Right to Reclaim – Part Two

Right of the Sri Lanka government to reclaim its historical sovereignty over North of Sri Lanka

"In spite of all this evidence, Tamils say that Sinhalese people are encroaching Tamil areas. But the truth is that Tamils have completely taken over Sinhalese Traditional Homeland."

Link to Part One

by. PBS. Hemachandra


(October 29, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Historical evidence found in forms of ruins, inscriptions, pyramids, tanks and irrigation systems, man made canals, fortresses, epigraphs etc provide ample evidence to the claims of all communities sharing Sri Lanka with majority Singhalese as a common homeland. This evidence is available mainly in Anurdhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kantalai, Nagadeepa, Mannar, Tiriyaya, Polmodai, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Mulaitivu and many other places in and around Jaffna. There are many ancient inscriptions found in Jaffna such as Vallipuram gold plate inscription found in Point Pedro in Jaffna or Sinhalese inscriptions found at Kandarodai, the ancient Kadurugoda Vihara, a Buddhist Temple in Uduvil or the inscription found at Tunukai in the D.R.O.’s division of Punakari or the Tiriyaya Sanskrit inscription of Aggabodhi VI or the Tiruketisvaram Pillar inscription of Sena II or the Mannar Kacceri pillar inscription of Kassapa IV or the slab inscription at Kurundanmalai near Mulaitivu or the Palmottai slab inscription of Vijayabahu or the Kantalai stone seat inscription of Nissankamalla will prove that there were Sinhalese people living in the north and east long before Tamils encroached and started living there.

In Mr Tambiah’s words "The Dry Zone was the ancient site of a much glorified Sinhala Buddhist civilisation” (“Buddhism Betrayed” by D. Tambiah). One can find millions of artefacts, inscriptions and other proof of a Sinhalese civilisation there. Proof of the history remains in those places and not in Mahawansa or Ramayanaya.

Any one can see the ancient glory of Sri Lanka on the web now. These are some links one can visit to see this glory.

This link will indicate all ancient Buddhist temples in Trincomalee and Batticaloa

I have copied below information from Portuguese, Dutch, English and Tamil historians to prove that the north of Sri Lanka had never been the traditional home land for Tamils although now LTTE has done a complete ethnic cleansing of all other communities from north of Sri Lanka. Some Tamils like LTTE Leader Mr Prabhakaran who cannot even prove two or three generations of residence in Sri Lanka are now trying to claim north of Sri Lanka as their traditional homeland.

This map below is from “A true and Exact description of great island Ceylon” written by the Dutch priest Baldaeus in 1672. He accompanied the Dutch forces, which took over Jaffna from the Portuguese, and worked as a missionary. He did a lot of work for the people living in Jaffna. Fortunately he has left details of Jafnapatnam complete with a map.

According to Priest Baldaeus Jafnapatnam had four provinces. Look at the names of these provinces which were Tamilised later. How can these places have Sinhalese names if Tamils lived there???

1. Beligamme or Weligama (now Valikamam)
2. Tenmarache (now Tenmaradchi)
3. Waddemarache (now Vadamaradchi) and
4. Patchiarapalle (now Pachchilaippali)

This is what Captain Robert Percival wrote about the people who lived in Jaffna as late as 1805 A.D. in his book entitled an 'An Account of the Island of Ceylon' (1805). Even as late as 1805 A.D. the Tamils and the other minority communities who had settled in the Jaffna peninsula have been referred to as 'foreigners'. While giving an account of the population of Jaffna he states that the inhabitants of Jaffna consist of a collection of various races. The greatest number are Malabars of Moorish extraction, and are divided into several tribes known by the names of Lubbahs, Belalas, Mopleys, Chittys, Choliars and a few Brahmins; they are distinguished by wearing a little round cap on their close shaven heads. There is also a race of Malabars found here somewhat differing in their appearance from those of the continent. These different tribes of foreign settlers greatly exceed in number the native Ceylonese in the District of Jaffna (pp. 71).

The Honidus map of Ceylon below is on page 2 of “Fatal History of Portuguese in Ceylon” by George Davison Winius. This map was a work of CYPRIANO SANCHEZ (c 1560 A.D.). This map indicated that there were nine principalities in Sri Lanka with only one of them indicated as "emperor"- Imperio de Cota or Emperor of Kotte. These nine principalities were; Imperio de Cota (Imperial King of Kotte), Reino de Ceitaabaca (Ruler of Sitawaka), Reino de Candea (Ruler of Kandy), Reino de Jaffnapatnum (Ruler of Jaffna), Reino de Setra Coralas (Ruler of Seven Korales), Chilao Reino (Ruler of Chilaw), Reino de Triquilemale (Ruler of Trincomalee), Reino de Baticalou (Ruler of Batticaloa, Reino de Yala (Ruler of Yala).

This map is supported by the French Cartographer Sieur Sansen's map of 1652. This is a clear indication that during the Portuguese era, the Jaffna kingdom was under the Emperor de Cota, and ruler of Jaffna is merely a chieftain or Vanniyar in that area under the Sinhalese emperor.
This paragraph below is from 'The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon' by Father Fernao de Queyroz, a much quoted contemporary Portuguese historian. According to Father Fernao de Queyroz, local Tamil leaders had ruled that region not as independent rulers but as vassals of Sinhala kings.

As long as Rajapura (Anuradhapura) was the capital of Ceylon the whole island was subject to one king; but after the inundation of the lowlands and after the city of Cota (Kotte) became the metropolis, there were in the island 15 kinglets, subject to the king of Cota, who therefore was considered to be Emperor, and the same title is in these days claimed by the king of Candea (Kandy). The kinglets were, he of Dinavaca, Uva, Valave, Putelao (Puttalam), Mantota, Tanagama, Muliavali, Triquilimale (Trincomalee), cutiar (Kottiar), Batecalou (Batticaloa), Paneva (Panama), Vintena (Bintenna), Orupala, Mature (Matara), Candae(Kandy) and of the point of the North Jafanapatoa (Jaffna peninsula) which together with the kingdom of Cota makes 16 (De Queyroz I, p.101).

The following statement in his book confirms that the official language of Sri Lanka in 1560 was Singalese and not Tamil during handing over of Jaffnapatam to Portuguese. "These terms written in the Portuguese and Chingala languages were signed and authenticated." (Queyroz p.371). He further states about the Jaffnapatam that “It remained under the Portugezen sway for upwards of 40 years, wrested from the Emperor by Philippo d'Olivero when he defeated the Cingalezen forces near Achiavelli (Achuvely) by the great pagoda” Which is clear evidence that Jaffnapatam was captured by Portuguese from Sinhalese forces.

'An Historical Relation of Ceylon' by Robert Knox confirmed the authority of the Sinhalese King in Kottiar bay in the east of Sri Lanka where he says that he and his companions were taken into custody by men of Sinhalese King and not by men of Jaffna ruler.( pp.189-192).

This is what the inscription found in Medavala Rajamaha Vihara in Kandy district indicates about a treaty between the king, Vickramabahu III, and an Aryacakravarti named Martanda (Sin ai Ariyan) of Jaffna. In this inscription while Vikramabahu III is referred to there as "Cakravarti Swaminvahanse' (the Universal Lord), the Ariyacakravarti is referred to as ‘Perumalun vahanse’ only. This fact and the fact that it is dated not in the regnal year of Ariyacakravarti but in that of Vikramabahu III indicate that the dejure right of that king to the sovereignty over the whole island is recognised by Martanda Singai Ariyan by this treaty.

Jaffna Tamils also take advantage of the Thesavalami law (codified by the Dutch in 1707 to protect Mohammedans in Jaffna). The right of pre-emption among co-owners is derived from Muslim customary law personal to Mohammedans in India and unknown to Hindu customary law.
This is what written in the thesis by Dr Indrapalan, a Tamil professor of History in Jaffna University, submitted to the University of London in 1962 (Unpublished S.O. 15.1. 84) about Tamil invasion of Sinhalese area in the North, which they claim to be their homeland. This is very true and you can still see some of them.

“But monumental remains of a different type attest to the destruction wrought by the invaders and the conversion of Buddhist institutions into places of saiva (Tamil) worship, effected by the new settlers, thus confirming the statements in the Sinhala sources. The many scattered ruins of Buddhist monasteries and temples all over the vanni region preserve the memory of the Sinhalese Buddhist settlements that once covered these parts. Several of the pilimages (image houses) attached to the monasteries in places like Kovilkadu, Malikai, Omantai, Kanakarayan-kulam, Iracentiran-kulam, Cinnappuvaracankulam and Madukanda were converted into Saiva temples, often dedicated to Ganesa. Buddha images or inscribed slabs from the Buddhist structures were used to make the Ganesa statues”

“The gold plate from Vallipuram reveals that there were Buddhists in that part of the peninsula in the second century A.D. At the site of this inscription the foundations of a Buddhist vihara were uncovered. These foundations are in the premises of a modern Visnu temple. There is little doubt that the Visnu temple was the original Buddhist monument converted in to a Vaisnava establishment at a later date when Tamils settled in the area. Such conversion of Buddhist establishments into Saiva and Vaisnava temples seems to have been a common phenomenon in the peninsula after it was settled by Dravidians. In the premises of another Visnu temple at Moolai were discovered some ‘vestiges of ancient remains of walls’ and a broken sedent Buddha image. Again in a Saiva temple at mahiyapitti a Buddha image was found under a stone step in the temple tank. A lime-stone Buddha image and the remains of an ancient dagaba were unearthed at Nilavarai, in Navakiri. Among the debris were two sculptured fragments of shaped coral stones with a stone railing design. According to D.T. Devendra, who conducted the excavation at this site, the dagaba can be dated at least to the tenth century A.D. Near these ruins are the foundations of an ancient building and in the middle of these is a modern Siva temple. It has been conjectured, and rightly so, that the old foundations are those of the vihara attached to the ancient dagaba. Buddha images have also been discovered in Uduvil, Kantarodai and Jaffna town. Kantarodai has yielded very important Buddhist finds, which prove the existence of an important Buddhist establishment in the region in early times. Such artefacts as the glazed tiles and the circular discs discovered here have helped to connect the finds with those of Anuradhapura. Sinhala Nampota, dated in its present form to the fourteenth or fifteenth century, preserves the names of some of the places of Buddhist worship in the Jaffna peninsula. Kantarodai is mentioned among these places. The others are Nagakovila (Nakarkovil), Telipola (Tellippalai), Mallagama (Mallakam), Minuvangomu Viharaya (Vimankamam), Tannidivayina (Tana-tivu or Kayts), Nagadivayina (Nakativu or Nayinativu), Puvangudivayina (Punkutu-tivu) and Karadivayina (Karaitivu). Of the Buddhist establishments in these places only the vihara and Dagaba at Nakativu has survived to this day. It is justifiable to assume that the Nampota list dates back to a time when the Buddhist establishments of these places were well known centres of worship. This was probably before the thirteenth century, for after this date the people of the Jaffna peninsula were mainly Saivas. The foregoing evidence points to the inevitable conclusion that in the Anuradhapura period, and possibly till about the twelfth century, there were Buddhists in the Jaffna peninsula. Although it may appear reasonable to presume that these Buddhists were Sinhalese like those in other parts of the island, some have tried to argue that they were Tamils. While it is true that there were Tamil Buddhists in South India and Ceylon before the twelfth century and possibly even later, there is evidence to show that the Buddhists who occupied the Jaffna peninsula in the Anuradhapura period were Sinhalese. We refer to the toponymic evidence, which unmistakably points to the presence of Sinhala settlers in the peninsula before Tamils settled there. In an area of only about nine hundred square miles covered by this peninsula, there occur over a thousand Sinhalese place names, which have survived in a Tamil garb. (page 270)

This is what DR Indrapalan wrote about people who try to re-write history of Jaffna. “It may be recollected that several writers on the history of Jaffna, basing their studies on the traditional legends found in the late Tamil chronicles, have put forward certain theories claiming the establishment of Tamil settlements in Jaffna in the period of the Anuradhapura rulers. These theories are not accepted by serious students of history as they are not based on trustworthy data. Many of these have been convincingly dismissed by scholars in recent years. It is therefore, not our intention to analyse these theories and take serious notice of writings which at best could be described as popular.” (page 266)

Dr Indraplan further explains the word ILLAM as follows

"Presumably it rests on the fact that Ilam is now used only in Tamil as a name for Ceylon. But the origin of this name, far from indicating that the island was occupied by the Tamil speaking people in ancient times, shows that the people from whose name Ilam is derived were Singhalese."

Dr. S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar of the Madras University writing on 29.8.1926 the Foreword to ‘Ancient Jaffna’ by Mudaliyar C. Rasanayagam says: "The attempt of the author to derive the name Ilam does not appeal to us as quite successful; Ilam to us seems to be directly derived from the Pali word Sihala, which in Tamil would be Singalam or even Singanam, but a strict Tamilising would make it Ilam...."(Ancient Jaffna by Mudaliyar C Rasanayagam (Foreword p. v.)

Further, these extracts are from page 382 of a well-biased "Ancient Jaffna" by Mudaliyar C Rasanayagam (1926) to prove that we are a well mixed up nation may be distant relatives killing each other in this unwanted war. (Note: Sankili was a chieftain in Jaffna and I could not find any historical evidence, which indicates that he was a king. I shall be grateful to any historian who can show me where I can find an inscription or epigraph which indicates that he was a King therefore I will refer to him as a chieftain)

"After the massacre of the Christians, Sankili's insane fury longed for more victims and he fell upon the Buddhists of Jaffna who were all Sinhalese. He expelled them beyond the limits of the country and destroyed their numerous places of worship. Most of them betook themselves to the Vanni's and the Kandyan territories (as per Yalpana Vaipava Malai by Mailvagana Pulavar translated by C Brito.), and those who were unable to do so became the slaves of the Tamil chieftains and are now known as 'Kovia', a corruption of the Sinhalese word ' Goviya' or 'Goiya' and that their original status was equal to that of the Vellalas can be inferred from customs which are still in Vogue in Jaffna. The 'Tanakaras' and the 'Nalavas' of Jaffna should also be considered Sinhalese remnants in spite of the fanciful derivation of the word 'Nalava' given by the author of the Vaipava Malai. The Nalavas were perhaps originally the Sinhalese climbers and received the Tamil name on account of their peculiar way of climbing trees. They too became the slaves of the Tamil chieftains. The Tanakaras were the ancient elephant keepers and those who supplied the necessary fodder to the stables of the king. ( Sinhalese: Tana=grass). They perhaps on account of the service rendered by them were not expelled from the country and later became inseparably mixed with the Tamils among whom they had to remain.........the fact that the Kovias, Tanakaras and Nalavas were originally Sinhalese can be seen from the peculiar dress of their women who wear the inner end of their cloth over the shoulders in a manner quite strange to the genuine Tamils.”

When Robert Knox landed in Trincomalee his party was arrested by the King of Sri Lanka and not by the Ruler of Jaffna, when the Dutch landed in Batticaloa they were received by the King of Sri Lanka and not by the Ruler of Jaffna. When Muslims were chased out by Portuguese they were resettled by the King of Sri Lanka in Batticaloa and not by Ruler of Jaffna. Although there are treaties between Emperor of Sri Lanka with Dutch, Portuguese, and English, I would like any historian to tell me where I could find any such treaty with so called chieftain of Jaffna.

In spite of all this evidence, Tamils say that Sinhalese people are encroaching Tamil areas. But the truth is that Tamils have completely taken over Sinhalese Traditional Homeland. I do not think Sinhalese have a problem with that as long as Tamils do not tell lies about the history of Sri Lanka and allow peaceful co-existence without ethnic cleansing.

(PBS. Hemachandra, M. Com, Post Grad Dip in Bus, MCP, MACS, is a retired. Lt. Commander of Sri Lanka Navy)To Be Continued - Sri Lanka Guardian