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"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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  • Readings from Tamil History
    Compiled by Naddup Pattan T.H.Yogaratnam
    2, Lorong Mengkudu 1, 55000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Published February 1998


Dedicated to the sorrowful memory of all the Tamil political detainees massacred in cold blood in their cells in the high security prison of Welikade on 25th and 27th of July 1983

From the Foreword

This is a collection of readings compiled from Tamil history and literature by a layman. This collection is an album, as it were, of picture post cards from various sources, capturing in words long-forgotten events and personalities made with the same spirit of wonderment with which a tourist may take in the sights as he or she wanders through the corridors of some ancient sites of civilization.

It is hoped publishing this collection would give easy and ready access to readers to some of the events and personalities whose imprint on our own life and times though very real remains largely forgotten and unrecognised. It is intended for those with a busy schedule who are interested but have neither an adequate knowledge of the Tamil language nor the time to spare to acquaint themselves with some of the highlights of Tamil history and literature. Each Section of these word-picture post cards, so to speak, is complete in itself and could be picked up and read through within, perhaps, half-an-hour.

Section A deals with the `Sangam' period, Section B with Karikal Chola's period, Section C with the neo-Savaite period, Section D with the Chola Empire period and Section E with the modem period. These are by no means exhaustive. Further, as historical currents cannot be sectionalised as they flow into other sections they are followed through - thus the links between the Karikal Chola period and the Chola Empire period are followed through forwards or backwards.

The main theme-strands along which these word-picture post cards have been strung out are:-

(1) From Thol Kapiyar's grammar of stolen love to Thaver's Seevaka Chintamani to Kulotunga Chola's court to Sekkizaar's Periya Puranam.

(2) From the interpolation of Varnashrama Dharma into the Thol Kapiyam to the Laws of Manu to Manu Neethi Cholan to the Christian missionary effort in Jaffna and Savaite reaction thereto.

(3) From the Ariyanism of Dutu Gemunu to the Mahavamsa to Anagarika Dharmapala to the Tamil struggle for self-determination.

(4) From the Cholas and Pandiyas to Tamil loss of sovereignty on 5.6.1619 to the Tamil struggle for self-determination.

(5) From Purananooru No.58, 66 & 367 to the present Tamil struggle for self-determination -the need for unity among the Tamils.

In order to make these "Readings" more attractive to readers material in this Collection has been selected, as far as posssible, with an eye on its "story" value. The purpose of the present exercise is to provoke - provoke reflection on a subject that must be close to the soul of the Tamil diaspora. If there is anything that may be factually or interpretation-wise debatable or even incorrect the writer would be glad to hear for the benefit of consideration.

I wish to thank my many friends not only for lending me the use of their private collection of books and other source material but also for their advice and constructive criticism in the preparation of this compilation. 1 also wish to place on record my thanks to the National Library of Malaysia and the libraries of the University of Malaya and the University of Singapore for allowing me the use of their facilities. Last but not least I also wish to thank my son Veeman for presenting me with a lap-top computer which made my task much easier.

Table of Contents

 Section A

1. Aryan Invasion of India circa 1500 B.C.
2. The Thol Kapiyam (தொல்காப்பியம) circa 3rd.-4th centuries B.C.
3. The Laws of Manu.
4. The Story of Dutu Gemunu & the Aryan Complex in the Sinhala Nation.
5. Tamil Literature of the Sangam Period - A Survey.

Section B

1. Karikal Chola or the charred-legged Chola circa latter part of the 2nd Century A.D. -Some Events in his life.
2. Karikal Chola & The Influx of Brahmins into the Tamil Country.
3. A Tourist's Eye-view of Karikal Chola's Kingdom.
4. The Battle of Venni - its sequel.
5. Karikal Chola's Expedition to the Himalaya Mountains - a legend?
6. The Palace of Karikal Chola.
7. The Submergence of Kaveri Paddinam into the Sea.

Section C

1. The `Arugam Pul' & Lord Ganapathi.

Section D

1.(a) The Chronology of the Rulers of the Chola Empire. (b) Raja Raja Chola's Conquest of Ceylon. (c ) Rajendra Chola & The Dynamics of Power Play in the Bay of Bengal. (d) Rajathi Raja Chola & The Power Play in the Bay of Bengal - The Second Invasion of Sri Vijaya. (e) Prince Anabayan & a Problem of Protocol in Sung Dynasty China.
2 Vira Rajendra Chola's Death in 1070 A.D. & The Confused State of Affairs Thereafter.
3. The `Seevaka Chintamani' & Sekkizar's Compilation of the Periya Puranam'.
4. Tamil Shipping in the Western & Eastern Oceans.
5. The Tooth Relic.

Section E.

1. European Colonization of Tamil Eelam. (a) The Tamil-Portuguese War of 1560. (b) 5.6.1619 & Thereafter. (c ) The Portuguese Conquest of Jaffna - An Eyewitness Report (d) An Eye-witness view in 1613 of Thirukoneswarar Temple.
2. The Betrayal of King Cangili II by the Tamil Traitor Kakkai Vanniyan on 5.6.1619.
3. King Cangili's Fortress at Kopay.
4. The Nayakas of Sri Lanka 1739 - 1815.
5. The English Wesleyan Missionary Society in Jaffna - its Work & Influence.
6. The American Christian Missionary Society in Jaffna - its Work & Influence.
7. Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam (1853-1924) & The Origin of the Idea of Tamil Eelam. Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan & The Donoughmore Constitution of 1927/28.
9. Historical Land Marks in the Slide into the Tamil-Sinhala War in Ceylon (1983 - ? )
10. The Tamil Ancestry of the Bandaranaikes.




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