is about the 'Sun' Day in Ceylon—or rather in the Ceylon
Parliament—not that being pressed by very many problems
Prime-Minister Bandaranaike finds it necessary to have
the Parliamentary sittings even on Sundays!—this is 'Sun'
Day, not Sunday! And now, note the difference please!
Mr. Suntharalingam, M.P. has created such a mighty stir
in the Ceylon Parliament, at its present sitting, that
many term this as the 'Sun' Day!!
Mr. Suntharalingam, M.P. has to be bodily removed from
the Parliament - and then talen to the police station.
Mr. Suntharalingam as M.P. has got the privilege of sitting
in the chambers of Parliament, taking part in the discussions,
deliberations and debates, but instead he was made to
spend his time in the police lock-up!
And Suntharalingam outside the Parliament eloquently exposed
the state of affairs in Ceylon today—more eloquently perhaps
than what he could have done from inside the chamber.
Democracy is a government by discussion. Any set of people
having got into places of power and position—and there
are ever so many ways of getting in—begin to take hold
of the destinies of crores of human beings. None can guarantee
that those in power, are the repository of wisdom, fairplay
and justice—none can assert that the ruling party understands
all the problems in all their angles—and hence it is,
that through discussion a new light, a new interpretation
could be got which will be to the advantage of the people
as a whole. That's exactly why, even though China gas
become Red, Mao says, "thousand flowers can blossom!"
But, the newer the democratic institution, the stronger
is the feeling in the ruling party, that it alone represents
the nation and the opposition exists merely for the sake
Hence it is that we find members of Legislature on the
Opposite Bench are looked upon as necessary evils, looked
down as men of lesser importance and they are totally
ignored or are sparingly given the chance to take part
The term 'catching the eye' of the Speaker, so often heard,
strikes at the very root of democratic discussion—the
member should not be left to the tender mercies of this
theory—catching the eye of the speaker—it ought to be
this way! The speaker's eye should be actively alert,
in finding out, how many of the members, do consider their
place there, as mere hobby—how many keep mum over all
problems and on all occasions, and the Speaker would be
contributing much to the growth of healthy and effective
democracy if he pulls up the silent ones, the shy ones,
the indifferents, the ineffectives, and shape out of them,
True, time will be lost—but if merely to save time, the
freedom to express is stifled, what need is there for
this big and costly show !!
Mr. Suntharalingam wanted two hours for discussing the
problems that confront the country today. This may be
too much. But a compromise could be arrived at, satisfactory
to both—but instead a flat refusal seems to have been
sent to the M.P.—that his request came too late was the
Parliament met—and all know, how inflamed the minds of
the people today there, is!
There was a hot exchange of words. Mr. Suntharalingam
M.P. was asked to clear out of the House—and on his refusal,
he was bodily removed from the place—and he who came for
taking part in the Parliamentary discussion, found himself
placed inside a police lock-up.
We do not hold any brief for Mr. Suntharalingam—in fact
this energetic M.P. needs none—but this incident appears
to us to be symbolic of the lot and fate of the millions
of Tamilians in Ceylon.
They are denied their rights and when they desire to discuss
the problems confronting them they are locked up!!
We are not much worried over what happened to Suntharalingam
M.P. In fact, the ruling party of Ceylon, has made itself
the laughing stock; and has unwittingly helped this M.P.
to gather his laurels—in fact it was not a Banda day—but
a 'Sun' Day! We do not bemoan—but rejoice at the fact,
that what can be gained by discussion, was got— even to
a greater degree—by Mr.Suntharalingam by his stout refusal
to be silenced!!
But, the Parliament is not the only forum, especially,
when the problems facing the Tamilians there, are of a
August is fast approaching! Day after day momentum is
gathered—and the Prime Minister is so much scared that
despite his tall talks, he is not prepared to face the
Commonwealth Premiers' Conference—lest during some discussion
inside or outside the Conference hall somebody might raise
the issue! Time and Tide asks pertinently, "Is Mr.Bandaraniake
so very different from Mr.Strijdom?"—No wonder Bandaranaike
is not willing to visit London—a bit hot he feels.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is taking, we are informed,
frantic efforts to 'stem the tide' as he terms, the peaceful
Warnings are issued—preparations are afoot—and a hundred
other methods that power-mongers usually find out are
being pursued by Mr.Bandaranaike.
His "Ten Thousand" has already won for him contempt
and condemnation from all quarters - Sinhalease, and Tamilian.
We are reminded of the classic instance of the Retreat
of the Ten Thousand!
The worst that such a rabble can do, is to indulge in
blood thirsty acts; but then the Tamilians dedicated for
the purpose of safeguarding their legitimate rights, are
prepared to shed their blood—for they know, freedom and
liberty have to be paid for heavily, indeed!
What difference does it make—let the police baton and
the Hooligan's knife, both have full play—the Tamilians
are determined to stand the supreme test.
One other erratic effort of this enraged politician, is
to ban the entry of the D.M.K. Leaders—thinking perhaps,
that the D.M.K. is planning to 'invade' the island!
Some Sinhalese young men, are made to think in that way
by the Banda regime. 'Did not Hitler din into the ears
of the Nazi youths, that the West wog conspiring to annihilate
The D.M.K. refuses to sit silently, and with unconcern,
when millions of Tamilians over there are being driven
into the wilderness. How green is the Valley, how rich
the products, and how hard the task that the Tamilians
put in to make Ceylon, the Emerald Island—and how black
are the deeds and how brutal are the words of the Banda
Regime! To expect the D.M.K. to close its eyes, when there
is grim tragedy in that island, is to expect the impossible.
We offer our unstained sympathy and support and feel sorry
that we are not strong enough to shoulder more responsibilities.
But, let not the Banda Regime, hunt after the country
boats and Kattamarans, and search for bullets and bombs—he
won't even find crackers—the August struggle the D.M.K.
knows, is to be conducted in a peaceful, noble manner
- and no violence is thought of.
The part that the D.M.K. is to play in this historic struggle
—is not supplying men and money to those in Ceylon—but
the other, and more important one, of rousing the Tamilians
here, and asking them to shed their tears at least!
The D.M.K. is shocked at the indifference shown by Delhi,
and the meek submission to this by the Congress ministry
in this State—and while the August struggle is on, the
D.M.K. will utilise its entire machinery to wake up the
slumbering State Government and to condemn the Delhi Durbar
which is very active when Distant Drums are heard, but
snores when millions of Tamilians weep and wail.
The D.M.K. is to be the liaison, between the Ceylon Tamils
and the Tamilians here—nothing more and nothing less.
In fact the D.M.K. has got every right to demand an explanation
from the State Government here—why it is so callous when
millions of Tamilians over there are treated as chattels
and churls! Has the State Government lost all sense of
justice, and humanity? If so, why should it stick on to
The D.M.K. has got a mission to shoulder—and the Banda
Regime cannot possibly, ban this! The D.M.K. leaders are
not to be allowed to set foot on Ceylon—so they threaten!
We are not surprised—nor do we plead for a permission
to enter—the Tamilians there know their role and are capable
of playing it with nobility, restraint and with what we
Tamilians call as Pan - Padu —(highest form of culture).
Meanwhile, we find, 'Sun' Days—and such spectacles do
but show, that any amount of action and any kind of action
find themselves palatable because of the dictatorial methods
followed by a decaying regime.