S. Vithiananthan

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S. Vithiananthan
S. Vithiananthan.jpg
Born(1924-05-08)8 May 1924
Died22 January 1989(1989-01-22) (aged 64)
Alma materUniversity of Ceylon
School of Oriental and African Studies
TitleVice-Chancellor of the University of Jaffna
TermJanuary 1979 – July 1988
SuccessorA. Thurairajah

Professor Suppiramaniam Vithiananthan (8 May 1924 – 22 January 1989) was a Sri Lankan Tamil writer, academic and the first vice-chancellor of the University of Jaffna.

Early life and family[edit]

Vithiananthan was born on 8 May 1924.[1] He was the son of Suppiramaniam, a proctor from Tellippalai in northern Ceylon.[1] He was educated at St. John's College, Jaffna.[2] After school he joined the Ceylon University College in 1941.[3] He graduated from the University of Ceylon in 1944 with an honours degree.[1][3]

Vithiananthan married Kamala.[1] They had five children (Arulnamby, Mahilnangai, Anbu Chelvi, Inpa Chelvan and Siva Mainthan).[1]


After university Vithiananthan worked as a lecturer at the University of Ceylon.[1][3] He was sub-warden of Jayatileka Hall and warden of Wijewardene Hall at the University of Ceylon.[1]

Vithiananthan then joined School of Oriental and African Studies for post graduate studies, obtaining a Phd in 1950 after producing a thesis titled Pattupattu - a Historical, Social and Linguistic Study.[1][3]

After returning to Ceylon Vithiananthan re-joined the University of Ceylon.[1] The Faculty of Arts and Oriental Studies moved to Peradeniya and Vithiananthan was made Professor of Tamil in 1952.[1][3] He served as Head of the Department of Tamil at the university.[4] He served as president of the Jaffna Campus of the University of Sri Lanka between August 1977 and December 1978.[3][5][6] The Jaffna Campus was elevated to university status on 1 January 1979 with the creation of the University of Jaffna and Vithiananthan was appointed the first vice-chancellor of the new university.[1][3][5] He held the position until July 1988.[5] During his tenure the university underwent serious difficulties due to the civil war.[1] Vithiananthan kept the university open during the 1987–89 JVP Insurrection which forced every other university in the country to close.[1]


Vithiananthan died on 22 January 1989.[1][3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Arumugam, S. (1997). Dictionary of Biography of the Tamils of Ceylon. pp. 249–250.
  2. ^ Sivathasan, S. (10 August 2013). "My Reminiscences Of St. John's College, Jaffna". Colombo Telegraph.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Wijesundera, Stanley (February 1989). "Professor Subramaniam Vithianandan" (PDF). Tamil Times. VIII (3): 17. ISSN 0266-4488.
  4. ^ Wijeyesinghe, K. (26 September 1999). "What more has to be bestowed?". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka).
  5. ^ a b c "Establishment of the Jaffna Campus of the University of Sri Lanka". University of Jaffna. Archived from the original on 22 March 2008.
  6. ^ "History". University of Jaffna.

External links[edit]