The Sunday Leader

A Courageous And Popular Journalist Passes Away

Subramaniam Sivanayagam passed away in Colombo on Monday, November 29.
For Iyah Sivanayagam:

A lovely soul has passed today from Earth to the next place.
Full of humour, light and mischievous love of life, of laughter – of people in the broadest sense – humanity – and his people.
Tireless journalist – writer of truth,
I feel limp with sorrow like a leaf without water but salt water flows from my eyes in a wellspring of grief.
This history – this path of an oppressed people – trod by
many – drew all of us together
attempting to speak out and
expose the injustice.
What a herculean task
He did over the decades.
History will recognise his feat.
– Deirdre McConnell, Nov. 30, 2010

Subramaniam Sivanayagam, known fondly to the diaspora as “Iyah”, editor of Saturday Review, Tamil Nation and Hot Spring passed away in Colombo on Monday, November 29.

While Sivanayagam was living in Colombo until 1981 – he worked for the Ceylon Daily News, the Daily Mirror, J. Walter Thompson and the Ceylon Tourist Board.

He moved to Jaffna in 1981 and worked as the founder editor of the Saturday Review, a newspaper started by Tamil intellectuals. This was the first Jaffna English newspaper. As the Saturday Review was banned by the J. R. Jayewardene government and they troubled Sivanayagam, he went to India and worked there for the “Tamil Information Centre” for a few years. He started an English fortnightly newspaper, Tamil Nation. While he was working for Tamil Nation, he was arrested by the Indian authorities under TADA and detained for a few years in India.

As soon as he was released from prison, he came to France, sought political asylum and lived in Paris for a few years. While in Paris, he published the monthly magazine Hot Spring. In London, he continued to publish the popular Hot Spring magazine. While in London, he published two books (Pen And The Gun and Sri Lanka – Witness To History – A journalist’s Memoirs 1930 – 2004).

The funeral took place on Thursday, December 2 in Colombo.

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