ITAK chooses Colombo to observe SJV's 34th death anniversary

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 April 2011, 13:49 GMT]
The Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK), main constituents of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is scheduled to hold the thirty fourth death anniversary of its founder leader Thanthai S.J.V.Chelvanayakam on Tuesday in Colombo-Bambalapity New Kathiresan Hall, projecting the topic of the memorial event as "finding lasting peace through power sharing". The event is being keenly watched by Colombo political circles at a time when the country is in tension with the leaking of the UN Experts Panel report alleging war crimes allegations against the Rajapakse government and the TNA welcoming the UN Experts Panel report.

Upon the formation of TULF and Vaddukkoaddai Resolution, Mr. Chelvanayakam openely abandoned the federal approach.

Mr.R.Sampanthan, the parliamentary group leader of the TNA and the president of the ITAK is to preside the memorial event in Colombo on Tuesday.

TNA national list parliamentarian Mr.M.A.Sumanthiran is to deliver the memorial lecture on “Finding lasting peace through power sharing”. ITAK General Secretary and Jaffna district TNA parliamentarian Maavai Senathirajah is to propose vote of thanks.

Chelvanayakam, a conviction politician who never minced his words, approved the choice of words of the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution, writes A J Wilson:

“That Chelvanayakam stood unflinchingly for a separate Tamil state was clearly enunciated in the last important statement he made in the National State Assembly, a few months before his death. Speaking on 19 November 1977 at the second reading debate of the Annual Appropriation Bill for 1977, he acknowledged to his listeners how his federal movement had failed to achieve the objective of obtaining the 'lost rights of the Tamil-speaking people'. 'Our ancient people were wise,' he said, and he seemed to fault himself by stressing that they 'had their own kingdom', as if to say that his own FP should at the very start have confronted the proposition of a separate state. He reminded his audience of parliamentarians that the Irish had won 'their freedom... but after centuries of struggle' against the British (he had also often told the Tamil public how a divided Poland had become unified on two different occasions). There was a finality and a finiteness in his conclusion:

We have abandoned the demand for a federal constitution. Our movement will be all non-violent... We know that the Sinhalese people will one day grant our demand and that we will be able to establish a state separate from the rest of the island...

Whatever the comfortable Tamil middle classes residing in Colombo said, Chelvanayakam's last testament was that only a Tamil state could protect the Tamil people from repression by the Sinhala state apparatus. When asked by a journalist [Walter Schwarz of the Guardian] how the TULF would achieve its goal, Chelvanayakam replied prophetically: 'We would make such a nuisance of ourselves that they [the Sinhalese] would throw us out.'


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