Literary meet promotes Muslim Tamil relations

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 September 2003, 12:19 GMT]
“A Tamil student would come every year to our house with a gift for my father when I was a little boy. He would seek my father’s blessings on the day of his father’s death anniversary. His esteem for my father’s Tamil scholarship was such that although he had many uncles he honored my father as his own. This is but an instance of the great and deep bond between Tamils and Muslims in the east”, said Mr. Jinnah Serifudeen, the well regarded poet speaking at a literary meet Sunday to promote Tamil Muslim relations in Kattankudy, near Batticaloa town.

Mr. Serifudeen spoke on Tamil Muslim relation in the east. He urged Tamil and Muslim youth to understand the common cultural and linguistic foundations of the two communities in the east.




Mr. Serifudeen has written an epic poem on Pandara Vanniyan, the last ruler of the Vanni who was killed in battle with British troops in 1803 when he rose in rebellion.

A Children’s novel by the writer, Mr. O. K Kunanathan, was also released at the meet. The novel is illustrated with pictures drawn by children who survived the Sri Lanka army massacre in Saththurukondaan massacre in September 1990. One hundred and eighty-four Tamils, including many children, were killed in the mass murder. Many children were orphaned.

‘Ahalangan’ (N. Tharmarajah), the poet and writer from Vavuniya, spoke on Tamil-Muslim relations in the North. He explained the manner in which Muslim and Tamil agricultural communities are interconnected culturally and economically in the Vanni.

“I taught in a Muslim school in the Vanni region for some years. I introduced a rule that everyone in the school should stop their work and stand in silence when the Muezzin’s call was heard from the local mosque. The Muslim students and teachers greatly appreciated the rule. We belonged to different religions but spoke the same language there was great empathy and understanding in such matters”, Mr. Ahalangan said.

He also referred to the rich contribution of Tamil to Islam and drew illustrations from his readings of the ‘Seerapuranam’, the Muslim religious epic in the Tamil language.

Ahalangan and Mr. Serifudeen were honoured by the organizers.


Dr. K. M. H Kalideen, Head, Department of Linguistics, Southeastern University, honouring Ahalangan with shawl

 

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