Popular Tamil Eelam singer SG Shanthan
Shanthalingam Gunaratnam (SG Shanthan), the most popular Eezham Tamil singer of songs in the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle so far, has passed away in Jaffna on Sunday at the age of 57 of kidney failure. The singer, known for his unique high-pitch singing of liberation songs, has recorded more than 250 Tamil Eelam songs and at least 350 devotional songs. One of his initial Tamil Eelam songs, “Intha ma’n engka’lin chontha ma’n” (this is our soil) sung 26 years ago, is still used as slogan by the people demanding de-militarisation of the occupied country of Eezham Tamils. Shanthan is gone but his voice will live in the hearts and minds of Eezham Tamils forever.
After getting released from the prolonged military incarceration in 2010, Shanthan has continued to be a singer of devotional songs until he became bedridden, as both his kidneys had failed.
Shanthan was awaiting kidney transplantation for some time and was undergoing special treatment at the clinic attached to Jaffna Teaching hospital.
Shanthan’s demise occurred at 2:20 p.m. while the doctors were trying hard to save his life, medical sources at Jaffna Teaching Hospital said. He was admitted to intensive treatment on Saturday. Toxins had built up in his body despite regular dialysis, the doctors said.
Born on 20 December 1960, Shanthan who hails from Pungkudutheevu in Jaffna, debuted as a singer at the age of 12 while his family was based in Colombo. He moved to Ki’linochchi in 1978 and continued to sing devotional songs at temples and had a keen interest in traditional theatre (kooththu songs) until the LTTE identified his talent in 1991. From 1991 to 2009, he remained the star singer of Tamil Eelam songs.
Two of Shanthan’s sons have sacrificed their lives in the armed struggle. One of them, Isai-arasan, was also a singer.
Most of the Tamil Eelam songs sung by SG Shanthan were authored by popular Eezham Tamil poet Puthuvai Ratnathurai, whose whereabouts is still not known after the occupying Sri Lankan military had him into custody during the final hours of the Vanni war in May 2009.
Shanthan’s funeral is to be held in Ki’linochchi on Tuesday.
SL military bans devotional song at ancient Saiva temple in Batticaloa [TamilNet, Friday, 09 August 2013]
The occupying Sri Lanka Army in the East has banned Saiva devotional songs authored by popular poet Puthuvai Ratnathurai, whose whereabouts are still not known after the occupying Sri Lankan military had him into custody during the final hours of the Vanni war in May 2009. The SL military personnel have warned the temple administration of the historic Siva temple Thaan-thoan’ri-eesvarar at Kokkaddichchoalai not to play the popular devotional song “Piddukku ma’n chumantha perumaanaar” on the temple loud-speakers or on at any occasion. Together with the popular song on Kokkaddich-choalai, TamilNet also releases a few other songs for the wider Tamil audience throughout the world.
The song has been regularly relayed in the loudspeaker till the SL military recently instructed the temple administration not to play it any more.
The song, which is a poem of Ratnathurai that has been rendered into voice by prominent Eezham Tamil singer SG Shanthan, is purely a devotional.
The temple authorities have been recently instructed by the SL military not to play the devotional songs of the “LTTE era”.
Several devotional songs were written by Poet Puthuvai Ratnathurai under the title ‘Koapura vaasal’ praising the glory of Thaanthaamalai Murukan Koayil, Ukanthai Murukan Koayil, Ea’raavoor Kaa’li Koayil, Maamaangkap-pi’l’laiyaar Koayil, Kokkaddich-choalai, Chiththaa’ndi Murukan Koayil, Ma’ndoor Murukan Koayil and Thiruk-koa’neasvaram temple.
The ban and restrictions being placed on Saiva temples by the occupying Colombo and its military remind the people of Batticaloa of the colonial Portuguese and Dutch periods, Saiva devotees in Batticaloa say.
During the Portuguese and Dutch periods, Saiva Koyils were destroyed and the colonial masters banned routine poojas and rituals. Today, more than five hundred Saiva temples have been destroyed in the East giving way to the construction of new Buddhist Viharas. Some Buddhist monks have removed the Pi’l’laiyaar statue from the Pillaiyar Koyil located at Punaanai where Sri Lanka Army has a cantonment.
The occupying military, constructing Buddha temples, is also allegedly behind the robberies in the temples after the Saiva devotees protested against the hostile act by the SL military in grabbing the lands belonging to Saiva temples in the East.
The Saiva devotees protesting against the ‘robberies’ taking place at Saiva temples have been threatened by the SL military.
If the Saiva devotees attend the protests organised by Tamil parliamentarians from Batticaloa, they would face the same fate of the Sinhala residents of Welweriya in the Gampaha district where a student was shot dead by the SL military when the protestors ignored the ‘instructions’ of the ‘security forces’, the Sinhala military has warned the villagers in Batticaloa.
The genocidal realities in the island have to get into the conscience of the people in India misled by the BJP-RSS-Shiv Sena lot and by the Indian media empires operated from Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai, said representatives of Saiva associations in the East.
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