I offer a hearty welcome to the members of be Ceylon Tamil League in
General Meeting assembled today. This is the second General Meeting since
its inauguration. I am glad also to see many members of the general public .
From the proceedings today they will be in a position to judge the work the
League has so far done and of its aims, and of the claims it has upon the
There is no need for me to speak at length, as the
Committee's Report sets forth fully the League's work and aims and ideals.
The League was brought into existence by political necessity, but
politics is not its raison-detre.
It has far higher aims in view, namely to keep alive and propagate these
precious ideals throughout Ceylon, Southern India and the Tamil Colonies, to
promote the union and solidarity of Tamilakam, the Tamil Land.
We should keep alive and propagate these ideals throughout
Ceylon and promote the union and solidarity of what we have been proud
to call Tamil Eelam.
We desire to preserve our individuality as a people, make ourselves
worthy of our inheritance...We are not enamoured of that Cosmopolitanism
which would make of as neither fish, fowl, nor red herring.
That does not mean that we are to be selfish and work only for the
interests of the Tamil Community. Who have done more for the welfare of all
Ceylon than the Tamil? Who has fought more vigorously for the welfare of the
Sinhalese in the "Dark days of 1915" when our Sinhalese brethren were in
distress and helpless ? Who came to their rescue but the Tamils? That
statue which was to be the grateful memorial of the help rendered, may (as
proposed in some quarters) be flung into the sea. But the Tamils are not
going to abandon the proud duty and privilege of service to all our brothers
of every race and creed .
But we do object strongly to being bullied or terrorised, we object
to being the underdogs of anybody. We mean to make ourselves strong and
also to work for the common good. The Europeans with all the power and
prestige, with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Planters Association,
European Ceylon Association feel the necessity of improving their
organisation. Much more should we. We cannot any longer afford to be
The Jaffna Association and the Tamil Maha Jana Sabha have done most
useful work in the Northern Province. There are small Tamil Associations
scattered over the Island and admirably fitted to promote local patriotism
and watch over local interests.
With all these it will be our aim to work in friendly and hearty co
operation. We wish also to co-operate with every other Community in the
Island - European, Burgher, Sinhalese, Mohammedan and Indian. We
believe that such co-operation is the best and shortest to our political
In order to further the objects of the League we shall work for the
establishment of a daily paper in Colombo - a vital necessity. The
Committee's proposal with regard to this will be laid before you. We shall
also work to establish an Agency in London and a Club in Colombo.
All this requires heavy outlay of money for which I trust the Tamil
Community, and especially its wealthier members here and in the Federated
Malay States, will contribute liberally. But it requires also enthusiasm,
perseverance, united effort and these I believe will not be wanting. May God
bless and prosper our efforts.''