Professor Karthigesu Sivathamby, a true Sri Lankan Tamil scholar!

Professor Karthigesu Sivathamby (10 May 1932 – 6 July 2011); a Great Progressive Thinker & Versatile Scholar.

A Sri Lankan Tamil literary historian, author and academic, was an outstanding Tamil scholar. As Professor of Tamil in the University of Jaffna specialising in the social and literary history of Tamils, culture & communication among Tamils, Tamil drama and literary criticism.

Professor Sivathamby received his Ph.D. (Drama in Ancient Tamil Society) from the University of Birmingham in 1970. Further, the government of Tamil Nadu, India in recognition of his services to Tamil language awarded to him the Thiru V. Kalyanasundaram Award and was honored in recent world classic Tamil conference in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India.

Prof. Sivathamby was a visiting Professor of Tamil to Universities in India such as the University of Madras, the Jawaharlal Nehru University, in England at the Cambridge University and in the University of Finland and in the University of Norway.

Prof. Sivathamby was chairman of the Coordinating Committee of Citizens of North and East of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Refugee Rehabilitation Organisation (TRRO), Jaffna. It was at TRRO that, I met him first in Jaffna and there after many times at the University of Jaffna and at civil gatherings during the civil-war years.

Professor Sivathamby was proud of his Tamil Sri Lankan heritage. I was astonished listening to this great Tamil scholar of our time. Yet, in the few years of our acquaintance what impressed me most was his pleasing personality. Always shared hope and strength with those who associated with him. That in itself was a blessing for us during the dark civil-war years! May he attain supreme bliss of nibbana.