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David envisaged human emancipation through Tamil struggle: Sachithananthan

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 October 2015, 23:10 GMT]
“The late Gandhiyam David was an example of a very cultured Tamil, soft-spoken, strong in his views, dedicated to his land and rooted to the soil – he was definitely a person who represented Tamil Eelam,” said Ma'ravanpulavu K. Sachithananthan, a senior activist and former UN consultant, in a video interview to TamilNet in Jaffna on Monday while remembering the contributions of the veteran Gandhiyam leader of early 1970s. “Very few people in history make such determined effort to save their community and hold on to their principles. [...] Even today, many of us hold on to very strong views about our future. We may not be there. But the dream will be there. David's dream will be there. [...] His dream was human emancipation through Tamil emancipation. He was dreaming for the community, not because he loved those around him, but because he loved the humanity,” Mr Sachithananthan said.

S.A. David at 60
S.A. David at 60
S.A. David at 88
S.A. David photographed at the age of 88 in Tamil Nadu
Even at the age of 92, Mr David was talking about continuing what he did in early 70s. He was talking about possibilities of developing cashew plantations in the East, Mr Sachithanthan, who is also a writer and publisher based in Chennai and Jaffna, said.

Gandhiyam David was always interested in farms and making Tamils self-sufficient.

He was a historical variant with vision. He never wanted anything to him personally. To be very frank, he was a detached person. Detached to the core. To the last, he held one view: Tamils should rule themselves.

“David would talk continuously of achieving self-rule or a separate State for the Tamils. He would never bargain on that. He would never give up his ideas because of ‘changing situations’. He was very clear,” Sachithananthan added.

“David was not a very strong believer in violence. But, he said there was no other way at the time when the young men took to violence. Even though he was a Gandhiyan, he felt he was not there to block them,” he added.

Sachithananthan remembered how hopeful David Aiyaa was in January 2009 when Barack Obama was elected US President. “He had high hopes. Obama has come. We are definitely going to have some change in the American policy, Mr David was saying. But, when Mr Obama failed, when he did not grow up to the expectations of David Aiyaa, he fumbled.”

“Sachi, this American Establishment is against us, David Aiyaa would say.”

David aiyaa's dream is not limited to his life. It is a continuous process, because subjugation is also a continuous process. “We think subjugation is time-bound process and that somebody would conquer it. No. History repeats continuous situations.”

“The history also repeats David Aiyaas”.

* * *

The senior ITAK Central Committee member was also hinting about the serious work that needs to be done among the Tamils in the Indian Ocean Region and was sharing his and Gandhiyam David's work in the past on this regard in Mauritius.

Mr Sachithananthan went to Mauritius in 1980 and met the leaders of Tamils, Hindus, representatives of the political parties, government leaders including the prime minister, the governor and the opposition leader. Upon his return, he reported to the then TULF leader A. Amirthalingam and Kathiravetpillai urging them to send a political delegation to Mauritius. The people and the leaders of Mauritius were keen in extending their support to Tamils against the anti-Tamil pogroms taking place in the island of Sri Lanka at that time.

But, the TULF leaders were not keen in respecting the request of Mr Sachithananthan to send a delegation to Mauritius. However, in 1982, the late PLOTE leader Uma Maheswaran organised a delegation to Mauritius on Sachithananthan's behest. Mr S. A. David and T. Siddharthan were part of the delegation.

“If the Mauritius government did not host the Commonwealth meeting or did not participate in the meet [held in Colombo], it was because of the foundations we laid [in early 80s]. We found a nucleus among the Mauritius Tamils who would prop the political leadership there to take a pro-Tamil stand or an anti-pogrom stand,” Mr Sachithananthan observed.

“In 1977, when I phoned the Prime Minister's office, they immediately took it up with the Sri Lankan government. I had a contact in Prime Minister's office, Mr Ponnusamy. He is still around.”

“In 1983, after the riots, I spoke to the prime ministerial candidate Anerood Jugnauth. He was campaigning in the Tamil platform that he would speak for the Tamils and they voted for him.”

“In 1983 September, thanks to David Iya and to Siddharthan – and my efforts were also there – Mr Jugnauth spoke at the United Nations. He was the first Prime Minister [of a country] to voice the concerns of the Tamils in Sri Lanka,” Sachithananthan said.

“Subsequently, India was not very happy with that situation because they were taking control and they did not want any other government to be independent of their efforts. Neither Mr Amirthalingam nor any other leaders went to Mauritius. But the Mauritius Tamils kept the torch. [...] I think we should thank David Iya for that,” he said.

Related Articles:
03.08.12   The Hindu finds David to defend genocidal culprits
23.04.12   Veteran Tamil activist and humanist reaches 88 in exile



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