M K Eelaventhan, the Lifelong Activist for Eelam

Strong and Steadfast at 90 

Manicavasagar Kanagasabapathy Eelaventhan

by Usha S Sri Skanda Rajah, October 2, 2022

He lives and breathes Eelam. If everyone were like him there’s every hope an independent and sovereign Thamil Eelam will surely be realized in the not so distant future.

On his 90th birthday, Mr. Eelaventhan has neither deviated, even an iota from his goal, nor lost any of his zest for Thamil Eelam.

Strong and steadfast and unwavering in spirit, Mr. Eelaventhan remains an inspiration to activists and patriots of Eelam and an unassailable voice for victimized and voiceless Eelam Tamils.

Mr. Eelaventhan is indeed a rarity.

Looking back to just a few momentous events in his early life, Mr. Eelaventhan’s activism began when he was in his twenties, when he joined the Federal Party (Tamil Arasu katchchi) in 1952. His activism became more intense in 1956 when the Sinhala Only Act was tabled in Parliament making the Tamil Language redundant and Tamils second class citizens. He was an able assistant to Mr. S J V Chelvanayagam, the leader of the Federal Party, involving himself in non-violent protests against the Bill.

After the overwhelming mandate that the Vaddukoddai Resolution of 1976 received, which called for the restoration and reconstitution of the Tamil Home-land, Tamil Eelam, Mr. Eelaventhan became a staunch advocate of Tamil Eelam and has been so ever since.

Fast forwarding to the time when he became a Member of the Srilankan Parliament under  the TNA (Tamil National Alliance – formed in Oct 2001) banner and despite enactment of the 6th amendment, criminalizing the advocacy of a separate state, Mr. Eelaventhan continued agitating for Tamil rights.

When the Sri Lankan Government offensive was growing more aggressive, on the advice of His Excellency Veluppillai Pirabhaharan, it became necessary for Mr. Eelaventhan to go abroad and draw the attention of the international community to the Genocide that was being perpetrated against Tamils by Sri Lanka. As the Sri Lankan government offensive was taking a new dimension in the Tamil Homeland, Mr. Eelaventhan needed to inform the world of the sad plight of the Eelam Tamil people. He went to South Africa in early January of 2009 to meet with political activists and undertook a fast in early April, until he was forced to end it after 9 days due to his deteriorating health.

When the bombing of civilians by the Sri Lankan army got worse, he went to America in the latter part of May and sought asylum in Canada on August 6th 2009.


We are fortunate to have Mr. Eelaventhan in our midst in Canada. He is as unique as you can get. He lives a frugal life, living and breathing the only thing he has been living and breathing for his whole life through: Thamil Eelam. In many ways Mr. Eelaventhan can be compared to Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Highly focused and principled in following his ideal, to free his people, he has undergone much suffering and made many sacrifices to remain committed to his political beliefs.

He is indeed an asset, being able to speak in impeccable English and Senthamil and able to put forth his case in both languages; a masterful orator, he is so well read and conversant in the history of Thamil, Thamil Eelam and Saivism, a prolific writer and an incredible resource person – a walking archive I would say if there is such a term and one of few people still living who have that knowledge..

At his modest abode here in Canada he is surrounded with books and papers on our freedom struggle – his only pre-occupation and reason for living. He sleeps and wakes up thinking about what he can do next, where he can go next to achieve his goal! He is a life long vegetarian and despite his advanced age, he is full of energy and enthusiasm and never tires when engaging with others about Eelam or when standing on the rostrum speaking about liberating Tamil Eelam. Dedicated to the cause of a Separate Eelam, unrelenting and defiant despite certain health issues plaguing him, we have never found him to be unwell when called upon to speak about Eelam.

By his spirituality, appetite for service to the cause of Eelam, his thirst for Eelam and by his strong political convictions, he has endeared himself to people of all walks of life. It’s suffice to say he is a well loved and well respected member of the Tamil Canadian community and the larger global Tamil community – he’s one of those who has selflessly devoted himself to defending the dignity, security, freedom and human rights of the Eelam Tamil people. A man who believes the solution to Thamil Eelam is Thamil Eelam! It’s incredible but true if I were to sum up the life and purpose of Mr. Eelaventhan it is exactly that – which is to see Thamil Eelam become a reality.

He is no doubt a living legend, one whom I am fortunate to know.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Eelaventhan, for his unparalleled and tireless service to the Thamil Nation. May he have a long and healthy life and live to see the restoration and rebirth of Thamil Eelam.

மா. க. ஈழவேந்தன் அவர்களின் 90 ஆவது பிறந்த நாளை ஒட்டி உஷா ஸ்ரீ ஸ்கந்த ராஜாவின் வாழ்த்துச் செய்தி 

 90 ஆம் அகவையை தாண்டியும் ஐயாவின் உறுதி, வைராக்கியம், வேகம், உணர்வு, ஆர்வம், அற்பணிப்பு, இடைவிடா ஊக்கம், இடையறா உழைப்பு, பிடிவாதம், இறுமாப்பு நெறி மாறா லட்சியம், ஆவல், குறிக்கோள், நம்பிக்கை அனைத்தும் எல்லோரிடம் இருந்தால் தமிழ் ஈழம் கிடைக்கும், கிடைத்து விடும்!

 தமிழ் மொழியும் தமிழ் ஈழமும், தனது உயிர் மூச்சாய் கருதுபவர், வாழ்வபவர், வாழ்ந்து காட்டுபவர் ஈழவேந்தன் ஐயா.

“எனை நன்றாக இறைவன் படைத்தனன் தனை நன்றாகத் தமிழ் செய்குமாறே!”

– திருமூலரின் திருவாக்கு, சைவ சித்தாந்தத்தின் பத்தாம் திருமுறைலிருந்து வந்தது என்று அறிந்திருப்பீர்கள் . எந்த மேடை என்றாலும் ஈழவேந்தன் ஐயாவின் முதல் வார்த்தைகள் இவை தான் – கேட்டுஇருப்பீர்கள்.

“ஈழம் வெல்லும், இதைக் காலம் சொல்லும்.”

“அடுத்த தலைமுறை எம்மை மிஞ்சுகின்ற அளவிற்கு குரல் எழுப்பி செயல் அளவில் காட்டவேண்டும்.”

“நான் நலம் நாடு நலம் பெறவேண்டும்.”

“Keep the Fire Burning Usha.”

கேட்க்கும் தமிழர் எல்லோரது மனதையும் உருக்கும் சொற்கள். ஈழ தேசத்தின் மீது பற்றுள்ளவர்கள், ஆர்வலர் எல்லோர்க்கும் நம்பிக்கை் ஊட்டும் சொற்கள், எல்லோரையும் ஊக்குவிக்கும் , உசுப்பி விடக்கூடும் வார்த்தைகள். மாணிக்கவாசகர் கனகசபாபதி ஈழவேந்தன் ஐயாவின் உள்ளே ஊறிய வார்த்தைகள்.

கனகேந்திரன் என்ற அவருடைய பெயரை மாற்றி ஈழவேந்தன் என்று தனக்கு பெயர் சூட்டிய ஈழத்தாயின் பெருமகன் இவர்.

ஒன்று சொல்வேன், இதற்கு மாற்றுக்கருத்து இருக்க முடியாது. 90 ஆம் அகவையை தாண்டியும் ஐயாவின் உறுதி, வைராக்கியம், வேகம், உணர்வு, அற்பணிப்பு, இடைவிடா ஊக்கம், இடையறா உழைப்பு, பிடிவாதம், his Defiance against all opposition, இறுமாப்பு நெறி மாறா லட்சியம், ஆவல், குறிக்கோள், நம்பிக்கை அனைத்தும் எல்லோரிடம் இருந்தால் தமிழ் ஈழம் கிடைக்கும், கிடைத்து விடும் என்று சொல்லுவது மிகையாகாது.

90 ஆவது அகவையில் கால்பதிக்கும் ஈழவேந்தன் ஐயாவிற்கு எங்கள் இனிய பிறந்த நாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள்.

  உஷா ஸ்ரீ ஸ்கந்த ராஜா



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  1. Thiagarajah Sathasivam

    Good to read on Sinhala only policy . It’s unstatemanly to divide people who have lived together for many years together . Who did it ? The Bandaranaike . In Malaysia we have Malay only policy