Rewriting History to establish the notion that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country
The writer is rewriting history to establish the notion that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country. Even today the country is called Sri Lanka which is a Sanskrit word and not Sinhalese. The Sinhalese language came into existence around the 8th century AD to give an identity to those who professed Buddhism.
According to Dr Paul E. Perris when Vijaya landed in Ceylon there were five Eelworms – Thiruketheeswaram and Muneshwaram Temples in the West, Thondeshwaram in the South, Koneshwaram in the East and Naguleshwaram in the North. Thondeswaram is now a Vishnu temple If Vijaya is a Sinhalese then there should be Sinhalese in Bengal/Gujarati. There are none.
Vijaya’s story is a myth. Even it is true he is not a Sinhalese. He never spoke Sinhalese. Being a Bengali he must have spoken Bengali. When the legendary Vijaya died without an issue, one Brahmin by the name Upatissa ruled the kingdom for one year till Pandukhabaya came down and ascended the throne.
The Nagas were the dominant group until the 8th century. Their name Ila Nagan, Sri Nagan, Kora Nagan says it all. In fact, Devanampiya Tissa was a Naga king. Duttu Gemenu is a descendant of Devanampiya Tissa’s brother Mahanama who migrated to Ruhuna after a plot to kill him. The war between Duttu Gemenu and Ellalan is not a war between Tamils and Sinhalese. It was a war between Tamil Hindus and Naga Buddhists.
The Sinhalese population increased through a process of assimilation of Tamils who were brought to Ceylon by the Portuguese/Dutch. The Karava, Salagama, Durawa, Demelagattara, Berava, Parava castes were one time Tamils. The Negombo/Puttalam Catholics were brought from Tamil Nadu and settled down by Portuguese for security reasons. A Bishop by the name Edmund Peiries changed the medium of education in Catholic schools from Tamil to Sinhalese. In a few years, the newer generations commenced speaking in Sinhalese and now they call themselves Sinhalese. The Colombo Chetties who were Catholics in course of time got assimilated into Sinhalese.
Mahavamsa says Tamils occupied land north of Mahaveli Ganga (Maha Ganga). Duttu Gemenu, a Naga prince, has to defeat 32 Tamil sub-kings from Mahiyangana up to Anuradhapura. It took 6 months to defeat Ellara.
Many of your so-called Govigama (the word Govi is derived from the Tamil word Koi and gama (farm). Sinhalese are of Tamil/Naga origin. 90% of the Kandyan Radala and upper castes are of Tamil origin. Govi names Muadali from Mudaliar, Pilli from Pillai, Hetti from Chetti. Arachchi from Arachhi, Kone from Konar or Kone. Sekera from Sekeran, Tunga from Tungan, Banda/Bandara from Pandaram/Pandarams. The list goes on.
The Sinhalese Berawa caste is parallel to Tamil Paraiyar. The Paraiyar beat the Parai and Berewa beat the Bera derived from Parai. There is a sub-caste amongst the Govigamma called the Demala Gathara, who are descended from medieval Tamil soldiers and mercenaries imported from South India. Despite now being ethnically Sinhalese and Buddhist, unlike the Karawa, Salagama Durawa and others they openly proclaim their Tamil origin. This is the reason the Sinhalese share a very high percentage of DNA with Indian Tamils, as most of them are descended from South Indian immigrants. The Sri Lankan Tamils are not, Therefore they only share a 17% DNA with Indian Tamils.
Coming nearer home the Sinhala elites like J.R. Jayewardene (grandson of Tamil Thambi Mudaliyar) and S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike (a direct decedent of Nilaperumal, a Tamil from South India who arrived in Ceylon in the early sixteenth century) are included. If you analyse the ancestry of the Senanayakes, they are of South Indian. What about the Radala Rattwatte who signed the Kandyan convention in pure Tamil?
A good percentage of Sinhalese descended from largely Indian Tamil low caste/ untouchables like Pallar, Paraiyar, Nadar, Nalavar etc. Now they are claiming they are authentic Sinhalese. The Sinhalese language is a mixture of the native Hela, Tamil, Pali and Sanskrit. of Buddhism. Only the Tamil and Hela element are indigenous, the rest from North India.
Now the Sinhalese zealots are deliberately introducing lots of Sanskrit words into the language to prove it is Indo Aryan. But everything about Sinhalese, its alphabet, grammar, sentence structure or syntax and lexicon is Tamil. They dress like Tamil, eat Tamil food, worship Tamil gods and celebrate the Tamil New Year. Dancing and traditional music are from South India. racist Buddhist monks created a myth, that the name originated, as the Sinhalese are all the progeny of a lion and a woman who was raped by this lion in some jungle in NE India. Even their lion flag is the flag of the Tamil speaking Hindu Naicker kings who originated from Madurai and Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu.