History of Jaffna


The true history of North & East Lanka and the falsehood of a Tamil Homeland...!!


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Yapapattuna, is a district and town found in the Northern province of Sri Lanka. The name Yapapattuna is derived from Java Pattuna or port of the Javaka(So we thought). The answer to how this word 'Jaffna', came about was in-fact staring at us in the face all this time.

In the accounts of the Franciscan Friar Fernao DeQueyroz, this is fully explained. The full name given by him is 'Jafana Patanaoture'. It is clear that the 'Jafana' is a corruption of 'Yapana'. Then the 'Patanaoture'. must be 'Pattunatura or tota', corrupted. According to the accounts by the Portuguese Franciscan Friar Fernao DeQueyroz. This name is derived, according a local ruler in ancent times. So thus meaning that a headman by name of 'Yapa', established the regional name. Who this, 'Yapa', is, is not detailed.

The Tamil name of 'Yalpanam' though, has neither historical authority nor any other corroborating evidences, except for the fairy tale, the Yalapana Vaipava Malai, 1736.

The Northern Province itself though, is but a creation of the Colonial British, two centuries ago, to assist in their administration of the Island. It must be said, that what is today known as Jaffna district, even as late as 1824 was in fact Waligama (Waligammo, Waligamme) district. A pure Sinhala name, in its origin. This can be seen in many colonial maps and other sources.

One of the biggest and highly controversial issues though, concerning this district has been, was it ever a separate Kingdom or to be precise a Tamil Kingdom?

It must be said that, regarding this theory, the evidences are so scarce, that not a single pottery shard belonging to this so called Kingdom has thus far been found. Instead records/artifacts from pre-colonial and colonial eras, show clearly the region was simply a district under the rule of the Sinhala Kings from Anuradhapura (8th Century BCE)-Maha Nuwara(19th Century AD).

The main proponents of this ideology, use as their source for this so called ‘Kingdom’ the Yalapana Vaipava Malai. A book written in 1736 at the request of the then Dutch governor, by a member of the South Indian immigrant community but it was the thesis recognised by Oxford University and awarded to Indrapalan(The Jaffna Kingdom and Dravidian Settlements), that unfortunately lead to an almost blind automatic exceptance of such an idea by the so called educated classes. The concesquences of which, stand quite clear!

Regarding such things as 'Yalapana Vaipava Malai' though, even prominent Tamil historians e.g. Dr. Pathmanathan, have described this document as defective in Chronology and Genealogy e.g. No specific contributions any king is recorded in it. Of the ten kings who are said to have ruled till 1450, only 4 are known in sources other than in Yalpana Vaipava Malai but not as kings but as 'Perumal' or 'Sub-Ordinates. This is clearly seen from the Medavala inscription dated 1359, which describes Martanda Mudalis' of Yapanaya as a 'Perumal' or 'Sub-Ordinate' ruler, while the Sinhala King at Gampola, is described as 'Vikramabahu Chakravarti Svamin'. Thus ''THE DE JURE RIGHT OF VIKRAMABAHU TO THE SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE WHOLE ISLAND IS RECOGNIZED BY THE TREATY''.

The Colonial period though, starting with the arrival of the Portuguese does offer us an insight, from that time. The most detailed account of Yapanaya during the periods of 1505-1636 by all historians is considered to be the accounts by the Portuguese Franciscan Friar Fernao DeQueyroz, whose English translation was considered by the British Civil Servant W.Codrington, as second only to the Mahawamsa in importance.

List of the rulers according to certain Tamil historians (Click).

However, the available historic evidences are not supportive of the above list of so called rulers.

“Yapa Patuna”, or the “Port of Yapanaya” (Port of Jaffna) in the extreme north of the country had been recorded as a port used by the Sinhala Kings for hundreds of years to conduct business with the countries located North of Sri Lanka, along with the other three prominent ports, namely, Dambakola Patuna (KKS), Mathota (Mannar) in North-West and Gona (Trincomalee) in North-East.

List of rulers from Portuguese records (Click).


  • Early Periods

With the establishment of archeology in Ceylon in late 1880's by H.C.P Bell, searching for lost cities and treasures of old began.

It can be said that all parts of this isle have been scrutinized as much as Egypt or Greece. With more than 100years of archeology, yet neither proof of either a Tamil Kingdom nor the existence of major Tamil populations in the Northern or Eastern regions of Lanka, as envisaged by the Eelamists has ever been found. There are many excuses used by Tamil groups for this, ranging from; from the Portuguese destroyed everything too, that the archeological dept is discriminatory etc etcBut the reality is; if these tall tales are true. Then of these great Tamil cities, their should still be something to behold in one form or another, one would think anyways ?

The majority of all evidences of Hindu temples/artwork and South Indian peoples though, have been within and around the Capitals. These are not indigenous but of invaders from India. One only needs to visit the Colombo National Museum and see that the majority of all Hindu artwork is from Polonnuwara. Certainly this makes sense, as this city was under Chola rule and was even renamed as Jananathapuram by Rajaraja I, 10th Century AD. The few items that have been found in the Jaffna peninsular, have been confirmed as been of Indian origin, so no indigenous Tamil artifacts thus far have been found e.g. Chola temple on Delft Island.

Historically speaking about Jaffna though;

It was at the ancient port of Jambukola, the present Sambiliturai, in the Jaffna peninsula, that the envoys of the great Sinhala King, Devanampiyatissa embarked/disembarked to and from Ceylon on their mission to the court of Asoka.

It was also at this port that the Theri Sanghamitta and her retinue had disembarked when they came from India with a branch of the Bodhi tree from Buddhagaya during the reign of Devanampiyatissa. To try and claim these events as belonging to Tamils, an attempt has been made to re-write the Kings name in a Tamil form, as Devanampiyatissan.

The Theri and her retinue were received by Devanampiyatissa, who had come to Jambukola from Anuradhapura. King Devanampiyatissa built three Buddhist shrines, namely the Jambukola Vihara, the Tissamaha Vihara and the Pacina Vihara and planted a Bo sapling in the Jaffna peninsula.

The gold plate inscription discovered at Vallipuram near Point Pedro reveals that, during the reign of Vasabha, Jaffna peninsula was governed by a minister of that King and that a Buddhist Vihara named Piyaguka Tissa had been built there by that Minister.

According to the Mahavamsa, Kanittha Tissa(167-186AD) during his reign at Anuradhapura repaired the cetiyaghara of the Tissamaha Vihara in the Jaffna peninsula and King Voharaka Tissa (209-231AD) during his reign effected improvements to that Vihara. The Culavamsa records that King Aggabodhi II(571-604) built a Relic House and a dwelling place named Unhaloma for the monks of the Rajayatana Vihara in Nagadipa and granted a village there for the provision of rice gruel to the monks living there.

Although, as said not even a single Tamil inscription belonging to any of those so-called Tamil rulers of Jaffna in and around the Jaffna District have been found, a few Sinhala, Tamil and Sanskrit inscriptions belonging to Kings of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa & also Chola have been discovered from some sites in and around the Jaffna District.

In addition to the Gold plate inscription and the Parakramabahu inscription found in the Jaffna District, other Sinhala inscriptions include, of Dappula IV who ruled at Anuradhapura during the 10th Century A.D. have come to light from that District; of these, one was discovered at Kandarodai, the ancient Kadurugoda Vihara, a Buddhist Temple in Uduvil and the other at Tunukai in the D.R.O.s, division of Punakar. A few more inscriptions belonging to some Sinhala kings have also been found at various places around the District of Jaffna; we may mention among them, the Triyaya Sanskrit inscription of Aggabodhi VI(733-772), the Tiruketisvaram Pillar inscription of Sena II(853-887), the Mannar Kacceri pillar inscription of Kassapa IV (898-914), a 10th Century slab inscription at Kurundanmalai near Mulaitivu dated in the reign of a Sinhala king named Abhasalamevan, the Palmottai slab inscription of Vijayabahu (1055-1110) and the Kantalai or Ganthalawa stone seat inscription of Nissankamalla (1187-1196).

The oldest Tamil inscription found in Jaffna, has been in Nagadipa. This inscription of the 11th Century though, is by the Sinhala King, Parakramabahu the Great and its regarding ship wrecks and taxes on Urathota(Kayts). According to Dr. Karthigesu Indrapala, the editor of this inscription and a former Professor of History of the University of Jaffna, "the fact that this edict was issued not by any subordinate official but by the King himself, shows that the monarch was in supreme control of the northern most region of the island".

Also of interest is the Madu Kanda Temple. The birth place of, Nandimitra Yodhaya. This temple is in Vavuniya and can now be accessed.

Apart from the many ancient Sinhala Buddhist monuments that stand silent today, not much else is there to show of its past. Although, according many supporters of the Tamil Homelands concept, apparently hundreds of Tamil Kovils and even educational Institutions, including a grand library, stood before the Portuguese destroyed them. It is remarkable that none of these monuments bricks have ever even been located!

Even the Kotte Kingdom, decimated by the Portuguese, still bares identifiable sites of where once great monastic temples stood, also where collages, palaces etc etconce stood are known as well.

So in laymen’s terms….This so called “Tamil Kingdom”, on the other hand; has left Nothing, did Nothing, built Nothing, No forms Irrigation systems, No ruins of Palaces or Temples or anything else, No inscriptions, No written history, Nothing left behind for posterity but still according to Tamil historians, it had existed for more than 400 years and even maybe, for more than 2000 years.....Extrodinary!

At the same time, their are more than 300 Buddhist temples built by Sinhalese Kings. Which bare; Sel Lipi, Artworks (Statues of Buddha and Gods), Sinhala Dagaba's etc etc.....So why aren’t any of these so called magnificent buildings built by Tamils also still their???? Common sense, dictates that something substantial would be there, if these tall tales were indeed true!!

A cave inscription discovered at Mihintale, records that, during this long period of time a provincial ruler was appointed by the King, who administered Jaffna Peninsula. According to one of the Pali Commentaries, be bore the title ‘Diparaja’ or ‘Ruler of the Islands.’ (U.C.H.C. Vol I, p.229). Therefore, the Portuguese historian Fr. F. Queyroz was correct in saying that Jaffna was a part of the Sinhalese Kingdom throughout the Anuradhapura Period. However, on the arrival of the Portuguese he says that Jaffna, was one of the fifteen Sub-Kingdoms under the King of Kotte who was therefore, known as the Emperor of Ceylon (The Conquest. p.32). The word Sub-Kingdom cannot be taken in its literal form, as even Dissaveeny are listed as Sub-Kingdoms.

How did that happen though?

According to Tamil Kingdom theorists e.g. S.Pathmanathan & Indrapala. The so called Tamil Kingdom was born of the invasion by Magha. Known as Kalinga Magha, as he had come from Kalinga. This is modern Orissa state in India. He apparently had established his capital at Jaffna, thus leading to the creation of the Jaffna Kingdom….This is a complete fabrication!

Once again this goes against all known literature and evidences. All evidences, state that he kept Pulastinagara(Polonnuwara), has his capital for the next 21 years and when making his escape from Sinhaladipa. It is recorded that he travelled to Mannar, through the Malwatte Oya. This scenario would not be the case, if his capital was indeed Jaffna!

There are many who describe the contingent of Magha’s invasion as Tamils but this is only partly correct. The majority seems to have consisted of Keralites, it is their name that is mentioned the most but also one must remember that the Sinhala word ‘Damila’, can mean anyone. Even the Portuguese are recorded as been this.

Even before the defeat of Magha and his expulsion from Lanka by Vijayabahu. It is said, that all including the Vanni Chieftains accepted him as their King.

In the 11th year of the reign of Parakramabahu II, arrived the Javaka Candabhanu. These peoples were Buddhists but were intent on gaining footing in Lanka. He captured the North and attempted to make an attack on Yapahuwa. Failing these, he made what is today’s Chavaketcheriya(Javaka Ketceriya) as his capital. The name Javaka Ketceriya in fact, gives away this. Although once again, the so called Tamil historians claims, are that Jaffna was his Capital.

Portuguese records, state the largest temple to the Buddhist God, Natha is at Chavaketcheriya. Plus Dutch maps of the 18th Century show more than 21 Wewa’s in these areas and one can understand why this area then were chosen.

  • Javaka Kotte
  • Javaka Ketcecheriya

Candabhanu was defeated by prince Virabahu, son of the King Vijayabahu's sister and the nation was made Unitary again. There are some evidences though, of assistance coming from the Pandyans during this expedition.

For the next few Centuries not much is heard of till the 15th Century.

There are those that speak of an Aryacharawathi King, commanding the entire nation but in fact the evidences speak another view eg Medavala inscription dated 1359, which describes Martanda Mudalis' of Yapanaya as a 'Perumal' or 'Sub-Ordinate' ruler, while the Sinhala King at Gampola, is described as 'Vikramabahu Chakravarti Svamin'. Thus ''THE DE JURE RIGHT OF VIKRAMABAHU TO THE SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE WHOLE ISLAND IS RECOGNIZED BY THE TREATY''.

The earliest record of events of these times is by De Queyroz 1636, whose book the ‘The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon, p48’….Quote:

This land was for long years without cultivation and subject to the Emperors of Ceylon, and though it abounded groves of trees, its inhabitants lived more on fish and game than on other fruits of their labour.

Its government, at the beginning, was only that of Vidanas(Sinhalese title) or stewards(abegoes), afterwards industry increasing, and with profit, it came to be governed by Araches and finally by Mudaliares. Under this form of government it remained for many long years until, with the progress of the natives and commerce of the foreigners, when the Court of Ceylon was already on the Metropolis of Cota, in the Reign of Mha Pracura Mahabau there came to that City a certain Panical(Teacher, Professional man, Barber), a foreigner, native of the mountains of Malavar from a village called Tulunar, an expert Master in arms, and for this reason he was welcome by the King, and being by him raised to the dignity of Modeliar, was called Panical Modeliar.

There he married and had two sons, who being educated in the Palace, were most beloved by the King, who afterwards considering that on the side of their Mother they had many kinsmen(Which more than likely, meaning a Sinhala royal), that as he had no heir. he had sworn in a grandson as his successor, and fearing that the two brothers, being less well affected because of what there was of a foreigner in them and very powerful because of their kindred, would disquiet his Kingdom after him, determined to kill them. He communicated this intention to one of his favourites, who advised him not kill them, but send with some title of honour the one who was more to be feared to subdue Jafanapatao, because the Modeliar(This might in fact be 'Panical Modeliar), whom he had placed there had seized the lands and had done many wrongs and violence's to his lieges.

The King adopted this advice, and the Modeliar himself who had given it to him went on his order to call the son of Panical who was called Chamba Perumal Or Sapumal to the Sinhalese(Even though his name is Tamil, on his mother's side, he is Sinhala. That is why after gaining the throne of Kotte, he names himself, a Sinhala name of 'Bhuvanikabahu'). He gave him men, wherwith he becaome master of those lands with the title of Prince, ever acknowledging the King of Cota and paying him tribute faithfully. He, they say, was the first who ruled Jafanapatao as King. In course of time there came some Bramanes, natives of Guzarate, called Arus, who claimed Royal descent; and with favour of the Nayque of Madure, they erected the pagoda of Ramanacor, whence they began to have trade and friendship with the Kings of Jafanapatao, and one of them married a daugter of that King; and finallyhis descendaents became heirs to the KIngdom. Of these the first that tried to free himself from the subjection of the King of Cota, was Ariaxaca Varati, who being naturally proud and not brooking the haughtiness of the officers of that King of Ceylon preparing to punish him, they say, he went to meet him at Ceytavaca and took him some verses wherein he so flattered him with praises of him and his ancestors that he left him completely vainglorious and satisfied, and the verses being helped by a goodly present, he nonly made him desist from war, but also obtained Olas from him and the title of King of Jafanapatao, which his successors presevered paying in acknowledgment only some tribute; and because this was the beginning of their greatness, his desecendents from the Aria, were called Ariawanse(Wanse is a Sinhala term), which means 'the generation of Aria'."

Even documents and websites, supportive of a Tamil Homelands, do state that the dynasty had connections with Rameswaram and also a title of Gangainadan, which alludes to the Gangeic plains, which again do suggest a Northern origin to them, rather than a Southern.

There is though, another possibility as to how a Sub-Kingdom, had come about;

In the 13th Century, Magha of Kalinga invaded this island. He came with an army of mercenaries consisting mainly of Keralites but also of Cola. After his conquest of Rajarata, he occupied Polonnaruwa. Candabhanu from the Malay Peninsula (which was Buddhist at that time,) occupied Jaffna Peninsula. His capital was at modern Chavakachcheri. Thus before the 13th Century there was no separate Jaffna Kingdom and that the first separate Kingdom of sorts, and neither Hindu nor Tamil but a Buddhist one. Because the Sinhala King at Dambadeniya could not fight two invaders at the same time, he had to get help from the Pandyas. Both Candabhanu and Magha were driven out of the country by about the year, 1262 AD, but the Pandyan help led to the occupation by Arya Cakravartis(The name suggest, a North Indian origin), who is said to have been the commander of the Pandyans of Madura in the 14th Century. However, the Kingdom of the Arya Cakravartis as their name implies, cannot be considered to be Tamil.

That happened, when Muslim invaders like Malik Kafur invaded Madurai, the capital of the Pandyans, in the 14th Century.

"Dishonor and loss of prestige and caste to themselves and their women were the only forces which could have made them leave the country of their birth," says Rasanayagam (p.335).

These high caste Vellalas were of the same social group as the Govigama Sinhalese people living in Jaffna Peninsula at that time and their influx here did not create any social conflict. If some Tamils who were displaced by the Muslim invasion also followed them, and the latter half of the 14th Century, would be earliest date for a Tamil settlement in Jaffna Peninsula. Any who had come here before that, had adopted Sinhala culture and become naturalized. This is confirmed by the Pujavali.

After some time, the Arya Cakravartis became powerful enough to be a threat to the dwindling power of the Sinhala Kings in the South.

After Prince Sapumal evicted the Arya Cakravartis in 1449, he ruled Jaffna Peninsula for a period of 17 years, on behalf of King Parakrama Bahu VI of Kotte (1412-1467) and according to De Queroyz;

During these times, it is said he Re-Populated many of the barren lands in the North, with the Sinhalese of Kotte.

When he left Jaffna to become King of Kotte as Bhuvaneka Bahu VI, he left as his proxy one ‘Pararasa Sekaran’ of the Pandya line to administer Jaffna. The annual tribute he had to pay to Kotte was ten tusker elephants for the Esala Perahera. This indeed sounds very match like the Portuguese story, the request of tribute etc etc.

It is said that, he had a Tamil concubine in addition to his high caste wife from Madura. This illegitimate son from that Tamil concubine was called Sankili. In 1519 Sankili killed his father and assumed power as the Sub-King of Jaffna, forcing the legitimate son and successor to flee to the Portuguese in Goa.

Therefore, Sankili appears to have been the first Tamil Sub-King of Jaffna. He was as much an enemy of the Portuguese as Mayadunne of Sitawaka, or Vidiye Bandara (father of Don Juan Dharmapala), who became the regent of Kotte after the death of Bhuvaneka Bahu in 1551.

The above mentioned events though, according Portuguese annals were slightly different;

Queyroz, p325:

"In Jafanapatao, Tribule(Vidiye Bandara) represented his misfortune to the Kinglet with such exaggerations and regrets as to make him give reinforcements, although he had made peace with Madune, because as his hatred of the Portuguese and the Christains was great, he wished to settle with them once for all what he had previously attempted, and asked some neighbouring Kinglets to muster their men under pretenceof liberating their fatherland by expelling therefore the Christain perverters of their Law. And in order to strenghten his cause the more, he obtained a Jubilee from Arracao wherein the Maturanse in the name of the Buddum promised great indulgences to those who took part in the enterprise, and to those who died gallantly in its attempt the stomach of a cow, which is greaterest happiness. By this means(for even here the Devil aped Christainty) the neighbouring Provinces were de-populated, and there gathered in Jafanapatao a large arrayal composed of various races.

When the day arrived on which the Kinglets, Vaneaz, Modeliares, Araches and other Captains had to swear obedienceo Tribule and to die fighting against the Portuguese and their partisans, this pompos solemnity was held in the great pagode(This is possibly, the original temple of Sapumal) outside the City of Nelur, wherein, before the other ceremonies, the Bull of the Maturanse was read and the indulgences contained in it were explained by the Ganezes(Buddhist priests, who had got married and leading a very much lay lifestyle), and the other things carried out with great ceremony and feasts. But when Tribule was acknowledged and declared General of that large camp and army(Thus showing, that all excepted that the Sinhala KIng was very the head of the nation), either by mishap or on set purpose, a match fell near him upon some powder, and at sight of that tiny flame there arose so great a tumult and confusion of voices that Vidiye Bandara, in whose heart there was nothing but treacheries, thinking that the King of Jafanapatao sought to kill him, drew his sword against him. And his followers imitated this rashness and without any other reason, they broke out into war with deaths on the one side and the other; and at last Vidiye Bandara lost his life there and the quarrel ended with his death, and thereby [ended] on of the greatest enemies of the Portguese nation and of the Faith of Christ"

  • Colonial periods

Portuguese traders reached Ceylon in 1505/06 where their initial forays were against the Kotte Kingdom; due to the lucrative monopoly on trade in spices that the Kotte Kingdom enjoyed was also of interest to the Portuguese.

The Jaffna region came to the attention of Portuguese officials in Colombo for multiple reasons, which included their interference in Roman Catholic missionary activities,  and due to the area been the commnad of the Kotte Kingdom, then Maha Nuwera, their support to anti-Portuguese activities. Their are some that have suggested that the area functioned as a logistical base for the Kandyan Kingdom, as it was land locked otherwise but this is flasehood, Puttalama, Chilaw, Batticalo, Trincomalee, Punte Gale, are to name but a few of the ports under Sinhala control during much of the Portuguese era and prior. Puttlama, in fact been one of th most Important, as it poduced the majority of the Kandian Kingdoms salt.

It was King Sankili I who resisted contacts with the Portuguese and even massacred 600-700 Parava Catholics in the island of Mannar. These Catholics were brought from India to Mannar to take over the lucrative pearl fisheries from the Ceylon King.

It during these times, that the Dutch were invited by non other than Sankili, to help agaisnt the Portuguse.

Queyroz, p625;

"Here he received information from the Captain of Mannar, that 6 paros of Malavares(The first mention of these peoples and the first clear information that the Tamils, were already arriving with the Hollanders)were threatening the Island and that others were expected with a Hollander squadren to lay siege to it, invited by Changali the Tyrant of Jafanapatao, and that he had offered them, out of hatred for the Portuguese, a fortalice in his lands."

When the Portuguese settled some 700 fisher folk who had been converted to Catholicism, in Mannar. Some believe that it was seen by Sankili as a threat to his position in Jaffna. He asked them to renounce their new faith and become Hindus again. When they refused to do so, he got all of them massacred in 1544. He also became paranoid when Vidiye Bandara (who had fallen out with Mayadunne, the King of Kandy, as well as the Portuguese who had him imprisoned,) escaped to Jaffna and became his guest. He feared Vidiye Bandara because the latter was known to be a power to be reckoned with besides that, Vidiye Bandara had carried with him part of the treasure of the King of Kotte and also a replica of the Tooth Relic, both of which would help Sankili to claim Kingship of Jaffna Peninsula, if he could procure them.

For a man who had murdered his own father, it was not too difficult to devise a way of getting rid of Vidiye Bandara. He got him killed in an attack at a religious ceremony, making it appear to be an accident. This was about the year 1556. This atrocity enraged the Sinhala population of Jaffna which was considerably large at that time. Many Tamils also hated him for his excesses. These two parties got together and drafted a petition, which they sent to the Viceroy in Goa. They asked him to oust Sankili, and replace him with one of the Sinhala Princes who were in Goa at that time. But the Sinhala princes died of small pox soon after. The reason they gave was that Sankili had no legitimate right to rule Jaffna as it rightfully belonged to the Kingdom of Kotte. This enraged Sankili, who planned to rid the peninsula of all the Sinhalese people who had lived there from the beginning. He launched the first campaign for Ethnic Cleansing in this country’s history and massacred the Sinhala people in the same way as he had the Christians of Mannar. A short account of this massacre was written down afterwards, in the Yalpana Vaipava Malai. Quoting that document, Rasanayagam says:

"After the massacre of the Christians Sankili’s, insane fury longed for more victims and he fell upon the Buddhists of Jaffna, who were all Sinhalese." He continued to slaughter them, and when the Portuguese force led by Braganza invaded Jaffna in 1560 they came across more than fifty mutilated bodies of Sinhalese people in their path. "He expelled them [who escaped the slaughter] beyond the limits of the country [Jaffna] and destroyed their numerous places of worship. Most of them took to the Vannis and the Kandyan territories."

That was the work of the man who staked a claim to be the first Tamil King of Jaffna, because he possessed what was thought to be the real Tooth Relic and the treasure of the King of Kotte taken from Vidiye Bandara. That ‘Kingdom’ however lasted only for about four years from 1556-1560. He had to submit to the Viceroy of Goa in 1560, and agreed to become a vassal of the King of Portugal. He also undertook to send to the Portuguese the annual tribute of 10 tuskers, which were earlier paid as tribute to the King of Kotte. He also surrendered most of the treasure that he seized after killing Vidiye Bandara and (that replica of) the Tooth Relic. "These terms written in the Portuguese and Sinhala languages were signed and authenticated." (Queyroz p.371) Note: Sinhala, the language of the ruling monarch, was used for this purpose instead of Tamil, because it had to be sanctioned by the King of Kotte who owned Jaffna, to become a legal document. This proved that Sankili’s claim to be the King of Jaffna was baseless.

The Viceroy also took Sankili’s elder son as a hostage to Goa. Shortly afterwards, Sankili was killed by one of his other sons, in 1561. He took over Jaffna as Puviraja Pandaram. The last of the Sub-Kings of Jaffna, also called Sankili. He was deposed and sent to Colombo with two of his nephews in 1619, "as Olivera explained: ‘everything that smacks of royalty is best sent away from here" (U.C.H.C Vol. 11 p. 118). This second Sankili was later taken to Goa, tried for treason, and executed, even though he consented to become a Catholic. Jaffna continued to be an integral part of Sri Lanka, who’s King was addressed as the de jure "Emperor of Jaffna" by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British, right up to the Kandyan Convention of 1815.



This was carried out by a minister appointed by the Sinhala Kings, called a ‘Diparaja’ or ‘Ruler of the Islands.’ (U.C.H.C. Vol I, p.229). Their are though some, who claim that since the 13th Century an Independent Tamil Kingdom had been established. The Chronological data of events recorded on Sel Lipi and Colonial records, once again show a different view, neither was their an Independent Kingdom and certainly no Tamil Kingdom:

11th Century-Inscription by the Sinhala raja Parakramabahu the Great and its regarding ship wrecks and taxes on Urathota(Kayts). According to Dr. Karthigesu Indrapala, the editor of this inscription and a former Professor of History of the University of Jaffna, "the fact that this edict was issued not by any subordinate official but by the King himself, shows that the monarch was in supreme control of the Northern most region of the Island".

12th Century-Candrabanu the Javaka's attempts are spoilt at gaining a footing in Sinhale with their expulsion from the North by the Sinhalese King. There are apparent record's, which confirm that the Pandyan King had sent assistance to the Sinhalese for this action.

1236/1270-Parakrama Bahu II, who finally rid the country of these foreign forces.

1359-Medavala inscription, which describes Martanda Mudalis' of Yapanaya as a 'Perumal' or 'Sub-Ordinate' ruler, while the Sinhala king at Gampola is described as 'Vikramabahu Chakravarti Svamin'. Thus ''THE DE JURE RIGHT OF VIKRAMABAHU TO THE SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE WHOLE ISLAND IS RECOGNIZED BY THE TREATY''.

1447/1450-Prince Sapumal, an adopted son and a general of King Parakramabahu VI of Kotte, subdued the unrest by the Mudali classes in the region in 1447-1450 and was later appointed by Kotte as the governor of the Yapanaya region. According to records seen by the Portuguese, he re-populated the barren Yapanaya with the Sinhalese of Kotte Kingdom.

1517-Treaty between King Dharma Parakrama Bahu and the Portuguese Lawrence d'Almeida, confirms the all area's incl Jaffnapatnam, as apart of the Kotte Kingdom;

'Rightful Lord of the World, fortunate descendent of the Kings of Anu-Raja-Pura, the greatest of all on earth, scion of the Gods in this Island of Ceylon, Rightful Lord of the empire of Cota and of the Realms of Jafanapatao and Candea, God of War in conquering Rebels who are more like women than men, Rightful heir of the Kings of Dambaden and of the greak peak of Adam; preserver of the law of Budduas, vanquisher of the Kings styled Ariavansa, for they are traitors; descendant of the son of the Sun with star on he head; true Master of all sciences, Legitimate descendant of Vigia-Bau, I., the Emperor Paracrame-Bau, in the hear of my Empire 40 years called Segara, am content and it pleases me mightily to give to the Kings of Portugal each year as tribute 400 bahars of Cimmamon, and 20 rings set with rubies that are found in this Island of Ceylao, and 10 tusked elephants on Condition that the present Governor and the Viceroys and Governors who shall succeed Lopo Soarez de Albergaria in the State of India, shall be obliged to favour me and assist me against mt enemies as the Vassal that I am of the Crown of Portugal.'

This treaty shows three very Important facts;

  1. By the statement 'the Realms of Jafanapatao and Candea', shows that these regions are vey much under the Sinhala Kingdom and 'NOT' an Independant region.
  2. By the statement 'vanquisher of the Kings styled Ariavansa', shows that the Aria Chakrawathi's were non-existent by this time and Sankili etc are 'NOT' of the Aria Chakrawathi Dynasty and
  3. The statement 'for they are traitors', shows that the Aria Chakrawathi's were indeed under the Sinhala Kings. Otherwise, they would 'NOT' be 'Traitors'!


1580-Dharmapala's Donation Treaty to the King of Portugal;

The states over which the King of Kotte claimed suzerainty were the Kingdoms of Sitawaka, of the {Seven) Korales, of Candea or the hill-country, and of Jaffna, and also the principality of the Four Korales There also were various Vanniyarships, who were bound bo by tribute to the king of Kotte. These were the two Panamas; Yala; Wellewaya Kosgama; Wellassa; Palugama; Batticaloa; Kottiyar; Trincomalee: and Puttalam. This last and Yala were held by several Vanniyars, Palugama by two, the others by one each. In the kingdom of Kotte itself were three Disawas, one over Matara, one over the Adikariya of Denawaka with the Agras or gem-pits of Sabaragamuwa. and one over the Adikariya of Nuwarakalawiya, the country forming the western half of the present North Central Province and stretching according to our document from Puttalam to Mannar. Apart from this last Adikariya or jurisdiction, the immediate possessions of Kotte are given as 221 korales, which included the south-west corner of the North-Western Province, with a small exception the whole of the Western and Southern Provinces as far as the Walawe River, and that part of the Ratnapura District to the south of the Kalu-ganga with the great villages Gilimale and Bambarabotuwa. The small exception referred to is the half of Hewagam Korale, which belonged to Sitawaka.

1593-The Portuguese state quite clearly that Jaffnapatnam is under the rule of King Rajasinhe I.

1609-Letters from the States-General of United Provinces, and Prince Maurice, sent by Marcellus de Boschhouwer to the Emperor of Ceylon. These letters dated Sept, 15th, 1609. Confirm that Rajasinhe is indeed, very much in charge of Trinco, Jaffna, Mannar, Chilaw, Batecalo and Cotiarama.

1611, July 16th-The King assembles all under his domain, to try work out a war plan on retaking Punte-Gale and Walane. All regions are represented incl Jaffna and all areas of the East.

1612, May 11th-Rajasinhe, gives the Dutch his permission to build a fort at Cottirama(Kottiyar), south of Trincomalee.

1613, March 16th-Under the Command of the Nephew of the Prince of Ouva, as Admiral, and Wandige Nai Hammi as Vice-Admiral. Set sail a fleet of battle ships from Cottiarama, against the Portuguese. These ships returned on the 6th May, 1613. With a bounty of more than 600,000 Livers plus a Portuguese ship.

1613, Aug 18th-All under the Kings command, were ordered to meet, due to worsening health of the King. Represented were all regions incl Jaffna and all regions of the East.

1613, Aug 19th-The Royal Patent to invest the two Princes (Ouva & Migonne), with the Administration of the Empire was read in the Assembly;

Cenuwieraat by the Grace of God Emperor of Ceylon, King of Candy, Settevaca, Trinquenemale, Jafnapatnam, Settecorles, Mannar, Chilaon, Panua, Batecalo, Palugam and Jaele; Prince of Ouva, Dennevaque, Passadon Corle, Velaren, Coromale, Mewatre and Ventane; Duke of Willegamme, Cale, Ody and Jattenore; Earl of Quatre Corle, Harkepatte, Odegodascary, Craiwitty and Batagedre. Peace to all those that read these Presents.

1638-Dutch signed a deal with the Sinhalese King to have berthing rights for their ships in all harbours on the East coast, Trincomalee and Batticaloa during the monsoon rains, proving that the Eastern costal regions belonged to the Sinhalese.

1661, April 29th-Etipola Seneviratne Rajaguru Kumarasinghe, Dissawe of Matale. Retakes the Trimangala Kotuwa(Fort Trincomalee).

17th century-The Dutch VOC was engaged in a war of attrition with the King of Kandy, who had close ties with Ceylon's Buddhist population. There was a narrow tongue of land at Elephant Pass; a fort was built to guard the border with the king's territory. Elephants captured on Ceylon were herded past here to Jaffna to be sold in India, hence the name Elephant Pass.

1672-The port of Trincomalee and the whole of Kottiyar Bay, were granted to the French by Rajasinhe II.

1766-The Dutch-Sinhalese Treaty in 1766(Clauses 3, 5, 6 & 16) and the English-Sinhalese Treaty in 1815 (when total sovereignty was ceded to the British) easily illustrate that the East and the inland parts of Jaffna, were completely under Sinhalese sovereignty.


3. And of all the shores not then occupied by it, to wit on the West from Kaimelle (Maha Oya) to Jaffna district, and on the East from the border of that district to the Waluwe River, to a width of one Singhalese mile more or less, as may be most convenient from the position of hills and rivers;
5. The Coy to recognise the King as Sovereign of the rest of the island;
6. The Coy for love of peace to restore all the lands recently captured, except the shores;
16. Such timber to be delivered at Trincomale and Battikaloa as the Coy may need;

1778-The gifting of near enough of the whole of what is today considered as the Eastern Province to the French. These incl the Ports of Kottiyar, Batticalao and Trincomalee.

1873-Ceylon Administration Report:

1795-6, British forces, took from the Dutch a narrow strip of territory boarding the coast with a fort, but the whole of the interior of Ceylon remained under the rule of a native raja until 1815.

The fact that all these regions, are represented, is proof that it is a Unitary Nation and apart of the Sinhala Kingdom!


There are some attempts by interested parties to show that Ibn Batuta, the famous 14th Century Arab traveler, had visited Jaffna. You find sites like the Norwegian Website, Wikipedia on the Jaffna Kingdom speak of him describing the Administration, so on and so forth.

The truth is that, Ibn Batuta arrived at a place called 'Battala', which certainly is not a Tamil name and cannot be identified. Battuta though, is advised by his own ship mates;

"This port is not in the territory of the Sultan whose country can be safely be visited by merchants. It is in the territory of Sultan Ayri Shakarwati, who is an evil tyrant and keeps pirate vessels"

The town of Battala, is said to be his Capital and is small but pretty, surrounded by a wooden wall with wooden towers.

The economy of this so called Kingdom is very simply. They simply exchange the cinnamon, for Woven clothes and other materials with the peoples of Ma'bar and Mulaybar.

He then is given assistance to carry on his journey to Siri Pada and leaves the Island via Battala, with assistance from a fellow Arab, Ibrahim, whom he apparently does not trust much.

With the arrival of Portuguese though, we do get a good insight of how the area was run by the regional rulers. Once Jaffnapattam was firmly under Portuguese rule. Following the orders of the Portuguese King, the same systems as had existed are ordered to be followed.

According to the Portuguese Tomb’s (Derived from Sinhala word ‘Tombuwa’), found in the Bibliotheca Nacional of Lisbon, Section  Archivo de Marinha e Ultramar.

These are just some of the terms used by the native Administration, as found by the Portuguese, gives a clue to the Sinhala origins of it:

  • Dissavenny
  • Dissava
  • Kuruwe Vidana(A Sinhalese title, for one that looks after the Elephants)
  • Adigar(A Sinhalese title)
  • Bandare(Fiscal officers)
  • Patteyam(Sinhalese for 'Rice Store')
  • Aleas(Non-tusked Elephants) and
  • Even the head fisher caste of Mannar bore the Sinhala title of Patabenda.

One of the Important aspects of the Portiguse administration were the Recebedores(Collectors). The collection of these village dues was entrusted to them and the Adigars.

Waligama was the most Important of these Provinces, and over this one officer was appointed to the joint posts of Recebedor one per cent, of the land rents and poll tax collected by him, as well as from the other dues which had to be paid by the villages of Waligama and the islands of Caradiva and Tanadiva, which belonged thereto. He was provided with a Patola containing all the details. A similar system was also established, within the other three provinces.

The Carpenters, Iron-workers, Nalavas, and Washermen had each their own Adigar, but these latter had nothing to do with the recovery of the Crown dues, which were in charge of the Receivers, though the Adigars were expected to assist them when called upon. The Carreas and the Weavers of Nallur and the Pattanam also had Adigars, who collect the renda and entrust the same to the Fransican coffers.

In fact in 1645, the Portuguese to help administer their control hired the three most powerful Mudaliyars of Jaffna; they were then attached to the Recebedores…:

  • Mudaliyar Gago in Waligama
  • Tanawalla Mudaliyar in Tenmarachchi and
  • Dom Philippe Chamaragama in the other two provinces.

Each of these Mudaliyars, recived 12 Paradaos from the Treasury.

According to 'Queyroz', the regions was divided into Provinces & Patuwas(This is below a Corla) e.g.:

'"Carnapatuwa and the Province of Panagamo(Apparently this was originally called Tanagama), the name of the Wannia who resided. It consist of the Patuwa of Urugara and of Walavi, which border on the lands of Mantota, and along the coast of the sea or gulf of Ceylon there are the villages Parangali & Punarin and others of lesser importance."


Mannar it would seem, was in fact a Sinhalese Kinglet, under the command of a Sinhalese Prince, by name of Urasinhe, who was also the commander of the forces of Jaffna royals. He later, joins the Portuguese with 1500 Sinhala Lascorins, which is one of the pivotal events leading to the capture of Jaffna. When the Portuguse though, take full command of Mannar, it is controled by a Prince, the name of Mahata, with a garrison of 3000 Sinhalese. This shows, that Mannar certainly had a large Sinhala population!



The economy of the Kingdom was almost exclusively based on trade. The last rulers, themselves been Mudaliyars. The main trade commodities included Elephants, Pearls and Cotton. There was not much agricultural life, within Jaffna, as quoted by Queroyz;

  • The majority of the Jaffna has 'NO' settled populations 
  • No agriculture, only a small population of merchant or Mudali(Business) families, at Nallur.

This is more than likely just regarding the Jaffna town and its environs though. As there are evidences, that Wewa system, which is a Sinhala system of agriculture, was still in use. Mannar district, which is near enough a dessert today, was indeed, green and lush as early 18th Century, maps show, with the Wewa’s.

..Mannar, as found in 1719.

The simple fact that today’s Tamil people, have no knowledge of these facts. Shows that they must have arrived after the destruction of the use of Wewa systems in the North!



The usual sources of revenue were sold as Rendas:

  • The Chapa and Tarega.
  • The Kolambagama ferry with its Adigari rights.
  • The Sand Passes.
  • The Tobacco.
  • The Xaya.
  • The Arrack.
  • The Foro’s
  • The Village Dues
  • Elephants Tribute
  • Pearls­


  • The Chapa and Tarega

This is said to be a traditional carried on as was done before the Portuguese conquest. It is where by every cloth, handled within the Kingdom had to bear an official stamp. The Portuguese used their armillary sphere as the official stamp. A fee had to be paid for affixing this stamp, and the right to collect this fee was sold as the Chapa Renda, From ancient times the rate of payment had been a fanam for eight chelias or 4 cachas or 25 white toucas or 100 clothes for the head, and this sum had now to be paid to the Renter.

No one was allowed to purchase cloth privately at the houses of the weavers and all sales, had to be carried out in a public spot. This spot in the case of the town, was the Grand Bazzar, and the weavers who carried on sales there, whether Pariahs or Kaikuler(Caste still found), had to obtain the stamp from the Renter himself; those resided at a distance could have their clothes stamped by the Renter’s agents.

No weaver could be engaged to work for a private person, but each had to carry on his work at his own house. The Washerman (mainatos, a word still used in places like Kurunegala, by Sinhalese washer man), painters and dyers (Xayacar), were forbidden to wash or dye cloth which had not previously received the chapa, under pain of fine.

The Tarega was apparently an impost levied on foodstuffs, and in accordance with the custom which prevailed under the native rulers, any vessel with such a cargo coming into any port had to pay three fanams as areatane(South Indian word meaning paddy), whatever might be the religion of the owner. In the case of all sales, whether at the Grand Bazaar or at the numerous chandeas,  markets, in the Kingdom, the purchaser of every fanams’s worth of grain had to contribute one full had thereof(This is a Sinhala custom. Among the Sinhalese a pata signifies as much as can be contained in the open hand with fingers closed, and a mita is what is held within the closed hand.)  Everyone desiring to sell such goods, whether grown by him or imported from aboard, had to do so at public spot, in the sight of the renter.

  • The Kolambagama ferry

This ferry connected the Peninsula with Punarin, and the renter of the ferry was also the Adigar of the port of Kolambatota. All passengers to and from the mainland, as well as all the fishermen living in the port, paid to him the customary dues, where were as follows;

  • Every fishing dhoney paidfor every day it went out fishing.
  • One large cash, of which fifteen went to the fanam.
  • Passengers from either side, making use of the ferry paid the same.
  • Cloth which had been already declared at the customs and which was meant for coastwise transport, paid no further duty here, but otherwise it was treated in the same manner as at the Pachelapale Passes; cattle were not taken across at this ferry; all other commodities had to be taken to the customs.


  • The Sand Passes

These led from Pachiellapale to the Wanni, and the customs in force under the native rulers were continued in respect of them;

No goods could be moved through them unless properly declared, and if cloth, duly stamped. If in order the merchants paid for each cachas a quarter fanam; for twenty-five toucams, red or black, half a fanam; for seventy white head cloths one fanam.

For Opium, Quicksliver, China wood, Cloves, Nutmeg and such like, 8% of their value.

Goods brought from the Wanni paid:

  • Each oxload of Cotton, a quarter fanam and
  • Every six oxen laden with varago (Sinhalese ‘Amu’, still largely cultivated and much in demad among diabetic patients as a food article), one fanam.

In the time of the native Kings, the inhabitants of Pachelapale and Illidematual used to go to the Wanni to cultivate gamas, there and would pay to the renters from ten to twenty lachas(Sinhalese ‘Laha’. The Sinhalese word used as a measure not only of capacity, but also of superficies. When employed in the latter sense, the extent varies according to whether the land measured is suited for rice cultivation), of foodstuffs for each gama, in accordance with its size.

A large proportion of these same natives; with the result that, when the produce came to be conveyed to the Kingdom, it was difficult to ascertain to whom it belonged.

Thereupon Lancarote de Seixas, when he rented the passes, gave orders;

  • That all grain taken over then should be pay a fanam for every four ox-loads; this regulation was now continued, except in the case of produce brought by the water to the town, when foodstuffs paid nothing.
  • All other goods coming by the Passes, such as Wax, Ivory, Musk etc…paid to the renter 8%, Areca paid two fanams the amunam of twenty thousand nuts, and Sapan 8%.


  • The Tobacco Rent

This rent had to be paid to Factor in four installments. No one could either buy or sell tobacco wholesale or retail save the renter alone; all tobacco brought from the Wanni on account of the renter had pay to renter of the Passes certain dues. Tobacco imported from Kandy or the Coast, after paying customs duty, had also to be sold to the renter and could not be retained without his license.

  • The Xaya Rent

The Xayeiros(Low caste of the Pallas), were the people who were liable to the service of collecting this root. It appeared from the ancient Patollas that Kings used to vary in the manner in which they treated this commodity, sometimes farming the business out to renters and at others carrying it on them; at any rate great confusion prevailed. The Adigars alone gave orders regarding these matters. There was 4% tax on this item, which applied to Waligama, Wadamarachchi and Tanadiva.

  • The Arrack Rent

The renter kept the monopoly on this trade. No one could obtain this from the Palmyra toddy, whether sweet or fermented, save the renter and his licensees. Nor could anyone else export the stuff to Manar, Trincomale or Batticaloa, except the renter.

  • The Foros

Another very Important source of Revenue was the Foros(This is a village set apart for the maintenance of an officer). These were the quit-rents levied from parties to whom Crown lands were allotted for various terms, usually for three lives, for various considerations, the grantees being called the foresiros. These were a separate Receiver (Recebedor) of the Foros, whose duty was to see to their proper collection.

  • The Village Dues

The village lands also were liable to pay separate taxes of their own, which were called the Rendas das Aldeyas; while the inhabitants had to pay a Poll Tax (Renda das Cabecas). These two dues appear in the Foral in lump sums against the villages, and no information is afforded there as to how they were assessed or how the individual was responsible in respect of them.

  • The Elephant Tribute

The most important source of Revenue in the Kingdom was the Elephant tribute. Under special instructions dated to 3rd Jan, 1612, the King of Portugal orders, that as he understands, that Elephants have always been a part of the native Crown, thus it shall be the a same, under his domain. The importantance of this was emphasized by Dom Philippe Mascarenhas in an Alvara on the 8th June, 1645. Special instruction was framed for the functioning of the Kuruwe Vidana, with the Portuguese Administration.

This tribute came almost exclusively from the Vannias, the petty chiefs who were left unmolested in the wild Wanni, each administering a separate district, so long as they paid this tribute.

On the 2oth June 1645, a contract was made with Tanacares of the Aldea Udupitya, by which they undertook to deliver annually two tuskers or A Aleas of not less than four covados(Portuguese Cubit), in consideration of their fields and gardens being exempted from the Foro. This was very profitable to the Crown, as one Alea was worth more than the entire sum remitted, and for the default of one elephant they had to pay 100 pardaos, and 50 for an alea.

 Also the Vidana, was allowed the areatane of the village of Changatarvael(The name signifies “the rice field of the Buddhist priests”. Changatar represents the Sinhalese Sanghaya, Buddhist priest, and the word is used by Ribeiro).

The village of Pembathy had been given by the native Kings to the Patangatins(The head fisher caste of Mannar bore the Sinhala title of Patabenda). This is confirmed by the last heir, Mor Thome de Mello. He agrees to provide, an alea of not less than four covados.

Any extra Elephants which were captured by the Tanacares or by the inhabitants of Muliawala, had to be paid for at fixed rates, beginning from 30 pardaos for an elephant of four covados, as laid down in the contracts.

Also there were plantation setups, where possible. These included for Cotton and Tobacco.

The Expenditure /the Rendas of the Kingdom

The bulk of the Expenditure of the Crown within the Kingdom was taken up by the Personal Emoluments. State aid was given to the Church with the object of spreading the Gospel, and the allowances were to be paid only in respect of ordained clergy and not of the laity or brothers, as of the Franscians and of the Society respectively.

Which are farmed out and the price at which they are settled this year 1645, on which an increase is expected, and no decrease. This shows that the region, actually improved under the Portuguese and not decrease, as certain historians suggest.


Pardaos of ten fanams

The rent of Tobacco and the ferry at Colombogama with its Adigaria


The Sand passes of Pachelapale


Arrack rent


The rent of the xaia of the Kingdom


The rent of the xaia of the Island Tanadiva


The rent of the Alfandiga


The rent of the Chapa(Clothing Stamp) and the Tarega.









In making the tirva(Which seems to be a levy on the Rice crops), in Mantota, no Clerk was required to take part on behalf of the King, as they had nothing to do; the office, which existed under the Native Kings, was no longer required; all the lands were now rented out, and the foreiro of each could be present at the measuring. The natives had to pay a marca of paddy, to the Clerk and the same to the caretaker of each tank. The inhabitants of Mantota were not obliged in respect of their Paravenias(This is a Sinhala term, meaning simply of ‘Ancestral Lands’, thus this been a Sinhala term used by the natives of Mantota. Then one can assume that either the populace is Sinhala or foreigners, who have adopted Sinhala customs) to render to the foreiros as triva more than the amount sown, the quantity being delivered as soon as the paddy was cleaned.

  • The Pearl Fishery

Dom Philipe Mascarenhas, chanced to be at Mannar at the time of the Pearl Fishery, and an inquiry into the regulations under which this was conducted convinced him that new rules were required, and these were issued in the form of a Regimento dated Jafanapatnam, 18th July, 1645, addressed to the Vedor or such other officer as should be in charge of the operations.

When the Fishery was contemplated, the Vedor sent orders to the Moors of the Paravas(Fisher caste of South India and who supplied the main divers to the Fishery), to come at the beginning of September with dhonies, to which two others were added either from the settlement of Careas or from any other place considered desirable; vassals from Tutucorin were allowed up to 15 paradaos for their expenses. The Fishery season though began in March.



  • Religious

These are the names of the many places of Sinhala Buddhist sites found throughout Northern Province:

Listed is first the original Sinhala name, then the now Tamil name.














Dambakola-thota and patuna
























..Colombo Museum(Original Image in Thailand).

Sites of Vavuniya & Mullativu
Sites of Kilinochchi
Sites of Mannar

The cultures found in Jaffna, seems to have varied from area to area. Unlike the suggestions made by Tamil racist, that Jaffna mono-ethnic and Hindu, the facts in fact tell the complete opposite. Just a few examples to name but a few;

    1. At Nallur was built many Buddhist temples and one especailly to house the Tooth Relic brought by Vediya Bandara.
    2. At Nallur, was found an ancient Mosque, still used the Muslims of the area. This was burned down in 1614 by the Canere Padre and the Portuguese church of St Anne, built on top. This Padre, even tried buying the homes of the Muslims of this area, to make a non-muslim region.
    3. There were villages dedicated and used by the Buddhist Sangha e.g. Changatarvael.
    4. It was at a Great Vihara at Mannar, that James Cordiner in 1803, meets a Buddhist priest to guide him at Anuradhapura.
    5. Images of Buddhist stupas, are found on late 17th Century artworks, while none of any Hindu.
    6. The largest temple to the Buddhist god Natha. Was found at Chavaketceriya. It is reported, as been very active, by the Portuguese, who destroyed it.
    7. The famous Madhu shrine is a Sinhala temple dedicated to the Goddess Patthni. The traditions of this temple, were still been followed, as reported by Ivers.


  • Society

As far as, the evidences show, the peninsular was indeed a collection of different peoples.

What we can say is that a clear outline, of the populations of the cities and of the villages, can be made though.

Records from Colonial times once again, gives the best picture of who was where at these times.

The state as described by different peoples from Queyroz to Percevil, though at different periods, give an outline.

Take the Jaffna city, itself. It is clear from Portuguese records, that it had a Sinhala majority with Muslims and Bedagazs(Vaduka(Telegu)) but no mentions of any Tamils/Malabarins. By 1800's though, according to Sir Robert Perceivl, had a Muslim majority. So one has to wonder then, how by 1881(Census), Tamils were 265,000 and the Muslims amounted to only 3000???? Where did the more than 200,000 Tamil' come from????

Nallur though, is according to the Portuguese had a majority Vellala populace and according to Queyroz, no other place in the whole of Jaffna, are found these peoples, of South Indian origin found. These Vellala though, had become so integrated with the Sinhalese to such an extent, that by mid 19th Century, British Civil Servants e.g. J.W.Bennett, declared them as a Sinhala Caste. Vellala, it would seem became in a later time the land lords of a great extent of Jaffna. Unfortunately quite large amount of the Sinhalese, were made their slaves. Covia, Nalava, Tanacara etc etc...Their are some, who argue that these are not Sinhalese, who were enslaved but Tamils. Then the question of how their customs differ, from that of the Tamils and are more in conduct of the Sinhalese, must be answered????

Nallur, according to Portuguese sources, certainly had a great Sinhala populace. As described by Queyroz, p357;

"Two sailors, both brave men, Pero Travacos, a native of Cochim, and Braz de Couto of Truquel in the Boroughs of Alcobaca, offered to go and discover them. They landed with all precaution, but were at once surrounded by the Chingalaz within sight of the Manchua(Type of Malaylam boat) in which they went,"

The villages though, show a clear majority been of Sinhala peoples, and of Buddhists. Not only Queyroz & Philip Baldaeus but also Dutch period maps and Images of Stupas suggest this vividly.

The fact that an ancient Muslim Mosque, did once stand at Nallur, till been burned and destroyed by the Catholic Padre of Jaffna during the early 1600's, again shows a Multi racial society. Also the fact that the Portiguese records only have battles with the Sinhalese, Muslims and Vadukas, speak volumes....One cannot help but wonder, where were these Tamils to defend their so-called Kingdom????

According to the head of the Franciscan order in Ceylon, father Negaro. Who had studied all available records, while in the Kingdomand I quote:

That Prince Sapumal after ascending the throne of Kotte as King Buvanekabahu VI had decided to Re-Populate the Northern area's as majority of these areas were Un-Populated. This settler’s would have obviously been of the Kotte Kingdom.

Which certainly, doe's mean a Sinhala population.

De Queyroz, states that there are tanks at Nallur and these though full of water and are not used by many. He says the flowers growing on these, he was told are called 'Manel Mal'...This is the Sinhala name of the Purple Lotus, which grows on most Wewa.

Even though Sinhalese were most well versed on the Jaffna region the Portuguese commanders advice their populace, never to heir a Sinhalese to guide them in Jaffna, as irrespective of be it Jaffna or Kandy. It is considered as one Sinhala nation and so not trust worthy....See Link

The events regarding Sankili alone, gives a loud voice to considerable Sinhala populations in Jaffna at that time and beyond e.g....

  • The Portuguese spies, two sailors Pero Travacos and Braz de Couto were sent to check out the defences. It is said they landed at Nallur using a Malayalam Dyonie (type of South Indian boat). It is interesting to note that, when they landed they were arrested by a Sinhala army!
  • Upon the Jaffna Kings escape, that his Sinhala commander known as Urasinhe, left him and joined the Portuguese.

See Sankili for more information!

Queyroz gives the population amounts on the eight Islands of the coast, these are very Important, as:

  1. It gives an indea of the size of the populations of those times and
  2. Gives the names of these Islands.

It is said that, of them two are deserted but the others Inhabited.

  • Tanadiva, which is the best, with a circuit of siz leagues, forms the port of the quay of the elephants, and it will have about 1200 inhabitants. Large palm groves and some fields.
  • Caradiva, which will have about 600 inhabitants, some palm groves and fields, and a circuit of four leagues, a cool and pleasant place to live in.
  • Congardiva, is of two leagues and a half in circuit and has around 800 inhabitants. It has large palm groves and rice fields, and in them there were in former times horses and wild asses, the latter not fit for work, the former of no use.
  • Nerundiva, called D.Clar's has a circuit of two leagues had about ninety families, some fields and palm groves.
  • Portugaldiva, which is very much like the Island of Nerundiva and they call 'of the Cows'. This Isle has around 300 families.
  • Nayadadiva, is callec thus because of the snakes. This Island had around 60 families.

All these Islands names are today, Tamilzed eg Caradiva-Karativu.


Robert Percival, one of the officers who arrived here along with the occupation of the maritime districts of the island by the British in 1796, says:

"During a residence of upwards of three years I visited almost every part of the seacoast; and before I left the island, I was quite familiar with its general appearance, its productions, the present state of its cultivation, and the manners and dispositions of its inhabitants." (An account of the Island of Ceylon 1803, Tisara Publications, page 2.)

What Percival had to say of the ethnic composition of the island even in 1505, is noteworthy:

"The situation in which Almeyda found the island was not essentially different from its present state, except in those changes which have been introduced by its successive European inmates. The inhabitants consisted of two distinct races of people. The savage Bedas [Beddhas, the Jungle Folk or Veddahs] then, as now, occupied the large forests, particularly in the northern parts; the rest of the island was in possession of the Cingalese" (p. 05). He repeats this remarkable statement again in chapter VIII of his book. "When the Portuguese first arrived on the island, the whole of it, with the exception of the woods inhabited by the wild Bedas, was possessed by one race" (p. 122).

There is allot of confusion about who the so called, Wanni or Vanniyars? This subject is well explained by the Portuguese. It would seem they are the Sinhala populace of the Ancient Rajarata. It seems after the destruction caused by Magha, the upkeep of the Wewa systems declined. This led to decease and hunger. Upon this situation, some left and some stayed. These details are also confirmed in the Pujavaliya. See....Link

Even Tamil writers have contributed to the view that the Jaffna Peninsula was originally inhabited by the Sinhalese people from the 6th Century BC up to the Portuguese Period. Rev. S. Gnana Praksar, O.M.I., has said:

"Mr. Horsburgh's article on Sinhalese Place Names in the Jaffna Peninsula [C.A. Vol. 11 Part 1, pp54-58] places beyond doubt the fact of "a Sinhalese occupation of the Jaffna Peninsula antecedent to the Tamil period". Mudaliyar C. Rasnayagam says "That Jaffna was occupied by the Sinhalese earlier than by the Tamils is seen not only in the place names of Jaffna but also in the habits and customs of the people. The system of branding cattle with the communal brand, by which not only the caste but also the position and family of the owner could be traced, was peculiarly Sinhalese. The very ancient way of wearing the hair in the form of a konde behind the head, was very common among the people of Jaffna till very recent times" (Ancient Jaffna, p. 384).

ANCIENT JAFFNA, By Mudaliyar C Rasanayagam,First Edition 1926, Page 382:

After the massacre of the Christians, Sankili’s insane fury longed for more victims and he fell upon the Buddhists of Jaffna who were all Sinhalese. He expelled them beyond the limits of the country and destroyed their numerous places of worship. Most of them betook themselves to the Vanni’s and the Kandyan territories (as per Yalpana Vaipava Malai by Mailvagana Pulavar translated by C Brito.), and those who were unable to do so became the slaves of the Tamil chieftains and are now known as ‘Kovia’, a corruption of the Sinhalese word ‘ Goviya’ or ‘Goiya’ and that their original status was equal to that of the Vellalas can be inferred from customs which are still in Vogue in Jaffna. The ‘Tanakaras’ and the ‘Nalavas’ of Jaffna should also be considered Sinhalese remnants in spite of the fanciful derivation of the word ‘Nalava’ given by the author of the Vaipava Malai. The Nalavas were perhaps originally the Sinhalese climbers and received the Tamil name on account of their peculiar way of climbing trees. They too became the slaves of the Tamil chieftains. The Tanakaras were the ancient elephant keepers and those who supplied the necessary fodder to the stables of the king. (Sinhalese: Tana=grass). They perhaps on account of the service rendered by them were not expelled from the country and later became inseparably mixed with the Tamils among whom they had to remain………the fact that the Kovias, Tanakaras and Nalavas were originally Sinhalese can be seen from the peculiar dress of their women who wear the inner end of their cloth over the shoulders in a manner quite strange to the genuine Tamils.

There are attempts by Eelamists, to suggest that the Tamils left for Ramanathapuram in India and the Vanni regions, after the Portuguese conquests. We can with certainty state that it is a baseless lie, as in the later 1600's, once the Dutch conquers Jaffna. It is stated that beyond, Alimankada are the Kandian Buddhists and with because of fear, they built a fort to safe guard their new acquisition. In 1833, during the Colbrooke Commission, what is of great interest, are the reporting's of captain'Schneider'. In Vol 4, he described the Wanni region and especially what is today Mullativu district. He clearly states that this region only has a few villages and that they are Sinhala villages.

Emerson Tennent, 1859:

The Wanni District did not seem to have a sizable Tamil population at that time: "If the deserted fields and solitudes of the Wanni are ever again to be re-peopled and re-tilled, I am inclined to believe that the movement for that purpose will come from the Tamils of Jaffna" (p.98.8). The population of North Central and Eastern Provinces was so depleted that there had been also a proposal to effect "colonization from the coast of India... but the suggestion is uncongenial of attempting the revival of agriculture through the instrumentality of Tamils, the very race to whose malignant influence it owes its decay; and any project, to be satisfactory as well as successful, should contemplate the benefit of the natives, and not strangers in Ceylon" (p.903).” Therefore even as late as 1859, this British scholar considered Tamils from India as strangers to Sri Lanka.

Maps from the late 17th Century, show at that at least, 85% of all names and villages in the Jaffna region, were Sinhala...See Link

This leads to two possiblities, that no one can ignore;

  1. Either all these areas, were indeed Sinhala.
  2. oe that in very recent to this date, these areas were abonded on forigieners, took over them eg Tamils.


  • Literature

There is in fact hardly any literature, which can be proved was developed in Jaffna, during these times. We say hardly because, the one material that is available is the Nallur Treaty.

Written in Sinhala & Portuguese, for the surrender of Sankili and the treasures of Kotte Kingdom.

Which also confirms that Administration of Jaffna, was in the Sinhala language.


  • Architecture

The monuments that are found in Jaffna can class into several groups:

* Neo-Lithic Monuments e.g. Pomperripu

According to Dr. Siran Deraniyagala, the world famous Archeologist and Asia’s most respected says;

“These sites have thus far only revealed DNA wise of Sinhalese. No evidences of Tamils.”

The fact that, these sites are similar to ones found in South India has prompted Homeland theorists to claim them, as Tamil. It is quite childish and Ignorant to have such a perception but talking about the sites in South India, in particular Tamil Nadu thoughOne wonders, why no DNA evidences of them, have thus far been revealedCould it be, that they are not of Tamil extraction?

* The Pre-Christian & Post-Christian, Sinhala Buddhist Monuments

The Sinhala Buddhist monuments are made up of more than three hundred Buddhist monuments. These cover the entire district of Jaffna and include highly important places as Nagadipa & Kadurugoda Vihara.

These pictures below from the Dutch archives, shows the building of churchs near what appears to be the remains of Stupas. This certainly indicates that it is Buddhist monuments that were destroyed to built these Christain ones and not Hindu monuments, as Eelamists claim.

  *1672, Dutch Archives.
This shows clearly next to the church, what seems to be a stupa, without its pinnacle.

*1672, Dutch Archives.
Again here at Mulipatto, one can see the remains of a Stupa.

Nagadipa Raja Maha Viharaya

* Kadurugoda Vihara.
* The Post-Kalinga Magha era, which do Include, Cola monuments.

It must be pointed out, that these Cola monuments and artifacts have been found majority in Polonnawara and not in Jaffna. The only place in Northern Lanka, where Chola or to be precise Raja Raja had built a temple was on Delft. This has been recently found.

So one can't help but ask, then why if Tamils were in Jaffna, he not build any their?
*Mantri Maligaya.

The post Kalinga era, today only consists of the Raja Mantri Maligaya, the name itself suggests it’s the palace of a Sub-Ordinate rather than a King. The Ceylon Archeology dept confirms the age of this monument as 15th Century and tributes its construction to Sapumal of Kotte. The Archeology dept has taken great care in preserving this monument plus the great pond which lies within it.

Sapumal and his father, Parakramabahu V, are in fact given the credit for the building town of Jaffna plus the famous Nallur temple. The original temple was destroyed by the Portuguese, on the 2nd Feb 1625. It more than likely looked very much like any other Sinhala Devalaya’s, rather than a South Indian Tamil Kovil. The present Tamil Kovil was built during the British occupation.

If one is to visit the famous Kandhaswami Kovil, you can hear daily prayers to none other the Sapumal of Kotte under the name of Buvanekabahu VI, even to this day.

Recently though, we have noticed attempts at redefining the entire meaning of Nallour as meaning 'City of Many Temples' when in fact, it means 'Beautiful'. Also once again it comes down to the fact that 'NO' archeological evidences of such temples have been found plus most importantly the Portuguese make 'NO' mention of such buildings!




*Portuguese authorities, call Migapule Arachie a Mudali and even his uncle. The brother of Sankili, Branco, is also a Mudali. This again shows the Mudali, link to this family.

*The Cleghorn minute, has been used by Tamil extremists as evidence of two separate nations’s been in existence in Lanka. This minute is in fact derived from none other than the Yalapana Vaipava Malai. The Cleghorn minute was written using a book by J.Burnand;

1796: J. Burnand, a Swiss soldier in the service of the Dutch and later the English, and governor of Batticaloa, composes a 'memoir' in Batticaloa and the Vanni and his administration there in 1794.

1798: J. Burnand helps with the suppression of the revolt against the Indian amildars, administrators brought from Madras to Ceylon. He drafts another 'memoir' on the North and Northeast, in which he locates the origins of the Sinhalese in Siam and mentions that from time immemorial Sinhalese and Tamils had divided the rule of the island between the two of them.

1799: The English translation of Burnand's memoir of 1798 becomes known as the 'Cleghorn minute'.

What gives away the fact the Mr.Burnand, had used the Yalapana Vaipava Malai. Is the fact on which he says the Sinhalese had come from Siam. In no other literature, does it state, that the Sinhala people came from Siam (Siam a kingdom, which came into existence after 14th century AD), other than the Yalapana Vaipava Malai-J. Burnand memoir-Cleghorn minute!

*A true and exact description of the Great Island of Ceylon" (1672) by Phillipus Baldaeus. Apparently Baldaeus was a Dutch predikant (a pastor) who lived in Jaffna for about nine years.
He says;

The fort of Jaffnapatan is square surrounded with strong high walls as the print exhibits, it is larger than the fort of Batavia and is the capital of the entire kingdom. It remained under the Portugezen sway for upwards of 40 years, wrested from the Emperor by Philippo d'Olivero when he defeated the Cingalezen forces near Achiavelli by the great pagode, where there are still to be seen the ruins and a wonderfully large wide well, deep and round and its centre 24 fathoms deep, truly a wonderful work hewn out of a large rock.

*NewEmerson Tennent, writing in 1859, says:

"The ancient [Sinhala] organization for rice cultivation known as "village system," exists in undiminished vigor throughout the Eastern Province. The chief of the district supplies tools, hatchets, cattle, and seed-grain; the people repair the dams and channels which lead water through the rice ground; plough it, tramp the mud, sow and fence it, and complete the work by their joint labor. One portion (generally one-eighth) is cultivated exclusively for the lord of the soil. The residue of the harvest is then divided into conventional shares amongst the villagers and their hereditary officers, including the doctor, school-master, tom-tom beater, barber, and washer man" (Ceylon: p.923).

*The Rajavaliya states that King Sri Parakrama Bahu of Kotte (father to Prince Sapumal), had in fact ruled over seven villages called "Makudam Kotta" in Soli country (Tamil Nadu). Today Eelamist claim, that it was the Jaffna Kingdom, which ruled these Indian territories.

*According to the British Administration report of 1873, the North Central Province was created on the 6th Sept 1873 by amalgamating three Kandyan Districts;

Demala Hath Pattuwa(Which means that, seven out of the ten villages, where of Malabar origin)

According to this same report, the population count was;

Kandyan Sinhalese-59,000


*The emblem of the royal house of Jaffna was a Lion, which is certainly not a Dravidian symbol 
but of an Aryan and NEW claims, suggest that this mentioned Lion flag may be of Javanese origins.

                                  *The so called flag of the Jaffna Kingdom (As seen here), is but a fake.        

This has been produced by taking the artwork as represented by a bronze seal found in Padaviya belonging to the Nanadesis Traders, who arrived via the Cola invasion in 12th Century. This seal of the 13th Century and inscribed in Sanskrit grantha, is the only one of its kind found in Lanka.

The Bronze seal

These traders not only stayed after the expulsion of the Cola but integrated to the Sinhala society and this is shown by inscriptions Vijaya Bahu, Gajabau and Queen Lilavati. During Gajabhu time South Indian Mercenaries known as the Velakkaras who spoke Malayalam arrived, again it can be assumed as there is no record of women arriving, that these peoples integrated and had in many cases become Buddhist, as a Vihara was built by Velakkara Commanders, during the reign Queen Lilavati and most importantly was even given the honor of protecting the Tooth Relic.

*This is the flag of British Ceylon. The symbol is taken from an ancient Sinhala Royal emblem. Only difference is that the Elephant should in fact be having his trunk lifted in salute. These shows, that even the British, had excepted the right of the Buddhist to Ceylon-Lanka.

*To quote Prof. S. Arasaratnam (1965), himself a Jaffna Tamil and Professor of History at the University of Singapore:

"AFTER (emphasis mine) the middle of the 13th century there arose in the Northern part of the island a separate Kingdom ruled by a South Indian dynasty. The withdrawal of Sinhalese power from the North was utilized by the dynasty to entrench itself." However, as late as the 15th century, this situation changed and Parakramabahu VI regained the lost territories and unified the country, and even built the Nallur temple in Jaffna. This situation prevailed until the arrival of the Portuguese."


"During the 13th to 16th centuries Kotte, Kandy, and Sitawaka were Sinhala kingdoms, with Kotte and Kandy having suzerainty at different times over the whole island until the arrival of the Portuguese. The Portuguese signed a treaty with the Kotte king for the use of Colombo and its port, but gradually extended their occupation to much of the Maritime regions including Jaffna. Later the Dutch ousted the Portuguese with help from the King of Kandy who wished to regain control of the captured Maritime regions. But the Dutch reneged on the agreement and stayed on. However, both the Dutch (and Portuguese before them) were unsuccessful in their attempts to gain control of the central hill region of the Kandyan Kingdom. The Dutch-occupied Maritime regions were in turn captured by the British, who persisted in bloody battles for control of the entire island for several years, until the Kandyan Kingdom was finally ceded by Sri Wickrama Rajasingha, and thus the entire island came under British control in 1815."

The existence of Treaties by these Western colonial powers with the Sovereign of the Island at each successive stage of colonization, clearly demonstrates the existence at each stage, of a single sovereign and thus the Unitary history of the Island.







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