Seven leaders including G.G.Ponnambalam honored in SL parliament

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 June 2008, 04:29 GMT]
Seven political leaders, C.W.W.Kannangara, A.E.Goonesinghe, Dr.S.A.Wickremasinghe, G.G.Ponnambalam, Dr.N.M.Perera, Phillip Gunawardene and Alhaj T.B.Jayah were honored for their services to Sri Lanka, Tuesday in Sri Lanka's parliament. Their photographs were unveiled Tuesday morning in the parliament as a mark of respect in an event presided by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, parliamentary sources said.

C.W.W.Kannangara served as the Minister of Education and was hailed as the Father of Free Education.

A.E.Goonesinghe represented Colombo district in parliament and he championed for the cause of working class and hailed as a fearless trade union leader.

Dr.S.A.Wickremasinghe, leader of the Community Party represented Matara electorate in the parliament. He voted against the Sinhala Only Bill and advocated parity of status for Sinhalese and Tamil languages.

Dr.N.M.Perera was the leader of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP). He opposed the Sinhala Only Bill and voted against it in parliament when it was presented by the government led late Prime Minister S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike.

Phillip Gunawardene was a minister in the government led by late Premier S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike. He led the MEP till his demise.

Alhaj T.B.Jayah was a respected Muslim political leader. He was one time the President of All Ceylon Muslim League and served in several UNP governments.

G.G.Ponnambalam was the leader of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC). He was the father of the "50-50" demand, where the proponent demanded that whilst 50% of the seats in the supreme legislature could be given to the majority Sinhalese, the other 50% must be reserved for all the minorities put together, namely, the Tamils, Muslims, Indians, Burghers, Malays and the Europeans.

He championed for the political aspirations of Tamil people in the North and East. He later joined the UNP and served as a minister for several years.

He was instrumental in the formation of the Tamil United Liberation Front comprising Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchchi led by late S.J.V.Chelvanayagam and ACTC by him.


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