The biography of Yogendra Duraiswamy portrays the growth of his personality from his childhood in a traditional aristocratic family, and becoming a leader among the Hindus of Sri Lanka. He raised his powerful voice, not only in Sri Lanka but also in international fora on the ethnic question of the country, explaining the story of the Tamils and their present sorry plight.
The story covers, with a wealth of detail, the career of this charismatic diplomat, his return to Jaffna, his assignment as District Secretary and Government Agent, Jaffna, and his social work. He was indeed the spokesman for “the poorest, the loneliest and the lost”. His friend writes, “He was a man of principles, remaining loyal to his cause, always and to the end. He never changed his steed for transient advantage. His word was his bond – the sea-green incorruptible.”
In this biography, the author refers to her husband as ‘my diplomat’, and gives us not just a paean of praise, but the true story of one who loved the life of a diplomat serving his country honestly, but later felt that he should give up the plumes of office and come back to work for his people who were denied opportunities that were rightfully theirs. He succeeded in achieving some aspects and, to his last days, tried fervently to see an end to the ethnic question and see his people living in Sri Lanka as equal citizens in honour and dignity, free from fear or want.
The scope of this book is more than a mere narration of a story. His approach to the ethnic question was varied and far-sighted, and the most important aspect to this question where he was concerned, was that the Tamils should live in this country with equality and justice, free from fear or want – this was their inalienable right.