Joseph Pararajasingham MP shot dead in Batticaloa church
[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 December 2005, 19:56 GMT]
Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, a senior Tamil politician and the Batticaloa district Member of Parliament (MP) of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was shot and killed by two unidentified gunmen at St. Mary's co-cathedral church in Batticaloa town while attending Christmas prayers early morning at 1.20 a.m Sunday. The MP's wife, Mrs. Sugunam Pararajasingham, seriously wounded in the gunfire, was rushed to Batticaloa Hospital in critical condition. Seven more persons were injured in the gunfire, civilian sources said.
Mr Pararajasingham arrived at the Church at 10.30 p.m where the services led by Batticaloa Bishop Kingley Swampillai started at 11.30 p.m.
The co-cathedral is located in the heart of Batticaloa town on Central Road.
Pararajasinghams have two sons (one deceased), and one daughter.
Mr Joseph Pararajasingham was born on 26 November 1934 and started his career as a draftsperson at the Batticaloa secretariat. He started public service as a part-time journalist at the Tamil daily "Thinapathi," where he wrote stories under the name Sugunam Joseph.
He entered Sri Lanka Parliament in 1990. He was re-elected in 1994 with the highest number of preferential votes ever received by a Tamil candidate in the NorthEast. He was again elected on the final count of preferential votes in the October 2000 elections. He again became an MP under the national list in 2002.
Mr Pararajasingham had a good command in English.
During the late 90's he followed up with the Sri Lanka armed forces cases of detention, disappearances, torture, rape and killing of Tamil civilians.
He was an Executive Member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the SAARC Parliamentary Assocoation.
Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham with his wife Mrs. Sugunam Pararajasingham
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