Manipulations at work to nullify NPC-evolved identity to Eezham Tamils food court

[TamilNet, Saturday, 09 March 2019, 17:11 GMT]
The forces opposed to the concept of allowing Eezham Tamils to articulate a collective identity to their traditional food court have pressurised the elected divisional council (Piratheasa chapai) of Vavuniyaa North to deviate from the unilaterally democratic decision adopted by the council a month ago to name the latest restaurant as ‘Ammaachchi’. The council was manipulated to change the name to "Vanni A'ru-chuvai-akam" before inviting former SL President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga who is leading Colombo's Office of National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) to inaugurate the restaurant on Thursday.

CBK invited to open ‘Vanni A'ru-chuvai-akam' in Vavuniyaa North

CBK invited to open ‘Vanni A'ru-chuvai-akam' in Vavuniyaa North
The Agricultural Ministry of the Northern Provincial Council conceived and promoted the name ‘Ammaachchi’ for the traditional food court restaurants launched by the democratic councils of Eezham Tamils in the province under the leadership of former Chief Minister Justice C.V. Wigneswaran.

The food court was initially launched in Vavuniyaa by the NPC Ministry of Agriculture and became a success earning a good reputation. The name was evolved when the United Nations Development Programme funded the project. The then provincial minister P. Aingaranesan had conceived the plan.

After witnessing the success of the project, the SL ministries – particularly the SL Ministry of Agriculture – of the unitary state of genocidal Sri Lanka started to oppose the Eezham Tamil term, and Colombo was insisting on renaming it to the Sinhala name ‘Hela Bojun’.

The former NPC Chief Minister has explained the cultural context of the term and maintained throughout his tenure that the name should not be changed as demanded by the Sinhala ministers in the South.

Due to the controversies created by the funding authorities in Colombo and the firm position of the former NPC Chief Minister, a food court opened at Thirunel-veali in Jaffna is functioning without a name.

However, NPC Chief Minister proved his diplomacy by naming even the last restaurant launched during his tenure as the chief minister of the NPC as Ammaachchi. He had invited Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike (CBK) to the event at Keerimalai in April 2018.

It was not possible to independently verify whether Ms Kumaratunga had a say in the latest name change.

However, TULF Councillor at Vavuniyaa North Divisional Council Thurairajah Thamilchelvan has blamed a former NPC councillor, who also hails from Vavuniyaa as manipulating the council to go against the democratic decision. The former NPC councillor was operating against the NPC Chief Minister with the backing of certain embassies in Colombo and was seeking to replace Justice Wigneswaran as the CM of the NPC in a failed no-confidence move. TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran is the legal and political advisor to the controversial NPC councillor.

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