The country information page of The Commonwealth 2014, appearing in thecommonwealth.org, says, “The Great Dynasty (Mahavamsa) of the Sinhalese was established in 543 BC by King Vijaya, who came with his followers (the Sinhala, or ‘Lion Race’) from Bengal and settled in the north. Traces of the vast irrigation system they established still exist. About 300 years later, a royal prince from India named Mahinda, son of Asoka, introduced Buddhism. Tamil settlements began in the 10th century AD, and gave rise to a Tamil kingdom in Jaffna. There was a long struggle between Sinhalese and Tamil kings for the control of the north of the island. By the end of the 13th century, the Sinhalese were forced to migrate to the south.” Genocidal Sri Lanka is the current chair of the Commonwealth and former New Delhi diplomat Kamalesh Sharma is its Secretary General.
The page begins saying, “Sri Lanka appears to have been inhabited from as early as 125,000 BC. Balangoda Man was the ancestor of the present-day Veddhas, a racial minority now inhabiting remote forests.”
The story beginning with prehistory, totally blacks out the protohistory that followed with nothing other than the megalithic culture shared only between South India and the island. But it harps on ‘Mahavamsa’ and the myth of ‘Sinhala’ race that arose a thousand years after the claimed date.
Bengal is an ostensible imagination of today. A vast majority of the irrigation, cultivation and water resources terms in Sinhala, including the cultivation caste name, Goyi/ Goviyaa, are Dravidian.
The page even blacks out its own Mahavamsa story of Pandyan connections with the so-called Vijaya or Tamil kings ruling Anuradhapura in the pre-Christian centuries, but the total intention of the fabrication is to say ‘Sinhalese first settled the north of the island, Tamils came only after 10th century AD and pushed the Sinhalese to the south,’ historically justifying the genocidal regain of land from the ‘intruders’.
Since the page begins with such a ‘history’ one could guess what would have followed in it in narrating the contemporary history and the war that culminated into genocide and continuing into structural genocide of Eezham Tamils. However, anyone could see the twist on contemporary affairs but not everyone would understand the theoretical foundations of the genocide set by the fabrication of past history that denies parallel nationhood and territory for Eezham Tamils in the island.
The page is a good example for how the Eezham Tamils and their posterity (if it wants to remain as Eezham Tamils) would be looked at and treated under a single State in the island.
The page is also a significant example for what is envisaged by the Commonwealth of British colonial legacy that had committed genocide and annihilation of nations in various parts of the world.
The Commonwealth website sites PresInform, “The Official Website of the Data and Information Unit of the Presidential Secretariat, Sri Lanka,” for ‘more information’ of its history page.
Much authentic research has been done and publications have come on the issue and its historiography over the past several decades. But State will not change and it will become more and more parochial when the intention is genocide.
What is seriously dangerous is the international gang-up of such States in the name of ‘Commonwealth’ even in snatching away the commonwealth of perception in humanity.
The Commonwealth Secretariat could have at least consulted Romila Thapar’s student Prof Sudharshan Seneviratne, who now represents the genocidal State and regime in New Delhi.