Arumugam Thondaman boldly espoused plight of plantation workers - Jeewan Thondaman | Daily News


Arumugam Thondaman boldly espoused plight of plantation workers - Jeewan Thondaman

Everyone understands that Arumugam Thondaman had boldly espoused the plight of the plantation workers in Parliament and in international forums, said his son Estate Housing and Community Infrastructure Facilities State Minister Jeewan Thondaman concluding the condolence motion on his father in Parliament yesterday.

“Not only did he demand better wages for estate workers, he also demanded better housing and he had demanded a better stand for estate workers in mainstream society. Eventually, this has led to the plantation community getting involved with the mainstream society for which we are very grateful and for which we are very proud of,” he added.

Jeewan Thondaman stated that his father’s acumen and negotiating skills in concluding collective agreements between the Employers Federation of Ceylon and trade unions were thornful at times, but, he would always emerge as a victor.

“The reason being that he was not just a trade unionist. He was Arumugam Thondaman and he was known for his negotiating skills and the strategies he had followed. Apart from that he had a desire to somehow receive the Rs.1000 wage for the estate workers before his last breath. But, unfortunately he could not. But, we would continue the struggle and we believe that we will definitely receive the Rs.1000.”

He also said that his father Arumugam Thondaman had another dream of starting a university in the upcountry region. “I was extremely happy and overwhelmed with the motions today after having heard Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena making a pledge that he will definitely bring a university to the upcountry and we are hoping to start it off within this year,” he said.

He also stated that his father Arumugam Thondaman’s services was not only extended to the plantation sector.

“His services extended from the Sinhala villages to the North Eastern areas. He noted that that is why members from both the ruling and the opposition parties had spoken so highly of Arumugam Thondaman.”

Jeewan Thondaman also noted that his father had maintained cordial relations with the Indian Government and also with Tamil Nadu politicians.

“He always acted as a bridge. Whenever a bilateral issue arose, Arumugam Thondaman would stand at the forefront of it and face it.”

He thanked the Maha Sangha, clergies of Hindu, Muslim and Catholic and Christian faith, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for not only being the leader of this country but also for being a good friend of his father. Jeewan Thondaman also thanked Basil Rajapaksa for standing by his family through thick and thin even after his father’s demise.

He did not fail to thank the Tri-Forces, Police, public health and the media, all trade unions and political leaders, employer organisations, members of parliament and governors of all provinces and all those who had stood by his father Arumugal Thondaman and all those who stood by him.

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