The Sinhala Buddhists hijacked the Tamil Hindu festival and named it as 'Esala Perehera.'
The Kandy Esala Perehera started today and the Sinhalayas are writing heap of things about Kandy Esala Perehera as the cultural tradition of Sinhalaese and that this procession in Kandy started to celebrate the tooth relic etc, but everyone is deliberately forgetting to mention the Tamil Hindu connection to this festival.
The Sinhala Buddhists don't want to admit that the Esala perehera was INITIALLY A HINDU FESTIVAL AND MAINLY CELEBRATED BY THE KINGS, KANDIAN TAMIL QUEENS AND THE TAMIL CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM OF KANDY. Even many Tamils don't know that this procession was initially a procession of Hindu deities.
The Sinhala Buddhist chauvinists are twisting the Sri Lankan history to suit their anti-Tamil racism and this isn't new, because there are Sinhala Nazis who are determined to re-write the history of Sri Lanka to get rid of any Tamil connection.
I am only talking about the Kandy Esala Perehera here and it is clear that the Dewale Peraheras that we have today in the Esala Perahera in Kandy did not form part of the Procession celebrated by the Anuradhapura period after the arrival of Tooth Relic as Mahavamsam says.
The Esala Perahera as we know it today, with the four Hindu Dewale Peraheras participating in it had its origin in 1775 A.D. under the reign of King Kirthisri Rajasinghe. The Perahera he inaugurated in his reign was confined at first to the four Hindu Dewales(Temples), because by then Hindu practices and rituals had crept into Theravada Buddhism owing to the influence of Mahayanism as well as that of the King's consorts who were Hindu Tamil Princesses from South India. The Tamil language was the court language of Kandian Kingdom and the household language of the Kandian Elites.
(During this time a body of Siamese priests who came to Ceylon for the restoration of the Upasampadha ordination were surprised to find a purely Hindu ceremony in the capital of a pre-eminently Buddhist country)
To remove their scruples the King ordered a procession with the Sacred Tooth Relic to head the four Dewale Perahera, and that decree had been faithfully carried out ever since. Today, however, the Sacred Tooth Relic itself is not carried in the Perahera. Only a duplicate of the casket in which the Relic is kept together with a few Seevali relics is carried on the back of the gorgeously caparisoned Maligawa Tusker.
This is because it is considered inauspicious to remove the Tooth Relic from its sacred precincts. (The Sinhala murderers, thieves and rapists are touching and carrying the sacred tooth relic these days and perhaps that's the reason this country is in this turmoil, who knows):))
Further more, taking it out would require special safeguards to protect its security as it became, in course of time, the palladium of Ceylon on the Preservation of which depended the security of the country.
The Four Hindu Devala or Devalayam in Tamil are Avalokishwara or Natha. The Hindus consider him to be an incarnation of Siva or Eeshwara. Kathirkama theiyo(theivam) or Lord Muruka or Lord Kanthan of Tamils. He is an ancient Tamil God, according to ancient scripts the Lord Kathirkamam or Muruka, who created the Tamil language and according to Sangam Tamil poetry, he is the lover of Tamil language.
The Last Hindu Devala is of the Tamil god Patthini or Kannaki, the Tamil chaste women who burned the city of Madura, because the king falsely accused and killed her husband. According to Silapathikaram- the ancient Tamil epic, the Sinhala king Gajabahu was the chief guest of Tamil king of Chera Nadu (the Land of Tamil Chera Dynasty and the current Kerala) for the consecration of Kannaki Temple and the first recital of Tamil epic Silapathikaram, he is the one who brought the custom of worshiping Tamil women Kannaki as patthini God.
In the period of Kandian Kingdom, the Tamil had a special place, many High castes, upcountry Govigama Sinhalese had Tamil connection and the Tamils were in prominent position. Even the former President Chandrika Banadaranayake is from the house of Neela Perumal a Tamil and her great great great grand father Ratwatte Dissawa was a Kandiyan lord. He and many other Sinhala lords signed the Kandiyan Treaty with British in Tamil. This is funny it is like now the Sri Lankan elites like to speak English, just like the Sinhala elite from those days, who didn't even know how to sign their name in Sinhala language.
In later years the Tamil King Sri Wickrema Rajasinghan (1798 - 1815 A. D.) the last King of Kandy - who had a keen sense of artistic beauty, added the Octagon to the Dalada Maligawa. He was incidentally the builder of the Kandy Lake, but as usual the Sinhalese backstabbed him and betrayed the king since he was a Tamil and gave the country to Suddhas (Whites).