Is There A Basis For The Sinhalese To Insist On A Unitary Constitution? By C.V. Wigneswaran –

A Tamil journalist asked me; Is there a basis for the Sinhalese to insist on a Unitary Constitution?

My response was; Of course not! By virtue of the Unitary Constitution received from Great Britain (thanks to the underhand activities that DS Senanayake and his ilk indulged in – Vide “Ceylon: The Path to Independence” by Sir Charles Joseph Jeffries(1962) AND First Prime Minister of Sri Lanka – Don Stephen Senanayake by HAJ Hulugalle) the Sinhalese majority in Parliament have been able to rule the roost so far. They do not want to lose their grip on the entire Island. That is why they insist on a Unitary Constitution. A Unitary Constitution ensures dictatorship of the majority unless adequate safeguards are there to prevent such dictatorship. That was why Article 29 ( 2 ) was brought in by Great Britain in the first constitution. But under the guise of a Constituent Assembly, whose members were majority Sinhalese, that safeguard was done away with in the so called Republican Constitution. The Sinhala language and Buddhism were given pride of place even though the Sinhalese and Buddhists are until today minorities in the North and East. The Tamil Leaders boycotted the sessions of the Constituent Assembly.

So Sri Lanka today under the Unitary Constitution is a dictatorship of the majority Sinhalese Buddhists. But in the North and East the majority is Tamil speaking. Yet the majority in the center dictate to the North and East.

If you look back, even historically the Sinhalese have no basis to claim a Unitary Constitution including the North and East within such unitary dispensation. The Northern and Eastern areas of the country have always been Tamil speaking. It is a historical fact that Tamil language has been spoken in this Island for over 3000 years continuously. The Sinhalese language is a very recent language, 1400 years old. Its first Grammar book was written as recent as in the 13th century.

The Sinhalese were never resident in the North and East in large members. It was the Tamil speaking people who lived there for centuries. So Sinhalese cannot claim the North and East to have been Sinhala areas presently occupied by immigrant Tamils. In fact the Tamils were the original inhabitants of this Island and the Sinhala language was formed by the mixing of Pali words into Tamil. Recent DNA Tests have shown affinity of the Sinhalese to the Dravidians of South India. New languages forming by mixture of several languages is a worldwide phenomenon. Presently the use of several English words while speaking the Tamil language in Chennai is creating a new language called Tamlish!

There were no Sinhalese nor the Sinhala language when Buddhism was introduced to this Island. Deva(nai) Nambiya Theesan was a Tamil while Ellalan was a Hindu Tamil and Dushta Kamini was a Buddhist Tamil. The Sinhala language and the Sinhalese Nation were yet to be born then.

Even when Mahavamsa was written in the 5th century AD there was no Sinhala language born then. There is no reference to the Sinhala language nor to the Sinhalese anywhere in the Mahavamsa. There is one reference to Sihala, the word in Pali for a lion. The Mahavamsa was written in Pali for the edification of Buddhism by a Buddhist Priest. It was not a historical document. There is no parallel reference in history books or literature to the banishing of Vijaya with his 700 followers in any of the States in North India, whether Bengal or Orissa or any other State.

Having known that the Sinhalese have no claim historically for a Unitary Constitution which includes the North and the East within it, the Sinhalese Buddhist diehards have hit upon a devious device. In recent times through the Department of Archaeology they are identifying Buddhist remains in the North and East and building Buddha statues and Buddhist temples and so on in those areas claiming them to have been Sinhala Buddhist areas. Curiously the Archaeology Department when it identifies a Hindu temple in the South or elsewhere it does not immediately build a Hindu temple there. How come? The idea here is to identify ancient Buddhist sites and claim them to have been areas of residence of Sinhala Buddhists.

But unfortunately the World of History knows that those areas of Buddhist remains in the North and East belong to the time when Tamil Buddhists (Demala Baudhayo) lived there.( vide Book in Sinhala titled “Demala Baudayo” by Professor Sunil Ariyaratna).

The aggrandizing spirit of a powerful group of Sinhala Buddhists is trying to make use of the pious religion, Buddhism, which frowned upon such aggressive and hegemonical behaviour, to obtain their willful and surreptitious ends.

Thankfully the local Hindus have awoken to the reality of this fraudulent modus operandi of the diehard Sinhala Buddhist hegemonists here.

Now the matter has become a serious concern of the Hindus of India too. They are unable to tolerate the desecration and destruction of Hindu places of worship in the North and East by the Government through its Departments and its Military Forces.

Hope the powers that be realize their folly and desist from such high handed activities which is still continuing unabated despite intervention by Courts.

These activities are the kind that typify the power and authority wielded by the majority community in this Country under its Unitary Constitution. The Sinhalese have no plausible reason whatsoever to continue with a Unitary Constitution including the Tamil Nation within it.


Is There A Basis For The Sinhalese To Insist On A Unitary Constitution?

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ஈழத்தமிழருக்கான ஆதரவுக்குரலாகவும், உலகமெல்லாம் பரவிவாழும் தமிழ் மக்களின் சார்பில் இந்த இணையம் செயற்படுகின்றது. எமது இன் விடுதலையை வென்றெடுக்க அனைவரும் ஒன்றிணையவேண்டி கட்டாயத்தின் பேரில் எமது செய்திகளும் அறிக்கைகளும் அமைந்திருக்கும்