Visvanathan Rudrakumaran, Prime Minister of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) in a press statement today named three deputy Prime Ministers and his cabinet . The text of the press statement is as follows:
The Press Release:
Announcing the first cabinet of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam
It gives us great pleasure to announce the first cabinet with executive powers created within the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE).
This cabinet of eleven will be made up of the Prime Minister, three Deputy Prime Ministers and seven Ministers. The three Deputy Prime Ministers appointed on a regional basis and the seven Ministers have each been assigned a portfolio. The Ministers concerned have also chosen Deputy Ministers for each of the Ministries.
The Constitution of the TGTE has endowed the responsibility of selecting the three deputies to the Prime Minster. It is appropriate at this juncture that I explain the process adopted in selecting and appointing the members of the cabinet.
Expressions of Interest in written form were sought from all members of the TGTE with an interest in a cabinet position, in the same manner we called upon members to serve in working groups during the interim phase of TGTE.
Prospective candidates were asked to outline details of the Ministry they were interested in serving, their educational background, their employment and experience, past contribution to the Tamil liberation struggle, the plans they had in mind for the respective Ministries, and the amount of time they were willing to commit for the work of the TGTE. It is heartening to note that many members have taken part in this process with enthusiasm, and the appointment to the Cabinet and to the deputies positions announced today has come from among those with an expressed interest and abilities to perform in the particular roles.
The names of members appointed to Cabinet positions and the position of deputies are listed below, followed by some background information on each selected member.
Mr Visvanathan Rudrakumaran
Deputy Prime Ministers
Professor Eliathamby Selvanathan – Finance
Selvanathan is Professor of Economic Statistics at Griffith University in Australia. He holds a Masters degree in Informatics and Applied Mathematics (Romania) and a PhD in Economic Statistics (Australia). Prof Selvanathan has had a long association with the Tamil national struggle and has held several senior positions in Tamil organisations in Australia, such as the TRO, AFTA and ETOQ.
Mr Rudrapathy Sekar – Welfare of the Families of Cadres and Martyrs
Ruthirapathy Sekar is a System Analyst / Programmer. He gave up his university studies in Electronic Engineering in 1985 in favour of full time involvement in Tamil politics in 1985. He played a key role in the creation of the Student Organization of London Tamils (SOLT) at that time and also worked with many other Tamil rights groups in the UK. He continues to work in several fronts in the Tamil community. He wishes to create a friendly external environment needed for the establishment of the independent homeland in Tamil Eelam.
Dr Ram Sivalingam – Education, Culture and Health
Dr Sivalingam’s career has included him being a Professor and Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. At the community level, he has worked with a number of organizations for over four decades, initially in U.K and now in Canada. This includes roles in Eelam Tamil Association, and Internatinal Movement for Tamil Culture as President.
Mr Nagalingam Balachandran – Internal Affairs
Nagalingam Balachandran has work experience in public sector and community service from the Tamil homeland, and he has actively contributed to many facets of the the Tamil liberation struggle for over 25 years. He has held leadership positions in TRO and TEEDOR in France. He mobilised the support of French political leaders in relief and rehabilitation work following the Tsunami.
Mr Sam Sangarasivam – Information
Sam Sangarasivam is a qualified information systems and project management professional and has held senior management positions for major corporations in Europe and North America. For the last 30 years, Sam has been active in many fronts in the community, having been a founding member and two time Vice-President of The Society for the Aid of Ceylon Ethnic Minorities (SACEM). Sam was the director of the first Tamil Co-operative housing project in Toronto and organized the first Tamil soccer tournament in Canada.
Mr Thayaparan Thanikasalam – Political and Foreign Affairs
Politics has been a large part of Thayaparan’s life for the past 28 years. At the present time he is also involved in teaching and social work for the betterment of the Tamil Community.
Ms Balambihai Murugadas – Welfare of Women, Children and Elders
Balambihai has been leader of the Tamil Women’s Organisation in the UK. This organisation campaigns for the rights of the Tamil women in the UK and in Tamil Eelam
She has always worked towards the liberation struggle of our people
Ms Katpana Nagendra – Economic Affairs, Environment and Development
Katpana Nagendra has a degree from McMaster University and has continued to focus her education and career in the areas of ecology, environmental protection and sustainable development. She currently resides in Vancouver British Columbia and is an Account Executive for a chemical manufacturing and laboratory supplies distribution company.
Mr Deluxon Morris – Investigation of Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes
Morris, a graduate in Entrepreneurship has received many awards for his skills including “Young entrepreneur of the year” and “Student advocate” of the year by UK’s National Union of Students. He is the co-founder of Students Against Genocide of Tamils and has played a fundamental role in raising awareness of the Genocide question not only amongst students but also at international level.
Mr Muthukumarasamy Ratna – Internally Displaced Persons, Refugees and Prisoners of War (POW]
Muthukumarasamy Ratna also known as Shanthan graduated as a civil engineer in the UK and has over 25 years of experience in the construction industry in UK and Canada. While living in the UK he was active in political campaigns and as a member of TGTE he has closely followed the plight of refugees from Tamil Eelam arriving in other lands.
Mr Nadarajah Rajendra –Finance
Rajendra is educated in the technical field and he is an authorised German translator and social worker in the Tamil community. He has worked in the College Association as auditor for many years in Homburg and also served as a member and secretary of the local election committee in Homburg for German elections.
Ms Suba Suntharalingam – Welfare of the Families of Cadres and Martyrs
Suba Suntharalingam is a graduate of the University of Jaffna and has chosen to work as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in the capacity of Pathology Team Leader at a large Medical center. Her student days in Jaffna in the 1980s gave her a unique perspective which she carried with her to the US where she continues to work at grassroots level within many organizations. She was in the organizing team for the first sitting of TGTE in Philadelphia and also served in the interim Constitution Committee.
Mr Rajaratnam Jeyachandran – Education, Culture and Health
Jeyachandran has a BA degree from the University of Ceylon. He has also been a student at Sri Lanka Law College. He has work experience of being a Producer and Announcer at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Cooperation (SLBC). He has served for 20 years in the Tamil Education Organisation in Germany and for some of the time he has been Provincial Education Director in the same organsiation.
Mr Sumughan Sothinathan – Internal Affairs
Sumughan developed a profound empathy for the freedom struggle of Tamils at a young age through what he saw and experienced while growing up. He has studied and worked in the IT sector and today he runs his own business in the auto sector. He has been active in political work at several levels in Alberta. He believes that TGTE is the only option left for the Tamils and strong and passionate individuals with open mind were needed to steer this government in the right direction.
Mr Sivagrunathan Sutharsan – Information
Suthanraj is a practising journalist with active involvement for 17 years in print, audio and visual media as well as in theatre and film. He received hands on training in Tamil media work and etiquette and all facets of television production from well known Tamil media personalities. He created the first Tamil TV serial which ran successfully for 275 weeks. A current project of his is the first Tamil net television named ‘valari’. He is enthusiastic about developing information and media sector within TGTE.
Mr Kanaganthram Manickavasagar- Political and Foreign Affairs
Manickavasagar wanted to be part of TGTE because it is pursuing a peaceful democratic political solution to Tamil Eelam. He believes that TGTE cannot afford to fail in this and he would not allow it to fail at any cost. Manickavasagar is a civil engineer by profession and has politics and law as his interests. He brings to the cabinet his well developed skills to articulate, motivate, persuade and move TGTE forward.
Ms Rajanidevi Sinnathamby – Welfare of Women, Children and Elders
Rajanidevi was introduced to Tamil political activism as a youth when she opposed the introduction of standardization in higher education for Tamil students seeking university admission. She has taken part in humanitarian relief work with victims of the anti-Tamil pogroms. Her involvement with organizations like the Geneva Women Association and work with elders homes have given her the experience and interest in working with the welfare of women, children and elders within the TGTE.
Dr Thavendra Rajah – Economic Affairs, Environment and Development
Thavendra Rajah holds a PhD in Physics and had been an Assistant Professor in Physics, and currently works as a Senior Physicist. He served as the convenor of the Natural Resources and Development Committee formed by interim TGTE.
Ms Thatchajani Thavarajasingam – Investigation of Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.
Thaksajini has a degree in Political Science – International Political Relationship from the University of Palermo, Italy. She has been working for 15 years within the Tamil community in Italy and has been responsible for political and media relations areas.
Mr Alex Doss – Internally Displaced People [IDP], Refugees and Prisoners of War
Alex Doss is a disabled Tamil American veteran of the United States Navy. He graduated in Political Sciences, and has done an internship at the National Defence University, and Model House of Representatives in Washington, DC. In 2005, he was introduced to advocacy by the Tamil American community, and was later elected to the governing council of the United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC). As a disabled veteran, one of Mr. Doss’ foremost goals would be to get the international community to accept our captured fighters as POWs, and to treat them accordingly.
We shall endeavor to bring to the knowledge of the community all the deliberations and actions, plans and decisions taken by the Cabinet at its regular meetings.
It has been set in the Constitution that the tenure of the first TGTE will not exceed three years. Our strong desire is that during the first period of tenure of the TGTE, we shall realize the following goals:
1. Laying the groundwork for the TGTE to evolve as a power center to be in symmetry with the Government of Sri Lanka on the international arena.
2. Creating an environment for the TGTE to become an important and stabilizing factor in the geopolitics of South Asia and the Indian Ocean.
3. Making a substantial contribution towards bringing to justice all those who have committed genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Tamil people in appropriate international and in domestic tribunals.
4. Taking concrete actions to halt and frustrate the aggressive demographic change now being undertaken by the state and its military in the traditional homeland of the Tamil people.
5. Making every effort to secure the release of the former combatants of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam and to ensure the resettlement and rehabilitation of all internally displaced people.
6. Being successful in creating an international consensus that the establishment of an independent state of Tamil Eelam is the only way forward that will ensure the very physical security of the Tamil people who have been subjected to genocide. We believe that bringing to public attention the continuing policy of the Government of Sri Lanka and its efforts in denying equality for the Tamil people and creating an overwhelming Sinhala dominance on the island will strengthen our call for the establishment of a separate state.
7. Gaining ground in galvanizing support for our position by demonstrating through policy and persuasion that the establishment of an independent Tamil Eelam will be compatible with the interests of the regional and international powers and will contribute to peace and stability in the Indian ocean.
Accomplishing the above depends very much on the unwavering support and contribution given by all Tamils to the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam. We firmly believe that when the Tamils around the world unite in their support to the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam at its infancy, it would grow into a full fledged entity being capable of realizing its purpose, namely, the establishment of an independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam, a Tamil state for Eelam Tamils and indeed for all Tamils of the world.
I call upon all Tamils to unite and act in a concerted manner in our common endeavor.