Kanagaratnam, Kurumbasiddy Era

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Kanagaratnam, Kurumbasiddy Era

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  • Kanagaratnam, Kurumpasiddi Eraa

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Mr R. Kanagaratnam (Kurumbasiddy Era Kanagaratnam) (1 August 1934 -22 June 2016) tirelessly collected Tamil and English newspaper clippings and manuscripts related to political and cultural affairs of Eelam Tamils for almost six decades. Mr Kanagaratnam was respected for his contributions to the modern archival history of Eelam Tamils as well as his continued focus on the historiography of Tamils living across the larger region, from Fiji Islands to South Africa. His unique contribution to the nation of Eelam Tamils was collecting, archiving, microfilming and at the same time ensuring secure storage of the Tamil and English documents outside the island – all achieved through his focused and relentless efforts.

Kanagaratnam held an exhibition at the 4th International Tamil Conference in Jaffna in 1974. He has also exhibited a section of his collections in Canada (1996) and in Norway (1997).

Apart from his archival work, Mr. Kanagratnam also published a number of small pamphlets highlighting the situation of Tamils in Singapore, Malaysia, Burma, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Fiji Islands, Mauritius, Seychelles, Reunion, Indonesia, and South Africa.

He was painfully watching the unfolding genocidal onslaught targeting Vanni while he was exiled in Tamil Nadu since 2008.

Kanagaratnam had returned to the island 10 months before his death as his health conditions began to deteriorate due to diabetes and blood pressure. Kanagaratnam leaves behind his wife, Pavalarany, who has been assisting him in his work and two daughters who are living outside the island.


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Biography is paraphrased from Mr. Kanagaratnam’s obituary: https://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=79&artid=38301

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