S. Sivamaharajah

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S. Sivamaharajah
சி. சிவமகராஜா
S. Sivamaharajah.jpg
Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament
for Jaffna District
In office
Preceded by S. Sivnantharaja
In office
Personal details
Born (1938-06-28)28 June 1938
Died 20 August 2006(2006-08-20) (aged 68)
Tellippalai, Sri Lanka
Political party Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi
Other political
Tamil National Alliance
Ethnicity Sri Lankan Tamil

Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah (Tamil: சின்னத்தம்பி சிவமகராஜா; 28 June 1938 – 20 August 2006) was a Sri Lankan Tamil newspaper publisher, politician and Member of Parliament.

Early life[edit]

Sivamaharajah was born 28 June 1938.[1] He was from Kollankaladdy near Tellippalai.[2]


Sivamaharajah contested the 1989 parliamentary election as one of the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students' (EROS) candidates in Jaffna District. He was elected.[3] However, Sivamaharajah and all other EROS MPs boycotted Parliament because of their opposition to the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka which required them to swear an oath unconditionally renouncing support for a separate state.[4] After three months of absence, Sivamaharajah forfeited his seat in Parliament on 12 June 1989.[4][5] Sivamaharajah did however enter Parliament on 17 July 1989, replacing S. Sivnantharaja who had resigned on 11 July 1989.[5] He took his oath in Parliament on 21 July 1989.[4][6] He resigned from Parliament on 7 May 1990.[5]

Sivamaharajah was one of the Tamil United Liberation Front's (TULF) candidates in Jaffna District at the 2000 parliamentary election. He was elected and re-entered Parliament.[7]

On 20 October 2001 the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front, Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization and TULF formed the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).[8][9] Sivamaharajah contested the 2001 parliamentary election as one of the TNA's candidates in Jaffna District but failed to get elected.[10] He contested the 2004 parliamentary election as one of the TNA's candidates in Jaffna District but failed to get elected after coming twelfth amongst the TNA candidates.[11][12]

Sivamaharajah was managing director of Namathu Eelanadu Tamil language.[2][13][14] Namathu Eelanadu, which started publication on 1 October 2002, was considered to be supportive of Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism.[13][14][15] The paper's office in Jaffna was raided by the Sri Lanka Army on 15 December 2005 and its staff interrogated.[14][16]

Sivamaharajah was chairman of the Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society (MPCS) in Tellippalai and president of the Consortium of Valikamam North Public Organizations.[2] He worked extensively to assist the tens of thousands of civilians forcibly expelled from the Valikamam North High Security Zone (HSZ) by the Sri Lankan military.[2]

On the night of 20 August 2006, at around 7.20pm, Sivamaharajah was shot dead at his temporary home in Tellippalai, which was located 300 meters inside the Valikamam North HSZ.[2][14][17][18] The government backed Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) paramilitary group was blamed for the assassination.[19] The assassination was condemned by Reporters Without Borders and the UNESCO.[14][20] Sivamaharajah's killing was part of a series of killings, abductions and other attacks on the Sri Lankan Tamil media which began in 2005.[21][22][23]

On 22 August 2006 the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) conferred the title Maamanithar (great human being) on Sivamaharajah.[24]

Electoral history[edit]

Electoral history of S. Sivamaharajah
Election Constituency Party Votes Result
1989 parliamentary[3] Jaffna District EROS 22,622 Elected
2000 parliamentary[7] Jaffna District TULF 7,187 Elected
2001 parliamentary[10] Jaffna District TNA 11,296 Not elected
2004 parliamentary[11] Jaffna District TNA 24,965 Not elected


  1. ^ "Directory of Members: Sinnathamby Sivamaharasa". Parliament of Sri Lanka. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Sivamaharajah assassinated". TamilNet. 21 August 2006. 
  3. ^ a b "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1989" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  4. ^ a b c "EROS/EDF to Attend Parliament" (PDF). Tamil Times. VIII (8): 17. July 1989. ISSN 0266-4488. 
  5. ^ a b c de Silva, W. P. P.; Ferdinando, T. C. L. 9th Parliament of Sri Lanka (PDF). Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited. p. 265. 
  6. ^ Sebastian, Rita (August 1989). "EDF in Attend Parliament". Tamil Times. VIII (9): 19. ISSN 0266-4488. 
  7. ^ a b "General Election 2000 Preferences" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  8. ^ Jeyaraj, D. B. S. "Tamil National Alliance enters critical third phase - 1". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). Archived from the original on 4 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "Tamil parties sign MOU". TamilNet. 20 October 2001. 
  10. ^ a b "How they performed in the Jaffna District" (PDF). Tamil Times. XX (12): 5. 15 December 2001. ISSN 0266-4488. 
  11. ^ a b "General Election 2004 Preferences" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  12. ^ "Jaffna student leader gets most preferential votes". TamilNet. 3 April 2004. 
  13. ^ a b "Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah". Committee to Protect Journalists. 
  14. ^ a b c d e "Tamil newspaper managing director gunned down outside Jaffna". Reporters Without Borders. 22 August 2006. 
  15. ^ "New Tamil daily launched in Jaffna". TamilNet. 1 October 2002. 
  16. ^ "SLA soldiers search Jaffna press, threaten workers". TamilNet. 15 December 2005. 
  17. ^ "Former Tamil MP killed in Jaffna". BBC News. 21 August 2006. 
  18. ^ "Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah: Sri Lanka". International Press Institute. 
  19. ^ Jeyaraj, D. B. S. (16 March 2008). "Assassinating Tamil Parliamentarians: The unceasing waves". The Nation (Sri Lanka). 
  20. ^ "Director-General condemns murder of Sri Lankan newspaper managing director Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah". UNESCO. 28 August 2006. 
  21. ^ Lim, Vincent (11 September 2006). "SRI LANKA: Tamil media caught in ongoing conflict". UCLA International Institute. 
  22. ^ "Jaffna journalists fearful amid threats, killings". TamilNet. 15 February 2007. 
  23. ^ "Crisis: International". Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. 27 September 2006. 
  24. ^ "LTTE confers Maamanithar award on Sivamaharaja". TamilNet. 24 August 2006.