Srimavo’s constitutional promiscuity
by K T Rajasingham, ‘Asian Tribune,’ Singapore, accessed October 17, 2017
“The Tamil-speaking people of Ceylon believe that only a federal type constitution would enable them to look after their own affairs alone and would safeguard them from total extinction. Only under such a constitution, the Tamil-speaking people of this country could live in dignity, with our birthright to independence, as equal with our Sinhalese brethrens.” This was stated in the election manifesto of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), which was released on April 4, 1970.
The manifesto added, “It is the present constitution of Ceylon that paved the way for the Tamil-speaking people to be pushed down to the level of second-class citizens and thereby destroy their individuality and identity, irrespective of whether their representatives were with the government group or in the opposition in the parliament.”
The manifesto surprisingly opposed the separation of the country. “It is our firm conviction that division of the country in any form would not be beneficial, neither to the country, nor to the Tamil-speaking people. Hence, we appeal to the Tamil-speaking people not to lend their support to any political movement that advocated bifurcation of our country.”
The ITAK opposed separation during that period, and they failed to demand the restoration of the status quo ante. They failed to demand the Tamils’ right to self-determination, when British domination and control over the Tamils lapsed with the transfer of power in 1948.
The All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), the main party that represented the Tamils during the colonial days, opposed the Soulbury Constitution. Tamil electors in 1947, during the first parliamentary general elections, rejected the Soulbury constitution by overwhelmingly electing the candidates put forward by the ACTC. Once the election results were announced, the leader of the party, G G Ponnampalam, correctly dispatched an urgent cable to the Colonial Office in London, emphasizing that the election results had vindicated his stand for a balanced representation and demanded the replacement of the Soulbury constitution, as the Tamil voters flatly rejected it.
Though the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by the General Assembly of the United Nations by its Resolution 2200 A (XXI) of December 16, 1966, and it came into force on January 3, 1976, the issues in the covenant were as old as mother earth, where the right of self-determination is undeniably an inborn right of every human being.
Once the Tamils rejected the Soulbury Constitution, in 1947, and after the British handed over the country to D S Senanayake, thus ceding the British sway over the Tamils, they should have demanded their right to determine their own future by seeking an independent sovereign Tamil state. Even though the leaders in the past had failed to demand this, it did not mean it was the end of the issue, even today this demand is active and could be placed without any hesitation.
Meanwhile, the majority of the Tamils, including C Suntheralingham and V Navaratnam, felt that participating in a constitution-making procedure to be adopted by the United Front government would be detrimental to the Tamils, who could easily demand the restoration of their status quo ante.
Unfortunately, it was not so and the main Tamil political party, the ITAK, was against the separation or the division of the country, according to its election manifesto. The party insisted on participation in the proposed constituent assembly.
“In a broadcast on September 10, 1970, Dr Colvin R de Silva, the Minister of Constitutional Affairs, identified the defects of the existing constitution, as he and the government saw them: the existence of an entrenched clause [clause 29], which safeguarded the minorities against discriminatory legislation; the right of judicial review by courts over the constitutionality of the legislation passed by parliament; administrative machinery that still bore the stamp of its colonial origin; a bicameral legislature; and the inequality of the adult vote under the existing system of delimitation with its weighted bias in favor of the rural areas and the remoter parts of the country. This was a shrewd blend of the special concerns of the SLFP [the antipathy to clause 29] and Marxist left [the quest for more equitable electoral system, ie, one without the pronounced pro-rural bias incorporated in the Soulbury Constitution].” J R Jayewardene of Sri Lanka – A political Biography Volume two: From 1956 to His Retirement (1989) by K M de Silva & Howard Wriggins, page 207.
The minister urged the formation of a constituent assembly on the model of the Indian constituent assembly, which had earlier drafted the Indian constitution. The United Front government from the very beginning began to insist on two points: the authority to convene the constituent assembly and the authority to draft a new constitution. The minister emphasized that those authorities were both derived from the people and stressed that they were bent on drafting an entirely a new autochthonous constitution.
Autochthonous means, pertaining to autochthons; aboriginal, indigenous and opposed heterochthonous. It was a new political jargon commonly used by Dr Colvin R de Silva, who wanted to break with the legal past, through his own legal revolution by adopting extra constitutional measures, unmindful of the constitutionality of such obnoxious measures.
“This was simply a bid to press into service Professor K C Wheare’s notion of constitutional autochthony with reference to Eire, India and Pakistan. The pundits mutilated Wheare’s concept of autochthony and made it the rationale for the so-called constituent assembly to draft and enact a new constitution for Ceylon. Relying on this concept, Colvin R de Silva argued that there had been a ‘legal revolution’ in Ceylon in 1970, and that the constituent assembly had received a mandate from the people, to draft and enact a new constitution of Ceylon.” Sri Lanka The National Question and the Tamil Liberation Struggle by Satchi Ponnampalam, page 161.
“K C Wheare, Constitutional Structure of the Commonwealth, Oxford professor Wheare’s thesis was that ‘the members of the Commonwealth will, as a rule, take steps quite soon after they achieve independence through a constitution made in Britain to proclaim that independence in a document which they can claim owes its validity and authority to no outside country or institution but to themselves alone’.” Sri Lanka, The National Question and the Tamil Liberation Struggle by Satchi Ponnampalam, page 186.
This vague concept that authority to draft a new constitution is derived from the people will not hold in any legal argument, but it may seem to be acceptable because of its political overtone. The will of the people, nationalist sentiments, the legal revolution, extra-constitutional measures adopted for a new constitution and any other things would only prevail if it is in accordance with the constitution.
Either Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi, or the United National Party, had not expressed any reservations on the legality of the whole exercise, when the government decided to have the inaugural meeting of the constituent assembly, in a college hall, outside the precincts of parliament. The United Front government insisted that it was not an official meeting of the House of Representatives, but a gathering of the representatives of the people, drawn together for a specific purpose.
Unfortunately, the participation of the United National Party and the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi, and the opposition political parties, at Nava Ranga Hala, on July 19, 1970, on the invitation of Srimavo Bandaranaike, the prime minister, in the inauguration meeting of the constituent assembly, amid great fanfare, helped to give an appearance of a national consensus on the initial constitutional reform procedure.
Prime Minister Srimavo R D Bandaranaike moved a resolution calling for the setting up of a constituent assembly to draft, enact and operate a new constitution. She said, “I should not anticipate a constitution, but I will only say that our new constitution must be such, as helps to strengthen the oneness of our nation. Though, there are amongst us different racial groups, such as Sinhalese, Tamils, Moors, Burghers and others, and many religious communities, such as Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, and Muslims; but we are and we must act, as one nation.”
The motion was seconded by J R Jayewardene, the leader of the opposition. S Kathiravetpillai, the Member of Parliament for Kopay, who spoke on behalf of the ITAK, assured cooperation of the Tamil speaking-people in the government’s endeavor to draft and enact a new constitution. He insisted that his party categorically opposed the division of the country and wanted the constituent assembly to accept the federal constitution.
After three days of debate, Members of Parliament assembled at Nava Ranga Hala and unanimously decided to constitute themselves into a constituent assembly. At the next meeting, the Minister of Constitutional Affairs invited each political party to nominate representatives to the Steering and Subject Committee, which would consider basic resolutions that would form the core structure of the constitution.
Meanwhile, C Suntheralingham made application in the Supreme Court, seeking orders restraining Srimavo R D Bandaranaike and other members of the cabinet from conducting the proposed proceedings of the constituent assembly, as convoked and created by a resolution of the Members of the House of Representatives, passed on July 19, 1970.
The case went before the Supreme Court’s division bench, consisting of Chief Justice H N G Fernando and Justice Wijayatilake. On February 13, 1971, the judgment was conveyed refusing the application. The Privy Council thereafter refused leave to appeal from the judgment without stating reasons.
“Only C Suntheralingham, the father of the Tamil separatism, petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ to prohibit the so-called constituent assembly from functioning. Predictably, the Supreme Court refused, on the ground that it had no power to prohibit a meeting of the MPs, whatever name they call themselves, until they had produced an illegal result. Suntheralingham prepared to appeal to the Privy Council, but appeals to the Privy Council were soon abolished by the 1971 Act.” Sri Lanka, The National Question and the Tamil Liberation Struggle by Satchi Ponnampalam, page 162.
In the meantime, the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi presented its draft of the model constitution to the Steering and Subject Committee of the constituent assembly for consideration. The committee met regularly from January 4, 1971.
With regard to the Basic Resolution No 1, that Sri Lanka would be a free, independent , socialist republic – it was accepted by all without dispute or controversy. The ITAK even agreed to the name change of the country from Ceylon to Sri Lanka.
The new name Sri+Lanka is with a Sanskrit honorific “Sri” to denote diffusing radiance, beauty and grace conjoined, prosperity, sacred and holy. Lanka the name applied to the country, the very name does not have the remotest connection with its people, or the language they speak. (See Chapter 1) The name Lanka is the Sanskrit translation of the Tamil name “Ilankai” and called in the Sanskrit version of the Iramayanam – “LAN KA” – according to Tamil grammatical requirements, a word cannot begin with “la” as prefix, but only with a vowel, and end with “Ka” as suffix. Therefore, it should be written as “Ilankai”. Furthermore, “Ilankai” in Tamil means “as its radiates” and hence there is no need to adopt any honorific, because the very name itself depicts the holiness of the land it indicates.
The Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi moved several amendments to the basic resolutions moved by the United Front government in the Steering and Subject Committee. Almost all their resolutions, including those on the form and structure of the form government, fundamental rights and the language, were rejected.
On June 15, 1971, the ITAK General Council met in Jaffna to decide their continuous participation in the Constituent Assembly meetings. Once the motion on the language rights were not accepted, on June 22, 1971, the party finally decided to quit participating in the proceeding of the assembly. But the Member of Parliament for Jaffna, C X Martyn, defied the party’s decision, and was expelled from the party in the last week of July 1971.
In August 1971, Tamil militant youths indulged in their first act of violence by placing a bomb in the official motorcar of Somaweera Chandrasiri, the Junior Minister for Post and Telecommunication, when he visited Jaffna. The minister was attending a meeting inside the Urumpirai Tamil junior school when the bomb exploded. Though no one was hurt, the Minister’s official vehicle was wrecked.
On June 4, 1972, Seelan, Chetty, Sabaratnam and Selvarajah waylaid a car near Kopay, bundled the driver Ulaganathan into the boot and drove to the house V Kumarakulasingham, the former chairman of the Nallur Village Council and a strong supporter of the SLFP. They shot him, but only managed to injure him. They escaped and shot dead the car’s driver and set alight the motorcar with the body of the driver.
Also, Alfred Duriappah, the Mayor of Jaffna, survived an attempt on his life when V Prabakaran launched a bomb attack at a carnival held at the Duriappah stadium on September 17, 1972.
Subsequently, the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi’s decision to quit participating in the constituent assembly was considered a big victory to the youth front of the party. In the meantime, Tamil youths began to show a keen interest in the ongoing West-East Pakistan war, where India came forward to support East Pakistan.
Liberation of East Pakistan from Pakistan, by unceasing guerrilla warfare and the timely intervention of India and the subsequent birth of Bangladesh in December 1971 had an electrifying impact on the Tamil youth leaders of the ITAK. Leaders such as Mavai Senathirajah, Kasi Anandan, Kovai Mahesan (Editor – Suthanthiran – Freedom, a Tamil political weekly owned by S J V Chelvanayakam), Velupillai Prabakaran, Uma Maheswaran, Chetty Thanabalasingham, Kuttimani and others began to speak of similar operations for the future of the Tamils.
Tamil youths began to organize meetings in all electorates in the North and Eastern provinces to protest against the proposed constitution and the constituent assembly. The theme of the speeches made by the youths started shifting gradually from federalism to separation.
On February 20, 1971, Chelvanayakam, along with A Amirthalingham, went to Madras in south India to appraise the Indian Tamil leaders of the situation prevailing in Ceylon and to lobby for their support of the cause of Tamils in Ceylon.
A Rajarattinam, who was one of the organizers of the initial Pulip Padai in 1965, was in Tamil Nadu to lobby for the Tamil cause, and along with R Janardhanan arranged meetings for Chelvanayakam and his entourage with Indian Tamil leaders.
They met Muthuvel Karunanidhi, the leader of the Dravida Munetra Kazhagam and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, K K Shah – the state Governor, Dravida Kazhagam, leader E V Ramasamy Nayakar (Periyar – the elder), ex-Chief Minister M Bhatavatsalam, the leader of the Muslim League, Kaythe Millath, and the president of the Indian National Congress – K Kamaraj Nadar. Tamil Nadu leaders pledged their support and assured to brief Indra Gandhi, the prime minister, of the problems the Tamils in Ceylon faced.
Again, C Suntheralingham filed an injunction in the Supreme Court. In an application to obtain an injunction to prevent and prohibit the Minister for Constitutional Affairs from taking any steps to repeal the Ceylon (Constitutional and Independence Orders-in-Council, 1946 and 1947) and to substitute therefore, a constitution entitled ‘a constitution for Sri Lanka,’ the court held that it could not consider the validity or otherwise of a new constitution unless and until one was established or purported to be established.
The case came up for hearing before a supreme court bench comprising Chief Justice H N G Fernando, Senior Puisne judge G P A Silva, Justice Alles.
“The petitioner has relied on the provision contained in S48  of the draft of a new constitution, which has been published in the Gazette of 29th December 1971, and he has submitted that the position has materially altered in view of that provision. This submission has apparently found favor with one of the two judges, who made a preliminary order on this application on 21 January 1972. The draft section 48  provides as follows:
“No institution administering justice nor any other institution, person or authority shall have the power to inquire into or pronounce upon the validity of any law of the National Assembly.
“If this draft provision does eventually become operative, its effect will be that no court will have power to declare any law of the National Assembly to be invalid. The petitioner is apparently of the view that this draft provision will preclude also a challenge of the validity of the proposed new constitution; and it is in anticipation of this possible event that the petitioner claims that the position has ‘materially altered’, and that the alternative mentioned in paragraph 2 of the passage in my former judgment will not be available.
“The alternative there stated is the possibility of the new constitution being declared invalid if a competent court will have jurisdiction so to pronounce. This statement clearly contemplated the possible position that a court may not have such a jurisdiction. It is therefore not correct to say that there is or will be any altered position which the former judgment did not take into consideration.
“Hence the grounds on which the petitioner’s previous application was dismissed apply equally in the case of his present application. In both cases his purpose is the same, namely to prevent the new constitution from being established or being purported to be established.”
For these reasons, the application was dismissed on February 7, 1972. The full text of the case is given at the end of the chapter as Annex 1.
“This abortive attempt on the part of Suntheralingham gives rise to a pertinent question for speculation purely as an academic exercise,” writes V Navaratnam
He continues, “What would have been the result if, instead of a single private individual, however eminent and distinguished a Ceylonese citizen he may be, the whole body of the elected representatives of the Tamil people [say 15 or 16 Federal Party MPs] had gone before the Supreme Court upon receiving the prime minister’s notice requiring them to assemble at Navarangahala to meet as a constituent assembly with a petition to prohibit the prime minister and all the Members of Parliament for committing any extra-parliamentary act which would affect the lawfully-established constitution of Ceylon to the detriment of the people represented by the petitioning MPs? It was within the competence of the Tamil Members of parliament to do it.” The Fall and Rise of the Tamil Nation page 305.
The government, after proclaiming an emergency curfew and censorship, came forward to reconvene the constituent assembly in the second week of June 1971. The UNP members staged a work-out in protest, against the backdrop of a formidable insurrection in the country. Subsequently, the UNP came back after a few days to participate in proceedings when the government gave assurances that the participants were free to express their views without any restrictions.
The government also appealed to the participants that the drafting of the new constitution had to be treated as a matter of utmost urgency.
Jayewardene, on behalf of the UNP, proposed a resolution for the establishment of an executive presidency and the presidential system of government in place of a parliamentary government, the system which was in operation. The resolution was seconded by Ranasinghe Premadasa, but the United Front rejected the proposal.
In June 1971, the constituent assembly resolved that the National State Assembly (parliament) under the new constitution would have a life span of six years from the date of the adoption of the new constitution. This meant that the parliament that was elected in 1970, with a life span up to 1975, would remain up to 1978, nearly eight years, according to this resolution.
The opposition parties severely opposed this move. They insisted that the government had no mandate from the people to extend the life of the parliament. Subsequently, in response to the heightened opposition, the period of office of the first state National Assembly was reduced to five years from the date of the adoption of the new constitution, ie, up to 1977.
This move of the government compelled the United National Party to decide against supporting the adoption of the new constitution. Meanwhile, the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi in an unprecedented move invited all the Tamil political parties for a meeting. The All Ceylon Tamil Congress, the Ceylon Workers Congress, the Eelath Thamilar Otrumai Munnani (Ceylon Tamil United Front) of C Suntheralingham, several youth and student organizations were invited for the preliminary discussions. A general consensus was reached that a Tamil United Front should be created to struggle for the rights of Tamils.
Earlier, in 1970, the Tamil students movement, called Maanavar Peravai, (student grand forum), had been formed. Ponnuthurai Satyaseelan was behind this. But the formation of the TUF led to the formation of the Tamil Elaingyar Peravai (Tamil Youth Grand Forum), founded by 40 youths in January 1973. Many of the founder members subsequently became leaders of the militant movement.
At this time, again the Supreme Court refused to allow the application for an injunction against the competent authority appointed for the purpose of Regulation 14 of the Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulation No 5 of 1971. The application filed by C Suntheralingham against the Attorney-General and two other respondents came before the Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice H N G Fernando, Senior Puisne Judge C J Silva and Justice J Alles.
In the application for an injunction against the Competent Authority appointed for the purpose of Regulation 14 of the Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulation No 5 of 1971, the petitioner’s complaint was that the competent authority had wrongly refused to pass for publication certain correspondence which the petitioner had with the Minister of Constitutional Affairs, concerning the proposed new constitution of Sri Lanka. The petitioner claimed an injunction under section 20 of the Courts Ordinance, restraining the Competent Authority from further preventing publication by the petitioner of the correspondence.
The court refused to grant an injunction and held that it could not be granted if only for the reason that the proper forum in which an injunction must be sought is an original court and not the supreme court. The details of the case are given at the end of the Chapter as Annex II.
On October 2, 1971, the Senate Abolition Bill came into law. Again, on November 15, 1971, the right to appeal to the Privy Council was barred and it ceased to function in respect of Ceylon. The 150-year-old link between the Ceylon judiciary and the Privy Council ended on January 9, 1972. These were calculated moves by the United Front government to prevent any form of opposition to their proposed constitution.
“Government lost no time in taking action upon the blueprint they had made for a new Ceylon of their vision, a Singhalese Ceylon where no other community would have any voice in the affairs of the country. Obviously, they had a legislative program to be followed. First, the Upper House of parliament [Senate], which could hold up legislations was abolished. As a result, parliament now consisted only of the Queen and the House of Representatives. Next, the right to appeal to Her Majesty’s Privy Council was abolished by another Act of Parliament.” The Fall and Rise of the Tamil Nation by V Navaratnam, page 299.
When the constituent assembly was formed, the government failed to take into account the interest of the Tamils of the Indian origin, and nearly 1 million of them went unrepresented in the assembly. Though the Ceylon Workers Congress was not represented in parliament, its leader, S Thondaman, passed a resolution calling on the constituent assembly to incorporate a workers charter and also urged the inclusion of fundamental rights in the constitution.
On May 14, 1972, at a meeting convened by S J V Chelvanayakam at the Town Hall, Trincomalee, it was decided to form an organization for Tamils, shedding narrow party differences and called the Tamil United Front (TUF).
Chelvanayakam was elected president of the TUF, while Ganeshamoorthy and Kasi Anandan were elected as joint secretaries and S Kathiravetpillai, T Thirunavukarasu and A Kumaraguru as join treasurers. A committee representing all Tamil parties and organizations was elected.
At this meeting, the Tamil United Front unanimously endorsed a resolution to boycott the ceremonial opening of the National State Assembly on the day of the promulgation of the new constitution, May 22, 1972. Further, one of the resolutions adopted at this meeting explained the reason why it rejected the constitution, “The constitution had completely failed to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil-speaking people by refusing to grant constitutional status to the Tamil language in the fields of education, administration and justice, and thereby reduces them to the position of second-class citizens in their own country.”
The meeting adopted six resolutions and the preamble of which stated, “The Tamil United Front was inaugurated on 14.5.72 in Trincomalee, of historical importance at a time when Tamils faced grave danger to their freedom, self respect, and fundamental rights by the reactionary constitution, framed in a dictatorial manner. Thus, a United Front has been formed of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi, All Ceylon Tamil Congress, Ceylon Workers Congress, Eelath Thamilar Otrumai Munnani, All Ceylon Tamil Conference, representatives of several linguistic trade unions, students movements and non-party workers.
“The Constituent Assembly was composed of representatives of electorates carved according to a delimitation system which denied opportunities to 10 lakhs of Tamil estate workers of electing their own representatives, but who were ingeniously taken into account in giving weightage to electorates returning Sinhalese members on party basis. It was the House of Representatives thus elected and converted itself into the Constituent Assembly. This Assembly cannot therefore, be considered as truly representative of the people.
“The Assembly had not adequate representation of the 35 lakhs of the Tamil speaking people. The government did not have even a single Tamil elected by the people. The unanimous demands made through representative organizations on behalf of the Tamils was entirely rejected. In fact it has not been possible for the people of this country to participate in the framing of this constitution. Those in the government have failed totally to follow the healthy traditional practice of accommodating one another and thus finding unity.”
Subsequent to the adoption of the above preamble, the meeting resolved that the fulfillment of six minimum demands – (given in the concluding pages of this chapter) – would satisfy Tamil people. The demands called on the government to amend the constitution to accommodate the aspiration of the Tamils within a period of three months, ending in September 1972.
On May 22, 1972, when the constitution was officially promulgated, 15 of the 20 Tamil Members of parliament boycotted the ceremony. C Arulampalam (Nallur), A Thaigarajah (Vaddukoddai,) both of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress defied the leadership’s instructions, C X Martyn (Jaffna) who was expelled from the ITAK, and the nominated Members of Parliament, M C Subramaniam and C Kumarasuriar, (who was nominated as a Member of Parliament when the Senate was abolished) voted with the government in support of the constitution.
The Tamils in the North and East observed the day as one of mourning and a dawn to dusk hartal was successfully observed. As the government had prohibited rallies and public meetings, the Tamil leaders held a protest meeting at the Navalar Archiramam (Hermitage), Vannarponnai, Jaffna. Tamil youths made a fire of copies of the new constitution and the national flag. Violent incidents erupted throughout the North and Eastern provinces. Buses were burnt, government buildings were bombed and black flags were hoisted on many vantage points. The new constitution replaced the Governor-General with a president, and Governor-General William Gopallawa thus became the first president.
The legislature – the National State Assembly – became a unicameral body with a term of five years. The only change was the abolition of the six nominated members. The constitution was adopted with significant changes. Central to these was the rejection of any semblance of the separation of powers and a firm commitment to the supremacy of the legislature.
The earlier constitution tolerated judicial review of legislation. It was accepted that the courts could not only interpret the law, but also rule as to whether it was valid. This concept was rejected in the new constitution.
Accordingly, no law could be questioned in the courts. The only time a piece of legislation could be questioned, or challenged, was before it become law. This had to be done before a special constitutional court, and only on the grounds that the proposed law, or any part of it, was inconsistent with the constitution. Even if the constitutional court declared that the proposed legislation was inconsistent with the constitution, the proposed law could be approved with a two-thirds majority in parliament.
The new constitution made the worst fears of the Tamils a reality. It gave constitutional status to Sinhala as the official language, and did away with section 29, which had hitherto been a kind of covenant for the protection of minority rights.
The constitution had clauses on fundamental rights and freedoms. Those specified were the freedom of thought, conscience and religion, speech, peaceful assembly and association, freedom of movement and residence, protection of life and personal liberty, and prohibition of discrimination in public employment on the grounds of race, caste or sex and the strict adherence of the rule of law.
At the same time, the constitution also emphasized the curtailment of all these rights and the restriction of the much vaunted clauses “law in the interests of national unity and integrity, national security and national economy, public safety, public order, the protection of the public health or morals or protections of the right of others or giving effects to the principles of the state policy”.
As there was no guarantees of individual liberties and fundamental freedoms, those clauses remained as dead letters. The creation of a unicameral parliament, called the National Assembly, the supremacy of the legislature, abolition of the independence of the judiciary, the unitary nature of the government and Buddhism given the foremost place, were a few of the many other adverse elements that went into the constitution of the country.
Chapter 3, Article 7, of the new constitution stated, “The official language of Sri Lanka shall be Sinhala as provided by the Official Language Act No 33 of 1956.” All efforts to secure a place in the new constitution for the use of the Tamil language ended in a fiasco.
By providing supremacy for Buddhism, by doing away with the secular aspects of the earlier constitution, the government lost its credibility regarding neutrality.
The Sinhalese political leaders perpetuated illegality in the name of Buddhism and the whole country gradually permeates towards the Buddhist religious fundamentalism. 1972 constitution states as follows about Buddhism:
Article (6) “The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the state to protect and foster Buddhism, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by section 18 [d].”
There has been widespread debate over the legality of the 1972 constitution and whether the previous one was repealed. In the eyes of many, the way the constitution was proclaimed amounted to an illegal act.
“The so-called new republican constitution was promulgated in May 1972. From that time onwards the country’s lawful name of Ceylon was changed to the illegal name of Republic of Sri Lanka. The lawfully-elected parliament transformed itself into the illegal body known as the National Assembly. Srimavo Bandaranaike gave up her lawful office of prime minister of a lawfully-constituted government and transformed herself into an illegal prime minister of an illegitimate government. Thenceforward every government and all government measures, and every legislature, and all the purported laws made by these legislatures and all courts of law and all their judicial decisions and all police and military actions in obedience to the orders of such governments all carry the stain of illegality.
“But there is no forum or tribunal before which the illegality could be established. There is no court of law which has the independence or the judicial power to make pronouncements of the constitution, since, by their very oath of office, judges are sworn to uphold the constitution. There is no constitutional or legal process or peaceful means by which the illegality could be proven and the government brought to book.” The Fall and Rise of the Tamil Nation by V Navaratnam – pages 301-302.
Meanwhile, on July 20, 1973, the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (Special Provisions) law came into operation on the directive of the prime minister. Thus the government nationalized the Lake House group of newspapers.
A peculiar obituary notice appeared in one of these, the English language daily newspaper, the Ceylon Daily News, of March 22, 1974.
“O’CRACY – The death occurred under tragic circumstances of D E M O’CRACY, beloved husband of T Ruth, loving father of L I Bertie, brother of Faith and Justice. Interred on Saturday, 20th inst – Araliya Medura, Panagiyawatte, Anduruwala.”
(Aailya Medura – reference to the Temple Trees, the official residence of the prime minister; Panagiyawatte – the land of the dead or dying; Anduruwala – land of darkness) The obituary notice was the harbinger of events to follow.
The United Front government imposed an island-wide curfew and canceled all opposition meetings. In April 1974, the government locked and sealed Independent Newspapers Ltd, the publishers of the Sun, Dinapathi, Dawasa, and a dozen more evening dailies, weeklies and monthlies, under the emergency regulations, for a period of three years. The Times Group fell into the hands of government supporters. All public meeting were banned
In the meantime, the leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress, S Thondaman, protested at the proclamation to the constitution and its antipathy towards ethnic Tamils, including the Tamils of the Indian origin.
“Thondaman sought to meet Mrs Bandaranaike, to press for the inclusion of the language and fundamental rights chapters in the new constitution. But, he was prevented from meeting her. In 1977, after the general election, he told the press that he had been able meet Mrs Bandaranaike only outside Sri Lanka, and she was very good to him.
“I wanted to meet Mrs Bandaranaike to impress on her the need to embody the rights of the ‘Stateless Persons’ in the constitution, he told the press. The draft constitution made Thondaman very sad. The CWC issued a statement condemning the 1972 constitution. It gave three main reasons.
“First, it had been enacted without the consent and participation of the Ceylon and Indian Tamils. Indian Tamils were absent from the scene because no representative of theirs was in parliament. Ceylon Tamils were absent because their representatives had boycotted the constitution-making, as their basic demands – federalism, official status for the Tamil Language, end to state-aided colonization and citizenship for the Indian Tamils – had been rejected by the government.
“Secondly, it denied the Indian Tamils their basic human rights and right of citizenship. Thirdly, it discriminated between citizens by descent and citizens by registration.” Out of Bondage, The Thondaman Story by T Sabaratnam, pages 103-104.
After the adoption of the 1972 constitution on May 22, 1972, the Tamil United Front was formed through the merger of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi the All Ceylon Tamil Congress and the Ceylon Workers Congress. The Tamil United Front submitted a six-point demand to Srimavo Bandaranaike, the leader of the United Front government:
1. The Tamil language should be given the same status as Sinhala in the constitution.
2. There should be constitutional guarantees of full citizenship to all the Tamil-speaking people who had made the country their home. There should not be different categories of citizenship or discrimination against some of them. The state should have no power to deprive citizenship to any citizen of this country.
3. The state should be secular, with equal protection accorded to all religions.
4. The state should ensure valid fundamental rights guaranteeing equality of persons and ethno-cultural groups.
5. There should be a provision in the constitution for the abolition of caste and untouchability.
6. In a democratic and socialist society, only a decentralized structure of government would make for a participatory democracy with people’s power rather than state power.
While Srimavo Bandaranaike was bent on constitutional promiscuity, her government was also involved in a deliberate policy of shutting the doors of higher education to Tamil youths. Since 1970, admission to universities in Ceylon had been on the basis of open competitive examinations held in English. Hence, Tamil students entered universities in large numbers, especially in the faculties of engineering, medicine and other science faculties, by successfully competing in the entrance examinations, which earlier had been the Higher School Certificate (HSC) examination and later the General Certificate of Education – Advanced Level Examination (GCE A level).
In the early 1970s, a campaign was organized by Buddhist pressure groups to abandon the merit system in university admission. Accordingly, the government designed a discriminatory scheme to standardize admissions to universities and higher institutes of learning, severely affecting Tamil students.
As Tamil students fared well in competitive examinations, it was alleged that Tamil examiners were overmarking the papers of Tamil students, who by 1970 began to sit for examinations in the Tamil medium. An investigation by both Tamil and Sinhalese university professors declared that the allegations were untrue.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Education effectively established a quota system by lowering the marks aggregate requirement for Sinhalese students.
Thus, the marks requirements for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, for example, were fixed at 230, 215 and 200 for Sinhalese students, while Tamil students had to obtain 260, 245 and 230, respectively.
By 1975, the percentage of Tamil students entering university was greatly reduced. The introduction of standardization forced Tamils students to shelve their hopes of higher education. At the same time, the United Front government cancelled the foreign exchange allocation for education for individuals to enter colleges and universities in foreign countries, especially in India, thus closing the only alternative source available for the continuation of higher education.
This issue aroused strong opposition, and the government’s answer was to appoint a ministerial subcommittee to look into the problem. It recommended that the standardization scheme worked out by the Sinhala bureaucrats at the Ministry of Education should be abolished. The subcommittee advised that the scheme was intended to adjust the ethnic balance in university admission (ie, to have admissions proportionate to population, and not based on merit) as a measure for correcting disparities in marking standards between different subjects and different media (to correct the alleged favoritism of Tamil examiners) as a way to compensate the unequal provision of facilities of different groups.
Chelvanayakam in a statement condemned the new procedures and the standardization as whole. The standardization issue drew the wrath of Tamil youths and they openly came to the forefront to oppose the government. The youths also pressed the Tamil leaders to agitate for a Tamil state.
At a meeting organized by the Tamil Elaingyar Peravai, Sathiyaseelan explained, “The scheme of standardization signals the doom of the whole of the Tamil community. It has deprived thousands of Tamil youths with GCE Advanced Level qualifications, the opportunity for either further higher education or employment. Standardization has wiped out the last resort of the Tamils, that is professional qualifications and professional employment opportunities.”
At the height of stiff opposition from the Tamil youths, the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi resolved to allow Members of Parliament to take an oath of allegiance on July 4, 1972 and to enter parliament.
The oath of allegiance read as follows, “I … do solemnly affirm/swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Sri Lanka and that I will well and truly serve the Republic of Sri Lanka and duly and faithfully execute the duties of my office as … in accordance with the constitution and with the law.” The Tamil United Front (ITAK) MPs took the oath on July 4, 1971.
The government launched a campaign to show that a sizable section of Tamils accepted the constitution. Tamil youths accused parliamentarians that by attending parliament, they lent legitimacy to the constitution. They argued that, the 1972 constitution had closed all avenues for further democratic solutions to the impending issues and the only alternative left was separation. They also urged that separation could be achieved through armed revolt, and they began to forcefully press Tamil MPs to quit and launch a mass liberation struggle.
As virulent protests intensified within the party, and also to overcome the government’s propaganda, Chelvanayakam resigned his position as MP for Kankesanthurai on October 2, 1972. He challenged the government to hold a by-election to test the opinion of the Tamils with regard to the constitution. Unfortunately, the government made use of emergency regulations to delay holding the by-election until 1975.
The youths began to organize village-level meetings and demonstrations and burnt the national flag, the new constitution and effigies of the Tamil Minister, Chelliah Kumarasuriar, who contrived to organize the support of the Tamil MPs, A Thiagarajah and C Arulampalam, to vote with the government.
At one rally, Kasi Anandan (K Sivanandan), where S J V Chelvanayakam was on the platform, said, “Mr Duraiappa, Mr. Subramaniam, Mr. Arulampalam and Mr. Anandasangeri are enemies of the Tamil nation. They do not deserve natural death. nor do they deserve to die in an accident. The Tamil people, especially the youths, must decide how they should die.” The Broken Palmyra – The Tamil Crisis in Sri Lanka – An inside account by Rajan Hoole and others, page 17.
These village-level demonstrations were a cause of considerable anxiety to the government. It ordered the arrest of youth leaders. Over 50 were held in custody under the emergency ordinance. These included Mavai Senathirajah, presently a MP and one of the leaders of the Tamil United Liberation Front – TULF; Kasi Anandan, presently considered the poet laureate of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – LTTE; E S Subramaniam, known today as “Baby” Subramaniam, an executive committee member of the LTTE.
A list of Tamils youths arrested and held in custody without trial is given as Annex 3.
To make matters worse, in May 1973, the Sri Lankan navy seized a boat filled with 20,000 detonators on its way to Jaffna. The boat belonged to S Yogachandran, alias Kuttimani, an alleged smuggler from Valvetiturai. He fled to India, but the Tamil Nadu police there apprehended him with three consignments of silver bars. Kuttimani was charged under the Explosive Act and the Passport Act of India and extradited to Colombo.
“This happened during the mid-Seventies, that Mr Karunanidhi as Chief Minister agreed the deportation of a youth suspected of having master minded ‘retaliatory operations’ in Sri Lanka. Mr Kuttimani was brought to Sri Lanka and was under custody for some time. Tamil Nadu was not helping the Sri Lankan government but was obliging a request (once again to appease) Colombo from New Delhi for extradition. There were mild protests in Tamil Nadu when Kuttimani was deported.” Colombo’s Diplomatic Artistry by Maravanpulavu K Satchithannathan, page 15.
Kuttimani, alias Selvarajah Yogachandran, though a smuggler from the coastal village of Valvetiturai, along with Nadarajah, alias Thangathurai, along with a few other youths, organized the Tamil Liberation Organization (TLO) in 1969. The group included Chelliah Padmanathan, alias Kannadi, Periya Sothi, Sinna Sothi, Chelliah Thanabalasingham, alias Kannadi, who was a radio mechanic, Sri Sabaratnam, Velupillai Prabakaran and Ponnudurai Sivakumaran.
1972 Present: H N G Fernando, C J, G P A silva (SPJ) and Alles J – C Suntharalingam, Petitioner and the Attorney-General and two others, respondents.
SC1 of 1972 – Application for Injunction
In an application to obtain an injunction to prevent and prohibit the Minister for Constitutional Affairs “from taking any steps to repeal the Ceylon [Constitution and Independence Orders-in-Council, 1946 and 1947] and to substitute therefore a constitution entitled a “Constitution of Sri Lanka”.
Held: That a court cannot consider the validity or otherwise of a new constitution unless and until a new constitution is established or purported to be established.
Application for an injunction against the Attorney-General and the Minister for Constitutional Affairs. C Suntharalingam, the realtor-petitioner, in person. Cur Adv Vult.
February 7, 1972, HNG Fernando CJ.
The purpose of this application is to obtain an injunction from this court to prevent and prohibit the Minister for Constitutional Affairs “from taking any steps to repeal the [Constitution and Independence Orders-in-Council, 1946 and 1947] and to substitute therefore a constitution entitled a ‘Constitution of Sri Lanka'”.
The same petitioner made a previous application naming as respondents the Hon Srimavo R D Bandaranaike and the other members of the cabinet. In that application the petitioner sought orders restraining the respondents from conducting the proposed proceedings of the Constituent Assembly as convoked and created by a resolution of the members of the House of Representatives, passed on July 19, 1970. That application was refused by my judgment dated February 13, 1971, my brother Wijayatilake agreeing. The Privy Council thereafter refused leave to appeal from that judgment without reasons stated. In these circumstances it has to be assumed that the Privy Council confirmed or adopted the reasons stated in the former judgment for the refusal of the petitioner’s previous application, and we therefore considered ourselves bound by that judgment.
The operative passage in the former judgment, which indeed has been relied on by the petitioner on the present occasion, is the following:
“If and when such a new constitution is established or purported to be established, one of two possible situations will in my opinion exist:
1. That the new constitution is a legal and valid instrument which will in law supersede the Constitution and Independence Orders-in-Council, which are presently law; in which event a challenge of the validity of the new Constitution will be fruitless.
2. Alternatively, if the true position be that the new constitution established by the Constituent Assembly does lack legal force and validity, and if the competent court will have jurisdiction so to pronounce, the occasion for the making of such a pronouncement can arise only after the Constitution is established or purports to be established, and only in a proceeding in which the validity of some provision of the Constitution properly and actively arises for determination.”
It is clear from this passage that the ground for the refusal of the previous application was that a court cannot consider the validity or otherwise of a new constitution unless and until a new constitution is established or purported to be established. That contemplates event that has not yet occurred.
The petitioner has relied on the provision contained in S48 (2) of the Draft of a New Constitution which has been published in the Gazette of 29th December 1971, and he has submitted that the position has materially altered in view of that provision. This submission has apparently found favor with one of the two judges who made a preliminary order on this application on January 21, 1972. The draft section 48 (2) provides as follows:
No institution administering justice nor any other institution, person or authority shall have the power to inquire into or pronounce upon the validity of any law of the National Assembly.
If this draft provision does eventually become operative, its effect will be that no court will have power to declare any law of the National Assembly to be invalid. The petitioner is apparently of the view that this draft provision will preclude also a challenge of the validity of the proposed new Constitution; and it is in anticipation of this possible event that the petitioner claims that the position has “materially altered”, and that the alternative mentioned in paragraph 2 of the passage in my former judgment will not be available.
The alternative there stated is the possibility of the new constitution being declared invalid if a competent court will have jurisdiction so to pronounce. This statement clearly contemplated the possible position that a court may not have such a jurisdiction. It is therefore not correct to say that there is or will be any altered position which the former judgment did not take into consideration. Hence the grounds on which the petitioner’s previous application was dismissed apply equally in the case of his present application. In both cases his purpose is the same, namely to prevent the new Constitution from being established or being purported to be established.
For these reasons, we dismissed the application.
Silva SPJ – I agree.
Alles J – I agree.
Application Refused and Dismissed. – (Reference – New Law Report 75 – pages 126-128)
1972 Present: H N G Fernando, CJ, G P A silva (SPJ) and Alles J – C Suntharalingham, Petitioner and the Attorney-General and two others, Respondents
S C 1 of 1972 – Application for Injunction
Injunction – Proper forum for seeking it – Scope of Courts Ordinance (Cap6), S20.
In an application against the competent authority appointed for the purpose of Regulation 14 of the emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulation No 5 of 1971, the petitioner’s complaint was that the competent authority had wrongly refused to pass for publication certain correspondence which the petitioner had with the Minister of Constitutional Affairs concerning the proposed new Constitution for Sri Lanka. The petitioner claimed an injunction under section 20 of the Courts Ordinance restraining the Competent Authority from further preventing the publication by the petitioner of the correspondence. Although his application was pending in the Supreme Court for two months, the petitioner did not during this interval take any step towards the institution of an appropriate action in the District Court.
Held, that an injunction could be granted if only for the reason that the proper forum in which an injunction must be sought is an original Court and not the Supreme Court, unless there is good and substantial reason why a petitioner cannot go to the proper forum for relief. The excuse given by the petitioner that the effect of an injunction granted by the District Court might have been stayed or delayed by an appeal to the Supreme Court was of no avail; when the Legislature in section 20 of the Courts Ordinance recognized the District Court to be the proper forum in which to seek an injunction, the Legislature was aware that an order of that Court may be subject to appeal.
Application for an injunction against the competent authority appointed for the purpose of Regulation 14 of the Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulation No 5 of 1971.
C Suntharalingam (Relater-Petitioner) in person.
Ian Wikramanayake, Senior Crown Counsel, with Sunil de Silva, Crown Counsel, and A de S Gunawardana, Crown Counsel, for the 3rd respondent.
March 3, 1972. H N G Fernando, CJ
The Petitioner in this case sought different reliefs against different respondents. His application for an injunction against the Minister of Constitutional Affairs was dismissed for reasons which were stated on 14th February 1972. I set out now my reasons for dismissing his application for an injunction against the competent authority appointed for the purpose of Regulation 14 of the Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulation No 5 of 1971.
It appears from the averments in the petition that the Petitioner had some correspondence with the Minister of Constitutional Affairs concerning the proposed new Constitution for Sri Lanka, which is being considered by the Constituent Assembly set up in pursuance of a resolution passed by the members of the House of Representatives on 19th July 1970, and that the Petitioner transmitted to the Minister some Memoranda for consideration by the Constituent Assembly.
The Petitioner intended to publish and circulate the correspondence and the Memoranda, because (so he maintained at the hearing before us) it would be in the public interest to publish the views and facts stated therein and because such publication might induce the promoters of the new Constitution ‘to see reason’. We gathered that he also intended to transmit the Memoranda to Her Majesty Elizabeth II and to members of the British Houses of parliament, in the expectation that the parliament of Great Britain will intervene to prevent the establishment of what would be (in the Petitioner’s opinion) an unjust and illegal Constitution for Ceylon.
The Petitioner’s substantial complaint is that his intentions have been frustrated by the competent authority, who has refused to pass for publication the correspondence and the Memoranda to which I have referred.
It suffices to note for present purpose that Regulation 14 of the Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulations, read with certain orders made there under, empower the Competent Authority to prevent the publication in Ceylon or the transmission form Ceylon to place outside of matter which would or might be prejudicial to the interests of public security, etc, the Petitioner averred that in this case the Competent Authority has acted mala fide and in excess of the powers thus vested in him, and he sought in paragraph (e) of his prayer a decree declaring “that the Order of Refusal to pass for publication the documents specified in the Schedule A here to by the Third Respondent be revoked and that he be prevented from refusing to pass for publication the said documents”.
Although the terms of the prayer are uncertain, we were content to accept the petitioner’s submission that what he claims is an injunction under S20 of the Courts Ordinance restraining the Competent Authority from the further preventing the publication by the petitioner of the correspondence and the Memoranda to which I have earlier referred.
The jurisdiction if the Supreme Court to grant injunctions was first conferred by Section 49 of the Charter of 1833. The full court held over a hundred years ago that this jurisdiction is “a limited jurisdiction, protecting the applicant ad interim, until he can protect himself by obtaining an injunction in the District Court, which he can obtain on filing the libel as the very first steps in the cause”, and also that “the applicant should, as a condition precedent to obtaining a writ [injunction] from this Court, show that he is prevented by some substantial cause from applying at once to the District Court instead of coming to the Supreme Court at all”.
The Full Court further observed that “in the case before it there was no proof either of insufficiency of time, or of any other cause, of which this Court could take notice why the application for an injunction could not have been made in the District Court”. The existing jurisdiction under S20 of the Courts Ordinance is similarly limited. Bonser C J held in 1895 that “the power of granting injunctions is a strictly limited one to be exercised only on special grounds, and in special circumstances,  where irremediable mischief would ensue from the act sought to be restrained,  an action would lie for an injunction in some Court of original jurisdiction, and  the Plaintiff is prevented by some substantial cause from applying to that Court”.
These early decisions were followed by Sansoni J (as he then was) in 1955, when he held that if the second or the third of the conditions stated by Bonser C J is not satisfied, this court cannot grant an injunction.
Section 20 of the Courts Ordinance is in the following terms:
“The Supreme Court, or any Judge thereof, shall be, and is hereby authorized, to grant and issue injunctions to prevent any irremediable mischief which might ensue before the part making application for such injunction could prevent the same by bringing an action in any original court.”
My own examination of S20 enables me to confirm without reservation the correctness of the construction given to it by decisions which I have cited. According to these decisions, the proper forum in which an injunction must be sought is an original Court and not the Supreme Court. The Supreme court can consider the merits of a particular application, only if there is good and substantial reason why a petitioner cannot go to the proper forum for relief.
In the instant case there was literally not a single sentence in the petition or affidavit which attempted to explain why the petitioner, who filed his application in this Court on 3rd January 1972, did not instead make an application in the District Court. Indeed, the omission from the petition of any such explanation indicates that the petitioner who chose to be his own lawyer, was either unaware of the earlier decisions or preferred to ignore them.
The order of refusal by the Competent Authority was made in August 1971, and the petitioner explained in Court that he delayed to make his application until 3rd January 1972 because an appeal which he had preferred to the Prime Minister had evoked no response. But that explanation does not cover the failure of the petitioner to resort to the District Court even on 3rd January 1972. He stated at the hearing that it would have been futile for him to apply to the District Court, because even if the District Court had granted an injunction, its effect might have been stayed or delayed by an appeal. This excuse is in my opinion of no avail; when the Legislature in S20 recognized the District Court to be the proper forum in which to seek an injunction, the Legislature surely was aware that an order of that Court may be subject to appeal.
Although this application was pending in this court between 3rd January 1972 and 3rd March 1972, the Petitioner did not even during the interval of two months take any step towards the institution of an appropriate action in the District Court. Sansoni, J, in referring to a similar omission stated that the Petitioner in that case had thus “disentitled himself to any relief whatsoever”.
The present application had to be dismissed on the ground that the third of the conditions specified in the judgment of Bonser C J was not satisfied. It is therefore not necessary to consider whether the second of those conditions was satisfied in this case. But I should not refrain from recording that the Petitioner at one stage confidently asserted that a District Court would have no jurisdiction to grant the injunction which he sought. If that assertion be correct, it follows that the Supreme Court also has not that jurisdiction.
The Petitioner relied on S45 of the English Judicature Act of 1925 for a submission that an injunction could be granted by the High Court in England in the circumstances of the present case, and that this Court must apply the principles of the Law of England in constructing S20 of the Courts Ordinance. A similar submission was rejected long ago by Bonser C J when he pointed out that S20 of our Courts Ordinance confers “a limited power, very different from that given by the Judicature Act of 1873 to the English Supreme Court of granting injunctions in all case in which it shall appear to the Court just or expedient to do so”.
When the jurisdiction of a Court makes a particular order it is dependent on the existence of any conditions precedent, such as the second and third conditions stated by Bonser C J, the court is bound as a first step to ascertain whether each such condition does in fact exist. And, if any such condition is not shown to exist, the Court then lacks jurisdiction to proceed to any further inquiry into the alleged “merits” of a case. That is the simple reason why we refused to permit the Petitioner to address us in support of his assertion that irremediable mischief will ensue if an if an injunction is not granted in this case. We are content to ignore the Petitioner’s disrespectful insinuations that natural justice was denied to him by that refusal.
Silva, S P J – I agree
Alles, J – I agree
NAME – DATE OF ARREST – PLACE OF DETENTION N Amerasingam 12 July 1972, Bogambara Ponnuthurai, 20 February 1973, Welikada G Gnanasekaram, 15 January 1973, Bogambara P V Tissaverasingam, 16 March 1973, Welikada P Nadesananthan, 24 July 1974, Bogambara K Sivanandan, first arrest – June 9, 1972; released in late 1974 and re-arrested on August 2, 1975, Welikada A Mahendra, 22 August 1975, Welikada Namasivayam Ananda, Vinayagam, first arrested on June 10, 1972, released in June 1975 and re-arrested July 28, 1975, Welikada Somasundaram Senathirajah, first arrested on March 9, 1973, released in May 1975 and re-arrested on August 1, 1975, Welikada M Sinniah Kuventhirarajah, first arrested on July 9, 1972 and released in March 1975 and re-arrested on August 2, 1975, Welikada A Mylvaganam Rajakulasuriar, first arrested on June 30, 1972 and released in May 1975 and re-arrested on August 2, 1975, Welikada Anandar Poopathy Balavadivetkaran, first arrested on March 9, 1973 and released in March 1975 and re-arrested on August 2, 1975, Welikada Sivaramalingam Chandrakumar, first arrested on March 9, 1973 and released in March 1975 and re-arrested on July 28, 1975, Welikada Sivaramalingam Suriakumar, first arrested on July 18, 1973 and released in March 1975 and re-arrested on August 20, 1975, Welikada Thambithurai Muthukuarasamy, first arrested on May 18, 1972 and released in November 1972 and re-arrested in November 1972 and released in September 1974 and re-arrested on July 28, 1975, Welikada Aseervatham Thasan, first arrested on January 15, 1973 and released in December 1974 and re-arrested on August 1, 1975, Welikada K Sundarampellai Sabaratnam, first arrested on March 10, 1973 and released in January 1975 and re-arrested on August 1, 1975, Welikada Annamalai Varathararajah, detained for three or four months in 1972 and re-arrested on August 2, 1975, Welikada S Appathurai Nithianandan, first arrested in May 1973 and released on March 2, 1974 and re-arrested on July 28, 1975, Welikada Sithamparam Pushparajah, first arrested in June 1974 and released in June 1975 and re-arrested on August 1, 1975, Welikada Ramalingam Calendaring, first arrested in June 1974 and released in June 1975 and re-arrested on July 28, 1975, Welikada Ponnuthurai Satkunaligam, first arrested in May 1974 and released in May 1975 and re-arrested on July 30, 1975, Welikada Kurululesingam, arrested on July 30, 1975, Welikada T Jeevarajah, arrested on August 1, 1975, Welikada M Balaratnam, arrested on August 1, 1975, Welikada P Veeravagu, arrested in August 1975, Welikada K Utharsen, arrested on July 17, 1975, Bogambara K Sivajeyam, first arrested on June 9, 1972 and released in December 1974 and re-arrested on July 31, 1975, Bogambara Thambipillai Santhathiar, arrested on August 6, 1975, uncertain location. Amithalingam Anandakumar, arrested on August 6, 1975, uncertain location Yogarajah, arrested on July 31, 1975, uncertain location Vaithulingam Sritharan, arrested on August 12, 1975, uncertain location V Sathasivam Sathanandasivan, arrested on August 27, 1975, Jaffna Prison Somu Kulasingam, arrested on August 27, 1975, Jaffna Prison Selvaratnam Selvakumar, arrested on August 28, 1975, uncertain location Ratnapala, arrested on August 31, 1975, Welikada Jota Chandran, arrested in August 1975, Welikada Rajendram Jeyarajah, arrested on September 8, 1975, uncertain location Visvajothy Ratnam, arrested on September 19, 1975, Kings House, Jaffna P Kalapathy, arrested on September 19, 1975, Kings House, Jaffna S Loganathan, arrested on September 19, 1975, Kings House, Jaffna Arumugam Kirubakaran, arrested on August 21, 1975, Kings House, Jaffna Ranjan, arrested in August 1975, Welikada Varithamby Sivarajah, arrested on September 18, 1975, Welikada Muthuthamby Vasanthakumar, arrested on September 18, 1975, Welikada Mary Alphorns, arrested in September 1975, Welikada