Tribute to Honourable Dr Anton Balasingam.

Tamils are saddened by the passing away of Dr. Anton Balasingam the "Voice of the Nation". It is a great loss to the Tamils living in this world. We have lost a great soul who sacrificed his life in the struggle of the Tamils for justice, dignity and peace. Dr. Balasingam was the theoretician, the political advisor and the chief negotiator of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the National Liberation Movement of the Tamils and the de facto government of the NorthEast of the Island of Sri Lanka. He was the most prominent international voice articulating the oppression of the Tamils and their response of asserting their right to determine their own political future.

Many who had the privilege of meeting him were struck by his simplicity, his intellect and humanity. He was totally dedicated to the realisation of the Tamils' right to self determination and had a deep concern for the welfare of the Tamil people. His profound knowledge and understanding of the international affairs and politics was combined with his diplomatic skills for the benefit of advancing the struggle of the Tamil people for justice and dignity. He had a very close relationship with the Tamil National Leader, Mr. Vellupillai Pirapaharan, and was his trusted advisor.

Dr Balasingam gave voice to the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil nation and defined the political and theoretical framework for it. He argued that the Tamil nation, which has a distinct language, culture, and is united in its determination to live with dignity and equality and inhabits a traditional homeland has the right to self-determination. He was the international face of the Tamil political campaign to win their right to self determination. He lived and breathed the Tamils struggle for self determination.

Dr Balasingam personified the Tamil diplomatic campaign. He won the respect of International diplomats with his knowledge, flexibility and honesty. He believed that international involvement will contribute positively to the peace process, that the international community will take a position based on idealism and realism. However, he was disappointed at the international community's response towards the Tamil nation.

Dr Balasingham grieved for his people dismissing his terrible illness as "merely a pebble compared to the vast ocean of tragedy faced by his people," he captivated Tamils worldwide for his dedicated service to his people, developed, nurtured friendship with Norway and other international communities, and kept the flame of self-respect of Tamils burning bright until his last breath. We extend our heartfelt condolences and our deep sympathies to Mrs. Adel Balasingam and family.


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