Popular Tamil Eelam singer SG Shanthan passes away
[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 February 2017, 23:08 GMT] Shanthalingam Gunaratnam (SG Shanthan), the most popular Eezham Tamil singer of songs in the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle so far, has passed away in Jaffna on Sunday at the age of 57 of kidney failure. The singer, known for his unique high-pitch singing of liberation songs, has recorded more than 250 Tamil Eelam songs and at least 350 devotional songs. One of his initial Tamil Eelam songs, “Intha ma'n engka'lin chontha ma'n” (this is our soil) sung 26 years ago, is still used as slogan by the people demanding de-militarisation of the occupied country of Eezham Tamils. Shanthan is gone but his voice will live in the hearts and minds of Eezham Tamils forever.
SG Shanthan (30 December 1960 - 26 February 2017)
“Poo-malarnthathu kodiyinil” was his first Tamil Eelam song recorded in Jaffna in 1991 and “Ka'n'nukku'l'lea vaiththu kaaththidum veerarai” was his last Tamil Eelam song recorded in 2009 during the genocidal war on Tamil Eelam.
After getting released from the prolonged military incarceration in 2010, Shanthan has continued to be a singer of devotional songs until he became bedridden, as both his kidneys had failed.
Shanthan was awaiting kidney transplantation for some time and was undergoing special treatment at the clinic attached to Jaffna Teaching hospital.
Shanthan's demise occurred at 2:20 p.m. while the doctors were trying hard to save his life, medical sources at Jaffna Teaching Hospital said. He was admitted to intensive treatment on Saturday. Toxins had built up in his body despite regular dialysis, the doctors said.
Born on 20 December 1960, Shanthan who hails from Pungkudutheevu in Jaffna, debuted as a singer at the age of 12 while his family was based in Colombo. He moved to Ki'linochchi in 1978 and continued to sing devotional songs at temples and had a keen interest in traditional theatre (kooththu songs) until the LTTE identified his talent in 1991. From 1991 to 2009, he remained the star singer of Tamil Eelam songs.
Two of Shanthan's sons have sacrificed their lives in the armed struggle. One of them, Isai-arasan, was also a singer.
Most of the Tamil Eelam songs sung by SG Shanthan were authored by popular Eezham Tamil poet Puthuvai Ratnathurai, whose whereabouts is still not known after the occupying Sri Lankan military had him into custody during the final hours of the Vanni war in May 2009.
Shanthan's funeral is to be held in Ki'linochchi on Tuesday.