Joseph Pararajasingham

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Joseph Pararajasingham
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for Batticaloa District
In office
Preceded by Sam Tambimuttu
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for National List
In office
Succeeded by C. Chandrakanthan, TNA
Personal details
Born (1934-11-26)November 26, 1934
Died December 25, 2005(2005-12-25) (aged 71)
St Mary's Church, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka
Political party Tamil United Liberation Front
Other political
Tamil National Alliance

Joseph Pararajasingham (November 27, 1934 – December 25, 2005) was a Sri Lankan Member of Parliament and a poet who was known for his pro-Tamil Tiger views and advocacy of human rights. Pararajasingham was a founding member of the North East Human Rights Secretariat NESHOR.

Pararajasingham became a member of the Sri Lankan Parliament in 1990 and joined the Tamil National Alliance, a pro-rebel party. UTHR and Inter-Parliamentary Union have both claimed that he was assassinated by TMVP.


He was assassinated in 2005 while attending a Christmas midnight mass at St Mary's church in Batticaloa, some 190 miles (306 km) east of the Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo. Gunmen opened fire on Pararajasingham just after he received communion, killing him and injuring eight others, including his wife.

It is unclear who assassinated Mr. Pararajasingham, and the assassination is one of the 15 cases to be investigsated by the Commission of Inquiry into alleged serious human rights abuses warranted by President Rajapakse in September 2006, and whose investigations will be observed by an International Independent Groups of Eminent Persons (IIGEP).

The Government provided details of the case to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, stating that only Mrs Pararajasingham and his personal security officer (who the Batticalao police provided) knew of his decision to attend the Christmas Eve Mass, and this was only revealed when they arrived in Batticalao that morning.[1]

They also stated that St Mary's Church is located in a High Security Zone, between 2 military checkpoints and that the church was reportedly "surrounded" by military personnel, concluding that the culprits could only have escaped with the complicity of the security forces.[1]

They also noted that Mr Pararajasingham's family gave the name of 3 suspects, yet no action has been taken against them.[2] It was also reported, that it was "public knowledge" that a member of the Karuna Group TMVP, was one of the assassins, yet no action has been taken.[1]

Further UTHR, a local human rights organization, claimed the pro governmentTMVP and EPDP cadres were the assailants.[3]