Ilankai Tamil Sangam

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

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Adrian Wijemanne

An appreciation by one who has only read his articles

by Sanmuga Suntharam

My first intimation of the passing away of Adrian WIjemanne is Brian Senewiratue’s "Appreciation" appearing on the Tamil Canadian and Sangam recently. His death is a great loss to all in the island of Sri Lanka, and, in particular, to Eelam Tamils. He very eloquently and cogently articulated over a period the cause of ‘Tamil Eelam,’ its appropriateness and its historical inevitability. Thus, his writings and espousals are of invaluable service, both to the Sinhalese who sincerely are interested in doing the right thing by the Tamils, as well as the Tamils for having had such an enlightened stalwart to uphold their cause. Unsurprisingly, in such an ethnically polarized place as the island of Sri Lanka, it is well nigh impossible to even ‘think straight’ on ethnic matters, not to mention taking a principled stand on the ethnic question and elaborate on it publicly and fearlessly. This Mr. Wijemanne did so consistently and admirably.

When I say ‘principled’ about Mr. Wijemanne I do not intend to put a narrow construction on the word. His principles, very humane, noble and uncompromisingly rational, were not just arbitrarily arrived at or held by habit, which by itself is laudable enough. They were, instead reached by intellection, reflection and experiencing. He thought long on the inequities wrought on the Tamils and reflected on them. And gleaning from Mr. Senewiratue’s appreciation, Mr. Wijemanne lived in, and therefore quite certainly, observed the workings of different political arrangements in multi-ethnic countries - their benefits and shortcomings - and distilled his thoughts out of this development with a formidable intellectual apparatus. That is why his writings, which are a manifestation of this process are so right and so appealing to all reasoning and reasonable persons.

I am very saddened by Mr. Wijemanne's passing away.

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