Arts, literature conference opens in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 October 2002, 14:30 GMT]
“The Tamil language is now in the process of renewing itself for the 21st century. What we need today is Tamil for the Internet age. We need rational Tamil, not emotive Tamil,” said Mr. Nilanthan, a well known writer and poet from the Vanni in a special speech on the opening of the four day conference organized by the Arts and Culture Division of the Liberation Tigers in Jaffna Saturday. Hundreds of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim writers, poets, artists and journalists from all parts of the island and from south India are taking part in the event.

Speaking further Mr. Nilanthan said: “There are two traditions of war literature in Tamil. Ancient Tamil war literature appeared in Tamil Nadu. But the basis of modern Tamil war literature is Eelam. Ancient heroic literature sang the martial glories of warrior kings who fought among themselves whereas ours is a war literature for liberation.”


Arts, literature conference
Mr.Nilanthan addressing the conference.
The conference’s theme is ‘Towards the horizons of human freedom: The Eelam Tamils’ struggle for their rights and the role of art, literature and media’. It is being held at the Veerasingham Hall in Jaffna. More than thousand participants and special invitees were present for the inaugural secessions Saturday.

Professor Karthikesu Sivathamby made the inaugural speech. “Tamils have always keenly preserved their culture and language. They have been trying to politically explain their concerns from 1920. But it has not been taken into account so far. This is the basis of the crisis in this island today,” he said.


Arts, literature conference
Singing the Tamileelam flag anthem at the inaguration.
Mr. C. V. K Sivagnanam, the President of the Federation of Co-operative Societies in Jaffna who presided at the morning secessions of the conference Saturday said: “This conference will help us explain our stand to the Sinhala people. Tamils, Singhalese and Muslims are gathered here together. This is indispensable to foster better understanding.”

The head of the LTTE’s political division for Jaffna, C. Ilaparithi also spoke.

Tamil national alliance politicians and Sri Lanka’s minister for Hindu Affairs, Mr. T. Maheswaran were also present for the inauguration of the conference.


Arts, literature conference
Prof. Karthikesu Sivathamby speaking at the inauguration. Mr. C.V.K Sivagnanam is on the left and Mr. Ilamparithi and the poet Puthuvai Ratnathurai (right).

 

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