2ND LEAD (Update)

Forge unified buffer against SL State-backed alteration of Tamil heritage: Fr Ravichandran

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 June 2020, 18:40 GMT]
All the successive “Sri Lankan” governments in the island have been bent on altering the historiography of the entire island as a Sinhala-Buddhist country. The tendency was also seen during the previous regime. The latest appointment of the all-Sinhala and military-led SL Presidential Task Force is just another step in imposing Sinhala-Buddhist identity throughout the island, commented Jaffna-based rights activist, Rev Fr E Ravichandran on Friday. The pattern will be the same under any future regime. From Kantharoadai in the North to Kanniyaa in the East, there is a systematic pattern, which seeks to eradicate the Tamil heritage. The Tamil political parties, civil society groups and the Tamil diaspora must go beyond their internal differences and forge a unified buffer to defend the Tamil heritage and historiography in the North-East, he urged.

Fr Ravichandran characterised the process of altering Tamil heritage in the North-East as a part of protracted structural genocide against Tamils.

The rights activist described Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s latest move as being aimed at suppressing democratic mobilisation against the systemic attempts to alter the heritage roots of Tamils.

He was disappointed with the Tamil political parties that are divided. The leadership is not together at this critical juncture, the rights activist lamented.

It is disappointing that the parties which claim to be fighting for the rights of the Tamil nation were not facing the election in a common platform. Their electoral politics is going to complicate meeting the common challenges, Fr Ravichandran feared.

“Again, the civil society is also not actively participating in the issues [affecting] the rights of the Tamils,” he came with a self-criticism.

“Our Tamil civil society always takes a passive role. They [activists] still go and work for a party. Then, they come back and expect the political representatives to do their things. The passivity of civil society is a problem among the Tamils,” he said.

All the Tamil stakeholders should come together and design a work plan and a roadmap to face the present situation, Fr Ravichandran told TamilNet.

* * *

The alteration of Tamil heritage didn't begin with the Sinhala SL State. It started with the orientalist perspectives of the European colonists.

Excerpts from a special lecture on historiography by Professor S Pathmanathan at the University of Jaffna on 18 June 2018, are rendered below for the edification of the readers:

* * *

The Sinhala-only Archaeology was not only undeterred, but sustained by the SL Archaeology Department and the intruding extremist monks during the previous so-called good-governance regime.

The following is a TamilNet interview with Mr Mano Ganesan, made in July 2019 when he was SL Minister of ‘National Integration’ and Hindu Religious Affairs. It is a prima facie witness to the workings of SL Archaeology during the previous regime:

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22.07.19   SL Archaeology must be reconfigured to respect Tamil parity ..



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