|Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament
for Vanni District
28 December 1946 |
|Political party||United People's Freedom Alliance|
|Ethnicity||Sri Lankan Tamil|
Early life and family
Kanagaratnam was born on 28 December 1946 Nallur, northern Ceylon. He was educated at Senkuntha Hindu College. He had two brothers (Chelvanayakam and Rajaratnam) and two sisters. Lieutinent Chelvanayakam (alias Amman, Chandran, Chellakili) was a member of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who was killed in the Thirunelvely ambush on the Sri Lankan military in July 1983.
Kanagaratnam has two sons (Aathithan and Sancheevan) and a daughter (Niriththana).
After school Kanagaratnam worked in various jobs including as a salesman and a chauffeur. He joined the Ceylon Transport Board in 1978 as a bus driver at the Mattakkuliya depot. He transferred to the Mullaitivu depot in 1980. After retirement in 2000 he worked part-time for the Vanni Private Bus Operators’ Association. He lived in Suthanthirapuram near Udayarkaddu in Mullaitivu District.
Kanagaratnam was selected by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to be one of the Tamil National Alliance's (TNA) candidates in Vanni District at the 2004 parliamentary election. He was elected and entered Parliament.
Kanagaratnam and his family were amongst the 300,000 civilians trapped in the No Fire Zone during the final months of the civil war. He disappeared after the end of the civil war in May 2009. He was picked by the police at the Menik Farm IDP camp and taken to Colombo. He had been detained on the orders of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for allegedly violating emergency regulations and assisting the LTTE. After eight months of detention Kanagaratnam was released in January 2010 in return for agreeing to support Mahinda Rajapaksa in the presidential election. He was provided with a newly built bungalow inside the Northern Province Governor’s residential complex in Vavuniya.
Kanagaratnam left the TNA and joined Rajapaksa's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA). He contested the 2010 parliamentary election as one of the UPFA's candidates in Vanni District but failed to get elected after coming sixth amongst the UPFA candidates.
|2004 parliamentary||Vanni District||TNA||30,390||Elected|
|2010 parliamentary||Vanni District||UPFA||3,570||Not elected|
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- "Parliamentary General Election - 2010 Vanni Preferences" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka.