Origin of 'Tamil Eelam'
EELATH THAMIZHAR THONMAI: Professor S. K. Sitampalam; published by OFERR, Eela Aethiliar Maruvaazhvu Kazhagam, II Floor, 31, Sait Colony First Street, Chennai-600008. Rs. 60.
THOUGH THE word "Tamil Eelam" is being used by Sri Lankan Tamils fighting for a separate state in that country, the origin of the word "Eelam" has not been traced and established historically. This book makes a specific attempt to trace and establish this word with historical, archaeological and sociological evidences.
According to the author, who is a historian and archaeologist of the Jaffna University, the original settlement of the Tamils in Sri Lanka could be traced to early historical period, viz. 1000 B.C. Mahavamsa, an early available Pali chronicle, narrates mythical stories and traditional beliefs that the migration of Vijayan and his 700 friends from North India formed the first migration of the Sinhalese to Sri Lanka. The author negates this concept through genetical evidence as well.
He establishes that the Tamil Brahmic script originated from the North Indian Brahmic script. The Buddhist Brahmic epigraphs/inscriptions establish that Brahmic language and Elu language were from Tamil Nadu.
The word "Elu" is derived from the word "Eezh/Eela" and mentioned in Mahavamsa as "Eezhu Nagu". Elu language is called "Kodunthamizh" or harsh Tamil and quality Tamil is "Senthamizh" and the former "Elu" subsequently changed to Eela/Eelam, and hence the word "Tamil Eelam" in use now.
The author has written several chapters on ancient Tamils, their migration, Brahmic inscriptions, Tamil and Sinhala languages and names of historical places to support his conclusions.
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