Thomas Savundaranayagam

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Rt Rev.
Thomas Savundaranayagam
Bishop of Jaffna
Thomas Savundaranayagam.jpg
Native name தோமசு சௌந்தரநாயகம்
Church Roman Catholic Church
Province Colombo
Diocese Jaffna
Installed 6 July 1992
Term ended 13 October 2015
Predecessor Bastiampillai Deogupillai
Successor Justin Gnanapragasam
Other posts Bishop of Mannar (1981-92)
Personal details
Born (1938-07-13) 13 July 1938 (age 79)
Kayts, Ceylon
Alma mater Pontifical Urbaniana University

Right Reverend Emmanuel Thomas Savundaranayagam (Tamil: இம்மானுவேல் தோமசு சௌந்தரநாயகம்; born 13 July 1938) is a Sri Lanka Tamil priest and former Roman Catholic Bishop of Jaffna.

Early life and family[edit]

Savundaranayagam was born on 13 July 1938 in Kayts on the island of Velanaitivu in northern Ceylon.[1][2] He was educated at St. Anthony's College, Kayts and St. Patrick's College, Jaffna.[3][4] He then studied at St. Martin's Seminary, Jaffna and National Seminary, Ampitiya (1957-64).[2] Savundaranayagam has a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree from the Pontifical Urbaniana University and a Diploma in Catechetics.[2]


Savundaranayagam was ordained as a priest in December 1963.[1][2] In January 1981 he was appointed Bishop of Mannar and was ordained as a bishop in July 1981 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu.[1][2] He became Bishop of Jaffna in July 1992.[1][2] He retired in October 2015.[5]

Savundaranayagam is a strong activist for Tamil rights in Sri Lanka and humanitarian efforts in what is sometimes called "Tamil Eelam".[6][7] He had called for international intervention to stop the Sri Lankan conflict.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d "Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam". Catholic Hierarchy. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Bishop Savundranayagam". Union of Catholic Asian News. 
  3. ^ "Past Bishops". St Patrick's College, Jaffna Old Boys' Association, Colombo Branch. Archived from the original on 23 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Rasaiya, Christy (16 July 2000). "St. Patrick's 150 years old". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 
  5. ^ "Pope appoints new bishop in Jaffna, S. Lanka". Vatican Radio. 13 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "Jaffna bishop hails gesture". The Hindu. 1 January 2009. 
  7. ^ Kremmer, Janaki (14 January 2005). "Distrust between Sri Lanka, rebels hampers tsunami aid". The Christian Science Monitor. 
  8. ^ "Sri Lankan Bishop calls for international intervention to stop war". Alertnet. Caritas Internationalis. 11 May 2007. Archived from the original on 6 July 2008. 

External links[edit]