Education on Tamil history stressed by Eastern academic

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 October 2003, 16:40 GMT]
Tamil students are forced to learn the history of the Sinhalese, but the history of the Tamils is not part of the subjects taught to them under the current education plan in Sri Lanka, said Ms. Ruby Valentina Francis, a researcher and lecturer at the Eastern University, speaking at the release of a new book titled "Vanniar of Tamil Nadu and Vanniar of Eelam," authored by poet Vellavur Gopal, held Sunday at the Mahajana College hall in Batticaloa, sources in Batticaloa said.

Ms. Francis said that it is important to teach Tamil history as part of the regular curriculum for students.

"Histories should be written objectively. The history of Batticaloa has not been fully written yet. When the history of a people is written, it is important to consider their national character and uniqueness," said. Ms. Francis.

Speaking at the event, cultural officer Ms. Thangeswary said, "A society that does not know its history will be considered rootless." The Mahavamsa claims, she said, that Tamils ruled Sri Lanka for seven generations. "Tamils have in the past ruled not only the North and East, but the South of Sri Lanka as well. There is ample evidence to show this."

Sinhalese nationalists claim that the Mahavamsa contains true records of Sinhala Buddhist history in Sri Lanka, and they have traditionally used this claim to assert that Sinhalese Buddhists are the rightful inheritors of Sri Lanka.

Professor Sithralekha Mounaguru delivered the keynote address. She said that events that have happened since the 1980's in respect to economy, society, culture and governing have demonstrated the importance of historical truths.

Mr. Gopal, the author, in his welcome speech said that he was able to research the details for writing the book while he was living in Tamil Nadu in India.

Attorney Mr. S. Narayanapillai received the first copy of the book. The head of the Vipulam publications group, which published the book, delivered the vote of thanks.


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