People should accept me for who I am - Jeevan Thondaman

16 July 2020 12:00 am - 32     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Jeevan Thondaman (25) was nominated to be the Nuwara Eliya District candidate at the upcoming General Election after his father, Arumugan Thondaman, leader of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC), suddenly passed away at the age of 56. 


Q Your educational and professional qualifications?  

Bachelor of Laws - University of Northumbria, UK

Q Why should people vote for you other than for being the son of Arumugam Thondaman?  

I may be the son of whoever. But, at the end of the day, people need to accept me for who I am. I am fortunate to have support from the elderly, children and as well as the youth. I have also given them the right to question me on anything. However, if they don’t like me, my principles and my politics, they won’t vote for me. If the people believe that I would solve their problems, they will vote for me  


Q If more and more sons and daughters of top politicians get tickets, how do you think self-made young politicians can join?  

I don’t think it is easy for daughters and sons of politicians to join politics. In Asia, the culture of family politics, has existed for centuries. But, if you notice, not all the political families have been successful. Some heirs of political families have failed because people have rejected them. In my case, I never even came to a political office when my father was alive. I decided to listen to people’s and my party’s requests after my father’s demise. As I said earlier, if people up-country did not like me, they would have rejected me despite me being the son of their leader.  


Q When it comes to estate workers’ issues, a majority of estate workers’ children have no quality higher education opportunities and employment options. What is your plan for their education?  

Estate-based schools are not up to the standard of normal schools. Students and even teachers don’t have access to modern technological ways of education. Those estate schools also lack infrastructure. In some schools, students in different grades are studying in one classroom. They need to be developed and brought on par with modern standards.  

If  we improve the economic stability of these families, more students will be able to consider continuing their education and dream for a better future. Speaking of that, my father had asked the government to build a university in the up-country. Hopefully by next year, the government will start work on the university which is planned to be built in the Kotagala-Hatton area.   


Q Every tea estate worker is supposed to pay Rs.150 per month as the contribution to trade unions. Even teachers pay only Rs.20 per month towards their trade unions. Don’t you think it is unfair to charge such an amount from estate workers when many of them are already struggling to fulfil their basic needs?  

Teachers are government workers. Therefore, they have a protection mechanism, which is the government. But, estate workers have no such mechanism. Workers still live under colonial standards. However, my father wanted to stop this subscription scheme eventually. I will fulfill his wishes in future. Meanwhile, I also want to add that our party has 48 offices all over Sri Lanka. People working in those offices are also mostly from estate families. Therefore, we need to look after them as well from these subscriptions.  


Q There was an uproar over the way quarantine laws were applied during your father’s funeral. Do you think there were mistakes that happened while organizing the funeral parade?  

People in up-country adored him so much that we could not perform his last rites in Colombo without bringing him to the villages. I admit that there was an issue at the starting of the funeral parade as a crowd gathered. They were overwhelmed by grief at their leader’s demise. After noticing their behaviour, we as the organisers tried our best to control them with facilities we had at that time. Even though politicians allege that we breached quarantine laws, after fourteen days of my father’s funeral, only two people in our area were under observation. There were no COVID-19 positive cases reported in our area.   


Q What is your vision for the protection of the environment and climate change adaptation?  

First of all, from the political point of view, I want to say that I don’t approve of this political poster culture. Since it has been the norm from the time known, it is not something we can stop overnight. Nonetheless, I believe that this culture gradually needs to see a stop. Moreover, I also think we need to increase social awareness programmes on the importance of protecting the environment. Strict laws on plastic and polythene use are also the needs of the hour in our country.  

In up-country, there are a lot of leopard poaching activities taking place. Diversity in wildlife is one of the main strengths of the up-country. Therefore, we have a huge responsibility to protect our wildlife. We should not talk about these environment issues only during an election period.


Q What are your views on discrimination based on sexual orientation?  

I don’t think there should be any kind of discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or sexual preferences. It is their own lives and their own choice. In fact, discriminating a person based on his or her sexual orientation should be a crime in my opinion.

Q Highlight of your manifesto?  

My manifesto, released on Tuesday (14) focuses on education, health and economic revival. As a matter of fact, my priority is for the third factor which is economic revival. If you look at the up-country, tourism industry can definitely play an important role in reviving the economy and it is something not many politicians have looked into. If we are able to launch a few government-funded projects, not only will we be able to give more jobs to people, but also contribute to the Sri Lankan economy. Another area I want to focus in my political journey is self-employment.

  Comments - 32

  • Selawaraja Thursday, 16 July 2020 04:33 AM

    Such a great way of approaching burning issues. This is exactly why we need more open thinking young politicians. I feel this guy will do better than his fathee if he keeps his word

    Filmgoer Thursday, 16 July 2020 08:56 AM

    I think he is a film star who loves to act!!

    Dharmalingam Thanakumar Thursday, 16 July 2020 11:17 AM

    Broader political views are appealing though. However, the longstanding issues of mainstreaming plantation communities is in a limbo, which need highest attention. I guess whoever, get their power into hand should push for infrastructure matters related to housing, health, education, townships, leisure and recreation, mini-industrial estates and more importantly improvement of estate road networks which underestimates all the development works done thus far in the plantations.

    Rosa Bauer Thursday, 16 July 2020 11:31 AM

    As a European citizen I will never understand your family politics. It must be so frustrating for honest young self made men and women that they will never can chase their dream of becoming a fair politician, fulfilling your good and honest ideologic plans. Just because your family is not in politics.

    Leo Thursday, 16 July 2020 11:59 AM

    I just hope junior will not follow, father's footsteps by joining the party that pays him the most.

    BuffaloaCitizen Thursday, 16 July 2020 12:01 PM

    Nobody know who you are, but know what your father is

    Praja Pathirana Thursday, 16 July 2020 01:28 PM

    You are mistaken Selawaraja. Fool doesn't know that having university there will not open slots to estate people. Entrance is based on national merit. He touches all superficially. I am sure he doesn't know what sexual orientation is.

    Sonny Thursday, 16 July 2020 11:23 PM

    Eventually, he will fulfil the adage - Like father, Like Son.

    Bandu Wanigasekera Thursday, 16 July 2020 11:39 PM

    But more interesting is the collection by his Union. There are 380 thousand estate labour and if 60% are in his union, at Rs.150 pm, that is a cool Rs.34 million. Phew no wonder Uni of Northubria here I come.

    Banu Thiyagarajah Friday, 17 July 2020 01:26 AM

    We all should welcome Jeevan Thondaman whole heartedly with optimism. Let's spread positive vibes!!!

    Doink the Clown Friday, 17 July 2020 08:46 AM

    Many dont know who you are . Knowing who your father was and what he did many will not want to know who or what you are ! .

    ricardo delima Friday, 17 July 2020 01:36 PM

    why is it always somebody from the family has to be there in Sri Lanka all parties has families and thats where the corruption and misuse-of power to play so why don't you step aside and give somebody out of the family to carry on and help the people of the estates. As family politics have been the destruction of SriLanka and the future will be the same with family Politics

    jayt Saturday, 18 July 2020 04:30 AM

    Since he is not Sri lankan, he should go back to India and build his country in India

    jayt Saturday, 18 July 2020 04:46 AM

    Are you European or a jew who are looking for Indian Tamil for military's invasion of Sri lanka. Indian and Jews killed his father in the Indian embassy. It is an another plot by Indian to promote another Tamil hordes into Sri lanka. in 1983 onward for more than 25 years, Jews helped Indian to smuggle Tamil into North America and Europe and get them citizenship to create permanent enemies against Sri lanka Jews mixture with Indian are devilish mixture. Jews cheated Sri lanka for more than 25 years appearing as supporter of Sri lanka army while helping Indian to smuggle Tamil into the Western countries.

    jayt Saturday, 18 July 2020 04:53 AM

    Jews will not be making fun of very long. Jews have to study what happened to them when they made fun out of German in in 1930s. Still Jews did not give up Germany.

    jayt Saturday, 18 July 2020 07:05 AM

    You are not a European but you are Jew who are hiding somewhere and making a comment. Jew have hard time peacefully leave Sri lanka alone. Of course , I am very wrong to ask such a question since Jews are not giving a powerful countries in Europe , Canada and US, Sri lanka will be a piece of cake.

    Upula Saturday, 18 July 2020 11:13 AM

    The curse so far adversely affecting our society had been the public representatives labeling themselves as 'educated'; after receiving a degree in Law, either locally or affiliated schools via online. The moment you are a 'lawyer', you begin to get two tongues and morph like chameleons to suit a situation. So Lawyers! you are not eligible to serve public of this country! Do a Masters, MPhil, a Phd and try claim your place.

    Uthumankandu Farook Saturday, 18 July 2020 03:57 PM

    He is only 25 years old now. Fate has brought him to politics, may be, before he wanted to join in. It looks he has great ideas in him. We must help him grow in the right direction. People in upcountry are the most neglected section of our nation. They need selfless leaders to work for their upgrading. I wish him all the very best. Dr. Uthuman Farook

    Uthumankandu Farook Saturday, 18 July 2020 03:57 PM

    He is only 25 years old now. Fate has brought him to politics, may be, before he wanted to join in. It looks he has great ideas in him. We must help him grow in the right direction. People in upcountry are the most neglected section of our nation. They need selfless leaders to work for their upgrading. I wish him all the very best. Dr. Uthuman Farook

    Selvam Saturday, 18 July 2020 04:32 PM

    This is what every ne politician says, till they attain power: then they change the gear to make money using the people who voted them in.

    Mandayan Sunday, 19 July 2020 12:49 AM

    Why is that you follow the footsteps of your father and forefathers? Don't you have anything on your own to achieve?

    Dee Sunday, 19 July 2020 04:55 PM

    A long line of Scorpio jeeps followed by tuks with hunks with musto clad in bright colored shirts. Comes racing down stirring the dust and comes to a grinding halt(slow motion) the A boss gets out. Hair flowing! 'Jeevan'. The usual high adrenaline music video starts.......

    Paramananda Sirinivas Sunday, 19 July 2020 05:16 PM

    Another disaster is added to SL politics. Please get out soon with out destroying it further as your oldies did!

    Esther Cohen Monday, 20 July 2020 11:39 PM

    @Jayt, I have never heard such a stupid ignorant facist comment before. You don't know anything about the suffering of Jews in the war in Europe. I am really shocked that the Daily Mirror gave you the opportunity to you make this comment and really hurt Jewish people to the bones

    RP Wednesday, 22 July 2020 09:16 PM

    I totally oppose the practice of Family passing the torch to another member. This cruel practice denies the seasoned and veteran party members an opportunity to shine. Unfortunately, this is a norm in the third world politics. Nevertheless, wish this baby face, 25 year old Jeevan good luck.

    Estate Tamil Thursday, 23 July 2020 12:41 AM

    There is no need for another Thondaman in Politics. Under Thondamans the estate worker have been kept as slaves. We do not need another "Slave Driver".

    jayt Thursday, 23 July 2020 10:20 PM

    Indirect message of global Jews who love under Arab nuclear strike

    jayt Thursday, 23 July 2020 10:27 PM

    We need all Arab support to list all conspiratorial Jews from Europe and North America. When Jews seek military adventure with Indian Tamil, we should seek military adventure with Arab into Arab land of Palestine This is long overdue

    jayt Thursday, 23 July 2020 10:48 PM

    Giving Arabs fighters weapons including finding countries to raise fund is the best solution to defend Sri lanka from global Jew crooks and criminal Arab do not need nuclear weapon to end Jew occupation, they only need sophisticate weapons which enable them to recapture Palestine in 8 hours.

    Esther Cohen, European Jew Friday, 24 July 2020 08:23 PM

    Jayt, you don't know anything about Jews in Europe and their suffering during the war.I can not believe the Daily Mirror publish your comment.

    J.Satha Saturday, 25 July 2020 11:05 PM

    He likes his father. nothing will happen in hill country, if he won. Bez if any new government hasn't give any ministry for who are first sitting in parliament. at the same time he is talking like silly in public. he is not suitable for leadership for hil country people, bez his age. his father what did his period in political? Now also , hil country people in poverty . Monthly 250 Rupees from recovered by estate workers salary for Unions. But this people life not change last decades...if hill country people continuously believe this guys the people will be lost everything...

    RP Monday, 27 July 2020 05:04 AM

    Dear Editor, Please screen the comments prior to the publishing. Weird comments are made here regarding Jews. I wish the "Mossad" would make a courtesy call to him/her. What Jews got to do with this article? Thank you!

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