Thanthai Chelva remembered on his 31st anniversary
[TamilNet, Saturday, 26 April 2008, 14:59 GMT]
The 31st death anniversary of the late Tamil leader and the founder of the Federal Party (Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchchi -ITAK), Samuel James Velupillai Chelvanayakam (SJV) was held in Jaffna near the SJV memorial statue at 9:45 a.m Saturday presided by Rev. Dr. Jebanesan of the South Indian Council of Churches.
Father Jebanesan garlanding SJV Chelvanayagam's statue
TNA MP Senathirajah garlanding the statue
TNA parliamentarian Maavai Senathiraja, Commissioner of Jaffna Municipal Council, Saravanapavan, Prof Kunarasa, and several others participated in the event. Jaffna Government Agent (GA) Ganesh, Additional Government Agent A. Sivasamy, Nallur Head of Hindu Priests paid floral tribute to the Chelvanayagam's tomb stone.
Mr. Samuel James Velupillai Chelvanayakam (SJV) was born on 31st March 1898, in the Malayan town of Ipoh, to Viswanathan Velupillai, a businessman, and Harriet Annamma Kanapathipillai. He moved with his mother to Tellipallai in the Jaffna district when he was four years old to be educated in Jaffna.
SJV qualified as an advocate of the Supreme Court of Ceylon and in 1927 married Emily Grace Barr Kumarakulasinghe (Rathinam). He fomally entered Tamil politics in 1944 when the British government announced the appointment of Soulbury Constitution. At that point, Tamils decided that they needed to create a political organization to formulate their demands and articulate these to the Commission.
The historic pronouncement made by Mr. Chelvanayakam at the Vaddukoddai convention accused the then Prime Minister, Mrs. Bandaranaike, of having "callously ignored" the TULF's "last attempt ...to win constitutional recognition of the Tamil Nation without jeopardizing the unity of the country."
The convention called on "the Tamil Nation in general and the Tamil youth in particular to come forward and throw themselves fully in the sacred fight for freedom and to fight till the goal of a sovereign socialist state of Tamil Eelam is reached."
Till his death on April 26th in 1977, Mr. Chelvanayakam was the acknowledged leader of the Tamil people. He was the only statesman to be returned in five general elections in a row and to remain a hero and a father figure to his people for thirty-three years. Mr. Chelvanayakam passed away on April 26, 1977 in Jaffna, a few days after celebrating 78th birthday.