Muslims came to SL in 17th/18th Century (?)

Why no race is superior

Dr Wickramabakhu Karunaratne (Daily News)

The author is trying to establish that Muslims arrived in Sri Lanka only in the 17th or 18th century.  TW cannot accept this.  He has forgotten that Muslims fought with the Sinhalese in driving out Portuguese during their rule in Sri Lanka from 1505 to 1658.   The historical facts of Arab Physicians treating the Sinhalese Kings and their families have been completely ignored.  The other fact ignored is that Sinhalese kings had Arabs as their court advisers.  His friend Azad Sally should teach him the true history. He is also trying to alienate Muslims from Sinhalese by saying Tamils are more close to Sinhalese.  culture wise, it could be true.   

There is no ethnic problem in Sri Lanka as I understand. Since 1974, when I came out with my explanation for the Tamil national problem, I discussed this as a problem of nationalities. Sri Lankans have been a civilized people over 3000 years, according to archaeologists and historians.

Many different views are expressed on this subject. Some are scientific while others are biased to fit chauvinist positions held by political leaders. We have to get the facts and figures correct and analyse the socio-economic development of the Sri Lankan society in each stage of development.

At the time of the supposed arrival of Aryan people from North India to this island between 6th and 3rd century BC, those who lived here belong to the South Indian Megalithic culture.

Small tank-villages

It was a commune society based on small tank-villages. “This was an intrusive culture thought to have originated on the basis of recent discoveries, in the Nubian region which came into South India sometime after 1000 BC. It was metal using, with implements chiefly of Iron. A settlement had four distinct areas; a habitation area, a cemetery, a tank and fields.” Dravidians who build the fabulous cities of Mohenjo-daro — Harappa and taught the Nomadic Aryan invaders how to irrigate with dams and canals, had shifted to the South; and the South Indian Megalithic culture may have had descended from them.


A general joke is made about lineage is that no one really knows who one’s father is. The only fact without dispute is who one’s mother is. That is how humans grouped in early days as matriarchal societies. Mother had the control and sisters of mother become a sisterhood and control of the primitive society thus, came under women. For a long period, may be 100,000 years, we walked in this path until private property emerged to dominate the human society. One of the oldest civilizations, the Indus valley civilization, lies at the very cradle of subsequent civilizations that arose in the region of the Indus valley.

This civilization flourished in areas extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India.

Along with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was one of three early civilizations of the Old World, and of the three the most widespread, covering an area of 1.25 million km2. Entire populations of people were settled around the basins of the Indus River, one of the major rivers in Asia, and another river named Ghaggar-Hakra which once used to course through northeast India and eastern Pakistan.

Harappan and Mohenjo-Daro civilization

Also known as the Harappan civilization and the Mohenjo-Daro civilization – named after the excavation sites where the remains of the civilization were found, the peak phase of this civilization is said to have lasted from 2600 BC to around 1900 BC.

A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture is evident in the Indus Valley Civilization making them the first urban centres in the region. The people of the Indus Civilization achieved great accuracy in measuring length, mass, and time. And based on the artifacts found in excavations, it is evident that the culture was rather rich in arts and crafts. Was this the beginnings of Dravidian people? How this collapsed and male-dominated Aryans did came in to this area?

First, it was assumed that nomadic Aryan barbarians attacked and plundered. In the later 20th century, ideas were refined along with data accrual, and migration and acculturation were seen as the methods whereby Indo-Aryans and their language and culture spread into northwest India around 1500 BC. The term “invasion” is only being used nowadays by opponents of the Indo-Aryan Migration theory.

In any case we know now that Dravidian mother culture society was over-powered in the course of time by Aryans and that has spread down to Lanka; that is the origin of Lankan society and several nationalities have emerged in the modern times. Even though there is no ethnic difference, national identities are strong and unity can arrive only on the basis of equality, autonomy and the right of self determination.

In the mix of our debates on the national problem a pioneering team of researchers from the Institute of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IBMBB) of the University of Colombo has followed to clear fact from fiction, from the larger picture that is Lanka, based irrefutably on science. Not just genes and their patterns has Dr. Ruwandi Ranasinghe peered at but that all-important ‘Eve Gene’ to shed light on the crucial questions buried in the dim mists of time. Who are Lankans? From where have we come? Are the major ‘ethnic’ groups and also the Veddahs closely-linked or disparately different? They found that Contemporary Lankans share very close maternal ancestors.

‘Ethnicity’ is created by linguistic, religious and cultural differences, rather than genetic differences. That means there are nationalities but no ethnic divisions. The differences between the major ‘ethnic’ groups are minimal except in the case of the Veddahs who stands out as a separate cluster.

Lankan Tamils

There is a considerable genetic admixture in contemporary ‘ethnic’ groups in Lanka — the Sinhala are closely related to the Lankan Tamils. Hence the traditional thinking that an admixture of North Indians with the original inhabitants of Lanka to have established the Sinhala ‘ethnic’ group around 2,600 years ago cannot be accepted. The Veddahs are thought to be remnants of the original inhabitants; that may be. Traditionally the origin of Lankan Tamils is attributed to successive invasions by South Indians beginning a few centuries later. This contradicts the first finding.

The Indian Tamils are different to the Lankan Tamils. That can be as the Indian Tamils were brought to Lanka mainly from TamilNadu by the British in the 19th century. Investigation shows that the Muslims and the Malays are also closely related to each other. *This contradicts the traditional thinking that Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula arrived in the country between the 7th and 8th centuries, mostly as traders, while the Malays from Southeast Asia arrived during the Dutch occupation of Lanka in the 17th and 18th centuries. However predominance of Indian mtDNA haplogroups among Muslims and Malays support the notion of largely male migration and marriage to local women.

The Veddahs are the most distinct group but is a little close to the Lankan Tamils!

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