23 February, 2024


1ST DEATH ANNIVERSARY: A Courageous Journalist Sivanayagam

By Tamil Centre for Human Rights –

It was a year ago today, 29th November 2011 that Mr Subramaniam Sivanayagam known fondly to the diaspora as “Iyah”, editor of “Saturday Review”, “Tamil Nation” and “Hot Spring” passed away.

“It was very hard for all of us. It's still very hard. The anniversary of his death just passed, and every single one of his family members and friends, still, after all these years... it's unbelievable"

Mr Sivanayagam worked for the ‘Ceylon Daily News’, the ‘Daily Mirror’, J. Walter Thompson and the Ceylon Tourist Board. In 1981 he worked as the founder editor of the “Saturday Review”, a newspaper started by Tamil intellectuals, the first Jaffna English newspaper. As the ‘Saturday Review’ was banned by the government and they troubled Mr. Sivanayagam, he went to India and worked there for the “Tamil Information Centre” for a few years. Then along with his friends, he started an English fortnightly newspaper, “Tamil Nation”. While he was working for Tamil Nation, he was arrested by the Indian authorities under TADA and detained for a few years in India.

As soon as he was released from prison, he came to France, sought political asylum and lived in Paris for some years. While in Paris, he started publishing the monthly magazine “Hot Spring”. During his stay there, he had a heart attack and underwent an operation. As he was also suffering from diabetes, his friends in the United Kingdom encouraged him to move to London, where he could live closer to them and some of his relatives as well. In London, he continued to publish the popular “Hot Spring” magazine.

In London, UK he published two books, “Pen and the Gun” & “Sri Lanka – Witness to History” – A journalist’s Memoirs 1930 – 200) which contain his popular articles and writings, expressing his experiences as a journalist and the effects of politics in Sri Lanka. Also in 1987 he published “Sri Lanka : 10 years of Jayewardene Rule”.

As his illness got worse, he decided to live with his family and moved to Colombo in 2005. Mr Sivanayagam passed away on 29 November 2010, leaving his wife, two daughters, grandchildren and his son-in-law. May this courageous popular journalist who contributed his life to his people, rest in peace!

On the 1st death anniversary of Mr Sivanayagam, we, the Tamil Centre for Human Rights – TCHR, along with many other International Human Rights organisations renew our expressions of sympathy to his wife, daughters and other family members.

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Latest comments

  • 0

    is this a pro LTTE website?
    Just because a man is a Tamil does not make him a courageous journalist if he is on the wrong side of people murdering Sinhalese civilians.

    • 0

      We though you have learned something within these 3 years.

      Do you know how you were discriminated by this racist government! shall I go into detail.

      Because you write something against Sivanayagam, doesnt mean that this dictotiral government will look after you.

      Can you send a single prove that Sivanayagam has justified ny killing or mass killing of Singhalese at anytime.

      Because someone worked for their community doesnt mean that he pro-LTTE.

      Do you know his last days of life in UK?

      Do you know why HOT SPRING was closed down.

      Do you have any personal anger on Sivanayaram.

      Dont talk bullshit.

  • 0

    Kasie chetty

    Unless otherwise you are jealous of Sivanayagam, you are talking about wrong person.

    Go into his history.

    Do you know that he died in Colombo and his funeral was attend by 60% singhalese from journalist community in Colombo.

    Do you think they dont know about him

    Why you are unnecessary insult an innocent man who led a peaceful life with his own thought and task

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