By Darshanie Ratnawalli
Professor S.K Sitrampalam is the former professor of history in the University of Jaffna, a vice president of ITAK (euphemistically known as the Federal Party) and a specialist in South Asian history and Archaeology. He can be relied on… To take your breath away by bizarre displays of ignorance that is hard to explain away even with the excuse; ‘nationalist historian’. Unless ‘nationalist historian’ is a polite euphemism that really means ‘unsound operative’. Here is a demonstration from his “Tamils of Sri Lanka: Historical Roots of Tamil identity” (2003).
“At this juncture it is pertinent to quote Geiger who studied the Sinhala language in depth. He has divided its development into three phases. They are: Sinhalese Prakrit (3rd century B.C – 4th century AD), proto–Sinhalese (4th century AD – 8th century A.D) Sinhalese proper (after 8th century A.D). Elu, is the original language from which the later Sinhalese developed. However, data from the Brahmi inscriptions show that the Elu would have been either old Tamil or a dialect of Tamil. In the light of the evidence from the Brahmi inscriptions it is now evident that the proto–Sinhalese speakers, namely the Elu speakers came into contact with Prakrit, the language of Buddhism.”