The genesis of Sinha le
Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa explains the rationale behind the sticker
Sinha le, a hot topic debated on social media these days, has spread
rapidly becoming a point of focus in the print media and an intriguing
subject for debate almost everywhere.Vehicles promoting the ideology
using the Sinha le sticker has become a near ubiquitous sight today with
certain shops also joining the bandwagon, raising questions about the
force behind the campaign. The campaign has drawn mixed reactions on
social media with some opposing it as it would result in fresh tensions
between the Muslim and Sinhala communities, while those who support the
ideology reject this claim and assert that the objective is not to rouse
racial sentiments among communities. Human rights groups, which have
been pushing for a stable and peaceful Sri Lanka where the rights of all
communities are safeguarded, have also raised concerns over this
In the face of the curiosity created in public minds about the
architects of the campaign, the Sinha Le Jathika Balamuluwa admited it
took the lead to launch the campaign and give effect to it countrywide
through the social media and the sticker campaign. When asked as to what
made them display the sticker in their vehicles many apperaed to have no
clear idea about what they were doing.
The Deputy Secretary of the Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa Aruna
Jayaratne told the Sunday Observer the Sinhale campaign was not launched
by any organisation and added all they did was to give it leadership in
a more organisational manner. Sinhale was yet another strategy adopted
to safeguard the identity of the Sinhala people and restore the pride of
the Sinhala nation. He said : in February last year I updated the
Sinhale image as my Facebook profile picture and shared it among my
Facebook friends. I used the yellow picture of a lion in a dark blue
background with a Sinhale yellow title.
"I was impressed when I saw some pictures of the Sinhale sticker on a
vehicle, which had been sent to me by my Facebook friends who had
stressed the need to spearhead the sticker campaign. After that, I
started to promote this campaign through my Facebook page in a more
organised manner. I tried to give an impression to the people through my
Facebook page to join hands to promote the campaign on behalf of the
nation rather than pasting stickers with parts of some Sinhala songs in
"Currently over 43,000 people have joined my Facebook page. Sinhale
is not my concept. It originated from the people themselves. Sinhale was
the name given to the island before the British invaded us. In our
campaign, we use the original National Flag of Sri Lanka prior to the
According to Jayaratne they are carrying out the Sinhale campaign
through the Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa.
Sinhale does not represent any political party nor it is based on any
racist ideology and added that it has no motive to cause harm to any
community. "We would not point an accusing finger at the Muslim or Tamil
communities, but if the Sinhala community has faced any injustice, we
would certainly appear on their behalf.
"At various instances, the Sinhalese faced many injustice caused by
other communities. Since 1952, the Sinhala nation has been divided based
on communal lines to promote the narrow objectives of our own
politicians. The sole purpose of Sinhale is to continue its campaign for
a unified nation irrespective of any political affiliations. The Sinhale
organised a motorcade from Colombo to Kandy on January 23 and over
200,000 Sinhale stickers were distributed among people at the rally," he
The Chairman of the National Program for Ethnic Harmony of the
Sinhalese and Muslims, Mashoor Moulana told the Sunday Observer though
the Muslims follow Islam as their religion their nationality is Sinhala.
We have been in this country for several centuries. I think the first
communal dispute occurred in 1915. As Muslims, we should avoid petty
disputes and confrontation. We are Sri Lankans born and bred with the
Sinhalese. One could be a Buddhist, Christian, Hindu or Muslim by his
religion, but we all are Sinhalese by race," he said.
"We belong to different religions and it has nothing to do with the
Sinhale. In my perception, we have to live together with the majority
Sinhalese. Petty issues might crop up and certain sections may attempt
to blow them out of proportion, but we have to observe them carefully.
At the same time, I call upon the majority Buddhists and other
followers, to accept and respect the minorities as brothers and sisters
of one family.
"We should cooperate with the majority Sinhalese and we can't
differentiate between us, because our forefathers and mothers were
Sinhalese. Of course, we are Muslims by religion and that is a different
story," he said.
General Secretary of the Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa Ven. Madille
Pannaloka Thera who is at the forefront of the Sinhale campaign pointed
out that historically Sinhale was the name used for the country over the
past 2500 years and there is written evidence to prove it. He said: The
British through the Kandyan Convention on March 2, 1815 invaded our
country. The name 'Sinhale' is mentioned in 13 places of the Convention.
"In 1948, the British Government transferred the reins to the 'Sinhale'.
After the late 1950s, the political authority changed the Sinhala nation
to Sri Lankan nation. As a result, the independence gained in 1948 was
"The colonialists destroyed our economy, education, culture and
religion by imposing their identity. Following the independence in 1948,
our rulers failed to reestablish Sri Lanka on its indigenous model.
Instead they grafted a multi-ethnic, multinational and multi-religious
outlook," he said.
"Democracy means the will of the majority, but our rulers always
attempted to entertain multi-ethnic politicians ignoring the majority
Sinhalese. In order to realise their narrow political objectives, they
created the Sri Lankan nation rather than rebuilding the Sinhala nation
on its true indigenous roots. As a result, we have been deprived of many
things. During our epic journey to rediscover our lost heritage, the
Sinhale campaign was born.
We have contributed our best to promote Sinhale concept.
Unfortunately some opportunistic politicians and other groups are
vehemently opposing the movement and attempting to suppress the
nationalistic sentiments created among the Sinhalese. Even the walls of
some Muslim residents in Colombo had been painted with the word Sinhale
by some unidentified groups to create clashes among communities and
sabotage this campaign. That is why Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa decided
to take the lead and respond to our opponents who attempt to give a
wrong impression to the people on the Sinhale campaign.
Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Chief Executive Officer Dilantha Withanage said
the campaign 'Sinhale' came into being at a special BBS convention held
at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium on September 28, 2014 with the
participation of over 6000 Bhikkhus. At that convention, the BBS also
obtained the approval of Maha Sangha for Sinhale policy document. The
BBS at that convention categorically stated that the country's name and
the nationality should be Sinhale while the people should be called the
citizens of Sinhale.
As a result, Sinhale was converted to a political theme. That was the
first time, the theme of Sinhale was discussed at a national forum.
The BBS election manifesto introduced at the 2015 General Election
has clearly mentioned about Sinhale. Sinhale has not been based on Le
(blood) as claimed by certain sections to distort the picture.
Founder of the Swarnahansa Foundation Gallage Punyawardena said his
foundation was involved in Sinhale campaign for over 20 years. Earlier
the country was called Sinhale and later it was changed into Ceylon and
Sri Lanka by the rulers to gain political mileage.
The change of the name 'Sinhale' is the root cause of all problems in
the country. That is why over the past 20 to 30 years, we have been
campaigning for the revival of Sinhale. After, we gained independence
our Parliamentarians added two stripes to Sinhale flag to represent the
Tamils and Muslims. That division in the National Flag led to all these