Category Archives: caste issues
Born in 1931 — on 31st December no less — Kingsley Muthumuni de Silva, is still batting … with a pen. This compilation has been assembled by Iranga de Silva of ICES Kandy…. and is arranged in reverse chronological sequence.
N. Sarawanan, whose preferred title is “The Story of Lovina Alphonso — A Dalit Heroine of her Time,” 9 April 2019 …. https://medium.com/@dalithistorynow/the-story-of-lovina-alphonso-a-dalit-heroine-of-her-time-7d43310dd7aa
The “Rodi” caste people are the most oppressed in the Sinhala community. Historically, this community was involved in folk religion, magic, mantras, and ritualised caste begging. Rodis were treated as untouchables and violently discriminated. Rodiya men and women were denied permission to wear any upper-body covering. It was also forbidden for them to cover themselves below the knee. In one era, both men and women were only allowed to cover their genital area and nothing else. Even if they felt ill or cold and clothed themselves to feel warm, and an “upper” caste person caught them in the act, they would have to say, “Please forgive me, Lord, I was feeling too cold!” It was up to the “upper” caste person, then, to decide whether to allow the act of covering or not.
Johnny De Silva, presenting a typed copy of the English translation of an ola book, The Aditiya Wansaya, carried out by Pandit Yatinuwara Indaratne Thero for my granduncle Mr Charles de Silva
THE ADITYE DYNASTY (CLAN) OR ADITYE WANSAYA
The son of Aditiya was known as Aditye i.e. the sun. The lineage that originates from the sun is known as the Solar dynasty, or ‘Surya Wansaya’. The ‘Aditye Wansaya’ is the Solar Dynasty in another name; and those that belong to this clan are of Royal descent. The foremost of the Royal clans in ancient India was the Aditye Clan. The ‘Surya Wansaya’ ‘Dinakan Wansaya’ are other names used for this clan.
Jeremy De Lima, in The Ceylankan Number 1 of February 2020, Journal 89 Volume XXIII…… Bhāratha’s, பரதர், භාරත
India and Sri Lanka are geographically very near, but yet so far in culture, civilisation and genetic diversity. As depicted in the map above, the sub-oceanic existence of the hitherto mystical “Adams Bridge” between Dhanushkodi in India and Talaimannar in Sri Lanka has now been conclusively shown to exist through aerial mapping. It is thus reasonable to conclude that natural movement would have occurred between India and Sri Lanka over the aeons. While there is much documented history about Sinhalese and Tamils, there appears to be a relative dearth of public knowledge of a smaller migrant race called the Bhāratha’s. The writer hopes this compilation will improve the knowledge of this now vanishing group who have unobtrusively and yet so selflessly contributed so much to the history of this Island nation.
Eardley Lieversz, 16 July 2019
Interestingly, I am in touch with Apey George’s grandson, Mahindra, who lives in Melbourne. He is George Silva Junior’s son. George and his wife were good friends with my maternal aunt and uncle. They were very Burgherised. You wouldn’t consider George Jnr as a Sinhalese. He is very Burgher in his manners.
This article is inspired by Fabian Schokman of Moratuwa whose questioning comment led to a brief exchange involving Eardley Lieversz and myself. I will place these exchanges first before proceeding to address the context and implications of the article on “Goyigama Lansiyās” written by a retired Sinhala police officer of senor rank.
This essay was obviously penned in light-hearted spirit. But, in conveying ethnographic tales of past times in genial tones, the account reveals questionable ‘seams,’ i.e. strands, within the socio-political order. Readers are advised to absorb the essay “The Goyigama Lansiyaas” as an initial measure …. before proceeding to the exchanges and the arguments below.
In recently facing up to internet challenges and clarifying the term “chauvinism,” I proceeded at a general level and presented definitions within a comparative framework that brought the concepts of “racism” and “tribalism” into our framework of analysis. I now provide instances of ethno-religious confrontation from Sri Lankan history that illustrate this phenomenon.