Speaking at the Raviraj Memorial in Chavachcheri yesterday, TNA Spokesperson and MP, M.A. Sumanthiran, said that while the constitutional sub-committee reports don’t have everything the Tamils asked for, if asked whether the Tamils got what they need from them, the only answer can be yes.
Also speaking at the event, Opposition Leader and Leader of the TNA, R. Sampanthan, said that after a very long time, the Tamils finally have an opportunity with the new constitutional process. He said that they’ll see what the government is going to actually agree to when the report comes out on December 10th, but that the Tamils will get nowhere by not working with the Sinhalese and that the new constitution is needed by both the Tamils and the Sinhalese.
Commemorating former TNA MP Raviraj who was killed on November 10, 2006, numerous politicians gathered in his hometown of Chavachcheri to unveil a Statue memorial to him, and speak at the annual memorial for him.
Speaking about Raviraj’s approach to politics, Sumanthiran said that Raviraj was killed because he started speaking in Sinhala to the Sinhala people. Sumanthiran noted that it was not in the plan of many Sinhala politicians to go to the Sinhala people and say the Tamils are only demanding what is rightfully theirs, and not grabbing from the Sinhalese – he stated that Sinhala political leaders did not have and still don’t have the political will to go their people with this information. But Sumanthiran went on to say that the results the TNA have achieved are because of taking the “soft power” approach first shown by Raviraj and that while this way takes longer, it will achieve results.
Also speaking at the memorial, Minister of Health and UNP MP, Rajitha Senaratne, spoke of his past friendship and work with Raviraj saying that he was a valuable politician whose death was a great loss to the country. “To respect people like Raviraj, we have to fight to get those proposals [the 6 constitutional sub-committee reports] implemented for the sake of all the people,” he said. “This is the time the racists are raising their heads little by little but have to face that threat one day,” he added.
Leader for the Nava Sama Samja Party, Vikramabahu Karunaratne, also spoke raising concern at the fact that some monks have started to disrupt the constitutional process before the constitution is passed. He said that equality, autonomy and self-determination are what we really want, but while that’s not what this constitution will produce, “at the moment we must fight for what we can achieve” and that is how you can respect Raviraj and all those Tamil heroes who died for the cause of liberation.
Other speakers included leader of ITAK, Mavai Senathirajah, NPC Opposition Leader, Thavarasa, leader of the TULF, V. Anandasangaree, former mayor of Kalmunai Municipal Council, Nisham Kariyappar, NPC Councillor, K. Sayanthan, and Raviraj’s mother and wife. (Tamil Guardian)