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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2707

To make again the East a granary of Sri Lanka – Dr. Navaratnaraja, East Provincial Council Minister

Colombo, 02 June, ( Speaking to Asian Tribune, the newly sworn in East Provincial Council Minister Dr. Thuraiappa Navaratnaraja, said that it was the greatest ambition of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal to make East again the granary of Sri Lanka. He said that he has had discussion with the Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chanthirakanthan regarding the portfolios allocated to him and finalized to focus more attention in the agricultural promotion. At the discussion with the CM he said that it has been decided to take necessary measures to put all the agricultural lands available in the East, mostly in paddy cultivation.

Dr. Thuraiappa Navaratnaraja is the East Provincial Council Minister for Agriculture, Livestock Development, Rural Industries Development and Fisheries.

He also said that majority of the Muslims in the East are involved in fishing for their livelihood and he will provide maximum facilities for them.

The East Provincial Council Minister Dr. Navaratnarajah speaking to Asian Tribune further said that he hails from Kanguvely, a small village located in Muthur, in the Trincomalee district.

He said that he started his primary education at Kanguvely and later his secondary level education at Kiliveddy Mahavidhylayam. He said to continue his G.C.E Advance Level, he went to Jaffna and studied at Tellipalai Mahajana College.

He was married in Akkaraipattu and today a father of three children, two boys and a girl. His wife is a house wife. He is 49 years old.

When revealing more details about himself, he said that when the Northeast Provincial Council came into existence in 1988, he joined the Council as a clerical staff and worked until 1997, in the various departments in the Council.

"After that, I got interested in the medical field I left my job in the Provincial Council and studied Chinese Acupuncture medical system and Homeopathy." Dr. Navaratnarajah said.

He further said, "I had my medical education at the International Open University located at the IBC Road, Wellawatte, but our in-house training was at the Kalubowilla Teaching Hospital. I studied medicine for three years.

“After 2003, I started practicing Acupuncture and Homeopathy at Akkarapattu, my residential town. In the meantime I was also working in the Ceylinco Insurance Company as a part time executive officer."

When asked about how he entered politics he said, "While I was a medical practitioner in Amparai, leaders of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal were searching for suitable candidates to contest in the Provincial Council Election from the Amparai District.

"As I was a popular medical practitioner, as well as a man who has worked in the Provincial Council and has gained experience in the working of the Council, people in the town suggested my name to be one of the candidates to contest the Provincial Council election, to the TMVP leadership.

"When my name was forwarded to Inniyabarathy, the leader of the TMVP in the Amparai district, he after doing a quick search on my background and he must have been satisfied. He contacted me over the telephone and told me Annan, (elder brother) the people in the area has recommended your name for selection as a candidate to contest in the election in the Provincial Council on behalf of the TMVP. He further said that we also like that you should contest in the Provincial Council according to the wishes of the people.

"At that time when he contacted me over the telephone, I was in Colombo on a personal business. In the beginning I was little reluctant in accepting his offer and I was little hesitant in entering politics, as I was involved in the medical practice.

"But Inniyabarathi told me that though they are in a position to put forward their own members and easily win the three seats allotted for them by the United Peoples Freedom Alliance in the Amparai district, but he said as you have been recommended by the people of this district to be our candidate, and with the view to respect the people’s desire and wishes only we are insisting that you should contest in the Provincial Council as our candidate.

"I found that the reasoning put forward by Inniyabarathi was very convincing and I agreed to contest in the elections in the TMVP ticket.

"Even the other two candidates of the TMVP were also recommended by the people of the area to contest the Provincial Council election.

We three did serious election campaign and won with highest number of preferential votes in the district. It has to be pointed out that, if in case, if we three candidates have failed to poll less than 11,500 preferential votes, the UPFA would have lost two Muslim seats in the Amparai district."

- Asian Tribune -

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