Melbourne Tamils pay homage to Balasingham
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 December 2006, 12:19 GMT]
Over 700 Melbourne Tamils and community leaders gathered in Mt Waverley Sunday to remember the life of the late Anton Balasingham, theoretician and chief negotiator of the LTTE, who passed away last Thursday. Mrs. Betty Wilby, mother of Mrs. Adele Balasingham, inaugurated the meeting by lighting a candle.
Speakers included Rev. Dick Wootton of the Uniting Church, Prof. Damien Kingsbury of the Deakin University, Balasingham's sister-in-law Ms Lynley, Dr Brian Senewiratne and several prominent members of Melbourne Tamil community.
Prof. Kingsbury, a key negotiator in the Indonesia’s Aceh Conflict said: “In the struggle of Eelam I see the struggle of Aceh. And in the struggle of Aceh, I see the struggle for the liberation of Eelam." He echoed the comments of Norway’s special envoy Jon Hansen-Baur that with the demise of Mr. Balasingham Tamil people have lost one of their most important spokesman.
“Following the lead of Mr. Balasingham, it is clear the only lasting peace for the Tamil people can be a just peace. The struggle for justice will continue,” added Prof Kingsbury.
Rev. Wootton in his speech said “Anton Balasingham ranks among many other great leaders in the history of liberation movements in the way took forward Tamil struggle in the diplomatic front. He will really be missed.”
He said he believed “The Tamil people will obtain the independence. They will succeed in achieving their rights necessary for them to live in peace. And that’s what Anton Balasingham gave his whole life for.”
Several poems extolling the service of Balasingham were read, songs of tribute were sung at the conclusion of the event.