V. Navaratnam

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Honourable
V. Navaratnam
MP
வி. நவரத்தினம்
V. Navaratnam.jpg
Member of the Ceylonese Parliament
for Kayts
In office
1963–1970
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]

Career[edit]

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]

References[edit]

  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.