“Thesiyathin Sangkamam” –a critical review of the SLFP and Tamil party colleagues
The first copy of “Thesiyathin Sangkamam” – Nationalism Confluence, was released in Jaffna yesterday by the author K.T.Rajasingham.
The first copy of the book was given to Sri Lanka President Maithripala Srisena and the second copy to Reginald Cooray, Governor of the Northern Province.
The first regional office of Sri Lanka President, with “Tell the President,” – a public grievance cell, was opened up yesterday, in the office of the Governor of the Northern Province. A special ceremony was held, at the specially constructed open stage, in the Northern Province Governor’s office complex.
At that ceremony, President Maithripala Srisena received the first copy of “Thesiyathin Sangkamam” from the author K.T.Rajasingham.
Sri Lanka Freedom Party earlier commissioned K.T.Rajasinghan to write Party’s involvement in the North, especially with Tamils.
Rajasingham, a journalist with more than five-decade long experience in journalism, revealed his initial involvement with Late Srima R.D. Bandaranayake 1968, when she was then the leader of opposition.
Also, he narrates his first meeting with Felix Dias Bandaranayake and how he worked closely with him to bring about reconciliation with Tamils and Sinhalese.
He describes of the first true reconciliation attempt initiated by him along with Felix Dias Bandaranayake, who was at the time 1970 – 77, a senior SLFPer and a Member of Parliament representing Dompe electorate.
Rajasingham continued with his description stating that delegations of Tamils from Udupiddy electorate used to visit Dompe electorate in the seventies and stayed in the houses of people of Dompe, for more than three weeks at a time and the delegation of people from Dompe visited Udipiddy regularly and stayed in the houses of people in Udupiddy and how the ‘people to people contact’ was able to create a conducive climate of reconciliation.
He lamented in his book, that the good work they were able to lay foundation was disrupted and collapsed, due to the thirty years long ethnic conflict.
The book reveals details regarding the opening up of the Jaffna Campus – the forerunner to the Jaffna University and how he and Alfred Duraiyappah - the slain Mayor of Jaffna, made Thiruvenkadam Velupillai, father of the LTTE Leader Prabhakaran and Murugesampillai, former Assistant Government Agent and the father-in-law of Late Kumar Ponnampalam, were made men-in-attendance to Prime Minister Mrs. Bandaranayake, when she visited the Nallur temple for prayers and meditation.
The book further revealed, subsequently Velupillai who as a clerical officer – a clerk, was seconded to the position of Land Officer and Murugesampillai given another year extension of service as Assistant Government Agent, Jaffna.
Also the book dealt how T.B.Ilangaratne, who was at that time the Minister for Internal and External Trade, who ordered the stoppage of the import of red onions and chilies, to promote the farmers of Jaffna with their agricultural products.
“Thesiyathin Sangkamam” – the book while depicting details of the SLFP in the North, criticized the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for failing to establish direct links with the Tamils, instead appointed ‘political brokers,’ - Douglas Devananda , the EPDP leader for the Jaffna electoral district and Rishad Bathiyutheen for the Vanni electoral district.
The author also included, the Tamil version of the article “Political Orphans of the North,” written in the Asian Tribune, which was highly critical of the approach of the Party towards the Tamil members of the Party.
In that article, the author pointed out, “End of the civil war, and return of peace have created in Jaffna, in fact, across the Northern Province, a peculiar phenomenon: two groups of Tamils – one that still harps on Tamil nationalism and the other that believes in Sri Lankan nationalism, and one undivided country and considers Sri Lanka as their Motherland.
The article further pointed out that, Alfred Duriayappah in particular was targeted as he was the SLFP organizer for Jaffna. He was assassinated. Another SLFP organizer since from 1977, Kumaraswamy Vinodhan, was killed on 25th April 1995. Like them, many Tamils paid with their life.
On the one hand, LTTE Leader V.Prabhakaran was hunting them and slaying them with merciless zeal. And on the other hand, the Colombo-based SLFP leaders did not look beyond their perch.
Result: SLFP leaders failed to come to terms with the ground reality in the North, and the misfortune that had befallen to their own Tamil speaking party colleagues, particularly in and around Jaffna.
The book by Rajasingham ‘Thesiyathin Sangkamam,” was dedicated to Alfred Durayappah and Kumaraswamy Vinodan, both of whom, martyred for Sri Lanka Freedom Party.
- Asian Tribune -