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DateLine Wednesday, 18 July 2007

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Desigar Ramanujam fought for estate workers’ rights - Hakeem

COLOMBO:Posts and Telecommunication Minister Rauff Hakeem said that Desigar Ramanujam was the only person who was elected to Parliament as an independent member from a predominantly Sinhala speaking constituency of Aluth Nuwara defeating several Sinhala candidates. He represented this seat from 1947 to 1952.

He said Ramanujam was a pioneer trade unionist who always stood to win the fundamental rights of Indian origin plantation workers.

Addressing the first day cover launch ceremony to mark the 100th year birth day anniversary of late ex MP Desigar Ramanujam at Galle Face Hotel. Minister Hakeem said that Ramanujam was born in Prathapa Ramanathapuram South India on July 17, 1907. On the completion of his degree he commenced his career as a journalist in late 1920’s and joined as an editorial staffer in the Tamil Newspaper “Desa Bakthan.”

In 1934 he joined as a teacher in Dharmaraja College, Kandy and he raised his voice against the plight of municipal workers of Kandy and most of whom were of Indian origin.

Along with other leaders of the Ceylon Indian Congress he worked tirelessly to uplift the socio-economic conditions of plantation workers.

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