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