Alfred Duraiappah

Last updated

Alfred Duraiappah
அல்பிரட் துரையப்பா
Alfred Duraiappah.jpg
Member of the Ceylonese Parliament
for Jaffna
In office
Preceded by G. G. Ponnambalam
Succeeded by G. G. Ponnambalam
12th Mayor of Jaffna
In office
15 February 1970 27 July 1975
Preceded by S. Nagarajah
Succeeded by R.Viswanathan
Personal details
Born(1926-06-15)15 June 1926
Died 27 July 1975(1975-07-27) (aged 49)
Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Political party Sri Lanka Freedom Party
Alma mater Ceylon Law College
Profession Lawyer
Ethnicity Sri Lankan Tamil

Alfred Thangarajah Duraiappah (15 June 1926 – 27 July 1975) was a Sri Lankan Tamil lawyer, politician, Mayor of Jaffna and Member of Parliament.


Early life and family

Duraiappah was born on 15 June 1926. [1] [2] He was the son of an ice and aerated water manufacturer from Vannarpannai in northern Ceylon. [1] He was educated at St. John's College, Jaffna. [1] [3] After school he joined Ceylon Law College, graduating as a proctor. [1] [3]

Vannarpannai Suburb in Northern, Sri Lanka

Vannarpannai is a notable suburb within the Jaffna town municipality in the northern Jaffna District in Sri Lanka. It is home to many cultural insituitions that are important for the Saiva revivalism of the local Sri Lankan Tamils as initiated by Arumuga Navalar. It is home to Kathiresan Temple and Vaitheeswaran Temple in which Navalar began his circuit preaching. It is also home to schools such as Vaitheeswara Vidyalayam, Srila Sri Arumuga Navalar School and Jaffna Hindu College and the Sivaprakasa Printing Press founded in 1848. The suburb has suffered adverse effects due to the Sri Lankan civil war

British Ceylon former British Crown colony

Ceylon was a British Crown colony between 1815 and 1948. Initially the area it covered did not include the Kingdom of Kandy, which was a protectorate from 1815, but from 1817 to 1948 the British possessions included the whole island of Ceylon, now the nation of Sri Lanka.

St. Johns College, Jaffna

St. John's College is a private school in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Founded in 1823 by British Anglican missionaries, it is one of Sri Lanka's oldest schools.

Duraiappah married Parameswary, daughter of Cumaraswamy. [1] They had a daughter Rochana (Eesha). [1] Duraiappah was a Christian. [4]


Duraiappah was elected to Jaffna Municipal Council and became its deputy mayor at the age of 23. [1] He served as mayor from 1970 to 1975. [5]

Jaffna Municipal Council

Jaffna Municipal Council is the local authority for the city of Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka. JMC is responsible for providing a variety of local public services including roads, sanitation, drains, housing, libraries, public parks and recreational facilities. Established in January 1949 as a successor to Jaffna Urban Council, it currently has 45 members elected using the mixed electoral system.

Duraiappah stood as an independent candidate in Jaffna at the March 1960 parliamentary election. He won the election and entered Parliament. [6] He was re-elected at the July 1960 parliamentary election but lost out to the All Ceylon Tamil Congress candidate G. G. Ponnambalam at the 1965 parliamentary election. [7] [8] He tried to re-gain his seat at the 1970 parliamentary election but was defeated by the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi candidate C. X. Martyn. [9]

An independent or nonpartisan politician is an individual politician not affiliated with any political party. There are numerous reasons why someone may stand for office as an independent.

Jaffna Electoral District was an electoral district of Sri Lanka between August 1947 and February 1989. The district was named after the city of Jaffna in Jaffna District, Northern Province. The 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka introduced the proportional representation electoral system for electing members of Parliament. The existing 160 mainly single-member electoral districts were replaced with 22 multi-member electoral districts. Jaffna electoral district was replaced by the Jaffna multi-member electoral district at the 1989 general elections, the first under the PR system, though Jaffna continues to be a polling division of the multi-member electoral district.

Duraiappah was a member of the governing Sri Lanka Freedom Party and its chief organiser in Jaffna District. [10] [11] [12] Tamil militants considered Duraiappah to be a traitor and government collaborator. [13] [14] [15] In February 1971 Tamil militant Pon Sivakumaran tried to assassinate Duraiappah by throwing a hand grenade on to Duraiappah’s car which was parked on Second Cross Road in Jaffna. [11] [12] Duraiappah was not inside the car at the time. [11]

Sri Lanka Freedom Party Political party in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party is one of the major and most well known political parties in Sri Lanka. It was founded by S.W.R.D Bandaranaike in 1951 and, since then, has been one of the two largest parties in the Sri Lankan political arena. It first came to power in 1956 and since then has been the predominant party in government on a number of occasions. The party is generally considered as having a democratic socialist or progressive economic agenda and is often associated with nationalist Sinhala parties. The party follows a Non-Aligned foreign policy but always had close ties to socialist nations.The Sri Lanka Freedom Party is a main constituent party in the United People's Freedom Alliance.

Jaffna District Administrative District in Northern, Sri Lanka

Jaffna District is one of the 25 districts of Sri Lanka, the second level administrative division of the country. The district is administered by a District Secretariat headed by a District Secretary appointed by the central government of Sri Lanka. The capital of the district is the city of Jaffna.

Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups rose to prominence in the 1970s to fight the state of Sri Lanka in order to create an independent Tamil Eelam in the north of Sri Lanka. They rose in response to the perception among minority Sri Lankan Tamils that the state was preferring the majority Sinhalese for educational opportunities and government jobs. By the end of 1987, the militants had fought not only the Sri Lankan security forces but also the Indian Peace Keeping Force. They also fought among each other briefly, with the main Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebel group dominating the others. The militants represented inter-generational tensions, as well as the caste and ideological differences. Except for the LTTE, many of the remaining organizations have morphed into minor political parties within the Tamil National Alliance, or as standalone political parties. Some Tamil militant groups also functioned as paramilitaries within the Sri Lankan military against separatist militants.


On 27 July 1975 Duraiappah and his daughter Eesha went to the Varadaraja Perumal Temple (Maha Vishnu Temple) in Ponnalai for their weekly worship in the Peugeot 404 which had been given to Duraiappah by his supporters. [16] [17] As they arrived at the temple, Duraiappah was shot dead by masked men. [1] [18] Some members of his family believed that Posts and Telecommunications Minister Chelliah Kumarasuriar, Duraiappah's political rival, was behind the assassination. [19] However, his assassination was widely blamed on the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and its leader V. Prabhakaran. [20] [21] On 25 April 1978 the LTTE issued an open letter, which was published in the Virakesari , claiming responsibility for the assassination of eleven people including Duraiappah. [22] [23] [24]

The Duraiappah Stadium in Jaffna was named after him. [25]

Related Research Articles

The Tamil New Tigers (TNT) was a militant Tamil organization founded by Velupillai Prabhakaran on May 22, 1972. The group was composed of a few close associates of Prabhakaran, who was 17 years old when he founded the group. They initially carried out several small scale attacks, including the bombing of a carnival at the Duruapph Stadium in 1972, and several explosions during Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike's visit to Jaffna in 1974. The group gained notoriety in 1975 when Prabhkaran and three other members assassinated Alfred Duraiappah, the Mayor of Jaffna.

Sri Lankan state-sponsored colonization schemes refers to the government program of settling mostly farmers from the densely populated wet zone in the sparsely populated areas of the dry zone in the North Central Province and the Eastern Province regions near tanks and reservoirs being built in major irrigation and hydro-power programs such as the Mahaweli project to create farming and fishing communities. Since irrigation settlements in the North Central and Eastern Provinces occurred under direct state sponsorship, as most of these farmers are ethnic Sinhalese it appeared to many Tamils as a deliberate attempt of the Sinhalese-dominated state to marginalize them further by decreasing their numbers in the area. It has been perhaps the most immediate cause of inter-communal violence.

V. Yogeswaran Sri LAnkan politician

Vettivelu Yogeswaran was a Sri Lankan Tamil lawyer, politician and Member of Parliament.

C. Sittampalam Ceylon Tamil politician

Cathiravelu Sittampalam was a Ceylon Tamil civil servant, politician, Member of Parliament and government minister.

S. Natesan Members of the Senate and Parliament of Sri lanka

Subaiya Natesan was a Ceylonese politician, Member of State Council, Member of Parliament and senator.

Pon Sivakumaran Sri Lankan rebel

Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran was a Sri Lankan Tamil rebel and the first Tamil militant to commit suicide by swallowing cyanide.

K. Thurairatnam Sri Lankan politician

Kathiripillai Thurairatnam was a Sri Lankan Tamil teacher, lawyer, politician and Member of Parliament.

S. Kathiravelupillai Sri Lankan Tamil politician

Sivasubramaniam Kathiravelupillai was a Sri Lankan Tamil lawyer, politician and Member of Parliament.

V. N. Navaratnam Sri Lankan politician

Vallipuram Nallathamby Navaratnam was a Sri Lankan Tamil lawyer, politician and Member of Parliament.

V. Dharmalingam Sri Lankan politician

Visvanathan Dharmalingam was a Sri Lankan Tamil politician and Member of Parliament.

C. Suntharalingam Sri Lankan politician

Chellappah Suntharalingam was a Ceylon Tamil academic, politician, Member of Parliament and government minister.

Thambaiyah Mudaliyar Sabaratnam was a Ceylon Tamil lawyer, politician and member of the Legislative Council of Ceylon.

Chinnaiah Arulampalam was a Sri Lankan Tamil politician and Member of Parliament.

Alfred Leo Saverimuthu Thambiayah was a Ceylon Tamil businessman, politician and Member of Parliament.

Thamodarampillai Ramalingam was a Ceylon Tamil lawyer, politician and Member of Parliament.

Arumugam Thiagarajah was a Sri Lankan Tamil teacher, politician and Member of Parliament.

Rasamanohari Pulendran Sri Lankan politician

Rasamanohari Pulendran was a Sri Lankan Tamil politician, Member of Parliament and state minister.

Mylvaganam Mudaliyar Subramaniam was a Ceylon Tamil lawyer, politician and member of the Legislative Council of Ceylon and State Council of Ceylon.

Emmanuel Rasanayagam Tambimuttu was a Ceylon Tamil lawyer, politician and member of the Legislative Council of Ceylon and State Council of Ceylon.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Arumugam, S. (1997). Dictionary of Biography of the Tamils of Ceylon. pp. 50–51.
  2. "Directory of Past Members: Durayappah, Alfred Thangarajah". Parliament of Sri Lanka.
  3. 1 2 "Masked gunmen kill Jaffna Mayor Shot dead outside temple". Daily News (Sri Lanka) . 26 May 2009. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011.
  4. Palakidnar, Ananth (4 October 2013). "Varatharaja Perumal Kovil robbed". Ceylon Today . Archived from the original on 16 February 2015.
  5. "Past Mayors". Jaffna Municipal Council. Archived from the original on 18 October 2013.
  6. "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1960-03-19" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 December 2009.
  7. "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1960-07-20" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 December 2009.
  8. "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1965" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 December 2009.
  9. "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1970" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 December 2009.
  10. "Acrimony at inaugural JMC meeting". TamilNet . 24 April 1998.
  11. 1 2 3 Sabaratnam, T. "Chapter 3: The Unexpected Explosion". Pirapaharan. Ilankai Tamil Sangam.
  12. 1 2 Rajasingham, K. T. "Chapter 24: Tamil militancy - a manifestation". Sri Lanka: The Untold Story.
  13. Feith, David (2013). "Chapter 10: Separatism in Sri Lanka". In Cabestan, Jean-Pierre; Pavković, Aleksandar. Secessionism and Separatism in Europe and Asia: To Have a State of One's Own. Routledge. p. 169. ISBN   978-0-415-66774-6.
  14. Coomaraswamy, Radhika; Perera-Rajasingham, Nimanthi (2009). "Chapter 6 - Being Tamil in a Different Way: A Feminist Critique of the Tamil Nation". In Cheran, R. Pathways of Dissent: Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka. Sage Publications. p. 121. ISBN   978-81-321-0222-9.
  15. "Colombo remembers Alfred Duraiappa, setting hands of the clock backwards". TamilNet . 30 July 2009.
  16. "Now Daya Master in Alfi's party!". Ceylon Today . 25 June 2013. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015.
  17. Nakkawita, Wijitha (15 February 2009). "Prabhakaran's victims: From Alfred Duraiappah to babes at Visuamadu". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka) . Archived from the original on 16 February 2015.
  18. Ferdinando, Shamindra (13 October 2010). "Who could have shot Duraiappah at Varadaraja Perumal temple, Ponnalai?". The Island (Sri Lanka) .
  19. Perera, Janaka (26 July 2008). "Mayor's murder at Vishnu temple". Asian Tribune .
  20. Hoole, Rajan; Thiranagama, Rajini (January 2001). "Chapter 2 – Antecedents of July 1983 and the Foundations of Impunity". Sri Lanka: the arrogance of power : myths, decadence & murder. University Teachers for Human Rights. pp. 11, 46. ISBN   978-955-9447-04-7.
  21. Sabaratnam, T. "Chpaper 8: First Military Operation". Pirapaharan. Ilankai Tamil Sangam.
  22. "27 July 1975". Peace and Conflict Timeline. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015.
  23. Athas, Iqbal (1 August 1999). "The Situation Report". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) .
  24. Rajasingham, K. T. "Chapter 25: War or peace?". Sri Lanka: The Untold Story.
  25. "Renovated Jaffna Stadium opened". TamilNet . 2 March 1998.