-Shenali D Waduge
We must owe a lot of gratitude to the Northern Provincial Chief Minister for his racism which has helped wake up quite a lot of Sinhalese from their slumber. We must confess that the Chief Minister has achieved what many of us have been trying to do. With the recently concluded Jaffna protests coupled with the attacks on the Sathosa retail outlet and Jaffna university students openly commemorating a dead LTTE cadre (Thileepan), the Sinhalese are taking out their history books and questioning the legitimacy of what Wigneswaran and other Tamil racists are now demanding.
Let’s just logically assess the situation. For any ethnic group to be demanding that they were the historical inhabitants of an area they must forward historical proof and not propaganda. The island was invaded 17 times by South Indians and inspite of the destructions there still remains Buddhist sites in the North which further reveals that there would have been plenty of Buddhist sites in the North before they were destroyed by both Indian and the 3 colonial invaders. Finally, Sinhalese are also thinking on these lines.
If Tamils were the original inhabitants how can there be Tamils in South India as well? The same ethnic group cannot evolve from 2 different countries? Lets not forget that Tamil Nadu has been claiming the self-determination rights before the Tamils in Sri Lanka. There cannot be 2 homelands for the same ethnic people. More and more Sinhalese are now asking this question too.
The other important factor is that there is sufficient evidence historically to prove that Sinhalese were living and having a civilization in the North from 1st century AD. Thankfully the Sinhalese are waking up.
The Tamils cannot plug a period that Tamil Nadu invaders ruled after the Sinhale kings and then say this was their homeland. By all logic the Sinhalese must say the North was the homeland of the Sinhalese as well and historical proof is ample to showcase this.
Wigneswaran claims Tamil Homeland – Where?
The Sinhalese are now asking. All agree it is nowhere but in South India where Tamils originally came from, where Tamil language and culture originate from and where Tamil customs and traditions. Every aspect of Tamil culture and traditions finds their root to Tamil Nadu therefore there is nothing to claim anything as having evolved in North Sri Lanka. Apart from spending a lot of money on plugging ‘Tamil Homeland’ to every demand there is absolutely no historical proof of such to claim that Tamils evolved from this so-called area.
Wigneswaran claims no Buddhist history in North Sri Lanka
Thankfully the Sinhalese are not only asking each other this question but also taking out the books, some are even googling articles – what a relief! Jaffna peninsula and Nagadipa is mentioned when Buddha first visited Sri Lanka. Yapane derives from Sinhalese Yapapatuna. Nagas who were related to the ruling royal family in Kelaniya were the ancient inhabitants of Jaffna. A Kiripalu tree was said to have been consecrated by Buddha while in 2nd century AD King Bhatikatissa built a relic house at the foot of this tree. King Aggbodhi II during the 6th century AD patronized this same vihara.
King Devanampiyatissa’s envoys set off to India from Jambukola port the same port that Sanghamitta theraniya came with the sacred Bodhi tree. Here too a temple was built and a sapling planted by King Devanampiyatissa. King Kanithatissa in the 2nd century AD repaired the Tissamahavihara builty by King Devanampiyatissa and was improved by Voharikatissa in 3rd century AD. In the 11th century King Vijayabahu I repaired the Jambukola vihara. The Vasabhas gold plate found in Vallipuram near Point Pedro mentions a vihara built by Piyaguka tissa where some 12,000 monks are said to have resided. Another vihara (Mangala vihara) was restored by King Dhatusena in the 5th century AD. There are many other viharas that have been built by Sinhala kings in the North.
A Chola inscript in the 8th year of Rajadhiraja II rule mentions preparations for a port in Uratota today known as Kayts another evidence that Sinhalese Kings were ruling the North. Port Valigama (Vallikaman) is mentioned in Sigiri Graffiti which again proves that Valigama was populated by Sinhalese in 8th century.
All these proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that from 1st century to 11th century the Sinhalese royal authority prevailed and Sinhalese people were living in the Northern peninsula.
Wigneswaran can please disprove above with historical evidence only!
So when and from where did Tamils come?
Tamils never evolved in Sri Lanka. They came as migrants and after invasions first with the Chola invasions during the 13th century till the Aryacakravarti rule.
The take away from this is that these were invasions and the Tamils that remained were not originally from North Sri Lanka. To claim Tamil homeland the Tamils must have been born and formed a civilization. There has to be remnants of that civilization. We cannot find any such.
However, the Sinhalese have enough of Buddhist remains to showcase.
Kantaroda – near Valigama (Valikaman) where 22 dagabas are found. There is a huge limestone Buddha statue recovered from excavations in the Jaffna Archaeological Musuem (hopefully it is still there)
Neelavehera (Nilavarai) situated in Valigama where the upper part of a Buddha statue modelled in the Abhaya-mudra has been discovered. Another dagaba close to the statue dates back to 10th century.
Hunugama (Chunnakam) is where another dagoba was found near the rail track. There are many other dagobas found throughout the Jaffna peninsula.
Gothamaluwatta (Gottamalivattai) is where several Buddhist sites have been found along the route taken by Sangamitta theri. Gotha is taken as an abbreviated term for Gotami/Gautami which means honoured.
What is also important to note is that all these place names now Tamilized were originally in Sinhala. Please refer work of Prof. Chandra Dharmawardha.
Kamalika Pieris in several articles covering Buddhism in Ancient Jaffna highlights that Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka was to Nagadipa which is part of the ‘solosmastana’ (16 places of worship of Buddhists).
Paul E Pieris claims that Nagadipa was the name given to Jaffna peninsula and its islands – even addressing the Royal Asiatic Society reconfirming that Jaffna was part of the ancient Sinhala Buddhist civilization. The Vallipuram gold plate found around 1936 confirmed Nakadiva (Nagadipa) was the ancient name given to Jaffna. Jaffna was an island separated from the mainland by a narror strip of water and became linked to the mainland only in the 18th century.
Therefore, theatrics aside Jaffna must be renamed Nagadipa and the Nainativu temple must be relocated to Jaffna.
There are hundreds and hundreds of artefacts and historical proof to show the Sinhalese were living in the North – what can Wigneswaran show to claim Tamils were living in the North BEFORE the Sinhalese and that Tamils evolved in the North? This should be the question that needs to be answered. However you cannot have the same people evolving in two places. In other words you cannot have Tamils evolving in Tamil Nadu at the same time Tamils evolving in Sri Lanka. Let us not forget that the self-determination struggle started in Tamil Nadu and that was the key reason why the struggle was palmed off to Sri Lanka by India through militancy.
We must also not fall prey to Sinhalese originating from Prince Vijaya. This is another myth fed into our system. The 4 tribes were known as Sivu-hela and this in time came to be Sinhale and they were living in the island far before Vijaya and his men landed.
A further search and queries will bring to light that King Senarath despatched Mudaliar Attapattu to Jaffna in 1619 following the Portuguese conquest. Why would King Senarath the Kandyan King despatch his finest officer to Jaffna? Good question – the simple answer is that Jaffna was a kinglet of the Kandyan Kingdom as was the East. According to Father Queyroz the King had despatched 10,000 men to defend Jaffna. The last battle for the defense of Jaffna before it fell to European powers was fought not by a Tamil army but by Sinhalese men sent by the King of Kandy. As Queroyz says “as long as Rajapure (Anuradhapura) was the capital of Ceylon, the whole island was subject to one kng” If it was so with Anuradhapura, it was so with the rest of the capitals. When the Portuguese arrived in 1505 there were 15 ‘kinglets’ subject to the King of Kotte of which Jaffnapatao kinglet was one and none of them were independent or separate from the rest.
Leaving all this aside – the simple logic is that if the Tamils evolved in the island then they should not be called Tamils. Sinhalese are not found anywhere else in the world except in Sri Lanka. Vijaya didn’t speak Sinhala nor is there any people called Sinhalese in any of the independent kingdoms that became known as India when British amalgamated these kingdoms. Sinhalese people, Sinhalese language all evolved in Sri Lanka.
Now let us take the demands placed during Wigneswarans racist protests.
1. Stop Sinhala Buddhisization of Tamil Homeland – Reading the above, you will realize what an absurd and preposterous demand this is. It is no surprise that there are steps underway funded by foreign sources to have integrit-less academics re-write bizarre history in keeping with this. Please must be aware of ground realities and refuse to play a part. First it was Stop Sinhala Colonization now its Stop Sinhala Buddhisization –what will be the next slogan?
2. Federal Solution recognizing the Tamil nation, its sovereignty and its right to self-determination – A federal solution is just a form of system to facilitate governance how can it recognize a Tamil nation? If its sovereign is it part of a nation? How can there be self-determination… please don’t fall for these lies.
3. International investigation for genocide –It’s now 7 years Wigneswaran nor any of those claiming x number of people died have yet to produce the names. We have given a list of over 200 Tamils killed by LTTE – isn’t that genocide too?
4. Remove occupying forces – A national army of a country does not occupy. They are the legitimate unit to defend the nation and protect its people. If anyone is occupying the North it is Wigneswaran who was parachuted from Colombo and made the Chief Minister of the North. Ideally a man living in the North should have been allowed to contest the post not a man who had been living all his life in the South with the Sinhalese.
5. Ensure the safety, security and dignity of Tamil women – where was Wigneswaran when Tamil women and children were taken by force and turned into child soldiers and LTTE cadres? Who are raping these children and women – is it not the Tamil fathers and relations? Who are supplying liquor and narcotics that have turned the Jaffna youth into druggies and boozers? Isnt these narcotics coming from India and LTTE runs international narcotics while the taverns are all run by Tamils?
6. Stop harassing former combatants? What kind of demand is this? The Sri Lankan Army rehabilitated them, the child soldiers were given a Presidential amnesty, they were given tutors and they passed their exams, they were married in ceremonies organized by the army, some of them are filmstars, singers and actors – who enabled all of these? It was not Wigneswaran or the TNA but the Sri Lankan Army and the former government. Nowhere in the world are combatants treated like ours – in other countries LTTE would have been charged for their crimes as should have been all others linked to LTTE. Its not too late though.
7. Restore our lands – we return to the same question. What lands, prove so first.
8. Stop plundering our marine resources – was this demand drafted by the Indians because if anyone is plundering Sri Lanka’s marine resources it is not Sri Lankans but the Indians.
9. Prevent unlawful and forcible encroachment and fishing by Southern fishermen on our coasts and seas! Remove existing illegal encroachments – What kind of demand is this? Southern Sri Lankan fishermen cant fish in the North but the Indian fishermen can steal our fish from the North. Very funny!
10. Prevent forcible & arbitrary entry of Southern fishermen into our seas – these demands are getting really hilarious – Wiggy says Indians can steal fish but the rest of the country’s fishermen cant fish in their country’s legally provisioned seas!
11. Release political prisoners unconditionally – For an ex-judge Wigneswaran really needs to take out his books and realize that LTTE who took up arms against a state and killed unarmed civilians are not qualified to be categorized as political prisoners.
12. Ensure justice for the forcibly disappeared – Names please, and then we can check how many of these disappeared are living in foreign shores.
13. Stop seizing our traditional lands – this is a repeat of demand 7
14. Stop destroying our culture – what culture is that? The Tamils in the North are fixated to everything South Indian – why not tell them to stop destroying your culture
15. Stop subjecting us to total economic depression – wonder what type of economic development existed under 30 year rule of Prabakaran in the North. Can we please have some statistics of the booming economy in the North when LTTE ruled… some districts didn’t even have electricity and were restored by the former government, some areas didn’t even have schools and not even a road was built?
It is seriously advised that the racism of Wigneswaran stop. All that the Sinhalese say is that Tamils have no right to demand a homeland and seek to separate our small island nation.
We are a small island nation and the country is for all of us to live in. No one has any right to be dividing and cutting up the country to pieces plucking out terminologies used to carve out other nations.
If the Tamils are coming out with lies to secure bogus demands we will challenge this by demanding proof because we are well aware that a Sinhale civilization existed and there are ample proof of this existence.
The bottomline is that while the Sinhalese are prepared to share the country we will not agree to any sharing that compartmentalizes people on ethnic or religious lines. Therefore the Sinhalese are advised to be alert to the attempts being made to change the constitution using these bogus demands to justify the existence of a bogus homeland theory.
If so the Sinhalese must place their demands for Sinhale homeland that existed until it was handed over to foreign powers by local traitors as is happening now.
It is good for some patriotic academics and researchers to come out with more facts to demolish this myth being floated just like the lies floated to justify military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now Syria. Yes, the same culprits are involved and are working with local traitors in Sri Lanka.
යුතුකම සංවාද කවය
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