The 1972 republican constitution of Sri Lanka, which for the first time constitutionalised the unitary Sinhala-Buddhist State and brought in the name ‘Sri Lanka’, against the wishes of the nation of Eezham Tamils in the island, has been burnt on its 40th anniversary on Tuesday, 22 May 2012, at the spot where the LTTE leader Pirapharan’s mother was cremated but desecrated by the occupying Sinhala forces last year.
A group of more than 40 young Tamil activists, braving the hounding eyes of the occupying Sinhala military, burnt the SL Constitution at the Oo’ra’ni crematorium in Valveddiththu’rai in Jaffna on Tuesday afternoon.
The group, after raising slogans and distributing printed leaflets to the public, left the scene immediately, according to news sources in Valveddith-thu’rai.
A couple of days before its proclamation in Colombo, the draft of the 1972 Constitution was burnt by the Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) leader SJV Chelvanayakam and others, including Mr. Amirthalingam, at the Arumuga Navalar Ashramam Hall at Neeraaviyadi in Jaffna in May 1972.
The 1972 constitution was the progenitor for the rise of all shades of armed Tamil militancy.
The 1972 constitution made even the moderate Tamil political leaders to abandon the demand for federalism and to go for a separate state solution.
The call of the Tamil political leaders polarising into the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution of 1976 was endorsed by the Eezham Tamils of the North and East in the general elections of 1977, which was the last ever free elections for the Tamils of the island to speak on that point.
Last year, when the LTTE leader Pirapaharan’s octogenarian mother, who survived the barbed-wire camp and military detention was cremated at the Oo’ra’ni crematorium in Valveddith-thu’rai, before the ritual collection of her ashes, the occupying Sinhala Army desecrated the spot by throwing three slain dogs and running over the ground by military vehicles.
Meanwhile, former TNA parliamentarian Mr M K Sivajilingam, denied any involvement of him in the action as brought out by some media reporters. Earlier, there were reports that the group of Tamil activists were led by Mr Sivajilingam.
However, Mr Sivajilingam pointed out the plight of Tamils in the last 40 years under the republican constitution introduced in 1972. He also recollected SJV Chelvanayakam burning the constitution in 1972.