V. Navaratnam

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V. Navaratnam
வி. நவரத்தினம்
V. Navaratnam.jpg
Member of the Ceylonese Parliament
for Kayts
In office
Preceded by V. A. Kandiah
Succeeded by K. P. Ratnam
Personal details
Born (1910-10-25)25 October 1910
Died 22 December 2006(2006-12-22) (aged 97)
Montreal, Canada
Alma mater Ceylon Law College
Profession Lawyer
Ethnicity Sri Lankan Tamil

Vaithianathan Navaratnam (25 October 1910 – 22 December 2006) was a Sri Lankan Tamil lawyer, politician and Member of Parliament.

Early life and family[edit]

Navaratnam was born on 25 October 1910.[1][2] He was the son of Vaithianathan from Karampon on the island of Velanaitivu in northern Ceylon.[1] He was educated at Karampon Shanmuganathan Maha Vidyalayam, St. Patrick's College, Jaffna and Ananda College.[1] After school he joined Ceylon Law College, graduating as an proctor in 1936.[1][3]

Navaratnam married his first cousin Parameswari.[1] They had five sons (Chandra Mohan, Jagadishan, Jegan Mohan, Raj Mohan and Bala Mohan) and a daughter (Shyamala).[1][4]


Navaratnam became interested in politics following Ceylonese independence in 1948.[1] He was appointed joint secretary of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (Federal Party) when it was founded in 1949.[1]

Navaratnam stood as ITAK's candidate in Kayts at the 1952 parliamentary election but was defeated by the All Ceylon Tamil Congress candidate Alfred Thambiayah.[5] He was ITAK's theoretician and played an important role in the formulation of the Bandaranaike–Chelvanayakam Pact.[6][7] Navaratnam stood as ITAK's candidate in the constituency in the 1963 by-election following the sitting MP V. A. Kandiah's death. He won the election and entered Parliament.[8] He was re-elected at the 1965 parliamentary election.[9]

An ardent Tamil nationlist, Navaratnam fell out with the ITAK leadership over its decision to join Dudley Senanayake's national government and left the party in 1968.[1][6][10] In 1969 he founded the Tamils Suyaadchchi Kazahagam (Tamil Self Rule Party) which campaigned for Tamil self-rule and independence for the Tamil speaking provinces of Ceylon.[11][12][13] He stood as an independent candidate in Kayts at the 1970 and 1977 parliamentary elections but on each occasion was defeated the ITAK/Tamil United Liberation Front candidate K. P. Ratnam.[14][15]

Navaratnam has written two books: Ceylon Faces Crisis (1956) and The Fall and Rise of the Tamil Nation (1995).[3][16] He died on 22 December 2006 in Montreal, Canada.[17][18] He was posthumously conferred the title of Naattu Patralar (patriot) by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.[19]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Arumugam, S. (1997). Dictionary of Biography of the Tamils of Ceylon. p. 121. 
  2. ^ "Directory of Past Members: Navaratnam, Vaithianathar". Parliament of Sri Lanka. 
  3. ^ a b "Doyen of FP, uncompromising on Tamil National question". TamilNet. 6 October 2005. 
  4. ^ "Navaratnam's funeral in Montreal, Tuesday". TamilNet. 25 December 2006. 
  5. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1952" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  6. ^ a b Wilson, A. Jeyaratnam (2000). Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism: Its Origins and Development in the 19th and 20th Centuries. C. Hurst & Co. p. 95. ISBN 0-7748-0759-8. 
  7. ^ Jeyaraj, D. B. S. (22 July 2007). "Fiftieth anniversary of the aborted Banda-Chelvaÿpact". The Sunday Leader. 
  8. ^ "Summary of By-Elections 1947 to 1988" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  9. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1965" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  10. ^ Jeyaraj, D. B. S. (25 November 2007). "Murugeysen Tiruchelvam: Strategist-Statesman of the Federal Party". The Nation (Sri Lanka). Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. 
  11. ^ Wilson, A. Jeyaratnam (1975). Electoral Politics in an Emergent State: the Ceylon General Election of May 1970. Cambridge University Press. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-521-20429-3. 
  12. ^ D. B. S. Jeyaraj, D. B. S. Jeyaraj (22 November 2014). "Life and Times of Tiger Supremo Veluppillai Prabhakaran". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 
  13. ^ Rajabalan, S. Raymond (5 February 2007). "On V. Navaratnam: A man ahead of his time". Ilankai Tamil Sangam/Monsoon Journal. 
  14. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1970" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  15. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1977" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  16. ^ Sri Kantha, Sachi (26 December 2006). "On V. Navaratnam (1910-2006)". Ilankai Tamil Sangam. 
  17. ^ "Navaratnam, the doyen of Federal Party, passes away". TamilNet. 22 December 2006. 
  18. ^ "V. Navaratnam, ex-MP,dies in Canada". The Island (Sri Lanka). 24 December 2006. 
  19. ^ "Tigers confer 'Patriot' title on Navaratnam". TamilNet. 24 December 2006.