Navaratnam, the doyen of Federal Party, passes away

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 December 2006, 21:42 GMT]
V. Navaratnam, the only surviving founder member of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), the Federal Party, and who turned 97 last October, has passed away in Montreal, Canada at 4:10 p.m. Friday. The doyen of Tamil politics who inked the Bandaranaiyake Chelvanayagam pact and negotiated with the Sri Lanka leaders for sharing state power within a federal framework for almost three decades, came to a conclusion that the Sinhala polity would never compromise or agree on any decision to share state power with Tamils, and left the Federal Party, calling upon the Tamil youth to fight for the establishment of a separate self-governing Tamil State, as early as in 1969.

Mr. V. Navaratnam
Born in Karampon on 18th October 1910 in Jaffna and educated in Ceylon Law College, he was an Attorney-at-Law for nearly 58 years.

In 1956 he authored the book "Ceylon Faces Crisis," and in 1995 "The Fall And Rise Of The Tamil Nation," a book that provides a historic and detailed understanding of early negotiations between the Sinhala and Tamil leaders from a Tamil perspective.

In an exclusive Interview to TamilNet, last year, Mr. Navaratnam said that the failure of every one of the long line of “Pacts” between the Tamil and Sinhala leaders was always attributed to the many divisions among the Sinhalese.

"When one party agrees to condescend towards some solution on the Tamil problem, the others will rise in unison to object and obstruct. They will never compromise or agree on any decision when it comes to solving the Tamil problem by consensus."

"It is not in the ethos or in the political character of the Sinhala leaders and governments to honour and abide by agreeements and pacts conceding rights to the Tamils as a people."

Mr. Navaratnam was Member of Parliament for Kayts in Jaffna.

Family members said Mr. Navaratnam was keeping current himself with the news till the funeral of Anton Balasingham, advisor and theoretician for the Liberation Tigers, Wednesday.


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