|Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament
|Preceded by||B. Neminathan, ITAK|
|Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament
for Trincomalee District
|Born||February 5, 1933|
|Political party||Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi|
|Tamil National Alliance|
|Children||Sanjeevan, Senthuran, Krishanthini|
|Residence||No.2 D, Summit Flats, Keppetipola Road, Colombo 05, Sri Lanka|
|Alma mater||St. Patrick's College
St. Sebastian's College
Ceylon Law College
|Ethnicity||Sri Lankan Tamil|
Rajavarothiam Sampanthan (Tamil: இராஜவரோதயம் சம்பந்தன்; born 5 February 1933) is a leading Sri Lankan Tamil politician, Member of Parliament and leader of the Tamil National Alliance and Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi.
Sampanthan was born 5 February 1933. He was the son of A. Rajavarothiam, Superintendent of Stores at the Gal Oya Project. He was educated at St. Patrick's College, Jaffna and St. Sebastian's College, Moratuwa. He later studied at Ceylon Law College. After graduation he joined the legal profession, becoming an attorney at law.
Sampanthan married Leeladevi, daughter of P. K. Rudra. They have two sons (Sanjeevan and Senthuran) and one daughter (Krishanthini).
Sampanthan was the Tamil United Liberation Front's candidate for Trincomalee at the 1977 parliamentary election. He won the election and entered Parliament. Sampanthan and all other TULF MPs boycotted Parliament from the middle of 1983 for a number of reasons: they were under pressure from Sri Lankan Tamil militants not to stay in Parliament beyond their normal six-year term; the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka required them to swear an oath unconditionally renouncing support for a separate state; and the Black July riots in which up to 3,000 Tamils were murdered by Sinhalese mobs. After three months of absence, Sampanthan forfeited his seat in Parliament on 7 September 1983.
In 2001 the TULF, All Ceylon Tamil Congress, Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front and Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization formed the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). Sampanthan became the leader of the TNA. Sampanthan was one of the TNA's candidates in Trincomalee at the 2001 parliamentary election. He was elected and re-entered Parliament after an absence of 18 years.
Soon after its formation the TNA began to make a more pro-Tamil Tiger stance, recognising the Tigers as the sole representative of the Sri Lankan Tamils. This caused a split within the TULF. Some members of the TULF, led by its president V. Anandasangaree, were opposed to the Tigers. Anandasangaree refused to allow the TNA to use the TULF name during the 2004 parliamentary election. This caused the members of TULF who wished to remain with the TNA, led by Sampanthan, to resurrect the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi political party. Sampanthan became the leader of ITAK.
- Arumugam, S. (1997). Dictionary of Biography of the Tamils of Ceylon. pp. 173–174.
- "RAJAVAROTHIAM SAMPANTHAN". Directory of Members. Parliament of Sri Lanka.
- "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1977" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka.
- Wickramasinghe, Wimal (18 January 2008). "Saga of crossovers, expulsions and resignations etc. Referendum for extention of Parliament". The Island, Sri Lanka.
- "General Election 2001 Preferences" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka.
- "Objection against TNA using HOUSE symbol rejected". TamilNet. 28 February 2004. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
- "General Election 2004 Preferences" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka.
- "Parliamentary General Election - 2010 Trincomalee Preferences" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka.
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