A book in English you may like to read: 'Senator
Tiruchelvam's Legacy'! - K.S. Sivakumaran: -
are a lot of books being published in English too in the country. Most books
are fiction and a few on interesting subjects. I chose at random a book that
caught my fancy. Please read it if you can. I give below a few notes on it.
The book is titled Senator Tiruchelvam's Legacy (Selected Speeches of and
tributes to Senator Murueysen Tiruchelvam QC). I am a apolitical animal and
not so interested in politics. One may say that by saying that I am not
interested in politics is in fact a political stance. Be that as it may.
However I find some biographies, auto biographies and speeches by great people
in the world illuminating and fascinating. For instance I was extremely
absorbed in the subject and the language usage by the late Jawaharlal Nehru
when I read glimpses of world history.
The book under review is edited by Ram Balasubramaniyam and published by
Vijitha Yapa Publications with a sketch in the cover by political cartoonist
S.C. Opatha. The book has 330 pages with more than 30 pages of photographs
which also relate the political history of the subject as well as the country
To those readers who have not heard of the late M.Tiruchelvam, let me say that
he was a former Minister of Local Government in the late R. Premadasa's
He was also the Solicitor-General of the then Ceylon, besides having been a
member of the then Senate. But most would remember that he was the father of
the late Neelan Tiruchelvam, an intellectual who was the founder of the ICES.
He belonged to the then Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi.
We must know something about Ram (alingam) Balasubramaniyam who was the
Private Secretary to the Late M. Tiruchelvam QC. He is also a qualified
Solicitor in England and Wales and an Attorney-at-Law in Sri Lanka.
The book is divided into two sections: Tributes and selected speeches. The
following have contributed their estimation of the late M.Tiruchelvam:
J.R.Jayewardene, S.J.V. Chelvanayagam, Dr Colvin R de Silva, Gamini
Dissanayake, Abdul Aziz, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ronnie de Mel, A.J. Wilson and
Dr Neelan Tiruchelvam.
What the compiler or editor of the book has done is to select a few selected
speeches made by the subject. And that includes: Towards Bilingualism in
Ceylon, Introducing Poya as a national Holiday, Uplifting the Status of Tamil,
Reforming Ceylon's Universities, Is there a Right to Strike?, Federalism-the
Key to a Multi-Ethnic Ceylon, The need for a University for Jaffna, Saluting
Dr Zakir Hussain -Great Indian Patriot, Why I Resigned from Dudley
Senanayake's Cabinet?, Merits of the Mahaweli Project, The Looming Dangers of
the United Front Government, Constituent Assembly will pave the way for
The Editor informs that the Speeches were delivered in the Ceylon Senate from
1965 to 1971. Senior citizens of the country would recall that the Senate was
abolished in 1971 when there was the JVP insurgency.
When one looks at the photographs of the Senior Tiruchelvam, one would find
that he was westernized in some ways, at least in his attire.
Born in then Malaya, he was a student at S. Thomas', Galkissa. He died in 1976
at the age of 69.
I think all politicians irrespective of their respective party affiliations
who could read in English should make it a point to read books of this nature
to understand the Tamilian mind.