On Sunday, January 24, 2021 marks the International Day of Education, refer to: https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/educationday. It has become customary in Sri Lanka to commemorate C.W.W.Kannankara as the father of free education due to his remarkable achievements in the field of education. For the Tamil communities in Sri Lanka in particular wish to remember Hon. Vallipuram Nalliah, a Teacher turned Politician.
Earlier in 1943 Nalliah was elected as the Member for Trincomalee – Batticaloa to the State Council of Ceylon. When J.R. Jayawardena, a fellow Councillor moved a resolution in 1944 to make Sinhala as the only Official Language and the medium of instruction in schools; it created a feeling of insecurity among Tamil speaking communities.
Fortunately, before the resolution was put to the vote Councillor V.Nalliah promptly moved an amendment substituting ‘Sinhala and Tamil’ for ‘Sinhala Only’ and the amendment was accepted and adopted.
When country gained independence Mr. Nalliah contested the first parliamentary election as an independent candidate for Kalkudah to enter Parliament in 1947. Latter he joined the United National Party and was re-elected in 1952 and when Dudley Senanayake was elected as Premier in 1952 , he appointed V. Nalliah as the Minister of Post and Information.
The International Day of Education is a day for the Tamil communities in Sri Lanka to remember Hon. Vallipuram Nalliah. A Teacher turned Politician, State Councillor in Colonial Ceylon, later a Member of Parliament and a Government Minister of independent Sri Lanka, to whom Tamils owe much gratitude for what he did as people’s representative.