A request by Mr. S. Thondaman to appoint his grandson Mr. Arumugam Thondaman as the acting minister while he is away has been rejected by the President Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga. The senior Thondaman left for India on the twenty eighth of December on a private visit. It is believed that he will be in India for about six weeks.

According to "Divaina", Mr. S. Thondaman has submitted a memorandum to the cabinet that while he is away his grandson should act for him. The junior Thondaman, though he is a member of the parliament is not the deputy minister in the relevant ministry. The President has directed her secretary to inform the senior Thondaman, that it is against the parliamentary tradition to make such appointments.

This incident reveals that Mr. Thondaman, like most of the other politicians are after power not only for himself but also for a number of generations. It also means that Mr. Thondaman's ability and strength is declining. Some months ago irrespective of the parliamentary tradition the government would have accepted his recommendation.