kheru2006 (kheru2006) wrote,
kheru2006
kheru2006

Two versions of Tamil origin

1. IN the article “Remembering my father, Tun Razak” (The Star, Jan 14), Datuk Seri Nazir Razak has erred in stating that Tamils are immigrants and Singhalese are indigenous in Sri Lanka.

According to Dr Dagmar Helmann Rajanayagam, a German scholar who has studied Ceylon’s history, the Mahavamsa says in 300 BC Prince Vijaya first came to Ceylon from north-central India. It says he married a local chieftain’s daughter named “Kuveni”.

Dr Dagmar thinks that “Kuveni’ could well be a Tamil name.

Paul E Peris, the well-known Singhalese historian has recognised the existence of five Saivite shrines which are dated more than 2,000 years.

They are Thiruketheeswaram in Mannaar, Muneeswaram in Puttalam, Naguleswaram in Kangesanthurai in Jaffna, Thirukoneswaram in Trincomalee and one deep in the south, called Thondeeswaram.

The Tamil Saivite Samaya Achariars who lived in the sixth century have sung songs on Thiruketheeswaram and Thirukoneswaram.

Minutes by Hugh Cleghorn of the British colonial service in 1796 show that two different nations, one Singhalese, the other Tamil, existed from a very ancient period in different parts of the country.

A good reference book on the history of the Tamils in Sri Lanka is “Tamils in Sri Lanka, a comprehensive history from 300 BC to 2000 AD” by Dr Murugar Gunasingam. [1]

2. I REFER to the article by Datuk Seri Nazir Razak “Remembering my father, Tun Razak” (The Star, Jan 14). I wish to correct Nazir’s perception of Sri Lanka’s race history.

The Tamils are descendants of the Vedic stock, arriving in Sri Lanka, likely by sea, from southern India more than 3,000 years ago.

There are well documented archaeological sites in Sri Lanka, some dating to 9th century BC that show a thriving Tamil civilisation, some 400 years earlier than the accepted commencement of Singhalese history.

The Singhalese are believed to have arrived from northern India sometime in the 5th century BC.

Even this story is hotly debated as the similarities in the Sinhala and Tamil writings are more than the Pali (northern Indian) language which is supposed to be the father of Singhalam.

Furthermore, there has been a commingling of both these races so much so, it’s not easy to say anymore who is a “pure” Singhalese as much as the politicians would like us to believe.

Therefore, if the Tamils were migrants in Sri Lanka, so were the Singhalese. [2]


1. A. KANESALINGAM Kuala Lumpur Tamil were in Sri Lanka since 300 B.C. The STAR Online Home News Opinion 17/10/2014  [1]

2. DATUK RAMESH RAJARATNAM Kuala Lumpur Tamil civilisation started very much earler in Sri Lanka The STAR Online Home News Opinion 17/01/2014  [2]
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