History of Yapapatuna

  • 12 May 2012 01:42:40 GMT

    [It was at the ancient port of Jambukola, the present Sambiliturai, in the Jaffna peninsula, that the envoys of the GREAT SINHALA KING, DEVANAMPIYATISSA embarked/disembarked to and from Ceylon on their mission to the court of Asoka.]

    Modern day Sinhala Chauvinists like Samadi seem to have Hijacked the incidents in Mahavamsa and put an ethno-linguistic spin on it to justify and buttress an ethno-linguistic agenda. the ancient King Devanampiay Theesan is presented as a `SINHALA king, but HE OF THE SINHALA TRIBE? DOES THE MAHAVAMSA REFER TO HIM AS BEING A `SINHALESE`?

    `Who gave DevanampiaTheesan a `Sinhala` tag? Where is the evidence? A person being a Buddhist does not provide him with a `Sinhala` tag as during this period Tamils too were Buddhists, (i.e Velu-Sumana) and there were many eminent Tamil Buddhist scholars such as Buddhaghosa. In fact there is ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE to indicate that DevanampiyaTheesan in 247 BC had any links to the `Sinhala` tribe that arrived with Vijaya in approximately 548 BC a mere 300 years previously`. :)))

  • 12 May 2012 01:43:54 GMT

    [[TAMIL KINGS IN EARLY CEYLON

    By S. J. Gunasegaram

    A Sinhalese correspondent in the Daily Mirror of 7.5.62, takes the following quotation from the Dipavamsa, a IV century Pali Chronicle of Ceylon, to prove that the early kings of Ceylon who were not Tamils were Sinhalese.

    The Damilas (Tamils) Sena and Guttaka capturing Sura Tissa (Singhalese) ruled righteously for 22 years. 1

    (Note: Sura Tissa is said to have been a king in the 3rd century B.C. He was the brother of Devanampiya Tissa and the son of Mutasiva. Mutasiva in turn was the son of Pandukhabhaya who was a descendant of Panduvasa. The last name appears in an altered from as Panduvasudeva in the Mahavamsa, the later Pali Chronicle.)2

    The original Pali text as well as its translation by B. C. Law may be consulted. The word Damilas is not indicated within brackets as Tamils . Nor is Sura Tissa stated to be a Sinhalese within brackets, as this Sinhalese correspondent has done in his quotation of the text.

    Of course every one knows that Damilas is the Pali form of the word Tamils, but Sura Tissa is the name of a person and he is not described as a Sinhalese . He was in fact, as already indicated, the son of Mutasiva and a brother of Mahasiva, both descendants of Panduvasa and Pandukabhaya. Panduvasa (a dweller of Pandya, the Tamil kingdom in South India)3 had succeeded Vijaya, after a brief interregnum, following Vijaya s death4 : Pandukabhaya, a local Naga who formed an illicit marriage with Chitta, the younger daughter of Panduvasa in the teeth of opposition from her uncle came to power with the help of Yakka chiefs in Kerala5 and so did Mutasiva, his son, who became the father of Devanampiya Tissa, Uttiya, Mahasiva and Sura Tissa.

    As the names Panduvasa, Abhaya (Apaian or Appiah)6 Mutasiva and Mahasiva suggest, these kings were Hindus (Saivites) and Tamils. It is significant, as pointed out by B. C. Law, that the names of Devanampiya Tissa and Duttugemunu, the two alleged Buddhist heroes of the later Mahavamsa, are not found in the early inscriptions so far discovered in Ceylon.7

    Sura Tissa was followed by Sena and Guttaka, (Tamils who came directly from the Tamil country in South India). ASELA, another son of Mahasiva succeeded them, and the great Elara followed. The difference between the earlier kings ending with ASELA, on the one hand, and Sena, Guttaka and Elara on the other was that the former were Pandyan Tamils who had founded a dynasty in Ceylon, and the latter were Chola Tamils.

    The Dipavamsa, a priestly Chronicle written in atrocious Pali 8, was discovered in Burma. The Mahavamsa, the other Pali Chronicle, described as an Epic Poem 9 was found by Turnour, an English Civil Servant in about 1826, in a Vihara near Tangalle, and the Tika, a Pali commentary ascribed to the XIII C.10, was discovered by him in a remote Vihara in Sabaragamuwa. These ola manuscripts un-understood even by the priests of the time, had to be unraveled, and the Mahavamsa translated into English, after much research and study, by the young English Civil Servant. Dr. G. C. Mendis states that the age of the Mahavamsa Manuscript, written on ola leaves, is perhaps not more than two hundred years.11 It was through the English translation of the Mahavamsa executed through the labours and scholarship of an Englishman that the English educated Sinhalese laymen of the XIX C, first came to know the contents of the Chronicle. A Sinhalese translation followed later.

    Much has been made of the word Sihala used in a single instance both in the Dipavamsa and the Mahavamsa, in an effort to associate the Island with the alleged lion race to which Vijaya is said to have belonged. How did this strained explanation arise, when elsewhere in these texts the Island is referred to as either Lanka, Tambapanni or Nagadipa and never as Sihala.

    This is what B. C. Law says referring to the authors of these Chronicles

    They offer a cheap fantastic explanation for the origin of the name of the Island - Sinhala- because of Vijaya s father Sihabahu since he had slain the lion .. .12 The probability is that this fantastic explanation is the result of an interpolation crudely effected during the period the Tika was composed (circa XIII C).13 Besides this single ola manuscript, not more than 200 years old ) we have no other copies to check the authenticity of its contents.

    Tamil Kings Usurpers

    The same Sinhalese correspondents tell us

    The usurpers as Damilas (Tamils) referred to by the authors obviously make one infer that the other kings , (meaning kings such as Asela, Sura Tissa etc., as distinct from Sena, Guttaka), were Sinhalese kings.

    The word usurper means one who assumes a throne wrongfully . A usurper need not necessarily be a member of a particular race! Subbha, the porter, Dharmasena, an ex-Andhrite Kasyappa, a Kanarese, and several other kings of the Island were usurpers.14 In fact, we know that of the fifty-one kings of the Mahavamsa period, nineteen were put to death by other aspirants to the throne.15

    And still, nowhere in the Dipavamsa, for instance, is it stated, as this Sinhalese historian suggests, that Sena, Guttaka and Elara, (particularized as Damilas), were usurpers.

    Here is what we read in the Dipavamsa about them Ch. XVIII, vv. 47-50.

    v. 47. The Damilas, Sena and Guttaka, capturing Sura Tissa, ruled righteously for twenty-two years.

    v. 48. Prince Asela, son of Mutasiva, killing Sena and Guttaka ruled for ten years.

    v. 49. The Prince named Elara killing Asela ruled righteously for forty-four years.

    v. 50. Avoiding the paths of desire, hatred, fear and delusion, he ruled righteously being incomparable.

    Curiously enough the Dipavamsa, the earlier of the two old Pali Chronicles, makes no mention of a war between Elara and Duttugemunu, (a tale apparently fabricated to counteract the Saiva revival that was fast spreading through the Tamil country during this period). The graphically and romantically described campaigns occupying a large section of the Mahavamsa were written two centuries later than the Dipavamsa, and about 900 years after the time of Elara. It was evidently invented for the edification of the pious in Ceylon and to strengthen and confirm the common people in their new faith. The hero of these apparently fictitious campaigns, is depicted, at the same time, as the slave of the Buddhist priesthood in the Island.16

    There are more reasons to infer that Mutasiva, Mahasiva, Asela and Sura Tissa (and incidentally Devanampiya Tissa) were of Tamil descent and were Hindus (Saivites). That is why Tennent holds that the rule of the Tamils, although averse to Buddhism, was characterized by justice and impartiality and that the people recognised their relationship to the legitimate sovereigns of the Island . (Tennant s Ceylon , Vol. I, p. 296).

    Why abuse the good old Tamil Kings when our Sinhalese brethren, who lay exclusive claim to this Island, have a feeble case to support their make-belief?

    Early Dravidians

    The same Sinhalese correspondent, a budding local historian , gives us a summary of what he alleges to be stated in the 1922 Edition of the Cambridge History of India . He refrains from quoting his source. Although this Edition was published 40 years ago, and much water has flowed under the bridge of History, Archaeology and Philology, his summary does not appear to reflect the views of the Cambridge Historians of India who say

    (a) The oldest stratum of pre-Dravidian blood probably belonged to Savages, termed by ancient (Tamil) poets Villavar (bowmen) and Minas (fishers) , ibid. p. 539. This has been interpreted by the Sinhala historian to mean that the present Dravidians are the results of pre-Dravidians a race of high culture . . He is apparently not aware that pre-Dravidians means, an earlier race than other Dravidians, and that proto-Dravidians means, original , chief , primitive Dravidians or Dravidians of the first period of formation of growth .

    It is this kind of knowledge that passes for history in Ceylon and is dished out as the authentic story of the peoples and the culture of Ceylon. The Cambridge History continues-

    (b) The Tamils.. Formed the three kingdoms of the Pandya, Chola, Chera, where the ruling element was the land tilling classes, the Vellalas. (ibid. p. 539).

    (c) The Pandyans claimed descent from a tribe styled Marar . (ibid. p. 539.) (i.e. Not from the Pandavas or the Aryans ).

    (d) Even in the fifth century A.D. of the Christian era, the South seems to have felt little influence of Aryan culture. (p. 540).

    (e) Dravidian Society was still free from the yoke of Brahmin caste system , (p. 540). ]

    [NOTES

    1. Dipavamsa (Ch. XVIII, v. 47), wrongly quoted by a correspondent in the Daily Mirror (7.5.62), to show that the kings of the period were Sinhalese .

    2. B. C. Law, On the Chronicles of Ceylon , p. 50. Did the author of the Mahavamsa purposely change the name to Panduvasudeva King of Vanga and Kalinga mentioned in the Mahabharata ? .

    3. Panduvasa. It may as well be a Pali or Prakrit equivalent of Pandyavasa meaning one from the Pandyan country i.e., A Pandya by his nationality . (B. C. Law, ibid. p. 52).

    4. Vijaya paid an annual tribute to the Pandyan king. (MHV. Ch. VII, v. 73). It is likely that his successors too did so. North Ceylon (Nagadipa or Serentivu), it may be presumed, was under Pandyan control.

    5. (a) vide, Dr. G. C. Mendis Early History of Ceylon , (1954), Map of ancient Ceylon , p. 23, Northern Ceylon is indicated as Nagadipa which corresponds to Serentivu in Tamil, the Island of the Chera Tamils.

    The Chera or Sera is the Dravidian equivalent of the Nagas. Chera Mandala has the same meaning as Naga Mandala of Naga country .

    Anthropology in India , (1961). (Bharatiya Vidiya Bhavan Publication).

    (b) MHV. Ch. IX. Citta and DIGHA GAMANI are referred to as PANDUKABHAYA s parents. GAMANI was apparently the son of a local Naga Chieftain (referred to as a Dhiga). Still Pandukabhaya retains the PANDYAN title. In the list of kings he is referred to as the nephew of ABHAYA. CITTA, a horseman, is said to have assisted the parents of Pandukabhaya in their clandestine love affair and was apparently made a Chieftain who had his abode below Basuvakulam. It is likely that as a mark of gratitude Pandukabhaya had made him a sub-king. CITTA is not a Sanskrit term as Dr. S. Paranavitane holds. (JRAS/CB. Vol. XXXI, p. 304) but a Tamil word CITTA Small and ARASU IRASA = King. cf. CITTAPPA in Tamil ( ) father s younger or smaller brother. (vide D.E.T. Sect. 167 for Aracan Aracu = king Prince). RAJAN is probably derived from Tamil Aracan. (Cittu, Citta, small, young vide D.E.T. 2073).

    6. Abhaya is the Prakritised form of the Dravidian Appiah or Appayan. Apayan ( ) in Tamil means he who averts fear , a warrior , a hero , a king, particularly of the Chola dynasty .

    7. The two main heroes, Devanampiya Tissa and Duthagamini are still missed in them , i.e., in the Inscriptions found in early Ceylon. (B. C. Law, ibid. p. 65).

    Laws adds, unfortunately, however none of the names by which the early kings of Ceylon are introduced in the inscriptions is identical with that which occurs in the Chronicles. The identifications so far suggested are tentative (p. 65).

    This apparently has been the result of the early Buddhist monks attempting to Pali-ise Hindu Tamil names of the rulers and chieftains of this Island.

    14. The Pallavas were not foreigners but were themselves Dravidians. The Rev. A. H. Popley says, It is clear that they came from the Deccan probably from what is now Kannada ( Indo , Oct., 1956).

    The term Pallava is the Sanskrit form of the Tamil Tondayar . To begin with, their rulers were Jains and Buddhists but many of them became Saivites through the influence of the Tamil Saiva saints.

    15. Duttugemunu s dying avowal was that he lived a slave to the Priesthood according to the Mahavamsa. Geiger translates the words as the servant of the brotherhood . (MHV. Ch. XXXII, V. 58).]]

  • 12 May 2012 01:49:52 GMT

    [It was also at this port that the Theri Sanghamitta and her retinue had disembarked when they came from India with a branch of the Bodhi tree from Buddhagaya during the reign of Devanampiyatissa. To try and claim these events as belonging to Tamils, an attempt has been made to re-write the Kings name in a Tamil form, as Devanampiyatissan.]

    We Tamils never claim the story of SANGAMITTA and other fantasy stories in Mahavamasa. We think all those stories are NOTHING but a flight of fantasy of Chinkala Muniyaass. :))))LOL

    [[The entire Sinhala Buddhist civilization myth is based on the famous flight of Mahinda, the son of Empire Asoka to the island and the conversion of an ancient ruler of Sri Lanka to the Buddhism. The Sinhalese are also proud of the arrival of Bo Tree by Sangamiththa, the daughter of Empire Asoka.

    IS THE EMPIRE ASOKA`S CONNECTION TO THE SINHALESE JUST A WILD FANTASY OF THE SINHALESE? :))

    Although the Mahavamsa says that Asoka handed over his own children to the temple and sent them to Sri Lanka to convert the King of Sri Lanka to Buddhism, ASOKA HAS MADE NO MENTION OF THIS IN HIS OWN EDICTS.

    Prof. Herman Oldenberg (1854-1920), the great German scholar of Indology and professor, studied and researched the Buddha and his teachings in Pali. His study on the Buddha, published in 1881, helped popularize Buddhism and still remains continuously in print. In association with Thomas William Rhys Davids (1843 -1922), the British scholar of the Pali language, he founded the Pali Text Society in 1881. Professor Oldenberg translated three volumes of Vinaya Pitakaya texts and many other Pali texts and sutras into English. Thus the contributions made by these German and British scholars in providing broader access to the Buddhist scriptures written originally in Pali, (the language in which the texts of the Theravada school of Buddhism is preserved) are enormous.

    In Herman Oldenberg`s assessment the stories related to the conversion of Sri Lanka to Buddhism by MAHINDA AND SANGAMITTA are PURE INVENTIONS. As referred to by G.C. Mendis in The Mahavamsa or the Great Chronicle of Ceylon (1950 edition, page xvi and xvii) there are doubts as to why Asoka in his 13th century Rock Edicts, in the Rock-Edict XIII in particular, has failed to mention his own son Mahinda and daughter Sangamitta being handed over to the temple, and also their role in converting the Sri Lankan king to Buddhism.

    Although the Mahavamsa says that Asoka handed over his own children to the temple and sent them to Sri Lanka to convert the King of Sri Lanka to Buddhism, Asoka has made no mention of this in his own Edicts.

    The question that begs an answer is: if Mahinda and Sangamitta were really handed over to the temple to become Buddhist missionaries, and if they did really convert the Sri Lankan King Devanampiya Tissa to Buddhism, why would Asoka their father have neglected to record these important events in his own edicts? The NAME SANGAMITTA is, as V.A. Smith thinks, SUSPICIOUS FROM ITS VERY MEANING.

    There are quite a number of discrepancies in the Mahavamsa compared to other historical, archaeological and scientific records. Thus Dr. G.C. Mendis, Lecturer in History, University of Ceylon, in his foreword to the 1950 edition of The Mahavamsa (The Great Chronicle of Ceylon), translated into English by Wilhelm Geiger, assisted by Mable Haynes Bode Ph.D, discusses at length these discrepancies as quoted below. Defrayed by the Ceylon Government Information Department, this edition of the Mahavamsa was published in 1950 (and is available on line at: http://www.sinhalanet.com/

    The Mahavamsa with all its historical importance, enormity and glory, should be only treated as the oldest and longest MYTHICAL chronicle, a historical poem written by great CREATIVE AUTHORS. :))

    The wild fantasies of `Lion Ancestry` and the myths about the origin of the Sinhala race as pre-destined, true custodians of the island of Sri Lanka and guardians of Buddhism - should be put to rest among the other mythical fairy tales. This needs courage and wisdom from grass root level, as it takes a lot to stand against the nationalistic agenda and the divisive nationalistic culture driven by Sinhala political leadership at the top.

    As long as the mythical stories of Mahavamsa are being elevated to reverence as HISTORICAL PROOF of the ORIGINS of the Sinhala race and their historical mission as CUSTODIANS OF BUDDHISM, there will be no true understanding of our common true history.]]

  • 12 May 2012 01:55:18 GMT

    [[On the TRUSTWORTHINESS of the Sri Lankan chronicles Dr. Mendis writes:

    A very trenchant verdict is pronounced by V.A. Smith in his Asoka , on the Ceylonese Chronicles. He says in the plainest fashion: in this work ( i.e. in the Asoka) the Ceylonese chronology prior to B.C. 160 is ABSOLUTELY and COMPLETELY REJECTED, as being not merely of doubtful authority but positively FALSE in its principal propositions. (V.A. Smith: Asoka the Buddhist Emperor of India, page 57)

    These Sinhalese stories the value of which has been sometimes overestimated, DEMAND CAUTIOUS CRITICISM AT LEAST AS MUCH AS DO OTHER RECORDS OF POPULAR AND ECCLESIASTICAL TRADITION ( Dr. V.A. Smith: Early history of India, 2nd edition 1908, page 9) ]

    Dr. Mendis agrees:

    [The warning to handle critically, which the excellent historian considers necessary with regard to the Ceylonese Chronicles, is certainly justified. It applies to all historical documents, and I have no intention at all disputing the justice of it. ( page XIII , Introduction, Mahavamsa 1950 edition published by the Ceylon Government Information Department)

    [[[According to the Mahavamsa and the Dipavansa, the son (Mahinda) and the daughter (Sangamitta) of the Indian Emperor Asoka were responsible for converting the King of Lanka and his people to Buddhism. However, Dr. V.A. Smith names the story in the Mahavamsa, RELATED TO THIS CONVERSION AS NOTHING BUT A TISSUE OF ABSURDITIES (V.A. Smith, Asoka page 45)]]] .]

    Over the years, Sinhala Buddhist nationalistic politicians and closely linked Buddhist clergy have been successful in implanting the belief that the Sinhala Buddhists are the chosen people and the real custodians of Sri Lanka and of Theravada Buddhism. This, many Sinhala Buddhists believe, is their birth right by virtue of the origin of their ethnicity as depicted by the Mahavamsa. According to many Sinhala speaking Buddhists, their birthright to the custodianship of the island and Buddhism is sacred and unquestionably legitimised for eternity by the Mahavamsa.

    THE SINHALA BUDDHIST MINDSET HAS BEEN NURTURED IN ISOLATION, FAR AWAY FROM THE SCIENTIFIC HISTORICAL FACTS. The mythical stories of the Mahavamsa have implanted in a large portion of the Sinhala Buddhist population a strong, deeply rooted and unreserved belief in their origin exactly as it is depicted in the chronicle.

    Casting doubts on the mythological stories narrated in the Mahavamsa is condemned as an act of treason. In the context of the ongoing ethnic war such doubts will automatically qualify as LTTE or Tamil nationalistic propaganda, and the person raising the doubts as a Tamil Eelam supporter. The Sinhala Buddhist nationalistic argument of the custodianship is simple: If you are a Sinhala speaking Sri Lankan, you either have to believe in the mythical Lion ancestry -your blood relation to a lion as depicted in the Mahavamsa - or consider yourself a traitor an outcast! ]

  • 12 May 2012 01:57:22 GMT

    [[For the Sinhala Buddhists nationalists, who have become myopic over the years of misinformation or lack of information, the Mahavamsa constitutes a sacred unquestionably legitimate proof of their original Sinhala Buddhist heritage and ownership of the island. According to the Sinhala nationalism the Mahavamsa mythology provides proof beyond doubt that the Sinhala race was the chosen people, the predestined custodian of the island and the guardian of Buddhism.

    [[[TAKE THIS PLATFORM AWAY, AND THE SINHALA NATIONALISTIC POLITICIANS WILL HAVE NO GROUND TO STAND ON, AS THEY KNOW NO OTHER MEANS TO SECURE THEIR LEADERSHIP.]]]

    An objective glimpse of the narratives in the Mahavamsa is therefore pertinent to separate the myths from the facts, the nationalistic interpretation of the history from the factual scientific historical events and chronology.

    The original Mahavamsa, or Mahawansha, is an historical poem written in Pali, which covers a period starting from the arrival of Vijaya (543 BC) to the time of Mahasena s rule (334-361 BC). This section of the Mahavamsa was written in Pali by the Venerable Mahanama Thero, an uncle of King Dhatusena in the 6th century AD. Mahanama Thero compiled the first part of the Mahavamsa from a collection of historical records (diaries) of Sri Lanka, starting from 300 BC, kept by the Buddhists monks of the Mahavihara. The Mahavihara is the Buddhist monastery that King Devanampiya Tissa built for Mahinda Thero, who is believed to have brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka from India in 300 BC. In compiling the Mahavamsa, Mahanama Thero relied also on an earlier set of documents known as the Mahavamsa Atthakatha and another earlier compilation of chronological records of Lanka known as the Dipavamsa.

    Later, Sinhalese Buddhist monks added a sequel to the Mahavamsa, which is known as Culawamsa (Lesser Chronicle), to cover the period from 4th century AD until the military occupation of Lanka by the British in 1815. ]

    [LION ANCESTRY MYTH: ]

    The story of a lion mating with a human female to produce human twins, a son and a daughter and then the act of incest between the twins to produce 16 twins is not only mind-boggling but also defies wildest fantasies. This material of the Mahavamsa no doubt deserves an adults-only rating. One can only marvel at the extent of the imagination of the authors, the celibate bhikkus of the Mahavihara, who wrote these lines for the consumption of the pious general populace.

    Sinhala Buddhist nationalism, based on mythical narrations covering mere hundreds of years, has locked up and enslaved hundreds of thousands of years of island s multicultural, multilingual and even international history. The time has come to provide our younger generation with the knowledge of the true history based on scientific facts, so that the cycle of nationalistic hatred and enslavement could be stopped, hopefully with the next generation.

    It is the lack of scientific knowledge of our true history that has made generation after generation of Sinhala Buddhists myopic due to an over-strong sense of superiority and ILLUSIVE LEGITIMACY OF THEIR BIRTHRIGHTS TO THE CUSTODIANSHIP OF THE ISLAND.

    Like the Sinhalese people, their language is also a cross breed of the languages that were in use on the island long before Vijaya s arrival. THE IMPACT OF DRAVIDIAN GRAMMAR ON THE INDO-ARYAN LANGUAGES IS CONSIDERED TO BE FAR GREATER than the Indo-Aryan grammatical impact on the Dravidian languages.

    As the original Mahavamsa was written in Pali, only a few Sinhalese who knew Pali had access to it until its Sinhala translation appeared in 1877. The Sinhala translation of the original Mahavamsa was later updated and edited in 1935 and then in 1978. The use of the Mahavamsa as a tool for rallying Sinhala Buddhist nationalism started to become widespread as it was interpreted as a true historical chronicle of Sri Lanka and the origin of the Sinhala ethnicity

    Historians use the Mahavamsa with caution and do not use its narrations as facts of history. Alongside with many myths such as the adults-only tale of princess Suppadevi s union with a lion and the Indian Emperor Asoka s son (or relative, according to other records) arriving in Sri Lanka by zooming through the air, obviously were fantasies to glorify Buddhism and, as Wilhelm Geiger thought, due to the author`s Buddhist convictions on account of his priestly mode of viewing things.

    With the spread of the Sinhala translation came a dangerous escalation of the Sinhala nationalistic fervour that was built on the blind belief in the legendary mythical accounts and narrations about the heroes and kings in ancient Sri Lanka. This lead to the strong feelings of nationalism that is still widely prevalent among the misinformed Sinhala Buddhists, who genuinely BELIEVE that the only TRUE SRI LANKANS are the SINHALA BUDDHIsTS. This means the Tamils, Muslims, Malays,Burghers, Sinhala Christians and other minorities can never be considered as true full-fledged Sri Lankans.

    Lawrence J. Zwier has written a number of books as part of a series called World in Conflict. In his 96 page book titled Sri Lanka: War-Torn Island he explains how the Mahavamsa has been used by the Sinhala Buddhist nationalistic politicians to implant the idea of justification of their birth right to rule the Island.

    Even in translation, the chronicles were difficult to use as historical sources. The Mahavamsa was written hundreds of years after some of the events it describes. Alongside passages that seemed factual the NAME OF THE KINGS or location of his court were such obviously NONFACTUAL accounts as the story of a person zooming through the air.

    The Mahavamsa and other chronicles sometimes contradicted one another, with different accounts of Vijaya and his origins, for example. The biggest problem was that the chronicles were written mainly to glorify Buddhism in Sri Lanka, not to record objectively what happened.

    The greatest importance of the Mahavamsa is not as history but as a symbol.- and as a motivating force behind Sinhala Nationalism. A Sinhalese politician speaking in public is likely to mention incidents from Mahavamsa as evidence of the long and distinguished history the Sinhalese have in Sri Lanka. But Sinhalese political and religious leaders also use Mahavamsa stories as evidence that THE WHOLE ISLAND SHOULD BE RULED BY SINHALESE BUDDHISTS.]

  • 12 May 2012 02:02:42 GMT

    The original people of Sri Lanka-The history of Tamils & Sinhalese are thoroughly mixed up and intertwined. If the right and whole history of Sri Lanka is to be known one must adopt a strictly unbiased & balanced approach, especially in today`s atmosphere.

    It is the lack of an unbiased and balanced approach to the ethnic problem in the past that has created racists and chauvinists on both side of the divide and brought the country to the present despicable and deplorable state. This came about through a misguided and fanciful interpretation of the available historic data.

    Secondly it should be noted that the study of history must be for history and knowledge sake. History should never be didactic, nor should it be falsified and made into tools of politics. Nothing will be gained by bringing history into politics , especially, history of the hoary past where nothing definite is known. Hitler`s experience bears ample testimony to this fact.

    it should also be noted that the Pali chronicles which deal with Sri Lanka conceal - intentionally or unintentionally - as much as they reveal - a fact accepted by all right thinking historians.

    [(1) While it is a fact that the majority of the people of Sri Lanka today are Sinhalese, yet it has to be accepted that a very large number of them are descendants of South Indian Tamils who had come to the Island throughout the ages as peaceful migrants or South Indian warriors of Sinhalese pretenders to the Islands throne-or as warriors of Pandyan and Chola invaders who settled here and were Sinhalised during course of time. This never ending process of amalgamation which is going on even today should have originated from the earliest time, well before the coming of Vijaya. This is the only way to explain the presence of Tamil or Tamil derived words even in the Pali chronicles. Most of the ancient names of rivers mentioned in the Mahavamsa are Tamil words. e.g. Kadamba Nadi, Mahakandara Nadi, Gona Nadi, Gambira Nadi etc., ]

    [2) Prof. K. M. de Silva in his book ` History of Sri Lanka` says that the Island was first populated by Aryans from the North West and North East of India. Yet he also readily admits that ` we have at present no archaeological evidence with regard to the early Indo Aryan settlers. No sites have yet yielded data which could help us identify some of the other influences which had played upon the Island in the period from 650 B.C. In particular we have no archaeological finds that could be traced back to either the West or East coasts of North India` Infact, all that we have are finds that are traceable to a civilization congruous with - that of South India. The North Indian origin of the Sinhalese is based on myths, legends and traditions that crept in recently. But yet the Sinhalese call themselves Aryans. ]

    [3) The Sinhalese language, because it contains a large percentage of Pali and Sanskrit derived words, introduced through the influence of Pali speaking missionaries and Buddhist chronicles is claimed to have originated from Pali and Sanskrit, without considering the fact that a very large percentage ,if not a majority of words are Tamil derived. A Sinhalese scholar- believed to be- Mudaliyar Gunaratne - in one of his research articles has said that if Pali was the father of the Sinhalese language then Tamil was its mother. He has also pointed out that in grammar the Sinhalese language is closer to Tamil than any other Aryan language. Further Prof. K.M.de Silva also in his `History of Sri Lanka` accepts that there was considerable Tamil influence in the vocabulary, idioms and grammatical structure of the Sinhalese language. Prof. G. C. Mendis in his book `Our Heritage` has said that if we shared the Sinhalese language of all the borrowed words we would be left with the core language, and that the closeness of this core language to a North Indian language would enable us to trace the area from which the language and immigrants came and that our knowledge of languages prevented us from coming to any conclusions. The position remains the same today too. From this statement it is obvious that no one had considered the closeness of this core language to a South Indian Dravidian language. ]

    [4) The term Sihala is found in the Mahavamsa only in its first few opening chapters, where it is said that the followers of Vijaya were called Sihala because his father killed his father - a lion - and hence was called Sihabahu. But Sihabahu`s sister and queen, who played no part in the killing of her father, the lion, was called Sihasivali. Hence it has to be concluded that Sihabahu and Sihasivali were so called because they were the children of a lion - probably a bold and strong personality who lived in the jungles as an outlaw. Thus we find that the followers of Vijay were called Sihalas not because of the leader and founder but because of his father who banished them. This being a fanciful explanation one has to look for the origin of the term elsewhere.

    The Mahavamsa does not mention the term Sihala or its derivations any further. Infact though the Mahavamsa says that when Mahinda introduced Buddhism in circa 250 B.C, he preached in the language of the Island. It does not say whether the language was Sinhala or Tamil. A liberal use of the term Sihala is found only in the Culavamsa which is said to have been composed in the 12th. C. A. D. Even the term Sihaladvipa is found only in the Culavamsa. We also find that both in the Mahavamsa and Culavamsa, it is the term Lanka which is almost always used to denote this Island. There are four or five occasions where the term Tambapanni - another pre-Vijayan term and a Pali corruption of the Tamil term Tamraparni - is also used. Tamraparni is the name of a region and a river in South India almost opposite Tambapanni of Sri Lanka, a village about 20 miles north of Puttalam. Due to the fact that Pali of that time did not have alphabets like `r`, `v` etc. these alphabets in the term Tamraparni were replaced by consonants `b` and `n` respectively and thus the corruption Tambapanni. Thus it becomes obvious that the term Sihala and its derivatives gained currency only after the 5th/6th C.A.D and before the 12th C.A.D. It may also be noted that the excavations at Pomparipu near Tambapanni show some resemblance of a South Indian Megalithic culture. ]

    [5) References to the Island of even the llth/12th C.A.D. in South Indian literature - a region with which the Island has had the closest and most frequent contacts, war or peace, show that the Island had been referred to as Eelam or Lanka, though there are references to `Sinhalese Kings`. Yet in a Telugu copper plate of the 5th. C.A.D. the term Sinhaladvipa had been used. ]

    [(6) The undeveloped phraseology of the Sinhala language used in the cave inscriptions of the 3rd C.B.C. show the infantile stage of the Sinhala language of the period. This was at a time when the Tamil language was well developed. The Sinhala language should have evolved through the amalgamation of the original pre-Vijayan language of the Island which is believed by some was Elu, with Tamil and the language of a few Klingas - which is once again a Sanskritised Dravidian language - and later with a voluminous vocabulary of Pali - a Sanskritised Prakrit - and Sanskrit words through the influence of Buddhist chronicles and missionaries. Indications of a well developed Sinhala language are found only after the poems of the 4th/6th. C.A.D. ]

    [(7) Regarding the term Sihala and its derivatives it will be far more convincing if we consider that the term Sihala was derived from Eelam and not the other way round as some Sinhalese literati would like to have. i.e. Eelam - Sri Eelam - Si Eelam - Sihalam - Sihala and Sinhala Ceylon of the British was derived from Sihala. i.e. Sihala - to Zeilon of the Portuguese to Ceilon/Seilon of the Dutch and to Ceylon of the British. Sri Lanka is derived from Lanka the earliest name for the Island and a pre-Vijayan term.]

  • 12 May 2012 02:08:31 GMT

    [[(A) Some historians like P. I. Srinivasa Iyangar M. A. of South India says with substantial data in his book ` Pre-Aryan Tamil Culture ` that the Tamils were in South India by at least 5000 BC. ]

    [(B) Dr. P. E. Peris (later Knigted) in one of his research articles in the Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, has said that it stands to reason that the boat people of South India, while out boating in the Palk Strait would have sooner or later discovered and populated at least the North Western coasts of the Island. This would have been circa 3000 B.C. when boating is said to have originated in South East Asia as claimed by some researchers. There is evidence of boating by the people of Mohenda Jaro which was about 2500/3000 B.C. ]

    [C) According to the Bible, ships of Solomon and Hiram had during 1000 B.C. traded in sandal wood, gems, pea cocks tortoise shells and apes. As sandal wood was available only in South India, the ships should have come to South India. Further teak wood from the same area was found in Ur of Chaldea. ]

    [(D) Tamil words for ivory,apes,pea-cocks, and aghil were almost without any change borrowed by the Hebrew language while Tamil words for rice, ginger and cinamon also without much change have been borrowed by the Greeks.]

    [(E) Recent archaeological excavations have uncovered 9th C.B.C. settlement sites in Anuradhapura with evidence of writing, showing evidence of a civilization congruous with that of South India. This shows that Anuradhapura was inhabited by people with connections with South India before the coming of Vijaya. Further there are a number of pre-Vijayan settlements all over the Island. All excavated such sites show evidence of a pre-Vijayan civilization congruous with that of South India. ]

    [F) Tholkapiam, the oldest extant Tamil work has been dated by Indian researchers at 9th C.B.C. ]

    (G) The Ramayana of the 8th/9th C.B.C. mentions the Pandiyan kingdom as a very rich kingdom.

    [(H) During the 5th C.B.C. Vijaya married a Pandiyan princess whose retinue consisted of a thousand families of eighteen guilds. This shows that the Pandyans of South India of the 5th C.B.C. was a well developed and established state with division of labour even before the coming of Vijaya. ]

    [(I) Mahabharata of the 5th C.B.C. mentions the Cheras and Nagas. According to South Indian Tamil literature and Sri Lankan historical sources a Naga kingdom existed atleast from the 6th C.B.C. to the 3rd C.A.D in the North. ]

    [(J) Katyayana the Indian poet and grammarian of the 4th C.B.C. mentions the Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas. ]

    [(K) Onesicrates of the 4th C.B.C. mentions Taprobane, a Greek corruption of Tamraparni. ]

    [(L) Megasthenes of the 4th.C.B.C. mentions Taprobane and says that it was separated from India by a river. ]

    [(M) Asoka`s inscriptions of the 3rd C.B.C. mentions Cheras, Cholas Pandyas and Tambapanni. ]

    (N) Pliny and Periplus of the lst. C.A.D. say that the old name for the Island was Palaya Si Mondu (Old Sri Eela) Mandalam but that the ancients called it Taprobane.

    [(O) Some of the greatest Tamil works extant today were composed during the period 1st C.B.C to 1st C.A.D. ]

    [[(P) A CALM AND UNBIASED ANALYSES OF THE VALLIPURAM GOLD PLATE OF THE 2ND. C.A.D. WILL SHOW THAT THE NORTH HAD ITS OWN KING WITH VERY LITTLE CONTACT WITH THE SINHALESE AND WITH ITS OWN INDEPENDENT SECT OF BUDDHISM WITHOUT ANY ATTACHMENT TO BUDDHIST SECTS OF ANURADHAPURA ALTHOUGH A SOVEREIGN/VASAL STATE ARRANGEMENT COULD HAVE EXISTED.]]]

    [[Thus the above will show that: ]

    (I) The Sinhalese race and language could have evolved circa 3rd C.B.C. through the interaction of Tamil Pali and sanskrit a process that is going on even today

    (II) The Tamil race and language with sea going capability, was certainly in existence before atleast l,OOO B.C.

    (III) The Tamils would have settled in the Island ages before Vijaya and the Sinhalese appeared in the Island.

    (IV) Nothing will be gained by bringing history into politics and politics into history. No useful purpose will be served by arguing whether the chick or the egg came first

    (V) It will neither be practical nor advisable to solve our problems on the basis of `who came first` . It will be best if the problems are solved on the basis of natural selection and settlement from a definitely known date and data.

    COURTESY: The Island (Midweek Review, Jan 27, 1999) ]

  • 12 May 2012 02:11:02 GMT

    Samadi,

    The Eelam Tamils are NOT afraid of archaeology. We want archaeology research to be done by neutral, qualified archaeologists who have no axe to grind against Tamils and not by the Sinhala Medanandass, Ellawelass or other land grabbing Sinhala skinheads, Sinhala racists and chauvinists.

  • 12 May 2012 02:17:37 GMT

    Samadi,

    Read what the Sinhala Historian Paranavithana said about your exclusive claim that the present day Sinhalese is the descendants of people who lived in Sri Lanka more than 2000 years ago. The vast majority of present days Sinhalese are the South Indian Karava, Durawa, Salagama migrants, the South Indians who emigrated during the Nayakar rule in Kandya and assimilated with the earlier migrants and the remnants of Tamils who contributed to the Sinhala gene pool via Yakadadolys (Sinhala concubines of Tamils) and their off springs the so called Sinhala `High caste` Bandarass. :)))LOL

    [In 1959, Senerath Paranavithana wrote `The higher culture, including the languages, brought to these regions by the Sinhalese as well as the Tamils, was adopted in varying degrees by the people of a stone age culture, who were there before their arrival. Thus the vast majority of the people who today speak SINHALESE or TAMIL must have ultimately be descended from those autochthonous people of whom we know next to nothing.`

    As Paranavithana has correctly pointed out, both the Sinhalese and Tamil speakers have an EQUAL STAKE in Sri Lanka that go back to the beginnings of history, and those who advocate otherwise can never win the peace. They will place Sri Lanka in a perpetual state of conflict and militarisation, reducing her to poverty.]

    [After that initial incursion by Vijaya and his men, waves of immigrants came mostly from South India and became assimilated as Sinhalese. The low-country castes of the KARAVA, Salagama, and Durawe, came from South India mostly after 1505.

    [According to Kumari Jayawardena the Portuguese rulers encouraged their men to marry local females, so that many who today bear PORTUGUESE NAMES are partly of Portuguese descent. What those facts mean is that most of the TAMILS ARE MORE INDEGIGENOUS to the Sri Lankan soil, have a MORE AUTHENTIC ORGANIC CONNECTION with it, than a substantial proportion of the Sinhalese.]]

  • 12 May 2012 02:26:29 GMT

    Whoa, Thivya on a hyperdrive..:))

    first, this Gunasegaram guy quotes Mahavansa and discredits it by again quoting it!! does he have any other resource to say what is told in Mahawanse is fabricated..????? I guess not!! he just goes on about names are tamil bla bla..any evidence they are tamil..???? and if mahawanse didnt say about sena and guttila how did he know they were tamils..????

    Thivya, if mahawanse does not mention all these kings are sinhala does it say they are tamil..???? if not dont quote it!:))))

    number 2.

    I believe sinlala race is a mix of pre vijaya era inhabitants of Hela diva which is the oldest name to the island. I have told you this before. to quote myself..

    [[For the umpteenth time, sinhala race is a mix of siv+hela, namely raksha, naga, asura and yakkas..before Vijaya came here there was a civilization and the modern sinhalese are a mix of all these tribes and vijaya`s decendents.

    its hilarious to think tamils became sinhalese...:))]]