Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese & Tamils: Historical Myths & Realities

Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese & Tamils: Historical Myths & Realities

By Thambu Kanagasabai –

APRIL 21, 2015

There is the popular but mistaken belief among Sri Lankans and elsewhere that “Mahavamsa”, a chronicle composed and written by Mahanama Thera in the sixth century is a record of the history of Ceylon. Anyone who reads Mahavamsa will find, besides various historical data, stories of miracles and supernatural happenings on various auspicious occasions, like instant earthquakes, floods, storms etc. However, discarding these fables, one will notice the author devoting nine chapters, (out of thirty-three chapters) on Dutugamini, the Naga Buddhist king who defeated the Tamil king Elara in Anuradhapura in BC 101. While concentrating on Buddha’s visits to Sri Lanka, it has to be pointed out that Mahavamsa’s author Mahanama Thera concluded each chapter by stating, “ that this chapter is compiled for the serene joy and emotion of the pious”.

This statement expresses his motive and purpose, that Mahavamsa was meant and intended for pious and religious Buddhist devotees and their pleasure, and not meant to record the history of Sri Lanka. However, Mahavamsa without doubt records the historical data regarding the kings who ruled Ceylon starting from Devanampiya Tissa’s rule in BC 247, who introduced Buddhism in Ceylon, until the rule of Dhatusema in 351 AD.

One of the most striking paintings at Kelaniya: Lord Buddha bringing peace to the warring Naga kings Chulodara and Mahodara

One of the most striking paintings at Kelaniya: Lord Buddha bringing peace to the warring Naga kings Chulodara and Mahodara

Prof. G.C. Mendis, a well-known history scholar’s statement is relevant here, (Early History of Ceylon in 1948.); “Mahavamsa records is mainly traditional history, and its statements have to be carefully examined before they are accepted as historical evidence.” Consequently, various examinations supported by archaeological investigations and undertaken by local Sinhalese and foreign researchers have revealed and dissected the truths and myths recorded in Mahavamsa.

One of the unauthenticated stories is the much-believed Vijaya and his 700 friends landing in Sri Lanka by boats from North India in BC 483. Mahavamsa records this event as happening on the day of Lord Buddha’s attainment of Nirvana in North India. Undoubtedly this statement was recorded to glorify Vijaya. The story of Vijaya has long been doubted by various scholars including G.C. Mendis, S.P.E. Senaratne, H.W. Codrington, Susantha Goonetilake in their historical publications. (The Vijaya legend, Pre-Historic Archaeology of Ceylon, A Short History of Ceylon, The Formation of Lankan Culture, Ancient Ceylon). It is mentioned that Vijaya’s grandparents were a wild lion and a Bengali queen who co-habited for sixteen years in a cave. This account is a piece of unconvincing imagination. There is also no account of Vijaya involving in Buddhist activities, and Vijaya even if this story is true was neither a Sinhalese nor a Buddhist, as Buddhism was introduced in Ceylon in BC 247 (not in BC 483), and the Sinhalese language grew to its full form in the 6th-7th centuries only.

Thus the story of Vijaya as the first settlers in Sri Lanka is nothing but a figment of imagination by the author. The absence of historical literature, records or writings regarding the history of Sri Lanka’s Tamils from BC 500 provided ample opportunities to Mahanama Thera and the previous monks to engage in recording eventful imaginary and mythical accounts in Mahavamsa, the sources of which are Jataka tales, Hindu Puranas and other epics like Ramayanam. It is to be noted that the history of Ceylon Tamils began to be researched and recorded only in the 1900s. Until this period, Mahavamsa and Vijaya were believed as true, and as sources of historical information for all Sri Lankans.

It is another piece of unauthenticated history which is woven around the lion grandfather, being the founder of the lion flag, and “Sihala” which got corrupted into “Sinhala” and then into “Sinhalese” as a race and language. Sinhalese race probably spoke Prakrit before the origin of the Sinhalese language in the 6th AD.

So who were the original inhabitants of Ceylon? They were the ‘Nagas’ or ‘Yakkas’ without any doubt and Ceylon was earlier called ‘Naga Land’ and ‘Naga Deep’. Lord Buddha according to Mahavamsa made his second visit to Sri Lanka in BC 528 to settle the dispute between two blood-related Naga kings, Mahodaran and Chodotharan ruling different territories in the North. Nagas also lived in India as the names Nagpore, Naga land, and Nagapattinam in India vouchsafe this fact. Likewise, in Sri Lanka, one will find the Naga names for places, temples, and men and women especially among Tamils (Nagar Kovil, Nagalingam etc). About the origin of Sri Lankan’s Tamils, history reveals that they lived in the north and northwestern parts of Ceylon more than 3000 years ago, as confirmed after the excavations of human remains, which were found in the buried urns in Anaicottai Manthai and Pomparippu.

They were similar to the ones found in Tamil Nadu. The Nagas living in all parts of Sri Lanka also ruled Sri Lanka as many names of kings, confirm their names ending with ‘Naga’.

With the introduction of Buddhism, which was widely practised in Tamil Nadu from the 1st century to the 6th century, Buddhism came to be followed by the Tamils in the northern parts of Sri Lanka. Contribution to Buddhism by Tamil monks from Tamil Nadu is noteworthy. The most prominent Tamil monks who propagated Buddhism were Buddhamithira AD 5, Bodhidharma AD 6, who even went to China to propagate Buddhism like Vajirabodhi in AD 7. The Tamil epics of Kundalakesi and Manimekalai were purely Buddhism oriented. The Kandarodai excavations in Jaffna and the Buddhist remains confirm the practice of Buddhism by the Tamils in Jaffna. However, Buddhism lost its hold in Tamil Nadu, and among Tamils in the north due to the Saiva Bakthi campaign of Saiva saints particularly the four Nayanmars who spearheaded the emergence of Saivaism to control the influence of Buddhism and Jainism, which propagated down to earth radical policies and practices even denying the ‘existence of God’.

Now, Mahavamsa’s account of Dutugemunu and how Dutugamini is now exploited by some politicians who conducted the wars against the LTTE deserves to be explained for the sake of truths. Dutugamini who defeated the Tamil king Elara in Anuradhapura in BC 101 is portrayed as a ‘Sinhalese hero’ who saved the Sinhala race and Sri Lanka from the Tamil invaders. This distorted version of racism has been inserted in the school textbooks and no wonder the seeds of communalism and racial hatred have been allowed to pollute the minds of students, readers and the public. The stark truth is Dutugamini was neither a Tamil nor a Sinhalese.

He was a true Naga Buddhist whose parents were Hindus and even Dutugamini is said to have gone to worship the Hindu deity ‘Murugan’ at Kataragama, before proceeding to battle Elara. His army commander was Velu Sumana, a Tamil and Dutugamini never killed civilian Tamils during his entire period of life as a king or youngster. He honoured the fallen Tamil king and was mourning the deaths of soldiers from both sides for some days until consoled by the Buddhist monks. There is no record or evidence as to the famous statement purported to have been made by him to his mother about the reasons for his sleep with bended knees, which was due to threats from Tamils on one side and the sea on the other side.

At the best, this was foisted or pasted to paint him as a Sinhalese hero and his battle as a communal one between the Tamil and Sinhalese Dutugamini. Like every king from the historical beginning, he nursed the ambition of ruling the entirety of Sri Lanka under his one and only throne. This could not be faulted with as the world’s history and even Sri Lanka’s history is replete with assassinations, coups, betrayals and killings aimed to capture power or remove political rivals.

About the rulers of Sri Lanka from BC 247 up to Portuguese conquest in AD 1505, there were five Tamil rulers before Dutugamini’s rule and fourteen rulers including eight Naga rulers after Dutugamini from BC 50 to AD 295 in Anuradhapura from AD 1240 until AD 1618 eighteen Arya Chakravarthis ruled in Jaffna barring a period of seventeen years (AD 1450-67), when Senbagaperumal adopted son of Parakiramabahu the Sixth, who built the Nallur temple, ruled Jaffna. This Jaffna kingdom extended up to Puttalam, as the notes of Ibn Batuta an Arab trader who visited Puttalam in AD 1344 confirm.

In the Eastern province, Batticaloa figured as the capital for many rulers exercising their powers. Records show about eighteen Tamil kings ruled from AD 20 to AD 1360, which included the Kalinga king Mahon also called Kulakottan from AD 1215-55. It is to be noted that Mahavamsa mentions the thirty-two Demela kings who were defeated by Dutugamini on his way to reach Anuradhapura. There is no denying the fact that during Dutugamini’s reign Tamil kings were ruling all the regions in Sri Lanka, except the Ruhunu south ruled by Dutugamini. Undoubtedly, the Tamils have been living from BC 500 in Sri Lanka, later swelled by immigrations from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The statements of renowned historian Paul E. Peiris are relevant in this respect. (Nagadipa and Buddhist remains in Jaffna 1917 JRA Journal No. 70 P 12-18)

“I suggest that the north of Ceylon was a flourishing settlement before Vijaya was born”. “ Long before the arrival of Vijaya, there were in Lanka five recognized Iswarams of Siva, which claimed and received the adoration of all India. These were Tiru Keteeswaram Munneswaram, Tondeswaram, Thirukoneswaram and Naguleswaram”.

Historical evidence proves the existence of Tamils in all directions of Ceylon who followed Saivaism before BC 500 and also the rules of Tamils all over Sri Lanka, except during Dutugamini’s rule, and until ended by Portuguese in AD 1620, who overpowered a valiant King Sangili.

The present communal conflict centres around the policy of liquidation of the ancient Tamils as a race with their language and traditions. Tamils who are now living mainly in the north, and eastern parts of Sri Lanka are facing the lethal weapons of militarizationSinhalisation and Buddhisisation, which were inaugurated by D.S. Senanayake in 1948. This has also resulted in the genocide of Tamils stretching from 1958 to 2009.

The Sinhalese fears of preserving the Sinhalese language and Buddhism from Tamils are illusory and unfounded as religion and language can be best preserved only by those who follow and practice them. Hinduism is the most tolerant religion in the world and when Periyar of Dravida Kalagam, an atheist started destroying statues of Vinayagar, he was not harmed and he lived up to 91 years, propagating anti-god policy.

The Tamils are now demanding only to live as equal citizens, managing their own lives, language and affairs in areas where they have lived for more than 2500 years, even though they were rulers of entire Ceylon at various historical periods. The fact is all Sri Lankans are Indians by origin until Sri Lanka got separated 7000 years ago and later all becoming Tamils and Sinhalese speaking Tamil and Sinhalese, and following Hinduism and Buddhism.

It is to be noted that the ancestors of two well-known families who changed the political history of Sri Lankans particularly the Tamils for the worse, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and JR Jayawardene migrated from Tamil Nadu in AD 15 and AD 17. Neela Perumal a Hindu priest appointed for Saman Temple in 1457 in Sri Lanka changed his name to Nayaka Pandaran and then to Bandaranaike.

JR Jayewardene’s family belonged to the Chettiar sect in Tamil Nadu, and their descendants later adopted the Sinhalese name Jayewardene. JR is the direct descendant of Don Adrian Wijesinghe Jayewardene, earlier called Thambi Mudaliar who died in 1830.

The above Hindus later became Christians during colonial rule and became Buddhists to grab political power in Sri Lanka.

It is apt to conclude this writing by quoting renowned Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese historians:

Prof S. Paranavitana’s comments on ‘Mahavamsa’ in his book ‘History of Ceylon VOL. 1, PART 1, 1959 P.83 confirm the evidential value of Mahavamsa as follows:

“These traditions have been handed down orally for nearly a millennium before they were recorded in chronicles’.

Prof G.C. Mendis (Problem of Ceylon history- Colombo lecture 1966)

“Many Dravidians who settled in Ceylon learnt Sinhalese language and became Sinhalese”.

Mudaliyar W.F. Goonewardene ( 1918 Colombo lecture on September 28)

“Sinhalese script is derived immediately from the Tamil to any reasonable mind. Sinhalese, which came from nowhere, had its origin in Ceylon and was built with Tamil as its framework. It must be said that Sinhalese is essentially a Dravidian language, child of Pali and Sanskrit, and daughter of Tamil with regard to its physical structure”. What the Tamils want is “ you live and leave us to live in our traditional homelands.”

Latest Comments

Spring Koha / April 22, 2015
Both Banda and JR were bright lads. Both families were quick to see the advantages of ‘assisting’ our colonial masters in their sacred calling to rule over us. ‘Junius Richard’ and ‘Solomon West Ridgeway’; doesn’t get much better in buttering up our governors. Both boys embraced Anglicanism and the fashions of the w o g until their own enlightenment that the way to get power was to get sucking up to the 75%; hence the conversion to Buddhism, and the adoption of the Arya-Sinhala.

Off the Cuff / April 25, 2015
Dear Mr Thambu Kanagasabai,

Two days have gone by without a response to my comment addressed to you of April 23, 2015 at 6:03 pm.
Is your inability to defend your article due to the Fraudulent statements it contained?

Kind Regards,

Pran / April 23, 2015
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Throughout the history of mankind, there were no good rulers. There will never be good/honest rulers. And their captains, armies and propagandists will justify their atrocities, and write the history the way they find befit. They never think of the common man, will only think amassing wealth for the wealthiest lords and kings.( to their robber-barons). Wars a profitable for the rich, kings, and the people of the bottom will always lose, they will be poor and be robbed of their basic wages, rights. But here we are divided along with race, religion and cast or whatnot. We will be busy fighting about who were the original settlers, who has more right to the land. And all the else and the real issues faced by the people will be(conveniently) forgotten, have no need to address people’s issues. These are diversions and distractions. Those days the kings and their ministers, (and nowadays politicians and their corrupt business classes) who profit from all these wars and conflicts will happily fill their vaults with money and emerge as winners financially and historically. Normally winners will write the history. In that sense, all accounts of history available today is biased towards whoever is writing it. This means no one will ever know what really happened unless you lived at that time.

Bootlicking lackeys of the Winners of wars will write history glorifying their masters’ actions, justify the mass killings and robbing the people’s money, assets and killing for it. It will go on and on forever, since people don’t understand the reality and forever fight divided for wrong reasons. Rulers/Politicians need these distractions so that they can rule such a huge population. Not long ago we saw in SL what happens when the Ruling clan(Rajapaksha and Sons Inc), amass wealth, how they robbed people, taxed them, wrote the history, how sycophants made movies, controlled what is printed in the media, TV stations(under a so-called democratic system), So what do you expect under an authoritarian rule.

In my opinion, we should not pick and chose what it right from what is written in these. In the absence of seeing it with our own eyes evidence everything else available in writing, and in the form of rocks, statues form has less validity. They are there because some rulers want them to be there. They are good to get a rough idea of history. Most educated Sinhalese won’t believe Mahavansa by letter to letter. For the argumentative sake if we MR and his Rajapakshe clan ruled 300 years ago. Imagine in a Ceylon where communication and technology are available, what we would be reading today. They understand that, and that is why they have all their sycophant, book writers write glorifying them. So no matter how hard anyone tried, history will always be an approximation not absolute. So we should not dwell in it and lose the bigger picture, that how do we make the people win instead of a smaller circle of ruling elites. We get a good example of this if we look at the protest by ministers at the parliament. Did they ever sit down when people were attacked, killed no- who were ready to go on hunger strike for their lost king and their perks. History blocks people from winning. If we want more for the people we should stop dwelling in the past, and move forward.

Rajash / April 23, 2015
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Mahavamsa is coming under more and more scrutiny by scholars from all over the world and is being exposed as fiction.

kali / April 23, 2015
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“The story of Vijaya has long been doubted by various scholars including G.C. Mendis, S.P.E. Senaratne, H.W. Codrington, Susantha Goonetilake in their historical publications. (The Vijaya legend, Pre-Historic Archaeology of Ceylon, A Short History of Ceylon, The Formation of Lankan Culture, Ancient Ceylon). It is mentioned that Vijaya’s grandparents were a wild lion and a Bengali queen who co-habited for sixteen years in a cave. This account is a piece of unconvincing imagination. There is also no account of Vijaya involving in Buddhist activities, and Vijaya even if this story is true was neither a Sinhalese nor a Buddhist, as Buddhism was introduced in Ceylon in BC 247 (not in BC 483), and the Sinhalese language grew to its full form in the 6th-7th centuries only”

*** Here is the proof for the Non-Believers.

Sinhabahu or (“Lion-arms”), was the son of a Vanga princess and a lion. He killed his father and became king of Vanga. His son Vijaya would emigrate to Lanka and become the progenitor of the Sinhala people.

Sripali Vaiamon / April 24, 2015
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There is a little bit of clarification to this valuable article that seems to be necessary. Rev.Caldwell made extensive clarifications on Dravidian and Tamil. Dravidians were prior to the advent of Aryans lived in Calibangan and Harrapa regions. They were master builders and experts on Irrigation. When Aryans defeated them they were pushed down to down South. Even now there are 21 Dravidian tribes in South India according to Encyclopedia of Brittanica
Sripali Vaiamon-Canada

Anpu / April 26, 2015
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“Dravidians were prior to the advent of Aryans lived in Calibangan and Harrapa regions. They were master builders and experts on Irrigation”

Dravidian brought that expertise to CEYLON.

Off the Cuff / April 26, 2015
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Dear Anpu,

Back to your propaganda?

Re “Dravidian brought that expertise to CEYLON”

Sinhalese constructed canals, channels, water-storage tanks, and reservoirs to provide an elaborate irrigation system to counter the risks posed by periodic drought. Such early attempts at engineering reveal the brilliant understanding these ancient people had of hydraulic principles and trigonometry. The discovery of the principle of the valve tower, or valve pit, for regulating the escape of water is credited to Sinhalese ingenuity more than 2,000 years ago. By the first century A.D, several large-scale irrigation works had been completed. (US country studies)

“It was the Yakkas again, now no more Tamils, who along with the South Indian settlers, constructed the large irrigation works, the tanks and the elas sponsored by such great kings as Mahasen and Parakrama Bahu the great. This engineering knowledge had not been lost and was available whenever required.

My point is that, if not for the Yakkas and the Tamils of South India, such great engineering works, attributed to the successive Sinhalese kings could never have been constructed at all, for it is clear from the facts already stated that Vijaya and his 700 followers did not possess this knowledge, nor did they import this knowledge for the first time from beyond the Gangetic valley in 483 BC! I might add here that the construction of an abnormally larger number of irrigation tanks, during the first five or six centuries of the present era (which fact is generally considered as the reason for attributing the science of irrigation to the Aryans), was due to the necessity to feed vast numbers of the Buddhist clergy, to whom, as I have told you, most of these tanks were donated by the Sinhalese kings and chieftains. It was clearly not due to the arrival of Vijaya, nor to any special new scientific knowledge brought by him and his retinue unknown to the Tamils, for, as I have already told you, the terminology used in irrigation alone betrays who the authors were.”

Off the Cuff / April 26, 2015
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Dear Anpu,

First of all the Sinhalese are not “Aryan”.

We have “EVOLVED” in Lanka from Indian and Lankan Parental Stock.

That Indian stock may include the South Indians and Bengalis according to one genetic study.

If as you say the DRAVIDIAN’S were experts in Irrigation and the Sinhalese owe their knowledge to them, please provide examples of that irrigation prowess which was used to transform ARID zones in the Dravidian Kingdoms that can match those that are found in Lanka.

And please don’t give links to Separatists Tamil Web sites as evidence. I have already seen how the Shameless Separatists mislead the Readers.

Write what you can defend.

Kind Regards,

“The Proto-Historic People of India and Srilanka. The pro-historic period is associated with the Dravidian-speaking people who participated in Megalithic culture, which was widely distributed south of the Vindya Mountains, in—————- India, by 1000 B.C. Archaeological excavation in South India reveals that these people utilized, among other things, iron implements to cultivate crops and hunt animals, highly polished black and red pottery to prepare their food and a tank-based irrigation system to raise crops. They also placed the remains of their dead in urns before burying them at a common site. Similarly, archaeological excavation, conducted at various sites in Sri Lanka, especially in Pompairippu and Tissamaharama, in the 1980s have also uncovered many of the various elements discovered in South Indian sites, including burial urns, pottery, iron, horses, cattle and rice cultivation, dated 400-250 B.C. Another archaeological study of the proto-historic cemetery in pompairippu, conducted in the 1980s revealed, that the humans at the sites were anatomically very distinct from Sri Lanka’s pre-historic humans, thereby suggesting that there was a large scale emigration of Dravidian –speaking Magalithic people to the Island from South India. It is believed that Dravidian –speaking people of Soth India had participated in Megalithic culture during the first millennium B.C. and that an earlier colony of these Dravidian-speaking people were responsible for the dispersal of the Megalithic culture in Srilanka by the 6th century B.C., perhaps even earlier. These Dravidian-speaking immigrants brought with them, the Tamil language, its ancient script, the vatteluttu.,and Hindusim to Island.”

Tamil Immigration and the Transfer of Agricultural Technology from South India. South Indians who immigrated to the island, since the Proto-historic from the generation of Tamils, who had perfected the art of cultivating rice in the river basin of the Cavery, Palar, and Vaigai, and in other areas of the coastal plain. They impounded rainwater in natural depressions by erecting low earth embankments; the dry lands were devoted to the cultivation of dry grains. This practice of impounding rainwater in tanks to irrigate crops. This practice of rice, was prevalent in South India in early historic times, as indicated in the Tholkappiam. Using the information contained in the Tholkappiam, Srinivasa Aiyangar states

The easy slope of the land in the margins of rivers thought the Vellalar, the rulers of the flood, and the method of conveying water to their fields. Beyond the trough of the river and lived in Karala, the rulers of the cloud, those who stored water in the tanks in the tanks and conveyed it to the fields through irrigation channel or lift water from wells and springs by water lifts and irrigated the fields they cultivated. Thus were the arts of agriculture develop to such perfection in the early days that modern science can add but little to the wisdom of the South Indian farmer.

This ancient tradition of cultivating rice and other crops with the aid of irrigation was inevitably transferred to the island by Tamil immigrants. “ by Prof C Manogaran

Off the Cuff / April 26, 2015
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Dear Anpu,

Are you going to answer the questions that I will ask using Prof C Manogaran article?

Or will you run away as usual?

Anpu / April 26, 2015
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Terms Used in Irrigation

From place names let me proceed to examine other matters, more particularly the terms used in irrigation. An attempt has been made in some quarters to bolster up the theory that the science of irrigation was unknown to the inhabitants of Ceylon in pre-Vijayan times and that the science itself was an ‘Aryan’ product and brought to Ceylon by the Aryans. But if you examine the meaning and derivations of most of the terms associated with the irrigation works of the island, I doubt whether this theory could be maintained.

First of all look at the following list of words: Anai, Kaddu, Anaikaddu, Marichukaddu,

Kadavai, Karai, Munai, Thekkam, Kulama. These are all clearly Tamil words.

•Anai, is support.
•Kaddu, is a construction.
•Anaikaddu, is a supporting embankment (The English word ‘anicut’ is this simple Tamil word.)
•Marichukaddu, is a dam thrown across a river and is slightly different from anaikaddu, which is presumably on a side of a river or constructed to strengthen an existing dam. The Tamil verb ‘mari’ means to prevent or hinder, its past participle is ‘mariththu’, colloquially ‘marichu’. Anai is also found as a suffix at the end of several words. E.g: Habarana.
•Kadavai, is a word or a place where you cross over from one side to the other, as in Thammankadavai or Iluppaikkadavai. This word is derived from the Tamil verb ‘kada’ – to cross.
•Karai, is the edge of a tank or river or canal and is found in Elahera (Eelakarai) or Kaddukara (Kaddukarai).
•Munai or Mune, as the Sinhalese call it is a point, the end or beginning of anything as in Hattamune.
•Thekkam, is a place where a large quantity of water is allowed to accumulate, something in the nature of a reservoir; literally, it means being full or rising to the brim.
•Kulam, or Kulama as the Sinhalese call it, means a tank or pond or lake.

Now look at a further list of words that may superficially appear to be non-Tamil words;

Ela, yodiela, kalingula, potawa, potawana, wakkada, bema, amuna, biskotuwa, sorowa.

•Ela is the Tamil, Ali, which means a ridge or mound of earth dividing fields, or an artificial embankment for confining water. The word Ela also means a ridge along which water flows.
•Yodi-Ela is a canal of higher elevation which serves as a feeder to a reservoir. It corresponds to the Tamil ‘Uyantha Ali’ (high).
•Kalingula, is a contrivance built into the spill for raising the spill level of a tank. In Tamil, Kalingul, is the name for a sluice.
•Potawa, is collection of water from a bank of an ela, retained by a bund for use after it has passed over the upper fields. The Tamil paravai, refers to a flat expanse of water.
•Pitawana, is a channel by which surplus water is discharged from a tank. The meaning can be rendered by the Tamil words ‘piravali’, i becoming n, pira meaning outside and vali (verb), meaning overflow and vazhi (noun), a way.
•Wakkada, is a gap or cut made in the bund for letting water into the fields. This closely resembles the Tamil word vaikkal, a water-course.
•Bemma, is a bund or earthen dam closing the outlet of the valley in which the water of a tank is retained. This is similar to the Tamil word, varambu, with the elision of the consonant r.
•Amuna, is a temporary dam for stopping or diverting the water streams for purposes of irrigation. This may mean simply man, or colloquially mannu, earth heaped across a stream.
•Biskotuwa, is a square shaft or well sunk through the bund of a tank to reach the bottom of a sluice. Though the sluice could be reached from the outside the construction of a Biskotuwa is intended to admit light to the sluice and also as an aid to put a supplementary gate to the sluice whenever the sluice gate needs repair. A Biskotuwa in Tamil would mean Pulai Kudaivu. Pulai, means a hollow tube or a sally port or a secret way and Kudaivu, is scooping out, as a well. (The consonant l, in Tamil sounds Zh.
•Sorowa, or Horowwa as it is sometimes spelt, is the sluice of a tank under an embankment to conduct the water to the channels. This is the Tamil ‘Sorivai’, an opening through which water is made to flow out; sorithal is pouring forth or streaming forth or flowing out, and vay is a mouth or an opening.

Mind you, I have culled out all the above words, together with their definitions, from the Ancient Irrigation Works, by R.L.Brohier. At least they reveal one fact, viz, that they are ultimately Tamil derivatives. My presumption, therefore, is that those, who built tanks and constructed large irrigation works in the past, possessed all the knowledge necessary for the purpose and were Tamil-speaking people and not the so-called Aryans from North India.

This is the title of the article – Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese & Tamils: Historical Myths & Realities

From Authoritative Sources as acknowledged in the text.
Not from a DUBIOUS, LYING, RACIST website like you do.

You were not asked to produce a Sinhala Tamil Dictionary. This is what I wrote.

If as you say the DRAVIDIAN’S were experts in Irrigation and the Sinhalese owe their knowledge to them, please provide examples of that irrigation prowess which was used to transform ARID zones in the Dravidian Kingdoms, that can match those that are found in Lanka

You were requested to provide proof of that engineering prowess that you claimed to exist by providing examples.

You have been going Berserk without answering the question.
The reason is obvious.

There is None

Providing proof is not as easy as mislabeling old maps showing Dutch controlled Territory as Tamil controlled Territory!

Kind Regards,


That you are an IGNORAMUS on Hydraulic Engineering is patently clear to the readers who have such knowledge. You are making a fool of yourself Anpu.

Anpu / April 28, 2015
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“…My presumption, therefore, is that those, who built tanks and constructed large irrigation works in the past, possessed all the knowledge necessary for the purpose and were Tamil-speaking people”

Please before writing and abusing me READ the information on the above link.

Anpu / April 28, 2015
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The earliest traces of civilization in the Indian subcontinent are to be found in places along, or close, to the Indus river. Excavations first conducted in 1921-22, in the ancient cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro, both now in Pakistan, pointed to a highly complex civilization that first developed some 4,500-5,000 years ago, and subsequent archaeological and historical research has now furnished us with a more detailed picture of the Indus Valley Civilization and its inhabitants. The Indus Valley people were most likely Dravidians, who may have been pushed down into south India when the Aryans, with their more advanced military technology, commenced their migrations to India around 2,000 BCE. Though the Indus Valley script remains undeciphered down to the present day, the numerous seals discovered during the excavations, as well as statuary and pottery, not to mention the ruins of numerous Indus Valley cities, have enabled scholars to construct a reasonably plausible account of the Indus Valley Civilization. “

Off the Cuff / April 28, 2015
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Dear Anpu,

I have no intention of abusing you but I will not allow anyone to make DUBIOUS UNSUPPORTED claims and get away unchallenged, doing that.

  1. You posted that Robert Marsdon’s map to prove a Tamil country in Eastern Lanka. If that was not the reason please tell the CT readership why you posted that map.
  2. Then you claimed that the TECHNOLOGY of Lanka’s historical irrigation works, which the world recognizes as Sinhalese heritage, was really Dravidian. Yet so far you have failed to show a SINGLE instance of such antiquity and such magnitude anywhere in Dravida Territory in the world.

You can’t find it because there is NOTHING that rivals it, ANYWHERE in the world, by ANY civilisation, of such magnitude and such antiquity.

Then you copy-pasted these “Letters of a Tamil father to his son” which goes on and on about an Aryan Heritage of the Sinhalese. All of which is Stone Age arguments from a Tamil racist, who has not even heard of the science of Genetics.

What those letters say about irrigation engineering exposes the IGNORANCE on the subject, the Racist author of these letters, try to Pontificate on.

The article writer Thambu Kanagasabai has tried in vain to establish a Historical Tamil Homeland in the East of Lanka and has failed miserably. Even his attempt at laying claim to the current Northern Province has failed.

Historically, only a part of the Northern Province had a Tamil kingdom for about 400 years.

The ONLY native rule of Sri Lanka’s East was by the Sinhalese.

Kind Regards,

Prem / April 25, 2015
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Want to Nagapattinam history

Siva Sankaran Sarma / May 2, 2015
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As usual, the We Thamizh homeland propaganda has been debunked and its proponents thoroughly humiliated. But I’m sure We Thamizh in keeping with our modus operandi will flee to other pages and repeat the same rubbish as if none of this ever happened 😀

Ken Robert / June 25, 2015
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Sivasankari Sharma
You should attend Tamil classes and learn allegory. It will be helpful to understand Sinhala and useful to find a subsistence from off licence shops.

Ed / July 26, 2015
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He is not the real Siva Sankaran Sarma. The real Siva Sankaran Sarma lives in Australia and used to post in the Sri Lankan forum. The Sinhalese and Muslims hated him. He enlightened many of us on the real history of Sri Lanka and his posts were avidly read by many including Indians and Australians.
The Sri Lankan forum is now defunct and Siva Sankaran has stopped posting. However, have noticed of late many Sinhalese extremists/racists using Siva Sankaran Sarma’s name to post their anti-Tamil hate and lies

KR.Sankararaman / August 12, 2016
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Dear Mr Kanakasabai,

I Need Historical details of Raja Kanakasabai in the year 1890 – 1900

About editor 3016 Articles
Writer and Journalist living in Canada since 1987. Tamil activist.

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