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Arumugam Thondaman

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Template:Infobox MP Savumiamoorthy Arumugan Ramanathan Thondaman (29 May 1964 – 26 May 2020) also popularly known as Arumugan Thondaman, was a Sri Lankan politician of Indian origin, who served as a Cabinet Minister.[1] He was the grandson of prominent unionist Saumyamoorthi Thondaman.[2] He was the leader of the Ceylon Workers' Congress, a Member of Parliament representing the Nuwara Eliya District and was an advocate for the Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka. His career as a politician spanned over 20 years, holding several ministerial portfolios in different governments. He was regarded as one of the prominent politicians from Nuwara Eliya.

Early life and education[edit source | edit]

Born on 29 May 1964, his father was Ramanathan Thondaman, the son of Saumyamoorthi Thondaman. He received his primary and secondary education at the Royal College, Colombo.[3]

Political career[edit source | edit]

Thondaman entered politics in 1985 and he entered the mainstream politics when he contested the 1994 general elections from the Nuwara Eliya Electoral District representing representing the United National Party and was elected to the Parliament of Sri Lanka. He succeeded his grandfather Saumyamoorthi Thondaman as the leader of the Ceylon Workers' Congress party in 1999. He was consistently re-elected parliament in all elections held from 1994 to 2015, holding his parliamentary seat and the post of party leader until his death.[4] He also served as a cabinet minister of UNP for a brief stint and joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party later in 2016.[5]

In December 2019, he was appointed as the cabinet minister of Community Empowerment and Estate Infrastructure Development by the Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.[6] During his political career, he was well known for his long time ally with former President Mahinda Rajapakse.[7] He was due to contest at the upcoming parliamentary election representing Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna from the Nuwara Eliya district.[8][9]

Death[edit source | edit]

Thondaman was admitted to Thalangama Base Hospital in the evening after being reported to have succumbed to serious injuries from a fall at his residence on 26 May 2020.[10][11] He was later confirmed to have died following a heart attack at the age of 55.[12] He died just 3 days before his 56th birthday. On the same day before his death, he had met with new Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay in order to discuss bilateral cooperation for community development.[13][14] He served as the cabinet minister of Community Empowerment and Estate Infrastructure Development until his death. His body was also laid in the parliament until 31 May 2020. The funeral of Thondaman was held on 31 May 2020 in Norwood, village in Nuwara Eliya amid curfew in the area with state honours and the politicians including Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa paid their last respect and tribute.[15][16][17]

Family[edit source | edit]

Thondaman and his wife Rajeswari had two daughters Dr Nachiyar, Dr Viji and one son Jeevan Thondaman, a barrister who has been tipped to succeed his father as leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress.[18]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "If you are Sri Lankan you don't have to fear anything - Thondaman". www.adaderana.lk. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  2. "Remembering Soumyamoorthy Thondaman". web.archive.org. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  3. "Minister Arumugam Thondaman passes away". www.news.lk. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  4. "Arumugam Thondaman passes away | Daily FT". www.ft.lk. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  5. Nanayakkara, Dilani. "Thondaman to join SLFP election campaign?". lankainformation.lk. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  6. "Thondaman pledges support to Gotabaya". Sri Lanka News - Newsfirst. 13 October 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  7. Dhanushika. "MR mourns demise of Thondaman". lankainformation.lk. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  8. "CWC Leader Arumugam Thondaman dies after fall – Party sources". EconomyNext. 26 May 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  9. Dhanushika. "Arumugam Thondaman passes away". lankainformation.lk. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  10. "Sri Lanka : Ceylon Workers Congress Leader and Minister Arumugam Thondaman passed away". www.colombopage.com. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  11. "Ceylon Workers Congress Leader and Minister Arumugam Thondaman passed away". Sri Lanka News - Newsfirst. 26 May 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  12. "CWC leader and minister Arumugam Thondaman passes away". www.adaderana.lk. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  13. "Indian HC expresses deep shock at news of Thondaman's demise | Daily FT". www.ft.lk. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  14. Srinivasan, Meera (26 May 2020). "Sri Lankan Minister Arumugan Thondaman passes away". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  15. "Thondaman's remains to lie-in-state in Parliament tomorrow". EconomyNext. 27 May 2020. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  16. "Curfew declared in Nuwara Eliya as Thondaman's funeral cavalcade enters town". EconomyNext. 29 May 2020. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  17. Kuruluwansha, Asela. "Minister Thondaman's funeral on Sunday with State honours". Daily News. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  18. "Arumugam Thondaman's Son Jeevan Thondaman Comes Under Severe Fire For Playing Politics Over The Body Of His Father". www.asianmirror.lk. Retrieved 31 May 2020.

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