“Will Tamil Kudumbimalai be Turned into Sinhala Thoppigala Soon”?

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

It is a rocky mountain with a stony peak and a kind of mini – peak on top! Such an appearance from afar lends itself to differently imagined perceptions.

To the English authorities it looked like aristocratic head gear. So it was Baron’s cap; to the Tamils it was like a tuft of bound hair on one’s head. So it was Kudumbimalai; to the Muslims it was like a hat on one’s head. So they called it Thoppikkal; the Sinhalese also perceived it like the Muslims. So they called it Thoppigala.

I saw it for the first time in 1977 when I was travelling in a vehicle with the late Sam Thambimuthu along a dirt track to Vadamunai.. Sam was a leading lawyer and stalwart of the Federal party and later the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF)in B’caloa. Sam was legal secretary of the TULF then He was married to Kala, daughter of former FP senator Manickam. Sam was later to become EPRLF Parliamentarian for Batticaloa in 1989. Both he and his wife were killed by the LTTE in 1990 as they came out of the Canadian High Commission in Colombo.

A large number of Plantation Tamils had moved to the East after being uprooted from the Up – Country by land reform and communal violence. Various Batticaloa organizations were running rehabilitation and re- settlement reports. I was working as the “Virakesari” staff correspondent for B’caloa then. I used to accompany people like Sam Thambimuthu or Dr. Rajan Chellaiah on trips to these projects in places like Panichankerny, Aayithiyamalai, Karadiyanaaru. Marappaalam, Periyapullumalai etc. It was on such a trip that I saw Baron’s cap.

[Kudumbimalai /Thoppigala – Barons Cap: Pic: Daily News.lk]

The region surrounding Kudumbimalai/Thoppigala was populated sparsely. There were Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese. There were age old settlements called puranagama or puranakamam there. Most of them were centered around natural lakes called “villus”.

These are depressions in the land filled by rain water. Some of the ancient villages were Kallichenai, Oothuchenai, Meerandavillu,Keeraniavillu, Kathavanai, Maha – Eliya etc. I think Kallichenai , Oothuchenai and Meerandavillu were Muslim villages while Maha – Eliya was Sinhala. The others were Tamil.

The different communities were living in great harmony. There was much inter – marriage between Sinhala and Tamil communities. Both communities spoke each others language to some extent.Some Tamil and Sinhalese women married Muslims and converted to Islam but would wear their traditional clothes and jewellery and also maintain links with their kith and kin. Many of the farmers belonged to the dying breed of chena cultivators.

There was a lot of dairy farming in the region. Large herds of cattle would graze in the plains and grassy highlands. They were owned by absentee livestock owners both Muslims and Tamils. Their henchmen lived in the area as eastern “cowboys”.

The Vadamunai scheme was comparatively new. It was first started for Tamils driven away from the Gal Oya Valley in 1956 and 1958. Later Plantation Tamils uprooted in the seventies during Hector Kobbekaduwe’s land reform also came here. In 1977 more Plantation Tamils affected by the August violence were settled here. My trip to Vadamunai with Sam was to see such a settlement coordinated by a dedicated B’caloa youth called “Bobby”.

All these memories are revived as the area is now in the news. Sadly the mountain and region is not having publicity due to its natural diversity or ethnic harmony but because of its so – called strategic importance in military terms. Even as the ethnic escalation escalated this little – known area in the remote Eastern province has acquired an importance exceeding that of its actual relevance.

The Britiish being our colonial masters then the mountain was officially Baron’s Cap even after Independence. Official records would refer to it as Baron’s cap and some as “gap”. But to the people of the area it was Thoppigala, Kudumbimalai or Thoppikkal. There was a large forest around the mountain that was officially declared as a forest reserve. I think the total area was around 350 – 400 sq Kilometres. Almost adjoining it was the Undugala forest reserve.

These areas are called the Kudumbimalai /Thoppigala region. The region was roughly a triangle with Vadamunai, Barons cap and Tharavaikulam being the three outlying points. To the West is the Maduru – Oya basin catchment area;To the South and East is the Maha – Oya – Chenkalladdy road; to the North is the Polonnaruwa road; Further to the North west is Vaahaneri tank.

The Vadamunai – Kudumbimalai – Tharavai region evolved in recent years as a stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). This happened in the late eighties and nineties when Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan alias “Col” Karuna was Eastern regional commander of the LTTE.

Among structures set up here was “Meenagam” the military headquarters base’ The political headquarters “Thenagam” was in Karadiyanaaru. Tharavai was the cemetery for tigers fallen in the battlefield. They are known as “Maaveerar thuyilum illam” or “abode of rest for great heroes”..

The region’s remoteness made it virtually inaccessible. With its forests, fields,plains, waterholes, hills and rocks the region provided much cover. Though a number of structures were set up here the LTTE has at no time in the past under Karuna adopted positional warfare to retain territory. During Karuna’s time the tigers always melted away into the forests if and when the security forces invaded. This was the situation when the Indian army entered the region too.

The guerillas never fought back like a conventional army to retain the region under Karuna. They simply fled and returned after the enemy went away. Neither the Indian nor Sri Lankan army remained for long in the region. They did not set up permanent bases but returned to nearby positions.

Interestingly Karuna did not try to hold on to this region even when the split occurred in the LTTE. Everyone expected Karuna to fall back to Kudumbimalai and fight a last ditch stand after the defeats in Verugal – Kathiraveli – Vaakarai at the hands of the mainstream LTTE in April 2004. But he did not.

Even more interesting was the fact that the mainstream LTTE too did not try to maintain a large, permanent presence in the region after the Karuna revolt. For reasons best known to them the tigers shut down the “Meenagam” base and dismantled structures.

Some of the construction material and furniture were given to Tamil peasant families as charity. The LTTE also stopped burials at Tharavai and began using Thandiaddy near Kokkaticholai as their burial grounds. All this shows that the LTTE had been gradually downsizing their reliance on the region.

It was in recent times that the LTTE began to utilise the region more. Once the LTTE began withdrawing from Trincomalee South and then Vaakarai region and then the Paduvaankarai region the bulk of the cadres began re- locating to the Northern mainland of the Wanni. The remaining cadres began moving into the Vadamunai – Kudumbimalai – Tharavai region. There were reasons for this.

One was that recent developments had revived the importance of the “Beirut trail” again. The “Beirut trail” is a loose term refering to adhoc jungle routes followed by cadres travelling to and from the North.

Let it be remembered that there was a time when the LTTE did not control extensive swathes of territory. The LTTE also did not have a well – developed sea tigers wing in the not so distant past.

It was not possible for tiger boats to ferry eastern tigers to the north and vice versa easily. So much of the North – East movement was on foot.

The tigrs used to travel through jungle routes. The journey commenced from the Kudumbimalai jungles to Vaahaneri. Travelling northwards the Veruhal river was crossed. Then they moved through jungles near Kiliveddy, Maavilaaru, Serunuwara, Kinniya , Kadavanaikulam, etc into the Manalaaru /Weli ya region and further towards North. It was an ardous and difficult journey but the tigers used the “Beirut trail” frequently.

As time progressed and the LTTE acquired much sea power and also expanded territorial control the Bbeirut trail” went out of mode. Tigers would get into boats at Vaakarai or Paalsenai or Verugal or Ilakkanthai and land at Mullaitheevu via the sea. Likewise tigers from the North would travel to east also by sea.

But in recent times the LTTE has lost control of the Eastern coast right down to Panichankerny in Batticaloa from Sampoor in Trincomalee. With sea movement becoming restricted the land route of “Beirut trail” was re – activated again. This enhanced the importance of the Kudumbimalai region.

Another reason for the region’s recent importance was the fact that it offers the best possible “cover” for classic gueriila warfare. The Vadamunai – Kudumbimalai – Tharavai region provides natural cover to a great extent. It is possible for small groups of guerillas to move about in the region and conduct occasional forays.

It appears that the LTTE is now transforming itself in the East from positional warfare to gueriila tactics. The LTTE sent its last major batch of guerillas fom the East to North some weeks ago. More than 300 cadres went back with Col. Ramesh.The LTTE also managed to transport most of its military assets too .

Still more than 200 cadres are still left in the region.Ram, Nagesh, Pallavan, Keerthi, Mano master etc are all in the region with small groups of gueriilas. All of them are eastern sons of the soil.

Col. Jeyam a northerner is also in the region. He commands an elite group of special commandos.

The LTTE has also sent most of its new recruits and conscripts back. Married cadres have also been sent back. Most of the women cadrs have gone to the Wanni.

[A Tamil Tiger fighter at a training camp in an undisclosed location deep in Tiger controlled territory, northeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, July 13, 2007. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe) Yahoo! News]

Reports indicate that the LTTE did not resist military advances fiercely in recent times. They allowed the army to advance and then launched counter attacks. After some time the LTTE suddenly withdrew to positions west of Baron’s cap. Thus the field was clear for the security forces to move forward and raise the flag of conquest.

What is important to note is that the region is not bereft of tigers. Another point is that the LTTE has managed to withdraw in large numbers using the virtually extinct “Beirut trail”. Furthermore the territory is extremely porous and cannot be sealed off. So future exfiltration and infiltration of LTTE cadres cannot be prevented.

Against this backdrop the region does not require a strong, permanent military presence to control it. Such control is not possible. The cost – effective method is to “dominate” the region by conducting frequent patrols, search operations and limited ground offensives.

This is why the Indian Army never established a permanent presence. This is why generals like Lucky Algama or Janaka Perera also refrained from doing so while in the East.

Despite Janaka Perera’s “controversial” record in certain spheres there is no denying that he was the most “intellectual” of Sri Lanka’s top soldiers. As for Algama he proved himself by clearing the East successfully in mid – nineties to conduct safe polls.

It is in this context that the strategic importance of the Kudumbimalai/Thoppigala region is being questioned publicly. Retired Indian general Ashok Metha did so. Military intelligence (retd) Chief Col .Hariharan has done so. Several UNP leaders have done so. All of them are being severely criticised by Govt circles.

The Indian army is being ridiculed as being incapable of capturing Kudumbimalai whereas the Sri Lankan forces are capable. Schoolchildren are being “educated” that the battle for “Thoppigala” was the mother of all battles and the victory at Thoppigala is the single greatest achievement of the armed forces after Dutu Gemunu.

Speaking of Dutu Gemunu his armies marched through this region to engage Elara at Anuradhapura. Several Tamil feudal chiefs from the East joined Dutu Gemunu’s army with their men. Though the “Ellaalan – Thuttakaimunu” battle is depicted as a battle between Sinhala and Tamil races it was not so in actuality.

It was more a power struggle between a young Sinhala Prince and an old Tamil monarch. The armies of both had members from both ethnic groups. History is being repeated now as the eastern Tamil warlords like Karuna, Pillaiyan, Iniyabharaty and Mangalan master etc team up with a Sinhala President to defeat LTTE’s Tamil national leader.

The current victory in Kudumbimalai./ Thoppigala is not to be underestimated. It cannot be pooh – poohed as insignificant. At the same time it cannot be overblown , disproportionately as a great victory either. Also the strategic importance of the region cannot be exaggerated out of proportion simply to project an impression that a magnificient victory has been achieved.

[President Mahinda Rajapakse]

The plans afoot to have a big”tamasha” to celebrate the victory is done with ulterior political motives. An undisguised attempt is being made to create a larger than life, latter day “Dutu Gemunu” image for Mahendra Percival Rajapakse. To what extent these cheap manouevres would succeed remains to be seen. Also one effective counter strike by the LTTE could deflate this overblown “gas” balloon.

There could however be a hidden agenda in the Rajapakse regime’s unseemly interest in consolidating a greater hold on the Kudumbimalai/Thoppigala region. If it was merely from a military angle then a permanent presence is unnecessary. But there could be other reasons.

One pecuniary reason could be the vast timber resources available. It is very possible to chop trees and transport timber from the region using the security force apparatus. Even suggesting such a thing would have been treated as blasphemy in the old days. It’s not so nowadays.

In a land where top security people are “suspected” of running an abduction for ransom racket these things are feasible. Anything is possible in a Country where money was allegedly paid to one’s chief enemy to ensure electoral victory.

The other motive could be dangerously counter – productive in political terms. It has been a fervent dream of certain Sinhala chauvinists to colonise Tamil and Muslim areas with Sinhala settlers. This dream is now becoming a reality under the Rajapakse regime. Recent events in Tribcomalee and Pottuvil denote this growing trend.

Given recent history it is quite probable that a permanent. strong military presence is being set up to facilitate Sinhala colonisation of the Kudumbimalai region. The possibility is not far – fetched in view of what happened more than 20 years ago.

It was in 1983 that the Ven. Kithalagama Seelankara Thero (Dimbulagala thero) organized an illegal, “Colonisation” attempt in the region. The controversial Bikku was implementing a plan devised by people like Gamini Dissanayake, NGP Panditharatne and Herman Malinga Gunaratne.

Around 40,000 Sinhala settlers were taken in Mahaveli Authority vehicles and dropped in the Vadamunai- Kudumbimalai – Tharavaikulam jungles. Finances were provided by the Mahaweli development ministry and Sinhala businessmen.

Armed security was provided by ex – navy personnel. Most of them had been “fired” from the navy for engaging in communal violence against innocent Tamils in Trincomalee during July 1983.

In fairness to President JR Jayewardene he was in the dark about this sordid exercise. When an international outcry led by India and Canada ensued a beleaguered Jayewardene was frantic.

Besides the gentle Tamil Minister KW Devanayagam was uncharacteristically tough on this issue and pressured JR strongly.. The “occupied” lands came under Kalkudah his electorate.

When questioned Dissanayake underplayed the issue saying only around 5,000 settlers had converged on their own volition. Jayewardene sent his trusted nephew Ranil Wickremasinghe by helicopter to ascertain the truth.

Ranil reported back truthfully that 40,000 persons aided by Mahaweli personnel were squatting illegally. This led to a major showdown in cabinet between Wickremasinghe and Dissanayake.

Both Panditaratne and Dissanayake declined to dismantle the project. So JR appointed Kaduwela MP and lawyer Paul Perera as Polonnaruwa district minister and deputed him to handle the issue.

Perera with the assistance of some ex – army officers adopted “unofficial” rough tactics to drive away the illegal squatters. Thus ended that drama.

But now those plans could be revived. What was an adhoc, unofficial attempt then could become a well – planned official exercise under the Rajapakse regime.

The new “Naginahira Navodhaya” scheme for Eastern resurgence could have a few such projects on the agenda. For successful settlement a strong military presemce is essential.

A similiar exercise as done in the Manal aaru/Weli – Oya region could be undertaken in the Kudumbimalai – Thoppigala region.

When the battle for Sampoor commenced this columnist warned of plans to set up a High security zone in Sampoor and Moothoor East. I predicted that the dispersed people would not be allowed to go back to their residences. This has now become a harsh reality.

Likewise the Rajapakse regime could go ahead with such plans for Kudumbimalai unless checked now. If no action is taken by interested parties despite advanced watnings then a re – play of Sampoor is very likely.

If that happens the region South of Trincomalee district could become a “buffer” as in the case of the region north of the same district. Lands in Mullaitheevu, Vavuniya and Trincomalee districts were appropriated and a new region created to interdict Northern and Eastern territorial contiguity. The Tamil inhabitants were driven away in a flagrant exercise of ethnic cleansing.

There “Tamil” Manal aaru became “Sinhala” Weli – Oya. Here”Tamil” Kudumbimalai could become “Sinhala” Thoppigala. The signs are already there. The media are full of references to “Thoppigala”only. The Tamil name “Kudumbimalai” is nowhere to be seen!

DBS Jeyaraj can be contacted on: djeyaraj@federalidea.com

70 Comments »

  1. Sellam in UK said,

    July 17, 2007 @ 2:51 pm

    Dear Mr.Jeyaraj,

    I have read many of your articles.

    In your introduction about the Baron’s cap/Thoppigala/Kudumbimalai, people of all three races have lived in peace and harmony and there were intermarriages among them.

    Then your title ‘Will Tamil Kudumbimalai be truned into Sinhala Thoppigala soon’ is being turned into a racial division.

    Why?

    Don’t you think it is silly?

  2. siri said,

    July 18, 2007 @ 12:36 am

    DBS may loose his credentials sometimes by trying to uphold just the tamils’ cause by showing his love for it.

    However, the fact that the tamils are the weaker party in lanka (as the minority), thus need to be looked after than the sinhalas, in this unbalanced equation, may help him to justify his approach. (hopefully not just because tamil is his own race)

  3. Suntheram Kanapathy said,

    July 18, 2007 @ 1:02 am

    In the war, the loosers have toaccept the terms/conditions of the winners. LTTE, who claims to be the sole-representatives of Tamils, lost the war. So the winners, can make it a Sinhala land, if they choose to. Whats the cry for? If the SL Forces capture Vanni, then that area should be turned into Vannigama too.

  4. suthan said,

    July 18, 2007 @ 7:05 am

    Hai DBS Jeyaraj sir. best artical
    **********************************
    Kudumbimalai ok
    Thoppikal Ok
    but
    Thopikala ?

  5. Dylan said,

    July 18, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

    Six months ago Sri Lanka Military leader said ‘only 300 LTTE left in thopigala we will defeat LTTE in 2 weeks’ now They have reached kudimpimalai. The truth here is 20,000 SL Full equiped ARMY and Air force in the east defeat only 300 LTTE for the six months period.

    Please note the point without tamils support any body cant hold these noth and east region.

    GIVE 30% TAKE 70 %

  6. KM said,

    July 18, 2007 @ 11:23 pm

    To the English authorities it looked like aristocratic head gear. So it was Baron’s cap; to the Tamils it was like a tuft of bound hair on one’s head. So it was Kudumbimalai; to the Muslims it was like a hat on one’s head. So they called it Thoppikkal; the Sinhalese also perceived it like the Muslims. So they called it Thoppigala

    check above statement?
    Muslims called Toppikal. because of that sinhalese called Toppigala?
    IS ABOVE STATEMENT CORRECT? or it should be other way around?
    think before write my friend?cos i like your articles you gave us lot of information on the war? but these kind of statement will eventually downgraded the quality of your articles
    thanks
    kM

  7. anitraa said,

    July 19, 2007 @ 2:09 am

    What role does Murali have in this larger plan of the Srilankan government ? We will have to wait to see the sucess of TMVP because of this victory.It is also a fact that Eastern tamils are happy with Muralis Leadership.The support he is able to get and the way he has established himself in the east subscribes to this fact.Toppigalas victory wil go in with the eastern tamils as the victory for Murali.They see Murali as a saviour for them against the northen tamils.And how he will react to sighal settlements will be iintersting reaction to watch

  8. Sanj said,

    July 20, 2007 @ 1:29 am

    I can see some interesting conflicts of opinions! Good to have different opinions, but not to have bad feelings after reading!

    Just think about how you pleased when somebody agrees with you and what an agony when somebody is criticising your opinion!

    What is the most present movement for you when you are angry
    or when you are happy
    or when you are neutral!

    I can enjoy most when I am neutral, is that same with you! I don’t like to feel angry. Often happiness is not long lasting hence, it is also uncomfortable!

    Especially, why are you ‘punishing’ your mind yourself allowing to come those evil thoughts into you?

    My dear friends, life is short, very short comparing with the universe- It would have been better (or worse-I don’t know) if all of us can live until the world’s end. Ideally until universes ends. But CAN YOU!

    Why we cant think that the ‘life is short’; and important thing is ‘to have peace in the mind’

    Why we are fighting for a boundaries, land like ever changing and temporary things, even can we keep our ‘own’ body without getting old!

    Only thing we can keep is that our mind-even it is hard, very hard! But practicing it is worth!

    Just think differently, make a some difference within and it will make a big difference to the world!

    Do not spread your anger, hatred, jealous to other people as it is contagious! Refrain from them and it will save at least one persons life.

    Have a peaceful in mind!

  9. Naga said,

    July 20, 2007 @ 8:50 pm

    What a paradox! The celebrations of recapture or capture of Kudumbimalai with childish show of jets flying at low altitude only helped to bring down the image of MR even among the elite Sinhalese. The turn out of people in this event indicated this. 90 percent of govt. officials took leave and stayed home anticipating trouble. Streets were deserted. The important point MR made was that his forces captured a ‘part of Eelam Territory’ as opposed to driving out terrorists from a part of a sovereign country!! This event will be recorded in history.

    The whole drama was staged to cover, albeit for the time being, the sins of his family and the resultant economic turmoil from the poor masses. We would see very soon the whole thing backfiring with interest.

    Take a look at the double standards in his trail….

    He came into being the President making deals with LTTE.

    He sent out container loads of booze from his Prime Minister’s residence during the election campaign and he now talks about “halt to alcohol!!”

    He voved to eliminate corruption. Now he plays the role of mafia chief.

    Politics, they say, is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhare, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy!

  10. Naga said,

    July 21, 2007 @ 9:32 pm

    You did right to publish the uncensored version of Mr.Suresh’s letter. Let people see what the typical Sinahala chauvinist think and react. They even consider nay, ostracise the Christians of Sinhala origin as untouchables or enemies of the land. The truth, however, is that these micreants are a small group of hallucinators. Well the saying goes that “it takes only a drop of poison to spoil a pot of milk” .Suresh’s allusions as regards to some names of places only goes to suggest that he is not a person who reads or ivestigates history and he goes by hearsay of some imaginative chauvinists.

    Besides I have personally come across a handful of them and most of them had some problems with their genetic pool – and this may have triggered off this kind of pervasiveness.

  11. Eric Nirmalan said,

    July 22, 2007 @ 6:52 am

    I follow your stories with great interest. In this article you have expressed serious concerns about the possible Sinhalisation of the the claimed Tamil Homealand. As a leading journalist you have to take care not to indoctrinate young Tamils, whip up, create racial hatred and lead them to their destruction like the legendary Pied Piper.

    Let’s be truthful of the history of this island nation, and of our own beloved Tamil nation. Our Tamil nation , which always had its geographical limits in history. According to Illngovadivel who authored Silaaappdigaram (circa Ptolomy) the ‘Tamil land was bounded by the sea on the east and the west, Kumari (Cape Comorin) on the south and the Tirupathi hills on the north.’ It does not refer to Ilankai as a part of the Tamil nation. So, sadly there was no Tamil nation in the present day Sri Lanka, at anytime.

    You also speak of a ‘LTTE’s Tamil national leader’. That is a lot of parroting of the LTTE propaganda
    which has brutalised and savaged several generations of our youth living in Sri Lanka.

    Let’s also look a bit more of the earliest settlement of Yalpanam which Portugease Father Queroz (circa 1560) a much respected historian elaborates. He says ‘Jaffnapatnam was uncultivated and belonged to the Sinhalese kings. Although it had many forested areas the chief occupation of the inhabitants was hunting and fishing.’ He also goes to say how the Sinhalese king Parakramabahu of Cota had settled a Panikkar of Thulunar who was a highly skilled warrior as the chief of Yalpanam.

    It is also will be of interest for our youth to take a look at the very detailed map of the Dutch cartographer, Isaak Tirion circa 1750. Jaffnapatnam is confined to peninsular Jaffna. All the land south of the Jaffna Lagoon to the east, is the Land of the Beddas (veddahs) and to the west is the land of the Vanniyars. History also tell that in later years in 1600+ at each opportunity the Vanniyars got they joined the Sinhalese to raid Yalpanam.

    So this is the history our young Tamils need to be made aware of and the not racist indoctrination of the ‘Surya Thevan’ that has caused this massive tragedy to us. We need to to live peacefully with our Sinhlese and Muslim brethren in Sri Lanka.

    The first official treaty recognsed under international law is the Treaty signed by the Sinhalese king and the Dutch in 1766. This allowed the Dutch the control of one Sinhalese ‘gawwa’ (4 miles) from the sea from south of Yalpanam around the island in areas not occupied by the Ductch at the tiem. The Sinhalese king also made a claim from the Dutch for the return of Kottiyarama and Tampalagamuwa at the that time.

    Minister Dewanayagam as a young lawyer in Battcaloa later stated at a public meeting that the ‘there were hardly any Tamils in Batticaloa when he first started his practice in the 1930s.’

    In fact there was no term as the Jaffna Tamils in the early part of 1900. Our ancesters were called Malabars by the Portugese, Dutch and the early British and by varous other terms, until we became predominantly Tamil and Briish came to understand the differences with the recruitment of our brethren for the coffee plantations . Both our own writers Kathiresu, circa 1905 and Mudaliar Rasanayagam uses the term ‘Jaffnese’. The term Jaffna Tamils developed only once settlements started in the east so as to distinguish our high caste Tamils from the mixed people of Battcaloa, and that term came into much later in the 20 th century. There were no Northern or Eastern Tamils mentioned till even much later. The Jaffnese in large numbers were confined to the Jaffna peninsular until the railways opened for our ancestors to come to Colombo in 1906 onwards. Else the movement of people by sea or land was very limited.

    Once Tamil youth are encorage to read factual history of the 1901 census is seen that 88% of the population was concentrated on the Jaffa peninsular and only 12% lived in todays Mullativu, Kilinochchi districts of the Northern Province. As per J.P Lewis (Manual of the Wanni Districts of Ceylon) the long serving Governement Agent of the Wanni, immigration and settlement of the areas from people from Jaffna and India was government sposored and the Mullativu Hospital was called the ‘Immigration’ Hospital. The areas were abandoned by the Sinhalese who withdrew to the hinterland in the face of foreign invasions.

    I feel our young Tamils have to be encouraged to read these narratives to know the true history of Sri Lanka rather than the leading them down the garden path of rhetoric, arraogance and racism.

    Please read, Mudaliar Rasanayam himself in Ancient Jaffna, where he quotes the ‘Yalapana Vaipa Malar P 33’ and speaks of the Sinhalese living in villages of Yalapanam at the time of our King Sankili. He says ‘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 various places of worship. M ost of them betook themselves to the Vannis and the Kandyan territories’. This is as per Y.P.M.

    I wish young Tamils read and absorb these historical texts and other information rather than listening to unfounded racists literature that has caused such tragedy to our generation.

    Journalists and othe leaders of the community have a duty to educate our youngsters. It was Sir Pannambalm Ramanathan who rejected universal franchise for all Ceylonese in the 1920s, and sowed the seeds of racism in Ilankai. However the Sinhalese due to their own petty caste issues did not think so. They elected a Tamil to take their seat in the State Council.

    That was racial harmony at that time for ‘one Ceylon’. Lets build that underatsanding rapport once again.

  12. John said,

    July 23, 2007 @ 1:31 am

    I am suprised to see so many comments from the Sinhalese posters about Tamils living in ‘their’ areas.

    I would imagine these are educated people (as they at least own a PC and are able to type in English), thus why can these people not see the difference between Tamils or anyone else for that matter, moving to other areas to work. Versus the Government, which is supposed to be for ALL people, using military force to vacate an area of its population and then under guise of ‘secuirty’ chaning the ethnic makeup to suite the majority race.

    These two things are night and day, one is the voluntary movement of citzens the other is state sponsered ethnic cleansing.

  13. Anonymous said,

    July 23, 2007 @ 5:38 am

    Tamils attitude that ‘Tamils can live anywhere and Sinhalese should not come to North -East’ will continue to torment them and as long as the war goes on they will only loose their so-called homeland, not gain it.

    This does not mean that Sinhalese have been totally innocent and flawless. Post independent Sinhalese leaders have been doing every dirty thing they can imagine to retain their power. Innocent people belonging to all ethnicities were at the receiving end. What needs is a strong non-racist democratic civil moment which overlook any possible discriminations of race, religion, caste or creed.

    Otherwise it will be too late when the Ealamists realize that their struggle has created a much more conducive environment for their opponents to play freely in their “Ealam”.
    Only positive from the war for the Tamils is the chance they got to fly to greener pastures in the developed world.

  14. Thamilan said,

    July 23, 2007 @ 8:54 am

    Eric,

    You say there is King Sangili and then you say that Sinhalese Kingdom had control of the entire land?

    Eric, first of all you are not Tamil and don’t pretend hoping that we will buy your BS.

    It seems that you believe the historical crap written by the Europeans whom had no knowledge of the island. What ever written by Europeans was done by them for divide and conquer which was successful because of morans like you. There were Sinhalese in Jaffna but they were there for trade.

    Why did the Europeans got foot hold of Lanka because of anomosity between Kotte and Kandy. Who took up arms and lost against the Europeans, it was Jaffna Kingdom then soon the Sinhalese Kingdoms followed.

    Your argument about Shilappadikaram:

    READ IT.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shilappadikaram

    Then read this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manimekhalai

    Eric, seems that you did not check the authenticity of what ever you read. You just believe in what ever you read and forget to check the facts given with actual history.

  15. Thiran said,

    July 23, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

    Hi Eric Nirmalan,

    Can you please start your own Blog too? You seem to be a great source of truth.

    What you have mentioned are precious information that should be known by all the people around the world.

    This LTTE propaganda has created so much hatred, Tamils believe that all what LTTE tell is the truth.

    What we need is the pre LTTE, pre-British harmony existed in the country that will make every ethnicity important peoples of the land.

  16. peace said,

    September 20, 2007 @ 9:40 am

    Sinhalese are from India to tamils are from India and were Dravindins. Even though Tamil is older than the Sinhalese language, Tamil people in general should not think they were the oldest and long living in Sri Lanka. Same goes to the Sinhalese people. Theres a lot of prophecies on who came first and who came last.

    The only truth and logical explanation could be people from Kannada and the king Vijay sailed to Lanka to the south. See King Vijay got married to Queen Quvani ( Quvani is a Tamil name) and the king’s people got married to the people who lived in Quvani’s Kingdom. The first people who lived in Sri Lanka are Vedas who are aboriginals some think they were Tamils well the name it self Quvani is a Tamil name therefore there is a possibility that the first people are Tamils. Say If Sinhalese were the first people what religion did they practice how did there ancetors who are mixed with the aboriginals have Tamil names. remember Sihalese is language is similar to tamil and kannada. see in Kannada There are Buddists people there. Some people think Sinhalese are mix with Vanga (Bangaladesh) people who speak pali. Remember Pali is from Brahmi Kannada is from Brahmi. Tamil language has no background as in has no ancestoral background were is from.

    I could keep going on this with propheceis, we gotta stop fighting learn to love each other, I know it is impossible for some, but this birth Sinhala next birth Tamil. We all believe in Karma.
    Tamil people and Sinhala people gotta stop being stubborn, ignorant and hating. Love God and live in love.

  17. Peace Lover said,

    October 7, 2007 @ 10:41 am

    May God Help for Peace for all people!!

  18. indrajith said,

    December 13, 2007 @ 7:10 am

    even though u u seem to talk truthfully,we all are sceptical about ngo backed humanitarian stunts,so take care you have only told half the truth,other half dedicated to undermining sinhalese kings and our victories over tamil invaders past 2000 years

  19. eelam 4 life said,

    February 4, 2008 @ 10:16 am

    well
    i want to ask every one a question?
    y can’t the goverment let the ltte control the areas which is nominated by tamils than let srilankan aqrmy who rape women and use tham as prostuties .

  20. Mahi Roda said,

    March 20, 2008 @ 1:44 pm

    The kings hat and queens legs became Thoppigala.
    Thoppiya and gala

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