Alfred Duraiappah

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Alfred Duraiappah
அல்பிரட் துரையப்பா
Alfred Duraiappah.jpg
Member of the Ceylonese Parliament
for Jaffna
In office
Preceded byG. G. Ponnambalam
Succeeded byG. G. Ponnambalam
12th Mayor of Jaffna
In office
15 February 1970 – 27 July 1975
Preceded byS. Nagarajah
Succeeded byR.Viswanathan
Personal details
Born(1926-06-15)15 June 1926
Died27 July 1975(1975-07-27) (aged 49)
Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Political partySri Lanka Freedom Party
Alma materCeylon Law College
EthnicitySri Lankan Tamil

Alfred Thangarajah Duraiappah (15 June 1926 – 27 July 1975) was a Sri Lankan Tamil lawyer, politician, Mayor of Jaffna and Member of Parliament.

Early life and family[edit]

Duraiappah was born on 15 June 1926.[1][2] He was the son of an ice and aerated water manufacturer from Vannarpannai in northern Ceylon.[1] He was educated at St. John's College, Jaffna.[1][3] After school he joined Ceylon Law College, graduating as a proctor.[1][3]

Duraiappah married Parameswary, daughter of Cumaraswamy.[1] They had a daughter Rochana (Eesha).[1] Duraiappah was a Christian.[4]

Duraiappah's nephew Nishan Duraiappah is the chief of Peel Regional Police in Ontario, Canada.[5][6]


Duraiappah was elected to Jaffna Municipal Council and became its deputy mayor at the age of 23.[1] He served as mayor from 1970 to 1975.[7]

Duraiappah stood as an independent candidate in Jaffna at the March 1960 parliamentary election. He won the election and entered Parliament.[8] He was re-elected at the July 1960 parliamentary election but lost out to the All Ceylon Tamil Congress candidate G. G. Ponnambalam at the 1965 parliamentary election.[9][10] He tried to re-gain his seat at the 1970 parliamentary election but was defeated by the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi candidate C. X. Martyn.[11]

Duraiappah was a member of the governing Sri Lanka Freedom Party and its chief organiser in Jaffna District.[12][13][14] Tamil militants considered Duraiappah to be a traitor and government collaborator.[15][16][17] In February 1971 Tamil militant Pon Sivakumaran tried to assassinate Duraiappah by throwing a hand grenade on to Duraiappah’s car which was parked on Second Cross Road in Jaffna.[13][14] Duraiappah was not inside the car at the time.[13]


On 27 July 1975 Duraiappah and his daughter Eesha went to the Varadaraja Perumal Temple (Maha Vishnu Temple) in Ponnalai for their weekly worship in the Peugeot 404 which had been given to Duraiappah by his supporters.[18][19] As they arrived at the temple, Duraiappah was shot dead by masked men.[1][20] Some members of his family believed that Posts and Telecommunications Minister Chelliah Kumarasuriar, Duraiappah's political rival, was behind the assassination.[21] However, his assassination was widely blamed on the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and its leader V. Prabhakaran.[22][23] On 25 April 1978 the LTTE issued an open letter, which was published in the Virakesari, claiming responsibility for the assassination of eleven people including Duraiappah.[24][25][26]

The Duraiappah Stadium in Jaffna was named after him.[27]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Arumugam, S. (1997). Dictionary of Biography of the Tamils of Ceylon. pp. 50–51.
  2. ^ "Directory of Past Members: Durayappah, Alfred Thangarajah". Parliament of Sri Lanka.
  3. ^ a b "Masked gunmen kill Jaffna Mayor Shot dead outside temple". Daily News (Sri Lanka). 26 May 2009. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011.
  4. ^ Palakidnar, Ananth (4 October 2013). "Varatharaja Perumal Kovil robbed". Ceylon Today. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Deputy Chief of Police of Halton Regional Police Service, Canada". Kingston Upon Thames, U.K.: Tamil Information Centre. 11 October 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Halton Police Deputy Chief Nishan Duraiappah Receives Order of Merit". The Times of Sri Lanka. Toronto, Canada. 17 January 2018. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Past Mayors". Jaffna Municipal Council. Archived from the original on 18 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1960-03-19" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 December 2009.
  9. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1960-07-20" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 December 2009.
  10. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1965" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 December 2009.
  11. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1970" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 December 2009.
  12. ^ "Acrimony at inaugural JMC meeting". TamilNet. 24 April 1998.
  13. ^ a b c Sabaratnam, T. "Chapter 3: The Unexpected Explosion". Pirapaharan. Ilankai Tamil Sangam.
  14. ^ a b Rajasingham, K. T. "Chapter 24: Tamil militancy - a manifestation". Sri Lanka: The Untold Story.
  15. ^ Feith, David (2013). "Chapter 10: Separatism in Sri Lanka". In Cabestan, Jean-Pierre; Pavković, Aleksandar (eds.). Secessionism and Separatism in Europe and Asia: To Have a State of One's Own. Routledge. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-415-66774-6.
  16. ^ Coomaraswamy, Radhika; Perera-Rajasingham, Nimanthi (2009). "Chapter 6 - Being Tamil in a Different Way: A Feminist Critique of the Tamil Nation". In Cheran, R. (ed.). Pathways of Dissent: Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka. Sage Publications. p. 121. ISBN 978-81-321-0222-9.
  17. ^ "Colombo remembers Alfred Duraiappa, setting hands of the clock backwards". TamilNet. 30 July 2009.
  18. ^ "Now Daya Master in Alfi's party!". Ceylon Today. 25 June 2013. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015.
  19. ^ Nakkawita, Wijitha (15 February 2009). "Prabhakaran's victims: From Alfred Duraiappah to babes at Visuamadu". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka). Archived from the original on 16 February 2015.
  20. ^ Ferdinando, Shamindra (13 October 2010). "Who could have shot Duraiappah at Varadaraja Perumal temple, Ponnalai?". The Island (Sri Lanka).
  21. ^ Perera, Janaka (26 July 2008). "Mayor's murder at Vishnu temple". Asian Tribune.
  22. ^ Hoole, Rajan; Thiranagama, Rajini (January 2001). "Chapter 2 – Antecedents of July 1983 and the Foundations of Impunity". Sri Lanka: the arrogance of power : myths, decadence & murder. University Teachers for Human Rights. pp. 11, 46. ISBN 978-955-9447-04-7.
  23. ^ Sabaratnam, T. "Chpaper 8: First Military Operation". Pirapaharan. Ilankai Tamil Sangam.
  24. ^ "27 July 1975". Peace and Conflict Timeline. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015.
  25. ^ Athas, Iqbal (1 August 1999). "The Situation Report". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka).
  26. ^ Rajasingham, K. T. "Chapter 25: War or peace?". Sri Lanka: The Untold Story.
  27. ^ "Renovated Jaffna Stadium opened". TamilNet. 2 March 1998.