PBS Hemachandra is trying to write a new History

"This is the true short history of the Tamils and Sinhalese of Sri Lanka which is in black and white."

by R. Manoharan

(November 01, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) No harm is done when a person is either ignorant or illiterate about history than being educated with a falsified distorted history created for serving a communalistic purpose.

The purported reclaimer is reminded the true history of Sri Lanka in a nutshell based on historical facts.

In 2nd Century AD, Ptolemy located the earlier Naga Dipu Kingdom as covering the territory from Chilaw in the west to Batlicaloe in the East. He called this Island as “Tamara Parani” a name of the river which flown in South India. Before, during and since the Naga Dipu Kingdom, it is an incontrovertible fact that the Tamils have occupied the north eastern littoral as their exclusive homeland.

AT the time of introduction of Buddhism (3rd Century BC) Tamil kings ruled Anurathapura and the capital was built by tamil kings.

In the 3rd Century BC, when Emperor Aseka who himself got converted to Buddhism and was determined to spread Buddhism far and wide sent the Buddhist missioners led by his son Mahinda to Sri Lanka.

They were received by the then tamil King Devanampiya Theesan, who was a Hindu, who himself converted to Buddhism and followed by the subjects.

As Buddha was himself a Hindu and Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism, the King Thevanampeaya Theesan might have had no problem in professing Buddhism.

It is crystal clear that there were no traces or history of Sinhalese before the introduction of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The religious messages were preached to the indigenous people in their native language mixed with Pali words. Actual development of the Sinhala language took place in 7th Century AD.

The fact that the tamil Kings ruled from Anurathapura before the rise of Sinhalese Kings is clearly stated in the Mahavamsa itself with the usual twists, turns and mystification in chapter 24, which further states that when Dutugemunu informed his father Kavantisa, ruler of the Southern principality of Ruhuna, that he was going to declare war against the tamils, his father replied, “let the Tamils rule that side of the Maha Ganga, and this side of Maha Ganga are more than enough for us to rule”.

The chronicle goes on to say that Dutugemunu’s first battle was with a Tamil petty King Chathan, who was ruling Mahiyangana in the South –East, and there after he is said to have fought 31 Tamil petty Kings from Mahiyangana to Anurathapura, before he met Elara in battle. These episodes clearly show the demography of Sri Lanka at that time.

Let me mention also the Polonnaruwu period (1017-1235). The Great Raja Raja Cholan the Tamil Chola emperor, when extending his empire invaded Sri Lanka, made Rajarata a part of the Chola empire and founded Polonnaruwa. With it, Sri Lanka for the first time came under South Indian Tamil rule. Then his son Rajendra Cholan (1014-1044) further extended the Chola empire, so that in the 11th Century the Cholas ruled over Sri Lanka, Malaya, Kampuchea and large Parts of Indonesia. This was a time when South India held command of the eastern seas and Tamil was the lingua franca of eastern Commerce.

When the Chola power began to decline the Kings from Kalinga dynasty ascended throne and continuous chaos prevailed and the centre of power shifted to South West and ended up in Kote when Portuguese arrived.

Further, it is a fact that the Portuguese conquered the maritime Sinhalese Kingdom of Kote near Colombo and for over a Century attempted to conquer the tamil kingdom, but met the Tamil military forces in losing battles. The Tamil King Sankili of Jaffna Kingdom gave great assistance to king of Kandy by obtaining reinforcements from South India in the latter’s war against Portuguese. Portuguese administered the Tamil “Jaffna Patinam” as they called it as a separate domain from their Sinhalese maritime domain of Kote. So did the Dutch who captured from Portuguese. In 1833 the British only brought the Kandyan, Kote and the Jaffna Kingdoms under a single political authority called government of Ceylon. According to Ibu Battuta, a North African Muslim Traveller who visited Ceylon in 1344, the Tamil King Ariya Chakravarti, who had his royal palace in Jaffna, was a powerful ruler who owned sea-going vessels and a cultured man who could converse in Persian.

More over Sir Robert Brownrigg, an early British governor of what were then the separate tamil Jaffna Patnam and the low-Country Sinhalese region wrote in his despatch dated 10th July 1813 to the Secretary of State for Colonies: “The Tamil language, which with a mixture of Portuguese is used through all provinces is the proper tongue of the inhabitants from Puttalam to Batticaloe northwards inclusive of both these districts.

This is the true short history of the Tamils and Sinhalese of Sri Lanka which is in black and white.

In conclusion, I state that from the time of Mahavamsa until now, from time to time some Sinhalese people are trying to find an identity for the Sinhala race when they do not have an identity at all. Further one can imagine how Mr Hernachandra (Read Series of articles written by PBS. Hemachandra ) would treat the tamils of North when he was a navy commander in charge of North. He is also one who was responsible for the present day predicament. Whatever it may, the solution for Sri Lankan national question is no citizen should go to claim beyond that he is a Sri Lankan. If anyone go beyond that limit the problem will be an never ending one.
- Sri Lanka Guardian