Sri Lankan historian Santasilan Kadirgamar passes away

His other works included "The Tamils of Lanka: Their Struggle for Justice and Equality with Dignity" and "The Left Tradition in Lankan Tamil Politics."

July 27, 2015 04:42 pm | Updated 05:01 pm IST - COLOMBO:

Santasilan Kadirgamar

Santasilan Kadirgamar

Santasilan Kadirgamar, veteran historian, passed away here on Saturday after a brief illness. He was 81. He is survived by his wife and two sons including Ahilan Kadirgamar, political economist. 

Born in Chavakachcheri of  Jaffna in April 1934, Mr. Kadirgamar, also known as Silan, had his school education at Jaffna College and pursued higher studies in history at the University of Peradeniya and the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. 

In 1983, he went back to Japan on a Japan Foundation Fellowship, lecturing at several universities in Tokyo- Yokohama till 2000.  

As a student of the University of Peradeniya, he began his lifelong involvement with the Left movement of Sri Lanka as a sympathiser of the Lanka Sama Samaj Party. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was among those who were instrumental in setting up the Movement for Inter-Racial Justice and Equality (MIRJE - Jaffna) and the Jaffna Citizens’ Committee. 

An author of several publications, Mr. Kadirgamar is remembered for his work in 1980 on the history and impact of the short-lived Jaffna Youth Congress, which stood for egalitarian and democratic principles. His other works included “The Tamils of Lanka: Their Struggle for Justice and Equality with Dignity” and “The Left Tradition in Lankan Tamil Politics.”

The historian's cousin was former Sri Lankan Foreign Affairs Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, who was assassinated in August 2005.  

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