Anton Balasingham memorial in London
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 December 2007, 01:05 GMT]
Expatriate Tamils in London held a one year memorial event Sunday for Mr. Anton Balasingham, the LTTE’s former theoretician and Chief Negotiator, who passed away in December 2006 after a brief battle with cancer.
Mr. Balasingham with his wife Adele Balasingham in Geneva in February 2006, while attending the Geneva I talks
Traditional bharathanatyam dancers were amongst the performers who marked the event at the Walthamstow Assembly Hall in Northeast London.
Mrs. Adele Balasingham lit the lamp of remembrance before a thousand mourners from the different regions of London filed past a portrait of Mr. Balasingham and paid their respects by placing flowers in front of it. They included many of London’s Tamil councilors.
The keynote address was delivered by Mr. N. Vithyatharan, the editor of the Jaffna-based Uthayan newspaper. In his hour long speech, he reflected on Mr. Balasingham’s wide-ranging political abilities and experience and the veteran negotiator’s personal qualities
Mr. Balasingham represented the LTTE at five peace processes with the Sri Lankan state, including the ‘Geneva 1’ negotiations in early 2006.
Long a diabetes and kidney patient, he was compelled by ill health to retire shortly afterwards. He passed away from cancer on December 14, 2006.
The LTTE leader, Vellupillai Pirapaharan, in his condolence message described Mr. Balasingham as a "source of unwavering strength in the political and diplomatic efforts of our freedom movement."
In recognition of Mr. Balasingham’s enormous contribution to the Tamil struggle for self determination, the LTTE conferred the title ‘Voice of the Nation’ on him.