Tamils in the Island of Sri Lanka are historically friends of America.


 

Tamils in the Island of Sri Lanka are historically friends of America.

Americans in Jaffna in 1890.
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Mrs. Harriet Wadsworth Lathrop Winslow
(great-grandmother of Secretary of states John Foster Dulles), founder and the first principal of the Uduvil Girls' School (1824) in Jaffna, the first girls' boarding school in Asia.

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Rev. Miron Winslow, Tamil scholar and compiler of "Comprehensive English Tamil Dictionary"

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Dr. Samuel Fisk Green, medical missionary and author of medical and science books in Tamil.
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Friend of Tamils, John Foster Dulles’s visit to Tamil area to see his great-grandmother’s burial place in the 1950s (March 11, 1956) was the last visit by a U.S. secretary of state to the island of Sri Lanka. During his visit , he thanked his Tamil friends for keeping her grave in order.

  • When American missionaries came to Ceylon in the early 1800s, the British Raj was still hostile to revolutionary America. The Americans were allowed only to settle in the north where the Tamils received them warmly. Thus, the first presence of Americans in Ceylon was among the Tamils.

  • Americans showed gratitude for the Tamils’ friendship; they built many schools in Tamil areas in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). In 1823, Vaddukoddai Seminary held its first classes. This school, which later became Jaffna College, was one of many founded by American missionaries.

  • A medical school and clinic was established in 1820 at Pandaterrupu by Dr. John Scudder of New York, the first American Medical Missionary.

  • The schools founded by the American Ceylon Mission created a lopsidedly high literacy level among Tamils in the north east that endures to this day.

  • The first Girls Boarding School in Asia was founded by Harriet Winslow in Uduvil (in the Tamil area) in 1824. It was the first girls' boarding school in the whole of Asia. She is considered to be the first white woman ever to teach Tamil women. She was the great-grandmother of John Foster Dulles, former Secretary of State; his visits to Tamil areas to see his great-grandmother’s burial place in the 1950s was the last (and so far only)visit by a U.S. secretary of state to the island of Sri Lanka.

  • Dr. Samuel Fiske Green founded the Hospital in Manipay (1850) and trained more than 50 doctors to serve the whole country and translated several medical books into Tamil and published them in the American Ceylon Mission Press in Manipay in the mid 19th century. At his request, his epitaph in a New England grave reads, “Missionary physician to the Tamils.”

  • The American Ceylon Mission started the first printing press in the North in 1820, and in 1841 founded the island's second oldest newspaper, The Morning Star.

  • Many of the American Missionaries are buried in the Missionary Cemetery adjacent to the Tellipallai Church founded by them in the 1800s.

Since we Tamils have a long and friendly connection with the Americans, we hope they can help bring a political solution to the island of Sri Lanka. We hope they will invest in Tamil areas, and protect us from other countries like Iran and China (dangerous and ambitious countries that are flirting with the Sri Lankan Singhalese leaders). Tamils hope that Americans will come and stay in Trincomalee (a port city on the east cost of Sri Lanka) until the political solution becomes stable.