Veteran Tamil scholar, politician Kaa. Po. Ratnam passes away

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 December 2010, 08:55 GMT]
Pandithar Kaarthigesar Ponnambalam Ratnam, a veteran Tamil scholar and a former parliamentarian who represented the electorates of Ki’linochchi and Kayts (Oorkaavaththu’rai) in Jaffna district on the tickets of Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) and later on Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) since 1965 to 1983 passed away peacefully in his Colombo residence at the age of 96 Monday evening. His funeral is to take place Wednesday evening in Kanatte cemetery in Colombo.

Kaa Po Ratnam
Kaa. Po. Ratnam showed keen interest in studying Tamil language and Tamil Literature from the school days and obtained the titles of Vidwan and Pandithar. He obtained B.A.Honours degree from London University and Bachelor of Oriental Languages (BOL) and M.A from the University of Madras.

He formed Ilangkai Thamizh Ma’rai Kazhakam to propagate Thirukkura’l.

He was offered titles “Thamil Chaan’roan”, Chenthamizh Kalaima’ni” and “Thirukku’ra’l Chelvar” for his eminence in Tamil language and its Literature.

Born in the year 1914 in Veala’nai in Oorkaavathth’urai, Kaa. Po. Ratnam successfully contested the Ki’liinochchi electorate in the year 1965 at the invitation of Thanthai S.J.V.Chelvanayakam, founder of the ITAK on the ITAK ticket.

He contested Kayts (Ookaavaththu’rai) electorate in 1970 election and won on the ITAK ticket.

In 1977 general election he won the Kayts electorate as a candidate of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF). ITAK and All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) were the constituents of the TULF then.

He relinquished from politics after 1983 riot against Tamils in Colombo when the TULF decided to boycott the parliament and went to India in 1985.He returned to Colombo in the year 2003 and had been residing in Wellawatte with his children till his demise.

Before entering politics, he served as a lecturer in the Government Teacher Training College for twelve years and later as a research officer in the Government Languages Department for eight years.

 

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