Ethnic owner.
        ALL Citizens of Lanka own it COLLECTIVELY.

        You appear to believe that Tamils are the exclusive owners of the Northern and Eastern SL.

        That idea which you propagate, when Millions of Tamils live and work in the South, on Land DISPOSSESSED from the Sinhalese, is a major reason why the Northern Tamils have been unable to win the confidence of the Majority population.

  • eureka

    Dear Mr Gammanpila, there are ethical and environmental reasons now:

    http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2012/02/05/misguided-buddhist-zealots/
    “There are no ethno-religious constraints in Sri Lanka,” said member of the JHU, Udaya Gammanpila,

  • eureka

    Contd….

    Mr President
    ”infiltrating hostile people” cannot be made easy by erecting concrete statues (or foundation stone for a grand sports stadium) but can be made esy by letting the war-battered people access to willing and capable aid agents for getting basic shelter, food and medicine (and removing the occupation army/navy from their farming and fishing grounds):

    http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2012/02/05/misguided-buddhist-zealots/
    ”Over 28 Buddha statues have been counted along this route since the war concluded in May 2009.”

  • eureka

    Contd…

    Mr President
    We have seen pictures of you reading LLRC report. You may have to go back to reading the submissions that led LLRC to make such recommendations.

  • eureka

    http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2012/02/paramilitary-leader-and-lttes-k-p.html
    Paramilitary leader and LTTE’s K P advised to infiltrate diaspora Tamil organisations, 8 February 2012:
    ”During his visit to Jaffna after the Independence Day celebrations in Anuradhapura, President Mahinda Rajapakse has requested the government Minister and the paramilitary leader Douglas Devanada to get his men to infiltrate into the government hostile Tamil organisations in the Tamil diaspora to disturb their activities. The President is said to have quoted the names Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam and the Global Tamil Forum.”

    Mr President

    Adopting good governance and implementing LLRC recommendations will turn the diaspora away from Sri Lanka to other activities:

    http://transcurrents.com/news-views/archives/139
    National integration is still where it was when Prabhakaran’s body was found at Nandhikkadal, Somapala Gunadheera, 2 May 2011 ‘’…. If we are wise, we should first put our own house in order before we challenge the UN…. It is not yet too late to begin. The mission needs a powerful Presidential Task Force for National Reconciliation. Such a Force can cut the ground from under the feet of the ongoing controversy and many more to be expected.’’

    http://transcurrents.com/news-views/archives/213
    Osama and Prabhakaran: The killing of two terrorist leaders, Harim Pieris, 5 May 2011: ‘’…. However the West’s war on terror and specifically its war on Al Queda have been complimented by a dialogue and outreach to the Muslim world. Similarly Sri Lanka’s own war on terror, concluded now almost two years ago, must also be complemented and succeeded by dialogue and an outreach through friendship to the Tamil community.”

  • eureka

    The country is still waiting for a statesman after 64 yrs of ”independence”:

    Emergency ’58 – The Story of the Ceylon Race Riots, Tarzi Vittachi(1958):

    ”When a government, however popular, begins to pander to racial or religious emotionalism merely because it is the loudest of the raucous demands made on it, and then meddles in the administration and enforcement of law and order for the benefit of its favourites or to win the plaudits of a crowd, however hysterical it may be, catastrophe is certain.

    At the risk of losing the monumental support of the anti-Muslim Congress sympathisers, Mahatma Gandhi once said: ”No cabinet worthy of being representative of a large mass of mankind can afford to take any step merely because it is likely to win the hasty applause of an unthinking public. In the midst of insanity, should not our best representatives retain sanity and bravely prevent a wreck of the ship of state under their care?”

    Can anyone doubt that if this glorious principle of statesmanship had been applied in Ceylon the bloodbath of 1958 could have been avoided?”

    • Off the Cuff

      Eureka,

      A Native will fight for his/her Country and her freedom.

      How many Tamils opposed the British Oppressor when they fought to subjugate and dehumanise the Natives of Sri Lanka?

      Could you please name such Tamil Natives who fought the British?

      Statesman?

      If Sri Lanka had Statesman instead of Lackeys when the NATIVES were dehumanised by oppressive rulers, the story of course, would have been very different Eureka.

      Still running naked Eureka?
      You have been doing it for days, Archimedes did so for just minutes and that too when he made a ground breaking discovery that made him forget that he was naked.

      How about backing up your paraphrasing with arguments of your own?
      You do have a mind of your own don’t you?

      • Keynes!

        Off your Cuff,

        “How many Tamils opposed the British Oppressor when they fought to subjugate and dehumanise the Natives of Sri Lanka?”

        Can you prove that the leader of the Uva Rebellion was a Sinhalese?

      • Gamarala

        Well done Keynes! With a single, simple statement, you’ve shown the abject folly in Off the Cuff’s appallingly misguided and highly racist sentiments (I suspect that he does not realize this however, the inevitable result of buying into Sinhala or Tamil apologist rhetoric).

      • Off the Cuff

        Keynes!

        Sinhalese History records that Sinhalese Royalty and Nobility took brides from India. This has been so from the days of Vijaya. Sinhalese have married the Nayakkars. The last king of Kandy was Kannasamy, a Nayakkar. The Sinhalese emerged from a mixture of Indians and Natives of Lanka and has developed as a separate race with a unique language found only in Sri Lanka.

        You ask “Can you prove that the leader of the Uva Rebellion was a Sinhalese?”

        In view of the foregoing what is there to prove?

        My question was preceded by the following,
        A Native will fight for his/her Country and her freedom.

        The South is where the Sinhalese Natives of Lanka live. The North is claimed to be the “Traditional Homeland” of the Tamil Natives of Lanka.

        Governor Brownrigg issued a Proclamation on 01.01.1818 that the following seventeen persons were engaged in promoting rebellion and war against His Majesty’s Forces, and that they were “Rebels, Outlaws and Enemies to the British.” Their lands and properties were to be confiscated by the Crown. They were:

        (1) Keppetipola, the former Dissawe of Ouva; (2) Godagedara, former Adikaram of Ouva; (3) Ketakala Mohottala of Ouva; (4) Maha Betmerala of Kataragama in Ouva; (5) Kuda Betmerala of Kataragama in Ouva; (6) Palagolla Mohottala of Ouva; (7) Passerewatte Vidane of Ouva; (8) Kiwulegedera Mohottala of Walapane; (9) Yalagomme Mohotalla of Walapane; (10) Udamadure Mohottala of Walapane; (11) Kohukumbure Rate Rala of Wellassa; (12) Kohukumbura Walauwe Mohottala of Wellassa; (13) Bootawe Rate Rala of Wellassa; (14) Kohukumbura Gahawela Rate Rala of Wellassa (15) Maha Badullegammene Rate Rala of Wellassa (16) Bulupitiye Mohottala of Wellassa; (17) Palle Malheyae Gametirale of Wellassa.

        How many of the above are from the so called “Traditional Tamil Homeland”?

      • Keynes!

        Off the Cuff,

        I’m no apologist for the Traditional Sinhala Homeland nor the Traditional Tamil homeland conjecture.

        Nevertheless, what do you mean by the Traditional Tamil Homeland? Are you refering to the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka only? Or do you include Tamil Nadu to this?

        All what I did was to question Keppetipola’s ethnicity. Now I have questions about the ethnicity of Ehelapola Madduma Bandara, Durand Appuhamy and the two Kataragama Deviyos in your list.

      • Off the Cuff

        Keynes!

        You wrote “All what I did was to question Keppetipola’s ethnicity. Now I have questions about the ethnicity of Ehelapola Madduma Bandara, Durand Appuhamy and the two Kataragama Deviyos in your list”

        It is not my list. I just reproduced the proclamation issued by Governor Brownrig on behalf of the British Sovereign. Those people are supposed to be the leaders, who fought the British, in the Uva Wellassa uprising. They paid with their lives for opposing the foreign invader.

        My simple question to you is, are there any Jaffna Tamils in that list? Natives, usually oppose foreign oppression.

        Genetically the Sinhalese and the Tamils share a common gene pool of 55%

        Sinhalese are a mixed race. Hence your question is irrelevant.

        You wrote “what do you mean by the Traditional Tamil Homeland? Are you refering to the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka only? Or do you include Tamil Nadu to this? “

        I presume that you are not a baby. Since you read GV and write to GV you are most certainly aware of, what most Tamil writers claim, as their “Traditional Homeland”, when they talk or write about Sri Lanka, here on GV. I referred to that very same claim.

        Kusum here writes about it. Please read it if you are ignorant of the insidious Tamil claim of a so called “Traditional Tamil Homeland”. If you are still not satisfied you could do a search on the Internet with those key words.
        http://groundviews.org/2012/02/12/13-something-tnas-m-i-a-move/#comment-41559

        The Sinhalese consider the whole island as their home. The Tamils should do so too. Then the Traditional Homeland claim would be non-existent.

      • wijayapala

        My simple question to you is, are there any Jaffna Tamils in that list?

        Are there any Colombo or Matara Sinhalese in that list? What about Anuradhapura Sinhalese? How about ANY Sinhalese living outside the Ruhuna region?????

        What have the Jaffna Tamils done to win the confidence of that majority? The confidence that was eroded when the Jaffna Tamils acted as the guard dogs of the British?

        What did Sinhala leaders do that contributed to Sri Lankan independence? Why did none less than Philip Gunawardena (before he became a Sinhala communalist) declare after the Jaffna Youth Congress’s 1931 boycott that the Sinhalese should follow its example (which they did not do)?

      • Keynes!

        Off the Cuff,

        Thank you for that insight on the Tamil Homeland. I guess I am a baby after all. It’s just that I fashion myself as an English liberal. My pseudonym will attest to that. Moreover, I drink Pimms for breakfast.

        Here are some answers to your questions:

        There are no Jaffna Tamils on that list.

        As for frequenting GV, I wish to state that I do so to entertain myself and laugh myself silly. The arguments you put forward on the history of Sri Lanka are quite serious and should therefore be taken to a more serious peer-reviewed journal such as Sinhale.com.

        I have some questions for you now:

        1. Are there any Indian Tamils on that list? If so, can I refer to Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka as natives? Thondaman would be very happy with that.

        2. How on earth could a list of persons in a proclamation issued by a bald-headed governor and reproduced as above indicate that they were Sinhalese?

        Since the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils of north-east originare unable to arrive at a solution, I suggest we hand over the country to the burghers. David Blacker for President!

      • Gamarala

        Off the cuff,

        I have the exact same question that Wijayapala has. Judging by your definition, and given your list of names, I count a total of 17 natives who have lived in Sri Lanka.

        BTW, do you know what the definition is for people who take one or two people from a list, and extrapolate it to a whole race or tribe? I’ll give you a hint, it starts with an R :-)

      • Gamarala

        That should have read,
        “take one or two people from a group, apply some arbitrary criteria, and extrapolate that to a whole race or tribe?”

      • Off the Cuff

        Keynes! Gamarala, Wijayapala,

        A Native will fight for his/her Country and her freedom.
        How many Tamils opposed the British Oppressor when they fought to subjugate and dehumanise the Natives of Sri Lanka?
        Could you please name such Tamil Natives who fought the British?
        In response to the above, Keynes asked “Can you prove that the leader of the Uva Rebellion was a Sinhalese?”

        Please note that I did not refer to ANY specific incident.
        My question was general.
        It was applicable to the whole island.

        The questions you pose assume that I have originally made a specific reference to the Uva Wellassa uprising. Which I did not.

        Both Wijayapala and Gamarala has not read the thread.
        Hence both of you have posed irrelevant questions out of ignorance.

        My response to Keynes was to the Specific incident he brought up.

        At an age when even the paternity could not be established, there is no way to prove who is who other than by the name and their acceptance by the society that they lived in.

        I am not aware of any Tamils by the name of Keppetipola.
        Are there any?

        Please excuse my ignorance but I have no knowledge of any Tamils that go by the names of Godagedara, Ketakala, Betmerala, Palagolla, Passerewatte, Kiwulegedera, Yalagomme, Udamadure, Kohukumbure, Bootawe, Badullegammene, Bulupitiye, Malheyae.

        How many are you aware of?

        Keynes, what has the bald head got to do with his proclamation?

        If you told me that Brownrigg was a sadist or a racist or a white supremacist I would agree with you unhesitatingly because his actions proved that he was all of them. Brownrigg would not have been alone either as this country at that time was run by them.

      • Off the Cuff

        Keynes!

        You wrote “Since the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils of north-east originare unable to arrive at a solution, I suggest we hand over the country to the burghers. David Blacker for President! “

        I do not know how governments, where you are domiciled, is chosen. But in Lanka, its chosen by a secret ballot with one person getting one vote to cast, for his/ her chosen candidate.

        Hence unlike where you live, no one can hand over the country to anyone.

        In Lanka, any citizen can aspire to be the President.
        Do you think a Burgher would not be able to garner a majority of votes?
        If Tamils can win elections in Sinhala Majority areas with the Sinhalese vote
        And if Muslims can get elected to office from Sinhala Majority areas with the Sinhales vote, why not a Burgher?

        So why not David?

        BTW, you have left out the Indian Origin Tamils (over a million of which live in the Sinhala South) and the Moors. Do you think that they should not be consulted? Why only the N & E Tamils?

      • Keynes!

        “Olcott was a son of a Protestant minister and it shouldn’t surprise us that he introduced a Protestant and “purified” form of Buddhism. He also used the words of the missionary lexicon—idolater, pagan, and so forth, a vocabulary further developed later by his ‘disciple Dharmapala, to castigate the Christians themselves.”

        – Gananath Obeyesekera

        The persons in this forum can now decipher as to why Off the Cuff sounds off like a born-again proselytiser.

      • Keynes!

        Off the Cuff,

        “I am not aware of any Tamils by the name of Keppetipola. Are there any?”

        [Edited out]

        Go ask Ralph Peiris and Yasmine Dias Bandaranaike. A caveat is in order though: Don’t go near Yasmine’s husband Brendon Gooneratne. His 6 ft 2 inch frame has an arm that can throw a cricket ball through your you-know-what. Premasara Epasinghe described him as the “most feared fast bowler among schools at that time.”

        And where were you when the Indian Army arrived in 1987? [Edited out]

      • Off the Cuff

        Keynes!

        You said that “It’s just that I fashion myself as an English liberal. My pseudonym will attest to that. Moreover, I drink Pimms for breakfast”

        Tut tut Keynes what happened to your self professed Liberal views?

        Has logic dried up on you?
        Where did I convey that my aim is to convert you?
        Sorry old chap I have no intention of doing that but I have every intention of challenging what you write IF what you write is not based on the Truth.

        You wrote “The persons in this forum can now decipher as to why Off the Cuff sounds off like a born-again proselytiser “

        As a Buddhist, I do believe that I will be born again but that is after my death. You seem to believe that you are a CODE breaker but unfortunately you cannot even present a coherent argument to defend your stand.

        You wrote “Go ask Ralph Peiris and Yasmine Dias Bandaranaike. A caveat is in order though: Don’t go near Yasmine’s husband Brendon Gooneratne. His 6 ft 2 inch frame has an arm that can throw a cricket ball through your you-know-what. Premasara Epasinghe described him as the “most feared fast bowler among schools at that time.”

        My dear English Liberal, if you want to prove your point please state what you have to state here on GV. Please don’t try to pull your weight by trying to order me around. It wont work. Looks like your base instincts have come to the surface. If you are polite I would be polite too but if you want to be impolite I will not have any problem in returning the favour.

        I wont be running to anybody and doing your leg work for you. Prove what you say yourself, by presenting a logical argument.

        You wrote “And where were you when the Indian Army arrived in 1987?……..”

        Impertinent question as you have not explained why you are asking what you are asking.

        Keep your cool. I thought you said you were here for laughs.

      • wijayapala

        Dear OTC

        A Native will fight for his/her Country and her freedom.

        Yes you’ve already said that. Did any of your ancestors fight for their country and freedom from the British in the Wellassa uprising? If not, does that mean that they were not Natives?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Wijayapala,

        “Did any of your ancestors fight for their country and freedom from the British in the Wellassa uprising? If not, does that mean that they were not Natives? “

        The Sinhalese are my ancestors as much as they are yours. And they fought the British.

        Any other Questions?

      • Gamarala

        Well, well, well, Off the Cuff,

        Finally, the sheep shows its stripes and roars with a capital R!

        “The Sinhalese are my ancestors as much as they are yours. And they fought the British.”

        Very well, so belonging to tribe X also makes you responsible for their accomplishments? I suppose I must salute you (and myself) for the brave ancestors we have had in our tribe, even if we bear no personal responsibility for their bravery. Me, I’m hoping I’m vaguely related to Genghis Khan too, surely a potent chap if there ever was one.

        But anyway, following this train of thought to its logical conclusion(even if boarding such trains is not your forte), if we are to brandish our relationship to Puran Appu with unrestrained glee, surely then, we both bear responsibility for our ancestors ignominies too, with commensurate gravity?

        This sends particularly cold chills down my spine, as I imagine myself being complicit in the murder of thousands of Tamils, particularly in the ’83 riots, and many thousands more in the recent past?

        Now, now, let’s not try to pass the buck and steer the conversation towards our incorrigible scapegoats, those dastardly Tamils! We all know they are irredeemable primitives, and savagery runs in their very blood, as history will readily attest. Plus, they belong to that lowly tribe which never fought the British, and we cannot therefore, have high expectations of them. I’m asking you – exactly what should we do for being complicit in these mass murders as a part of the same Sinhala tribe?

        BTW, What about the JVP? Did we have kinship with some cannibalistic tribe too?

      • Off the Cuff

        Gamarala,

        I just noticed your comment of February 12, 2012 • 11:09 pm

        My comment of February 15, 2012 • 3:34 am was meant to be a response to yours of February 14, 2012 • 7:43 pm which I hope have adequately addressed BOTH of your posts.

        However, if you think that it is inadequate, please elaborate, how, standing for equitable rights disregarding ethnicity can be Racist.

      • Gamarala

        Paying lip service to “equitable rights disregarding ethnicity” while continuing to stereotype others by tribe, is a vain attempt to match one part of a dictionary definition while ignoring the other :D Look it up if you are confused on this issue, most of us in Sri Lanka are – the inevitable result of living in a barely post-feudal society (or are we still semi-feudal, judging by the coronation of the nouveau royale family?), which has not yet succeeded in shedding its tribal blood feuds, let alone its loyalties, and coming to grips with what equal rights & democracy really mean.

      • Off the Cuff

        Gamarala,

        You wrote “Well, well, well, Off the Cuff,
        Finally, the sheep shows its stripes and roars with a capital R! “The Sinhalese are my ancestors as much as they are yours. And they fought the British.”

        My responses are tailored to the questions posed. If someone writes derogatorily about the Sinhalese, I would ask questions about the ethnicity of the writer. If the questions are aimed at Sinhala Buddhists, I would ask questions about Hindu Tamils or Christian Sinhalese/Tamil/Burgher/Moor etc. If someone writes about 63 years after independence I would ask questions about the preceding 150 years.

        Before you make snide remarks read and understand the context.

        Rather than making snide remarks from the side lines like an empty headed heckler at a football match, come and discuss the many important issues that I have written about. Such as the Historical Tamil Homeland, The equitable sharing of Public Land, Devolution, the 13th amendment etc.

        This web page carries many such posts from me.
        Did you stay in the sidelines because you did not see them or because you could not counter what I wrote with empty headed sarcasm, like your current post?

        Are you wiling to discuss or would you rather stay in the side lines and heckle ?

        You wrote “But anyway, following this train of thought to its logical conclusion(even if boarding such trains is not your forte), if we are to brandish our relationship to Puran Appu with unrestrained glee, surely then, we both bear responsibility for our ancestors ignominies too, with commensurate gravity?”

        It looks like you have come to an illogical conclusion though you label it logical.

        You wrote “Very well, so belonging to tribe X also makes you responsible for their accomplishments? “

        Think about what you have written.
        Is it not stupid?
        You can be proud or ashamed or contrite about their actions but you can NEVER be responsible for them. The past can be responsible for the present. Did you seriously think that the Present can be responsible for the past? If so, that would be very juvenile.

        The above is a typical example of the convoluted interpretations that you have made. Before you criticise, make sure that you have understood what you intend to criticise. Lest you make a fool of yourself with statements such as the above.

        You wrote “This sends particularly cold chills down my spine, as I imagine myself being complicit in the murder of thousands of Tamils, particularly in the ’83 riots, and many thousands more in the recent past?”

        Nice to know that you have a spine, even though you say so yourself.

        Please seek psychiatric help, lest your imagination runs riot.
        Yes, the 83 riots were abominable.
        My neighbours were a young Tamil family.
        All of them are safe though.

        According to you, how many thousands died?
        Are you a subscriber to the 40k dead claim?

        You wrote “Now, now, let’s not try to pass the buck and steer the conversation towards our incorrigible scapegoats, those dastardly Tamils!”

        Very presumptuous aren’t you?

        Rather than rant, why don’t you present your argument? Logically if possible.

        You wrote “We all know they are irredeemable primitives, and savagery runs in their very blood, as history will readily attest. Plus, they belong to that lowly tribe which never fought the British, and we cannot therefore, have high expectations of them.”

        We?
        You of course can speak for yourself.
        Unfortunately you have the tendency to add and subtract to change the context.

        You wrote “I’m asking you – exactly what should we do for being complicit in these mass murders as a part of the same Sinhala tribe? “

        You may have been complicit but I have never been, so make sure you write in the Singular.

        You wrote “BTW, What about the JVP? Did we have kinship with some cannibalistic tribe too?”

        What about the JVP?

        You wrote “Paying lip service to “equitable rights disregarding ethnicity” while continuing to stereotype others by tribe, …. “

        What proof do you have that it is “lip service” ?

        You have been using the word Tribe to score what you perceive as brownie points when I have been writing about Ethnicity.

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    OfftheCuff,

    Although ‘Vissuddhi Magga’ was written by Tamil Buddagosha it does not mean that there are significant number of tamil buddhists in present day north and east or the buddhism, we practice today in Sri Lanka is a multi-racial entitity. It is sad to say that Buddhism in Sri Lanka has been degenerated to such an extent that Buddhism and Sinhalese nationalism is no longer two different things. If you look at you conscience you would understand what I am trying to say.

    Tell me why do the government and its military erect buddhist edifices in the north if you do not agree with my intepretation? Did the Tamils demand these Buddha’s statues and ‘chaithayas’ to be erected? Have the government/military erected any other religious, Hindu or Christian, edifices in addition buddhist ones in north?

    Can they erect such edifices in Kathankudy amongst the Muslims? Can any body erect Christian edifices in Maharagam or Panadura for that matter? If they did so they will be destroyed by the angry crowds as soon as they are erected? The tamils in the north, alothough angry, are helpless and subdued as a result of the recent experiences of the war.They do not have means or guts to protest violently against these blatant incursions.

    What the government, military and people like you can not understand is that toleration without any protest does not mean that they agree or happy with what is going on in their areas. By these insensitive gestures, you are sowing the seeds of hatred among the new generation of Tamils. Why can’t you see this simple truth?

    Just because a few Tamil and Muslim ministers in the government does its outlook or ideology become different? The dominant ideology of the ruling elite of present day Sri Lanka is Buddhist Sinhalese Nationalism. The tamil and muslim ministers are there for their own selfish reasons and have accepted the dominance of this ideology. Devananda, Karuna, and Pillayan belong to this category.

    Do you think that the government paid salaries, sent fodd and medicine, held exams for the students, kept open all the government institutions except the police and army in North and East for all thsese years because they loved Tamils? No, if they had not done so they would have accepted that these regions were not under their jurisdiction? It also might have attracted international outcry and sympathy towards the Tamils and LTTE. If the Government had withheld all these during those horrible years, do you think that the Sinhalese Majority living in the south would have given a damn about the suffering of the Tamils in those god forsaken land? Therefore, I do not think the Sinhalese or their governments can score any credit for supplying food, midicine etc and providing other services to North and East during LTTE rule.

    We have reaped the harvest of seeds sawn by Sinhalese buddhists led by short sighted oppurtintistc politicians, some coverted from christianity to buddhism for selfish reasons, since independence for several decades. The decades of violent oppression of peaceful Tamil demands was paid off with vengence by the LTTE. Now we have new set of short sighted, oppurtunistic, politicians, who are much much much more worse than any we have seen so far to lead us. They are supported by indifferent majority of Sinhalese Buddhsits and a few active ones like OFF THE CUFF. We are so helpless that there is only one releif I can think of, which is a hope for divine intervention. God bless Sri Lanka!

    • Off the Cuff

      PitastharaPuthraya,

      You seem to know a lot about Buddhagosha when Historians do not know much about him. You claim that he is a Tamil.

      He is believed to have been born to a Brahmin family in the ancient kingdom of Magadha. Magadha is near Buddha Gaya. There are 18 million Magadha speakers in Magadha. Is that a part of the Tamil Language? Why is it that Tamils like you resort to so many Lies?

      Manimekalai is a Buddhist text, written by the Tamil Buddhist poet Seethalai Saathanar and is considered a Great Epic.

      You wrote “Although ‘Vissuddhi Magga’ was written by Tamil Buddagosha it does not mean that there are significant number of tamil buddhists in present day north and east or the buddhism, we practice today in Sri Lanka is a multi-racial entitity”

      Though you start off with a Lie let’s examine the rest of what you wrote.

      Why is it that Tamil Buddhists have dwindled in the North and East? Perhaps a look at the Tamils’ Mother state, Tamil Nadu, where Buddhism flourished in the past, will provide an answer.

      Extract
      Pillai’s 1973 work, Introduction to the Study of Temple Art, argues that in several Chola temples the sculptors’ guilds left clues about the original shrines. Ahead of and during the Chola period (beginning 850 AD), Tamil society witnessed deadly feuds between Jaina, Shaivite, Vaishnavite and Buddhist sects. That the victories in these fights are remembered and celebrated even today has proof in the Thiruvadigai temple, Cuddalore district, where Shiva is worshipped as Veerattaneswaran, the Lord in his triumphal dance mode. The temple houses a granite Buddha in a corner. The oduvar (chanter) of the temple, Arumugan says: “On the third day of the annual temple festival we observe the Samanar Utsavam, when the temple elephant knocks the Buddha sculpture thrice with its trunk to symbolise the victory of Shaivism over shramanic religions.”
      The builders of Shiva and Vishnu temples would have found the granite Buddhas too large to move very far away from the original sites. Reinforcing Pillai’s thesis, John Samuel, founder-director, Institute of Asian Studies, Chennai, says: “I have discovered 150-200 Buddha and Buddhism-related statues close to ancient Hindu temples. In our field studies, we usually conduct searches within 100 metres from a temple’s location and we see a lot. In the asi-maintained Darasuram Airavateeswarar temple near Kumbakonam (declared a World Heritage Site last week), a shrine dedicated to Buddhist deity Taradevi was excavated.” The pre-Pallava and Chola era Buddhist and Jaina shrines, made of brick and mortar, were easier to pull down, unlike the stone Hindu temples succeeding them.
      The big granite idols survived, but are invariably defaced or decapitated.
      End Extract.

      The Tamil attitude of persecution is one reason why Tamil Buddhists have dwindled in the N & E. The High Cast Tamils persecuted the Low cast Tamils and even prevented Batu Tamils from entering the inner sanctum of Hindu Temples to worship. So much for your religious tolerance.

      In contrast, in the Hill Country, you will find hundreds of Tamil religious edifices amongst the Majority Sinhalese community. Hindu religious edifices exists even in close proximity to the Temple of the Tooth, the pinnacle of Lankan Buddhist worship.

      You wrote “Tell me why do the government and its military erect buddhist edifices in the north if you do not agree with my intepretation? “

      Provide authoritative proof please. Then I will respond.
      You have not answered my question.
      If as you say that it is done by the politico military machine what prevents them doing it legally instead of by ad hock means?

      You wrote “Can any body erect Christian edifices in Maharagam or Panadura for that matter?”

      Though you may not be aware, a Catholic Church was erected in Panadura on the High Street (the Prime Street in Panadura), about a 100 yards from the Samadhi Buddha statue. It is about 40 years old and is still standing and has continuously grown in size and grandeur.

      You have also avoided the following
      Sri Lanka is overwhelmingly Sinhalese and Buddhist. How do you propose to have it governed by anyone else through democratic means? What have the Jaffna Tamils done to win the confidence of that majority? The confidence that was eroded when the Jaffna Tamils acted as the guard dogs of the British?

      You wrote “Just because a few Tamil and Muslim ministers in the government does its outlook or ideology become different?”

      Few?
      Are you able to count?
      Tamils and Muslims have headed very powerful ministries since independence. Amongst them are Finance, Foreign Affairs, Ports, Education, Justice and many more. Some of them have been eminent persons.

      I was not referring to simpletons like Karuna and Pillayan, who you find abominable now, because they left the LTTE. Had they been still with the Diaspora LTTE or the GTF etc you would have flocked around them, singing praise, just like you do with Adelle Bala.

      You wrote “Do you think that the government paid salaries, sent fodd and medicine, held exams for the students, kept open all the government institutions except the police and army in North and East for all thsese years because they loved Tamils? No, if they had not done so they would have accepted that these regions were not under their jurisdiction? It also might have attracted international outcry and sympathy towards the Tamils and LTTE. If the Government had withheld all these during those horrible years, do you think that the Sinhalese Majority living in the south would have given a damn about the suffering of the Tamils in those god forsaken land? Therefore, I do not think the Sinhalese or their governments can score any credit for supplying food, midicine etc and providing other services to North and East during LTTE rule. “

      Glad to see that you have dropped the “newly ‘conquered’ territories” epithet.

      Please dont present imbecile arguments.
      The government provided the services, that your beloved LTTE Terrorists could not provide, to the people under its Jack Boot, because the PEOPLE were Sri Lankan subjects even though they did not pay a cent in Taxes to the SL government (though the LTTE fleeced them, the LTTE was not concerned about the Tamil peoples welfare).

      Please remember that when the Tsunami hit the East and North, the FIRST response to their needs was from the SINHALESE South even though the Sinhalese South was also hit and hit hard. Not even the UN could respond with such speed and spontaneity.

      The people responded spontaneously and flooded to collection centres with Food, Clothing and Medicine. The Super markets went dry for Milk Foods, Rice, Feeding Bottles, Bottled water, Sanitary Napkins etc. You must have been blinded with hate not to notice it.

      You wrote “We have reaped the harvest of seeds sawn by Sinhalese buddhists led by short sighted oppurtintistc politicians, some coverted from christianity to buddhism for selfish reasons, since independence for several decades.”

      Sorry, wrong answer.
      You have reaped what you sowed. Part of it ended at Nanthkadal.
      The majority of Northern Tamils were never for equitable sharing of resources. This is clearly evident from the way you have avoided responding to the following.

      84% of Sri Lanka’s Land is PUBLIC Land.
      Hence it is uninhabited.
      It has no Ethnic owner.
      ALL Citizens of Lanka own it COLLECTIVELY.
      You appear to believe that Tamils are the exclusive owners of the Northern and Eastern SL.
      That idea which you propagate, when Millions of Tamils live and work in the South, on Land DISPOSSESSED from the Sinhalese, is a major reason why the Northern Tamils have been unable to win the confidence of the Majority population.

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    Off the cuff,

    Do you have to be a Tamil or a LTTE supporter to talk about rights of Tamils? Have I ever indicated that I am a Tamil or a supporter of LTTE? Do I have to declare that I condemned LTTE atrocities every time I talk about this ‘problem’?

    What is the relevence of destruction of Buddhist temples in Tamil Nadu by Hindus to our problems today?

    Hindu edifices exists in close proximity to Dalada Maligawa not because Sinhalese Buddhists are so thoughtful of Hindu senimentalities but because they also worship Hindu deities. The Kandy ‘perahera’ itself is a Hindu festival with nominal association with Buddhism isn’t it?

    You say Sri Lanka is overwhelmingly Sinhalese Buddisht. I agree. Who made this a Sinhalese Buddhist country with a strong centralized state? The British. Were the Sinhalese Buddhsits responsible for that? No. This is the historical aberration. That is the source of all these problems. Therefore, you can not claim that since the majority is Sinhalese Buddhists the Tamils should tolerate whatever the Sinhalese Buddhsit dominant government do to them as it is an inevitable side effect of democracy. Who made the Sinhalese buddhists a majority?

    If there had been no colonial intervention the Sinhalese Buddhists in the south would have to either conqure or negotiate with the North and East tamils to form a Unitary state. Since the conquering had been proved in the history not long lasting inevitably there would have been negotiation ending with a some sort of a federal state. Then there would not have been this problem.

    In Panadura, the church remains as it is because it was erected 40 years ago, when Sinhalese Buddhsits were not so militant, I guess. Can you do it today in an area the majority is Sinhalese Buddhists?

    When you say Tamils should have won the confidence of Sinhalese it shows how chauvinistic your thinking is. Why didn’t Sinhalese work to win the confidence of Tamils? This type of thinking is the source of all the problems we face today. This shows how primitive your thinking is? This should have been ok a century ago not now.

    The Tamil politicians, civil servants, judges, etc in the bygone era represented a totally different section fo the Tamil society. Most of them were from upper cast, wealthy, westernized, tamil community. They did not have much of a difference from the their Sinhalese counterpart at the time. But today we are dealing with a different set of tamils.

    Yes, I accept that Sinhalese helped Tamils immediately after Tsunami, which is commendable. The Sinhalese buddhists seem to love the hapless, miserable, wretched tamils but dislike the active, voiciferous, conscious, demanding, proud tamils don’t they?

    • Off the Cuff

      PitastharaPuthraya,

      You wrote “Do you have to be a Tamil or a LTTE supporter to talk about rights of Tamils?”

      No but you would be either a biased Tamil or a person with a LTTE ideology if you do not recognise the Rights of Others. The Tamils ought to have rights but not the right to tread on the rights of others be they be Sinhalese, Moors, Buddhists, Christians etc.

      Do you recognise equitable rights? I don’t think so.
      Your continued SILENCE on the Tamil claim of a Traditional Homeland usurping for themselves over 50% of Lanka’s PUBLICLY OWNED resources is proof of that.

      You wrote “What is the relevence of destruction of Buddhist temples in Tamil Nadu by Hindus to our problems today? “

      I am writing about Tamils.
      Tamil Nadu is their origin.
      What the Tamils do in Tamil Nadu would explain the Tamil Psyche.
      The similarity exists in Northern Lanka too.
      The High Cast Vellala Tamils did not recognise the rights of the Low Cast Batu Tamils to practice their Religion though both were praying to the same Gods. Intervention of the Police and prosecution of the Vellala Perpetrators was needed to stop this inhumanity. Even then, the perpetrators did not accept the court decision and kept appealing progressively to higher courts. It went as far as the Privy Council in the UK. It finally ended when the Privy Council upheld the SL Supreme Court decision.

      The High cast Tamils even refuse Drinking water (which is scarce in the North) to Low cast Tamils. They do not allow low casts Tamils to use even the buckets that they use to draw water as that would defile their wells.

      The Trains that ran to the North transformed after it passed Vauvniya. Tamils would sleep on the seats as if they were beds and would not allow even women who entrain after Vauvniya the use of a seat. They would sleep comfortably while the women are forced to stand and travel.

      Discrimination comes naturally to the Vellala Tamils. That’s why what the Tamils do in Tamil Nadu is relevant. They do the same thing in the North too.

      The Vellala Tamils were in power not only in the North. They were in power within government. They practised the discrimination that they were used to in the North, also in the South. Yet you blame the Sinhalese who suffered for over a century at the hands of the Vellala Tamils. They sowed the wind and reaped the whirlwind. Please note that I am not referring to the ordinary Tamils but to the power hungry Vellalas with an inbuilt tendency for discrimination.

      You wrote “Who made this a Sinhalese Buddhist country with a strong centralized state? The British. “

      Proof Please.

      You wrote “Were the Sinhalese Buddhsits responsible for that? No. “

      Proof?

      You wrote “Who made the Sinhalese buddhists a majority? “

      Isn’t that question idiotic?

      You wrote “This is the historical aberration. “

      Why?

      You wrote “That is the source of all these problems. “

      I have shown you above, that the source is not what you claim it to be. The source is the natural tendency of the Vellala Tamils, who held power for over a century to dominate and discriminate.

      You wrote “Therefore, you can not claim that since the majority is Sinhalese Buddhists the Tamils should tolerate whatever the Sinhalese Buddhsit dominant government do to them as it is an inevitable side effect of democracy.”

      In the first place, I have not claimed anything of the sort.

      Secondly, this country is overwhelmingly Sinhala and Buddhist. Nothing can be done about it unless you are advocating Ethnic or Religious cleansing of the Sinhalese or the Buddhist. It is a Fact of life in Lanka, the majority are ethnically Sinhalese and Buddhists by religion. You have to accept it or start ethnic cleansing of the Sinhalese.

      Buddhist are trained to be tolerant. Proof of this tolerance is the existence of over a million Tamils on land DISPOSSESSED from the Sinhalese by the government. That is ethnic tolerance.

      There are hundreds of religious edifices within that land that are either Hindu, Christian or Islamic. The Hindu Tamils and followers of other religions celebrate their festivals on public roads without hindrance. That is religious tolerance.

      Hence please explain your biased claims.

      You wrote “If there had been no colonial intervention the Sinhalese Buddhists in the south would have to either conqure or negotiate with the North and East tamils to form a Unitary state. “

      You need to educate yourself before you venture to discuss this matter.

      Here is proof from the Dutch National Archives that the Kandyan Kingdom extended up to Elephant Pass even when the Dutch Ruled Jaffna

      During the 17th century the Company was engaged in a war of attrition with the king of Kandy, who had close ties with Ceylon’s Buddhist population. There was a narrow tongue of land at Elephant Pass a fort was built to guard the border with the king’s territory.
      http://www.atlasofmutualheritage.nl/detail.aspx?page=dpost&lang=en&id=682#tab2

      You wrote “IWhen you say Tamils should have won the confidence of Sinhalese it shows how chauvinistic your thinking is. Why didn’t Sinhalese work to win the confidence of Tamils? This type of thinking is the source of all the problems we face today. This shows how primitive your thinking is? This should have been ok a century ago not now.”

      How would that confidence be won?
      By allowing the demand to usurp over 50% of publicly owned land for the sole use of the Northern Tamils a population of less than 10%?
      Please remember that 84% of Land in Lanka is PUBLICLY OWNED and that land is hence UNINHABITED.

      You mean that the oppressed should work to win the confidence of the oppressor? The majority Sinhalese were the oppressed.

      The Tamils lost the confidence and trust of the Sinhalese by oppressing them when they had the power to do so. They have to win it back and trying to usurp over 50% of Lanka’s Public Resources for their use is not the way to go.

      To you the kindness exhibited by the Sinhalese is also twisted.
      The religious tolerance is also twisted
      The ethnic tolerance is also twisted
      To top it all you claim that the Kandy Pageant of the Tooth Relic is a Hindu festival.

      You said “Hindu edifices exists in close proximity to Dalada Maligawa not because Sinhalese Buddhists are so thoughtful of Hindu senimentalities but because they also worship Hindu deities. The Kandy ‘perahera’ itself is a Hindu festival with nominal association with Buddhism isn’t it?”

      Buddhists don’t worship Hindu Deities. They offer merit to them. You obviously is not a Buddhist nor are you a Sinhalese, else you would have known that in the past, the possession of the Tooth Relic was the symbol of State Power.

      It is not a Hindu festival but a Buddhist one where the Hindus have also been given a place. That is due to religious tolerance.

      You wrote “In Panadura, the church remains as it is because it was erected 40 years ago, when Sinhalese Buddhsits were not so militant, I guess. “

      Don’t debate using your guesswork. Use facts instead, to prove your contentions.

      Panadura is very strongly Buddhist. It was so then (Panadura debate period) and it is so now. The Catholic church is just a minute’s walk from the Iconic Buddha statue at the entrance to High Street (the other end has a statue of Rev Gunananda of Panadura debate fame). The church is testimony to the tolerance of the Buddhist even though admitting it is not conducive to your stand of denigrating the Buddhists.

      You wrote “The Sinhalese buddhists seem to love the hapless, miserable, wretched tamils but dislike the active, voiciferous, conscious, demanding, proud tamils don’t they?”

      No, they dislike the Treacherous ones who by cunning, try to grab 60% of the coast Line and over 50% of the PUBLICLY held Land mass, when over a Million Tamils have been accommodated outside their claimed “Traditional Homeland” within the Sinhalese Hinterland.

    • wijayapala

      PP

      The Sinhalese buddhists seem to love the hapless, miserable, wretched tamils but dislike the active, voiciferous, conscious, demanding, proud tamils don’t they?

      And the Tamils seem to dislike the “active, voiciferous, conscious, demanding, proud” Sinhalese as well, don’t they?

      Seems that you’re suggesting the solution is for everyone on the island to be “hapless, miserable, wretched”???

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    Off the Cuff,

    Your say that Buddhists don’t worship Hindu Deities. They offer merit to them. This shows how clever you are in distorting facts for your own advantage. Anybody who is familiar with Sinhalese buddhists practices knows that they frequent myriad of devales dedicated to Hindu and other local lesser gods in seeking favourations from them. According to you Sinhalese buddhists flock to Kataragama in thousands during the festive seasons just to offer merit to god Kataragama!

    This amply demonstrates the hypocracy in OTC’s mind. He/she does not accept the truth as it is. These type of people live in a parellel universe with no connection to real life.

    According to Off the cuff (OTC), Tamils are the source of all the problems we face today. The destroyed buddhist temple in Tamil Nadu, which they continued to do in North and East. They demand 50% of the land and 2/3 of the coast. Majority of them is living in south on Sinhalese land. They are the oppressors and the Sinhalese are the opprerssed. They are so bad that they do not allow any body to occupy their seats in the train, on which they sleep, after Vavuniya. Although all the Tamils are bad the Vellalas are particulary nasty. They discriminate against the low cast Tamils in the north, which they practice aganist the Sinhalese in the south as well. They are trecherous and cunning. This goes on and on……….

    This reminds me of Germany before the WW 11. The Nazi propganda against the Jews were in the same line villifying them, which ended up in killing of 6 million Jews and many more atrocities aganist Jews, Romas, Slavs, and many more ethnic minorities.

    OTC has never heard of human misery caused by prejudice, discrimination, persecution, stereoyping etc. Theses words seem to be alien to him.

    I do not deny that there are unreasonable demanding Tamils. There were Tamils, who massacred Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims in hundreds. There were and are Tamils, who are selfish, opportunistic, and chauvinistic like in anyother ethnic group. I am not talking about them.

    I am talking about Tamils in general. I am talking about their rights.

    Although OTC does not like to accept Sri Lanka has never been a unitary state since the era of Parakramabahu the 6th until British unified the country under a single banner. Even in Parakramabahu’s time Jaffna was a decentralized kingdom. The historical error made by British handing over the whole island to a centralized Sinhalese Buddhist dominated state is the source of the this problem. If they were thoughtful enough to create a federal state we would have been able to avoid this problem. I also accept why they were unable to do so given the socio-political situation at that time.

    I am also not an extremist to deny the level of relegious toleration in our country. However, this seemingly advanced state of mind set would not allow the Sinhalese Buddhists to think about Tamils, Muslims, Indian Tamils as their fellow human beings with the similar problems. This is puzzling for me. The majority of Sinhalese Buddhist seem to be not so extremist as OTC and his/her collegues. It appears that their minds are being poisoned by people like OTC.

    It is still puzzling how a man like Hitler had persuaded a whole nation to be a partner of his crimes.

    • Off the Cuff

      PitastharaPuthraya,

      You wrote ”Your say that Buddhists don’t worship Hindu Deities. They offer merit to them. This shows how clever you are in distorting facts for your own advantage”

      Yes that’s right. They offer Merit instead.

      The Pali verse that is repeated after any meritorious act performed by a Buddhist is the following

      Akasattha ca bhummattha – Deva Naga mahiddhika
      Punnam tam anumoditva – Ciram rakkhantu loka sasanam

      Translation – May beings, celestial and terrestrial, Devas and Nagas of mighty power, share this merit of ours. May they long protect the world and the Dispensation.

      Since you are conversant with Buddhist practices, you can counter what I have stated by reproducing a single Buddhist Verse that is used to WORSHIP A SINGLE DEITY.

      The distortion of facts do not occur from my end and hence, unfortunately, what it shows is your ignorance of the subject that you chose to write on.

      You also wrote “ According to Off the cuff (OTC), Tamils are the source of all the problems we face today. The destroyed buddhist temple in Tamil Nadu, which they continued to do in North and East. They demand 50% of the land and 2/3 of the coast. Majority of them is living in south on Sinhalese land. They are the oppressors and the Sinhalese are the opprerssed. They are so bad that they do not allow any body to occupy their seats in the train, on which they sleep, after Vavuniya. Although all the Tamils are bad the Vellalas are particulary nasty. They discriminate against the low cast Tamils in the north, which they practice aganist the Sinhalese in the south as well. They are trecherous and cunning. This goes on and on……….
      This reminds me of Germany before the WW 11. The Nazi propganda “

      I believe you have a reading problem. Please go through what I have written and counter them with facts, instead of appealing to emotion or pity which is the hallmark of the intellectually bankrupt.

      Ha ha PP, you were trying to show that the Sinhalese are the source of all the problems we face today What I wrote about Tamil Nadu was not my own. It was the writings of two Tamils which I reproduced.

      The article titled Bodhi’s Tamil Afterglow, The discovery of a wealth of statues spurs debate on Buddhism’s Tamil links was written by S. Anand

      Introduction to the Study of Temple Art, was written by Pillai in 1973.

      I clearly indicated that I was using an extract from Pillai’s works.
      Why are you so dishonest and writing “…According to Off the cuff (OTC)…” when it is according to Pillai?

      The antiquity and proliferation of the Buddhist architectural remains in Tamil Nadu indicates that Buddhism flourished in TN. Historians say these stone Buddhas may be between 800 and 1,200 years old.

      Since 1856, some 350 Buddha bronzes have been found near the Nagapattinam vihara, In February, 45 bronze Buddhas were uncovered in Koradacheri, Tiruvarur district, a town famous for its Shiva temple. art historian Suresh B. Pillai had argued that, architecturally, several Chola period temples were originally Buddhist shrines. In 637, when Hiuen Tsang landed in Kanchipuram, he recorded more than 100 monasteries and over 10,000 Buddhist monks in Pallava country. John Samuel, founder-director, Institute of Asian Studies, Chennai, says: “I have discovered 150-200 Buddha and Buddhism-related statues close to ancient Hindu temples. However, Buddha images have been—and are being—found not just along coastal trade routes, but almost all over Tamil Nadu. Granite Buddhas have been recorded in landlocked Salem, Karur, Vellore, Kanchipuram, South Arcot, Tiruchirapalli, besides Pondicherry, Thanjavur and Ramnad. Vidya Dehejia, professor of Indian and South Asian Art at Columbia University, writes, “The Buddhist faith persisted in the Tamil country with greater strength and for a longer period than has hitherto been realised.”

      The above are FACTS that you cannot contest or attribute to me.

      So now please answer the following questions.

      Tamils migrated to Jaffna from Tamil Nadu. Are you stating that the Tamils who migrated were only Hindus? In that case Tamils of Jaffna should have migrated from TN, AFTER the decline of Buddhism in TN.

      On the other hand if Tamils came to Lanka when Buddhism was flourishing in TN, there would have been a large number of Tamil Buddhists amongst the migrants. If that is so, there should have been a large number of Buddhist architectural remains where ever those Tamils settled down in Lanka, just as in TN.

      Where are those Buddhist Architectural remains today?

      What Northern Tamils demand is over 50% of PUBLICLY owned Land and 2/3 of the coast.
      Is this untrue?

      Over a Million up country Tamils live and work on Land dispossessed from the Sinhalese by the Govt. These Sinhalese lands were Colonised with Tamils by the Govt.
      Is this not true?

      This is what I wrote

      The Vellala Tamils were in power not only in the North. They were in power within government. They practised the discrimination that they were used to in the North, also in the South. Yet you blame the Sinhalese who suffered for over a century at the hands of the Vellala Tamils. They sowed the wind and reaped the whirlwind. Please note that I am not referring to the ordinary Tamils but to the power hungry Vellalas with an inbuilt tendency for discrimination.

      You are a twisted character PP.
      The above specifically refers to the Vellala’s and EXCLUDES the ordinary Tamils. The first sentence of the above paragraph is written in the PAST TENSE not in the present tense as you indicate.

      Why are you so consistently DISHONEST?

      You wrote “Although OTC does not like to accept Sri Lanka has never been a unitary state since the era of Parakramabahu the 6th until British unified the country under a single banner. Even in Parakramabahu’s time Jaffna was a decentralized kingdom.”

      You don’t know the meaning of NEVER.
      Jaffna was under the Kandyan Kingdom when it was ruled on behalf of the King by Sapumal.

      The above statement of yours, is in itself an admission that, except the Jaffna Peninsula, Mainland Lanka was under the Sinhalese King. Are the proud vociferous Northern Tamils asking for only the Jaffna Peninsular?

      You wrote “I am also not an extremist to deny the level of relegious toleration in our country.”

      You were denying that Religious tolerance all this time.
      Go back and re read the posts you made.

      You wrote “The majority of Sinhalese Buddhist seem to be not so extremist as OTC and his/her collegues. It appears that their minds are being poisoned by people like OTC.”

      Are you trying to un-poison them with your Lies?

      Good that you realise that the Sinhalese Buddhist majority are not extremists. Remember that before you start using epithets like “Sinhala Buddhists” in a derogatory sense and blaming them in General.

      BTW what I write is based on fact and not fiction. I give references to support what I write just like the Dutch National Archive reference that prove unquestionably that the Kandyan Kingdom extended up to Elephant Pass. I try to prevent Tamil Extremist views from taking root in foreign minds by factually challenging those views, as you have found out. Today, Sri Lanka is paying for her silence when the Tamil extremists were active in the past. Even school text books in Hong Kong carry distorted History about Sri Lanka with a Tamil extremist bias. Today the Tamil extremist writers are challenged and does not have the free ride they had before.

      You wrote “I am talking about Tamils in general. I am talking about their rights”

      And I am talking about the RIGHTS of the Lankan Citizenry not about a specific ethnicity.
      No ethnic community has the right to demand MORE rights than the rest.
      Talk about and demand for equal rights.
      The right to live anywhere you chose.
      The right to benefit equally from Public Resources.
      The right to benefit equally from publicly funded development.
      The right to practice your religion
      The right to correspond with government in the language of your choice.
      The right for equal rights.

      Then I will support you, not otherwise.

    • wijayapala

      Dear PP

      According to Off the cuff (OTC), Tamils are the source of all the problems we face today.

      Yes, a lot of us have the unfortunate tendency to ruin the credibility of our otherwise insightful arguments by scapegoating the Tamils.

      What do you think about the people who say that the Sinhalese are the source of all the problems?

      • PitastharaPuthraya

        Dear Wiyapala,

        Please read my answer to OTC.

        Thanks

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    Off the Cuff,

    I am sad to say that your way of thinking shows that you are a genuine representative of the Sinhalese Buddhsits majority of present day Sri Lanka. If some body ask me to name a single national trait which represents them today I would say without hesitation that it is ‘hypocracy’. There is a huge colossal gap between the theory and practice in every aspect of the lives of Sinhalese Buddhists today. We boast about 2500 years old pristine culture based on pure Theravada Buddhism but when you look at our society one finds it hard to beleive that our foremost role model for last 25 centuries was supposed be one of the greatest relegious leaders the world has ever seen, the Buddha. (The hypocratical thinking is amply demonstrated by the recent contorversy over a song sung by Sunil Perera’s son.)

    Yes, I know according to Buddhist teaching you should only offer merit to gods. That’s what we do after performing meritorious deeds such as offering arms to Sanga. Don’t think that I am such an ignoramus! But what I am talking about is the practice not the theory. The truth is that majority of Sinhalese Buddhists follow all sorts of gods, black magic and wizadry. Why can’t you accept the truth as it is?

    what is your problem? I do not deny the facts that Buddhists places have been destroyed by Hindus in Tamilnadu. In fact they destroyed many temples in monasteries when they invaded Sri Lanka time to time. I do not think that accepting that fact undermine my arguments.

    What happned in the history can not be undone today. You can not send the Jews, non-Abroginal australian, non-Indian Americans, Black Afro-Americans and Afro-Carribbean, Indo-Fijians etc back to where the came from centuries ago. This applies to the estate Tamils in our central highlands. The fact they were settled in the lands belong to Sinhalese by the British is only a historical fact. As Sri Lankas living in the 21st century we should be realistic enough to accept that fact. One day they will be settled in those regions as every other ethnic community did in the past. Our aim should be to assimilate them into our common Sri Lankan identity giving them every support we can to improve themselves to come out of pathetic situation they are in right now. If we alienate them from the process of decision making affecting their areas as we did in the past with regards to the north and east Tamils we would be unlucky enough see the same process being repeated in the centre of our country as well.

    The fact is that the Sri Lanka has always been a federal state before British came. I am no historian but I know that this argument will never end. It is not easy for Sinhalese to prove that Sri Lanka has been always a coutry with a centralized government. It is not easy for the Tamils to prove that North and East has been a separate Tamil Kingdoms or homelands either. This means the truth lies somewhere in between.

    I do not agree with carving out a separate province for Tamils including 50% land and 60% of the sea cost with no rights to the other communities. This is going to be a disaster if somebody tries to do that. I do not think that reasonable Tamils would go for such unfair demands. What I know is that not all the Sinhala Buddhsits are like OTC and not all the Tamils are like his counterparts among Tamils.

    Although OTC is reluctant to accept the truth is that the Tamils have been ignored by the majority Sinhalese Buddhsits and oppressed by the Sinhala Buddhist state since independence.

    If you are familiar with stories of members of armed forces and public servants who were stationed in North and East before the ‘Wars’ you would understand how the Tamils were treated by Sinhalese with state power. For example I was told by a Sri Lankan Navy Sailor who was stationed in North in 1980s that everytime they escorted their collegues to and from Palali air force base they used to sit on the top their vehicles with long poles, which were used to hit the Tamils youths who were unlucky to be on the road that day. I do not have to tell you the kind of atrocities committed by the Armed forces after the ‘wars’ were started.

    I do not know why OTC is repeating the Sinhalese were the oppressed and the Tamils were the oppressors. He also repeated that Vellala Tamils have oppressed Sinhalese. Honestly I do not understand. I would be really grateful if he/she elaborates on that.

    Apart from Sinhalese Buddhsits not body else in the world would accept that the Sinhalese were the oppressed and the Tamils were the oppressors.

    Majority of Sinhalese Buddhsits to my reckoning consciously or unconsciously has ignored and ignore the plights of Tamils. If you read about Israel-Palestine conflict your would understand that the situation among Jews has been similar in last so many years. The majority of Jews in Isreal ignore the fact that millions of Palestinian men, women and children suffer on the other side of the border.

    A minority of Sinhalese Buddhists like OTC have been capable enough to change the minds of this ignoratnt mass of Sinhalese Buddhists to their advantage. Since they are not critical and knowledgable enough to explore the situation for themselves they swallow without chewing all the distorted scare mongering ideas given on a plate day in and day out over print and electronic media by people who burn with hatred towards tamils.

    OTC says ” And I am talking about the RIGHTS of the Lankan Citizenry not about a specific ethnicity.
    No ethnic community has the right to demand MORE rights than the rest.
    Talk about and demand for equal rights.
    The right to live anywhere you chose.
    The right to benefit equally from Public Resources.
    The right to benefit equally from publicly funded development.
    The right to practice your religion
    The right to correspond with government in the language of your choice.
    The right for equal rights”.

    How can you acheive these goals if you are trying to widen the gap between the Sinhalese and Tamils by spreading hatred towards Tamils among the Sinhalese. I do not think the Majority of Tamils do not demand 50% of land, 60% of coast, exclusion of other communities from north and east, etc. They simply want to have a say in the administration in the areas in which they are in majority. They want to be policed by their own people. They want a say in the land distribution of state land. They do not want to be intimidated by the constant presence of Sinhala army soldiers. They want to live with a dignity without being a second class citizens, who have to keep their mouths shut for the fear of being harassed by the Sinhala majority state apparatus.

    I do not say that the Sinhalese are the source of all the problems we face today. Both Tamils and Sinhalese are responsible for the difficult situation we are in in different propotions. However, it is my view that Sinhalese Buddhists have a greater responsibility than the Tamils. As the majority they should have shown greater magnanimity in several crucial stages in the history. All the time they were responsible for many lost oppertunities in the past. Today we have come to yet another oppertunity to put a hold to this nagging problem but as usual our politial leaders and Sinhalese Buddhsts show that they are not magnanimous enough to look at greivences faced by the their Tamil brethren and offer some sort of solace.

    This is definitely going to a be another lost oppertunity, which we, most probably our sons and daughters, would regret in the coming future blaming us, the present generation.

    • wijayapala

      Dear PP

      Unlike OTC I can tell that you are a Sinhala Buddhist or at least were born one. What I don’t understand is why you don’t acknowledge it the way I have. Your words carry more credibility when it is clear that you are talking about your own community and not just spewing hate.

      I have to say that in general I agree more with your perspective than OTC’s. It is impossible to stomach his constant scapegoating of “Vellala Tamils” for all of Sri Lanka’s problems and his inability to counter arguments that there were plenty of Sinhala collaborators who profited from British rule. You correctly noted how his anti-Tamil mindset clashes with his appeals for equality.

      Having said that, you share OTC’s tendency to ruin your plausible arguments by incorrect information and your own biases, like this one:

      If you read about Israel-Palestine conflict your would understand that the situation among Jews has been similar in last so many years. The majority of Jews in Isreal ignore the fact that millions of Palestinian men, women and children suffer on the other side of the border.

      There is no comparison at all between Israel and Sri Lanka. As delusional as it is for OTC to claim that the Vellala Tamils “ruled” Sri Lanka, it is a fact that the Sinhala Buddhists were the least privileged community in the island save for the upcountry Tamils until relatively recently. The Sinhalese did not emigrate to their “chosen land” the way the Jews did that displaced the previous population.

      When was the last time the Israel Defense Force conducted a rehabilitation program for Palestinian fighters, more or less praised by Palestinian leaders?

      Government’s programme of rehabilitation of ex-LTTE combatants is excellent – TNA
      http://english.readsrilanka.com/2012/02/15/tamil-national-alliance/

      The fact is that the Sri Lanka has always been a federal state before British came.

      Although Sri Lanka was not strictly federal, you are correct that power was decentralised. That is one very important reason how the Europeans were able to conquer the island through divide and rule. Adopting the ancient methods of governance would be ill-advised in these times.

      • PitastharaPuthraya

        Wijayapala,

        I partly agree with you about my comparision of Jews and Sinhalese. However, what I beleive is that there is some form of similarity between the way the Sinhala buddhists behave towards the suffereing and demands of the Tamils.

        In the minds of Jews the palestinians’ only purpose of life is to destroy Isreal. Hamas and Palestinians are the same. They have brought the suffereing on to themselves by their own actions. They do not care about the killings of innocent civilian palestinians by their military machine or immense suffering they have to undergo due to the blockades of their ports.

        Although the ground realities are not that similar between Sinhala Buddhists and Jews there are many similarities between their attitudes towards suffering of a community for which they were primarily responsible.

        Sinhala Buddhists have been made to think that the British favoured Tamils over Sinhalese. (The diproportionate number of Tamils in the colonial government may have been the reason. Was this because of the fact that there were many good schools in Jaffna, started by American Missionaries, or due to the ‘divide & rule’ policy, or combination of both?)Therefore, finally when they become the masters of the country Tamis were systematically excluded from the all the sectors. The introduction of new policy for university selection based on ethnicity by Sirmavo’s government is probably a land mark in this direction. The exclusion of Tamils from the Parliament By JRJ was another. Government sactioned black July in 1983 can be considered as a retaliation of the state aimed at breaking the back bone of free thinking Tamils.

        By continous barrage of one sided propaganda made the Sinhalese to think that they were the victims and the only victims of colonial rule. (This is not limited to European colonialism. It goes back to Elara. Thus, in Sinhala Buddhist psyche, they have suffered from various kinds of invasions for more than 2000 years. Whoever the invader was, Chola, Pandaya, Javaka, Kalinga Maga, Portugese, Dutch, British, they were the victims and the Tamils were either not affected or favoured.

        As you very well know, the Jewish mentality is very much Similar to this. Although they are now the masters of their god given land they still suffer from centuries of persecution, pogroms, anti-semitism and from being the second class citizens. They look at the Palestinians with this mentality and may think that comapred to centuries of suffering they had undergone in the hands of various kinds of people the suffereing of Palestinians is nothing.

        Both Jews and Sinhalese Buddhist suffer from this ‘victimized-majority complex’ (or I would like to call this particular syndrome ‘Trans-ethnic majority-minority syndrome’. A kind of minority mentality living in a body of a majority ethnic commmunity. Like in a ‘transsexual.) although they were the majority in their respective lands. Jews are surrounded by Arab muslims and Sinhalese Buddhists face 50 million hindu Tamils in the north.

        When you look at it in this way there is no much of a difference between Jews and Sinhalese Buddhists isn’t it?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Wijayapala,

        “it is a fact that the Sinhala Buddhists were the least privileged community in the island save for the upcountry Tamils until relatively recently”

        What are the supporting reasons that you put forward?

        Please give a detailed analysis.

        BTW, If I needed to criticise you, I would do so in a post directly addressed to you.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear PP,

      “I am sad to say that your way of thinking shows that you are a genuine representative of the Sinhalese Buddhsits majority of present day Sri Lanka”

      It would be better if you answer the questions posed, rather than attempting to psycho analyse me.

      What are you a genuine representative of?
      A set of unscrupulous Land Grabbers?

      “There is a huge colossal gap between the theory and practice in every aspect of the lives of Sinhalese Buddhists today.”

      What a sweeping statement.
      You are hell bent on attacking Buddhists, especially the Sinhala ones.

      Continue to wear your coloured glasses, lest you see the HUGE GAPS between the theory and practice of the Religious Tamils, Muslims and the Christians.

      Hypocrisy?

      “Yes, I know according to Buddhist teaching you should only offer merit to gods. That’s what we do after performing meritorious deeds such as offering arms to Sanga. Don’t think that I am such an ignoramus! “

      Good that you admit it.
      A Buddhist is a person who follows that teaching not one who is born a Buddhist.
      That Buddhism is corrupted by Hinduism cannot be denied. A large number of Buddhist Temples carry Hindu Devales within them, a remnant of the past, where our rulers had Hindu concubines. Astrology, Palmistry, Thovil etc are also a part and parcel of the Sinhalese, Tamils, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians etc. But then with your coloured glasses you see only the Sinhala Buddhistss

      Calling the Pageant of the Tooth Relic a Primarily Hindu pageant, is either a biased or ignorant statement. One in which you were summarily dismissing the religious tolerance that is amply demonstrated otherwise.

      Hypocrisy again?

      Hence please do be careful when you try to use the “Sinhala Buddhist” epithet, a favourite of Tamil separatist and Christian zealots, in a derogatory sense. Please make sure that you do not write ambiguously.

      I note that you have avoided answering the following

      Tamils migrated to Jaffna from Tamil Nadu. Are you stating that the Tamils who migrated were only Hindus? In that case Tamils of Jaffna should have migrated from TN, AFTER the decline of Buddhism in TN.

      On the other hand if Tamils came to Lanka when Buddhism was flourishing in TN, there would have been a large number of Tamil Buddhists amongst the migrants. If that is so, there should have been a large number of Buddhist architectural remains where ever those Tamils settled down in Lanka, just as in TN.

      Where are those Buddhist Architectural remains today?

      You ask me “what is your problem? “

      It is not my problem, it is a National Problem.

      I advocate equitable sharing of resources, irrespective of Ethnicity or Religion. What do you advocate?

      You wrote “The fact they were settled in the lands belong to Sinhalese by the British is only a historical fact”

      Yes it is historical, as is everything else that you complain of.
      If history is unimportant why are you so liberal in referring to History? Hypocrisy?

      The point is, that this historical fact, which you try to belittle, is witness to the magnanimity of the ordinary Sinhalese Buddhists, even in the face of EXTREMELY GRAVE provocation.

      Contrast and compare this, with the behaviour of the Northern and Eastern Tamils, who try to bring the roof down because uninhabited Land in the East, developed at government expense, is settled with landless Sinhala peasants, who are citizens of this country ant not some foreigners looking for better prospects, than they have in their own country.

      The Sinhalese have accepted the foreigners despite grave aggravation, while the Tamils still reject fellow citizens.

      Please note that I do not advocate the relocation of the Indian Tamils.

      This is what I wrote on this thread “The Sinhalese consider the whole island as their home. The Tamils should do so too. Then the Traditional Homeland claim would be non-existent”

      And this is what I wrote on a different thread

      Millions of Tamils live and work in the South, on Land DISPOSSESSED from the Sinhalese by the Government. What would you call it? Colonisation of Sinhala areas by Tamils on a Massive scale? In this case it really was Colonisation as those Tamils were not Sri Lankan but Indian.
      Would you consider the decolonisation of those areas and returning the pillaged lands back to the Sinhalese?
      I of course would not.
      http://groundviews.org/2012/02/12/13-something-tnas-m-i-a-move/#comment-41559

      But this was your stand on that subject

      “…..on the newly ‘conqured’ territories soley inhabited by the hindu Tamis.” vide your comment on February 11, 2012 • 6:05 pm

      Hypocrisy?

      You see PP, unlike you, I do not recognise any Ethnically owned areas. Sri Lanka is the land of ALL her citizens. Everyone should have an equal right as any other.

      You say “It is not easy for Sinhalese to prove that Sri Lanka has been always a coutry with a centralized government.

      Are you delusional?
      Even in Primary school we learnt that there were three kingdoms of Ruhunu, Maya and Pihiti. Why do you Lie PP?

      You say “I do not agree with carving out a separate province for Tamils including 50% land and 60% of the sea cost with no rights to the other communities. This is going to be a disaster if somebody tries to do that. I do not think that reasonable Tamils would go for such unfair demands. What I know is that not all the Sinhala Buddhsits are like OTC and not all the Tamils are like his counterparts among Tamils.”

      Then have you ever opposed it on GV?
      Your previous posts were in favour of them.

      What is that called? Hypocrisy?

      You wrote “How can you acheive these goals if you are trying to widen the gap between the Sinhalese and Tamils by spreading hatred towards Tamils among the Sinhalese.”

      Where have I spread Hate?
      Please prove what you say.

      If you write about 6 decades of post independence I will counter with DOUBLE that period of pre independence. Anyone uncomfortable with the pre independence period, should not bring up the post independence period.

      You wrote “How can you acheive these goals if you are trying to widen the gap between the Sinhalese and Tamils by spreading hatred towards Tamils among the Sinhalese.”

      By stopping the Tamil hate spreaders and their sympathisers and countering and silencing the one sided propaganda by the likes of people who use epithets and phrases such as “Sinhala Buddhists”, “Newly Conquered Areas”, “63 years of …..”, “Traditional Tamil Homeland” etc.

      You wrote “I do not think the Majority of Tamils do not demand 50% of land, 60% of coast, exclusion of other communities from north and east, etc.”

      You do not think …..? Is that proof?
      Please don’t debate by putting forward things that you think about, without supporting facts.
      Your thoughts are not evidence.

      Even though you have accepted that the Majority of Tamils demand 50% of land and 60% of coast for their exclusive use (please re read what you have written), I will assume that it was not your intention.

      I wrote about Lanka’s Public Land, not All of Lanka’s land
      The Tamil demand is for over 50% of PUBLIC Land which is 84% of Lanka’s Land.

      Have the majority of Tamils voted to share the North and East on an equitable basis?
      Have they rejected any Tamil Political party that demands control of the lands in the N & E provinces that contain over 50% of Public Land for the exclusive use of these Tamil dominated provinces?

      So please refrain from basing your arguments on your thoughts unless you can support them. So far they have been proven putrid.

      You wrote “They simply want to have a say in the administration in the areas in which they are in majority.”

      No problem as long as the Land area so claimed is not Disproportionate to the Population in those areas. Unfortunately the current demand is grossly disproportionate.

      You wrote “They want to be policed by their own people

      They were policed by their own people until a murderous gang started shooting and killing Tamil Policemen.

      You wrote “They want a say in the land distribution of state land.”

      No problem again, unless they want to control more than their per capita share of that Land, which of course is 84% of Lanka’s Land.

      You wrote “They do not want to be intimidated by the constant presence of Sinhala army soldiers.”

      Who converted the multi ethnic army in to the present one with a low representation of Tamils?
      Has the representation of Muslims, Burghers etc declined like Tamil representation?
      Who shot and assassinated the Tamil Officers and Men in the forces?
      Who intimidated the Tamils who wanted to join the Forces and stopped them?
      Even under such adverse conditions Tamil officers of Rank Brigadier and above served in the Forces, in Jaffna, during the war.
      Who created the need for the presence of the forces in the N & E?
      Before the war the main security needs were the prevention of Smuggling between the Jaffna Peninsular and India. Today it is different.

      You wrote “They want to live with a dignity without being a second class citizens,”

      That of course is one Tamil Aspiration that I will support unconditionally.
      I see them as my peers and not as second class.
      I know that though Tamil is a National Language, Tamils have difficulty in dealing with government in Tamil. When the official language was English neither the Tamils nor the Sinhalese could deal with government in their mother tongue. Today the Sinhalese can do so mainly because any office will have Sinhala speakers. Unfortunately that is not the case where Tamil is concerned. This state of affairs is of course the folly of previous governments. If only they had the foresight to teach Tamil and Sinhala to all children, we would not be discussing this today. I am happy to note that Sinhala and Tamil are now taught from Grade 1. In a few years time the Language gap would cease to exist.

      You wrote “However, it is my view that Sinhalese Buddhists have a greater responsibility than the Tamils.”

      This is where you go wrong.
      You cannot clap with one hand, you need two.
      Both have an equal responsibility.
      Asking for the moon will not get you the moon because it is an impossibility.
      Demands should be Just and Equitable. If not it is like asking for the moon.
      Making such demands is the responsibility of the Tamils.
      Are their demands Just and Equitable?

      You wrote “Sinhalese Buddhsts show that they are not magnanimous enough to look at greivences faced by the their Tamil brethren and offer some sort of solace.”

      Living proof to the magnanimity of the Sinhalese (I have left out the Buddhist part as that will exclude non Buddhists) is the presence of over a Million Tamils, amongst them, who occupy lands previously owned and farmed by them (these lands were confiscated by the government rendering the Sinhalese destitute and without any means of earning a living).

      More about the unreasonable Land claims here (addressed to you)

      http://groundviews.org/2012/02/06/can-gosl-implement-llrc-recommendations/#comment-41767
      http://groundviews.org/2012/02/06/can-gosl-implement-llrc-recommendations/#comment-41789

  • sabbe laban

    P.P.

    Haven’t the Tamils too wasted many such opportunities in the past? Isn’t it the TNA, who has rejected the current solution too? You can ask, why don’t the moderate Tamils(if there is any such entity) oppose parties like the TNA, rather than electing them? In contrast remember that parties like JHU, and Bhoomiputhra Party are just a drop of water among the political parties of the Sinhalese! This shows who always wanted the pound of flesh!

    • PitastharaPuthraya

      Sabbe Laban,

      If you are outsider what would you think about the behaviour of the successive Sinhala Buddhist governments about the Tamil demands? Starting from the 1956 Bandaranaike government to present day MR’s government what was the tract record of the Sinhala leaders? How many bodies did MR alone establish to find a solution for this problem? Have we ever been informed about the findings of Tissa Vitharana’s recommendations after wasting so much time and spending many millions of rupees? Where is the honesty of our leaders? Look at the MR’s behaviour in particular to this problem. One day he says Krishna that he is for 13+. On the following day he tells the Sinhalese that he is not for it.

      If you were a Tamil would you beleive a single Sinhala leader for a second? Can you remember the way Ranil, supposedly the most enlightened Sinhala leader alive today,(I do not agree with that) burned Chandrika’s proposals in the parliament?

      If you were a tamil would you like to live under this corrupt Sinhala leadership, who would take the Tamils with all the false promises for many more years to come even for a second?

      Tell me a single oppertunity wasted by Tamils to solve this problem. (I am not talking about LTTE, whose sole objective was to have a separate state.) Who else is there for Tamils to vote other than TNA? Sinhalese may think that TNA is asking too much. But do they really asking too much. What is wrong with asking police and land powers? One might think this is asking the pound of flesh other might not. It would depend on how you think about self rule. As far as Tamils are concerned they represent their demand don’t they?

      • sabbe laban

        P.P.

        Well, I see it as a political game! Both the Singhalese & the Tamil political parties have infused hatred into their gullible populace in order to gain power. As a result the Sinhalese are made to think that the Tamils are asking for too much, & the Tamils are made to think that the Sinhalese are giving too little!

        This would probably go on a full cicle until the boiling point is reached!

      • Off the Cuff

        PP,

        “…….. (I am not talking about LTTE, whose sole objective was to have a separate state.)”

        Yes but you are talking about the LTTE Proxy, who did the bidding of the LTTE.

        “Who else is there for Tamils to vote other than TNA?”

        What prevents moderate Tamils from standing for election?

        “Sinhalese may think that TNA is asking too much. But do they really asking too much”

        Are they making an equitable demand?
        That is the Real Question.
        Are you able to justify those demands?
        Please give your reasons if you think that what they are asking for, is Just

        “What is wrong with asking police and land powers?”

        Nothing wrong if that is equitable but is it equitable to usurp over 50% of PUBLIC land for the benefit of a fraction of the Tamil population’s exclusive use? Remember that over a million Tamils, live outside the area, over which, they are staking a claim for their exclusive use.

        The Provincial Boundaries were an invention of the British.
        It included uninhabited land as well as inhabited land.
        The inhabited land was a minute fraction of the uninhabited land.
        Even today, 84% of land in Lanka is Public Land and is mostly uninhabited.
        This land is common property.
        The Northern and Eastern Provinces contain over 50% of this common property.
        How do you justify a demand that is grossly inequitable?

        Here is a part of the 13th Amendment

        Does it FULLY recognise per capita land use or are there any hidden caveats that subverts the apparent recognition of per capita ownership, inbuilt within 13 A?

        I believe that there are such caveats.


        2 : 4 The selection of allotees for such lands will be determined by the Government of Sri Lanka having regard to settler selection criteria including degree of landlessness, income level, size of family and agricultural background of the applicants. The actual application of these principles, selection of allottees and other incidental matters connected thereto will be within the powers of the Provincial Councils.

        2 : 5 The distribution of all allotments of such land in such projects will be on the basis of national ethnic ratio. In the distribution of allotments according to such ratios, priority will be given to persons who are displaced by the project, landless of the District in which the project is situated and thereafter the landless of the Province.

        Why are the Landless in the other Provinces excluded?
        Why are the Landless Tamils outside the Province Excluded?
        Why are the other ethnicities excluded?
        Are they not Sri Lankan?
        How do you honour the National Ethnic Ratios when the beneficiaries are limited to those within the Province?


        2 : 7 The distribution of allotments in such projects on the basis of the aforesaid principles would be done as far as possible so as not to disturb very significantly the demographic pattern of the Province and in accordance with the principle of ensuring community cohesiveness in human settlements.

        The National Ethnic Ratio and the Provincial Ethnic Ratio run counter to each other in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. If so, why talk about the National Ethnic Ratio in the first place?
        To pull the wool over unsuspecting Citizenry that have been excluded?
        Apparently, this caveat is meant to subvert the National Ethnic Ratio included in 2:5 above.

        How can any Democratic government comply with this proviso?

        Personally, I believe that the only equitable solution is a per capita solution, without any hidden caveats.

        If you want to talk of Rights, don’t limit it to one group.

      • PitastharaPuthraya

        Off the Cuff,

        I do not agree with this hackneyed phrase, LTTE Proxy, to describe TNA. We should understand TNA’s behaviour when LTTE was in power. By their behaviour during that period alone one can not judge whether they were LTTE proxy or not. As unarmed polticians what can they do other than keeping their mouth shut especially when they can not be seen as pro-government by siding with the GoSL?

        Can you call them ‘LTTE proxy’ by looking at their demands? As the fighters for Tamil rights, they both should essentially have common set of demands probably sans a separate state. EPDP, as they claim, also fight for similar rights. You do not call it LTTE proxy because they were with the Government. Do they have any standing amongst tamils a cridible force fighting for their rights as a result of that?

        I understand why you are so concerned with the land issue. The important thing today is to agree on certain principles. Then we can negotiate for finer details. Just because somebody argue no body is supposed to agree to them in toto.

        The principles I would agree and any body who lives in 21st century should agree are as follows. It is no longer acceptable to change demography of a certain area with the aim to disenfrachise a segment of people. Therefore, settlement of state land should be according to the ethnic ratio of the region. Private settlements of land should be excluded from state sanction.

        If the provincial boundaries are artificial they can be negotiated in a way preserving the demography in the region.

        Only way forward with agreeing on principles and negotiate if one feel that the demands are unfair by the others. The solution should be acceptable to all otherwise they will never end. Our leaders duty, if they are genuine enough, is to educate Sinhalese and dispel their anxieties.

        Would they are capable or willing to do that?

        (Does your silence to my previous post indicate that you accept at least majority of what I say?)

      • Off the Cuff

        PP,

        You wrote “I do not agree with this hackneyed phrase, LTTE Proxy, to describe TNA. ”

        Your agreement is irrelevant. A spade is a spade and a Proxy is a Proxy.

        You wrote “We should understand TNA’s behaviour when LTTE was in power. By their behaviour during that period alone one can not judge whether they were LTTE proxy or not. As unarmed polticians what can they do other than keeping their mouth shut especially when they can not be seen as pro-government by siding with the GoSL? ”

        What a lame excuse for Perfidy.

        If they feared for their lives so much they should not have remained politicians. They could have resigned and taken refuge abroad, instead of mortgaging their soul to the Devil and doing it’s bidding.

        Did Mr. Anandasangaree run? Did he not oppose the LTTE openly while residing in Lanka? Did LTTE’s use of force and thuggery stop DBS Jayaraj from criticising the LTTE? TNA’s behaviour showed that they were just opportunistic cowards. They still are.

        You wrote “Can you call them ‘LTTE proxy’ by looking at their demands? ”

        It is not their demands that earned them the label of LTTE Proxy. It is their spineless running to the LTTE and doing their bidding that earned them that infamous title.

        You wrote “As the fighters for Tamil rights, they both should essentially have common set of demands probably sans a separate state. ”

        Mr,. Anandasangaree is fighting for Tamil rights, does he have the same outlook as the LTTE?

        You wrote “EPDP, as they claim, also fight for similar rights. You do not call it LTTE proxy because they were with the Government. Do they have any standing amongst tamils a cridible force fighting for their rights as a result of that? ”

        Please look up the meaning of Proxy.
        Did the EPDP do what the TNA did?
        Did the EPDP do LTTE’s bidding?
        Please dont forward silly arguments.
        What should a Tamil be required to do to be accepted as a credible force amongst them? Demand the Moon from the SL Government? Does that make them moderates?

        You wrote “I understand why you are so concerned with the land issue. ”

        What do you understand?
        Are you afraid to discuss it openly?
        Answer the questions that I raised, instead of avoiding them.

        You wrote “The important thing today is to agree on certain principles. Then we can negotiate for finer details. Just because somebody argue no body is supposed to agree to them in toto. ”

        The 13A is already Law.
        (though it was forced down SL citizenry’s throats by an intimidating external government).
        The Principle of National Ethnic Ratio is already accepted within it.
        What prevents implementation is the Subverting Caveats within it.
        Does the TNA accept 13A?
        If not what are you writing about?
        Even you have rejected the National Ethnic Ratios embedded in 13A.

        You wrote “The principles I would agree and any body who lives in 21st century should agree are as follows. It is no longer acceptable to change demography of a certain area with the aim to disenfrachise a segment of people. ”

        Who is trying to disenfranchise anyone?
        Disenfranchise means the removal of Universal Suffrage.

        Definition of DISENFRANCHISE
        transitive verb : to deprive of a franchise, of a legal right, or of some privilege or immunity; especially : to deprive of the right to vote

        Examples of DISENFRANCHISE
        1. They disenfranchised poor people by making property ownership a requirement for registering to vote.

        Your use of convoluted language seems to hide the real intention of gaining control of a disproportionate amount of Land for the Northern and Eastern Tamils. In other words you want to trample on the rights of others.

        You wrote “Therefore, settlement of state land should be according to the ethnic ratio of the region. Private settlements of land should be excluded from state sanction. ”

        What is the region you are writing about?
        The region that contains over 50% of PUBLIC Land? Which is over 42% of the TOTAL LAND MASS of Sri Lanka? For the exclusive use of about 6% of her population?
        Is this the EQUALITY that you are seeking?

        BTW, I have been discussing exclusively about PUBLIC land. Private land is no concern of mine. So don’t try to confuse the reader by bringing in private land which is just 16% of the whole of Lanka. You can get more details at the following discussion with Dr Devanesan Nesiah. Unfortunately, he too abandoned the debate. http://groundviews.org/2011/10/12/sri-lankan-tamil-destiny-is-inextricably-grounded-within-sri-lanka-a-response-to-d-b-s-jeyaraj

        You wrote “If the provincial boundaries are artificial they can be negotiated in a way preserving the demography in the region. ”

        There is no IF about it, the Provincial boundaries are artificial and GROSSLY disproportionate.

        Would you agree for re demarcation on the basis of the National Ethnic Ratio? You will then still have political power within the re demarcated boundaries.

        If not, why are you rejecting per capita resource sharing?

        You wrote “Only way forward with agreeing on principles and negotiate if one feel that the demands are unfair by the others. The solution should be acceptable to all otherwise they will never end. ”

        The Principle is already Law, but the Tamils led by the TNA have been rejecting it.
        They want their pound of flesh.
        They want what is not Just.
        They want a loaded scale by which to measure that pound of flesh.

        You wrote “Our leaders duty, if they are genuine enough, is to educate Sinhalese and dispel their anxieties.”

        Our country is no longer populated by a majority of fools as the person who coined the phrase “Sinhalaya modaya, kavun kanna yodaya” thought. Meaning that the Sinhalese are fools who can only eat a lot of oil cakes. Today they have learnt from their past mistakes and cannot be hoodwinked in to believing that 1+10 is equal to 2.

        You wrote “(Does your silence to my previous post indicate that you accept at least majority of what I say?) ”

        Of course not, most of what you write is just rhetoric. I found this discussion to be far more important than responding to Rhetoric.

        Lets continue to discuss the Fair Use of Lanka’s Resources, then you will get all the answers.

        I hope that the Tamils, Sinhalese and representatives of other ethnicities in Lanka who write to GV, would join this discussion. In the past, very few Tamils were prepared to air their views in Public. Hopefully it will be different this time.

      • PitastharaPuthraya

        Off the Cuff,

        Where is Anandasangaree today? Does he have any credibiilty amongst Tamils as a result of what he had done?

        DSB Jeyaraj is not a politicians. You should understand that politicians can not behave like Journalists.

        By the way, I am not giving excuses on behalf of TNA. What I am trying to say is that you should understand your opponents before you deal with them. Branding and ridiculing a group of people, who want to talk and negotiate is not going to help anybody in the long run.

        I know 13 A is already a law. But laws can be changed and improved by the legislature. It won’t prevent any body from negotiation.

        By disenfranchise I meant “(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) to deprive (a place) of the right to send representatives to an elected body” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/disenfranchise

        Colonisation is a well-known strategy practiced by rules all over the world to liquidate politically conscious minorities. It is no longer acceptable as a political tool for obvious reasons. You should understand that this is not a Sinhala Buddhist centred world. We should respect that the other people have a right to continue their lives without outside interference as they did for centuries.

        OTC, tell me what do you think about altering ethnic ratio by colonisation? Do you agree with it?

        It is immaterial whether we accept or not the concept of ‘Tamil homeland’. It is a fact that Tamils live as a majority in certain areas for centuries. If you do like them to be called north and east we can call them with some other name. If you do not like the present boundaries we can negotiate.

        What is important is for the Sinhala and Tamil leadership to agree on certain principles. Then they can work towards some kind of compromised solution.

        There is no question of giving land in north and east to Tamils. Does 13a accept that the land in north/east belong to Tamils? NO. It talks about the ways of distributing land to people. I do not have any problem with that. If you do not have any ulterior motives to make Tamils a minority in the north/east I do not think it poses any problems especially to Sinhalese. As long as the central government has a say in the ways in which the state land is used in commercial purposes other than land distribution Sinhalese should not have anything to worry. For instance, if oil is found in north/est it should be the central government’s job to explore and use it for the benefit for the Sri Lankans.

        I am not rejecting per capita resourcee sharing. In fact I am for it. But it is not a black and white issue as you seem to understand. We should be sensitive enough to understand the anxieties of others. By others I meant both Sinhalese and Tamils. That’s why we need statemen and not politicians to lead us in this crucial hour. As I always tell the Sinhalese should show to their Tamil breathren that they understand the anxieties and demands of the latter and take the lead. We need to build trust between the Sinhalese and Tamils, which has been long lost. In this ventrue Sinhalese have more responsibility than the Tamils.

        Unfortunately what we see today is that we are still travelling on a circle and probably have returned to where we have started many decades ago.

      • Off the Cuff

        PP,

        You wrote “Where is Anandasangaree today? Does he have any credibiilty amongst Tamils as a result of what he had done? “

        What has he done to lose credibility amongst the Tamils?
        Please enlighten us.

        You wrote “DSB Jeyaraj is not a politicians. You should understand that politicians can not behave like Journalists. “

        You mean politicians do not have a backbone to tell the truth?

        I feel that you are avoiding the real issues when I discuss too many points with you. Hence I am shortening my responses and concentrating on the important ones.

        You wrote “I understand why you are so concerned with the land issue.”

        What do you understand?
        Please detail them.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear PitastharaPuthraya,

        You stated “I understand why you are so concerned with the land issue.” on February 19, 2012 • 4:03 pm

        Since then, I have been requesting you to state here on GV exactly what you understand. It’s a week now but you have not yet put on paper what you understand.

        Why is that?
        Why have you suddenly become silent?

        Do you have any fear of putting it down in black and white?

  • wijayapala

    Dear OTC

    The Sinhalese are my ancestors as much as they are yours. And they fought the British.

    What were the names of your ancestors who had fought the British?

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Wijayapala,

      The word Ancestor has three different meanings.

      You seem to refer to one of them while I was referring to another.
      Hence your inability to grasp the meaning of my post.
      Sorry if I confused you.

      Definition of ANCESTOR

      1
      a : one from whom a person is descended and who is usually more remote in the line of descent than a grandparent

      b : forefather

      2: forerunner, prototype

      3: a progenitor of a more recent or existing species or group

      See ancestor defined for English-language learners »
      See ancestor defined for kids »

      Examples of ANCESTOR

      My ancestors came to America during the 1800s.
      Her ancestors were great sea captains.
      an ancient animal that was the ancestor of the modern horse
      The museum included an exhibit showing ancestors of the modern computer.
      several languages that are derived from a common ancestor
      Latin is the ancestor of Italian and French.

      • wijayapala

        Dear OTC

        The word Ancestor has three different meanings.

        Thank you for providing those meanings. Now based on ANY of them, were any of the participants of the Uva-Wellassa uprising your ancestor?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Wijayapala,

        You were informed of who they were within the following post on February 18, 2012 • 4:09 pm , four days ago.
        http://groundviews.org/2012/02/06/can-gosl-implement-llrc-recommendations/#comment-41743

        Are you contesting that there were no Sinhalese amongst the leaders?

        BTW, I am awaiting you to share your wisdom for the question that I asked of you on February 19, 2012 • 1:48 am . Here is a copy of that post

        “it is a fact that the Sinhala Buddhists were the least privileged community in the island save for the upcountry Tamils until relatively recently”

        What are the supporting reasons that you put forward?
        Please give a detailed analysis.

        BTW, If I needed to criticise you, I would do so in a post directly addressed to you.
        http://groundviews.org/2012/02/06/can-gosl-implement-llrc-recommendations/#comment-41766

      • Keynes!

        Off the Cuff,

        If you had not artfully dodged Wijayapala’s question and provided a more specific answer to it, you could have upped the ante on the culturo-ideological exclusivism that you promote. Therein lies your waterloo. Does this mean that the process of Sinhalisation of your family is yet to be complete?

        Would you consider Ravi Jayawardene and his three sons to be natives?

      • Off the Cuff

        Keynes!,

        You wrote “If you had not artfully dodged Wijayapala’s question ……”

        Unlike you, I am not in the habit of dodging questions.

        What is hilarious is you waking up from your 7 day slumber and trying to piggy back on Wijayapala, while there are posts directly addressed to you, which you have been dodging an unanswer since the 15th Feb.

        I suppose that is the English Liberal way of doing things!

        You wrote “…. and provided a more specific answer to it, you could have upped the ante on the culturo-ideological exclusivism that you promote. “

        Are you sure you know what you are writing about?
        There are many in England who cannot speak English.
        There are many who cannot comprehend it either though they are prone to fall back on Buzz words.

        You wrote “Therein lies your waterloo.”

        How so?
        Because the Pontiff has spoken?

        You wrote “Does this mean that the process of Sinhalisation of your family is yet to be complete?”

        You are yet again proving my point about the many who are English and yet unable to comprehend English. I wrote about my Ethnic group in response to your question and you are writing about my family. There is an appropriate Sinhala idiom for it.

        Koheda yanne?
        Malle pol.

        Translation.
        Where are you going?
        The bag contains coconuts.

        You wrote “Would you consider Ravi Jayawardene and his three sons to be natives?”

        I don’t know who you are referring to. The name is common in Lanka. I had a school mate with the same name and he was definitely a native. You just drop names, as you cannot make a coherent argument.

        I have not seen their Birth Certificates. But if they were fathered by foreigners they would not be natives of Lanka unless the mother was a native. Is it any different in the English Liberal Country?

      • Gamarala

        Quite right Off the cuff! You sure told off that English liberal fellow Keynes! just like a true son of the soil should (How dare the cheeky bugger forget that your ancestor was Puran Appu, even if it’s not by a direct blood line).

        Never mind him, or his inconvenient questions (good reply you gave him too, buried the fellow in a ton of verbiage, never to get up), what about my question?

        If we share our ancestors’ glory, do we share culpability for our ancestors’ crimes too?

      • wijayapala

        Dear OTC

        You were informed of who they were within the following post on February 18, 2012 • 4:09 pm , four days ago.

        You said “the Sinhalese” are your ancestors, an answer which is vague and irrelevant to the point of uselessness. You also could have said that the human race were your ancestors and that would have been equally as insightful.

        You also said that THE Sinhalese fought the British. As you very well know, that is a falsehood given the fact that only a handful of chieftains participated in the Uva-Wellassa Rebellion. The majority of the Sinhalese, including your (our) actual ancestors sat the uprising out. If “the Sinhalese” as a people had fought, there is no way that the British could have won.

        What are the supporting reasons that you put forward?

        I see that I may have erred. In the 1911 Census, 48% of male low-country Sinhalese were literate compared to 46% for “Ceylon Tamils,” 36.4% for Kandyan Sinhalese, and 20.4% for Estate Tamils. For females, the literacy rate was 17.4% for low-country Sinhalese, 11% for “Ceylon Tamils,” 3% for Kandyan Sinhalese, and 1.5% for Estate Tamils.

        From Nira Wickramasinghe’s Sri Lanka in the Modern Age: a History of Contested Identities, p. 77.

        The above information suggests that the low-country Sinhalese had the best access to education, while the Kandyans were in between the two separate Tamil groups. I humbly stand corrected.

      • Off the Cuff

        Gamarala,

        Are you trying to cheat?

        You should look for my reply under your OWN post, not under Keynes’s.

        Or are you pretending not to have seen it?
        Your dishonesty is amplified by your misplaced sarcasm.

        Prove that you have a spine (oh yes, I know that you said you have one) by engaging me on the subjects that I have indicated in my reply to you. You appear to have read them but chose to be silent, until you thought you discovered something to berate me with? Well you thought wrong.

        You said “Quite right Off the cuff! You sure told off that English liberal fellow Keynes! just like a true son of the soil should (How dare the cheeky bugger forget that your ancestor was Puran Appu, even if it’s not by a direct blood line).”

        Did I write about a “Direct Blood Line”?

        All this while you have been arguing with yourself due to your inability to grasp what I wrote.

        You are welcome to continue to make a fool of yourself.

        You said “Never mind him, or his inconvenient questions (good reply you gave him too, buried the fellow in a ton of verbiage, never to get up), …..”

        Sure, don’t bother about him.
        Name calling is EASY.
        Concentrate on yourself by defending the verbiage you write.

        You wrote “what about my question?
        If we share our ancestors’ glory, do we share culpability for our ancestors’ crimes too?”

        You should have read my reply before reposting your silly question. It only proves that your Vocabulary of the language that you write in, is wanting.

        Go and READ my reply, without pretending that you have not seen it.
        It was posted long before you arrogantly repeated your question.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Wijayapala,

        On February 18, 2012 • 8:44 am you made the following statement.

        “it is a fact that the Sinhala Buddhists were the least privileged community in the island save for the upcountry Tamils until relatively recently”

        A week later, on February 24, 2012 • 9:40 am you say that you were mistaken.

        However, until my question on 19th February prompted you to search for the reasons and your new research prompted you to change your views, you held a different view. You made an emphatic assertion (you used the word fact), devoid of reasons, when you aired that view.

        Why did you have to research anew, when you were so convinced that your original view was correct?
        Why could you not state the reasons you knew so well?
        Did you ORIGINALY make an assertion that you could not maintain?
        Is that how you write your comments?

        You wrote “I see that I may have erred. In the 1911 Census, 48% of male low-country Sinhalese were literate compared to 46% for “Ceylon Tamils,” 36.4% for Kandyan Sinhalese, and 20.4% for Estate Tamils. For females, the literacy rate was 17.4% for low-country Sinhalese, 11% for “Ceylon Tamils,” 3% for Kandyan Sinhalese, and 1.5% for Estate Tamils.
        From Nira Wickramasinghe’s Sri Lanka in the Modern Age: a History of Contested Identities, p. 77.”

        Thank you for the information.
        I am grateful for that.

        But are you being a little mischievous here?
        Your ORIGINAL statement was about the Sinhalese Buddhists.
        Why have you removed that qualification?
        Does your reference negate what you originally said on the 18 February?
        I don’t see that it does.
        Nira W has written about the Sinhalese not the Sinhala Buddhists.

        Could you please enlighten the readers as to why you held your previous view, which should still be your current view, as you have drawn a wrong inference, from your own reference?

        A Native will fight for his/her Country and her freedom.
        How many Tamils opposed the British Oppressor when they fought to subjugate and dehumanise the Natives of Sri Lanka? Could you please name such Tamil Natives who fought the British?

        That is my original assertion contained in my post to Eureka.

        Do you agree with the first sentence?

        In response to the above, Keynes asked “Can you prove that the leader of the Uva Rebellion was a Sinhalese?”

        This was my response.
        Sinhalese History records that Sinhalese Royalty and Nobility took brides from India. This has been so from the days of Vijaya. Sinhalese have married the Nayakkars. The last king of Kandy was Kannasamy, a Nayakkar. The Sinhalese emerged from a mixture of Indians and Natives of Lanka and has developed as a separate race with a unique language found only in Sri Lanka.
        In view of the foregoing what is there to prove?

        In response to my exchange with Keynes

        You wrote “You said “the Sinhalese” are your ancestors, an answer which is vague and irrelevant to the point of uselessness”

        It looks irrelevant to you because you could not understand what I wrote. You assumed I was referring to my direct relatives but I was not. I was referring to the Sinhalese, who come from Vijaya and his band. They are our ancestors and I made that clear with the context.

        Hence what is irrelevant is the question you posed, by misunderstanding my comment (probably due to the bias you harbour towards me as evident by your reply to PP criticising me).

        You said “You also said that THE Sinhalese fought the British. As you very well know, that is a falsehood given the fact that only a handful of chieftains participated in the Uva-Wellassa Rebellion.“

        Quote
        The Great Rebellion of 1817-1818, also known as the 1818 Uva-Wellassa Uprising, (after the two places it had started), or simply the Uva Rebellion was the third Kandyan War with the British, in what is now Sri Lanka. It took place in what in know Uva, which was a then a province of the Kingdom of Kandy, against the British colonial government under Governor Robert Brownrigg, which had been controlling the formerly independent Udarata, (Up-Country in Sinhalese). Records state that the Uva Rebellion was the first struggle for gaining Independence from the British.

        Keppetipola Disawe was sent initially by the British government to stop the uprising but ended up joining the rebellion as its leader and is celebrated for his actions even today in Sri Lanka. He assisted many regional leaders in providing men and material from various regions. The other leaders who supported this independent movement were: Wilbawe (an alias of Duraisamy, a Nayakkar of Royal blood), II Pilima Talauve Adikaram, Kohu Kumbure Rate Rala, Dimbulana Disave, Kivulegedara Mohottala, Madugalle Disave, Butewe Rate Rala, Galagedara Mohottala, Dambawinna Disave and Gode Gedara Adikaram.

        The rebellion was launched by Keppetipola Disawe. Except for Molligoda and Ekneligoda, many Chiefs joined the rebels. “ Wiki.

        You said “The majority of the Sinhalese, including your (our) actual ancestors sat the uprising out. If “the Sinhalese” as a people had fought, there is no way that the British could have won”

        Oh, so the Bows and Arrows would have been more powerful than the Guns and Cannons of the British?
        What made you overlook that fact?

      • Gamarala

        Dear Off the cuff,

        As cowed as I am by your self-righteous fury, try as I might, I cannot find a direct or sensible reply to my question.

        The closest you’ve come to answering it, once again buried under a torrent of admonishments, is the following:
        “You may have been complicit but I have never been, so make sure you write in the Singular.”

        Like I said at the outset, my intention was to follow your train of thought to its ultimate conclusion. Unfortunately, you seem to have disembarked that train at the wrong stop.

        Let me restate the question, if you’ve misunderstood: You said that our Sinhalese ancestors’ fought the British and therefore, we have a right to claim that glory, whereas the Tamils apparently do not. So I simply asked you, if we have a right to bask in our ancestor’s glory, are we culpable for their crimes too?

        You have commented on a specific example I provided, while missing the whole point of the question.

        Can you provide a simple and direct reply, and not miss the wood for the trees?

      • M.N.I.N. Perera

        Dear Gamarala,

        You wrote “Very well, so belonging to tribe X also makes you responsible for their accomplishments?”

        No.
        That is a foolish question.

        You wrote “if we are to brandish our relationship to Puran Appu with unrestrained glee, surely then, we both bear responsibility for our ancestors ignominies too, with commensurate gravity?”

        No again.
        You are making the same foolish mistake.

        Better reread your question as I advised.

        You wrote “Like I said at the outset, my intention was to follow your train of thought to its ultimate conclusion. Unfortunately, you seem to have disembarked that train at the wrong stop.”

        Your intention was to heckle.
        You have got on the wrong train all alone, on your way to nowhere.

        You wrote “Let me restate the question, if you’ve misunderstood: You said that our Sinhalese ancestors’ fought the British and therefore, we have a right to claim that glory, whereas the Tamils apparently do not.

        You are a Liar.
        If you think otherwise, please copy and paste from my posts, without adding any words of your own and prove that you are not a Liar.

        So I simply asked you, if we have a right to bask in our ancestor’s glory, are we culpable for their crimes too?

        Back again to the same foolish mistake.
        You need to learn the meanings of the words you use so freely, in ignorance.

        BTW, I am not angry with you, just sorry for your predicament.

        As I said before, if you are not an empty headed heckler, take me up on my challenge to you and come and discuss the important issues such as the implementation of 13A, Land issues, Historical Tamil Homeland, equitable sharing of resources etc. So far, you could only heckle.

        You have a backbone don’t you?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear GV Readers,

        Sorry for the inadvertent use of M.N.I.N. Perera in my post to Gamarala on this thread.

        I used it to prove a point to those who denounce the use of Pseudonyms in a different thread. Unfortunately, the browser memory repeated it on this thread too.

        http://groundviews.org/2012/02/17/live-ammunition-and-citizen-enemies/#comment-41915

        I trust that the above post explains my reasons.

        My apologies to Gamarala.

  • sabbe laban

    “Keynes!”

    If you think you are not British enough with a name change(of your legal name), you may consider changing the colour of your skin by a skin transplant!

    • Keynes!

      Sabbe,

      I am not quite sure I am with you on that, you old fruity.

      Go tell Kumar Sangakkara who epitomizes your Sri Lankan identity. Your chap was falling over himself at the Cowdrey Lecture to please the British with honorifics. One wisecrack even quipped that he bent himself so much that he was within kissing distance of his you-know-what.

      • sabbe laban

        Keynes

        I’m not quite with you on this either! That chap is not ‘my chap’ in the first place, and he is a product of an Anglican school. Yet, if he spoke about a “Sri Lankan identity”, that might show where he thought he belonged to!

        Don’t worry old chap, if we have a bending competition between you two, I’m sure that you would win it, hands-down!(and legs up!)

      • Keynes!

        Sabbe,

        You drooping brewer! No wonder you want others to compete.

        Nevertheles, I suggest you dive in too. It may lead to an amicable association after all. Haven’t you heard how adult male mountain gorillas compete for females during one part of the day and groom one another at another time?

        And I must say that your English is peculiarly British and serves as a model in thought(!) and writing for the Queen’s English.

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    Off the Cuff,

    My understanding of ‘land issue’ is as follows. If the land is distributed according to the ethnic ratio in N/E Tamils, being the majority, would have an advantage over the Sinhalese. Since there is more land and less population per capita land distribution would be more than in other provices. Your recipe is to distribute state land on national ethnic ratio rather than the provincial. If this is going to be the government policy it would change the demography and Tamils will become a minority. It would be desirable from the Sinhalese nationalist point of view but it would be devastating for the Tamils. The question what are we going to choose? Suppressing Tamil anxieties and up hold Sinhalese or suppressing the Sinhalese and up holding Tamil. The solution would lie in the middle. If we want to find a solution this we should be able to find the ‘middle’.

    Ancestory in the national sense is complicated. It is not like you look at your family tree for your blood ancestors. A Sinhalese whose ancestors migrated to Sri Lanka from Malabar coast in the 18th century may still think that he is a direct descendent of Dutugemunu. Unlike the Kandyan ‘radala’ and low country gentry families majority of Sinhalese can not trace their family tree. Eve if they can it would lead only to a 3-4 generations. When we say ‘our ancestors’ it has two meanings. One is members of your family tree and the other is generations of your ethnic group before you.

    • Off the Cuff

      PitastharaPuthraya,

      You wrote “My understanding of ‘land issue’ is as follows. If the land is distributed according to the ethnic ratio in N/E Tamils, being the majority, would have an advantage over the Sinhalese“

      In other words you would be taking advantage of the artificial boundaries defined by the British to STEAL from the rest of the population, OTHER Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims, Burghers, Malays etc (about 90% of the total population) what is rightfully theirs?
      Is this the EQUALITY that you espouse?

      How equal is the usurping of over 50% of the Land owned by the Sri Lankan PUBLIC, for the EXCLUSIVE use of about 10% of the population?

      You wrote “Since there is more land and less population per capita land distribution would be more than in other provices.”

      Exactly. The population is 10% and the land is over 50% of Public Land which means that the N & E Tamils are claiming over 42% of ALL land in Lanka and they consists about 10% of the population. Is that the Justice and equality that is demanded?

      Remember that over a million Tamils live in the Up country alone, outside the Land claimed by the N & E Tamils.

      You wrote “Your recipe is to distribute state land on national ethnic ratio rather than the provincial.”

      My recipe as you call it, is the accepted recipe in 13A and is Law.
      2 : 5 The distribution of all allotments of such land in such projects will be on the basis of national ethnic ratio.

      It is also the most fair method of sharing PUBLIC resources. Hence it cannot be allowed to be subverted.

      You wrote “If this is going to be the government policy it would change the demography and Tamils will become a minority. “

      You are mistaken.
      How can that happen?
      They will still be the majority, in a re demarcated province, that will contain an Identical per capita share within it, as within every other province. So how can it change the demography? It will ONLY change the Land area by equating it per capita to every other province.

      You wrote “It would be desirable from the Sinhalese nationalist point of view but it would be devastating for the Tamils.”

      As you can see above, you are not talking of Tamils of Lanka, but a SUBSET of Tamils.
      You are not talking of Equality but of inequality.
      You are not talking of Justice but injustice.
      That PP, is the Northern Tamil Nationalist view.

      You wrote “The question what are we going to choose? Suppressing Tamil anxieties and up hold Sinhalese or suppressing the Sinhalese and up holding Tamil.”

      Why should anyone be suppressed if what is demanded is JUST? Neither the Tamils nor the Sinhalese nor the Burghers nor the Moors nor the Malays nor the Veddahs should be suppressed.

      You wrote “When we say ‘our ancestors’ it has two meanings. One is members of your family tree and the other is generations of your ethnic group before you.”

      Yes and I am surprised by the number of people who cannot understands that.

  • wijayapala

    Dear OTC

    Do you agree with the first sentence?

    If I agree, then both of us would have to concede that most, if not all of our ancestors living during 1817-8 were not Natives, given that they did not lift a finger to help Keppetipola.

    Oh, so the Bows and Arrows would have been more powerful than the Guns and Cannons of the British?

    First of all, firearms were available to the Sri Lankans of that era, although their quality was inferior to those of the British. I recommend you acquaint yourself with the topic by reading Channa Wickremesekera’s Kandy at War: Indigenous Military Resistance to European Expansion in Sri Lanka.

    Secondly, there have been other instances when bows and arrows defeated 19th century firearms:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Little_Bighorn

    Lakota and Cheyenne bows and arrows gave a deadly advantage over the troopers on the ridge due to the exposed terrain of the battlefield. Unlike the valley, the heights above the Little Bighorn River are considered completely unsuited for mounted troops. Custer’s men were essentially trapped on higher ground, from which direct fire at the Indians through the high, dense brush would have been difficult. On the other hand, the Lakota and Cheyenne were able to shoot their arrows from heavy sagebrush below the ridge by aiming their arrows upward over obstacles at the puffs of smoke from the troopers’ weapons. Their large volume of arrows ensured severe casualties. Many of the slain troopers were found with numerous arrows protruding from their bodies. Many also had crushed skulls, likely from the Indians’ stone-headed war clubs.[54] Historians have not determined when the latter injuries occurred. Some accounts of the Indian wars describe Indian women coming onto the field after a battle and systematically bashing in the heads of the enemy dead and wounded alike.

    Thirdly, your argument is a distraction from the main point that the ancestors of most Sinhalese today did not participate in the Uva rebellion.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Wijayapala,

      You have skipped and completely avoided answering why you claimed as a fact that the “Sinhala Buddhists were the least privileged community in the island save for the upcountry Tamils until relatively recently”

      Why is that?

      You also claimed that the Sinhalese did not fight the British you said “…… As you very well know, that is a falsehood ….. “

      But the wiki contradicts you. It says quote Records state that the Uva Rebellion was the first struggle for gaining Independence from the British. Unquote

      It is even contradicted by an introduction to Channa Wickremesekera’s Kandy at War, reproduced below

      The kingdom of Kandy in the central highlands of Sri lanka presents one of the finest examples of effective military resistance to European expansion by a small, economically backward state in the South Asian region, and perhaps, in the world. Kandy, a landlocked state with a subsistence economy, few material resources and a sparse population by regional standards, has the unique distinction of resisting European expansion for over two centuries. Between 1594 and 1818 Kandy battled against the armies of three European powers established in the coast: the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British and preserved its independence until the kingdom was betrayed by disgruntled nobles in 1815. From the perspective of small state resistance to European arms this was serious and significant resistance, perhaps the most significant of its kind in the region.

      You also stated that “…..only a handful of chieftains participated in the Uva-Wellassa Rebellion.”

      Wiki contradicts you again.
      It says quote Except for Molligoda and Ekneligoda, many Chiefs joined the rebels. Unquote

      Why so many contradictions?

      Under the circumstances can anyone rely on your emphatic statements?

      You said “First of all, firearms were available to the Sri Lankans of that era, although their quality was inferior to those of the British.”

      Assuming that your statement can be relied on, despite the foregoing, could not inferior weapons, bows and arrows, substandard small arms etc against superior fire power (Guns and Cannons) contribute to a defeat?

      I have heard that Keppetipola and his followers numbering about five hundred men joined the rebels and returned all his arms and ammunition to the British.

      Since you have read Channa Wickremesekera’s Kandy at War, could you please reproduce the paragraphs that deal with how the Kandyans acquired firearms and ammunition.

      You gave just one dubious reason for the defeat of the Sinhalese, you said “The majority of the Sinhalese, including your (our) actual ancestors sat the uprising out. If “the Sinhalese” as a people had fought, there is no way that the British could have won”

      Why are you using the word “Actual”?
      Are you referring to a blood line or family tree?
      What makes you think that the word “ancestors” refer only to those two?

      You have referred to one Native American fight, when the large majority of such confrontations the native Americans had with the invaders resulted in the natives losing, due to the superior fire power of the opposing forces.

      You have a tendency to hold as examples, the exceptions.

      You said “Thirdly, your argument is a distraction from the main point that the ancestors of most Sinhalese today did not participate in the Uva rebellion”.

      You are again referring to a family tree or a blood line. I did not refer to either.
      Am I responsible for your incomprehension?

      When you say that the French fought the Germans, it does not mean that everyone who is French, fought the Germans. Some fought, some did not and some even corroborated. Nevertheless, the reference is to the French who are the Ancestors of today’s French people.

      When one says, the Ancestors of the French fought the Germans, it refers to the French people of yesteryear regardless of who fought, did not fight or corroborated. It is no different when referring to any others, be they Sinhalese, Tamil, Indians, etc.

      Please note that not ALL Kandyans fought, but some did.
      This is the case in any war.
      Some fight and some don’t.
      While some others corroborate.

      There is no distraction.
      You have failed to recognise the context.

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    Dear OfftheCuff,

    What I understand is that you are proposing to demarcate a land for Tamils according to the national per capita share of the land. This would result in mass relocation of Tamils from their traditional areas. You may have to remove Tamils from Vavuniya and probably Kilinochchi and settle them closure to Jaffna. This would be a huge humanitarian disaster probably similar to Palestinian exodus from their ancestral lands in Israel.

    I do not think any person who has at least an iota of humanity in his mind would agree to such an exercise. would the world community stay still if the Government is to force the Tamils to migrate because I do not think Tamils would voluntarily accept a such a proposal?

    If Sinhalese do not like the colonial artificial demarcation of provinces they should be able to negotiate it.

    This is not giving land to Tamil. All the Sri Lankans should be able to travel in these areas, buy land and settle without any hindrance. The only demand Tamils make it (Did you read Ananadasangaree’s interview in Divaina?) not to change the demography in these areas and that land should be allocated to the ethnic ratio of the province.

    I do not think it is a unfair demand. If you were a Tamil you would also agree with them as it is natural for them to be scared of the possibility of being a minority in their traditional areas.

    If you do not have an ulterior motive of making Tamils a minority to crush their independent minds I do not think any body should be scared about it.

    When the country is developed it is natural that populatin would migrate to cities. There will be less and less people in the country side. The love for land we have at the moment would be diminished. One day the vast unhabited land in North, East, North-central, Uva, and south will be commercial lands. Since all the possible irrigation schemes are over there is unlikely to be more settlements in the state lands of N/E. Therefore, this kind of scaremongering is not going to help Sri Lanka an its people.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear PitastharaPuthraya,

      You wrote “What I understand is that you are proposing to demarcate a land for Tamils according to the national per capita share of the land. This would result in mass relocation of Tamils from their traditional areas. You may have to remove Tamils from Vavuniya and probably Kilinochchi and settle them closure to Jaffna. This would be a huge humanitarian disaster probably similar to Palestinian exodus from their ancestral lands in Israel. “

      There is no relocation.
      People remain where they are.
      The re demarcation is to correct the artificial boundaries created by the British by giving to each Citizen an equal share of the Publicly Owned Land irrespective of Ethnicity. Giving here does not mean that each person will receive ownership but it means the provincial governing body will have a share of land proportionate to the citizens living within that province to control and use for the benefit of those living within. Thus the Demography of each province remains unchanged as the majority of land in the N & E provinces are uninhabited.

      You wrote “I do not think any person who has at least an iota of humanity in his mind would agree to such an exercise. would the world community stay still if the Government is to force the Tamils to migrate because I do not think Tamils would voluntarily accept a such a proposal? “

      Is not relevant as already explained above.

      You wrote “This is not giving land to Tamil. All the Sri Lankans should be able to travel in these areas, buy land and settle without any hindrance. “

      Again you have misunderstood.
      Anyone is free to live, work own property and travel anywhere within Sri Lanka that he or she pleases. The SL Constitution is above any provincial Law and the SL Constitution guarantees that freedom.

      You wrote “The only demand Tamils make it (Did you read Ananadasangaree’s interview in Divaina?) not to change the demography in these areas and that land should be allocated to the ethnic ratio of the province. I do not think it is a unfair demand. “

      I thought you said Anandasangaree has no standing amongst the Tamils.
      The ONLY demand as you call it results in depriving the OTHER citizens of Equality.

      Who are these Other Citizens that live outside the provinces claimed by SOME Tamils?

      1. Indian Origin Tamils about 1.5 million (now living in land that was originally used by the Sinhalese)
      2. Moors
      3. Sinhalese
      4. Malays
      5. Burghers
      Totalling about 90% of the population.

      When your fear of losing political power within the province has been addressed, what earthly reason would you have, to oppose sharing Equally, the MAIN resource that the Citizens of Lanka have?

      Why should 10% of the population be given the control of 42% of the Country?
      Is that Democratic?
      Is that the Justice and Equality that you stand for?

      Is this not Hypocrisy?

      You wrote “If you were a Tamil you would also agree with them as it is natural for them to be scared of the possibility of being a minority in their traditional areas. “

      You have been writing about traditional areas which is another term for “Traditional Homeland”
      As shown above the Tamils will hold political power in the areas that they are a majority today. They will not be converted to a minority within those areas.

      What the Northern Tamils are doing has nothing to do with losing political power. It’s already addressed as they will retain that political power without any change. They are using cunning to cheat 90% of the Lankan population of their birthright.

      You wrote “When the country is developed it is natural that populatin would migrate to cities. There will be less and less people in the country side. The love for land we have at the moment would be diminished. One day the vast unhabited land in North, East, North-central, Uva, and south will be commercial lands. Since all the possible irrigation schemes are over there is unlikely to be more settlements in the state lands of N/E. Therefore, this kind of scaremongering is not going to help Sri Lanka an its people. “

      In that case why object to sharing equally?

      Land is one resource that you cannot create anew (reclaiming the sea is not an option for us).
      Land is where the food is grown, a living is made and dwellings are constructed. Land is essential to life. It is essential for prosperity. Land is a resource that should be shared equally amongst the citizenry.

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    OfftheCuff,

    I really do not understand you logic.

    When you grant the provincial administration the authority over a share of land according to the population of the province the rest will come under the power of the central government. If the government is not going to settle Sinhalese in those lands there will not be any problem. If the government is sensitive to the Tamil fears it should settle the new-comers according to the ethnic ratio. If the government does not want to disturb the demography in the traditional tamil areas what is wrong with giving the land power to the provinces with a caveat that they should act according to ethnic ratio.

    I do not see how you are going to settle people according to your formula without changing the demography or relocating Tamils.

    It seems you are for settleing outsiders in the tamil traditional areas disturbing the ethnic balance. Imagine the government settle tamils and muslims in Maharagama without any concerns of the Sinhala fears of being minority in their ancestral land. Do you think they would like it?

    I do not like the term ‘Tamil Homeland’ it does not sound right. There are many areas known to have been inhabited by a particular ethnic/relegious group for centuries, e.g. Thihariya, Kalmunai, Kathankudy, Central highlands, Negombo etc. They can not be termed ‘homelands’ but traditional settlements. Somebody might want to disturb these areas with the intention of homogenizing by settling more and more Sinhalese Buddhists. They would also have reasons for that. But I am in the other camp, which stands for the rights of the minorities.

    • Off the Cuff

      PitastharaPuthraya,

      You wrote “I really do not understand you logic”

      That is very apparent PP.
      Equality means equal
      If you are dividing oranges from a heap, when you get one orange I too get one orange and each of the others gets on orange each. Any other method is Unequal.

      Wrapping that principle in convoluted language cannot subvert that principle.

      Hope you understand the logic, this time PP.

      You wrote “When you grant the provincial administration the authority over a share of land according to the population of the province the rest will come under the power of the central government.”

      No.
      That land will become part of another province.
      That’s what re demarcation means.
      Every province will use their land for the benefit of the Lankan citizens living within it.

      You wrote “I do not see how you are going to settle people according to your formula without changing the demography or relocating Tamils. “

      If relocation is envisaged the most affected would be the Upcountry Tamils numbering over a million, who live on Land forcibly taken over by the government by dispossessing the Sinhalese.

      The British enacted the Crown Land Enforcement Ordinance in 1840 to claim the unoccupied and uncultivated land in the Kandyan kingdom (Farmer 1957:90- 91). As a result of this ordinance, 90% of the land in the Kandyan highlands was designated as land belonging to the British Crown (Herath et al, 1995:77).

      The Waste Land Ordinance Act of 1897 (and the Crown Land Encroachment Ordinance in 1840), annexed more lands as crown lands where villagers could no longer claim them according to the new British- imposed rules (Roberts 1979:233, Obeysekara 1967: 98-100).

      The majority of the Sinhalese villages effectively lost the structural prerequisite of land tenure systems (Obeysekara 1967:101). These ordinances also created a large number of landless peasants in the former Kandyan kingdom, which had held land through customary means but without legal proof. Furthermore, the ‘Land Settlement Ordinance of 1889’ allowed the colonial authorities to sell crown lands at will.

      The impact of these land ordinances were uneven, because they were largely limited to the former Kandyan Kingdom (Mendis 1951:166).
      Many villagers in the Kandyan area were deprived of their high lands formally used for chena cultivation or grazing the cattle (Mendis 1951:85).

      These changes to the Kandyan land and service tenure systems disintegrated the old Sinhalese systems (Codrington 1938:63).
      According to the 1946 census on population in the agricultural sector of the island, 40% of the agricultural peasant families found in the former Kandyan Kingdom were landless while there were 26% landless agricultural families recorded in the wet zone (Herath 1995: 79).

      The Demography of the Hill country was changed PERMANENTLY by the settlement of Indian Tamils.

      But 13 A, Appendix 2 section 2.7 prevents Sinhalese being settled in Development projects Funded mainly by the Sinhalese themselves.

      Let’s take the Northern Province as an example.
      Assume that it contains the following number of people
      Tamils 900,000
      Moors 90,000
      Sinhalese 10,000
      Even after re demarcation of the new boundaries the same people will be in occupation. No NEW people would be bought in. The re demarcation will reduce the land area controlled by the new provincial boundary if the Land is found to be in access of the land entitlement and increased if a deficit is found.

      If the per capita entitlement is 40 perches, then the 1 million strong Northern Province will have a land area of 40 million perches.

      Hence there will be no demographic change but there will be a Land area change.

      I do not support ANY CHANGE or any relocation of the upcountry Tamils in order to correct an injustice perpetrated on the Sinhalese by the government. Yet the victims of this Land Grab has to be looked after and the injustice remedied at least today.

      You wrote “If the government does not want to disturb the demography in the traditional tamil areas what is wrong with giving the land power to the provinces with a caveat that they should act according to ethnic ratio.”

      Nothing wrong as long as the National Ethnic Ratio is respected as agreed to in 13A, 2.5 by removing the subsequent caveats in 2.7.

      You wrote “It seems you are for settleing outsiders in the tamil traditional areas disturbing the ethnic balance. “

      That is a misunderstanding on your part as you should be able to recognise by now.

      You wrote “Imagine the government settle tamils and muslims in Maharagama without any concerns of the Sinhala fears of being minority in their ancestral land. Do you think they would like it? “

      I dont see any problem with it, as the New settlements would be on PUBLIC land and will be carried out by respecting the National Ethnic Ratio already recognised by 13A.

      It is the birthright of the Minorities to be able to benefit EQUALY, from any PUBLIC funded development project, as they also contribute to public funds. I would definitely support such a move.

      You wrote “I do not like the term ‘Tamil Homeland’ it does not sound right. There are many areas known to have been inhabited by a particular ethnic/relegious group for centuries, e.g. Thihariya, Kalmunai, Kathankudy, Central highlands, Negombo etc. They can not be termed ‘homelands’ but traditional settlements. “

      You are just playing with words.

      You wrote “Somebody might want to disturb these areas with the intention of homogenizing by settling more and more Sinhalese Buddhists. “

      You seem to posses an incurable anti Sinhala Buddhist stance.

      You wrote “But I am in the other camp, which stands for the rights of the minorities.“

      You are in Denial.
      You are not standing up for minority rights.
      Minority Rights means that they should get the same Rights as that enjoyed by the Majority.

      One orange for the Minority when the Majority gets one orange.
      You want to give one orange to the Majority and take two oranges for yourself.

      That is the Crux of the problem.

    • kadphises

      Pitasthara Purushaya,

      You talk of a Tamil Traditional Homeland as if it its borders are universally accepted and set in stone. But the reality is that it is not. What we have instead is the arbitrarily and British defined Northern and Eastern Provinces which the Tamils have unilatterally decided to help themselves to without regard to history, geography or demography.

      The Sinhalese have no problem accepting the Jaffna Peninsula as the Tamil traditional homeland. Or even Batticaloa and Mannar.. But the Northern and Eastern provinces contain much more land than that. And most of it was uninhabited until very recent times. Even in the 1981 census, the populations of Mulaithivu for instance was 0.5% of the total population although its size was 4% of the total land. The population breakdown contained 4 distinct groups. Plantation Tamils who were settled there after the 1977 riots (although they dont bear the label “illegal colonist”), Jaffna Tamils who migrated there in the last 100 years, Inhabitants of Sinhala Purana gam, more recent Sinhala settlers in Padaviya and Weli Oya and also Tamil residents of over 100 years. Of all the 5 groups it is the Tamils and Sinhalese of over 100 years history that form the smallest number. In fact, in Leonard Wolf’s autobiography he describes his journey from Anuradhapura to Jaffna by bullock cart where he says he didnt pass a single human settlement between Anuradhapura and Paranthan. Tenant, who devotes a whole chapter to the Vanni also notes the abundance of land and the paucity of people. The few villages he describes are Sinhalese villages which he says are clinging on to survival, not more than 2 or 3 households to a village, the inhabitants stricken with malaria and malnourishments. He then goes on to become an advocate for re-routing the Indian Tamil labour who were being brought to Sri Lanka to work the coffee plantaions through Mannar and along the west coast, through the Vanni instead so some might settle there and open up those areas for agriculture. A clear indication of the possible origin of some of the Tamils in those areas.
      So PP, as you can see the Vanni and the interior of the Eastern province, even though coveted by the Tamils, has a very complex history and demography. The Sinhalese will never concede them as exclusively Tamil traditional homelands.

      I am not even talking about the boundaries of the Kandian Kingdom vs the Jaffna kingdom here, or even the abundant Sinhala archaeological remains that survive in these areas.

      Therefore, the only viable and acceptable form of devolution or self rule for Tamils is one where an equal per-capita entitlement to land is respected and accepted by both sides.

      The fact that it is the Tamils who are unable to accept a solution based on equality, to my mind is quite telling. May be all these laments of persecution and discrimination since 1956 is just a ruse to grab more land leaving little or nothing for the Sinhalese.

    • kadphises

      Pitasthara Purushaya,

      Now lets put our thinking caps on and try to find a solution to the problem where all the below principles are upheld.

      1. Nor forcible or relocation of populations.
      2. No preferential relocation of populations.
      3. Self rule to those who desire it, provided sufficient numbers of them are concentrated in a certain area to the exclusion of most others. (I believe Jaffna and Batticaloa qualify)
      4. The land allocation to each self ruling, autonomous, enclave should be proportionate to the population that lives within its borders.
      6. Free trade and travel between enclaves with no requirements for Visas.
      7. One Army, Navy and Airforce for the whole Island. Every community represented in the ranks with proportionate numbers.
      8. Fiscal, Land and Police powers to the enclaves.
      9. Remaining Jungle land to be held inviolate with no further. settlement of peoples as forrest reserves and national parks.

      Do you think a settlement based on these principles will answer Tamil aspirations? Or do you think the Tamils aspire to much more?

  • wijayapala

    Dear OTC

    You have skipped and completely avoided answering why you claimed as a fact that the “Sinhala Buddhists were the least privileged community in the island save for the upcountry Tamils until relatively recently”
    Why is that?

    Because much like yourself, I failed to distinguish between sections within the Sinhala community (a community that clearly did not exist as a distinct entity in the early 19th century). In this case, I did not account for the differences between the Kandyans and the low-country Sinhalese, much as how you do not appear to distinguish between the extremely few Sinhalese who fought the British and the overwhelming majority who did not.

    But the wiki contradicts you. It says quote Records state that the Uva Rebellion was the first struggle for gaining Independence from the British.

    Kindly show where the wiki explicitly identifies the Sinhalese or the Sinhala community writ large as the primary actor of that Rebellion.

    It is even contradicted by an introduction to Channa Wickremesekera’s Kandy at War, reproduced below

    Again, nowhere does your citation identify the Sinhalese as the defenders of Sri Lankan independence. Your assertion thus remains untenable, I’m afraid.

    In case you have ideas of identifying the Kandyan kingdom that resisted the British as “Sinhalese,” you will have to account for the facts that 1) the last four rulers of that kingdom, who had an indisputable record of resisting the British, were NOT Sinhala and 2) the “disgruntled nobles” mentioned by Wickremasekera who collaborated with the British and handed Kandy over to foreign rule most certainly were Sinhala.

    Do you identify any of the four non-Sinhala Nayakkar rulers of Kandy as your “ancestors?”

    Shall we conclude that the actions of Ehelapola and his many Sinhala supporters prove that the Sinhalese as a community were the greatest traitors of the island?

    Wiki contradicts you again.
    It says quote Except for Molligoda and Ekneligoda, many Chiefs joined the rebels.

    The key word is “many,” not “most.” To prove your point, you’ll have to share with us the number of chieftains who fought the British and then compare it with the total number of Sinhala leaders at that time.

    Since you have read Channa Wickremesekera’s Kandy at War, could you please reproduce the paragraphs that deal with how the Kandyans acquired firearms and ammunition.

    You’ll have to wait, but basically he showed how the Kandyans produced their own firearms.

    the large majority of such confrontations the native Americans had with the invaders resulted in the natives losing, due to the superior fire power of the opposing forces.

    Actually the main reasons why the Native Americans lost to the white man were 1) their virtual extinction due to the unintentional introduction of Western disease and 2) their utter inability to work together to resist, characterised by their incessant infighting and internecine fighting.

    When you say that the French fought the Germans, it does not mean that everyone who is French, fought the Germans.

    We say that “the French fought the Germans” because there was a clear nation-state called “France” which fought another nation-state called “Germany.” There was no similar nation state called “Sinhala” when the British arrived (see above). That is why serious scholars such as Wickremeratne more accurately describe the resisters to British rule as “Kandyans” instead of using a much less accurate and incorrect generalisation of “Sinhalese” as you do.

    Please note that not ALL Kandyans fought, but some did.

    Thank you for finally admitting your error in the second sentence “The Sinhalese are my ancestors as much as they are yours. And they fought the British.”

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Wijayapala,

      My responses to your posts will continue here.
      http://groundviews.org/2012/02/06/can-gosl-implement-llrc-recommendations/#comment-42323

      The post at the above link is a response for yet another reference you have made to my writings in a post not addressed to me directly, in this case it is addressed to Yapa.

      I will be responding to the questions raised by you (spread over many posts) in the thread located at the above link.

  • sabbe laban

    O.T.C.& Wijayapala

    After following your argument on this thread, I would like to make the follwing observations:

    O.T.C says that, it’s only the Sinhalese who fought the British, & his ancestors were among the Sinhalese who fought the British, while Wijayapala maintains that the same ancestors were the ones who betrayed the Kandian King & collaborated with the British as well!

    Further, as Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe(a non-Sinhalese) too successfully fought the British in 1803,& totally annihilated the British army, is he too included in O.T.C.s ancestry? If not, why?

    To say that most of the Kandian chieftans took part in the 1818 uprising needs statstical proof which seems hard to come by!

    The obvious conclusion is that when the Kandians fought the British they included not only the Sinhalese, but the Nayakkars who were South Indians as well. Therefore it seems that Wijayapala has proven his point, & your argument about ancestry remains unsubstantiated!

    • Keynes!

      What transpired here is kinda like the deliberations during the Donoughmore Commission. Wijayapala represented the Uda Rata, Off the Cuff represented the Pahatha Rata, Gamarala played Frances Butler, Sabbe Labban was the able Dr. Drummond-Shiels and Lord Donoughmore was anybody’s guess.

      Could the First Baron Passfield rise?

      • yapa

        I think Saban is correct here, when a vital fact is ignored.

        He says, not only Sinhalese but Nayakkars also fought against British. However, that doesn’t prove that Tamils fought against the British either, hence it does not negate Off the Cuff’s argument.

        Because

        1. Nayakkars are not Tamils.

        2. Nayakkars fought the British from the part of Sinhalese, not from the part of the ancestors of present day Tamils in Sri Lanka. Nyakkars were “Sinhala kings” who came here on the invitation of Sinhalese to rule this country, when there were no “royal blooded” Sinhalese to rule the country, because there was a belief among Sinhalese that a royal blooded person should be a king for them. Their belief was royal blooded non- Sinhalese is better than a non-royal blooded Sinhalese for a kingship. So, the Nyakkar kings were representing Sinhalese and not Tamils. They commanded on behalf of Sinhalese, and Nayakkar soldiers, if there were, fought under the kings representing Sinhalese. The “Gurkha” battalions fought under British were not a “Nepali force” but was a British force, Nepalis didn’t have a reason to fight Germans or Japanese. Even today there are many Gurkha battalions in the Indian army and they don’t take orders from Nepal, they are an Indian force. They cannot survive as Nepalis in Indian army, but the stay there as an “Indian force”. Similarly any force remained under the command of a Nayakkar king of Sri Lanka, who acted on the will of Sinhalese was nothing but a force fought on behalf of Sinhalese, not on behalf of Tamils or a Tamil force.

        Here the fact misunderstood and ignored was the “Ethnicity” of the Nyakkar kings who ruled Sri Lanka. I think Nayakkars belong to “one of the Dravidian races” who came from Andra Pradesh of India, “but their race it not Tamil”. So, the Nayakkar factor in Sri Lanka does not prove that Sri lankan Tamils fought against British. On the other hand Nayakkar kings ruled here were “Sinhalese by ethnicity”, though not by their “race”. They changed their ethnicity, before they sworn in as kings here, embracing the religion of the masses they represented and promising to protect the masses under him, their religion and the territory. On the other hand no Nayakkar king came here on the invitation of Tamils or ruled over Tamils in Sri Lanka. I don’t think any Tamils in that time had accepted Nayakkar kings, they were under colonial rule

        What Off the Cuff referring here is this “ethnic relationship”, not the “genetic relationship of race”. “Pahatharata Sinhalese” are “ethnic relatives” of “Udarata Sinhalese”. So, any of the ancestors of Sinhalese is an ancestor of any Sinhalese.

        Sinhalese is not a distinct race, but a distinct ethnic group. In this sens, what Off the Cuff’s argument that our ancestors fought colonial invaders is a correct statement, however, I am not sure whether any Tamil did not fight against the colonials.

        However, the argument of Nayakkars does not hold water for the argument that Tamils fought against the colonials.

        Thanks!

      • Gamarala

        LOL, Yapa and Off the Cuff’s collective inability to grasp the point, reminds one of Peter Medawar’s humorous observation: “Just as compulsory primary education created a market catered for by cheap dailies and weeklies, so the spread of secondary and latterly tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes, who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought.”

      • Keynes!

        And Yapa becomes the First Baron Passfield! I knew there was some British blood in him.

      • yapa

        Dear Gamarala;

        Can you please explain your point in relation to my post?

        I feel like your post is still to make an impact to change my position in this case, may be I couldn’t comprehend what you said in your post.

        Thanks!

      • sabbe laban

        ..with Hon.Kaynes(O.B.E.)acting as the King George VI!

      • yapa

        Sir Keynes!;

        Yet I hate that blood for good reasons.

        Thanks!

      • Keynes!

        Yo Yapa,

        If the Kandyan Kingdom was full of Nayakkars from Andhra Pradesh, why didn’t Ehelapola, Ratwatte and the two Pilimatalawe’s sign the Convention in Telugu?

      • yapa

        Dear Keynes!;

        How do you take the case that almost all the Sri Lankans (Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims,Burgers and Malays)today signing in English?

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Yes, Keynes!, you seems to be correct what you meant in your question.

        However, even if Nayakkars are Tamils, my argument is still valid under point two(2)of my post. Point (2)alone is sufficient to hold my argument, point one(1) is not a necessary condition for the argument.

        Thanks!

      • Keynes!

        History repeats itself every 200 years.

        The seeds of another Uva Wellassa Uprising are being sowed at Darley Road. Hadjee Mohandiram is ably represented by the transport department of Akbar Brothers and Bootawe Rate Rala is being played by Mervyn Silva. Wilbawe Mudiyanse Ratte Rala, from whom Bootawe drew his frenzy, is anybody’s guess.

      • Keynes!

        Yapa,

        You may hate British blood. But the proselytiser, from whom you probably draw your frenzy from, had this to say:

        ‘The British officials may shoot, hang, quarter, imprison or do anything to the Sinhalese but there will always be bad blood between the Moors and the Sinhalese… but my loyalty to the British Throne is as solid as a rock…’

      • yapa

        Blood is an irrelevant factor in social behaviour, thought many try to highlight it as important by the name of “RACE” in discussions on human society. I think even Sociologists have misunderstood the concept and cite incorrectly in many cases to confused themselves and others to reach at incorrect inferences and conclusions, even broad theories to explain the behaviour of social groups in the world. The word “RACIST” is a so loosely used word on the basis of that wrong concept.

        No people have no an affinity to “RACE” but their affinity is to their “ETHNICITY”. No Sinhalese respect a member of their community after checking his blood to see whether he is a Sinhalese by race, but he identifies the fellow member through his cultural display, that is through his ethnicity. This is not indifferent for Tamils, Muslims, Hindus, French, Zulus, or Germans. I have seen Sinhalese are called by many pro-LTTE Tamils and some Sinhalese show themselves as progressive by the insulting word “SINHALESE RACISTS”. I don’t think even HITLER can be called a RACIST, really he misunderstood and incorrectly interpreted an ethnic group that was in then German society as “pure blooded Aryans”, obviously he didn’t check their blood before that group was identified as belonged to that particular race.

        I think “RACE” is an irrelevant and unnecessary word for Sociology, may be that is relevant in Anthropology.

        I think hereafter before calling anybody anybody a “racist” one will have to think twice or several times. I don’t know whether they can use the term “SINHALESE CHAUVINISTS” instead.

        Mind you language!

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear keynes! and all others;

        Were Nayakkars ruled Sri Lanka really Tamils or belong to Nyakkar Dynasty of Telugu?

        This writer, Dr. Ajith Amarasinghe says they were Telugu(Theinngu

        …………

        “The Dynasty of the Last king

        The Nayakar dynasty of Kandy, of which Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe was the last king, ruled the Kandyan kingdom from 1739 to 1815.They were part of the royal family of the Madurai Nayak dynasty, of Telugu origin.”

        ………….

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Oh!, I forgot, you can read the article here.

        http://www.sundaytimes.lk/120311/Plus/plus_01.html

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Oops!, I am afraid I was right when I said Nayakkars(of Sri Lanka) were not Tamils.

        “A succession crisis emerged upon Narendrasinha’s death in 1739. The king had one son – Unambuve Bandara – by a Sinhala consort. However, succession to the Kandyan throne was reserved exclusively for those of kshatriya ancestry on both their mother and father’s side, and Unambuve’s mother had been of a lower caste. With the support of the bhikku Weliwita Sarankara, the crown passed to the brother of one of Narendrasinha’s senior wives, a member of the Telugu-speaking Nayak house from southern India.[11] He was crowned Sri Vijaya Rajasinha later that year.”

        -Wikipedia

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Kandy

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear Keynes!;

        “‘The British officials may shoot, hang, quarter, imprison or do anything to the Sinhalese but there will always be bad blood between the Moors and the Sinhalese… but my loyalty to the British Throne is as solid as a rock…’”

        Are you sure it isn’t a “rocking rock”, Keynes!?

        Thanks!

      • Keynes!

        Yapa,

        I looked up the two references you gave to substantiate your claim that the Nayaks were Telugu speaking. The article by Dr. Ajith Amarasinghe just makes a plain gesture by claiming that they were of Telugu origin. Thus it’s as good as claiming that Santa Claus was Indian as in the You Tube video link below:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub7Wan0b5uk

        I also looked up the reference you had provided on Wiki, which in my opinion is not the best source for citations. You should be using primary sources or serious secondary sources. Sanjana Hattotuwa’s article on this matter can be accessed on the following link:
        http://groundviews.org/2009/06/14/bob-rae-the-sunday-times-and-wikipedia/

        Nevertheless, the claim on Wiki that the Nayaks were Telegu-speaking (reference no. 11) is sourced from K.N.O Dharmadasa’s Language, Religion, and Ethnic Assertiveness: The Growth of Sinhalese Nationalism in Sri Lanka, 1993. I looked this up on Google books. To my dismay, K.N.O. refers to the “Nayakkars” as “originally Telegu-speaking Hindus from south India” on page 7 without any citations. Surprising indeed for a Professor Emeritus of Peradeniya University. It’s sad to note that another professor of this university once wrote an article on GV with the claim that he is “distant from the discipline” he teaches! You can view that article at http://groundviews.org/2008/06/30/the-dead-end-formula-of-neo-liberal-economics/

        You are yet to prove in this forum that the Nayaks or Nayakkars, as K.N.O. Dharmadasa would call them, are Telugu speaking.

      • yapa

        Dear Keynes!;

        BTW, Did you find any article to the effect Sri Lankan Nayakkars were Tamils?

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear Kyenes!;

        Even Dr. Pradeep Jeganathan says Sri Lankan Nayakkars were (Tamil speaking)Telugu.

        “The Nayakkara kings who inherited the throne of the Kanda Uda Pas Rate, or what is now called the Kandyan Kingdom didn’t consider themselves Sinhala either. They were Telugu but spoke Tamil. But ruled as Buddhists leading an important revival Sasana and enabling the return of the higher ordination from Thailand leading to the founding what still to this day is called the Siam (Thai) Maha Nikaya which includes the chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya. But in those days the Buddhist nobility did not always even write in Sinhala; in fact, Ehelapola, a key Minister of Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe, who would have indeed considered himself Sinhala and Buddhist signed the Kandyan Convention of 1815, in Tamil script, after he had helped depose his Tamil speaking King.”

        http://groundviews.org/2012/02/25/history-after-the-war-challenges-for-post-war-reconciliation/#comment-42051

        Thanks!

      • Off the Cuff

        Gamarala,

        You wrote “LOL, Yapa and Off the Cuff’s collective inability to grasp the point,……… “

        And what point is that Gamarala?

        The disability resides with those who still think that “ancestors” refers only to generations within one’s own family tree.

        LOL, ha ha haa.

      • Keynes!

        Yapa,

        There are hundreds of articles on the web claiming that the Nayakkar, Nayaks, Nayakkara, Naicker etc. were Tamils. Here’s one:
        http://ceylon-ananda.blogspot.com/2012/01/last-king-of-sri-lanka-nayakkar-from.html

        However, such articles must be taken with a pinch of salt since they never provide primary sources.

        Alas, the article by Pradeep Jeganathan also does not cite any sources.

        One of the best article’s that I have come across on this subject is The Changing Ethnic Identity of the Last Four Kings of the Kandyan Kingdom by Leslie Gunawardana. In this, the author captures the continual reconstruction of ethnicity and demonstrates how the Nayaks were first thought of as Sinhalese, then as Malabars and eventually as Dravidian Hindus.

        Another good article is Ethnicity, Indigeneity, and Migration in the Advent of British Rule to Sri Lanka by Sujit Sivasundaram, who is now attached to the University of Cambridge. His article is available at http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/ahr.115.2.428#rid_fn39

        Sujit makes a passing reference to the possibility that the Nayaks could have been Rajput.

        I am yet to find an article or argument that can convincingly prove that the Nayakkars were Tamils, Telugu, Sinhalese, Malabars or Rajputs. It’s time you called the Lanka Orix Leasing Company and started speaking to Ishara Nanayakkara and Rohini Nanayakkara! I for once would like to bet that they are, like Sri Vickrama Rajasingha, the illegitimate children of Pilimatalauve!

      • yapa

        Dear Keynes!;

        Only way to get out of this riddle is to understand the difference between the concepts of “race” and “ethnicity”, which many use interchangeably as one.

        Thanks!

      • Keynes!

        Yapa,

        Thanks for your clarification on race. I looked it up on my dictionary, which defines it as “a competition between runners, horses, vehicles, boats, etc., to see which is the fastest in covering a set course.”

        How does your dictionary define race?

        Can you show us the solution to get out of the riddle?

        I pray that I am not mistaking the monkey for the master.

      • yapa

        Hey Keynes;

        The article you cited as example to show Nayakkars were Tamil is a stupid one. In that sense any moor or a Malay in Sri Lanka must have a Tamil ancestry.

        “The last king of Sri Lanka was KANNUSAMY aka Sri Wickrema Raja Singha,a Tamil speaking,Tamil blooded Nayake Dynasty of Tamilnadu. The majority of Kandiyan Chieftains who signed the Treaty with the British signed in Tamil showing their Tamil ancestry.”

        A bit more credible source than Wiki and a bit less credible than the You Tube video you gave in the previous post. Is Santa Cause an Indian, my dear chap?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub7Wan0b5uk

        Ha! Ha!!

        BTW, The other article seems to be a good one, I couldn’t go properly through it yet. Thanks for that link.

        Cheers!

      • yapa

        Dear Keynes!

        Is the “particular spoon” the reason for that “particular dictionary meanings”?

        Ha! Ha!!

        (Laugh makes you healthy, don’t get serious.)

        Thanks!

    • Off the Cuff

      Sabbe Laban,

      You wrote “After following your argument on this thread, I would like to make the follwing observations:

      O.T.C says that, it’s only the Sinhalese who fought the British,….. “

      Wrong observation Sabbe…. you need to be more observant.
      From where did that word “only” creep in?

      You wrote “…… & his ancestors were among the Sinhalese who fought the British,….”

      Apparently you have a very limited understanding of the word “ancestors”.

      The Sinhalese are my ancestors.
      That encompasses ALL Sinhalese starting from Vijaya and his band.
      It means the generations of Sinhalese that came before me.
      Please look up the word.

      You wrote “…while Wijayapala maintains that the same ancestors were the ones who betrayed the Kandian King & collaborated with the British as well!… “

      I agree with Wijayapala on that account and also agree that their were a multitude of anti social elements such as thieves, murderers, etc amongst my (and yours and everybody else’s ancestors without exception).

      Does that negate anything that I have written about my ancestors?

      You wrote “…Further, as Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe(a non-Sinhalese) too successfully fought the British in 1803,& totally annihilated the British army, is he too included in O.T.C.s ancestry? If not, why?”

      The question proves yet again that you are confused about the word “ancestors”.

      Yes he is included as I have already stated. How does that negate my argument?

      Sabbe, you have lost sight of the fact that he was the Sinhala King and was accepted as such by the Sinhalese. The Sinhalese is a mixed Race that share over 50% of it’s genetic make up with Tamils from India. Yet the Sinhalese are identified separately. Even though the majority genetic make up is Tamil you would not call the Sinhalese, Tamils or vice versa.

      You wrote “To say that most of the Kandian chieftans took part in the 1818 uprising needs statstical proof which seems hard to come by!”

      If you were blind or illiterate then your contention is understandable.
      Try reading the proclamation issued by the British Government.

      You wrote “The obvious conclusion is that when the Kandians fought the British they included not only the Sinhalese, but the Nayakkars who were South Indians as well. Therefore it seems that Wijayapala has proven his point, & your argument about ancestry remains unsubstantiated!”

      In view of the foregoing, you conclusion is similar to the erroneous mathematical relationship below

      2+2 = 5

      Thank you.

      • sabbe laban

        Off the Cuff

        I’m certainly impressed by your over-emphasis on the various meanings of the word “ancestor”, and that’s why I say that my ancestors were the “Aryans” who came with Vijaya!

        If my insertion of the word “only” has distorted the meaning you tried to convey, let’s see what it would be like without it!

        I’ll go into the “Yapist” mode of defense!-named after my guru.

        OK, Off the Cuff,
        When you say, “it’s Sinhalese who fought the British..” does it preclude that non-Sinhalese too fought against the British? As you see my dear O.T.C., it doesn’t!

        As the Nanakkar too have fought the British under the leadership of a Nayakkar king, there is no doubt they did!

        Now, my dear O.T.C., let’s take your second contention:
        Even if they were non-Sinhalese, you don’t go by their genetic make-up, but by its common meaning eg.when you say that Vijaya was your ancestor, it doesn’t mean that you are a descendent of his blood-line.

        In that way, O.T.C, you have used the common meaning of the word to your advantage to build up your argument, rather than the more rational meaning, haven’t you O.T.C.?

        If you go along your way, you might as well say, “it’s my ancestors who fought with Alexander the Great in India!”

        Now it must be clear to you that your “yoniso manasikara” has been clouded by your haste to win your argument against Wijayapala!

        And also, please explain to me how your mathematical example is relevent to my argument, before you could repeat that I have a comprehension problem!

        Thanks!
        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear Saban;

        Just as you declared I am your “Guru”, I have declared Off the Cuff as my Guru.

        All three belong to the same “lineage”, and wijayapala, PP, Gamarala and Keynes! also invariably belong to the same lineage together with three of us, as you have said to “Neanderthal” whose ancestor was a monkey. That must be the reason for the incessant quarrel among ourselves.

        Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • Gamarala

        I can categorically state that monkeys are my cousins, not ancestors. However, if Yapa’s cousins also happen to be his ancestors, one can surely surmise that he has royal blood coursing through his veins!

      • Off the Cuff

        Sabbe Laban,

        Your ill informed interjection on March 5, started like this.
        “After following your argument on this thread,…”

        Though you claim to have followed my arguments, your interjection proves otherwise.

        Here is some background, read the complete thread to get a better understanding.

        Eureka February 11, : The country is still waiting for a statesman after 64 yrs of ”independence”

        Me February 12,: A Native will fight for his/her Country and her freedom. How many Tamils opposed the British Oppressor when they fought to subjugate and dehumanise the Natives of Sri Lanka? Could you please name such Tamil Natives who fought the British?

        Statesman?
        If Sri Lanka had Statesman instead of Lackeys when the NATIVES were dehumanised by oppressive rulers, the story of course, would have been very different Eureka.

        Keynes! February 12,
        Can you prove that the leader of the Uva Rebellion was a Sinhalese?

        Me February 13,:
        The South is where the Sinhalese Natives of Lanka live. The North is claimed to be the “Traditional Homeland” of the Tamil Natives of Lanka.

        Governor Brownrigg issued a Proclamation on 01.01.1818 that the following seventeen persons were engaged in promoting rebellion and war against His Majesty’s Forces, and that they were “Rebels, Outlaws and Enemies to the British.” Their lands and properties were to be confiscated by the Crown. They were: (1) Keppetipola, the former Dissawe of Ouva; (2) Godagedara, former Adikaram of Ouva; (3) Ketakala Mohottala of Ouva; (4) Maha Betmerala of Kataragama in Ouva; (5) Kuda Betmerala of Kataragama in Ouva; (6) Palagolla Mohottala of Ouva; (7) Passerewatte Vidane of Ouva; (8) Kiwulegedera Mohottala of Walapane; (9) Yalagomme Mohotalla of Walapane; (10) Udamadure Mohottala of Walapane; (11) Kohukumbure Rate Rala of Wellassa; (12) Kohukumbura Walauwe Mohottala of Wellassa; (13) Bootawe Rate Rala of Wellassa; (14) Kohukumbura Gahawela Rate Rala of Wellassa (15) Maha Badullegammene Rate Rala of Wellassa (16) Bulupitiye Mohottala of Wellassa; (17) Palle Malheyae Gametirale of Wellassa.

        How many of the above are from the so called “Traditional Tamil Homeland”?

        My arguments were based on the above. Hence I suggest you go back to my post of Feb 12 and read the whole thread before you appoint yourself as the Umpire.

        Notice that Eureka, a separatist propagandist, had no answer.
        Notice that it was Keynes who brought the Uva Wellassa uprising in to the debate by asking me to prove that the leaders were Sinhalese.

        At that point of time DNA was not yet discovered and scientific proof of paternity was impossible. The only proof available was the name and the acceptance by the community as a member of the community.

        Notice my comment about the Sinhala and Tamil Natives of Lanka (bold text).

        BTW, the Uva Wellassa uprising is recognised as the first struggle for gaining Independence from the British

        I would suggest that you do a search for the word ancestors on this page to see who brought it up in the first place.

        My response on Feb 18, was

        The Sinhalese are my ancestors as much as they are yours. And they fought the British.
        Any other Questions?

        Sabbe, please note that it is contextually connected to the question asked of me by Wijayapala.

        1. Wijayapala and I do not share a common Family Tree.
        2. Wijayapala and I are not Blood Relations.
        3. I have qualified the word “ancestors” as being ancestors of BOTH Wijayapala and myself and they are specifically identified as the Sinhalese.

        Definition of ANCESTOR ( Mariam Webster’s)
        1 a : one from whom a person is descended and who is usually more remote in the line of descent than a grandparent
        b : forefather
        2: forerunner, prototype
        3: a progenitor of a more recent or existing species or group
        Examples of ANCESTOR
        My ancestors came to America during the 1800s.
        Her ancestors were great sea captains.
        an ancient animal that was the ancestor of the modern horse
        The museum included an exhibit showing ancestors of the modern computer.
        several languages that are derived from a common ancestor
        Latin is the ancestor of Italian and French.

        You wrote “In that way, O.T.C, you have used the common meaning of the word to your advantage to build up your argument, rather than the more rational meaning, haven’t you O.T.C.? “

        Common Meaning?
        Are you claiming that the English Language depends on your limited Vocabulary or understanding of it?

        What is “RATIONAL” about interpreting ancestors to mean blood relations, when I have explicitly stated that BOTH Wijayapala and I have common ancestors ?

        Neither Wijayapala nor I have claimed that we are blood relations, have we?

        Your stand is completely irrational.

        Wijayapala makes the same mistake.
        Gamarala makes the same mistake.

        Am I responsible for your collective confusion with English usage?

        PitastharaPuthraya states “When we say ‘our ancestors’ it has two meanings. One is members of your family tree and the other is generations of your ethnic group before you.”

        He clearly understands what has eluded you, Wije and Gamarala.

        Yapa, with his ability to keep focus on the main issues, has been outstanding.

        As I stated before, your analysis is akin to the following erroneous equation 2+2=5

        Quotation marks when used to indicate what someone else has written, should contain verbatim quotes. It is dishonest to include extraneous words within quotation marks when you quote someone else.

      • yapa

        Gamarala seems to have a closer relationship to monkeys than others, he claims he is a cousin of monkeys.

        Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks, Gamarala purifying my blood running through the veins with your oxygen of self sacrificing humour.

        Thanks!

      • Gamarala

        Glad to be a source of mirth, dear Yapa.

        And I’m glad to see you returning that favour by refusing to taste the soup (which flew harmlessly over your head, thank goodness)once again.

      • yapa

        Dear Gamarala;

        I am saturated with the soup for being there for a long time(you know as what!, ha! ha!!).

        I have no objection for your tasting it a bit, but be careful not to go beyond the prescribed dose, it is allergic to so many people. You know allergies are sometimes fatal.

        Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • sabbe laban

        Off the Cuff

        I see no further reason to counter your point as much as it’s not correct to say that one of the tributaries of a river represents the “true” river!

      • Off the Cuff

        Sabbe laban,

        I was writing about the river.
        Unfortunately you veered off course and got lost.

  • http://none Julius Gonsal

    Why is the discussion on this report being limited to English readers/speakers only when Sinhala and Tamil are National Languages – according to the Constitution – and English is only a ‘link’ language?

    I have confirmation from the Secretary to the LLRC Commission that the only language in which the report was published was English and that he was not aware of any plans to produce it in Sinhala or Tamil – not even an Executive Summary of the report.

    • yapa

      It is due to the “discriminative policy of a Commission of the Sinhalese Oppressive Government” to marginalize both minority(Tamils) and majority(Sinhalese) of this country. Ha! Ha!!

      Thanks!

  • wijayapala

    Dear yapa,

    In addition to Keynes!’s argument about the language of the Nayakkars, you did not explain why there were Sinhalese nobles who betrayed the Nayakkars to the British.

    • yapa

      Dear wijayapala;

      That was not a necessary part for my argument, that is why it was not mentioned.

      On the other hand it is a well known fact you and I know well, I think no explanation is that much necessary.

      However, do you think my argument is wrong?(Though point (1) is not correct.)

      Thanks!

      • wijayapala

        That was not a necessary part for my argument, that is why it was not mentioned.

        Actually it is highly relevant, given how the defeat of the “Sinhala” kingdom traced directly to the desire of the Sinhala nobles to live under British rule than Nayakkar.

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala;

        Not at all. As our PitastharaPuthraya correctly pointed out, it was the desire of the Sinhala nobles to live under Sinhala rule than Nayakkar.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        ……….and it also could be the other reason pointed out by our friend PP, or both.

        “Was it becaue the King was Nayakkar or becasue he acted against the accepted norms of Knigship?”

        Thanks!

      • Keynes!

        Yapa,

        if the Sinhalese wanted to live under Sinhala rule, why on earth did they import a Nayakkar to rule them in the first place?

        P.S. Please don’t write about invitations to rule and lack of royal blood in your riposte. If you do so, I would deem it to be a non-sequitur on the basis that Dutugemunu defeated Elara, long years before, to return the country to Sinhala rule.

      • yapa

        Dear Keynes!;

        “if the Sinhalese wanted to live under Sinhala rule, why on earth did they import a Nayakkar to rule them in the first place?”

        Two different decisions taken under two different conditions by the same group of people. Simple as that!

        Thanks!

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    Yapa,

    We are looking at the behaviour of the kings, his ministers and public in the Kandyan Kingdom with minds conditioned by the present ethnic problem.

    Why did the members of the Kandyan aristrocrcy, who worked aganist Sri Wickrama, behave in the way they did? Was it becaue the King was Nayakkar or becasue he acted against the accepted norms of Knigship?

    Why did the same people regard Kirthi Sri Rajasingha as a great King who did a commendable service to Buddhism?

    Some of the Sinhala Ministers may have disliked the King’s Malabar realtions, who were very powerful in the king’s court. But was it the in the same way in which the today Sinhalese Buddhists look at the Tamils?

    These are totally two different times.

    • Keynes!

      PitastharaPuthraya,

      I draw your attention to your statement on Sri Vikrama Rajasinha acting against the accepted norms of Kingship. Could you elaborate on this a little more?

      Are you referring to Sri Vickrama Rajasinha’s order to Ehelepola Kumarihamy to pound the body of her son Ehelepola Madduma Bandara?

  • Julius Gonsal

    It is obvious! As the report is only available in English – and NOT in Sinhala or Tamil – it is only the ‘chattering classes’ from these ‘communal groups’ who could have read the LLRC Report. One has only to look at these ‘classes’ to realise that they overtly immitate the English (British) upper-to-middle class who ‘prefer’ to communicate in English!

    • yapa

      May be they want to prevent “Gamarala” reading the report. Is it Gamarala?

      Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear PitastharaPuthraya;

    I think you have given the answer to the question asked by wijayapala from me, in the first part of your post. Really wijjayapala’s question has no any relevance to my argument, again your questions in the latter part based on the answer to wijayapala again has no relevance, though both of your questions are valid.

    You can bring about thousands of valid statements at any instance, but one should be careful to see whether they are relevant to the occasion, otherwise any of those among thousands of valid statements have no any value for that particular instance in review, other than making the review deviate from the focus and making it a stranded ball of thread cannot find the beginning or the middle or the end of the topic in review. You start to go to Katharagama and on the way go to London, Paris, New york and end up your journey in Ottawa forgetting your destination. True, London, Paris and Ottawa may be more beautiful places than Katharagama, also you may be able to Reach Katharagama after visiting all those beautiful cities, but if your objective is to go to katharagama, why you should you take an air ticket to go to all those foreign points with tourist attraction?

    I think, when Off the Cuff talked about Katharagama, wijayapala has purchased a ticket to London, was describing how London was beautiful, and Saban agreed with wijayapala that London is more beautiful than Katharagama. When I pointed out wijayapala has talked of London but not of Katharagama, he is inviting me too to talk of London. Now, Dear PitastharaPuthraya, you are inviting me to fly to Edinburgh.

    “Goyyo umbe bathala mata epa,
    Dompeta yana para kiyapan”.

    Thanks!

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    Dear Yapa,

    Did the Kandyans consider their kingdom as a ‘Sinhala Buddhist’ entity in the same sense as we use these terms today? Did they see the invasions of Portuguese, Dutch and later British as a part of a plan to destroy Sinhalese Buddhsit Identity? Was there hatred towards to the Malabar rulers and their relations among the public purely because of their ethnicity? Were their records of any violence directed to Tamils (Malabars), Moors, Malays or any other minority by the Sinhalese Buddhsits before the present time? Didn’t the Kandyan kings and Sinhalese accept with opened hands the Catholic Christians and Moors and settle them in Kandyan provinces when they were persecuted in maritime provinces?

    All these show that there had not been any ethnic twist to the behaviour of the Kandyan Nobility and Commoners toward their Kings and British during the last Kandyan wars. The British were looked at as invaders who were determined to destroy the way of living of Kandyan people.

    The Nobility acted against the Nayakkars because they acted like despots especially Sri Wickrama.

    Therefore, Kandyan wars against British should be looked at as reactions of natives towards the invaders of alien race and culture. They can not be taken as Sinhalese wars against British colonialism.

    Finally a faction of a Kandyan nobility supported British agaisnt their own king not because he was Nayakkar.

    Since there were no ethnic division amongst the Kandyans all the races must have joined forces to fight the British as Kandyans. Tamils, Malays, Moors should have fought shoulder to shoulder with Sinhalese.

    At the same time those who supported British had fought in the side of British irrespective of their racial affinity. As we know there were many low and up country Sinhalese, Moors, Malays etc fought with the British.

    • yapa

      Dear PitastharaPuthraya;

      My involvement in the present discussion is not about the the total issue of the article. My me in with regard to a particular argument developed during the discussion between Off the Cuff and the opposition, mainly including you, wijayapala, Gamarala and kyenes! arguing against him. I didn’t touch anything outside that particular argument, and hence would like to continue within the limit and to be focused on that area alone for the moment, when we finish it, we can diversify our discussion to the other areas if necessary.

      The debate began with the following statement by Off the Cuff, I think

      ……………..

      “A Native will fight for his/her Country and her freedom.

      How many Tamils opposed the British Oppressor when they fought to subjugate and dehumanise the Natives of Sri Lanka?

      Could you please name such Tamil Natives who fought the British?”

      http://groundviews.org/2012/02/06/can-gosl-implement-llrc-recommendations/#comment-41561

      …………………..

      The debate Off the Cuff was having with eureka, was fully changed with the above statement and a new debate has started among you, one side being Off the Cuff and all others in the opposition, leaving aside eureka from the new debate.

      So, Off the Cuff provided evidence to the effect that his Sinhalese ancestors fought against British, and claimed no Tamils fought against the British.

      Kyenes! queried the ethnicity of the list of ancestors submitted by Off the Cuff, but Off the Cuff substantiated his position proving the ancestors he referred were nothing but Sinhalese.

      wijayapala never take any effort to negate the particular argument but tried to say there were Sinhalese who betrayed Sinhalese as well, the statement may be true, but has nothing to do to negate the particular statement under debate.

      Saban touched the pulse of the argument but it was a wrong pulse. He argued Nayakkars fought against British, Nyakkars were Tamils and hence Tamils too fought against the British. That was the point I intervened.

      Dear PP, your present statement “Tamils, Malays, Moors should have fought shoulder to shoulder with Sinhalese.” again does not substantiate the presence of any Tamils in the fight against the British, it is only a hypothetical guess of yours.

      Considering the above facts, it is clear that Off the Cuff’s statement is still unchallenged and I would like to declare that he is the winner in the rounds so far held.

      Do you have a different opinion, dear PP, wijayapala, kyenes! and Gamarala?

      Thanks!

      • PitastharaPuthraya

        Dear Yapa,

        It seems that others have already dropped out of the debate.

        OTC feels that those who had fought against british in Kandyan times were his/her ancestors because we were made to feel that way by our education and history.

        Do the Tamils live in North and East feel the samy way? No. Because they were not given any chance to feel that way by Sinhalese historians and educationists.

        Did the low country Sinhalese fought against the British like up country Sinhalese? No. But they feel that those who fought agaisnt British in the hill country in 18/19th century were their ancesorts becasue they were taught so. but did they do anything to support them? No. They were mere spectators or more correctly they supported the Btitishh in their invasions ‘kanda uda rata’.

        Tamils did not fight British as an organized group because they did not have a king/kingdom/territoriy when the British landed on this Island. When they had a King/Kingdom, as in the days when Portugese invaded Jaffna Kingdom in 16th century, they resisted the foreign invasions, as their king Sankili did by massacring catholic Paravars brought by Portugese to Mannar to do peral fisheries etc.

        When Dutch and Brisith came they did not have leaders or will to resist them. This was exactly the same way low country Sinhalese behaved after the maritime provinces were annexed by portugese Dutch and Brisith.

        Therefore, they did not fight the British as Kandyans did, not because of any lack of ‘patriotism’.

        During the Kandyan wars Nayakkars were the leaders. Therefore, it can be assumed that their Malabar relatives took part in those wars. Were there any reports of them supporting the Brisith invaders behind their king and Sinhalese? No. If someone had betrayed the natives it was the Sinhalese nobility not the Tamils.

        Thererfore the argument that Tamils did not take part in the resistance against British is weak and one would say irrelevent.

        Although the argument that those who fought against British may be correct it should be remembered that those who supported the British were also our ancestors.

      • Off the Cuff

        PitastharaPuthraya,

        You wrote “OTC feels that those who had fought against british in Kandyan times were his/her ancestors because we were made to feel that way by our education and history. “

        Sorry that is a wrong assumption.

        You wrote “Do the Tamils live in North and East feel the samy way? No. Because they were not given any chance to feel that way by Sinhalese historians and educationists. “

        Funny argument.
        Where were the Tamil Historians and Educationalists?
        Did they not have a mind of there own?

        You wrote “Did the low country Sinhalese fought against the British like up country Sinhalese? No. But they feel that those who fought agaisnt British in the hill country in 18/19th century were their ancesorts becasue they were taught so. but did they do anything to support them? No. They were mere spectators or more correctly they supported the Btitishh in their invasions ‘kanda uda rata’. “

        Citations please.

        You wrote “Tamils did not fight British as an organized group because they did not have a king/kingdom/territoriy when the British landed on this Island. “

        And the maritime provinces came under foreign domination without any resistance from the natives?

        You wrote “When they had a King/Kingdom, as in the days when Portugese invaded Jaffna Kingdom in 16th century, they resisted the foreign invasions, as their king Sankili did by massacring catholic Paravars brought by Portugese to Mannar to do peral fisheries etc. “

        That is right. The Tamils fought the Portuguese as they considered the land they lived on were theirs. You see Natives do fight for their country and freedom.

        You wrote “During the Kandyan wars Nayakkars were the leaders. Therefore, it can be assumed that their Malabar relatives took part in those wars. Were there any reports of them supporting the Brisith invaders behind their king and Sinhalese? No. “

        Yes so what is the point you are trying to make?
        The Sinhalese is a mixed race and share over half it’s genome with Tamils.

        You wrote “If someone had betrayed the natives it was the Sinhalese nobility not the Tamils.”

        Where does this enter the argument?
        The point is Natives usually fight for their country and freedom. You have already accepted that with your argument about Sankili.

        You wrote “Thererfore the argument that Tamils did not take part in the resistance against British is weak and one would say irrelevent. “

        Why is it weak? It shows that they had learnt their lesson from the Portuguese and became willing corroborators in the British administration later on.

        Although the argument that those who fought against British may be correct it should be remembered that those who supported the British were also our ancestors.

        Of course, those who corroborated with the Brits are also our ancestors but does that negate the argument that “A Native will fight for his/her Country and her freedom.” and that those who fought were our ancestors?

      • yapa

        Dear PitastharaPuthraya;

        My conclusion was based on the facts presented by the parties involved in the debate and my concern was only on the correctness of the facts and arguments presented in the forum, not on the facts not presented. I tried to take the debate into the right track, by showing some of the shortcomings of arguments. The conclusion was drawn on the basis of the facts forwarded up to that point and that is why I said “……..I would like to declare that he is the winner in the rounds so far held.” Please note the phrase “in the rounds so far held”.

        I was not concerned about what you are writing now, at that point, “they were future writings” and I had no capacity to guess the future.”

        Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

    • yapa

      Addition………

      Another sidelined argument of wijayapala was that Sinhalese ancestors who fought against British were not ancestors of Off the Cuff, which is totally incorrect and irrelevant.

      Thanks!

      • wijayapala

        Dear yapa,

        As our PitastharaPuthraya correctly pointed out, it was the desire of the Sinhala nobles to live under Sinhala rule than Nayakkar.

        PP is wrong once again. Do you agree with his other misstatements about Sri Lankan history?

        Could you please name the Sinhala ruler who would have taken the place of the Nayakkars and opposed the British as much as they did?

        wijayapala never take any effort to negate the particular argument but tried to say there were Sinhalese who betrayed Sinhalese as well, the statement may be true, but has nothing to do to negate the particular statement under debate.

        On the contrary, I showed that OTC’s ancestors (as well as yours and mine) did nothing to stop British oppression, and therefore by OTC’s definition were not true “Natives.” You or OTC can easily provide the name of an ancestor who fought in Uva in 1817-8 if I am mistaken.

        Sabbe laban appeared to understand this basic fact but you are still confused. Perhaps it is the Sinhala chauvinist mentality that is still clouding your judgment. Given that you have not challenged any of my points, I would like to declare that you are the loser in the rounds so far held.

      • sabbe laban

        My ancestors were the Nianderthals who fought and lost with the Cro-Magnans! To say it’s not so is irrelevent and incorrect!

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Wijayapala,

        You have referred to me in some posts addressed to others and have written a post directly addressed to me. I do not have the time to address all issues in one post but will address some of them here.

        You wrote “On the contrary, I showed that OTC’s ancestors (as well as yours and mine) did nothing to stop British oppression, and therefore by OTC’s definition were not true “Natives.”

        The argument Wije, is that Natives, usually fight against rule by foreigners.

        “A Native will fight for his/her Country and her freedom.” is what I stated.

        You have not disproved the above at all, though you claim to have done so.

        You wrote “You or OTC can easily provide the name of an ancestor who fought in Uva in 1817-8 if I am mistaken. “

        You are still having a one track mind about what an ancestor is.
        To you an ancestor is only a member of your family tree.
        But as I have repeatedly pointed out that is not the ONLY meaning of the word.
        I used the word ancestor in the context of a race.
        Race btw has more than one meaning too, it is the context that defines the meaning.
        You have been harping on names and I have given you names, Vijaya being the oldest ancestor. Brownrig’s list contains some more.

        The following is from a post I wrote on February 28, 2012 • 1:00 am

        You are again referring to a family tree or a blood line. I did not refer to either.
        Am I responsible for your incomprehension?
        When you say that the French fought the Germans, it does not mean that everyone who is French, fought the Germans. Some fought, some did not and some even corroborated. Nevertheless, the reference is to the French who are the Ancestors of today’s French people.
        When one says, the Ancestors of the French fought the Germans, it refers to the French people of yesteryear regardless of who fought, did not fight or corroborated. It is no different when referring to any others, be they Sinhalese, Tamil, Indians, etc.
        Please note that not ALL Kandyans fought, but some did.
        This is the case in any war.
        Some fight and some don’t.
        While some others corroborate.
        There is no distraction.
        You have failed to recognise the context.
        You wrote “Because much like yourself, I failed to distinguish between sections within the Sinhala community (a community that clearly did not exist as a distinct entity in the early 19th century). In this case, I did not account for the differences between the Kandyans and the low-country Sinhalese, much as how you do not appear to distinguish between the extremely few Sinhalese who fought the British and the overwhelming majority who did not.”

        My my my Wijaypala have you forgotten what you wrote earlier?
        This is what you wrote
        I see that I may have erred. In the 1911 Census, 48% of male low-country Sinhalese were literate compared to 46% for “Ceylon Tamils,” 36.4% for Kandyan Sinhalese, and 20.4% for Estate Tamils. For females, the literacy rate was 17.4% for low-country Sinhalese, 11% for “Ceylon Tamils,” 3% for Kandyan Sinhalese, and 1.5% for Estate Tamils.

        “Sinhala Buddhists were the least privileged community in the island save for the upcountry Tamils until relatively recently”

        I can see that you have sub divided the Sinhalese even by their religion and not just by their domicile. Why the dishonesty Wijey?

        I am awaiting you to share your wisdom for the question that I asked of you on February 19, 2012 • 1:48 am . Here is a copy of that post
        “it is a fact that the Sinhala Buddhists were the least privileged community in the island save for the upcountry Tamils until relatively recently”
        What are the supporting reasons that you put forward?
        Please give a detailed analysis and an answer devoid of irrelevancies. Please remember that you have claimed it as a FACT

        I will address the rest in a later post.

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala;

        “On the contrary, I showed that OTC’s ancestors (as well as yours and mine) did nothing to stop British oppression,…….. (and therefore by OTC’s definition were not true “Natives.”)”

        How?, Can you be a bit more clear about your contention?

        “Sabbe laban appeared to understand this basic fact but you are still confused. Perhaps it is the Sinhala chauvinist mentality that is still clouding your judgment. Given that you have not challenged any of my points, I would like to declare that you are the loser in the rounds so far held.”

        Saban was a High Court judge and being an Appeal Cort judge, I reviewed and revised his order, how can you hold a judge as a looser? We get our monthly salary as judges from the government, irrespective of correctness of our judgements.

        Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • Off the Cuff

        Wijayapala,

        On 24 February you wrote

        “You also said that THE Sinhalese fought the British….”

        Yes I did.
        Does that FACT depend on the numbers?
        I don’t see how it does.

        You also wrote
        “As you very well know, that is a falsehood …… “

        How can a FACT be a Falsehood?

        You also wrote

        “…..given the fact that only a handful of chieftains participated in the Uva-Wellassa Rebellion

        Now that Wijey, is a Falsehood and you are it’s author.

        Wiki contradicts you.
        It says “ Except for Molligoda and Ekneligoda, many Chiefs joined the rebels”

        The keyword is Except and not many or most. You are attempting to confuse the reader by subterfuge.
        The exceptions mentioned are ONLY TWO.
        And that means Molligoda and Ekneligoda did not participate, the others did.

        You continue with the strategy of confusion thus,
        Wiki: “Records state that the Uva Rebellion was the first struggle for gaining Independence from the British.”

        You: Kindly show where the wiki explicitly identifies the Sinhalese or the Sinhala community writ large as the primary actor of that Rebellion.

        Uva – Wellasa was populated by the Sinhalese.
        Are you claiming that it was not?

        Again you brought in Channa Wickremesekera’s “Kandy at War” to the debate.
        An introduction to the book states

        “The kingdom of Kandy in the central highlands of Sri lanka presents one of the finest examples of effective military resistance to European expansion by a small, economically backward state in the South Asian region, and perhaps, in the world. Kandy, a landlocked state with a subsistence economy, few material resources and a sparse population by regional standards, has the unique distinction of resisting European expansion for over two centuries. Between 1594 and 1818 Kandy battled against the armies of three European powers established in the coast: the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British and preserved its independence until the kingdom was betrayed by disgruntled nobles in 1815. From the perspective of small state resistance to European arms this was serious and significant resistance, perhaps the most significant of its kind in the region. “

        You: Again, nowhere does your citation identify the Sinhalese as the defenders of Sri Lankan independence. Your assertion thus remains untenable, I’m afraid.

        Back to your subterfuge and strategy of confusion.
        The Title of the book you introduced is “Kandy at War”.
        Who populated these areas which were at war between 1594 and 1818 that the book refers to?
        Try to be honest Wije, without resorting to subterfuge.

        You make emphatic statements and call them facts but when asked to substantiate you fail to do so, just like the statement regarding Sinhala Buddhists you made, which I highlighted, in my previous post. Can anyone rely on these “Facts” that you bring forth?

        I will address your remaining points in subsequent posts.

  • yapa

    History repeats itself every 200 years.

    -Keynes! the Prophet

    Ha! Ha!!

    Thanks!

  • Julius Gonsal

    I find it amazing that this exchange is still being conducted in English – the language of the British colonisers of Sri Lanka! Is it possible that our ability to express our views and our fluency and ease with the use of English – which must, in part at least, derive from having read a great deal of “English material – ‘conditioned’ us to think and act like the English? Does this ability then point the way to unifying the country across the Sri Lankan communal groupings and unifying the country? Indeed, is the LLRC – which is available in English ONLY – the first step in this process?

    • Off the Cuff

      Julius,

      “I find it amazing that this exchange is still being conducted in English”

      This is an English Language web site.
      What did you expect?
      Sinhalese, Tamil, Dutch or Portugese?

      • Julius Gonsal

        That’s a rather innovative English spelling of Portuguese?

      • sabbe laban

        O.T.C.

        You would find my rejoinder to you, under your comment!

      • sabbe laban

        Julius Gonsul

        Are you unable to counter O.T.C’s point apart from highlighting an obvious typo?

      • Off the Cuff

        Julius Gonsal,

        Trying to hide your idiocy using a typo?

      • Off the Cuff

        sabbe laban,

        I have responded to your rejoinder and you will find it under your post.

        Thanks

  • yapa

    “History repeats itself every 200 years!”

    Hey, Keynes!, Will Sir Robert Brownrigg capture the Kandyan kingdom again in 2012 from Sri Vickrama Rajasingha?

    Ha! Ha!!

    Thanks!

    • yapa

      Hey, Keynes!, it is 2015, not 2012. 1812 was the year, the world ended 200 years back.

      Ha!Ha!!

      Thanks!

      • Keynes!

        When the intelligent one even for a few moments
        listen to the wise, he grasps the truth exactly as
        the tongue immediately tastes the soup!
        However even when a fool follows the wise lifelong,
        he cannot understand the truth, just as the spoon
        cannot ever taste the soup…

        – The Dhammapada

      • yapa

        Dear Keynes!

        Got angry, my good old fellow? I was just kidding. Take it easy. I love you.

        Thanks!

      • Keynes!

        Yapa,

        When the British captured Kandy, they presented themselves as liberators from despotic rule. However, it did not carry conviction among the residents of Kandy.

        A similar situation is unfolding today. Rajathumani’s regime is speaking of a glorious humanitarian operation, which inadvertently is referred to as a human operation in the trailer of Boodee Booh Booh’s Maatha. Unfortunately, the Tamils in the north who were liberated think otherwise as demonstarted at the local government elections held last year.

        That’s history repeating itself again after 200 years.

      • yapa

        Hey, Keynes!,that is not a “repetition”,you could interpret it as an incident with some similarities if you really want to, what I have cited are some good examples for “repetitions”.

        You are killing His majesty the king in cold blood, is it also a repetition? When was the last king of England killed, 200 years back?

        Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

  • yapa

    An Excellent review by Dr. Kumar David on “Geneva Drama”.

    http://www.eurasiareview.com/11032012-sri-lanka-the-irrelevance-of-india-in-geneva-oped/

    Thanks!

    • sabbe laban

      It is intriguing to see what kind of “technical support” the World Policeman is offering us, in order to implement the LLRC recommendations. Could it be the same kind of “technical support” they offered to Libya where they attacked only the “legitimate targets?”

      I don’t think we should believe the vague terms of the Policeman!

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    I am really confused. What are we arguing about?

  • wijayapala

    Dear OTC

    Does that FACT depend on the numbers?

    Yes it does. You cannot claim that THE Sinhalese fought the British when not even the majority of them did. You can only say that SOME Sinhalese fought the British.

    How can a FACT be a Falsehood?

    When it isn’t a FACT. Or when you lack the ability to distinguish between something absolute and something relative.

    Wiki contradicts you.

    I’m glad you consulted the finest in academic research.

    And that means Molligoda and Ekneligoda did not participate, the others did.

    Here is the list of rebel leaders whose properties the British declared to be confiscated in 1818:

    (1) Keppetipola, the former Dissawe of Ouva; (2) Godagedara, former Adikaram of Uva; (3) Ketakala Mohottala of Uva; (4) Maha Betmerala of Kataragama in Uva; (5) Kuda Betmerala of Kataragama in Uva; (6) Palagolla Mohottala of Uva; (7) Passerewatte Vidane of Uva; (8) Kiwulegedera Mohottala of Walapane; (9) Yalagomme Mohotalla of Walapane; (10) Udamadure Mohottala of Walapane; (11) Kohukumbure Rate Rala of Wellassa; (12) Kohukumbura Walauwe Mohottala of Wellassa; (13) Bootawe Rate Rala of Wellassa; (14) Kohukumbura Gahawela Rate Rala of Wellassa (15) Maha Badullegammene Rate Rala of Wellassa (16) Bulupitiye Mohottala of Wellassa; (17) Palle Malheyae Gametirale of Wellassa.

    Why are all these leaders from just one part of the island? Why is the 1817-8 rebellion as a whole called the UVA-WELLASSA Rebellion and not the SINHALA Rebellion????

    Uva – Wellasa was populated by the Sinhalese.

    But not all or even most Sinhalese in existence lived in that single area. Therefore again, to say that THE Sinhalese rebelled instead of SOME Sinhalese is false.

    The Title of the book you introduced is “Kandy at War”.
    Who populated these areas which were at war between 1594 and 1818 that the book refers to?

    Kandyans. If you bothered to read the book yourself, instead of relying on an excerpt from the internet, you would find that Mr Wickremesekera refers to the protagonists as “Kandyans” and not once as “Sinhalese.” Now why is that?

    Nevertheless, the reference is to the French who are the Ancestors of today’s French people.

    The reference more specifically is to the armed forces of the country, in this case FRANCE, which fought Germany. Just as it was the kingdom of KANDY, not SINHALA, which had fought the British. If you’re going to make silly statements that it was “the Sinhalese” who fought the British, you might as well further generalise that it was “the Sri Lankans” who had fought the British, but given your communal mentality you are incapable of that.

    Wijayapala makes the same mistake.
    Gamarala makes the same mistake.
    Am I responsible for your collective confusion with English usage?

    My dear OTC, if nobody here can understand your English, then perhaps it is your use of that language that requires improvement, not ours.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Wijayapala,

      Me: A Native will fight for his/her Country and her freedom.” (February 12)

      You: Yes you’ve already said that. Did any of your ancestors fight for their country and freedom from the British in the Wellassa uprising? If not, does that mean that they were not Natives? (February 17)

      The above by the way Wijayapala, is the first use of the word “ancestors” on this web page and YOU are that user. So please keep that in mind lest you forget the CONTEXT within which we should be debating.

      Me: The Sinhalese are my ancestors as much as they are yours. And they fought the British. (February 18)

      My rejoinder to you, makes an explicit reference to the two of us having common ancestors. Since you and I, are not members of the Same Family Tree (at least I hope we are not), my use of the word ancestor, CANNOT BE INTERPRETED as a reference to my family tree, by any sane person, versed in the English Language.

      It could ONLY be a reference to the generations of Sinhalese that came before us. Unless you have proof, that there was a people referred to as Sinhalese, prior to Vijaya and his band, OUR oldest ancestors are Vijaya and his group and not anything else beyond that (within the frame of reference defined by the context).

      You wrote “My dear OTC, if nobody here can understand your English, then perhaps it is your use of that language that requires improvement, not ours”

      Well Wijayapala, you are very presumptuous and self opinionated.

      Those who understand English, would hardly argue about something that they know is correct, would they?

      Those who don’t, like yourself and your supporters, can hardly prove what they are arguing about with reference to any authoritative source of English usage such as a standard dictionary. Even when they are referred to such an authoritative source (ie Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary) they would still keep arguing, ignoring the authoritative source.

      You, Gamarala and Sabbe Laban could not understand and the three of you are not everybody to claim that nobody understood. Was that subterfuge or erred logic?

      Yapa and Pitasthara Puthraya understood. There are many more who read GV, other than those who write in. Hence at least two people who write in did understand (though you deceitfully ignored that fact) and many more who did not write in would have understood.

      Your futile arguments prove that you need to improve your vocabulary, instead of making a fool of yourself by arguing that black is indeed white.

      You: “You also said that THE Sinhalese fought the British….” (24 February)

      Me: Yes I did. Does that FACT depend on the numbers? I don’t see how it does. (March 13)

      You: “Yes it does. You cannot claim that THE Sinhalese fought the British when not even the majority of them did. You can only say that SOME Sinhalese fought the British”

      Sorry Wijey, for you to claim that my reference to Sinhalese in the following statement is a falsehood (you gave no reasons, remember), you need to show that NO Sinhalese fought the British. But in this case a WHOLE SINHALESE REGION, FOUGHT THE BRITS.

      The Sinhalese are my ancestors as much as they are yours. And they fought the British. (February 18).

      Unfortunately, you failed to do that. Hence you made a FALSE claim about my statement.

      You keep forgetting the CONTEXT Wijey.
      Is it by Dishonest design or by forgetfulness?
      What I said on Feb 18 was contextually connected to your question of February 17.

      I wrote the following on February 13
      Governor Brownrigg issued a Proclamation on 01.01.1818 that the following seventeen persons were engaged in promoting rebellion and war against His Majesty’s Forces, and that they were “Rebels, Outlaws and Enemies to the British.” Their lands and properties were to be confiscated by the Crown. They were: ………

      Why are you repeating that on March 16 as some new information?

      You then ask
      “Why are all these leaders from just one part of the island? Why is the 1817-8 rebellion as a whole called the UVA-WELLASSA Rebellion and not the SINHALA Rebellion????”

      These are infantile questions Wijey.
      Answer to Question 1.
      Because that part of the Island had the opportunity.
      Answer to Question 2.
      It is named after the region. The name does not diminish the fact that the region was populated by the Sinhalese.

      You also asked on (Feb 14)
      “What did Sinhala leaders do that contributed to Sri Lankan independence?”

      The Uva Wellassa Rebelion is recognised as the FIRST serious attempt at gaining Independence from the Brits. Unless you can prove that Sinhala Leaders were not involved in that attempt, you are just resorting to Rhetoric.

      You “I’m glad you consulted the finest in academic research”
      Attempting to take the High Road when you are cornered Wijey?

      Let’s examine our previous comments

      Me: But the wiki contradicts you. It says quote Records state that the Uva Rebellion was the first struggle for gaining Independence from the British. Unquote (Feb 28)

      You: Kindly show where the wiki explicitly identifies the Sinhalese or the Sinhala community writ large as the primary actor of that Rebellion. (March 4)

      You did not find the standing of Wiki amongst academic research objectionable …. yet that is!

      You: Secondly, there have been other instances when bows and arrows defeated 19th century firearms: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Little_Bighorn (Feb 27)

      Revealing, Isn’t it?
      And this is just on this single web page.
      Why the Duplicity Wijey?

      You have even used Wiki as a reference not withstanding your latest disparaging opinion about the Wiki

      Glad or otherwise you have failed to break my arguments and in attempting to do so you have exposed your dishonesty.

      Me: Wiki contradicts you. It says “Except for Molligoda and Ekneligoda, many Chiefs joined the rebels” The keyword is Except and not many or most. You are attempting to confuse the reader by subterfuge.

      The exceptions mentioned are ONLY TWO.
      And that means Molligoda and Ekneligoda did not participate, the others did.

      Why are you this DISHONEST Wijey?

      Don’t you have any shame?

      You: Kandyans. If you bothered to read the book yourself, instead of relying on an excerpt from the internet, you would find that Mr Wickremesekera refers to the protagonists as “Kandyans” and not once as “Sinhalese.” Now why is that?

      Since I cannot read the mind of Mr Wickremesekera, You should ask that question from Mr Wickremesekera. However, whether you like it or not “Kandyans” are Sinhlese.

      BTW, I never claim to have read every reference that writers quote here on GV. You apparently claim to be well read, though you have yet to quote from the book itself. This is what you stated on March 4 in response ta a request from me.

      Me: Since you have read Channa Wickremesekera’s Kandy at War, could you please reproduce the paragraphs that deal with how the Kandyans acquired firearms and ammunition.

      You: You’ll have to wait, but basically he showed how the Kandyans produced their own firearms.

      Me: Nevertheless, the reference is to the French who are the Ancestors of today’s French people.

      You: The reference more specifically is to the armed forces of the country, in this case FRANCE, which fought Germany.

      So the French Resistance is excluded from being French?

      You: …… it is a fact that the Sinhala Buddhists were the least privileged community in the island save for the upcountry Tamils until relatively recently (Feb 18)

      Though requested, you did not give any Citation for the above assertion. Neither did you provide to date the reasons by which you CLAIMED the above as a FACT.

      Why are you afraid to state clearly the reasons behind your Emphatic Claims?

      Afraid of being accused of having a Sinhala Buddhist Communal Mindset?

      You: If you’re going to make silly statements that it was “the Sinhalese” who fought the British,

      The silliness resides with you as foregoing amply proves

      You: you might as well further generalise that it was “the Sri Lankans” who had fought the British, but given your communal mentality you are incapable of that

      What stands in the way of Honest debate is your proven Dishonesty.

      You may call me what you want, to HIDE your own dishonesty.

      I did not hesitate to risk my life, the life of my wife, the lives of my children and our property to save my Tamil neighbours from certain death. Hence your face saving personal attacks to HIDE your own dishonesty has no affect on me.

      But you are a very poor judge of what I am capable of.
      Unlike you, I do not write for cheap popularity. I do not live in denial about the Tamil domination of the Administrative system of Lanka previous to independence and for more than a decade afterwards. I am not afraid to question those who allude to 63 years after independence and blame solely the Sinhalese for the mess we are in today. And most of all, I am not afraid to tackle vexed issues for fear of being called a communalist by people whose last resort is to make personal attacks when they fail to meet arguments.

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    Now only I understand what we were arguing about. I whole heartedly agree with wijayapala on those points.

    • Off the Cuff

      Enlightening PP? No.