13 July, 2024


Farewell To My Dear Brother Dr Narendran

By Rajasingham Jayadevan

Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

One day we all will depart!

On a journey free of cost!!

Don’t worry about seat reservation, it is confirmed.

The flight is always on time.

Our good deeds will be our luggage.

Humanity will be our passport

Love is our visa

Make sure we do our best to travel to heaven in business class. ~ Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, 11th President of India

Yes, animals have feelings, and they can also experience joy and sorrow, just like us. I start with my salutation to Simba, the German Rottweiler- a good-natured and obedient dog, genial in its faith to his master – my late brother Dr. Rajasingham Narendran and his family members.

Simba – The great

It took a while for me -the visiting brother- to befriend Simba. I had to take the vigilant step to bribe him with mutton curry pieces and bones from my plate despite vigorous protests from my brother’s children and his daughter in law. He soon became a jolly good friend of mine, sleeping on my lap at times of distress. It is worthy to mention a few of his inexplicable responses towards my brother.

When I was in Sri Lanka with my eldest sister from Canada in October 2016, my brother walked down a few stairs to the front garden and returned to rest on the first step. I went to his rescue when he struggled to rise up. Sensing his master’s strain, Simba too jumped forward and gave me a threatening roar for me to step back. Next, was his own manoeuvrings when he placed his right front foot across my brothers lap and raised him from below the back with the sheer strength of his head and neck for him to stand up and walk back into the house.  It was an unimaginable and overemotional experience for us.

Brother’s death brought the Pulayaveli Village to a halt and Batticaloa MP’s profound tribute in Tamil soon after his heath

Then the day before my brother’s death (1/9/17), whilst I was on the phone with him around 2.00pm (UK time), Simba unusually jumped onto my brothers bed and was resting his head on his lap. My brother was stunned and said: ‘I do not know why Simba is behaving like this? He never did this before’. The third encounter was experienced by the youngest son of my brother Mayan, when Simba was restless, barking and running around my brother when his soul was departing.

Simba’s senses were so prevailing beyond the six sensed human brain. Dr Narendran – a passionate veterinarian had his best affection and farewell from his much loved Simba – leave aside his loving and wholehearted family, relatives and friends.

Our parental connections

Born on 31 May 1946, Dr Narendran is the eldest of the seven siblings, with an eleven year span between him and the youngest. I am the sixth with the age width of nine years.  My father was the descendant of well-known Penang (Brown) Kathiravelu and Gate Mudaliyar Nicholas and my mother was from a much humble Samuel stock. Brown Road in Jaffna is a representation of Brown (Penang) Kathiravelu.

My father’s adamant stand towards my mother to become a Hindu immediately after their marriage led to our family becoming Hindus from that day. My father was a bright intellect and was not a possessive character. He was not a futurist in familial sense but a thinker far beyond the normal day to day life. My eldest brother enjoyed the best of my father’s early years and inherited wealth of his knowledge and exposure to his intellectual engagements and my mother’s patience and hardworking life. He – my Anna (brother), was everything for all of us until his death.

His school days

When my father was serving in the Customs as Divisional Preventive Officer with occasional transfers, my brother too was moving around. His school life started from Badulla and moved to Kurunagala to be settled in Colombo at St Peters College and then Hindu College, Ratmalana. He was one of the brightest and was the Senior Prefect at Hindu College, Ratmalana. He won many awards for his oratory skills and the highest was the award for his speech on Swami Vivekananda- the speech he eloquently delivered at the Hindu College Annual Prize day at Saraswathy Hall, Bambalapitiya in 1966 – the Chief Guest was the Minister of Education J R Jayawardena. His appeal to the Education Minister for a day off for both Bambalapitiya and Ratmalana wings of the school, the following Monday, was granted instantly by JRJ amidst euphoric applause from the audience.

Higher education and work

He entered Peradeniya University in and around 1966 to do Veterinary Science. He recalls how our mother felt when he was leaving the house to the University. ‘The first bird is leaving the family nest’ was her emotional comment that he recalled many times with me. We had to leave Colombo to Jaffna under compelling circumstances in 1969. My brother held his breath to stay at the University without being emotionally carried away, for the right reasons.  As the eldest, he thought about his long term responsibilities and his education was important to give the much needed financial strength to us all.  He determinedly accomplished his wish. After his finals, he was appointed as Assistant Lecturer.

He was the student leader of the Tamil Union of the Peradenia University and played an important role to construct the Shree Kurunchi Kumaran Hindu temple in Peradenia. He was an overwhelming, no nonsense figure and was able to manage the disruptive internecine conflicts responsibly and hold the official Kumbabhishegam (opening ceremony) with much glamour and publicity.  

He got married in 1971 and went on to do his PhD at University of Guelph, Canada. He returned from Canada in 1976 to serve as Senior Lecturer at Peradeniya University. I too moved to Kandy to be with my brother to pursue my studies in Accountancy. My second brother Late Manoharan was in his final year pursuing his degree in Agriculture at the Peradeniya University. He too spent much of his time with us.

Victims of the 1977 Anti-Tamil violence

Dr Narendran – fluent in all three languages, enjoyed the opportunity to start his family life on return from Canada in a village not far away from Pilimatalawa, where the Theological College is based. Our maternal uncle Late Rev. Dr. D. J Kanagaratnam was a resident lecturer at the college. My brother rented a newly built hill-top house. It was a paradise home with beautiful surroundings of paddy fields, the river (Nanu Oya), mountains around and fruity trees in abundance. The villagers were very friendly and interacted very well with us.   

1977 was the year democracy was facing its testing times in Sri Lanka. A polarised parliament with the majority Sinhala United National Party (UNP) headed by J R Jayawardena was elected with two thirds majority to govern, with the separatist  Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) becoming the main opposition party. The frenzied election campaign was hate driven and further polarised the communities.  The TULF presiding over the opposition in the parliament was anathema for the extremists Sinhalese, whom exuberated the tense nationalist feelings that resulted in the anti-Tamil violence throughout the country.

My brother had gone to University on the fateful day in July 1977, when a group of men about 25 headed by the local thug Jayasinghe invaded his house. I, and my sister in law Mrs Narendran carrying her little son Murali had to run through the back door and we jumped over the deep and wide land-divide to save our lives. How we managed to jump, still puzzles me. Must be Gods will! It was a harrowing experience. Even the local Grama Sevaka would not accommodate us, fearing reprisal from the hoodlums. The hoodlums ransacked and looted the house. When reaching their hands on the jewellery of my sister in law, in particular her expensive wedding chain (Thali), they abandoned their looting spree and went on the merrymaking spectacle of shouting ‘Jayaweva! Jayaweva!! (Victory! Victory!!)’ and walked away.

On hearing the news, our deeply distressed maternal uncle Late Rev Kanagaratnam rushed to the scene in his cassock from his lecture room, and he was then joined by my brothers Dr Narendran and late Monharan to rescue us. We were taken to our uncle’s residence at Theological College. On hearing the attack, Dr Narendran’s passionate students (both Sinhalese and Tamils) at the university, rushed to see him. My brother advocated defiance and took the position to return to the looted house. The loyal students too offered their help to provide security against any further violence from the hoodlums.

Whilst all three brothers and a dozen of students were at the looted and damaged house, a much bigger group of thugs (over one hundred) led by the very local thug Jayasinghe gathered to continue with their spree. They were overwhelming and we had to run for our lives. A Tamil student was caught and severely beaten and all the others had to run hither and thither through the difficult terrains to reach our uncles house at the Theological College.

The frenzy mob did not end their mayhem there. They assembled at the Buddhist vihara on a mountain top facing the Theological College to continue with their bender in the church premises. The timely arrival of Rev Luxman Wickramasinghe – Bishop of Kurunagala, on the request of the Principal of the Theological College, brought an end to the crisis. A contingent of army arrived at the scene on his request and rounded up the hoodlums in a military operation and took them away in a bus load to the army camp.

We were then taken to the newly set up St Sylvester College (Katugastota) refugee camp where we stayed for about two weeks.

Life in the St Sylvester College (Katugastota) refugee camp

We were the first arrival at the camp, followed by the arrival of over thousand refugees affected by the racial mayhem. Dr Narendran, with his down to earth engagement evolved as the leader and managed the camp under compelling circumstances with our assistance. At the age of 31, he co-ordinated with the army, police and the social network to bring food provisions and medical assistance for the refugees and ensured orderly conduct of distraught victims. He was a towering figure for everyone.

The camp was soon wound up, and his role in facilitating the return of the refugees to their homes or to the places they chose was a laudable experience.

Throughout, he was a passionate commander in chief, without the attire of a commander.

Over a week in Pilimatalawa

We returned to Pilimatalawa and stayed there for over a week.  My brother established contacts with the Superintendent of Police, Kandy.  On hearing my brothers’ ordeal, he facilitated a truck load of army to undertake house to house searches in the village to recover the looted goods. My brother went with the army and recovered almost 75% of the goods including the chicken and goats looted from his house. The whole experience showed how my decorous brother earned the reputation at his young age. The army was praiseworthy and the soldiers did their job with true conscience without any partisan feelings.

Retuning to Jaffna

We decided to return by train to Jaffna soon after. On arrival, we heard the local gossip from our mother that my brother Narendran’s foot had been severed away by the yobs in Kandy. It was a big relief for her and our other siblings and relatives to see him intact.

On our return, the circumstance facilitated us to engage in refugee rehabilitation activities. My two brothers got heavily involved in the refugee rehabilitation work. They travelled to Vanni, Vavuniya, and even Vadamaratchi to help the stranded and helpless refugees. Finding shelters and relief provisions for them was their innermost yearns. In association with the noble visionary K C Nythiyanantha – the former GCSU leader, they did their part for the distraught refugees.

Hopelessness was saturating me. Being the victim of the hurtful anti-Tamil Standardisation Policy of the government, that prevented me from proceeding with my higher studies through a University, and then the anti-Tamil riots that strained me from furthering my studies in accountancy, succumbed me to the feverish Tamil militancy that was progressing at a faster space.  The insensitive, hate manoeuvrings and un-accommodative extremism of the government laid the foundation for the Tamil militancy to turn into a violent struggle. As a humanist and a victim, I too felt enraged when my fellow school mates were brutally assaulted and tortured by the state forces- some of them for reasons unjustifiable.

Sansoni Commission

The government appointed Sansoni Commission to investigate the 1977 anti-Tamil violence, which held its first session in Jaffna library. My brother was one of the first few witnesses to give evidence of their experiences that received glaring publicity in the media. All three brothers worked round the clock to reach the victims of the 1977 riots to give evidence before Justice Sansoni.

Returning to Guelph

On hearing the troubles faced by my brother, University of Guelph (Canada) invited him to join them. He made the reluctant decision under compelling circumstances to leave Sri Lanka in 1978. He was an unhappy man to be further away from Sri Lanka.

He was looking for opportunities closer to Sri Lanka and joined the King Faisal University of Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia as Associate Professor in Veterinary Science in September 1980 – at the time I moved to the United Kingdom to further my studies.

After serving a few years in King Faisal University, he joined a leading agrarian company in Saudi Arabia and he continued to work until his retirement in 2015. His employment contact facilitated reasonable holidays and he made use of them to travel to Sri Lanka to be with his family.

1983 Anti-Tamil Violence

My brother’s eldest son Murali was the victim of the racial violence. The house of his aunt with whom he was residing for studies in Wellawatte was looted and the residents driven away by the Sinhalese mobs. My brother decided to send his wife and children to Kodaikanal in India. 

During the peak of violence, our uncle Rev D J Kanagaratnam was arrested by the police together with Fr Singarajah and Fr Sinnarasa of the Catholic Diocese. When my uncle was arrested by the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Vavuniya, he worriedly queried the reasons for his arrest. The SP said: ‘there no law in this country now and if I want I can just bump you off’.

Rev D J Kanagaratnam was soon released from detention on the intervention of President J R Jayawardena, following substantial pressure being put on him by my brother and father through my paternal uncle R Gunasingham, who was serving as Secretary to the President.

Our innocent mother and brother killed by the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF)

With the wider vision, my brother built an admirable house in Navatkuli, Jaffna in 1980 with the utopian vision to establish a strong family base to overcome our painful past and to have a peaceful life. The escalating military confrontations with the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) shattered his hopes. In the moment of insanity of violence against innocent civilians, both our innocent mother and brother were gunned down by the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) on 16 October 1987. Their killing was a well- documented case of war crimes but the constrained world politics refused to consider even a discussion on the blatant violation.

It was harrowing experience for my brother to break through barriers of the ravaging war to witness the decomposed bodies of our dear ones and the gardener.  He demanded that I should not join him to avoid complications due to my radical past and mindset. As a result, I decided to fly to India to be with my father and sister.

His experience to cremate the decomposed maggot infested bodies was an experience that no one should encounter in life. Whilst he was disposing the remains, a visiting IPKF soldier behaved in a threatening manner. He had to restrain because of the presence of the Sri Lankan army helping my brother to dispose the bodies. The petty minded officer asked my brother why he was disposing the body of our brother with the wristwatch on his hand. My brother’s response was: ‘My brother is more important to me than the wristwatch and if you want, remove it yourself’.

In my article ‘A painful homage to our dear ones’ with the contribution of my brother widely published five years ago, I expressed the collective feelings of our family:

‘Our mother Florence Ariamalar, brother Manoharan and the gardener Rasiah were killed by the IPKF on the morning of 16th October’1987. Their encounter and the painful experience of my brother Dr R Narendran to dispose the decaying bodies were aptly reflected in his ‘Open letter to the Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’and the memories of their deaths are irreconcilable and painful for us to live with.

‘We as a family were very shocked at the meaningless murders of our mother, brother and the gardener, and the callous manner their bodies were left to rot for ten days.  My brother-Dr. Narendran-  until his death was not been able to cry for them because of what he saw on the 10th day after their deaths.  He was beyond crying, because what he saw was beyond normal human responses. 

‘For those of us living, the memory of our loved ones and the manner in which they died are a constant daily memory lurking in the background over the past twenty five years (thirty years this year).  This memory has permitted us to empathize with those who have suffered similarly or worse in the subsequent years.  The innocence (almost to a fault !),intelligence, culture, simplicity, lack of an ego and selfishness, courage, generosity, ability to forgive, fortitude in the face of adversity and character to keep her equanimity in the face of immense problems, were characteristics that stood out in our mother.  She gave her love and effort without expecting anything in return. 

‘Her love was tangible but never proclaimed. She was a great human, a caring daughter, an exemplary wife and a mother who has left her indelible stamp on us. She was not the epitome of perfectness, but was quite near it. She showed us by example how to be moral humans and defined for us what is right and what is wrong. She was a mother who let our father define for us the larger/higher aspirations in life, transcending the mundane. She would have been a ‘great’ grandmother too. She has been our example in the past twenty five (thirty now) years. She has stood us in good stead in both her life and death.

‘Our late brother Manoharan was meticulous in what he did and had a natural empathy for those in need.  His interest in agriculture was immense and his aspirations centered on it.  We as a family had come to depend on him for many things in our affairs.  He was a brother, who has left a large void in our lives and a man of much potential the Tamil community and Sri Lanka lost. We wish he had lived long enough to prove his worth. Our late brother’s two children, who were less than three years old at the time of his murder, are young adults now and the tragedy in their lives has made them wholesome and resilient human beings. They have become individuals we are proud of.  We wish they had the time to know him as a father and a man.

‘Our sister-in-law has faced up to this tragedy and subsequent challenges with fortitude and today, finds much joy in what her children have become.  We have seen the best and the worst in people.  We have learned the best and the worst are not limited to any grouping of people and that these labels describe what manifests from us, as individuals, under certain circumstances.

‘We have faced many serious problems in subsequent years and have dealt with them in a manner, we do not regret.   Time heals, though memories do not die. Memories continue to teach us lessons and guide us through life as it unfolds. The next generation is taking over the baton from us now and I am sure they will carry this story and the associated memories to the generations that follow them. It is a lesson learned that should remain with what is becoming a much larger family for as long as it can. It is yet a pleasure to hear those who knew our mother and brother in life talk good of them, not in platitudes, but out of genuine appreciation. Theirs was a life worthily lived’…….

Lokh Sabah election 1977

His poignant open letter to the Prime Minister of India during the general election and published in the Indian Express, caused considerable consternation for the Prime Minister  Rajiv Gandhi.

This is the extract of what the eloquent former editor of Saturday Review S Sivanayagam said in his personal note to my brother on reading his Open Letter published in the Indian Express. The letter was copied to me by my brother with the stressing note ‘For Your Eyes Only’ and it is now opportune to reveal the introductory comments herein after 28 years.

‘ Dear Dr Narendran

‘I am sitting down to write immediately after reading the ‘Open Letter to PM from a Lankan Tamil’ in the INDIAN EXPRESS this morning. Please permit me to congratulate you – not on one, but several counts. It was a very telling letter, expressed in controlled anguish; it was courageous act, and a hammer blow on behalf of Eelam Tamil opinion; and because it came from the heart, even Indian readers who were unable to understand our point of view vis-a-vis IPKF and the blundering jackasses in Delhi, caused by a false sense of patriotism are bound to see our feelings in new light’……..

My engagement with my brother to expose the brutal death of our dear ones was so intense and interactive in the constrained media and telecommunication age. He was a towering figure at his young age to deal with from the remote Saudi, at the time of my declining health after our dear ones deaths.

Passion for Sri Lanka

My brother was forthright in his views and never feared to comment on any issues, regardless of the person’s political or social status. He did this in the interest of a united Sri Lanka at the time when moderation was overwhelmed by escalating rabid racism and violence.

His passion for Sri Lanka was such, he invested a large portion of his savings to establish a wood carving factory in Moratuwa in 1990/91, employing over 100 persons, mainly from the majority Sinhalese community. His private Agni Enterprises Ltd progressed to manufacture household furniture and was even able secure contracts to export. With the violent polarising politics escalating further with the Jayasekuru Military Operation of 1997-1999 to wrest control of Jaffna, the business too faced difficulties. He decided relinquish his hold in the company and management following threats of death from his staff. Apparently a group of men had warned ‘Sinhaya thanakola nevei Kanne’ (Lion does not eat grass). 

My captivity by the LTTE

My captivity by the LTTE for 62 days post Tusnami in 2005 is an adequately reported issue. It was testing time for my family members, relatives and all those associated with me. My brother took control of the situation and told everyone to stay quiet and he made strenuous efforts to know the facts about my fate following my disappearance in Vanni.

In fact, I visited the Nandavanam reception office of the LTTE in Killinochi a few days before my captivity with my brother Dr Narendran and my friend A K Vivekananthan before my brother’s departure to Saudi Arabia. During the visit, we had a meeting with the unknown Nediayavan. It was not a healthy meeting as he was found gloating with the power of LTTE rule and saying all and sundry about their glorifying crusade. My brother raised issues of how his house in Navatkuli was run down by the LTTE during their forceful occupation and valuable historical books and records of our father were looted by them.

He also advised about the need for broader political approach in LTTE’s dealings. When the issue of proscription of the LTTE in the West were raised, the response from Nediyavan was ‘we (the LTTE) don’t care’ and that: ‘we know how to overcome it. Once we take control of all the Tamil diaspora organisations under our control the proscription will be meaningless’. My brothers’ very presence prevented them from holding me and Vivekananthan captives.

As my captivity was prolonging indefinitely, my brother took a unilateral decision to give an ultimatum to the LTTE through one of our known contacts. He demanded that either I should be killed or released within 48 hours and warned further that my captivity would be brought to the wider attention. His fearless stance at a critical time and the involvement of British government facilitated my release.

My brother too was saddened by the nauseating hate campaign of the Diaspora LTTE against me for revealing my story about my captivity to the media.

Post my captivity

My brother’s capacity to deal with any issues however complex is unimaginable.  His knowledge and experience was so vast that he had the ability to give insight on anything instantly. His strength was his thoughts for detail and his memory never failed him. He is a person of astonishing willpower.

Our brotherly relationship progressed in a scale only few bothers would have enjoyed. It was fulfilling experience. Since the end of war, we were meeting at least twice a year. It was my son who was advocating that we must meet regularly as we are reaching our critical ages in our lives.

He turned into a feature writer and wrote valuable and insightful articles on varied issues – much of it was socio-politics which were published regularly in the Colombo Telegraph and other media. Reader’s comments spoke of respect he earned for his far reaching insights on issues.

As he progressed to get involved in practical projects, he limited his contributions to comments on articles of others. These too were highly valued by the readers.

Since 2008, he had fairly good engagement with political leaders and made fearless representations. Soon after the war, he visited the refugee camps and witnessed the true conditions of the war victims and the refugees and he fearlessly expressed his views in the climate of point scoring, adversarial and partisan campaigns by the vested interests.

Agrarian Project

About five years ago, he promoted the idea of developing a massive agrarian and livestock investment in the East of Sri Lanka. In association with some determined, resourceful and foresighted friends, and with political support through his contacts, he was able to earmark acres of land in the East. A full scale project proposal was drafted and funding for the project was recognised. When it came to the commissioning of the project, the heavyweights of the Rajapakse regime demanded treasures under the table for the provision of the land for the project.

The very demand of bribe was anathema for my brother, even if it was a cent. He did not succumb to the dirty demand and walked away with deep hurt.

Involvement in the establishment of Albethnal Junior School

Following the war, the Sri Lankan army withdrew from the land I inherited from my maternal uncle late Rev D J Kanagaratnam in Navatkuli. My Brother took care of the land and secured it against forceful occupation by the rogue land grabbers in the north. Having considered various ambitious projects in the land, we settled for the establishment of the Albethnal Junior School in the land four years ago. He gave all the support to establish the school to ensure they were successful in their endeavours to educate the children.

Lions club

He was also a member of the Lions Club, and actively associated in the campaign to help the poor school going children.

Campaign against land grabbers

With the post war confusion and social degeneration, the war torn areas were terrains for land grabs by the organised criminals (Tamils) in the north. When the political campaigns of the Tamils in Sri Lanka and overseas were uncompromisingly focussed on the army withdrawal from occupied lands, consideration was not given to the well organised land grabs by the masterly criminals whom were fast-tracking their venture to grab lands without any resistance.

In Thenmaratchi and further down to Palai, Killinochi and Vavuniya, these organised criminals were rolling their criminal business without any hindrance. The land grabs were even taking place around the Northern Provincial Council complex without any response from the elected council members.

Dr Narendran determinedly and successfully spearheaded his campaign against the gang headed by the notorious nicknamed Pulavar and Late Paramalingam, despite threats of violence against him. In 2014, in my very presence, a major land grab was thwarted resulting in the arrest of the operatives. This very threatening and challenging encounter was claimed as his own achievement by the controversial former parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran (TNA) which I publicly countered from London on my return.

Socio-economic project in Batticaloa.

The post war peace in the Tamil Diaspora facilitated to extend the scope of the London based temple Eelapatheeswarar Aalayam, which I represent as a founder trustee. Feelers were put to the committee members to come out with ideas to help the war victims in Sri Lanka. Various ideas were floated and consensus was reached to undertake a much bigger landmark socio-economic village development project in Vanni.

Timely contact with Mr Amal Vyalendram MP (Batticaloa) shifted our focus to Batticaloa. Amal’s request was only funding for improvement of education facilities in the east and it evolved into a much bigger project for the people in the east. Our temple was able to initiate the Pulayaveli-Thambanamveli village development project after undertaking a fact finding mission.

My brother who had wider vision for Sri Lanka, naturally fitted for the project. He too was yearning for this lifelong. With sheer determination, he accomplished the two main stages of the project within one and half years. The two stages were provision of water resources for the villages, with six tube wells being successfully dug, and construction of a modern Hindu temple for the villagers to worship their beloved God Peychi Amman (Luxmi). The idea is for the temple to be the hub of the socio- economic project and my brother went into meticulous details in its construction.

I was in contact with him daily. There were occasions when we have spoken five to six times per day. That was the progressing intensity of our engagement for the past one and a half years. When I once did not phone in the morning, he was distressed and called me when I was at my office to enquire about my wellbeing.

Just two months before his death we ventured into the third stage of the project. In that, the sewing school and the IT centre were in the verge of functioning at the time of his death.

I conclude with my brother’s affectionate message of wises for my birthday on 30 December 2016:  ‘I have no words to describe how I feel.  May you be blessed,’ I will miss such heartfelt expressions in the future and his absence will be a huge vacuum in my remaining life.

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Latest comments

  • 18

    Dear Sir

    Thank you for this detailed biography of one of my favourite – nay the most favourite – commentator on this site. I am only in my early forties and did not know much about the 60s and 70s, until I started reading stories of anti-Tamil violence.

    I admired your brother for his big heart and ability to be objective and independent-minded. We have such few people in SL who have those qualities.

    His words had the ability to transcend the animosities that we have developed and heal the wounds of racial enmity. We need more like him, desperately.

    May he attain moksha/nirvana.

    Thank you

    • 16

      Rajasingham Jayadevan

      “Apparently a group of men had warned ‘Sinhaya thanakola nevei Kanne’ (Lion does not eat grass). “

      They were used to eating free rice from moon.

      • 5

        good one veddha.laughed till i nearly died.

      • 7

        The man writes an eloquent article on his dearly departed brother.

        A man who had made many contributions to Society (without regard to race/religion/politics) and here we have Native Vedda reducing the conversation to the gutter as always.

        There is a place and a time for everything.

        • 2


          I have had good, full filling, fruitful at times heated platonic exchanges with Dr. Rajasingham Narendran. Because of his health and time only in the last two years we stopped frequently exchanging e mail correspondence, however I used to send him rare research articles through e mails as well as Colombo Telegraph.

          We exchanged views in D B S Jeyaraj, Federalidea, …. and Colombo Telegraph. I agreed with him most of the time except on one issue, that was when he defended the war criminals Dr Gota, Dr Mahinda, …………………. He had lot of trust in the clan. He eventually changed his position on the clan’s behaviour and intentions. Finally about 3 or 4 years ago he was not only critical about the clan but scathing in his comments.

          He was attacked from all corners. On many occasions I have supported him. Its all in black and white.

          I have had great respect for him while he was alive and still have great respect for him after his death. He was a scholar and a teacher we never had not afraid say what he thought right.

          Please keep your sentiment to yourself. I know what I am doing.

          • 4

            Native Vedda@ Mr thank you for revealing this to us.

            I just as a commenter to CT joined with my comments but mostly, I thought he was not fully supporting RAJAKASHE murderous clan.

            May be just for one aspect Rajapakshe term to have put the end to elemination of terror within the island, RN may have added proxy thoughts.

            Ich wünsche Dir einen schönen Sonntag Native Veddo.

            Viele Grüsse aus Berlin.

            • 5


              Ich wünschte, du auch.
              Viele Grüsse aus mein lebensraum

              Dr took a position after seeing many years of destruction after destruction it is better to jaw jaw with the Sinhala/Buddhist establishment than war war with them. He thought the Tamils have to restrain themselves and show patience towards the state, government, in fact the ruling junta.

              He never saw the fascistic side of the clan until about 3 or 4 years ago. As far as I am concerned whoever is proud of their (Tamil, Sinhala, Muslim, ……) supremacy is a fascist. Simple as that.

              • 3

                Vielen Dank.

                – SO denke ich auch:

                For me those who stand by facists groups too are no better.

                We have a big problem in the lanken society. They cant think right.

                Media mafia woudl not allow them to change their perceptions easily.

                We are decades away from reaching our goals. Statements can be made calling the nation as LITERATE, but most of them are controlled by sorcery and astro tricks. Most become prey of Rajaakshees or the like extremists are the gulliable uneducated folks. Regardless of the race, you can find them in the country.

          • 3

            Oh so the fact that you “discussions” with this great man means you can bring the tone of this beautiful and poignant tribute by discussing politics?

            Let the brother mourn and we the readers will mourn with him this great loss.

    • 9

      Thank you very much Jayadevan for writing this piece. I admired your brother for his views/writings without knowing anything about him (in person). A remarkable life indeed.

    • 5

      Rajasingham Jayadevan ,

      RE: Farewell To My Dear Brother Dr Narendran

      Thank you for the biographical sketch and the calamities and challenges faced by your late brother, Dr. Narendran, and his efforts to deal with the injustices faced by him, his family and the larger Sri Lankan Tamil community. May your brother Dr. Narendran rest in rest in peace.

      This is the story of one family, your family and your brother. There are thousands of such stories in Sri Lanka since independence, for Tamils, Sinhala, Muslims, Malays and others. . All those stories must be told, so that future generations will know the calamities caused since independence by the post-independence Ceylon, Sri Lankan, “Leaders”.

      Amrasiri did not know Dr. Narendran personally, only through his articles and comments on the Colombo Telegraph, over the past 3 years..It was very clear from his articles and his comments, that he was educated, widely read and experienced, saw the whole picture of the issues facing Tamils and Sri Lanka. Your write up confirmed my suspicions.

      It is truly sad to see Dr. Narendran depart at an early age, in this modern day and age. Perhaps the stress associated with calamities and challenges he faced in life, courtesy of Sinhala and Tamil politicians since ‘Independence’ and the LTTE separatists along with the IPKF, , taxed his educated mind (knowledge+ wisdom +culture+ experience) and body.

      May Dr.. Narendran rest in peace and attain Nirvana.

    • 6

      Thank you. Dr RN was a great human being. He did not take any sides but just added his thoughts as we do them in terms of lankens issues.
      Dayan Jayathilaka, HLD from Australia and other senior men should learn to be unbiased by writing articles on lankens issues if they they want SRILANKENS to achieve peace. Dr RN fulfilled his party not belonging to any parties. But always being against to to extremists men like former rulers-Rajapakshes.

      May him attain to Nirvana !

    • 6

      With deep sorrow I wish to express my deepest sympathies to my closest friend Dr Narendran’s family and friends. Both of us worked together at Peradeniya University and also lived together at Hebro Estate Bungalow, Iriyagama. I was a best man at his wedding and my wife and I received Vasanthy and him when they arrived to Peradeniya after their wedding. Unfortunately, we couldn’t meet much after both of us moved out of Sri Lanka but he took me to Peradeniya Kurinchi Kumaran Temple. We have shared our life experiences a lot and he courageously fought for any cause which he was convinced to be correct..He was a great man of wisdom and powerful expression. May his gentle soul rest ip perfect peace.

  • 4


    Thanks for the details on Dr. Narendran’s life. I had some disagreements with–and had some criticism for– him on the way he appeared to be giving some positive comments about Mahinda Rajapaksa after the Mulliyavaikal massacre and about the internment camps in Vavuniya. But I think he later realized MR had been deceptive and I stopped my criticism of him.

    And I came to realize that in the face of varying accounts of the last stages of the war, the fact he was there to witness some things and provide a factual account was helpful.

    By the way, my memory of your captivity by the LTTE (from news reports of the time) is that it was Castro who did it. You imply it was Nediyavan. Were both involved, or were the news reports of that time wrong?

    • 6


      Nediyavan was part of Castro’s team and he was a total stranger for me at that time. There were three LTTE’ers involved in my captivity.

      1. Primarily it was Castro.
      2. He was influenced by the former international fundraising head N Seevaratnam who took control of Eelapatheeswarar Aalayam during my captivity.
      3. Then Anton Balasingham who took the position that I should not be released. With the threat of his arrest for my captivity, he relented and was released.

      • 3

        OK, Thanks for the info.

  • 4

    DR.Narendran Rajasingham and i have had very long chats through the comments section in various blogs including CT for a period of ten years at least.I loved to discourse with him because his IQ was so high that i got a lot of insights from him.It was like picking someones superior brain to get knowledge for me.He was very passionate for the tamils welfare but his intelligence was such that he could think laterally and realise the whole country should come up so that tamils also will benefit.So he was giving many points in his articles and comments for the whole country to improve but alas we are governed by the stupid and those ideas float off their back like water off a duck’s.On many matters we were on the same page except for one where he thought that if powers were not devolved to tamils by the sinhalese we should accept proposals to strengthen the center like a senate etc to safeguard the minorities.I differed and said if the sinhalese are stubborn not to devolve powers to the periphery tamils should be equally stubborn to not support any other proposals in lieu of that because the behaviour of cunning sinhalese politicians since independence is to take the tamils for a ride over and over again and going on another ride again is stupid and we will end up known as a stupid tamils of srilanka who have only paper qualifications.

    A man who was passionately fond of his country and his race.May god look after souls like his.

    Ps.One thing he said to me stuck in my mind and i realise why people with paper qualifications only are not upto the standard expected of them sometimes.he told me shankar,education is knowledge+wisdom+culture. so what he was trying to tell me is that the qualification you got from studying,experience etc would satisfy the knowledge component but if you lack in the other two components then you are not a fully educated person.You can see from this how a person with a high IQ and a person with a lower one will decide the definition of education.

  • 4

    Thanks for the detailed narration. Though I didn’t know him personally, from his comments I found that at least there was another intellectual of value being a critique of day to day affairs of corruption in the CT. It is a great loss. May his soul RIP.

  • 5

    Thank you Mr.Jayadevan for the contents of your informative farewell message to your dear brother Late Dr. Narendran.
    I really feel sorry to have not had an opportunity of meeting him when he was among us.
    But I had many opportunities to interact and exchange views with him on topics that came under focus in this forum.
    May he RIP.

  • 9

    This is a great article. It shows the courage of one man, who tirelessly struggled for the betterment of his fellow humans, a family in strife due to communalism and a minority community reacting in desperation to the injustices heaped on it. It is good for those of us who did not know of the background of Dr Narendran that his brother has written this article describing his sufferings and his efforts later to help the Tamils affected by the war. I am sure that the merits he acquired let Dr Narendran travel business class to his final destination and that he lives in the abode of God in oneness with Him..

  • 9

    It’s a beautiful and poignant tribute ……………. was very sad to read all the harrowing experiences you had to undergo.

    In the forum, your brother came across as a decent and good man.

    May he rest in peace.

  • 5

    Thank you Jeyadeavan for this piece.
    RIP Dr RN.
    This is what you wrote in April. I cant believe you have gone.
    Dear Anpu,

    Thanks for your concern

    I have been actively involved in a development project in a remote village on Batticaloa. This takes up most of my time.

    I thought it is. better to utilize the knowledge, skills and experience gathered over a lifetime. Further, with problems associated with age increasingly encroaching, I also felt there was an urgent need to do something solid and tangible. It is also a learning experience and a challenge.

    I also realized that I had said all I had to say over the years and it had made no difference. This was a sobering realization.

    Please keep in touch when possible.

    With best regards,

    R. Narendran
    Sent from my iPhon

    On Apr 21, 2017, Anpu wrote:

    I have not seen you for a while in CT. Hope you are keeping well.
    May be you are busy with constitution.
    Best wishes

  • 7

    Thank you RJ for your account of that nasty era, with murderers on both sides. We must vow that it will never be repeated in this nation. Deep reconciliation is possible if you like your mother can believe that the karmic cycle has ended as the price has been paid. Forgive all your offenders through the power that will descend on you, and you will walk in the liberty and freedom of that exchange transaction. May God’s blessings come as your inheritance, in its fullness.

  • 7

    Thanks Rajasingham Jayadevan for your illuminating biographical Farewell to your brother, Dr Rajasingham Narendran (RN), who I admired very much. He appeared a brother to me as well. I previously thought I knew him only through his articles, comments, name and his smiling photograph. He did hint otherwise on some occasions. We belong to the same generation, I was born exactly nine months before him. This is an important period after the end of the WWII and impending independence to the country. Our life time covers all important landmarks, both nationally and internationally. We both have studied at the University of Ceylon (Peradeniya) as contemporaries but in different two faculties. I recollect the Tamil Student Union, if we are referring to the same organization. I married two years before him and also went to Canada (University of New Brunswick), but came back in 1976 with a Masters! My PhD is from Australia. I recollect the horrible anti-Tamil violence in 1977 and came to know what happened at Pilimatalawa later. I was living at Mulgampola, on Peradeniya Road, near Colombo Commercial. I was undoubtedly spared being a ‘Sinhalese.’ I knew Rev. Kanagaratnam at Theological College and even before. My paternal uncle was Rev. Harold de Mel who was also associated with the College. RN had left the country in 1978 and I left in 1984, retuning back during 1997-2010. It is strange that we didn’t come across personally during Peradeniya days. It was my wish to see him in Jaffna during my next visit to Sri Lanka which never happened since December 2011 due to my own health. He was a good man. He was concerned about my health, when I hinted in my comments. My thoughts are with him and sincere condolences to you Jayadevan and the whole family.

    • 2

      Laksiri Fernando

      ” I recollect the horrible anti-Tamil violence in 1977 and came to know what happened at Pilimatalawa later. I was living at Mulgampola, on Peradeniya Road, near Colombo Commercial. I was undoubtedly spared being a ‘Sinhalese.’ I knew Rev. Kanagaratnam at Theological College and even before. My paternal uncle was Rev. Harold de Mel who was also associated with the College.”

      Thank you for your comment.

      Two contemporaries from the University of Ceylon (Peradeniya), one-Tamil and the other-Sinhala, and see the discrimination and the calamity the Tamil had to face. Now multiply this thousands of times, and we arrive at Nandikadal, 2009. Of course, the seeds of this discrimination and the calamity, was sowed by the Sinhala and Tamil leaders before and after independence.

      We have been through a 30-year war, and now a section of the Sinhala “Buddhist” monks are running amok, and the new generation of Sinhala politicians are plotting to take advantage, for their own self-interest and preservation, this time dragging the Muslims into the calamity and mix.

      When will the history stop repeating in the land? World War 2 started, when World War 1 ended.

    • 2

      Dr. Fernando, we always respect you and wish you all the very best with your health.
      We always appreciate your unbiased thoughts through your anayses. However, we would never appreciate the way your mediation in terms of the decisions made on awarding Dr Titles to the roudy Rajapakshes while you were still at Colombo Uni.
      All in all, the man proved his abilites by end of 2014: As no other leaders he looted the state even if the current men are sloths to get him by his horns. We loudly criticised all these here, but RN was still in the view that roudy bunch s magical powers eleminated the terror in the country. Now we know it was the media men that painted that way under the secret propaganda missions set by Gota et al.

  • 5

    Thank you so much Jayadevan for a very poignant story depicting the life and times of your family in troubled times in Sri Lanka. It is a fitting tribute to your brother Dr RN who was very active commenting on CT. I found him to be a very humane and a compassionate person with no malice towards any one. This is very apparent from the comments that one could sense the intensity of feeling we all had for Dr RN. Let his immortal soul rest in peace

  • 6

    Thanks Jeyadevan for a beautiful and honest narrative.

    I have to read many sections of your article with tears.

    As an only child, I am overcome with jealousy when I found how close was your family.

    Narendran was a great human being .

    His bad experiences did not make him a racist, but a humanist.

    I rather unsuccessfully tried to meet him in Jaffna in January this year.

    A meeting would have enriched me,we have a lot in common.

    Accept my deep felt condolences!

  • 5

    Dear Laksiri Fernando,

    This is a personal note.

    I also was born in 1946 like you and Dr Narendran, But in September 1946.

    I entered University of Ceylon in October 1965 and was a resident at Marcus Fernando Hall and was boarded at the white house just in front of Colombo Commercial in the Peradeniya Road during 1967/68.and at Wijewardene Hall during my final year.

    I was active in campus politics from the left-LSSP.

    it was interesting times.

    I was a temporary tutor in the Department of Physics for two years during 1969 upto October 1971.

    I had a lot of friends from all three communities.

    it is strange and unfortunate that I had not met you or Dr Narendran.

    Is it too late now? .

    • 1

      Dear Sri-Krish,
      Yes, I knew from your previous postings that we were contemporaries at Peradeniya. I also vaguely knew Dr Rajasingham was the same. I am not exactly a believer in generational theories. But there can be interesting similarities or coincidences. Perhaps what prevented us meeting was that while you belonged to the LSSP, I was with LSSP (R) and then RCL (Kamkaru Mawatha). Our ‘comrade’ in your faculty was Jennings. It is also possible that Peradeniya with its cosmopolitan atmosphere, particularly during our time, produced people with ethno-free broader outlooks. This is of course with some exceptions. In 1995, I visited Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Germany where I met a person who was born exactly on my birth day, 31 August 1945. He has noticed it from my CV and talked to me with amusement. He also was an academic in political science with other similar interests to me. He also asked for me birth time. He knew his, but I didn’t.

  • 10

    The loss of Narendran is the loss of someone who had risen above the partisan blame game of war, in which Tamil politics is mired without any real concern for the victims. We badly need such people. As a people the Tamils owe it to their dignity, and to humanity at large, to demand justice for those whose lives were lost as the result of criminal action, particularly the disappearance of those whose surrender to the security forces was witnessed. If it takes foreign judges and investigators to do it, so be it, given the rotten state of law enforcement in this country.

    Narendran’s mother died about the end of the first week of the war with the Indian Army, which was about the worst period for civilians confronting the Army’s advance. In the Broken Palmyra we described mainly the terrible civilian plight and also our encounters with Indian officers and the LTTE. We blamed the Indian Army for their callousness and arrogance. But that discussion has its limitation. Indian officers constantly voiced their anger at the way the LTTE was fighting the war, and we could see that it was deliberately putting the civilians at risk for propaganda gain.

    We need to begin from the fundamental premise that starting a war is a crime against humanity. Once a war flares up hardly anyone is in control. The elite Tamils and their politics have yet to face up to the fact that the LTTE, which our bigwigs opportunistically worship, imposed on the Tamil people, on four separate occasions, wars they never wanted and utterly detested.

    • 6

      The sole aim of the elite Political Tamils was to enjoy the perks and privileges of being MP’s and Ministers.
      That was the trend until 1965/70.
      The impact of selective enforcement by the Srimao government of the Sinhala only language and Standardisation policy on Tamil government employees and students was a catalyst for whipping up emotions by the Tamil Politicos and the rest is history.

      • 4


        Apart from whipping up emotions what else can the Tamil/Sinhala politicos do to their people. Do you think they were/are aiming to send Man/Woman to Mars and bringing them back alive?

        These are two rudderless people with petty minded parochial leaders, who can’t/won’t see beyond their nose.
        – VP thought by being a fascist leader he might be able to pool resources for his doomed Tamil Eelam project.
        -On the other hand Dr Mahinda and his supporters enjoyed absolute power by popularizing Sinhala/Buddhist fascism.

        In the mean time the darkest forces are gathering their support base for Dr Gota. Well it is up to those voters to embrace them or kick them in their bum?

  • 3

    The Lankan civil war ended on 17 May 2009. those who survived the Mullivaikal massacre were forcibly interned in concentration camps in Vanni. The internees heard screams every night as young persons were removed to disappear. The Editor of “The Hindu” N Ram visited a Vanni camp and wrote the infamous editorial in the 04 July 2009 issue. “The Hindu” will never ever regain its reputation for impartial journalism.
    At about this time Narendran Rajasingham also visited the camps. Details as to whether he was MR’s guest or not is sketchy. Narendran’s comments at that time complimented MR crowd for the victory. Some ten years later Narendran never justified his stand.

  • 4

    Although I did not know him personally, reading through his articles and comments, admired him.
    reading his biography (this article) I understood what an illustrious gentlemen is was .
    Sorry, we are missing such good people.
    May he attand Moksha!!!

  • 4

    Through out his comments, I got to learn a lot about SL over the last 10 years. I never met Dr Naren but felt like we lost a family member.

    After reading this article, I feel bad about how some people were personally attacked him if they didn’t agree with his views. I noticed he didn’t comment lately as he used to do in his forum and thought someone personally insulted him again. I hope people will learn to treat others with respect in future.

    I never agreed with his view on Steel house project in Jaffna. Other than that I mostly agreed and respected with this comments. I hope relevant people will continue work as he wished to promote the Jaffna river project and to improve the quality of graduates and staff at University of Jaffna.

    I’m impressed with how he involved with building a more tolerant society in SL even though he had such a bad personal experience throughout his adult life in SL.

    Had I experience 10% of what he experienced in SL, I might have dedicated rest of my life to revenge the animals than how Dr Naren approached with his gentle personality.

    SL should award the highest possible order of civilian award for his service to our society. RIP Dr Naren.

  • 2

    Chalk and Cheese

  • 2

    Dear Mr. Jayadevan
    Thank you for your touching tribute to your brother. I am sending probably the last letter the he wrote after his return from Batti. and my reply which he would not have read it. Please accept my deepest sympathies,
    Willie D. Joshua

    rajasingham narendran

    Thu 8/31, 10:38 AM
    Dear Dr.Joshua,

    Thanks. I could not reply to your earlier queries because I was away in Batticaloa on work relating to a village development project I am engaged in. I returned to Colombo yesterday with much aches and pains.

    I have however skimmed through your note. Once I it with with more concentration I shall revert.

    Incidentally, I am a graduate in Veterinary Science (1970) from Peradeniya. I thereafter served as an Assistant Lecturer there. My M.Sc and Ph.D degrees are from the University of Guelph, Canada. My area of specialization within the Animal Sciences is Applied Physiology (Endocrinology, Lactation Physiology and Environmental Physiology). As a post-Doctoral fellow at Guelph after the 1977 riots, I continued my research and lectured for two years.

    In 1980, I moved to the King Faisal University in Saudi Arabia, initially, as an Asst.Lecturer . I left the University in 1988, as an Associate Professor to join the Private Sector a Senior Administrator in large dairy farms with centre pivot irrigation systems, deep tube wells, dairy processing plants, green house complexes, plastic blow mounding and thermo-forming plants, industrial bakeries , reverse osmosis cum water bottling plants and a large beverage plant. These were under my administrate and technical control.

    These experiences have been invaluable. I have been moulded into a very curious person with a problem solving approach.

    In retirement and spending my time in Jaffna, near a lagoon, I observe the quantitative and qualitative changes in our well water, annually for the past nine years. These coincide with the rainy /drought seasons and the levels of water in the lagoon. I notice that with the rise in level of rain water in the lagoon, the quantity of water in our wells substantially rise. When the lagoon is bereft of surface water, the water level in the wells drastically drop, but never go dry. We use the water for all domestic needs, including irrigating our garden- with a large lawn and vegetable and fruit tree garden.

    My persisting questions are whether,

    1. What I observe is true for other areas of the peninsula?

    2. Why this observation would not validate the hypothesis behind the Arumugam plan?

    I hope the in depth reading of the material you have provided and further reading will give
    me the answers.

    I shall keep in touch.

    With best regards,

    Sent from my iPad

    rajasingham narendran (rajnarendran@yahoo.com)
    Dear Dr. Narendran
    In reply to your queries
    1.It is true on the presumption that the land masses excluding the lagoons namely Vali-kamam, Thenmaradchi, Vadamaradchi and the Islands have independent separate aquifers. It should be so.
    2. When Mr. Arumugam postulated the hypothesis, he did not consider the evaporation from free water surface (i.e. lagoons) and the runoff from the peninsula and the link canal. I know for sure, that the runoff from the peninsula itself, with the Thondamanar and the Upparu barrages closed, caused flooding of the cultivable lands in the peninsula during the rainy season. They had to open the barrages especially at Thondamanar to let off water. Breaches at Chundikulam bund also was frequent. Only after the Israelis involvement, Mr. Arumugam was silent about River for Jaffna”. Recently there have been other proposals with having gates on the link canal to control water in the lagoon.

    I too had my PhD from Canada at University Of Saskatchewan, in Saskatoon. We were there from 1967 to 1971. I had an option to choose either Guelph or Sask. I chose Sask. because it had a very good soils department with good professors; especially in soil physics and irrigation. We were exempted from MSc because of our six years experience in soils work in Sri Lanka on condition that we get over 75% in our exams on graduate courses and research. Because I was a pure science graduate in Special Chemistry with Maths as subsidiary, in addition to graduate studies, I followed many undergraduate courses in soil science and agriculture, just to equip myself for agriculture work in Sri Lanka. There were only four couples from Sri Lanka in Saskatoon at that time. It was hard work but enjoyable life with my wife and child. I always have pleasant memories of my life in Saskatoon.
    With kind regards
    Willie D. Joshua
    RNrajasingham narendran

  • 3

    Mr. Jayadevan you have enlightened many of us about the life and suffering of Dr. R. Narendran who was one of my teachers at the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Science (presently renamed as Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science) of the University of Peradeniya. Soon after graduation he was appointed as an Assistant Lecturer and taught us a part of the subject of Physiology for the 1970/71 veterinary batch which had 18 students, comprising of 9 boys and 9 girls. He was a good teacher with good command of the English language and knowledge of the subject he taught. After an year or so he got a scholarship to do his PhD and left to Canada and returned back in 1976 to serve his Faculty, but unfortunately he and his family had to face the calamities of the 1977 communal riots that flared up all of a sudden. This compelled him to leave the country with his family and the Faculty lost a good budding friendly teacher and a humanitarian. Later, I happened to meet him when he visited my residence in the early nineties and the last was around 2010 where I happened to have a long chat and a lunch with him at the Royal Mall, Kandy. May his soul rest in peace. My deepest sympathies to you, his wife and children.

    A note to Mr. Jayadevan.
    I would like to know the cause of his death. Did he suffer from any illness and where was he buried/cremated?

    • 2

      He was diabetic and was loosing strength in his feet. Otherwise, was fit as a fiddle until he died following a massive cardiac arrest.

  • 2

    It will never be easy to even “take it in our stride” to feel the loss of someone with whom you have crossed swords a number of times. It came as a blowing shock that Dr Narendran was no more with us and it deeply pained my heart. One knows the intensity and the depth of someone who had been standing toe to toe with brimming confidence and unshaken by the assault rained on him. How much I would have wished to meet a personality to know him better and more. Of all what Jayadevan mentioned about his brother the light that brightened up both our pages is the part where he had to walk away instead of succumbing to the vultures of corruption.

    I also need to confess and let Dr Narendran who is now in the lap of His Kingdom to know this. He had chastised the CM for the lack of initiative to develop the North and bemoaned at the times and again excuses of the CM who lacked the initiative and capability to start behaving like a CM/leader. I had then taken an adversarial stand to Dr Narendran’s posture on this only to later casting similar aspersions. With this insight by Jayadevan, it leaves no doubt that had Dr Narendran been the CM instead, it might be a different story for the North and its long-suffering people.


  • 2

    I saw this article at least 36 hours ago, and noted both its importance and its length. I’ve now managed to read through it all, and the comments as well.

    “Comments” – yes as so many others have testified above, it was his comments that struck us – and it may be that I’m like so many others in not having got to see those until we were able to access Colombo Telegraph and other such sources without using those things called “proxy servers”. That has been our main gain since the January 8th 2015 “Rainbow Revolution”, that name we gave it now almost forgotten.

    Jayadevan, like so many others, I, too, have got to know the details of your brother’s life only now. So, apart from those years of his as a Senior Lecturer in Peradeniya, his entire working life was in Saudi Arabia. He had obviously perfected the art of commenting, since all those comments that I read (admittedly after his return to Sri Lanka) showed such a wonderful grasp of the background. He had read those particular articles well, but commented only when he was sure of what he had to say – which was very often, actually, and never on trivial issues.


    How great the sufferings of your family, I know only form your article. Now that I have expressed my thanks to you, Jayadevan, for telling us so much, let me stop, and hope that I will be able to return with a few more observations later.

    • 1

      Sinhala Man et el “How great the sufferings of your family,” My dear Sinhala Man just replicate the suffering of this family to entire Tamils in Sri Lanka. There is not a single Tamil family not touched by 60 years of Sinhala racism and violence and ensuing formation of Tamil rebel groups and the 30 years of war or “terrorism” from both sides. If you guys, as you claim , Sinhala man, didn’t know this you are all naive and gullible.

      • 3

        Dear Rajash,

        Of course I knew in a general way, and I have made many comments expressing my deep sorrow for what has happened for so many years of war, and even supposed peace.

        But reading through this article, like reading through my friend Rajan Hoole’s account of the war, has been the sort of task I undertake quite frequently to remind myself of the horrors that were and that we don’t want repeated. Please let us not start on the “blame game”. As I have stated, before making my comment I had read through the then visible comments as well, and Rajan H.s comment was then not far above the end, and contained the same phrase, about Dr R. Narendran.

        I comment frequently, and don’t hide my identity. Dr Narendran had got to know my name, and we exchanged a few ideas through comments addressed to each other.

        For knowing to be meaningful, generalisation is insufficient, the particulars are important. Your own comment is accepted by in good spirit.

        • 0

          Dear Sinhala Man – I am sure you probably know there countless victims of the war even today languishing in silence in the camps in the NE who are unable to voice their suffering as they are not heard, they don’t have a platform, they are threatened, and they are silenced.

          Their were Tamil VIPS, including if I am correctly informed, eloquent commentators on CT, who attended the garlanding of Banki Moon,by traumatized Tamil children, when he landed on the no fire zone.

          • 0


            My brother Dr Narendran and I personally have raised the issue you refer to many ways. I for one take the position that all those carried the guns against innocent victims must account for their deeds.

            We campaigned for justice for young Krishanthy Kumarasamy but are numbed and ashamed when such brutality is enforced postwar by our own people against Vithya.

            I am willing to join hands with you to raise the stakes of the voiceless you refer to. I humbly appeal to you to come out of your secrecy or out of the den you are enjoying for far too long to make insinuating comments for reasons you only know.

            This is a solemn offer to you. Please do not disable us with your rants any more.

            • 0

              Dear Mr.Jeayadevan – I paid tribute to your late brother when CT first published his demise.

              whys is it insinuating to you, when I point out to Sinhala Man that almost all Tamils in Sri Lanka suffered one way or another during the 60 years of Sinhala racism and the war/terrorism during the last 30 years.

              Why is it insinuating to you when I point to to Sinhala Man that not all those suffered are privileged enough to have access to a platform to voice their suffering.

              isn’t it an irony that only Rajasigham’s suffering is acknowledged by the Sinhala and Tamil commentators because they have a stage?

              • 1


                I am surprised you haven’t sorted out your family feud yet. These should be thrashed out at dinning table.

                • 0

                  Native – read my comment to Mr Jeyadevan below.

              • 3


                You are good at aimlessly catapulting.

                Your historical anti-Rajasingham discharges under the cover of your pseudonym name is not forgotten and it comes now camouflage addressing the Sinhala Man with the insinuation directed at us.

                I have made several offers in the past to remove your mask but you do not have the guts to do so.

                I wish to end my engagement with you with this final comment and hope you show maturity in your conduct in the future.

                • 0

                  Mr.Jeyadevan read my comment “…. My dear Sinhala Man just replicate the suffering of this family to entire Tamils in Sri Lanka”….I am acknowledging that your family went through enormous suffering and hardship and you have no gratitude. I am not sure why you always want to pick a fight with me.

                  • 0

                    My response was to your comment:

                    ‘I am sure you probably know there countless victims of the war even today languishing in silence in the camps in the NE who are unable to voice their suffering as they are not heard, they don’t have a platform, they are threatened, and they are silenced. Their were Tamil VIPS, including if I am correctly informed, eloquent commentators on CT, who attended the garlanding of Banki Moon,by traumatized Tamil children, when he landed on the no fire zone.’.

                    Go back your memory lane or stand in front of a mirror and ask: ‘I am not sure why you always want to pick a fight with me’.

  • 5

    After reading through this write-up,my thoughts took a walk along the corridors of History. I have posted on the CT the most famous quote of John Donne,when I heard about the passing away of Naren.
    I consider myself to be privileged for having known Naren in our salad days.
    Let that journey in Sansara be short for Naren.

  • 1


    I don’t understand why we have to mourn the passing away of anyone. The day should be a day of celebration of good people for what they were and what they have done in their life.

    “I consider myself to be privileged for having known Naren in our salad days.”

    Once in a while I used to poke him with a question ” Have you ever enjoyed Kandyan hospitality?”. He always said no. How about you?

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    Although I did not agree with the views and actions of the late Narendran. However he had the courage of his convictions. I respect the views expressed by Rajasigham. May god bless Narendran’s soul and may he rest in peace. Bensen Berner

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    On most issues I did not resonate with Rajasingham Narendran. From this article by
    Rajasingham Jayadevan “Farewell To My Dear Brother Dr Narendran” it is evident that Dr Narendran hails from a Christian family. Dr Narendran never mixed religion in his writings. He never propagated the falsity that there exists a religion divide among Tamils.
    My respects and admiration to the late Narendran.

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    Very sad to learn the departure of him! He was dreaming for the betterment of the life of everyone there! May god bless his departed soul in etrenal peace

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      How are you? Are you too busy to visit this forum? Drop in for a change.
      When do you think Modi’s Hinduttva fascist forces are planning to land on this island?

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    Rajasingham Jayadevan

    Thank You for your heartfelt eulogy to a much-loved and admired brother, and for sharing the memories of an oft turbulent life.

    I never know Dr Narendran, except by reading his articles and comments. He was of course an erudite and thoughtful man, and he always raised the standards of discourse above the mundane.

    I learnt much reading his always informative articles, and, though I didn’t always agree with everything he wrote, I always respected his word.

    Our world was much enriched by his life, and he will be genuinely missed.

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    RIP, Sir.

  • 3


    I cannot help but coming back to all the comments relating to Dr.RN. A dutiful brother has done the honours. 71yrs is a bit too young for people to depart,all the more so for a disciplined man like Dr.Naren. But your line Amarasiri………….
    Perhaps the stress associated with calamities and challenges he faced in life,courtesy of Sinhala and Tamil politicians since independence and the LTTE separatists along with the IPKF, taxed his educated mind[ knowledge+ wisdom + culture +experience] and body.
    You have diagnosed the cause Amarasiri!

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