About us

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled"- Jesus Christ

 

This is the official website of the Akhila Ilankai Tamil Mahasabha (AITM) [ formerly the Akhila Ilankai Tamil United Front (AITUF)], which, in short, was then referred to as the Tamil United Front. The AITUF was inaugurated in December 2005. It received the recognition of the Commissioner of Elections in February 2006.

At the general election held in 1970, the United Front (UF) consisting of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and the Communist Party (Moscow) received an overwhelming majority. The UF also received a mandate to constitute a Constituent Assembly and to give an autochthonous republican constitution to Ceylon, replacing the Soulbury Constitution of 1947/8.

The Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (known in English as the Federal Freedom Party) submitted a memorandum to the Select Committee of the Constituent Assembly, advocating, inter alia, a federal constitution for Ceylon. This memorandum was dismissed by the Select Committee with contempt. The representatives of that Party were not even invited to present evidence in support of their memorandum.

The Constituent Assembly went ahead and produced a new constitution that declared Sri Lanka (Ceylon) as a unitary State, affirmed Sinhala as the only official language of the country, reduced the status of Tamil as a language requiring translation, provided Budhism a pre-eminent position, and, did away with the covenant in the Soulbury Constitution which stood for the protection of minority rights.

The Tamil leaders sensed that Sinhala- Buddhist hegemonism had reached a point of indifference to the Tamils and that the time had come for them to close ranks. In May 1972, they decided to form an alliance called the Tamil United Front (TUF) consisting of the Federal Party led by S.J.V. Chelvanayakam, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress led by G.G.Ponnambalam and the Ceylon Workers Congress led by Saumiyamoorthy Thondaman. The TUF appealed to the UF leadership to amend the new Constitution of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) to a federal constitution. But it was all in vain.

In 1975, the TUF decided to change its name to Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and to work for the establishment of a sovereign Tamil State in the island of Lanka. The Ceylon Workers Congress under the leadership of Thondaman dissociated with the demand for a sovereign Tamil State, as the Tamils represented by that Party were domiciled in the Sinhala-majority south Sri Lanka. In May 1976, the TULF held its first national convention in Vattukottai under the chairmanship of S.J.V.Chelvanayakam and pronounced the historic Vattukottai Resolution for the re-establishment of the sovereign Tamil State in the island of Lanka.

The name of the Tamil United Front went out of use since 1975. As Tamils promoting the same goals as the original TUF, we decided to revive that name. Hence, the name Akhila Ilankai Tamil United Front, adopted by our Party in December 2006. The Party also subscribes to the Thimpu Declaration which is reproduced below for convenience:

(1) Recognition of the Tamils of Sri Lanka as a nation;

(2) Recognition of the existence of an identified homeland for the
Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka;

(3) Recognition of the right of self determination of the Tamil nation;

(4) Recognition of the right to citizenship and the fundamental rights of all Tamils who look upon the island as their country.

We, however, advocate that it is in the best interests of the Tamil people to exercise their right of self-determination to be part of a Federal Republic of Sri Lanka, the Northern and Eastern Provinces forming a single Tamil linguistic Province, and, with internal cultural autonomy for the Muslim-majority region in the Amparai District of the Eastern Province. We also advocate that the North-East Province must be endowed with substantial devolution of powers (asymmetric devolution), in comparison to the other Provinces.

Our commitment to democracy, political and ethnic pluralism, multi-culturalism and human rights, is unswerving.

 

Current Office Bearers

Chairman: Dr.Eng.K.Vigneswaran

Secretary: Mr. Thambiappah Gopalakrishnan

Treasurer: Ms.Xavier Catherine