On this Christmas day, the Sinhalized Tamil Catholics from Puttalam to Galle should touch their hearts, remember their Tamil forefathers and hope to be forgiven for killing the Tamils in the name of Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism.

  • 25 Dec 2010 00:48:36 GMT

    [Picture:

    A Catholic tombstone of Portuguese period, dated 1691 AD, of Anna Piris, the wife of Patangatim (Paddang-kaddi) Francisco Piris. The tombstone, found at St. Thomas Church, Jinthupiddi, Colombo, is an early evidence for the Christianisation of Tamil coastal communities. Paddam-kaddi is an honourable title for Tamil Mukkuva chieftains.

    [Image courtesy: karava.org]]

  • 25 Dec 2010 00:49:16 GMT

    [Udappu is one of the very few traditional Tamil villages surviving today in the Puththa`lam district of the North Western Province. With a population of about 15,000, it is perhaps the largest among them. Udappu is also well known for retaining a strong folk-Hindu religious profile, centering-around the cult of Thiraupathi Amman (Draupadi).

    Until the early part of 20th century, the coastal belt of the North Western Province and some coastal areas of the Western Province of the island of Sri Lanka were largely Tamil speaking.

    A chain of Tamil villages and townships of the coastal communities of Catholic faith and Tamil Muslims, linked Mannaar and Colombo with contiguity. In fact the ethno-demographic picture we see today in Mannaar was extended up to Colombo.

    The coastal communities of this region mainly belong to two groups: Karaiyaar (Karaawa in Sinhala) and Mukkuvar. There were also many others such as Paravar and Kadaiyar, mentioned in the Portuguese records of mid 16th century as the first people to embrace Catholic faith and the Chettis (also written as Chitty: traditional trading community, christianized).

    They were all Tamil communities, having their own institutions of culture and literacy. There were also many Tamil scholars among this group of Catholics and Muslims. Simon Casie Chitty of Katpiddi (Kalpitiya), who brought out a number of publications in the 19th century, is a well-known example.

    A literature in Sinhala, called MUKKARA HATANA, records the presence of these TAMIL COMMUNITIES in Western Sri Lanka and narrates how the Karaiyaar (Karawa) coming from Kaagnchi, Kaaverip-paddinam and Keezhakkarai of the Tamil Nadu coast conquered Mukkuvar, captured their fort at Puththa`lam and settled in the tract between Puththa`lam and Negombo. According to the literature, the event took place in mid 13th century. (Raghavan M.D., Karava of Ceylon)

    It was not an isolated event of a particular time period, but was a process since prehistoric times that the people on either side of the waters between the island of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu belonged to homogeneous groups.

    Identical megalithic urn burial sites like Aathichchanalloor in Tamil Nadu and Pomparippu on the right opposite coast in the Puththa`lam district of Sri Lanka are examples for the comparability of peoples and cultures on either side during protohistoric times.

    One of the earliest communities of the island, found mentioned in the first written records, i.e., the Brahmi inscriptions of Sri Lanka dateable to pre-Christian centuries, as donors to the Buddhist Sangha, is the Barata community who were the same as the Parathar or Parathavar (coastal folk, coastal chieftains of extreme south of TAMIL NADU, navigating merchants and fishermen) of the Changkam Tamil references. (Indrapala, Sudharshan Seneviratne)

    The reason for the early prevalence, continuity and recognition of the Tamil coastal communities under discussion on both sides of the Gulf of Mannaar and Palk Bay was the economic importance of conch and pearl diving in these waters, right from very early times (See columns on Chilaavath-thu`rai and Nanthik-kadal)

    The said communities were specialized in these activities and in the industries and trade associated with them. The stretch from Jaffna to Negombo was the hub of these activities on the Sri Lankan side.

    The tract was especially known for the closest embarking points to the pearl banks (Chilaavaththu`rai and Marichchukkaddi in the Mannaar district) and for conch diving in the Palk Bay and in the lagoons of Jaffna, Puththa`lam, Udappu, Chilaapam (Chilaw) and Neer-kozhumpu (Negombo).

    Even though the communities are aborigine to the region and the etymology of their names are Dravidian, like many other identities they were susceptible to sanskritisation / aryanization, and myths associated with it.

    Thus, Karaiyaar or the Sinhala Karava (from Karai, meaning coast) and the Mukkuvar (from Mukku, meaning diving), trace their origins to the geographical context of Mahabharata and Ramayana epics. The myths of Kuru-kulam for Karaiyaar, linked to the Guru country of Mahabharata and Mut-kukar for Mukkuvar, traced to Guha of Ramayana, are of this nature.

    The religious demography of the coastal tract under discussion fast changed first with the advent of Islam and then with Catholic Christianity. But once again, they were changes sharing common forces, common patterns and involving common peoples on both the coasts.

    [For example, a Kaayal-paddinam or Keezhzkkarai in Tamil Nadu is not different from Puththa`lam in Sri Lanka, and a Ma`natpaadu in Tamil Nadu is not different from Negombo in Sri Lanka, in their demographic milieu of Islam and Catholic Christianity.]]

  • 25 Dec 2010 00:54:04 GMT

    [The place names of the entire stretch of north western and part of western coast of Sri Lanka bear amble testimony for the Tamil demography of the region and how the place names were sinhalicised in recent times along with the population.

    Three factors played major roles in the SINHALIZATION PROCESS: (a) Disrupted geographical contiguity and social communication, (b) State policy and political scenario, (c) Elite decision of the community.

    The declaration of Vilpattu sanctuary (later national park) in the beginning of 20th century and abandonment of the traditional coastal highway A3, linking Jaffna and Colombo by the British, seriously disrupted the linguistic contiguity of the Tamil people along the western coast. The Puththa`lam, Chilaapam, Neer-Kozhumpu Tamils were thus isolated from the rest. In addition, their long communication with the southern coast of Tamil Nadu stopped with the independence of India and Ceylon.

    The policies of the successive governments of independent Ceylon and later Sri Lanka, motivated by ethnic politics, applied language-oriented pressure on the Tamil speaking population of the coast. The pressure was multi-fronted, ranging from electoral readjustments, colonization, official-language implementation and economic opportunities to school education, signboards, maps etc.

    The elite of the communities, especially the elite of the Catholic community at one stage thought of abandoning Tamil and adopting Sinhala. The Sinhala Catholic Church played a significant role in encouraging the transition, culminating in stopping prayers in Tamil in the churches.

    The younger generation or the third generation of the people of the tract under discussion doesn`t speak or understand Tamil at all, while the middle generation can only understand with difficulty. The old generation can still speak but only within itself.

    However, the Muslims continued with the use of Tamil. The few Tamil Hindu villages, such as Ilavang-ku`lam, continued with the use of Tamil disintegrated fast under the prevailing conditions.]

  • 25 Dec 2010 01:05:29 GMT

    Merry Christmas Thiviya nona

    On this special day

    May your heart be filled with love

  • 25 Dec 2010 01:50:54 GMT

    Look SAIVITE THIVya

    IS interested about Christmus.

    How come ?

  • 25 Dec 2010 02:06:51 GMT

    This article says, That tamils came later and was sinhalized.

    Secondly, Tamils, as Christiamns were dalits in Tamilnadu, dod not want to say that they were tamils.

    Interesting article.

  • 25 Dec 2010 02:14:28 GMT

    Merry Christmas, Thivya! Hope at least this season you will learn the inevitable... :)

    That Sri Lanka has finally found her peace.

  • 25 Dec 2010 02:39:44 GMT

    Thivya at least on this great day stop your chauvinist chants.

    Merry Christmas. Let this occasion bring you inner peace.

  • 25 Dec 2010 04:23:35 GMT

    Merry Christmas, Thivya!

  • 25 Dec 2010 04:47:47 GMT

    [Tamil was taught from Puttalam to Galle.]

    Therefore Puttalam to Galle is also part of the Traditional Tamil Homeland(TM).

    [CUNNING SINHALIZATION OF TAMIL CATHOLICS OF CHILAW- `TAMIL SPEAKING SINHALESE: ]

    A very sneaky form of GENOCIDE(TM)!

    [SINHALIZATION OF COASTAL TAMIL TOWNS]

    Shall we do a study on the Germanization of Tamil women in Canada? :)))

    Merry Christmas, Manju. I`m not celebrating a festival of the white man`s god (which was originally the Roman festival of the Saturnalia), but I`m sure you are with your 100% Tamil Only family :))