Jul 27 2007
COLOMBO: Colombo University History Lecturer Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri has taken up the JHU challenge to prove the Tamil homeland theory and a Tamils’ right to self determination.
Dr. Devasiri said he is willing to prove the Tamil homeland theory and the rights of Tamils for self determination if the JHU is willing to come for a debate with him on this issue.
Dr. Devasiri said this at a seminar on the JHU’s APC proposals held at the Colombo National Library Auditorium recently, referring to the JHU proposal that it would accept these two theories if they were proved with historical and legal facts.
Dr. Devasiri said the Sinhala Society has been built on four mythologies viz. Buddha’s visit to Sri Lanka, Advent of Prince Vijaya, advent of Arahat Mahinda Thera and King Dutugemunu’s war to vanquish king Elara.
He said “we accept these four myths because we like them”. Similarly Tamils in the North and East accepted the homeland theory because they liked it.”
Dr. Devasiri said “I have stood by the Tamils’ right for determination for the last 22 years. Tamils do not want to argue this now because they have gone far beyond it. The JHU proposals have said that the Tamil homeland theory is a myth. But it is a fact and I am prepared to prove it.”
Peradeniya University Philosophy lecturer Charitha Herath said that eventhough he followed JHU policies he would use the forum to contest some JHU thinking as the seminar was attended by JHU members and sympathisers.
In the first instance the JHU had not understood the present crisis in a proper and pragmatic way. Herath said he saw this crisis as a crisis aimed to create a post Colonial Sri Lanka.
The JHU adduced this crisis to the inability of Tamils to seek exalted posts held by the Tamil elite during the Colonial period. We should ask as to how the Tamil elite could establish a homeland theory in the minds of Tamils and why we could not defeat that notion.
Tamils were today sacrificing their lives acting as human bombs and contributing to their earnings to the homeland theory which the JHU calls a farce. Why can’t we act as true Sinhala Buddhists and go in for a more positive and fraternal agreement to solve this problem altogether, he asked.
Attorney Shiral Laktilleke said the JHU document tabled at the APC looked like a battle cry. The State cannot have a colour or religion. If anyone tried to give a Buddhist or Catholic tinge to a State it would exclude a section of the people.
At the outset of the seminar JHU Legal Advisor Udaya Gammanpila gave a brief resume of the JHU proposals. He said he would place Dr. Devasiri’s challenge for a debate to the JHU hierarchy for a decision.
Prof. Buddhadasa Hewavitharana acted as moderator.