After independence in 1948, consecutive Sinhala rulers made it state policy to settle thousands of Sinhala colonists in lands that
had been traditionally inhabited by Tamils for centuries. The process was ideologically motivated by Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism.
This government drive to deprive Tamils of their ancestral lands is also based on the ideological and false belief that Tamils are
foreign invaders who stole land that belongs to Sinhala Buddhists. Thus the desire for land anywhere in the North-East to create
new Sinhala colonies becomes a birthright in Sinhala eyes.
At the very beginnings of the colonisation programme, the aim that there should be no territory that could be called Tamil, became
a part of its conscious agenda. The following excerpt from a speech attributed to Ceylon’s first Prime Minister, D.S.Senanayake,
addressed to colonists in Padaviya, Trincomalee district (an area linking the North and East), is self‑explanatory:
Trincomalee district has been a prime target for Sinhala colonisation because of its position in linking the Tamil north and east.
The below map from the 2007 census clearly shows the radical changes that decades of Sinhala colonisation has enacted on the
district. New Sinhala divisions have been created out of previously Tamil areas such as Kanthalai and Seruvila (Kottiyar Pattu), the
latter breaking the contiguity of the Tamil coastline. By 1981 the Sinhala population of the district had rocketed to 33% from a mere
4% in 1911.
After the Black July pogrom of 1983, the Sinhalese government schemed to destroy the Tamil homeland using a combination of
ethnic cleansing and accelerated Sinhala colonisation.
In December 1984, the SLA ethnic cleansed over 3,100 Tamil families from
Manal Aaru (Weli Oya) to make way for over 3,364 Sinhalese families.
It is now 100% Sinhalese. (Source: Mullaitivu district, Census 2012)
Malinga Herman Gunaratne was one of the architects of this Sinhala supremacist scheme (known as System M). He has written a
book ‘For a Sovereign State’ that documents this plan and the overt support it got from the Sri Lankan government.
The following excerpts from the book reflect the illogical ‘minority complex’ and anti-Tamil phobia endemic in the Sinhalese
community (similar to how the Nazis demonised the Jews):
The Buddhist clergy were heavily involved and recruited Sinhala colonists from the south using their temple networks. They often
evoked the imagery of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism to mobilise thousands:
(Above) Dimbulagala monk’s address to armed Sinhala colonists at the new settlements in Batticaloa in 1984.
Sinhalisation has accelerated after the elimination of the LTTE, the only force that stood in the way of Sinhala supremacy.
The following remarks from Sinhala leaders across the political divide demonstrates the widespread support for this policy:
General Sarath Fonseka, former leader of the opposition, who is from the Karawa caste (descendants of post 15th century
South Indian Tamil Karaiyar migrants).
Sinhala supremacists have been posted at the highest echelons of the country’s archaeology department. Dr. Susanta Goonatilake,
was made president of the country’s oldest academic body, the 166 year old Royal Asiatic Society. In an interview with the Sunday
Times in January 2010 he extolled his Sinhala supremacist vision: