“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” — Isaac Asimov
(American author and Professor of Biochemistry – 4 October 1919 to 6 April 1992)
Two years ago (29/11/2010), Mr Subramaniam Sivanayagam known as ‘Iyah’, editor of “Hot Spring”, “Tamil Nation” and “Saturday Review”, passed away.
Mr Sivanayagam worked for the ‘Ceylon Daily News’, the ‘Daily Mirror’, J. Walter Thompson and the Ceylon Tourist Board. Soon after the ‘Saturday Review” was banned by the government Mr. Sivanayagam 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” and while in France he underwent a heart operation. Due to his friends’ encouragement Mr Sivanayaragam move to United Kingdom and continued to publish the popular “Hot Spring” magazine.
Mr Sivanayaragam published two books, “The Pen and the Gun” & “Sri Lanka – Witness to History” – A journalist’s Memoirs 1930 – 2004 which contain his popular articles and writings, expressing his experiences as a journalist and the effects of politics in Sri Lanka. In 1987 he published “Sri Lanka : 10 years of Jayewardene Rule”.
As his illness worsened, he decided to live with his family and he returned to Colombo in 2005. He passed away on 29 November 2010, leaving his wife, two daughters, grandchildren and his son-in-law.
This courageous popular journalist is remembered for his life’s work, his contribution to his people.
On the 2nd death anniversary of Mr Sivanayagam, we, the Tamil Centre for Human Rights – TCHR, along with many other solidarity organisations renew our expressions of sympathy to his wife, daughters and other family members.
For Iyah (Mr) Sivanayagam
A Lovely soul has passed today
from Earth to the next place.
Full of humour, light an
of life, of laughter – of people in
the broadest sense – humanity –
and His people.
Tireless journalist – writer of truth
I feel limp with sorrow
like a leaf without water
but salt water flows from my eyes
in a wellspring of grief.
This history – this path of an
oppressed people – trod by
many – drew all of us together
attempting to speak out and
expose the injustice.
What a herculean task
Over the decades.
History will recognise his feat.
— Deirdre McConnell, 30 November 2010
The Sunday Leader
The Sunday Leader 20 February 2005 – Subramaniam Sivanayagam, born in Jaffna, Ceylon in 1930 during British colonial rule in Jaffna had his secondary education at Kokuvil Hindu College and Jaffna College, Vaddukoddai. In Colombo, he had worked on the editorial staff of the Ceylon Daily News and the Ceylon Daily Mirror. He was founder editor of the Jaffna based Saturday Review. While in India in 1986, he edited the fortnightly Tamil Nation. In Paris in 1994 he edited the newly launched monthly journal, Hot Spring which later shifted base to London (Excerpt)