Sinhala Buddhist monk Ellawala Medhananda stated that “tenant” Tamils shouldn’t cause hassle for the “landlord” Sinhalese, in response to a speech by TMTK MP C V Wigneswaran in parliament last month, claiming there is “no proof that the North and East are historical Tamil provinces”.
"It is a blatant lie that Tamils are the ancient race in Sri Lanka,” Medanantha said, “and there is no historical evidence to corroborate that statement”. The Buddhist monk is a former MP with the Jathika Hela Urumaya and is currently a member of the Presidential Task Force on archaeology in the Eastern Province.
“Talks on race, language and historical origins are meant to stoke communal hatred and sabotage the government’s development plans,” he continued. “Wigneswaran’s statement is a blatant lie. It doesn't do any good for the Tamil people. On the contrary, it would only bring them more problems”.
“There is no proof that the North and East are historical Tamil provinces. If Tamil was in Sri Lanka first, it would’ve left its imprint on Sinhala. No such imprint is to be found.”
“Tamil people have the right to live in Sri Lanka. They are our brothers. The majority-led government does not perpetrate any injustice against them. Just like tenants don’t cause any hassle to the landlords, the minority communities here shouldn’t cause any trouble to the majority in the country.”
Medanantha’s statement calling non-Sinhalese people “tenants” points to the growing Sinhalisation of the island and the environment of impunity with which Sinhala Buddhist monks operate in Sri Lanka.
Earlier this year a group of monks warned that if Tamils demanded devolution then “a river of blood will flow in the North and East”.