2 October, 2020

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Celebrating A Life Well Served

By Mithila Narendran –

Mithila Narendran

Duty, reliability, honour, dignity, respect: these are all qualities that my father Late Dr Rajasingham Narendran not only held in high esteem, but practised every day during his time on this earth.

He was a serious intellectual and a firm believer in discipline but he could never resist the opportunity to have a laugh and unwind with friends and loved ones. My fondest memories are of him sitting on his armchair in his sarong, bare-bodied with a can of beer and singing Carnatic ‘Thaa Tha Nithathani’, Sinhala and Tamil Baila songs ‘Suraangani’ and ‘Chinna Maamiye’ to his grand nieces and dogs.

He saw a lot during his lifetime: a country ravaged by war and ethnic hate fuelled and fanned by career politicians, an uncertain world with the Cold War, the Oil Crisis, and the Arab Spring, the cold-blooded murder of his mother and younger brother at the hands of those who were meant to keep the peace, all understandably influencing his views on the post-war world in which he raised a family.

A prolific author, writing was more than just a passion, it was in his blood. He churned out countless articles all focussing on Sri Lanka – his Home despite his harrowing experiences during the 1958, 1977 and 1983 riots – and his capacity for intellectual thought saw him being invited to join numerous reconciliation and rehabilitation endeavours by the Government of Sri Lanka.

Despite his traumatic experiences, he loved nothing more than exploring opportunities in which he could contribute to a nation that he loved and saw so much potential in. His vision for a prosperous and united Sri Lanka saw him draw up plans for an agricultural and dairy industry that would rival New Zealand and the Middle East where he worked for most of his adult life.

One of those ambitious plans was a collaborative Village Development Project in Batticaloa together with the Eelapatheeswarar Temple, London. In March 2016, he was appointed Project Consultant by the Temple Board to oversee the entire project.

Since then, he spent most of his waking hours strategizing, planning and implementing his ideas for elevating the socio-economic profile of two low-income villages by empowering the people to ensure sustainable development. Once completed, the villages will have a fully-functioning private school, 4-acre sports stadium, cabana-style hotel, IT hub, sewing centre, children’s park and an industrial estate comprising small-scale local industries such as pottery, ornaments, mats, brooms,aquarium fish-keeping etc.

A naturally empathic person, he began this project by fulfilling the desires of the villagers by building Ganesha and Pechi Amman temples. The next phase provided easy access to drinking water via bore wells to villagers who previously had to walk miles to pump water for daily use.

Sadly, my father did not live to see his plans come to fruition. In the wake of his passing, the people of the villages flocked together to build a memorial to honour a man they called the ‘Father of their Villages’.

Empathic, loving and determined, my father was all these things and more. His statue now keeps watch protecting his villages as their guardian for eternity.

*Pulayaveli and Thambanamveliveli villages in Chengaladi, Batticaloa unveiled the statue of Late Dr Rajasingham Narendran in the village of Pulayaveli on 20 (Sunday) May 2018 attended by religious dignitaries, politicians and officials. Late Dr Narendran’s daughter Mithila Narendran reflects her thoughts following the event

Village Road entrance

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Latest comments

  • 16
    2

    It is really refreshing to read stories like this. Thank you for that Ms. Mithila Narendran. I hope you continue your fathers work and take it even further one day.

  • 14
    2

    Thank you Mithila for sharing this memorial with us. I miss him very much on CT. Like you said, he was a loving father – not just to you but to all of us, regardless of ethnicity and religion.

    I hope many more children are born in Sri Lanka who embody the qualities your late father exhibited.

    May he attain moksha.

  • 13
    1

    RIP Dr. Narendran. Mithila you can take strength from the life of your late father who had experienced so much during his lifetime. No doubt you will miss him a lot.

  • 9
    1

    Not only for the poor he was the light to his own family and friends. Miss you Naren Anna. May you rest in peace. Paksho (Dr Deborah Pakshmala Gnanarajah

    • 0
      1

      I didn’t know this girl was the daughter of Dr Rajasingham Narendran.

      I know your Dad Dr Narendran very well. He was a great Gentleman and I awfully sorry to hear that he has passed away.

      [Edited out]

  • 9
    2

    Unveiling a statue of Dr.Naren in far off Chenkalady[ Batticaloa District] by the village folk over there, in gratitude for the work he has done, with his own funds is ample testimony of the fact that Dr.Naren was truly a Humane person.
    Sit tua terra levis[ A Roman epitaph ].
    May the earth rest lightly upon you Dr.Naren.

  • 10
    2

    Thank you Mithlia for this article. In fact I missed his articles and enlightened comments and I didn’t know he had passed away. Wishing that his unfulfilled dreams would be realised. May his dreams come through.

    I read in the article that he lost his mother and brother in the most cruelest way, but surprisingly his writing never showed any bitterness. May his soul rest in peace

  • 9
    0

    Dr. Narendran, always polite, gentle and articulate, a great human being.

  • 3
    9

    The essay is not quoting anything as Naren’s achievement, because there is nothing.
    The Paramilitary agent Naren did his best to justify Old King by taking the trip arranged by Old for Naren, after war was concluded in 2009. Naren, until his death, did all were against Tamils. The best of Naren came out when Sampanthar visited Paravipanchan army Camp. The camp commander and ministers said it was approved visit. Naren joined Udaya Gammanpila on demanding Sampanthar to be imprisoned under PTA for breaking the army barrier and entertaining the Camp. Their argument was no Opposition Leader can ever visit an army camp. He insisted that Sampanthar is a terrorist & he had entered the camp. For Naren, Douge was a pious Gandhian Satyagrahi, but Sampanthar Aiya was a terrorist who broke into Paravipaanchan Camp. Army still has not released the people’s lands it is occupying. Naren has written in CT he has been working with army to have lands released for his friends and relatives.
    Naren’s other biggest achievement in CT is Swaminathan’s Iron Cage propaganda. TNA’s case is still not finished though government gave up on 65,000 houses to carry out its Sinhala Colonization in North. Swaminathan would have been another Mahendran if he had swindled that amount of money for his bosses. But TNA had saved Sawamynathan on that. Morotuwa University, the nation’s most popular engineering faculty’s, Architectural Department had made its un-commissioned, voluntary report on the defectiveness of the Iron Cages. Naren was only veterinary. Pages and pages of Naren’s rubbish arguments for the Iron Cages are all over in CT.
    “Kathai Kadda Silapeer Piranthuviddal Kanagi Vazhvilum Kazhankamundu, Kaapaara silapeer Iruththuviddal Kalvarkal vaazhvilum niyamundu.” If there is some one to tell stories, even Paththini Deviyo is a shameful prostitute. If there are advocates come forward, thieves lives are the glorious one. “

    • 7
      1

      Malaiyuran

      From which part of the world or planet are you writing your comment?

      Dr Narendran expresses his broad based opinion and he never showed hatred on any matters.

      He will argue with facts and you should have engaged with him to know him without spinning your hatred for him being open and honest.

      • 2
        7

        Long Time no see Karaiyuran. How are you man?(I assume you the original one using this name in CT).

        It is very impressive in your new Avathar, CT has corrected your filth and have taught you clean and shining English.

        But until his death, Naren lived for greeds with his sins. This eulogy only part of it, by his family. I never came to know he doing any honest service in East, though he and his acolytes claimed it. It is openly clear why he, who lived in North, but moved to East last two years to do his service. One would be EPDP’s down fall in the last few elections?

        • 6
          1

          Creative spins in that senses sink below human decency.

          Glad to know you know more Karaiyurans. Please stop making dopey comments.
          Your hate eulogy of the dead must be something inherently bestowed on you by the Almighty.

          Let God (if there is one) redeem you to achieve eternal piece.

    • 4
      0

      Dear Mallaiyuran
      Kindly read this tribute by his brother also may help you
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/farewell-to-my-dear-brother-dr-narendran/

      Kindly do the needful which is to apologise to his family please. Our journey starts here as a Nation of lost souls seeking justice which is within us to give. Please refrain from offensive statements towards any fellow men. Express your views and share your thoughts and ask questions indeed is your right but do it nicely please. I do not know this Gentleman but I am moved by his journey and grateful his family shared with us all. I have a lot to learn from Late Mr Naren for sure. Thank you.

    • 2
      0

      mallaruiyan

      are you mad.don’t slander a gentleman like this without providing any evidence of what you say about sampanthan and the 65000 houses.It is not correct for you to do that when he is not living any more to defend himself.Why did you not bring it up when he was living.Then he would have immediately responded to you.Coward that you are you do the slandering only after his death that too without publishing a shred of evidence.From my extensive comments with him i found him to be a person who loved his country,loved his people the tamils and always wanted to do something for the country and the tamils.I’am glad he has left behind such a beautiful daughter which is fitting to a beautiful man inside and out.

      He was a towering intellectual and compare his comments with yours you will realise the vast gap in IQ between you two.

  • 8
    1

    He was passionate about things he cared about …….. always expressed his views with gentleness and decency

    Miss his in the forum.

  • 7
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    I. am previlaged to be an undergraduate when he was a lecturer at the faculty of veterinary medicine during 1971. He is very dedicated and well disciplined. May his soul Rest In Peace.

  • 7
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    I am previlaged to be an ungraduate at faculty of veterinary medicine Peradeniya Srilanka during 1971 when he was lecturing me. He is dedicated and disciplined.
    May his soul Rest In Peace.

  • 6
    1

    Dr.RN deserved the recognition he got from the villagers. I too enjoyed reading his comments in the CT while we both used to think parallel though his experiences are unique. Hope you too could follow the same as your father.

  • 6
    1

    Having known him as fellow student in the Veterinary Faculty in the 1960s and being aware of his many social activities in recent years, I am glad to endorse all that Mithila has written about her father. With his education and his vision, his demise is a great loss at a time when the North and East is desperately trying to re-build. I hope that the “good” people of these areas will be inspired by his example.

  • 5
    0

    I remember his name, certainly because his contribution on CT. I remember it well and without any negativity.That means he had been a decent contributor. Sad for his demise. My sincere condolences for the family.
    Helasingha.

  • 5
    1

    Hay Mullaiyuran
    Have you got anything good to say about anybody or anything? You should commit suicide you effing idiot

  • 6
    0

    Dr Narendran’s comments were wonderfully balanced. I used to respond, and he got to know me. It never got to the stage of writing e-mails to each other.
    .
    He told me quite a few things about himself. For instance that he started his schooling at Uva College, Badulla. So, I told him that the Principal of the school in his time, Gerald de Alwis is in Temple Road, Colombo 3
    .
    His strategy was to appeal to the humanity present in every person on the planet, but more urgently, on this island.

  • 0
    3

    Someone competing with Dr Sara Dissanayake for the Colombo Telegraph’s beauty pageant has arrived.

    No bad at all. I know the beauty of Tamil girls all too well from my experiences on and off the battlefield when I was stationed in the Jaffna peninsula.

  • 5
    0

    The country belongs to all of us and our countries history is all about her subjects and what they did as deeds in their life. Thank you for sharing such an inspirational story should energise all of us to come-forth and share all our life stories too with all our fellow countrymen. The current vacuum exist because Tamils/Sinhalese/Traitors/Martyrs/Patriots are all defined by the few on behalf of us all used to be at gun point and now with siting the consequence of such acts. Consequences the way they are because there has been “no risk analysts” in anything what we did then and what we continue to do now. There has been no public debate on even the methodologies adopted by the “provoker”s and the “responders” as to what they have learned too through their actions which has resulted in the carnage we have currently.
    Let us hope more of the stories from all the communities sharing their life journey from village to village..north to south…east to west should bring us all together without fear.

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