Abducted VC's mother appeals for son's release

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 December 2006, 19:55 GMT]
Mrs. Saraswathy Sivasubramaniam, 75, the mother of abducted Vice Chancellor of Eastern University appealed to the abductors to release his son without harm when TamilNet talked to her and her extended family in South London Thursday. "For the last 28 years my son and his family have been living in Batticaloa, the foremost thing in his mind was the development of Batticaloa, especially modernizing the agriculture in Batticaloa," she said. Prof. Raveendranath is 55.

Mrs Sivasubramaniam
"From the time he worked as an Agriculture officer in Karadiyanaaru for three years from 1978, till his tenure as VC from January 2005 until recently, my son worked for the improvement of economic conditions and academic skills of the Batticaloa residents. He is softspoken, and is a man of integrity, and family members looked up to him for advice and support. We are all devastated by his disappearance, and appeal to those who are holding him to let him free," she said.

Eldest of eight siblings, three boys and five girls, Professor Raveendranath, affectionately called by his family and friends as "Indran," is from Kokuvil Jaffna, and is married to Ms Jagatheeswary from Kondavil. The couple moved to Batticaloa immediately after their marriage in 1978, and have two girls, Thushyanthi, 26, and Abirami, 23, both born and schooled in Batticaloa.

Prof. Raveendranath spent 4 years from 1983 for his doctoral studies at the Science Faculty of Imperial College located in Ascot in London, and later spent a sabbatical year 1994 at National Research Institute in Kent also in UK.

"He always wanted to go back to Batticaloa to serve the people there," his mother said. "Neighbors, and people he worked and grew-up with, always have a great respect for his simplicity and his concern towards their welfare," she added.

Professor S. Raveendranath was reported missing Friday 15 Decmber in Colombo's High Security area after attending a conference.

On 30 September, an unidentified armed group kidnapped the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Eastern University, Bala Sugumar, demanding Professor Ravindranath's resignation in return for the Dean's release. Bala Sugumar was released ten days later by captors widely believed to be members of the Karuna Group.

67 foreign academics, colleagues, and partners of Eastern University, Tuesday jointly urged for the safe release of Professor Ravindranath noting that his tenure as Vice-Chancellor has coincided with major developments like the opening of the first medical school in the East of Sri Lanka.

 

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