I mentioned in the last instalment about the bomb blast undertaken by Sivakumaran in June, 1970, and promised to write about it is this instalment. I think it is appropriate to describe this bomb blast, through giving a full description regarding Sivakumaran.
Sivakumaran and I were neighbors. Sivakumaran has two brothers and a sister. His mother is Annalakshmi Ponnuthurai. In later days she officiated as the Leader of the women Front of the TULF. His father Ponnuthurai served as the principal at Urumpirai Hindu Tamil Vidyasala. Although we were neighbours, we became very close, only after my return from the university at the end of studies.
I saw Sivakumaran not only as a militant against Sinhala oppression but also as a social militant. He was raising his voice against the caste discriminations. He organized an Equal – Dining event in the Vairavar Temple and created an awareness against caste discriminations among the youth. In another event, he talked with the community who beat drums at funeral houses, and made them break and burn their Funeral Drums at the Urumpirai Junction, in protest against beating drums at funeral houses. He also undertook activities against animal sacrifices in the Temples.
An important acquaintance made during Sivakumaran’s activities against the Sinhala oppression, was the link he formed with one Anantha kumaran alias “Valvettithurai Paddu” in July, 1970. This link was formed while they were studying at the Jaffna Technical College.
During the period they were studying at the Technical College, they studied English from a teacher called Anantha Kumarasamy, who was living at Potpathy Road, Kokuvil. During this time, a speech of the Deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs, who came to open the Science Lab at the Colombo Hindu College during the first week July 1970 vexed them. Speaking in that event, Minister Somaweera Chandrasiri said that, Sinhala and Tamil Cultures are linked together. This concept caused dissatisfaction to Sivakumaran. Sivakumaran consulted his on a counter attack to this speech.
In this context, it was announced that the same Minister Chandrasiri will be coming to Jaffna in a few days time. It was also arranged for the Minister Somasiri to open the science lab at the Urumpirai Hindu Tamil Vidyalaya, where Sivakumaran’s Father was the principal. Sivakumaran wanted to teach a lesson to Somasiri using this opportunity. He discussed his idea with his friends and arranged a meeting at the house of Muthukumarasamy master.
Vilvarajah of St. patrick’s college, Thavarasa (current Opposition Leader, NPC), Ananthan, the brother of Muthukumarasamy master, Anantha kumaresan (Paddu) and Kumar participated along with Sivakumaran, in this meeting. It was decided in this meeting to make a bomb attack without causing any life losses. It was also decided to make this attack when the Minister alight his car after the completion of the function.
But nobody knew technology of a bomb blast. As per the suggestion of Anantha Kumaresan, It was decided to learn the bomb making Technology from Kuddithurai and Sinna Sothy both from Valvethithurai. Kuddithurai had learned bomb Technology while he was working in Trincomale harbor. Through Sivakumaran, I too learned the bomb technology later, from him.
Sivakumaran and his friends, learned from them how to make bombs using potassium chloride and Manic line, bought the chemicals from the shops and manufactured their bomb. This bomb was manufactured at Kokuvil. The manufactured bomb was put into a cloth bag covered with sand and placed under wheels of Somasiris’ car on 13th July 1970, by Sivakumaran.
The minister, at the end of the function came out and got into his vehicle. When the vehicle started moving, pressed by wheel, the bomb exploded. The wheel was broken, but nobody was injured. The bomb exploded on that day was the first bomb placed for political reasons in the history of the struggle of the Tamil people.
The Police getting to know about the role of Sivakumaran in this bomb blast arrested Sivakumaran at his Home . But he did not betray anybody. But Ananthar also was arrested. But both of them were released after 2 ½ months, saying there are no evidences against them.
Not a single lawyer of the Federal party came forward to defend them. A lawyer with no party affiliation, Rajarajeswaran came forward to defend them and helped to release them. With this incident other youngsters dispersed in fear.
After Sivakumaran came Home being released from detention I also came home after completing my studies at the University. I will describe the activities undertaken jointly by Sivakumarn and I, in the next installment. Most of the information here are the ones that I came to know from Sivakumaran.