- Mr Thondaman was a great friend of ours who stood by us during our difficult times
By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana
Government is committed to resolve the issues faced by the up-country Tamils for which late Minister Arumugam Thondaman stood for, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa told Parliament yesterday.
Opening the condolence vote on the late Mr. Thondaman in the House yesterday, the Prime Minister said Mr. Thondaman was a man who went against separatism though he was a Tamil. “ He only dedicated his life for the estate sector Tamils. Mr. Thondaman met me hours before his death and what he discussed with me was the issues pertaining to estate sector Tamils. “ Our government is committed toward resolving these issues” the Prime Minister said.
“ Mr Thondaman was a great friend of ours who stood by us during our difficult times” he added. Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa said late Mr. Thondaman’s grandfather the late Minister S. Thondaman was great friend of his father the late President R. Premadasa. “ Mr Thondaman was considered as a national leader though he represented the estate Tamils” Mr. Premadasa said.
SJB MP and SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem said the late Mr. Thondaman once met the LTTE leaders and proposed setting up of a common front uniting the Tamil parties in the North and in the South. However he said the latter never stood for separatism.
Tamil People’s National Front MP Gajendra Kumar Ponnambalam said the late Minister Arumugam Thondaman had a close relationship with the Tamil political leaders in the North.