Ananda Sangaree hails Minister Chamal’s speech in Parliament

Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Secretary General Ananda Sangaree yesterday said that the TULF is anxiously awaiting the day when the country will rejoice having all problems solved during the reign of the Rajapaksas.

Sangaree in a statement hailing the Minister Chamal Rajapaksa’s speech in Parliament said that the invitation extended to Tamil people by a very responsible Minister Chamal Rajapaksa in Parliament gives a lot of hope to the Tamil people.

Excerpts from the statement" "With a view to remind our people a little bit of forgotten history I would have preferred if he had not said “forgetting the past” and instead said “recollecting the past as to how we all lived happily irrespective of our ethnicity and creed” before the country gained its independence. That would have been more appropriate too. The Tamil united liberation front feels the honorable Minister’s efforts to unite all in the country will be a success.

"At the time when steps were being taken to grant independence to Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, former Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake was the Chief Minister and Ceylon had a State Council. Sensing trouble, he invited all the Tamil Members of the State Council and wanted to know whether they preferred to be ruled by the British or join hands with the others and rule the country. On his assurance that he himself, his party the Congress and the Sinhalese people will be fair to all, the Tamil members decided to support D.S.Senanayake as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, when Parliament got constituted.

He who became the Prime Minister, was honoured by the King of England as “Right Honourable” and Sri Lanka honoured him as the “Father of the Nation”.

When I was a small boy, I used to observe how cordially the various ethnic and religious groups behave among themselves. There were Tamil teachers teaching in Sinhalese Schools. The Commissioner of Election Mahinda Deshapriya used to tell me about his teachers, one of whom was my elder brother who thought at Ambalangoda Dharmasoka. I was a teacher at Christ King College, Jaela which is a Sinhala school. People like the late K.B.Ratnayaka and Maithripala Senanayake had their education in Jaffna. Sinhala as a subject was taught in Tamil secondary schools mainly by Buddhist monks. Tamils lived all over the country with respect, some holding high positions in Sinhalese areas such as Chairmen of local bodies, Mayors of Municipal Councils etc. When Princess Elizabeth visited Sri Lanka in 1952 to open the Colombo Plan Exhibition, the honour of receiving her was that of Mr.Rudra, the Mayor of Colombo at that time. I still remember a farewell party given to a Sinhala midwife going on transfer attended by over 1000 people. Almost all the women who attended were in tears. Much more could be said about the cordiality that prevailed among all at that time. But unfortunately, due to lack of space I stop with that.

When the country had faced natural disasters such as cyclones, major floods, tsunami, the local people may be Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims rushed to help the neighbours in distress. There were instances the Buddhist monk had organized refugee centres for people who were non-Sinhalese. I had earlier mentioned an old woman walking several miles with food parcels to feed inmates of a refugee Camp made up of non-Sinhalese.

I consider the invitation extended to the Tamil people by Chamal Rajapaksa as one coming from all Rajapaksas as a group. The TULF believes that the ethnic problem will be solved soon by the initiative taken by Chamal Rajapaksa with the assistance of all Rajapaksas. I had been for a long time suggesting the Indian model as a solution to the ethnic problems and I am sure the Rajapaksas will welcome it as the only solution acceptable to all".

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